There are not enough ways to express why I love Walt Disney World. I consider the four parks to be the best theme parks in the world. All of their theme parks in Orlando, Florida really do transport you to another world filled with magic, princesses and true heroes.
I have been going to Disney World since I was four years old. My whole family then continued to go and we still go today even though we are all adults! When I was little we would sometimes even make the trip from my childhood home in Pennsylvania to Florida twice a year to enjoy more moments spent in the sun with our favorite Disney characters. When I was fourteen, my family and I moved to Orlando, Florida and we bought ourselves a set of annual passes.
I know the parks inside and out, Disney could be considered my home away from home, always there when I needed some faith, trust and a little pixie dust. Nothing makes me happier than walking down Main Street in Magic Kingdom as I watch children grow excited because their eyes meet their favorite film characters.
My favorite park is Magic Kingdom, because it is filled with every ride you might want and a spectacular castle. Getting your way around this large park can be confusing, but I’m here to help! This is my expertise, as it should be after 16 years, and I am here to give you 7 secret tips that many people don’t know that can make your trip a thousand times better.
- Get FastPasses Early!
This new form of FastPass was introduced a couple of years ago and it’s been amazing! For any newcomers, Disney has upgraded the FastPass system so that you now have the option to get three FastPasses per person days before you hit the parks. (You are able to get more FastPasses that same day when you’re in the park a few hours after your last FastPass.)
If you’re buying tickets online or have them already, get your FastPasses at least a day before you go to the parks, especially for Magic Kingdom.
This is great for Magic Kingdom because you’ll have a quick way to skip long lines for your favorite rides. I recommend getting FastPasses for the most popular rides like Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
2. Do Rides by Area!
Magic Kingdom is divided by six different areas starting with Main Street USA filled with shops and food stands (including Starbucks!). It’s best to start from one end of the park and make your way around from right to left or left to right. This will make sure you won’t be wasting time moving back and forth between rides.
From left to right is:
Adventureland: Rides from films such as Aladdin, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and more!
Frontierland: Rides from films like Song of the South, and dedicated to the ole Wild West with rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Liberty Square: Much more colonial like attractions such as Hall of Presidents and the Haunted Mansion.
Fantasyland: (My favorite!) Looks like it comes straight out of a fairytale kingdom filled with many “kiddie” rides that all ages can do like It’s a Small World, Peter Pan, Carousel, Dumbo and many more.
Tomorrowland: A futuristic world filled with space centered rides like Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain.
I have had many experiences where I sat to watch fireworks and ended up barely seeing them because the castle blocked my view (standing too close to the castle or too much to the right of the castle), they were shooting off in two different places (watching them any place other than the front of the castle), or you couldn’t here the music at all (watching them in Frontierland).
So the best place to watch the fireworks and a pretty great place to see the night parade is in front of the castle to the left of the castle very close to the mini park thats there. I’ll have a picture below to be more specific.
Magic Kingdom always seems to be busy, whether it’s summertime or not. Because of this it can be difficult to find the perfect time to ride the bigger more popular rides without the long lines if you didn’t manage to grab some FastPasses.
I have found that if the park is still open after fireworks (avoid Extra Magic Hour days), that is the best time to hit the rides you might not have ridden earlier in the day. This is the best time because the crowds usually head off to leave the park as soon as the fireworks end and it can be a nightmare to leave at that time anyway. The best thing you can do is try to get on some rides instead of leaving with the crowds.
5. Food Tips!
Disney is known for it’s overpriced meals and snacks, if you’re staying at a Disney resort and you’re only planning to do Disney World in the Orlando area, I recommend doing the Dining Plan.
If not, I recommend bringing you’re own snacks and canned beverages (no alcohol). You can also grab free iced water anywhere in the park if you ever need a cold beverage.
6. Meeting Characters!
A tip from my mom! Meeting characters no matter your age can be super exciting! However, the lines to meet them can be excruciatingly long. Best way to meet them can be by making a reservation at one of the many restaurants that feature lots of them coming to your table like in Crystal Palace or the restaurant in Cinderella’s castle.
7. Leaving the Park!
If the park closes right after the fireworks, it can be very chaotic depending on where you are and I have a couple secret tips to help you get out of the park as quickly as possible.
If you are leaving the park right before the fireworks and it’s a very busy time such as summertime, holiday season, and during any school break, Magic Kingdom usually has ways to quickly leave the park away from the crowds. These areas are usually near Tomorrowland near the Buzz Lightyear ride and there is another one between the Ice Cream Parlour and Tomorrowland.
Once you leave the park, you’re basically stranded on an island with very few options to leave. The best option many people take is the monorail because its quick and air conditioned, however the main monorail can have lines up to two hours waiting which can be a nightmare when you’re very tired.
My favorite secret tip is to sneakingly head over to the Resort Monorail, which anyone can take, and the parking lot will be on the second stop!
I hope that my seven secret tips makes your trip all the more special and magical. Walt Disney World that was created by a remarkable man and has the ability to make any person, young or old, big or small, believe that magic exists, the good guy wins and our wishes will always come true.
If you are planning a trip to the happiest place on earth, I hope you have the most magical stay and make memories that will last a lifetime, like they have for me and my family!