Magic Kingdom is probably the Disney Park that first comes to mind when considering the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s a popular place to end your Disney day, given the nighttime spectacular, Happily Ever After, which lights up the sky above Cinderella Castle. However, it’s also an excellent place to begin your day. Here’s why you should visit Magic Kingdom in the morning during your next Disney vacation.
It may come as a surprise, but Magic Kingdom Park generally has low crowds in the morning. Due to Happily Ever After, Guests tend to arrive at the Disney Park later in the day and stay to enjoy the fireworks. The Festival of Fantasy Parade is also why Guests choose to come to Magic Kingdom Park later in the day.
When planning on spending a morning in the Disney Park, we aim to arrive for Park opening. Arriving early avoids the larger crowds than later in the day. Having arrived earlier in the day, we generally leave around midday unless we hope to see the Festival of Fantasy Parade. After watching the parade is a great time to leave and return to your Disney Resort hotel and cool off in the pool. If you have a Disney Park Hopper Pass, you can visit another Disney Park for the evening. Alternatively, you may consider visiting a Disney water park after your time in Magic Kingdom.
Minimal Waits on Popular Attractions
Arriving at Magic Kingdom close to Park opening increases the chances of you experiencing a minimal wait for popular attractions. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are attractions that Guests head to in the early morning. Early Theme Park Entry (the replacement for Extra Magic Hours) especially helps if you plan on visiting a popular ride as soon as you enter the Walt Disney World theme park.
If you plan on using Disney Genie+ during your time in Magic Kingdom Park, early entry to the Disney Park may help you to maximize the number of rides you can experience during your day. Unfortunately, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is only available with Individual Lightning Lane Entry. As such, you can purchase entry to suit the time that works for you. Alternatively, we recommend heading to the Disney attraction at rope drop for a minimal wait.
Interactions with Characters
If the rides aren’t your top priority, mornings in Magic Kingdom Park are an excellent time to meet Disney characters. There are plenty of Disney characters to meet in the Disney Park, including:
- Anastasia and Drizella, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Chip and Dale, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Daisy Duck, and the Disney princesses in Fantasyland
- Stitch and Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland
- Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theatre on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, and Captain Jack Sparrow in Adventureland
- Bears from the Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland
If you plan on spending time on Main Street, U.S.A., you can also see the Dapper Dans perform. Their first performance is usually at 9 a.m. daily.
Excellent Breakfast Options
When visiting Magic Kingdom in the morning, you don’t have to worry about having breakfast before you leave your Walt Disney World hotel. There is plenty of quick-service and full-service restaurants to dine at in the Disney Park.
If you’re looking for a full-service meal, you can enjoy Disney character dining at The Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Royal Table. We recommend securing an advance dining reservation if you wish to eat at either of these restaurants for breakfast. The Crystal Palace may have walk-in availability. However, this is unlikely for Cinderella’s Royal Table; it’s not every day you get to dine in Cinderella Castle!
When it comes to quick-service dining, Magic Kingdom has some excellent options for breakfast. Our favorite options are:
- Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland. If you’re partial to a breakfast pastry, you won’t want to miss the warm cinnamon rolls served here.
- Cheshire Cafe in Fantasyland. Another excellent pastry to enjoy in Magic Kingdom is the Cheshire Cat Tail.
- Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. The famous fresh fruit waffle sandwich is served here. In our opinion, it’s the best breakfast item in Magic Kingdom Park. It makes a perfect mid-morning treat after riding several attractions. Eat your order from one of the tables overlooking Cinderella Castle – talk about breakfast with a view!
Catch the First Raft to Tom Sawyer Island
Tom Sawyer Island is a Disney attraction that is only open for several hours daily. The Frontierland attraction is open from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. Spending the morning in Magic Kingdom allows you to catch the first log raft out to the island if you wish. Catching the first raft will enable you to explore the caves, wander the paths, and adventure across the creaky suspension bridges with a few other Guests.
We suggest seeking out the rocking chairs on the left side of the island. They offer a perfect view of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and you may see the Liberty Square Riverboat pass by, too. We also love to walk across the suspension bridge on the opposite side of the island. It offers stunning views of the Haunted Mansion across the Rivers of America.
Nearby Restaurants for Brunch
Should you take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry in Magic Kingdom Park, consider eating brunch at one of the nearby Disney Resort hotels. Securing a reservation around 11 a.m. gives you enough time to ride a few attractions and experience the low crowds. You can then leave the theme park just before it gets too hot. Secure an advance dining reservation before your Disney vacation to guarantee your dining experience. Our recommendations for brunch after a morning in Magic Kingdom are:
- Grand Floridian Cafe in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- ‘Ohana in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort
What are you most looking forward to when spending a morning in Magic Kingdom? You’ll be glad you started one day in the classic Walt Disney World Park!