Whether or not you expect to use the shortcuts of the paid Genie+ Lightning Lane platform, you can navigate the Magic Kingdom in one day without overexertion. Just take the key principles and ideas from this Magic Kingdom visiting plan and you will have a great time exploring the park while doing everything on your must-ride list.
Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a vast theme park based on the original Disneyland. With a lot more acreage there is a lot more to work with, but also a lot more ground to cover. That means a lot more walking. Although it can be tiring to spend a whole day in Magic Kingdom, it’s also the type of park that can be “completed” pretty quickly as long as you have a good plan.
Pick Your Priorities: Magic Kingdom Visiting Plan
Think about the Magic Kingdom for a second. Picture it in your mind. What do you see? What attractions do you think of, right off the bat? Is it Haunted Mansion? Peter Pan’s Flight? Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Maybe Splash Mountain? Magic Kingdom has a lot of rides, more than you can think of without looking it up. Also, more than likely, many of those attractions aren’t that important to you.
Sure you could ride them if the line is short, but some I’m sure you would just as soon skip. That’s perfectly fine. You’re not expected to literally do everything in a Disney theme park in one day.
Actually, if you can clock 10 attractions, you’ve had a pretty successful run. So, before you even set foot in the park, you need to pick your ten. I like to get a tangible map at the registration desk of the hotel and circle my choices with a pen. This is a fun collaborative exercise as well and it sets the stage for an amazing day in the park!
The Pros and Cons of Genie+
One thing to certainly keep in mind is Lightning Lanes. These are the latest version of Fastpass. Most of these are available through Genie+ which is a premium version of the free Disney Genie app. The cost varies by date, just like the ticket prices do, but you need to purchase one for every ticket so it can get quite expensive to use Genie+ through the My Disney Experience App to avoid long lines and high wait times.
It’s also less convenient than Fastpass+ because you can’t make your selections in advance and you can only reserve the next open time for any given attraction. Given these many setbacks, you may decide Genie+ isn’t for you. Some people opt to rope drop and head to their favorite attractions right away to try to avoid long lines.
Genie+ Tips and Strategy to Avoid Long Lines
By using the ride stacking ability you may be able to leverage Genie+ by scheduling popular rides later in the day within minutes of each other. You do this slowly over time, using the 2-hour window required between reservations. It goes like this. When you select a ride you have to either enter that ride’s LL queue, cancel the reservation, or wait two hours to make a new reservation.
That means if you get a return time later in the day, you can wait 2 hours and schedule another attraction return time within a similar window. This is what’s called ride stacking and it can give you more opportunity at the end of the day to ride more attractions when typically you’d be winding things down.
The difficulty here is that it’s kind of a gamble as to what will be available when and the more popular rides are the ones you probably don’t want to leave to chance. If you do use Genie+ I recommend that you avoid using it for shows since they have set start times and a high capacity.
LL access is generally unnecessary and can be a considerable waste of good opportunity elsewhere. Another recommendation I have is to only schedule attractions near your immediate area so you can group numerous rides together within the same space.
Magic Kingdom Best Fast Passes or Rides to Use Genie + With
Some of my favorite rides to use Genie+ for in Magic Kingdom include:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Big Thunder Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- Haunted Mansion
- Jungle Cruise
A Magic Kingdom Road Map
My favorite method of navigating the Magic Kingdom is to slowly and casually meander along a proven path. I like to take Main Street to Fantasyland. Bend left to Liberty Square.
Continue to Frontierland then switch back through Pirate Plaza and continue toward the Adventureland gateway. Crossing the Plaza, I enter Tomorrowland and loop around to finish the evening at Fantasyland’s Enchanted Forest and Dumbo’s Storybook Circus.
Riding the Rails
The WDWRR Can be a way to get from one end of the park to another without battling crowds. However, there is not much show to the attraction and it’s not very useful unless you are only in the park for a short time and want to do specific things.
Meal Times at the Magic Kingdom
You should arrive early to the Magic Kingdom which means a quick bite at Sleepy Hollow may be in order for breakfast. If you are planning to rope drop but not planning to head to any rides after rope drop, I highly suggest Sleepy Hollow’s waffles for a quick bite!
I also recommend a late lunch both to avoid typical lunch crowds and to have a comfortable table indoors during the park’s busiest hours. Quick Service is the best for saving time and money and all the good ones are on the West side of the park.
Where to View the Fireworks
You don’t have to view fireworks inside the park and you might use the diversion to get more done. Additional fireworks viewing outside of Magic Kingdom includes The California Grill Observation Deck and the beach of Polynesian Village resort. You can also watch the show from the Magic Kingdom Ferry.
If you do watch from inside, The center of Main Street is the best place to be, or on either side of the Plaza. If you buy a Dessert Party package, you’ll have a reserved spot which means you don’t have to stake one out in advance. This is also one of the best times to ride the most popular rides that typically have high wait times.