Magic Kingdom

There are certain views that stick with you forever.  The Eiffel Tower in Paris.  The Grand Canyon.  And the view up Main Street when you emerge from under the main train station. 

The Magic Kingdom is aptly named.  There is something special about the first time you enter Uncle Walt's park.  The Magic Kingdom offers "worlds" as diverse as the futuristic themes of Tomorrowland and the Old West of Frontierland.  With a little planning, you can make your visit to the Magic Kingdom even more special by minimizing the headaches that come with visiting one of the greatest places on earth.  While this guide doesn't cover ALL of the rides, attractions, and activities in the Magic Kingdom, it does cover the ones we have found to be the most frequently experienced or asked about.  Click on the land your are interested in exploring or scan down the page for general recommendations for planning a trip to the Magic Kingdom.

Liberty Square

Fantasyland

ToonTown Fair

Frontierland

Tomorrowland

Adventureland

Main Street

Following are some general planning tips for exploring the Magic Kingdom:

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Most families hit the Magic Kingdom early in their visit (and most people arrive on Saturdays), so try to go toward the end of the week instead.  Mondays in particular are particularly busy.  Avoid weekends, since that's when local residents tend to visit the park.


If you're staying in a Disney resort, take advantage of days when the Magic Kingdom opens early.

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If you've got a larger group, it's a good idea to set up rendezvous points for various times of the day.  Good places in the Magic Kingdom include the prison stockades in Liberty Square, in front of City Hall, and the entrance to Adventureland.  Also, if you have small children, teach them to go to a cast member if they get lost.  Teach them to talk to the people with the name tags. 


If it's a busy day at the Park, go on the big named rides while the parades are on.  Or if the lines are really long, go do some shopping on Main Street where lines are non-existent.


This is one place where you actually want to pray for rain when it's particularly busy as it tends to chase the crowds away.  If the heavens open up, simply step into any merchandise shop (you should have NO trouble finding one of these!) and purchase a Mickey Mouse poncho and then push on!


Do your shopping in midafternoon, when attraction lines resemble a napping anaconda. During the afternoon parade, store clerks have been spotted twiddling their thumbs, so this is the time to seek sales assistance. If you go at the end of the day, you'll be engulfed by rush-hour crowds.


See or ride one of the star attractions while the parade is going on, if you're willing to miss it, since lines ease considerably. But be careful not to get stuck on the wrong side of the parade route when the hoopla starts, or you may never get across.


Take advantage of Disney's FastPass.  This little miracle is guaranteed to make your day easier as you navigate through the park.  Simply slip your ticket into the FastPass machine.  You'll receive a ticket stub with a time period on it along with your park ticket (don't forget this!).  You may return during the time period on the stub and by-pass 90% of the ride line.  If you are getting a FastPass for a ride you are fairly certain you'll want to go on more than once, get your FastPass and then get into the normal line.  By the time you come out, it'll be time for your FastPass and you'll be able to practically get right back onto the ride!  NOTE - you can only have one FastPass out at a time.  Note on the FastPass when you'll be able to get a new one.


To really have the park all to yourself, go on an evening like an E-Ride Night or Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, when only a limited number of people are allowed in the Park.  The E-Ride Nights are particularly fun with only 5,000 people allowed into the park to ride the nine most popular rides are open for three hours to be ridden as many times as possible.  Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the Guest Services desks in the Disney hotels and at the Magic Kingdom ticket window (you will be required to show a Disney Resort Guest ID and a valid multi-day admission pass).


If you have small children, you'll definitely want to head straight through the castle into Fantasyland (for Dumbo, Peter Pan, It's A Small World, and Winnie The Pooh) or on to Mickey's ToonTown to meet Mickey and see his house and other attractions.  Check the time for the parade and plan to be in place about 30 minutes prior to start time.

One of the best ways to explore the Magic Kingdom is to take one of the Magic Kingdom Backstage Tours.  These tours are perfect for those who have (or think they have) been there/done that at the Magic Kingdom or who just love all things Disney.  These tours literally take you backstage to see how Disney does all that it does.  In the Magic Kingdom, these tours take you to see how the steam trains work, how Disney effortlessly pulls of its daily parades, or your family can go on a scavenger hunt through the Magic Kingdom. 

Hidden Mickeys started as an inside joke among early Disney Imagineers and soon became a park tradition (I'm not kidding -- the entire Disney-MGM Studios layout when viewed from the sky is one giant Hidden Mickey!). Today, dozens of subtle Mickey images -- usually silhouettes of his world-famous ears, profile, or full figure -- are hidden (more or less) in attractions and resorts throughout the Walt Disney empire. No one knows how many, because sometimes they exist only in the eye of the beholder. But there's a semiofficial, maybe-you-agree-maybe-you-don't list. See how many HMs (Hidden Mickeys) you can locate during your visit. And be sharp-eyed about it. Those bubbles on your souvenir mug might be forming one.  We've listed SOME of these Hidden Mickeys with each of the sites, just to get you started.  For more of these (of course, this means you're cheating!), go to www.hiddenmickeys.org.