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Best Things to Do at Magic Kingdom: Your Essential Guide

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There’s nothing more incredible than visiting Magic Kingdom during a vacation to Walt Disney World! 

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a lifelong Disney Parks fan, learning about all the best things to do at Magic Kingdom will ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.

This complete guide to Magic Kingdom explores a curated list of must-do activities and attractions. 

We’ll share everything you need to know about a visit to Magic Kingdom and let you in on crucial insights into the following:  

  • Best activities to try in Magic Kingdom
  • Expert advice for first-time visitors
  • Souvenirs and shopping experiences
  • Seasonal events and special occasions in Magic Kingdom

Ready to discover a world of wonder and excitement?

cinderella castle at magic-kingdom

Top 4 Must-Do Activities in Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is divided into six themed areas: Main Street, USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Liberty Square!

It has more rides and shows than any other Walt Disney World theme park. To help you plan for the most fun-filled day possible, here are the best activities that you can’t miss out on: 

Iconic Rides and Attractions 

Some of the most iconic and universally beloved Magic Kingdom attractions include Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, TRON Lightcycle / Run, Jungle Cruise, and Walt Disney World Railroad

If you can find a way to get on all the attractions at Magic Kingdom, go for it! But if you and your family are limited due to a tight schedule, we’ve boiled down everything down to these three legendary attractions. 

If you want to get a good sense of what Magic Kingdom has to offer, you should check out: 

Space Mountain – As one of Magic Kingdom’s most legendary attractions, Space Mountain is fully enclosed in a gigantic futuristic structure where you’ll take a flight through the dark recesses of the galaxy.

The effects are top-notch and the thrill is unlike any other! It’s the best option for your first ride early in the day if you don’t want to head straight to Fantasyland. 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Located between The Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train takes you on a wild ride with swinging sets on a curvy track through the Seven Dwarfs’ underground mining operation. 

This kid-friendly coaster usually has the longest waits in the middle of the day, so it’s best to line up during Early Entry. 

Peter Pan’s Flight – Peter Pan’s Flight delightfully combines timeless Disney characters with unbelievable effects and magnificent music. 

On this indoor ride, you’ll embark on a fun trip in a flying pirate ship over old London to Never Land. It’s an utter classic that should be part of any Magic Kingdom adventure. 

Character Meet and Greets

While it’s not as spontaneous as many people tend to assume, meeting characters is one of the most magical encounters you can have when visiting a Disney Park. 

At Magic Kingdom, you primarily have two options for meeting characters. 

Character attractions are constantly open and you can fall in line for them at any part of your day. Certain characters, on the other hand, have specific meeting times that you can find on the My Disney Experience App. 

The meet and greet experience is similar for both: you have a nice little conversation, snap a few photos, and maybe even get an autograph!

Must-See Shows and Parades

Since its inception, Disney Parks have always been widely renowned for their stunning spectaculars that feature fireworks and heartwarming parades. 

If you’re planning a trip to Magic Kingdom, you’ll be glad to know that these are daily occurrences. 

The Festival of Fantasy typically takes place at noon and 3 PM daily, while the Happily Ever After nighttime show kicks off every evening at around 9 PM. 

Guests can also enjoy fun performances throughout the day such as Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire, which takes place in front of Cinderella Castle at 10 AM, 11 AM, and 12:50 PM every day

If you’re at the park during opening time, make sure to see the Let the Magic Begin Welcome Show also held in front of Cinderella Castle.

Hidden Gems and Lesser-Known Experiences

Did you know that Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide have an ongoing tradition of placing Hidden Mickeys into their structures and backgrounds? 

When you and your family are in Magic Kingdom, always be on the lookout for Hidden Mickeys placed in the most unassuming spots. 

Main Street, USA is also filled with hidden park experiences that only the most observant visitors can identify and appreciate. 

One pro tip is to pick up the old phone that looks like a prop inside the Chapeau store. You can listen in on a fantastic old-timey conversation as it unfolds! 

Last but not least, don’t forget to catch the Dapper Dans quartet in one of their several performances in the mornings and early afternoons. It’s a must-see and soothing break from a hectic day at the park.

Tips for First-Time Visitors

If you and your family are looking to maximize your time, many people will tell you that an epic day in Magic Kingdom will take lots of planning and the right strategy. Let’s take a look at some of the most practical and useful tips to help you get the most out of your trip to Walt Disney World: 

Spend Multiple Days in the Park 

From amazing shows to thrilling attractions and everything in between, there’s so much to experience at Magic Kingdom. 

To get the true essence of the park, you can spend one entire day trying out all the fantastic rides and another catching the incredible shows or meeting your favorite characters.

Only Use Your Disney Genie+ Reservations After Mid-Morning

If you and your family are using the Disney Genie+ service, it’s ideal to make your first reservation for mid-morning. 

It can be a total waste if you use them when there are relatively no queues and the park is quiet. When the crowds start to arrive, it will be a lifesaving tool if you manage to save them.

Get the Perfect View of the Parade or Ride the Top Attractions While It’s Happening

Our top tip to get a quiet and clear viewing spot of the Festival of Fantasy Parade is to watch from Frontierland and Liberty Square. 

Wherever you decide to watch the parade from, make sure to get there early because it can get difficult to navigate through the park once preparations are underway! 

If you’re more of a ride fanatic, this is one of the best times to avoid lengthy queues. When there’s a particular attraction at the top of your list, you can expect that its queue will be much shorter while the parade is going on.

Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater

A visit to a Magic Kingdom is never complete without a visit with Mickey Mouse himself. Mickey’s meet-and-greet spot is commonly missed as most people make their way to Cinderella Castle. 

So, make sure to say hi to Mickey right at the front of the park as soon as you exit from under the train station!

Best Times to Meet Mickey

Souvenirs and Shopping Spots

Whether it’s attraction-based merchandise or personalized ornaments, you’ll find countless forms of unique memorabilia at Magic Kingdom. It is full of excellent shop locations that range from massive stores to small gift shops. 

The Emporium is undoubtedly the best place to shop for souvenirs in Magic Kingdom. It is a massive location that almost takes up an entire side of Main Street, USA. 

Designed to be a turn-of-the-century general store, you’ll find several rims that focus on specific merchandise. These include clothing, toys, houseware, jewelry, keepsakes, kitchen accessories, holiday goodies, and many more. 

Seasonal Events and Special Occasions

Just like other Disney Parks, Magic Kingdom also has its own list of special ticketed events. 

These enhancing occasions are for those looking to celebrate something special or simply want to add a little dash of splendor to their Walt Disney World getaway. 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is held several evenings a week from mid-August until the end of October. In this family-friendly Halloween event, you get to trick-or-treat, watch numerous parades, meet spooky characters, and much more! 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place several nights a week from early November until the week before Christmas. You and your family can rejoice under breathtaking fireworks, tons of meet and greet opportunities, and experience snow on Main Street, USA! 

Final Words

Magic Kingdom is often the first place that comes to mind when people think of Walt Disney World. It offers an unparalleled sense of joy and excitement when you explore the different themed areas. 

To make the most out of your visit, you can always refer to our handy guide above which will equip you with the details, tips, and insights to make your Disney dreams come true.