Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is the world’s most popular theme park. Here is a quick tutorial of basic information to get you acquainted with the place where dreams come true…
9. Transportation – Because of its location on the far side of Seven Seas Lagoon, there is absolutely no way to just walk right into the Magic Kingdom. You must either get to the entrance by boat or by monorail. And here’s how… If you park in the lot, a tram will carry you from your car to the ticket counter, then you can choose to either take the ferryboat or the monorail to get to the park entrance. If you stay at one of the resorts on the lagoon (Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, or Fort Wilderness), you can take the resort boat straight to the park entrance. The monorail also makes stops at Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary if you prefer that mode. From any other resort you must take the bus to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where you will board the monorail to the park entrance. Ask an ever-friendly cast member (Disney employee) for directions if anything seems unclear, but usually the signage makes things pretty clear.
8. Layout – Magic Kingdom is actually a collection of six distinct “lands” which all surround Cinderella’s Castle. As you walk into the park, you encounter “Main Street USA”, a delightful land of shops, snack foods, character meetings, live entertainment, and more. The street ends basically at the front of Cinderella’s Castle. To your right you’ll find “Tomorrowland”, a futuristic world of space-themed rides and entertainment. To the left of the castle is “Adventureland” where you’ll encounter pirates and jungle expeditions. Behind the castle is “Fantasyland” – the epitome of Disney. Movie-themed rides, beloved characters, and classic Disney magic await you there. In between Fantasyland and Adventureland you’ll find the tiny colonial-themed area of “Liberty Square” and the rootin’-tootin’ wild west of “Frontierland”.
7. Fast Pass+ – To make the most of your Magic Kingdom visit you’ll want to reserve Fast Passes for popular rides. Fast Pass+ is your key to shorter wait times, which means more magic. Magic Kingdom has 28 Fast Pass+ options for you to choose from. When you come to the experience that you reserved, do not enter the regular queue. There will be a separate, quicker Fast Pass+ queue that you’ll need to locate (usually right beside the regular entrance). For more info on reserving Fast Passes, check out our article here.
6. Eating – There are three ways to dine in the Magic Kingdom. a) Table Service is your sit-down-with-a-waiter type of fare. For Table Service restaurants you are HIGHLY advised to get advance reservations. Within the Table Service category, you’ll also be able to make choices regarding Character Dining (where characters actually greet you at your table), Buffets, and Menu Service. Call a Disney planning agent if you are having trouble with your Table Service options or reservations. We recommend INSERT LINK. b) Counter Service joints allow you to order your meal fast-food style. These places are great for saving on time and money. You’ll seat yourself and bring your own food to the table on trays. c) Snack Food places are pretty self-explanatory. They are the place to go for a salty or sweet treat to keep your energy up. Sometimes there will be a few tables nearby, but most Snack Food places don’t have that luxury since their food is meant to be enjoyed on-the-go.
5. Characters – Magic Kingdom is the best place to fill your autograph book! Meeting times for individual characters vary, so you must check the daily schedule. Here’s a list of characters you will typically be able to meet on pretty regular intervals: Anna & Elsa, Ariel, Buzz Lightyear, Cinderella, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, Merida, Mickey, Minnie, Gaston, Chip & Dale, Woody & Jessie, and Rapunzel. Fast Passes are available for Anna & Elsa, Ariel, Cinderella & Rapunzel, Mickey, or Tinker Bell. Additional characters that make limited appearances may include: Abu & Aladdin, Alice, Jack Sparrow, Peter Pan, Aurora, Tiana, Pluto, Marie, Stitch, Snow White, Mad Hatter, Pooh & Tigger, and sometimes even more. Their meet and greet times are much more narrow, so be sure to schedule accordingly. Check out “Magic Kingdom Meeting & Greeting – 24 Characters You Can Only Meet Here!”
4. Live Entertainment – Shows and parades offer a great chance to take a break while enjoying some high-quality entertainment. Main Street USA offers many live entertainment options ranging from the Casey’s Corner Pianist to the Move it! Shake it! Dance Street Party. Dream Along With Mickey is a whimsical character show right in front of the castle, complete with pyrotechnics. The Festival of Fantasy Parade is not to be missed. It happens usually just once daily and runs throughout half of the park. You can find the route in your guide map (a paper map that you can pick up at the entrance), and there is Fast Pass seating available.
3. Park Rules – Magic Kingdom’s rules and regulations are posted on their website. Most are pretty obvious, but a few standouts are worth noting. The following items are not permitted: weapons of any kind, selfie sticks, and complete character dress-up (ones that would be confused with the actual characters). Bags are searched prior to entrance for guests’ safety, and prohibited items will be confiscated. There is to be no vulgar language, no cutting in line, and no interference with any of the entertainment. All guests are required to wear appropriate clothing and shoes at all times (including children).
2. Accessibility – Strollers are allowed and encouraged around the park, and there are few areas which are not stroller accessible. However, most queues will not allow strollers, so you’ll need to have kids walk to the entrance. When getting children out of the stroller, you must park it in a designated stroller parking zone, or a cast member will move it there. Magic Kingdom is also very wheelchair friendly. Most rides are handicap accessible, though the level of accessibility varies. Check with a cast member at each ride’s entrance to see if you must transfer from your wheelchair, or if it is equipped to allow you to enjoy the ride seated in your wheelchair. Electric scooters are permitted (not the two-wheeled kind), but they must remain at a walking pace. Strollers, wheelchairs, and scooters are all available to be rented from the Magic Kingdom if that is what is best for your party. Service animals are allowed at Magic Kingdom, but they may not be granted access to some attractions depending on the nature of the ride.
1. After Dark – Magic Kingdom is typically open the latest of all the Disney World Parks. There are several unique things to do at night, so don’t turn in early! Try some of your favorite rides in the dark for a different perspective. Then head over for the Electrical Water Parade in the lagoon and also the Electrical Parade on Main Street. Then stick around for Celebrate the Magic, a tribute to Disney movies presented right on the castle itself. Whatever you do, don’t miss Wishes, the nighttime fireworks spectacular. You’ve never seen fireworks quite like this! Hang around until closing for a special “Kiss Goodnight” from cast members.
Finally, don’t let all these Magic Kingdom details overwhelm you. Contact our authorized Disney Planners to assist you with every step of planning. Enjoy the magic!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!