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Come Along to Magic Kingdom: What I Did in 5 Short Hours

Recently I was blessed with being able to pop into the Magic Kingdom for a quick few hours prior to heading home. I didn’t really have a plan but knew that I would want to enjoy just being in the magic as much as I could. 

I was able to do a lot in my short time and this was the first day with big spring break crowds. Come along with me to see what I was able to do in just five short hours in Magic Kingdom.

disney genie
disney genie


There are a few reasons why I decided to purchase Genie+ for this Monday, March 13th. First of all, I was traveling solo. This made the pricing a lot easier to manage than if the whole family was heading into the Park together.

Also, with a limited amount of time and spring break crowds arriving, I knew purchasing Genie+ would allow me to experience as much as possible in my five hours. Genie+ would help me navigate the crowds and use Lightning Lanes in order to skip the long standby lines.

Remember you can purchase Genie+ starting at midnight and make your first selection at 7 am. 

Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney


My goal was to experience as much as possible in the short time I had. I wanted to meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theatre, ride the train and Pirates of the Caribbean as well as do some shopping on Main Street USA. 

As I said, I didn’t have a long list of things to do, but having a general idea always is helpful when walking into a Park. It gives you direction and focuses.

 With these goals in mind, I started focusing my Lightning Lane selections on Pirates of the Caribbean and Meeting Mickey Mouse.

I will be honest I did a lot of adjusting and changing my Lightning Lanes throughout the day. I enjoy that there is a modification option and I used this a lot to adjust my plans as I went. This might have been adjusting my times or even the ride selection overall. Because my goal was to do as much as I could in a short period of time, I used Genie+ to select the next available ride not really worried about what it was. This allowed me to move around Magic Kingdom quickly and through the lines fast.

Credit: Disney

Down Rides

Another thing to know right away is that I did face having both Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain shut down on me twice each. This meant that my Lightning Lane for them turned into an anytime experience so I used that to my advantage as well.

train magic kingdom
train magic kingdom

Let’s Get Started

I left Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at 8:45 via a Minnie Van. This isn’t necessary, but I do love the quick and convenient access that these provide Guests especially when heading to Magic Kingdom.

The very first experience that I did was riding the Walt Disney World Railroad. I had not experienced this amazing ride in years do the closure of Tron: Lightcycle Run. It was fun to sit back and enjoy the train ride.

I did get off at Frontierland because my plan was to get on to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad using a Multiple Experience Lightning Lane as Pirates of the Caribbean had gone down. Unfortunately, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad also went down.

From there, I took a nice walk around the water and thought about visiting Haunted Mansion. This Lightning Lane was extremely long so I moved on to it’s a small world. I used the Multiple Experience option here and had another Genie+ selection for Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh booked as well.


Before Lunch

From it’s a small world, I headed over to visit Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Hundred Acre Woods and followed that up with a dip under the sea with Ariel and her friends. Both of these rides are favorites of mine. I love being able to head into the story with some of my favorite characters.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Magic Kingdom without a stop at the Peoplemover for a nice ride around Tomorrowland. As I got onto the ride, I knew based on the clouds and my many weather apps that a storm was coming in. I took this time to make sure I had a mobile order placed for Casey’s Corner so I would have a place to be inside as well as use that rainy time productively.

casey's corner on main street


I was correct in the storm came quickly and in buckets, as it often does in Walt Disney World. I made it to Casey’s Corner for my delicious corn dog nuggets, fries, and Diet Coke. From there, I enjoyed browsing the different stores on Main Street USA to see what I could find. Although they were busy because of the rain, with some patience it was fine.


After Lunch

Following lunch, I spent some time confused. I wanted to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, but it once again broke down while I was in line. From there I headed to the Hall of Presidents, but a show had just started and I didn’t want to “waste” time. I quickly adjusted my Genie+ selections and grabbed Mickey’s Philharmagic. I love this show and was excited to see the new Coco addition.

Since I was in the mood for shows, I headed on over to the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. This adorable show never disappoints. I loved the jokes and how they interact with the Guests in the audience.

From there, I decided to be brave and use my last Multiple Experience Lightning Lane for Space Mountain. A key tip here, if you are traveling solo, at the top Cast Member, let them know you are solo as they will direct you to a different line to help fill in the cars. This made my wait extremely short.

Mickey Pretzel

Heading Out

Before leaving the Park, I took some pictures, grabbed a pretzel, and avoided another major rainstorm- that lasted five minutes. 

Even though I only had five hours in Magic Kingdom, I was able to enjoy nine magical experiences, two delicious snacks, and take some great pictures of the Park.

Don’t think that you can’t have a magical time when you only have a short period of time in a Park. With some planning and flexibility, you can take advantage of all the magical days in Walt Disney World.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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