When all you have is one day in the Magic Kingdom, you might be wondering how to see it all! It is a big park and there are plenty of great rides and other things to keep you busy while there. The key to doing Magic Kingdom in one day is to plan your trip before you go using our Magic Kingdom Itinerary as a guide!
Determining the Best Day to Visit Magic Kingdom
The first thing to consider when planning a visit to Magic Kingdom is what day you will visit.
While you might think this doesn’t really matter, you will find that it can make a huge difference.
There are a few things you need to think about when deciding on the best day to visit Magic Kingdom for your family.
One of the biggest factors that will determine when is the best day to visit is crowd levels.
The park can get very crowded during peak times like weekends and holidays.
To avoid large crowds, one of the best times to visit is midweek.
Tuesday and Wednesday are usually less busy, so if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere then this is a great time to go!
Extra Park Hours
Another important factor that will help you decide what day to visit Magic Kingdom is park hours.
Before planning your trip, make sure to check the official website for opening and closing times.
Most parks have early hours for resort guests and often have at least one evening where there are extended hours.
Traditionally the extra park hours are on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Special Ticketed Events
When you are planning a day in Magic Kingdom, you should make sure that you choose a day when there are no special ticketed events.
On nights when there is a special ticketed event, you are forced to leave the park early; usually by 7 p.m.
If you are paying full price for a ticket, you should be able to stay until closing if you choose.
Make sure the day you pick is one when you can fully enjoy the park from opening to closing.
Lastly, you should also consider ticket prices when deciding what day to visit Magic Kingdom.
The cost of admission at the park varies depending on the time of year and day of the week.
Traditionally, Friday-Sunday are the most expensive with holidays that fall on Mondays also being higher than average.
If you are looking to go to Magic Kingdom on a budget, choose Tuesday-Thursday.
Best Day to Visit Magic Kingdom
Overall, I would say that the best day to visit Magic Kingdom is Tuesday with a close second being Wednesday.
This allows you to avoid the weekends and those who extend a weekend stay by a day.
Not only are these two days the cheapest option, but they will also allow you to get the most in terms of time at the park!
Planning Your Day in Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is a large park. It spans over 107 acres and is divided into six themed lands, namely Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.
Each land has its own rides and attractions.
This means in order to do as much as possible, you will have to do some major planning.
Here are some things that you should do before heading to the park:
Buy Your Magic Kingdom Park Tickets in Advance
This way you aren’t wasting time standing in line at the park.
There are plenty of places where you can buy discounted tickets, but our favorite is
Sign up for Genie+
Genie is the main planning tool to help your vacation run smoothly.
Genie+ with Lightning Lane is an add-on that allows you to skip the line for some of the more popular rides.
You will want to purchase this so that you are able to avoid spending most of your day in lines.
Make Dining Reservations
If you are planning to have a table service meal or a Disney character meal, you are going to want to make sure you make reservations.
Some of the more popular Magic Kingdom restaurants book up fast, so do this as soon as possible.
Plan out your day
Begin thinking about which Magic Kingdom rides & attractions you want to prioritize.
Magic Kingdom is full of fun things to do and see so it will help you to make a list of the things you want to make sure not to miss.
Traveling with people who aren’t into rides? No worry, there are plenty of non-ride activities at Disney for them to enjoy!
If not, arrive at Magic Kingdom about a half hour before the park opens.
Welcome Show at Cinderella Castle
The only thing that opens first thing in the morning before the rest of the park opens is the area surrounding Cinderella Castle.
This is because the park’s grand opening is after the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show.
This is a cute show with all your favorite Disney characters and is a great way to start the day.
Ride a Popular Ride as Soon as You Get to the Park
After the show, I suggest you head straight to one of the popular rides at Magic Kingdom that you really want to ride, but don’t have a pre-booked time for.
Our choice is usually Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. There will be a line, but it will move fast.
If you wait later in the day, the line could be as long as 2-3 hours.
If you are hungry and need a quick bite to eat before heading to your next ride, consider grabbing a waffle at Sleepy Hollow Inn.
These are so good and while they aren’t exactly nutritious, they will at least provide you with enough carbs to help perk you up.
They come plain, with sugar & cinnamon or fruit and Nutella.
Rides & Attractions in Fantasyland
When all you have is one day in Magic Kingdom, you are going to have a hard time being able to do it all.
The fact is that you really need a few days to be able to do everything Magic Kingdom has to offer.
We suggest that you break your day up based on the different lands in Magic Kingdom so that you aren’t having to walk from one side of the park to the other.
With Genie+ you will be able to plan out your entire day at the park.
Make sure that you choose your first Lightning Lane reservation as early in the day as you can.
That way you can get another as soon as you are done with the first.
It tends to be most crowded the later you get into the day so you should be able to get more done the earlier you go.
No matter which land you are in, you are going to find a quality choice that offers a tasty, affordable meal and air conditioning.
Be sure to save room for dessert. Magic Kingdom has some great desserts, but our choice is always the Disney Dole Whip.
It is probably the most eaten dessert at Disney besides the Mickey ice cream bar.
More Rides & Attractions in Another Land
At the end of your lunch, you should check the Genie App to see about wait times for some of the rides you are interested in going on.
Spend the next few hours riding rides & taking in attractions.
Magic Kingdom Parade Time
The Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom is the best parade at Walt Disney World and happens around 3pm every day.
You will get to see some magnificent floats and many of your favorite Disney characters.
If you want an optimal place to see the parade, consider purchasing the Festival of Fantasy dining package.
Disney Character Encounters
One thing you will want to make time for during your day in Magic Kingdom is getting photos and autographs with Disney characters.
You can find a list of Disney character meet & greets on the My Disney Experience app and on the Times Guide that you can pick up in the front of the park.
More Rides & Attractions in Another Land
By afternoon, Magic Kingdom will be swamped with people.
This is a great time to ride a few more rides in another area of the park.
Don’t miss out on the iconic Haunted Mansion ride. Don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t scary at all.
My pick for the afternoon is Liberty Square because there are a few things you can do that will have little to no wait times (Presidents Hall, Ride the Riverboat, and Tom Sawyer Island).
Dinner in Magic Kingdom
There are so many different places to eat, you will have no trouble finding something.
You can choose to once again eat at a quick service restaurant or have a sit-down meal at one of their table service restaurants.
While it is best to have a reservation in advance, you can always take a look in the Disney App to see if there are times available for you to show up (people do cancel reservations all the time).
Rides for After Dark in Tomorrowland
While most of the rides in Magic Kingdom are inside, there are a few you will appreciate even more at night. Our favorite part of the park for after-dark is Tomorrowland.
Make sure you take time to ride Tron, Astro Orbiter & People Mover at night!
Cinderella Castle Night Show & Fireworks
At the end of your day in Magic Kingdom, be sure to watch the show in front of Cinderella Castle.
Disney does a wonderful job of ending the night with a fireworks show that is out of this world. Plan your day carefully so that you don’t burn out and miss seeing it.
While ideally, you would have more time at Magic Kingdom, you really can see a lot in a day if you plan it out carefully.
Most important is that you enjoy yourself and enjoy every moment you have while at Magic Kingdom!
Do you think one day is enough for Magic Kingdom?