This Magic Kingdom one day itinerary is designed to help everyone maximise their trip to the primary park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It’s suitable for all ages, and in fact is the exact itinerary we used when we travelled to the Magic Kingdom for one day as a party of 12 (a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old, a 7-year-old, 6 adults between the ages of 21 – 50 and 3 adults 50+) for our wedding in March 2019.
Be sure that alongside planning your Magic Kingdom one day itinerary you also plan what you’re going to wear. What you wear to Walt Disney World can significantly impact the quality of your day. There’s nothing worse than walking 7+ miles in 35 degree heat in clothes that are heavy, restrictive or don’t protect you from the sun. For this reason, we’ve created a dedicated Disney packing list to help you.
As we were staying on-site at Old Key West we were able to book our fast passes 60 days in advance. If you’re not staying on-site at one of the Walt Disney World resort hotels, but book your tickets online in advance then you’ll be able to book your fast passes 30 days in advance.
For more information on fast passes, we suggest visiting Undercover Tourist.
Based on demand alone we recommend booking your fast passes in this order;
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Thunder Mountain
- Character Meeting Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse
- Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
While you’re only permitted 3 fast-passes per person in advance. We’ve included additional rides for those who may not be of a certain height or in case the ride is already out of fast passes. This is also a great reference if you manage to complete your three fast passes in advance and look to book more from your mobile device or one of the fast pass locations throughout the day.
08:00 – 09:00: Arrive At Ticket & Transport Centre
Personally, we’ve always skipped rope drop. We’re not morning people, and despite being British I hate queueing – you seem to do enough of it at the Magic Kingdom as it is. That said if you struggle to get fast passes in advance, don’t mind super large crowds then, by all means, go for it. You’ll want to arrive at TTC around 1.5 hours before rope drop for enough time to pass through security and get over to the Magic Kingdom.
There’s no right or wrong way to get from TTC to the Magic Kingdom. Although personally, for first-timers, I’d always suggest taking the ferry boat across the manmade lake.
Again, you’re only going to be arriving at TTC if you’re coming from outside the Walt Disney World Resort. If you’re staying on-site then the transport between the resort will drop you off at the bus depot at the Magic Kingdom. Although you may want to ride the Monorail and the ferry boat just for fun a little later…
09:00 – 10:00: Arrive At Magic Kingdom
Depending on the crowd levels you should pull into Magic Kingdom somewhere between 9am and 10am. Here you’ll go through the second set of security and also be required to scan your ticket / magic band for access to the park. If you need to collect tickets from Guest Relations I’d estimate approximately 30 minutes to this section of your day.
Immediately having past the entrance gate you’ll be walking into Main Street USA. Which is (at least in our opinion) the heart and soul of the park. For first time visitors on this Magic Kingdom one day itinerary I’d expect this to be the moment you have your breath taken away by the beauty that is Walt Disney World.
10:00 – 11.30: Main Street USA
There’s plenty of photo ops in and around Main Street. The majority of these will have cast members taking photos for those on the PhotoPass service – however, they are often more than willing to take a photo on your mobile phone or camera for you too.
At 10:00 and 11:30 they’ll be entertainment outside the castle at the end of Main Street. This entertainment show will be the same, so you only need to catch one performance. During our visit is was Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Although you can see the exact show on the entertainment schedule on the Walt Disney World website.
Following this, we had the Move It! Shake It! Dance Party – again this section of the itinerary you’ll need to check against the entertainment schedule on the Walt Disney World website. However, it may pay to hang around for 15 minutes – 30 minutes, grab a snack and enjoy the first of today’s parades.
If you’ve skipped the morning coffee you’ll find a Starbucks at the end of Mainstreet USA to your right (the shop before the ice-cream shop on the corner). Meanwhile, if you’re peckish nip over the road to Caseys Corner and treat yourself to a hot dog.
11:30 – 13:30: Tomorrowland
From 11:30 you’ll be heading right (when facing the castle) and into Tomorrowland. This will take you on a counter-clockwise circuit of the park. First stop once you venture into Tomorrowland is going to be our family favourite, The Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. This see’s Mike Wazowski and his friends aiming to gain laughs instead of scares from the audience having learnt the power of laughs is actually far more powerful than screams.
We were so pleased to find that my brother Niall had been chosen as ‘That Guy’ on our latest trip. The show lasts around 15 minutes and usually has a standby wait time of between 10 and 30 minutes. After that, you’ll be heading next door to help Buzz Lightyear defeat Evil Emporer Zurg on Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin. This ride has no height restriction and a great scoring system making it great (and highly competitive) for all the family.
Next up a ride for the tweens, teens and adults with the classic that is Space Mountain. Standby wait times for this ride are pretty much always over an hour so we recommend picking up a fast pass in advance where you can. You’ll need to be at least 1.12 metres tall in order to go on this ride.
The rest of the family can drink and dine at the quick-service counter nearby or wait in line for the meet and greet with Buzz Lightyear himself. There’s not a documented wait time for meeting Buzz Lightyear however if you approach the CM at the end of the line they should be able to give you a rough guide as to how long you might be waiting.
13:30 – 15:00: Fantasy Land
After riding around space mountain it’s time to head to Fantasy Land where you can meet a whole range of princesses in Princesses Fairytale Hall. If you’ve got little ones we’d also suggest spending some time in the Big Top Circus where you can ride Dumbo The Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer and enjoy cooling off in Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station.
If you’ve younger members of the family then I can see your time in Fantasyland easily being extended as this is the home of many classic rides suitable for all ages including; The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Under The Sea – The Journey of Little Mermaid, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Peter Pans Flight and everyone’s favourite – It’s A Small World.
If that wasn’t enough you’ve also got shows including; Enchanted Tales with Belle and Mickey’s PhilharMagic. If you’re looking to grab some lunch in this area I’d suggest Pinocchio Village Haus for quick service meals where you can overlook It’s A Small World. Alternativly, there’s the Be Our Guest restaurant which is a very popular table service restaurant (we’d suggest booking this one up to 160 days in advance where possible).
15:00 – 17:00: Liberty Square
After Fantasy Land you’re going to be heading into Liberty Square just in time to grab a good viewing location for the 3pm Festival of Fantasy Parade something which is definitely worth seeing on your Magic Kingdom one day itinerary. Sections of the park are cordoned off during the parade so where you can try and get a space around 15 minutes prior to the parade starting.
Liberty Square is home to The Haunted Mansion – A great ride for fans of the popular film staring Eddy Murphey. As well as The Hall of Presidents and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
17:00 – 19:00: Frontierland
As the evening draws nearer you’ll be heading to Frontierland, home to two of the famous Magic Kingdom mountains; Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Both of these rides are suitable for those 1.02m and taller.
However, they both have long standby wait times (anything from 60 minutes to 180 minutes) so we recommend booking a fast pass for these rides if they are ones you’re party would like to go on.
While you can grab a quick service meal at Liberty Tree Tavern I’d advise going onto Adventure Land or back to Fantasyland for food as the choices are much better.
19:00 – 21:00: Adventure Land
Walk over Briar Patch and you’re into Adventure Land. The final ‘district’ on our Magic Kingdom one day itinerary tour. Here’ you’ll find rides including Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. If I’m honest, in our opinion none of these rides are mind-blowingly amazing. That said, Jungle Cruise has a bit of a cult following so the queue for this ride alone can be somewhere in the 60-minute region. Alternatively, we have a thing about climbing up the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse (you probably won’t find a standby wait time for this experience as it’s usually pretty empty).
While again, the experience isn’t amazing (in fact it’s often more painful due to the Florida heat) it does provide you with a pretty awesome view of the park from above. Of course, there’s one final show we’d recommend bringing the whole family along to see and that’s the wonderful birds at the Enchanted Tiki Room.
Again, you’re unlikely to find much of a significant wait for a seat in the Enchanted Tiki Room. However, it’s a classic, a much-needed break from the heat and a chance to change songs from “it’s a small world” which you’ve no doubt been singing in your head (or aloud) over and over again for four hours or so now…
The fireworks are a magnificent delight. I haven’t put any video or photo footage here as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but believe us when we say “it’s incredible!”. People will begin getting a space for the fireworks around 2 hours prior to the show, with the majority of Main Street USA up to the castle being cordoned off due to capacity with around 30 minutes to go.
We, therefore, recommend finding a spot for your family to watch the fireworks around 45 minutes to an hour prior to the show. Just be sure to go to the toilet first, and bring along some drinks and snacks. Once you leave you’re party in that giant crowd of people you’re very unlikely to find them again.
After the fireworks have ended the majority of people make a b-line for the exit. However, we recommend hanging back for an hour for two reasons;
The entrance to the park and the surrounding transport areas become incredibly crowded. It’s uncomfortable, it’s tiring, they’ll be crying, shouting etc. even if it’s not from anyone in your party… In fact, in our opinion, it’s probably the least magical part of the whole experience.
With everyone else running for the exit you’ll find that the wait times on attractions drop significantly. This can be a great chance to wrap up any rides you wanted to go on but didn’t get the chance. For example, we wandered down Main Street USA around 45 minutes post the fireworks ending and found that the queue to meet Mickey & Minnie Mouse in their celebration outfits (for Mickey’s 90th anniversary) inside Town Square had dropped 15 minutes (every other time I looked on the mobile app during our day at the park it was showing 1 hour plus!)
That concludes our one-day itinerary of Magic Kingdom. There’s of course so much to see and do at this park that you’re not going to complete it all (or maybe even a third of it) in the space of just one full day. An even after achieving a third of it, you’re still going to want to take the next 48 hours off to relax and rejuvenate.
Of course, we’d love to know what your recommendations for a Magic Kingdom one day itinerary are. Leave us any and all suggestions down in the comments below.