Tips for Disney’s Magic Kingdom

We recently went to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and I wanted to share some tips and thoughts from our successes and mishaps from our day with all of you. Because we all know sharing is caring, right?! 
1. Stroller & Carrier: Our kiddos are 2 and 4 so there was no question that we would be taking a stroller. But I would also highly suggest taking a carrier even if your youngest is a healthy 2 year old…which mine is. You have to park your stroller before getting in line and the carrier was so convenient for my tired mama arms throughout the day.
2. Free Water: Any place you can get food at the park will give you free glasses of water if you ask for them. But we also found it so convenient to keep our water bottle filled whenever we saw a water fountain. That way you could also keep it in your backpack while waiting in lines, etc.
3. Snacks: Do not skimp on how many snacks to bring. I can’t even stress this enough. This may save meltdowns in line, boredom, the list goes on. 
4. Plan Ahead: Do a little homework before you go on your trip. I assure you if you plan ahead and do some research beforehand you will be grateful for it later. Our trip was last minute and along with my procrastination, I didn’t set up our FastPasses right away. As a result we didn’t get to use it on a ride that we wanted to get on. We also couldn’t get into the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, so if you plan on doing that reserve a spot ASAP. You can do this as early as 180 days in advance. 
5. The FastPass is a Godsend. If you don’t know what it is, virtually a FastPass gives you the ability to not have to wait in line for 3 rides. But after asking friends what rides are the best, you may have more than 3 on your list. So here’s my advice if you want to get on those other rides without waiting for 60-90 minutes. My first tip is to get to the park 30 minutes before the park opens. Once it opens go to that coveted ride you didn’t have a FastPass for and the line should be pretty minimal. If you still have another ride you want to do, head to that ride immediately after the fireworks, if you can last that long. We literally walked right onto the jungle cruise after the fireworks and this ride was otherwise 90 minutes the entire day. 
6. Map it Out: Get familiar with the layout of the park! Make a list of rides, shows and encounters you want to do. Focus on items in the same area to conserve energy rather than going back and forth across the park. Magic Kingdom is big! This planning also coincides with how you plan your fast passes. Other tips are use the Disney app to see how long the lines are for the rides. We, however, found it easier to use the paper map for navigating throughout the park. 
7. Tailor to YOUR Family: While planning your trip, remember your agenda may vary from your friends. Be sure to tailor your day to the personality of your family. Here are a few scenarios of how it could go: It could be all about the princesses, meeting them, or dressing up at the Bippity Boppity Boutique, it might be about seeking out favorite characters, such as Mickey, or perhaps the rides are more your thing.  See what I’m getting at?  Of course it could be a combination of all these things. We focused more on the rides, and only ones we couldn’t do anywhere else (we skipped the carousel). My daughter loves princesses and she was able to see Belle at Enchanted Tales with Belle and ALL of the princesses at the parade. I guess what I’m trying to say is, know what Disney has to offer and go with a plan that you think will work best for your family. And even if you are going with friends or family, it may be good to agree to split up for part of the day because all kids and parents may want different things. 
8. The Parade: Most people know about what rides they want to do, but make sure to plan on seeing the parade! We were crossing main street when they were blocking it off for the parade and otherwise we wouldn’t have known to stop and see it. And honestly I would have been crushed if we had missed it because it was amazing! It was a highlight for my daughter seeing all the dancers and princesses. Plus, along with anything Disney, the floats are nothing but extraordinary. So when you are planning the times for your FastPass rides make sure you leave open the time for the parade (check on the website for the time). Also I should add if you have little kids I would go early and find a spot that they can sit on the curb. It would be a great time to relax and eat some food while you are waiting!
9. Budget: My last bit of advice is going into the day with a budget. There is so much food, treats, toys, etc you can get. And if you go in feeling confident about what you are willing to spend it can help you enjoy your day that much more! I can’t stress how much things can add up there. One way to help with costs was we went to the park with already purchased Mickey shirts, Mickey ears, rain ponchos and glow sticks so we didn’t need to buy them there.
They say that Magic Kingdom is ‘The Happiest Place on Earth” but if we can be candid for a moment, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel that magic while you are there. You are taking little humans who could be having an off day while fending your crew in a crowd of people. In fact, maybe you had a really stressful, not so great day. It’s ok!! Because you aren’t alone, others have felt that too. If your entire day wasn’t so great but you still had some moments of happiness take that as a win! And I really hope some of the tips I shared with you can make your day that much better!!
*You can also consider reaching out to Kristi at Mouse Magic Travel – a free local Disney agent who makes the trip planning super easy! They are free to use and also work to find you the best deals during the planning (they are paid by Disney, not by you!). She can be reached here: [email protected]
Melissa is a mom of a 2 year old and expecting her second child any day now! She's a foodie, loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoys reading a good book, designing, crafting and taking as many family adventures as possible. Fitting that in of course is a juggling act between being a busy stay at home mom, but she wouldn't want it any other way. Before having kids she studied and worked in architecture. She and her husband have lived in Chicago, Norfolk, Va, San Francisco and just recently moved back to Madison. You can also read about her adventures on her personal blog


  1. Snacks, snacks, snacks!!!! Long line? Snack. You’re hot? Snack. You want to go back to the house/hotel to swim and its’ only 10:45? Snack. 🙂 Snacks saved the day and we were able to pull an almost 14 hour day to see the fireworks at 9:00 pm! 🙂 Great post, Melissa.

  2. Thank you for sharing your tips! Where did you stay when you went? Did you do other activities besides go to Magic Kingdom?

    • Hey Jenny! We stayed at one of the Disney resorts which was great bc we weren’t there very long and they provide free shuttles to all the parks and airport. We also went to animal kingdom and one day we chilled and did Disney springs. Hit me up if you have any other questions!!


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