Our family went to Magic Kingdom recently, so I contacted them and asked if I could write this Family Guide for them. They gave me two tickets in exchanged for helpful tips to families, like ours that visit Magic Kingdom year round.
Plan Your Day Before Arriving
Using the online map of Magic Kingdom, our family mapped out what rides, attractions and shows were important to us.
From that list of ‘must do', we planned our day to navigate the park in a methodical way to save on energy and maximize our one day ticket. Because our family has two adult children and two younger children, we decided to divide and conquer at the beginning of the day, taking advantage of shorter lines at the start of the day.
Stick to your plan! By knowing what you want to see, ride and experience, along with the times that each of the shows start we were able to see everything we desired to do and in recorded time.
We were so happy we arrived early on the day we went to Magic Kingdom. I was so surprised by the lines already formed when we arrived and entered the gates about 10 minutes before the crowd of people, excited to start their ‘magical day'.
For those eagerly waiting, they were witness to Mickey Mouse, Minnie and other of his friends arrive on the train and entertain you at the start of your magical day. When the gates open, fire works go off and the crowd literally starts running into the park!
The Castle is what everyone thinks of when you mention Magic Kingdom, so no wonder it is the first thing you see when you enter the gates. Be sure to stop and get your photo taken with that icon behind your family.
Character Experiences, Stage Shows and Parades
Using the interactive map to plan your day and to be sure you see the Disney Characters that matter most to your children, you will want to pay attention to the times these are happening throughout the park.
You can bring your own autograph books for them to sign (or buy one at the many shops around the park), take pictures of your children with the characters or have lunch in one of the restaurants that provide even more of a magical experience.
Be sure to escape the heat and enjoy the President's Hall in Liberty Square, where all 44 presidents are on stage. Our family has also enjoyed the escape from the heat or weather with the Mickey's Philharmagic 4D Show.
When you think of Disney's Magic Kingdom, you already think of the popular rides that are advertised everywhere. I want to share with you a few of the ones you may over look and shouldn't!
Our family really enjoyed the very entertaining Jungle Cruise and you will love the Liberty Square Riverboat!
One of my favorite rides to enjoy with my youngest was the Many Adventures of Winnie Pooh. All along the line are hands-on playing stations for your children to explore, experience and enjoy as they move up the line with you. Save this one for when your children are needing a break from waiting in lines, because you will not hear them complaining in this line!
My older children are thrill lovers. Arriving early allowed them to ride Space Mountain four times in about an hour and that truly was the magical moment for their day. They have also enjoyed Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, as well.
These are popular rides and tend to have very long wait lines, so using the FastPass+ option for the must ride would be the best way to use this option.
Other Helpful Tips
You are able to bring food and water into the park, so do it! We always use a backpack. We packed it full of sunflower seeds, sesame sticks, pistachios, sweetened walnuts and pecans, granola bars, raisin and cranberry boxes and beef jerky, plus our water bottles.
We took breaks to snack and get drinks before heading out of one area, to be sure we did everyone and reconfirm our plan for the next area of the park. This really helped to keep hunger and attitudes from popping their ugly head in long lines.
Bring a Stroller with Storage Room
Save money and bring your own stroller, but be sure there is storage for your water bottles and bag when you need a break. There are stroller parking at different parts of the park and although we have never left our book bag, the items we have left in the stroller never seemed to be touched.
Pack a Towel and Dress to get Wet
There are a few places around the Magic Kingdom to help you beat the heat and cool off. We always through a towel in our bag and pack a change of clothes for the younger ones in the car, so that they can get out of the clothes when we leave (if we plan to leave early) or pack them in the backpack if we are making it a full day until closing.
Don't Overlook Your Children's Needs
I was surprised to see how many parents were not having a good time, because their children were struggling with the overload of the day. If your children are still taking naps daily and they are off their schedule, you are going to run into some issues. Plan an indoor show for the adults around their nap time and cuddle with them, allowing them the opportunity to rest or take a nap. Do the same later in the day, if you plan on staying for the nightly fire works!
Feed your child often. Don't allow their tummies to get hungry because all hungry people get grumpy.
Acknowledge their needs when their attitude shifts and take time to meet them and your time will be built around the memories you are making for them at their age and their ability.
I hope these tips help your family to enjoy the ‘magic' of your visit to Disney's Magic Kingdom!