Planning a trip to Magic Kingdom and looking for some help? We’ve got you covered!

Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth time, this list of insider tips and secrets will help you get the most out of your time at Disney World’s most famous park.

We’ve made it a point to include actually helpful tips, not just the obvious ones. You’ll find plenty of input for rides, restaurants, snacks, experiences, ride passes, and general planning.


The best way to get into Magic Kingdom early is to book a restaurant for breakfast before the park opens. We recommend setting a reservation just before park opening time at Cinderella’s Royal Table where you’ll meet Cinderella and other princesses while enjoying a delicious breakfast.

Cinderella’s is a difficult reservation to get, so we suggest looking for a reservation far in advance of your vacation and continue checking every day until you find one. This is a highly coveted character dining experience that serves breakfast entrees for adults and children, along with breakfast cocktails, pastries, and morning coffees and teas.


“Rope Drop” (park opening) is the second best way to get into Magic Kingdom early. The line begins to form as early as an hour before the park opens, so try to be there as soon as possible.

The best use of time in these early morning hours is to plan which ride to get in line for while the park is slow. We suggest you go for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain or Peter Pan’s Flight – or whichever you weren’t able to snag a ride pass for.

First timers won’t want to miss the opening ceremony: Let the Magic Begin. Mickey Mouse and friends, along with tons of other face characters, take the stage at Cinderella Castle to greet Magic Kingdom’s first guests of the day.

P.S. – We don’t cover gear in this guide, since we’re sticking to Magic Kingdom-specific tips, but we do have a recommended gear guide for things to bring to Disney.


Magic Kingdom Monorail

If you’re planning to take the bus or boat from your resort, you don’t have to worry about this one. But if you’ve opted to drive your own car to Magic Kingdom, this tip will save you some time.

In our experience, no matter the time of day or the length of the line, the monorail is usually going to get you to Magic Kingdom from the Transportation & Ticket Center faster than the ferry.

For those who want to squeeze every last drop out of their day, save time by taking the monorail. If you’ve never ridden the ferry and simply want to try the experience, it is still a great ride despite being a bit slow. It’s also a good way to take in all of the Disney sights around the Seven Seas Lagoon.


From the day you book your tickets to Magic Kingdom, you’ll have access to Disney Genie. We suggest you use this service to help you plan your day by looking for available shows, rides and restaurants in specific timeframes. 

Disney Genie can be found on the My Disney Experience App, which helps you book every aspect of your park day. For instance, if your kids really want to see the Festival of Fantasy Parade you can mark the 12pm time slot or the 3pm time slot on your Disney Genie schedule so you don’t accidentally book a lunch or Lightning Lane in that window.


Tron Lightcycle Run

Genie+ is the Lightning Lane service system and can be challenging for newbies. We have a shortlist of things to keep in mind while booking your Lightning Lanes. Be sure to wake up at 7am the morning you want to visit Magic Kingdom in order to buy the Genie+ service and to secure your first ride pass for the party.

We recommend you try to book your favorite ride first, then schedule your second and third rides in succession after that. Do your best to book your first pass early in the morning so you can take advantage of booking as many ride passes as possible throughout the day.


Once you’ve purchased Genie+, you’ll want to have a plan in place for the rides you’d like to book in Lightning Lane. We recommend keeping three must-do rides or experiences in mind so you can ensure you get these, at the very least. Lightning Lane will book up really quickly, so you’ll want to have a few options in mind in case your top pick is gone. Your top three rides should consist of those that have long wait times like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight and Jungle Cruise.

Additionally, rides like TRON Lightcycle / Run are only available for Individual Lightning Lane purchase, so you’ll want to plan to buy that separately if it’s one of your must-do’s.


Pineapple Lanai Dole Whip

The famed Dole Whip can only be found at Aloha Isle in Adventureland, just behind the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. It’s top ranked in our list of ice cream desserts in Magic Kingdom. They serve regular soft-serve and floats options along with various other delicious treats.

Recently, Aloha Isle has been featuring specialty Dole Whip treats based on characters from Disney movies like Rapunzel and Hei Hei from Moana. Right now they have a coconut flavored Dole Whip on tap.

Stay tuned to Disney’s social media accounts to learn when new treats are being introduced.


Boys and girls ages 12 and under will absolutely love being transformed into their favorite character in a special Disney makeover.

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is one of Disney’s most magical salons, a perfect addition to a child’s birthday or special celebration. Kids can choose from a variety of princess and knight packages, with the most deluxe including a signature gown, tiara, makeup, hairstyling, outfit, accessory set and stuffed animal.

Additionally, kids can go to the Pirates of the Caribbean Crow’s Nest in Adventureland to receive a map of treasures and secrets hidden around Magic Kingdom. Once your quest is complete, kids receive a special token from Captain Jack Sparrow himself.


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Dark Inside

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still one of the hardest ride passes to get in Magic Kingdom. People will usually settle to wait in line for this popular ride but we have another suggestion. Currently, the best way to get a ride pass for this one is to purchase the individual Lightning Lane pass.

The best chance you have at scoring it is by staying at a Disney resort, waking up at 7am or earlier the day you plan to visit Magic Kingdom and buying the individual Lightning Lane pass at the first available time that pops up. We’ll keep you updated if easier ways to get the Mine Train become available!


The easiest way to manage Magic Kingdom is to pick a direction and stick with it, instead of bouncing across lands having to cross the park multiple times. We recommend going clockwise starting with Adventureland as most people tend to go counter clockwise into Tomorrowland.

I personally like to walk the left side of Main Street, U.S.A past the Crystal Palace into Adventureland, then to Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Storybook Circus, and end with Tomorrowland.

Once you’ve completed the first trip, it’s easy to continue that circle hitting all the things you may have missed the first time around. If you need suggestions of what to do in each land, check out our post ranking Magic Kingdom lands.


It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter rain throughout your day. That’s why we’ve equipped you with a few attractions that are great for escaping the short showers while you wait for the sun.

Our number one pick is Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland. This show has made a statement in Magic Kingdom since the beginning and is a rootin’ tootin’ good time.

We also love Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Peter Pan’s Flight. There will be a wait for all of these, but the lines are almost entirely indoors.

If you’re visiting central Florida for the first time and you’re wondering what to pack for the rain, take a look at our Disney rain gear guide.


There are lots of different ways to score dining reservations in Magic Kingdom. As mentioned before, Cinderella’s Royal Table will be the hardest to get and requires planning months in advance. But other restaurants are a lot simpler. 

Be Our Guest, for example, is our favorite restaurant in Magic Kingdom and has reservations available regularly. You can find reservations 60 days in advance, or you can wait till the week or even the day of to find last-minute reservations or walk-up availability.

As a matter of fact, several restaurants, including Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s, Liberty Tree Tavern, The Plaza Restaurant and Tony’s Town Square have a walk-up waitlist you can join the day of. Simply open your My Disney Experience App, check dining availability and look at the waitlist options.


Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe Cheeseburger

If your group is more in a hurry, we recommend trying the Mobile-Order dining options that Magic Kingdom has at their quick service restaurants. You’ll find mobile ordering available at places like Casey’s Corner, Columbia Harbour House, Cosmic Ray’s, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe and more. 

Open your My Disney Experience App and click “Order Food”. You can select your restaurant and order food to be available at the time of your choice, then eat inside their seated area or take your food to your next ride queue.


This is a very special ceremony performed at the end of each day, around 5pm, on Main Street. Veterans will feel honored and proud to be a part of the flag retreat and it makes a great surprise for a birthday or special occasion.

Main Street Philharmonic leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and plays the “Star Spangled Banner” as Walt Disney World’s color guard removes the American flag from the pole for the day.

The color guard folds the flag as the philharmonic plays “God Bless America” and the folded flag is then given to a veteran in the crowd. To catch the ceremony, be sure to arrive at the front of Main Street near the train station at 15 – 30 minutes in advance.


Did you know you can get your hair cut at Magic Kingdom? Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street is a fully functioning salon for guests of all ages.

Located by City Hall, this barber shop specializes in baby’s first haircuts with their My First Haircut Package. The experience is $28 and includes a special certificate, Mickey ears with “My First Haircut” embroidered on them and a lock of hair for you to take home.

We recommend booking reservations for this, but they may take walk-ins if the park is less crowded than usual.


Magic Kingdom can take a toll on you if you’re going hard all day. Parents with kids or anyone needing a break should take a look at these options to rest your feet in the middle of the day.

Many people love the PeopleMover as a slow and simple mode of transportation. It’s covered, it’s fairly comfortable and it gives you a tour of the inner workings of Tomorrowland. The ride lasts about 15 minutes, but it’s well worth it for a much needed break.

Another slow and easy ride is the Walt Disney World railroad. The best place to board is at the Storybook Circus station – not only is the line fairly short, but this part of the park is less busy and worth seeing!

The railroad has stops at Main Street, Frontierland and Fantasyland and gives you a peek at areas of the park you didn’t realize existed along the way. You can also ride the train for as long as you want.


Liberty Belle Riverboat Magic Kingdom

Liberty Belle Riverboat can be found in the water surrounding Liberty Square. This relaxing boat ride is mostly standing room, but it provides a similar experience as the train, showing you sections of the park you wouldn’t normally see.

The boat ride starts outside the Haunted Mansion and takes guests on a scenic tour around Tom Sawyer’s Island over the Rivers of America.

This cruise is narrated by a Mark Twain imitator, recalling his sailings on the Mississippi River.


Have you walked through Frontierland, looked toward the water and wondered, “How did people get over there?” So have we. This secluded island is accessible by log raft from a dock by the water near Splash Mountain called Tom’s Landing.

It’s quite a fascinating experience for children and adults alike. Kids will like the playground with plenty of nooks and crannies for them to discover.

Adults will enjoy seeing one of their favorite childhood tales come to life from riding the log raft to exploring Fort Langhorn and Harper’s Mill. Tom Sawyer’s Island closes before sunset, so plan on visiting this attraction during the day.


Liberty Square is a smaller land inside Magic Kingdom but it’s home to some of the coolest attractions on property. The most popular is the famous Haunted Mansion ride along with its merchandise shop Memento Mori. But this land has so much more that you don’t want to miss. 

The Christmas Shoppe is one of our favorite stores to visit for year-round festive goods and the Columbia Harbour House has one of the biggest dining rooms of any quick service restaurant in the Kingdom. 

Want a little more historical education pumped into your vacation? The Hall of Presidents rarely has any wait times and is the perfect place to cool off in between attractions. This attraction offers a little bit of presidential history as told by the presidents themselves – all 45 of them! The Hall of Presidents is updated with a new lifelike animatronic every time a new president is elected into office.


Best Magic Kingdom Quick Service

Sleepy Hollow is conveniently located at the edge of Liberty Square near Cinderella’s Castle. The menu is small, but the few items listed are always unique and change with the season. It also is a top choice on our list of best Magic Kingdom breakfasts.

Next, Columbia Harbor House is the best place at Magic Kingdom for good comfort food. If you’re tired of burgers and hot dogs but want to stay on the cheaper side, it’s a great option. Plus, skip the line by using mobile ordering.

Casey’s Corner is a tried and true quick service spot and one of the cheapest places to eat at any of the parks. It’s great for anyone who wants to spend more time exploring the park and less time eating.

Our personal favorite is The Friar’s Nook, best known for their loaded tater tots. You can find additional quick service reviews on our big list of lunch locations in Magic Kingdom.


There are three character dining options in Magic Kingdom: Be Our Guest, the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table (pictured above).

We recommend Cinderella’s Royal Table for the best character dining restaurant overall as it has the most unique experience available in Walt Disney World. Located inside Cinderella Castle, guests get the chance to meet six different princesses over dinner.

Be Our Guest is another crowd-pleaser, featuring the Beast, and the Crystal Palace is home to Winnie the Pooh and friends.


Walt Disney World has been diligent to offer guests with dietary needs the chance to order from specially created menus. Always request a special menu from the quick service locations when ordering, or take a look at the menu on the My Disney Experience app before eating and make sure it’s safe for you.

The table service restaurants that currently offer allergy-friendly menus include Cinderella’s Royal Table, The Plaza Restaurant and Tony’s Town Square. Plus, most of the quick service locations have allergy-friendly options, as well.


Tomorrowland at Night Time

Tomorrowland is one of our favorite sections of the park and it is truly spectacular at night! The daytime is great for cooling off inside the indoor rides, but sunset into darkness is when this land truly shines.

Be sure to head over to this land at night for the beautiful neon lights all over this section of the park. And if you want an even more spectacular nighttime view, hop aboard the Astro Orbiter or PeopleMover in Tomorrowland.


Astro Orbiter Ride Magic Kingdom

A lot of guests don’t realize this ride exists atop Tomorrowland, mainly due to the fact that Disney doesn’t do Lightning Lane for this attraction and the entrance is slightly hidden.

The loading dock is near the PeopleMover behind The Lunching Pad quick service cafe. There is usually a line for the elevator where a cast member will escort you to the top of Tomorrowland Terrace.

The views on this ride are amazing, and we recommend you go at sunset or nighttime for the best experience. Each ride vehicle holds two people, and operates like Magic Carpets of Aladdin or Dumbo with a lever to control the vehicle up and down.


Space Mountain is currently one of the only rides at Magic Kingdom that offers a single rider lane which tends to have shorter wait times. Large parties can even be broken into single riders if they don’t care about riding all together.

Space Mountain’s ride vehicle sits six individuals in single-file fashion, so single riders are highly unlikely to be seated together. If you don’t easily find the single rider lane, ask a Cast Member for help and they’ll give you directions on what to do.

If you’ve never ridden Space Mountain and are wondering how scary it is, we’ve broken down all the details in our post answering “How Scary is Space Mountain?“.


Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor can easily be overlooked when planning experiences in Tomorowland, but it should not be! Surprising as it may be for many Disney World fans, it’s actually one of the most entertaining stage shows on property.

You get hilarious performances by some of Monstropolous’ finest comedians, along with indoor air-conditioned seating. 

Guests will be selected from the crowd to speak or interact with the monsters on stage, or the wandering camera will simply prompt them to dance or do something silly. We haven’t laughed harder at any other Disney attraction.


Magic Kingdom is well-known for bringing the child out in all of us, but mostly for being a great park for kids. We’ve put together a quick list of the best activities that adults will enjoy in Magic Kingdom without the little ones:

Best Magic Kingdom Attractions for Adults:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Main Street Philharmonic
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Pirates of the Carribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress


Be Our Guest. Hands down. Regardless of whether you like the Beauty and the Beast movie, this restaurant is a must-do. The food is excellent, the design is beautiful and you get to meet the Beast at the end of your dinner.

In true Disney fashion, this particular restaurant design makes you feel like part of the movie. Each guest is seated in either the main Ballroom (complete with painted cherubs on the ceiling), the Gallery or the West Wing.

The lunch and dinner menu is prix fixe, featuring French-inspired cuisine. We refer to this restaurant as the best dinner in Magic Kingdom, which makes Be Our Guest the perfect option for date night and our number one pick for best Magic Kingdom restaurants for adults.


Walt Disney’s love and passion for this ride has kept it around for decades. While many people opt out of it, or don’t even see it hiding in the corner of Tomorrowland, we suggest you do it at least once.

The ride depicts different eras of the twentieth century and the progression of technology over time with accurate representations of dress and home decor for each time period.

There’s hardly ever a line for this attraction and it’s a great way to cool down and sit for a while as this rotating theater takes you on a journey through society’s development. Remember, there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!


This is a great option for adults with very young children who don’t meet height requirements, or simply don’t want to board the ride. The Barnstormer, Thunder Mountain, Mine Train, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Tomorrowland Speedway all offer rider swap.

You simply arrive to the ride line with your entire party and speak with a cast member who will give you a rider swap pass. One adult will board the ride while the other stays behind with the children.

Once the first adult is done, he or she will wait with the children while the other adult skips the line using the pass to board the same ride.


Magic Kingdom Casting Agency Door

The infamous Purple Wall is hard to miss if you’re coming into Tomorrowland from the Hub (lawn area outside Cinderella Castle). You’ll notice it on the right hand side just before you reach Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. It’s located near Tomorrowland Terrace.

The Casting Agency Door is a little harder to find, located on Main Street, U.S.A. As you enter Magic Kingdom, walk down the left walkway on Main Street. You’ll find it in a small alleyway between two entrances to the Emporium store.


While Magic Kingdom does have great snacks to nosh on, we recommend skipping the quick service stations for breakfast or lunch. If you’re trying to do Disney World on a budget, this will really help your wallet.

We suggest you enjoy one snack purchased inside the park and bring other things from home to eat for meals so you can save the expensive dining for dinner.

We’ve compiled a general list of best restaurants for dinner in Magic Kingdom for you to reference and see which is best for your traveling party.

#33. BEST SPOT FOR Happily Ever After

We love Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show and encourage you to watch it any time you’re inside Magic Kingdom – or outside.

As a matter of fact, our very favorite spot to watch the show is from the California Grill balcony in the Contemporary Resort, or from the beach at Polynesian Village.

However, if you are inside the park for the fireworks, save a spot at the entrance of Main Street, U.S.A – specifically on the roundabout in front of the train station. This gives you a center view of not only the castle and the fireworks, but also the special projections that light up the retail shops on Main Street.


Cinderella's Castle Mosaic

This is a really cool experience that Disney regulars know, but not all first time guests realize. At the end of the day, when the castle shows are over, cast members will open up Cinderella Castle for guests to enter.

Enter by climbing the slope to the castle doors and there you’ll find a grand hallway that leads directly into Fantasyland. The most beautiful portion of the walk is the story of Cinderella told in a masterfully designed mosaic on the left side wall.


We’ve heard people say before that shopping is the first thing you should do at Magic Kingdom – they are wrong! You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle if you plan to shop at the end of the night and here’s why:

The park may be closed, but the shops will stay open an hour past closing time (Disney transportation also stays running about two hours after park close). Take our advice – don’t waste precious rides and attraction time to shop during the day!

Also, saving your shopping till the end will allow you to travel the park with limited baggage and could help save you money.

Magic Kingdom Tips & Secrets