The Grown-Ups Guide to Magic Kingdom
In March we had the opportunity to go to Disney World for a day!! I have been to Disney World multiple times (as a kid and as an adult) but this was Joel's very first time!! I had been looking forward to this trip for a few months and it was everything we hoped it would be! I was so glad that Joel got to experience his first Disney trip ever just the two of us. It was a VERY laid back Disney-day, and is now definitely one of my most favorite Disney trips!
Our whole Florida/Orlando trip was a whirlwind, and flew by just so fast! There were just a few things that we really really wanted to do at Disney that we didn't get to do, but for the most part we did everything on our list! The whole day was just perfect and I'm pretty sure there was a smile plastered on my face the entire day (except when waiting in line for Space Mountain...)
Our day at Magic Kingdom taught us a lot of what we would do again, or what we would do differently next time, so I wanted to share what we learned! I'm sure some of our tips could work for a Disney-Day WITH kiddos too, but since we didn't bring ours (dogs can't ride Haunted Mansion, silly!) I didn't want to just assume that these ALL were the best tips for a day WITH kids.
So, here are our TIPS for an awesome day at Magic Kingdom! Do YOU have any tips to add?? Leave them in the comments!
MAGIC KINGDOM TIPS
- Do your research before going and make a list of everything you HAVE to do, and everything you'd just LIKE to do but won't be heartbroken if you don't get to it
- Go a little later in the morning, and stay until the park closes. No need to wake up at the crack of dawn and fight the crowds of people with children! TRUST ME! We arrived a little before lunch time, and got back to our car around midnight.
- After the fireworks is a GREAT time to head to some rides (NOT Space Mountain though!) Most people with children tend to leave right after the fireworks. By the time we left, we didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes for the boat, or for the parking lot trolley thing. And there was NO traffic. Head more towards the back of the park for no-wait lines.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. (So. Much. Walking.)
- PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE! The line for purchasing tickets is long and annoying anytime of the day.
- Learn about Fast Passes! (learn about Fast Passes HERE) If you get tickets in advance, you can book your first three fast passes up to 30 days in advance (which I absolutely recommend doing) Use your first 3 Fast Passes on the 3 rides you want to do the MOST! If it were me, I'd use them for Space Mountain, Small World (if you haven't ever done that ride) and Haunted Mansion (my mom's favorite ride)
- MAKE DINNER RESERVATIONS! This was something that we totally dropped the ball on and I 100% regret it. We didn't get to eat anywhere cool for dinner and it sucked. You can search for reservations and look at menus HERE
- Have a list of things in each area you can do when you're tired. Such as: Enchanted Tiki Room, People Mover and the Disney Railroad (which makes multiple stops around the park)
- Download the Disney World App. This is where you can book and keep track of your Fast Passes, find out where you are, look for attractions and even different food/snacks you want, and even check approximate wait times for attractions.
- Snack all day instead of eating an actual lunch. I had a hefty list of snacks I wanted Joel to try on his first trip, so we decided just to snack around Magic Kingdom instead of having an actual lunch. And it was a GREAT decision! Our favorite snack? Well, we loved them all (except the cinnamon roll from Gaston's Tavern. So dry and disappointing) but I think our FAVORITE was the "fresh fruit waffle sandwich" from Sleepy Hollow (I'm drooling a little bit just thinking about it) (read my guest post on "Travel Like a Local" about all the snacks we had!)
- Get a button if you're celebrating a special occasion! Disney offers free buttons for: First Visit, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Honeymooners. You can get the buttons when you first arrive, or if you're like me and forget, most of the gift shops have them behind the counter also.
- Don't Buy Water! Bring your own reusable water bottle (just not glass) You can get free cups of ice water at any snack stand or restaurant, and then just pour them into your water bottle! Seriously beats paying a ton for bottles of water all day.
- Buy souvenirs where ever you find them in the park! The shops on Main Street do not have everything that all of the other themed stores do! When you buy souvenirs at any shop, tell the cashier you would like it to be sent to Chamber of Commerce and they will get that set up for you! The Chamber of Commerce is located at the very front of the park near the exit, and is open until the park closes! Just don't forget to stop there with all of your green slips before you leave!
- Research Disney "hacks" and hidden stuff! (Like looking for Lady and the Tramp's paw prints outside of Tony's Italian restaurant) It's fun to find stuff like that that you've never noticed before!