(We try to keep this post updated! Last update: 10/29/2020)
When most people think of Disney World, they think of Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom may just be one of four Disney World parks, but it is certainly the most popular! And with good reason: it has the most rides and attractions out of any park.
Growing up, I went to Magic Kingdom A LOT. I was a lucky kid with grandparents who lived near Disney World, so we often went over for the day when we were visiting and we almost always chose Magic Kingdom. So even though I love some of the other parks a lot (coughAnimalKingdomcough), Magic Kingdom is still one of my favorites and will always have a special place in my heart!
With so much to do in the Magic Kingdom (and I mean SO MUCH), you need to approach the park with a great plan, as well as a list of priorities. So here is our complete guide to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, with everything you need to know from rides to prioritize, food you should eat, and entertainment to see.
One disclaimer before we get started: we really think Magic Kingdom works best in two days. It is almost impossible to get everything done in one day at the Magic Kingdom (unless you are part of a special ticketed event in addition to your day in the park). So if you can, plan two days for the Magic Kingdom unless you want to have to make some tough choices about what to skip!
COVID-19 Note: Not all rides, attractions, or dining are open. Be sure to check before you go. Also know that you must have a Park Pass Reservation as well as a park ticket to enter the park. Fastpass+ reservations are currently unavailable as are dining plans. Crowd capacity is also currently much lower, so wait times in general have been shorter.
Getting to Magic Kingdom
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, on-site transportation will take you to Magic Kingdom. If you are staying at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, or Contemporary, you can take a direct monorail or water taxi to the Magic Kingdom. From the Contemporary (and soon the Grand Floridian) you can walk.
If you are staying at another resort, you can take the bus to Magic Kingdom.
If you are staying at an off-site hotel, many of them offer complementary shuttle service to Disney Parks.
If you are driving to Magic Kingdom, you will park at the Transportation and Ticket Center where you will take the monorail or a boat.
Magic Kingdom Park Breakdown
The Magic Kingdom is separated into 5 separate “lands” plus Main Street USA, all splitting off from the main “Hub” (where the Cinderella Castle is).
You will enter onto Main Street USA, where a lot of the park’s shopping is located, and then branch out to separate lands from the Hub.
Fantasyland is by far the most popular land in Magic Kingdom and this is where you’ll find family friendly rides based on Disney’s popular animated movies.
Fantasyland Rides and Attractions:
- Ariel’s Grotto (an Ariel meet and greet)
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle (an interactive show)
- It’s a Small World
- Mad Tea Party (aka the tea cups)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic (an indoor show)
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pete’s Silly Side Show (a character meet and greet with options for either Donald and Goofy or Minnie and Daisy)
- Prince Charming Regal Carousel
- Princess Fairytale Hall (a princess meet and greet with options for either Cinderella and Elena or Tiana and Rapunzel)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- The Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
Tomorrowland is meant to be a futuristic land. But remember, it was futuristic when it opened in 1971, so now it is more of a retro-version of the future.
Tomorrowland Rides and Attractions:
- Astro Orbiter (just like Dumbo but high in the sky)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor (an indoor comedy show)
- Space Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (an indoor classic show)
Adventureland is themed after a remote jungle (although you’ll also find Aladdin?).
Adventureland Rides and Attractions:
- Jungle Cruise
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (again, just like Dumbo)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (an indoor show)
- Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse (a self-guided treehouse tour)
Frontierland is in the back corner of the park and it’s main attractions are Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. But you’ll also find Tom Sawyer Island, a good quiet spot to relax if you feel like you need to get away from the park for a bit without actually leaving the park.
Frontierland Rides and Attractions:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Country Bear Jamboree (an indoor show)
- Splash Mountain
- Tom Sawyer Island (there is a raft-like boat you take to get to Tom Sawyer Island)
Liberty Square is just a small section of the park between Fantasyland and Adventureland, and it’s mostly known for its single ride: the Haunted Mansion (which really is in the back section of it, almost in Fantasyland). The Hall of Presidents is also here as well as several dining options.
Liberty Square Rides and Attractions:
- The Hall of Presidents (an indoor show)
- The Haunted Mansion
- Liberty Square Riverboat
Main Street, U.S.A. and The Hub
You enter Magic Kingdom via Main Street, USA. All along Main Street, USA runs The Emporium, the biggest shopping area of Magic Kingdom. You’ll also find coffee, ice cream, and several dining places as well as some street entertainment.
Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell also have meet and greets at the front of Main Street, USA.
The central part of Magic Kingdom is Cinderella Castle (of course!) that sits at the end of Main Street USA. The Hub in front of the castle is where you can watch castle entertainment, as well as a place to sit in the grass and take a break mid-day.
Getting Around Magic Kingdom
As with the other parks, you will walk. So get those comfy supportive shoes ready.
But Magic Kingdom is also unique in that you can get a one-way ride on the Main Street Vehicles from the front of the park to Cinderella Castle.
Magic Kingdom also has a train that runs the perimeter of the park with stops at Main Street USA, Frontierland, and Fantasyland.
Most Popular Attractions and Fastpass+ Reservations You Need
COVID-19 Note: Fastpass+ is currently unavailable. Don’t worry though, with lower crowds right now, wait times are much shorter!
Magic Kingdom has more rides than any other Disney Park, which is why we suggest spending two days here. You can definitely decide to plan just one day for Magic Kingdom, but you’ll need to make some difficult decisions about what attractions you’re okay with skipping. You’ll need to be smart about your FastPass+ strategy either way though.
These are the rides that are the most popular, so you’ll either need to get a FastPass+ or plan to hit the ride first thing in the morning. Otherwise be prepared for long waits.
- Seven Dwarves Mine Train (this is the newest ride in Magic Kingdom, and therefore the most popular!)
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Splash Mountain
- Space Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Other popular rides you might consider getting FastPass+ reservations for:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Jungle Cruise
- Haunted Mansion
The good thing about Magic Kingdom is that the FastPass+ system is NOT tiered, meaning you can reserve any 3 FastPass+ you want. After you use the first 3 FastPass+ of the day, you can reserve more for the same day.
Another trick for lines: jump in line right before the park closes! The lines are usually short and they won’t stop running the ride until the whole line has gone through.
Characters at Magic Kingdom
COVID-19 Note: Character Meet and Greets and Character Dining are currently suspended. Characters are appearing through unscheduled Character Cavalcades throughout the day.
Magic Kingdom has several ways to meet characters, from meet and greets to dining.
Meeting Mickey Mouse and Friends
You can meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater near the park entrance. You can meet the rest of his gang at Pete’s Silly Side Show in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland.
Princesses can be met mainly at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland (you can get a FastPass+ if you wish) or at the character dining experience at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella Castle.
Merida also has her own meet and greet between Cinderella Castle and Mad Tea Party.
Ariel has a meet and greet at Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland.
Jasmine often has a meet and green in Adventureland near the Magic Carpets.
Tinkerbell (not a princess, but a fairy, so close enough) has a meet and greet near the entrance to Magic Kingdom.
Meeting Other Favorite Characters
Other characters have meet and greets throughout the park, usually near their rides. Pooh and Tigger can sometimes be found near The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Buzz Lightyear is in Tomorrowland near Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
You can also meet Pooh and Friends by dining at Crystal Palace.
Magic Kingdom has a variety of characters out during the day. The My Disney Experience app will show you which characters are out as well as the times they will be out during the day.
COVID-19 Note: Currently most shows and parades are unavailable. Characters are appearing through unscheduled cavalcades (small parades).Magic Kingdom has sit-down indoor entertainment in almost every major section of the park, meaning it’s always easy to find a place to sit and cool down on a hot day.
Outdoor entertainment at Magic Kingdom is not to be missed! From parades to fireworks it is all spectacular!
Times for the shows and parades can change throughout the year based on the season, so be sure to check your daily Times Guide (you can pick it up at the front of the park) or My Disney Experience app for that day’s times.
The Festival of Fantasy Parade will have all of of your favorite characters and takes place in the afternoon.
Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party is a dance party parade with Mickey and Friends that rolls through the streets of Magic Kingdom twice a day.
Let The Magic Begin is a 5 minute show that takes place in front of the castle right before the park opens.
Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is a 25 minute show in front of the castle. This show typically takes place 3 times a day. Check for times in your Times Guide or My Disney Experience app.
Happily Ever After Fireworks is a celebration of all your favorite characters with fireworks and castle projections. A must do while at Disney World!
Once Upon a Time is nightly projection show that usually takes place about 15 minutes after the end of Happily Ever After.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for other street entertainment such as Dapper Dans, the Casey’s Corner Pianist, and Citizens of Main Street.
You also might occasionally stumbled upon some unexpected characters. You never know what surprises you may find at Disney’s Magic Kingdom!
Magic Kingdom Dining
COVID-19 Note: Not all dining experiences are available. Be sure to check before you visit.
We’ll be honest here, dining at Magic Kingdom compared to some of the other parks at Disney World is not always…the best. There are some great finds though! The food at Be Our Guest is usually great! Cinderella’s Royal Table, while expensive, usually has pretty good food. I’ve also enjoyed my meal at Columbia Harbor House (partially because it can be a nice healthy break compared to other theme park food). And I know there are people that LOVE Skipper Canteen and Pecos Bill (although we haven’t been there recently).
Here’s a guide to all the dining at Magic Kingdom. We’ve tried to note the kind of food you can find there, although if there is no note you can assume it’s pretty standard American fare (sandwiches, burgers, etc.).
Magic Kingdom Table Service Restaurants
Main Street USA Table Service
- The Plaza Restaurant
- Crystal Palace (character dining–Pooh and Friends)
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Italian food)
Fantasyland Table Service Restaurants
- Be Our Guest Restaurant (dinner; lunch and dinner are quick service; cuisine is French)
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (character dining–Princesses)
Adventureland Table Service
- Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen (Asian-ish food)
Liberty Square Table Service Restaurants
- Liberty Tree Tavern (get a Thanksgiving dinner all year round)
- The Diamond Horseshoe (BBQ)
Magic Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants
Quick Service restaurants fall into two different categories–a full restaurant where you order from the counter and find a seat, and restaurants that are more of a glorified snack stop with just a couple menu items. Here are the restaurants with fuller menus.
Fantasyland Quick Service Restaurants
- Pinocchio Village Haus (pizzas and pasta)
- Be Our Guest (breakfast and lunch; dinner is table service; cuisine if French)
Tomorrowland Quick Service Restaurants
- Cosmic Ray’s Starship Cafe
- Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
Adventureland Quick Service
- Tortuga Tavern (BBQ)
Frontierland Quick Service Restaurants
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn (Mexican)
Liberty Square Quick Service Restaurants
- Columbia Harbor House (New England seafood)
Main Street USA Quick Service Restaurants
- Casey’s Corner (hot dogs)
Magic Kingdom Quick Service Snack Spots
Here are Quick Service restaurants that are more snack spots. You can make a meal from some of these (some of them sell sandwiches or turkey legs), but they by no means have a complete meal menu. In addition to these Quick Service spots, you will also find popcorn and ice cream carts throughout the park.
Fantasyland Quick Service Snack Spots
- Cheshire Cafe (don’t miss the Cheshire Cat Tail!)
- The Friar’s Nook
- Gaston’s Tavern (famous for a giant cinnamon roll)
- Prince Eric’s Village Market
- Storybook Treats (ice cream)
Tomorrowland Quick Service Snack Spots
- Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies (ice cream)
- Cool Ship (churros)
- The Lunching Pad
Adventureland Quick Service Snack Spots
- Aloha Isle (the spot for the famous Dole Whip)
- Sunshine Tree Terrace (ice cream floats and citrus swirls)
Frontierland Quick Service Snack Spots
- Golden Oak Outpost
- Westward Ho
Liberty Square Quick Service Snack Spots
- Liberty Square Market
- Sleepy Hollow (don’t miss the Nutella waffles!)
Main Street USA Quick Service Snack Spots
- Main Street Bakery
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (you can’t get the “kitchen sink” sundae here, but my favorite is the All-American chocolate peanut butter sundae)
Special Events at Magic Kingdom
COVID-19 Note: Special Events are currently unavailable.
Magic Kingdom has several special events throughout the year that come with an extra price. These events can be great opportunities to see unique things in the park and go on rides with shorter wait times!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a special event that takes place at the Magic Kingdom on select nights during August, September, and October from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. It requires a special ticket, but you do not need to have an additional park ticket. And even though the party starts at 7 p.m., you can enter Magic Kingdom with a party ticket beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party includes special character meet and greets with rarely seen characters, trick-or-treating throughout the park, the Boo-To-You Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villian Spelltacular stage show, and Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks as well as other special entertainment throughout the park.
Some rides also get special Halloween party theming and there are special food offerings throughout the park.
Guests are encouraged to dress in costume, but be sure you know the costume guidelines.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event that takes place at Magic Kingdom on select nights during November and December from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Like the Halloween party, it is a separately ticketed event and you do not need to have a park ticket. Guests can enter the Magic Kingdom beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party includes special character meet and greets with rarely seen characters, A Frozen Holiday Wish where Elsa lights the castle, Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks, and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show.
Other special entertainment can also be found throughout the park, and like the Halloween party, some rides get specially themed overlays.
There are also special holiday cookies you can pick up throughout the park and other special food options.
Early Morning Magic
Early Morning Magic (note this is different from Extra Magic Hours, which are extra hours the park is open to resort guests) is a specially ticketed event that takes place on select mornings throughout the year. You MUST ALSO have a ticket to the park that day. Early Morning Magic gives you exclusive early access to select rides before the park opens (mostly select Fantasyland rides) and includes a breakfast buffet. The event takes place from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours
Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours is a seperately-ticketed event that takes place on select evenings from 9:00 p.m. to midnight or 1:00 a.m. You do not need to have a park ticket for that day. You can enter the park beginning at 7:00 p.m. Some of the after hours events are themed as Disney Villians After Hours, for which the tickets are slightly more expensive and come with extra entertainment.
The biggest draw to the After Hours events is the shorter wait times for popular rides.
Current Closures and Upcoming Attractions
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (closed until sometime in 2021)
- Walt Disney World Railroad (closed until sometime in 2021)
- Liberty Square River Boat (closed through at least Dec 2020)
- Tom Sawyer Island (closed through at least Dec 2020)
- Tron Lightcycle Run (opening 2021)
Magic Kingdom Tips and Secrets
The Emporium is one big store even though you can enter it through different storefronts. So if you are trying to get out of the Main Street crowds, you can walk from the front of Main Street to the end of Main Street through the store.
Cast Members will begin taping off sections of the sidewalks for parades ahead of time for walking pathways, so be aware of that.
When the monorail is crowded, we HIGHLY recommend taking a boat. They are usually much less crowded.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover and the Carousel of Progress are both great attractions to sit down and cool off. They are classic attractions that I love (and a lot of other people do to), but they usually aren’t too crowded.
Don’t miss the Tangled themed bathrooms in Fantasyland! There is a great little plaza you can sit down, and the theming both inside and outside the restrooms is incredible.
Looking for one of the most famous Disney Instagram spots? It’s the Purple Wall in Tomorrowland is it!
Need more Disney planning help? We also have a Complete Guide to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!