Trip to Disney World
Maxwell and I truly try to go off the beaten path when it comes to traveling. So it may come as a surprise that we visited Disney World, specifically The Magic Kingdom earlier in the year. I will take credit for it- it was all me 🙂
I have been lucky enough to be in a family that often went to Disney World. I know it like the back of my hand and have been more times than I can count. Whenever we went on vacation, it was always to Disney World or Anna Maria Island. I could go on forever about how magical Disney is and how I have a Princess complex… but I won’t.
I decided to put my knowledge to good use. Here are 6 tips to get through the Magic Kingdom!
Tips for Magic Kingdom
1. Fast Passes
Fast passes have been around for quite some time and they are handy! Previously, you could have one fast pass at a time per ticket. There were kiosks at each ride and you went to get your pass that had a time frame to come back in.
This all changed this year so I was completely thrown off! If you stay at one of the Disney resorts, you are now able to get Smart Wristbands that have fast passes on them. You are able to sign up for 3 rides before you even enter the park! So by the time Max and I figured it out, all the fast passes of one of the rides I wanted to ride was gone… for the day.
I would highly recommend doing this ahead of time. The rides that would be most beneficial to get are: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride, and Peter Pan’s Flight.
If you do not do this ahead of time, I would go to one of the fast pass kiosks (now all the same, not for a specific ride) immediately and signing up for your initial 3 rides. After your 3 rides have been used, you are able to load one fast pass at a time on to the wristband.
*Though Peter Pan’s Flight is not a major attraction like the other listed, for some reason it is very popular. The wait time for this 6 minute ride often get over an hour early in the day. I would attribute these lines to the design of the ride vehicle.
2. Arrive in the Morning
This might seem like a no brainer, but most people do not arrive early in the morning! Often it takes families longer to get ready and transport there than they originally anticipate so the park does not fill up for at least 2 hours after open.
Arrive at the opening time- if not before- and you will go through rides much quicker. Maxwell and I were able to get 5 rides in within the first hour of the park opening. After that, we averaged about 1 ride/attraction per hour.
Use your time in the morning wisely! Ride larger rides that you did not already get fast passes for. My three main stops in the morning are: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride. They are all over in the same region and typically there are no lines in the morning.
Max was hesitant at first when I wanted to arrive and get through so many rides at first. But soon he came around and saw the light 🙂
(If you did not get the 3 mountain rides loaded on to your fast pass, do those rides right away in the morning!)
If you are staying at a Disney resort, transportation is made easy and it is never necessary to drive your own car to the park. Every resort has buses that go to and from each park. Additionally, these buses run before the parks open to get you there by opening time. They run often throughout the day and there is normally never more than 15 minutes of waiting.
There is an option to take the monorail as well. There is a loop with 5 stops: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The Transportation and Ticket Center is a hub for all other transportation- including a monorail that goes to Epcot park.
Bonus: if you stay at Old Key West, you can take a boat to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney).
5. Park Hours
Parks will have varying hours depending on what time of the year it is and what day of the week. Look ahead of time because there are many nights where a certain park will stay open late. This allows maximum park time for your ticket price. For example, 8am-12am. At the steep prices of the Disney Parks, if you are doing only one day in one park- this makes it more worth it!
In the past, I have taken a midday nap and gone back into the park at night. 🙂
Whenever we stay in the Disney resorts, we are always lucky enough to get a condo. This includes a full kitchen which makes eating while at Disney much easier and cheaper. That being said- it is not always available and food prices are high.
While in the park, you can bring in snacks- but that is a lot of packing. I always try to grab lunch in Tomorrowland in the large food court. Prices are much cheaper than the full restaurants in the park and the portions sizes are good.
This year, I had my first interaction with the giant Turkey legs that they sell because Max is a carnivore through and through. I have to say, I made fun of them before but there is SO much food there. For $11, Max and I were uncomfortably full off of 1 turkey leg and there was still half of it left. Though barbaric… just get it.
And I always splurge on a Mickey Ear Ice Cream Bar 🙂
For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy these photos of my time through the years at Disney. 🙂