Today I am bringing you a post all about the main Disney World Florida theme park – Magic Kingdom itself. This is the oldest, the biggest and the most popular of all of the Disney World parks. We found Epcot and Hollywood studios to be a lot quieter than Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom was a close second in terms of crowd levels. Below I will be outlining all of the rides at Magic Kingdom, what is suitable for what height and which rides I feel are best to Fast Pass as a family.
We were visiting during what was considered to be a quieter time of the year and it was still incredibly busy. You could barely walk around at times, especially during the fireworks and around most of Fantasyland. I honestly don’t think there is such a thing as a quiet day at Magic Kingdom. It’s the one park that I really think you need to plan with complete precision (unless you have at least four days just at Magic Kingdom). All I can say though is that if you get there for opening it will be a lot quieter and if you head to the back of the park the queues are very short for at least the first hour.
Getting to Magic Kingdom
We loved the ease of getting to Magic Kingdom when we were staying at Fort Wilderness resort and campground. We would simply park up our golf cart, hop on a boat and we’d arrive right by the main entrance in no time at all. One morning we were dropped off at a Disney Magic Kingdom bus stop and again the walk is short. All the deluxe resorts have the option to travel to Magic Kingdom via boat.
If you are staying at the Contemporary, the Grand Floridian, or the Polynesian, the monorail is the fastest way to arrive at the Magic Kingdom. The queue for this can get very big after the fireworks.
If you are parking it’s a whole other story. We also stayed off site for a week and we were running slightly late one morning and regretted every second of it. We arrived at the car park at 8:50am ($22 to park) and the parks open at 9am. The queue for the courtesy tram was massive and chaotic so we walked but that took 10 minutes. It then turned out that we weren’t even anywhere near the main entrance and we had to take a boat or monorail over to Magic Kingdom. The queue for both was enormous. We opted for the monorail. By the time we arrived at our first Fast Pass of the day it had taken us an hour and twenty minutes to get there from parking the car. I was not impressed!
There are 6 different areas within Magic Kingdom they are Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Below I will discuss what rides and things there are to do within these areas.
FP indicates that this is a ride where FastPass is available to be booked. FastPass allows you quicker entry onto a ride. You can reserve 3 a day and 1 more at a time once those 3 are used up (subject to availability). Disney resort guests can book FP’s 60 days in advance, anyone staying off-site can book 30 days in advance. However, just one night at a Disney resort entitles you to FP’s for your whole holiday. We spent 5 nights at Disney and 7 nights off-site and we were entitled to 60 days in advance reservations for the full 14 days that we had tickets for.
Magic Kingdom For Kids | What is there to Do | Best Fast Pass
Restaurants at Magic Kingdom
There are over 30 places where you can buy food in Magic Kingdom. There are a few table service restaurants. I recommend that you try to book in advance if you want to do this. We tried a few restaurants one day without booking in advance and they all had over an hour wait without a reservation. The only place we could easily get a table at was the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Skipper canteen.
The main restaurants are Cinderella’s Royal table where you can dine with princesses in the castle. Plus Be our guest which also has a castle (table service is for evening only). Both are character dining experiences. You can also meet Disney Characters at Crystal Palace.
Other table service restaurants at Magic Kingdom are Liberty tree tavern, Tony’s town square, Plaza restaurant, Diamond horseshoe, The Plaza restaurant and Tomorrowland Terrace café. Some of these are buffets.
Shows/Films at Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (Adventureland) – See tropical birds and flowers come to life.
Mickey’s Philhar Magic (Fantasyland) FP – This is a 3D movie. I’m afraid we never had time for it.
Enchanted Tales with Belle (Fantasyland) FP – This is an interactive story adventure.
Monsters Inc. Laughter floor (Tomorrowland) FP – This was a FP that we booked once we used up our 3 FP’s one day. To be honest I’ve been to better shows and I spent a lot of time wishing we hadn’t bothered. It’s an animated film which picks out audience members to participate and a lot of kids loved it. It wasn’t really for us though.
Walt Disney’s Carrousel of Progress (Tomorrowland) – This was very pleasant. You sit in a turning auditorium and visit different animated character scenes from across the decades. It was very interesting and lovely and cool on what was a very hot day!
Rides – Family Friendly Rides With No Height Restrictions at Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World Railroad (starts from Main street USA) – The railroad train is so handy. We used it a lot to help us get around the park. It takes a lot less time to wait for a train than it does to walk from one side of the park to the other. It stops at Main Street USA, Frontierland and Fantasyland.
Jungle Cruise (Adventureland) FP – Originally I hadn’t booked a FP for the Jungle cruise, however, I did soon book one while we were there as the queue was usually an hours wait or longer. It was worth it as it’s a really good and fun riverboat ride. The commentary was really funny and filled with jokes. It lasted at least 10 minutes, if not longer. A great ride for all.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin (Adventureland) FP – The magic carpets a very gentle ride which is very similar to Dumbo. The queue quoted 20 minutes wait yet we virtually walked straight on the ride. It goes up and down and you can control how high. I wouldn’t prioritise this ride as a FP!
Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland) FP – I got our timings wrong for the Pirates of the Caribbean and we forfeited our FP. However, the queue said 30 minutes and we only queued for around 10 minutes. This ride could scare smaller children. It is in the dark and there are explosions and a drop, although not a big drop. This is a water ride, but we didn’t get wet.
Liberty square riverboat (Liberty square) – Enjoy a leisurely river cruise on the Liberty Belle.
Haunted Mansion (Liberty Square) FP – We could not get a FP at all for the Haunted mansion. We did join a 40 minute queue though and we queued for around 25 minutes. Jamie loved queuing for this ride as A. he wasn’t used to it and B there’s plenty of spooky things along the route. Although anyone can ride on this if your kids scare easily then this isn’t for them. You sit two in a carriage and it is dark and it is spooky but nothing like as scary as some ghost trains in the UK. There’s no moment where we had something pop out right in front of us.
Prince charming regal carousel (Fantasyland) – This carousel seats a lot of people so you rarely have to wait long. If you are helping your child onto a horse be sure to make sure you’ve reserved yours as well. It gets a bit chaotic and we nearly lost our horses next to each other.
Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland) FP – Fly above the streets of London and Neverland on this magical ship. There are a few darker elements to this, however, nothing too scary.
It’s a small World (Fantasyland) FP – Avoid It’s a small world if you don’t want to be singing the song all day long. You board a boat for a sedate journey around the world. It’s cute but I wouldn’t queue for long for it.
Under the sea Journey of the Little Mermaid (Fantasyland) FP – The queue for this ride is rarely long. It is a continuous ride where you sit in shells and journey around a world under the sea. This was a lovely ride. We sat all three of us in a shell together.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Fantasyland) FP – If you are early enough to ride on Dumbo you won’t need a FP. I wouldn’t queue for long for it though as it’s a relatively short ride. They have two of this ride and it is quite similar to a few other Disney rides. You control it going up and down.
Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland) FP – We never had a FP for the Mad Tea Party and went on it three times, without queueing. The queue was never long. It’s a teacup ride and you control how fast you spin.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Fantasyland) FP – We had a FP for the Winnie the Pooh ride and the queue was nearly always very long. The FP queue itself took a good few minutes. I thought this was a really lovely ride. You move about quite a bit which feels like you are on a boat. There were a few darker elements that may scare younger children.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority, PeopleMover (Tomorrowland) – Dubbed as the transit of the future this is a sedate ride around Tomorrowland (think mini monorail). You get your own transit to sit in and the queue goes down relatively quickly. We really enjoyed this and it was a welcome break from the heat and the chaos.
Astro Orbiter (Tomorrowland) – He has been on the Astro Orbiter at Disneyland Paris but I could not persuade him at all to go on it here. It goes quite high in the air and I think that was what put him off.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space ranger Spin FP (Tomorrowland) FP – We didn’t go on Space ranger spin as we had been on a couple of times at Disneyland Paris and there’s also a similar ride over at Hollywood studios. Plus I struggled to get a last minute FP. You sit in a moving cart and can shoot a laser at targets to earn points.
Rides – for taller and older children at Magic Kingdom (families)
Big thunder mountain railroad (Frontierland) FP – 102cm/40″ – As below if you can’t get a FP head for this ride first thing as again the queues are much shorter. This is a runaway train. Jamie was nervous about going on it but it wasn’t extreme and he was fine. There are a few small drops and it does go fast but nothing major. (certainly not compared to Everest – if your kid can go on Everest then they can go on anything for 44″ and smaller).
Watch below for my full ride video of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splashmountain (Frontierland) FP – 102cm/40″ If you can’t get a FP then this ride also has a very short queue first thing in the morning. Plus you will have time to dry off. You can get very wet on this log flume ride. We did have a FP, however, Jamie was quite insistent that there was no way that he was ever going on this ride, so we changed it for the Jungle Cruise.
The Barnstormer (Fantasyland) FP – 89cm/35″ The Barnstormer is Goofy’s mini rollercoaster. It was over almost as soon as it had begun. It is a relatively tame version of a runaway train.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Fantasyland) FP – 97cm/38″ The Seven Dwarfs mine train is a great introduction for younger children to a rollercoaster ride. Jamie usually insists that I put my arm around him on fast rides. I refused on this and he was just fine. In fact, he loved it and talks about it often. The slower parts through the mine with the dwarfs are really good. He was laughing out loud. The ride itself is one of the tamest with a height limit. We loved it and it is one of the most popular FP rides in the park.
You can watch my full ride video of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train below
Tomorrowland Speedway (Tomorrowland) FP – 81cm/32″ or 137cm/54″ to ride alone – This was another ride I struggled to get a FP for (unless we were staying much later in the day). So we queued and it took a long time. It quoted 30 mins and I think we were close to 45 minutes. There was far too much preference given to people with FP. If your kids are over 81cm but under 137cm they are allowed in a car with you and they are allowed to steer the wheel. I was in control of the peddle and after some very dodgy steering by Jamie I wished that I was in control of that also. It was very smelly and made me quite nauseous.
Space Mountain (Tomorrowland) FP – 112cm/44″ – Space Mountain seemed to be more shut than open. I remember queuing once for it years ago and they had to turn on the lights and I saw how not very scary this ride actually is. I knew Jamie wouldn’t enjoy it as you have to sit like you do on a log flume plus it’s all in the dark so we skipped this. If you do want to go on it you really need a FP.
What else is there to find and see at Magic Kingdom?
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Main street) – Once you enter the park you enter into a small square. If you head top left of this you will find somewhere to pick up what you need for this trail. You go at your own pace, around the park, finding clues to defeat the Disney villains.
Swiss Family Treehouse (Adventureland) – This is a treehouse that you are able to explore. We never dared walk around as it always looked so busy.
A pirates adventure – Treasures of the seven seas (Adventureland) – This is a self-guided quest to find treasure finder cards throughout Adventureland.
Tom Sawyer Island – (Frontierland) – This is a Mark Twain-inspired island which is a bit like a mini, and very easy, assault course. I was sad that we never had time for this.
The Hall of Presidents (Liberty Square) – This is a 22-minute show about all the American Presidents.
Casey Jr. Splash n’ soak station (Fantasyland) – Perfect for cooling off on a hot day, this is a fun wet play area.
There’s also plenty of meet and greets – Magic Kingdom Characters, Meet and Greets, Disney PhotoPass.
The parades and Fireworks change throughout the year. When we were there they had the Move it! Dance & Play it! Street Party which was great fun and a great opportunity to dance with some Disney characters. They also had the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade and the Happily ever after fireworks. A little before the fireworks they had a beautiful projection show on the castle with everyone’s favourite characters moving on the castle, It was truly magical and rather emotional.
The fireworks were a crowded nightmare. We could barely move let alone find a spot. Unless you are at the very very front be prepared for a pretty limited view, especially for your kids. I had my four year old lifted up on my hips for most of it. The fireworks and castle projections were amazing but nothing prepared me for how busy it would be. I can’t imagine what it’s like in the summer!
Magic Kingdom For Kids | What is there to Do | Best Fast Pass
What are the best things to FastPass at Magic Kingdom?
What you choose to FastPass at Disney’s Magic Kingdom will vary greatly depending on how long you have there and also your family’s needs. If it’s the only park you are visiting you certainly want to aim to get a FP for the main rides. If this is the only park you will meet characters at then you will certainly need to get a FP to meet Mickey Mouse and either the princesses or Ariel. We had a very disappointing meet and greet with Mickey Mouse here which I will write more about in our holiday’s disasters post…link will be inserted here once my post is live.
I personally don’t know why Peter Pan’s flight is so popular and I could have lived without this ride. However, the queue is always long and FP’s hard to get. My top 3 not to miss rides at Magic Kingdom are Seven Dwarfs mine train, Thundermountain and Jungle River cruise. All had long queues and were essential to FP. Magic Kingdom does not have a tier system in place so all rides are available to FP at one time. Remember you can only have 3 a day so book them early on in the day as once they are used up other rides may then have FP’s available for you to book. Although they will be the least popular rides and usually very late on in the day.
After those 3 Tomorrowland Speedway, Spacemountain, Buzzlightyear’s ranger spin and Winnie the Pooh could all do with having a FP for if you want to go on these rides. Most of the other rides either tend to have shorter queues or are fine first thing (such as Thundermountain or Splash mountain so get there early if you want to miss these two off as FP’s).
Town Square Theatre Mickey Mouse (and Tinkerbelle), Meet Ariel in her grotto and Fairytale Princess hall are all very popular meet and greets that you can book a FP for. A Fast pass lasts for an hour and you can go along anytime within that hour. FP queue times themselves vary. We waited anywhere from 0-10 minutes.
We managed to fit in a fair few meet and greets at Magic Kingdom including a few photopass photos with Disney photographers.
Magic Kingdom For Kids | What is there to Do | Best Fast Pass
Walt Disney World Tickets
Are you looking to book tickets for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida? Why not buy your tickets from this UK based website. It’s a good place to find savings on your tickets. It’s always an idea to shop around if you are uncertain. This website is often recommended on Disney planning groups on Facebook.
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