Magic Kingdom Touring Plan
The Magic Kingdom is the world’s most popular theme park. Each year around 20 million visitors come through the gates. On average that means there are 50,000 people in the park on a given day! My family absolutely adores the Magic Kingdom. But…it can be one of the worst places in the world when it’s packed. If the crowds get insane, I get out. Fortunately over the years, we’ve been able to develop a pretty good touring plan for the Magic Kingdom that allows us to have a blast and avoid the crowds.
What follows is our “default” Magic Kingdom Touring plan. This is a one-day plan that is designed to help you see all of the Magic Kingdom attractions in one day. It will keep from waiting in long lines and allow you to tour the theme park intelligently. A word of warning: This plan doesn’t stop for many breaks! It’s designed for guests who want to see as much as they can in one day.
Before we begin, I wanted to let you know that we have a number of other MK touring plans that may better fit your situation. Our Magic Kingdom Touring Plan for small children can give you some ideas on how to tour with the small kids and their unique challenges. If you’re going to be at the Magic Kingdom on multiple days, see our 2-Day Magic Kingdom Touring Plan. No kids in your party? The Magic Kingdom Touring Plan for Adults may be just the thing for you! Let’s get started!
Magic Kingdom Fastpasses
Before we dive into the plan, you’re going to want to have your fastpasses pre-booked. Head to article entitled: Magic Kingdom Fastpass Strategy. This plan will work best for Disney resort guests that choose their fastpasses 60 days ahead of time. If you’re coming last minute, you may not get these fastpasses, which can throw off the plan.
The first fastpass to get is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Wait times on this ride are very high and if you can get this fastpass you’re in great shape. My preference is that you get a Fastpass for Mine Train early in the morning. In our sample walk-through, we are going to choose 9:15-10:15.
Our fastpass times are going to all be early, and as we proceed, you’ll see why. This will allow you to ride a lot of rides in the morning, and then use fastpasses throughout the busy afternoon hours. Our second fastpass should be Space Mountain. Try and get it for 10:15-11:15. For your third Fastpass, choose Splash or Thunder Mountain from 11:30-12:30.
Example Fastpass Choices
Mine Train - 9:15-10:15
Space Mountain - 10:15-11:15
Splash/Thunder Mountain - 11:45-12:45
Magic Kingdom Touring Plan
The first step to any successful one-day plan is to arrive early. Due to the increasing popularity of this strategy, I’d recommend that you arrive 45 minutes early. During peak season, you may possibly want to arrive an hour ahead of time. The new Magicband process really slows things down in the mornings. The good news is that Disney has begun allowing people into the Magic Kingdom ahead of time. They will keep you on Main Street USA, but you can get scanned in before rope drop. But it’s still very important that you get there early so that you are ready to go as soon as the rope drops.
Peter Pan’s Flight – 9:05 – This is always our first choice. I prefer to knock out many of the Fantasyland rides before the park gets crowded because they are impossible to ride in the afternoon. You should be in and out of this one by 9:10 as the ride is short and fast. If you don’t like this ride, feel free to skip, but Peter Pan is one of the original rides in Disney World and is the perfect start to a day in the Magic Kingdom.
Winnie The Pooh – 9:15 – This is another very short ride. You should be done with Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh by 9:20.
Little Mermaid – 9:25 – I’m going to have you do just a bit of extra walking, so I want you to skip Mine Train and head straight to the Little Mermaid ride. This early in the morning you’ll walk right on this ride.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant – 9:35 — Head straight to the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland and ride Dumbo. You should be able to walk on with zero wait.
Barnstormer — 9:50 — Located right next to Dumbo, you’ll be able to hop on Barnstormer and get through this kids coaster in very little time. Before 10AM, there’s rarely ever a wait on this ride.
Mine Train — 10:05 — Time to use that first fastpass! You’ll have to backtrack just a bit to come back to Mine Train, but it’s worth it. The temptation is to use that fastpass as soon as it’s available at 9:15. But by skipping it, we’ve knocked out FIVE RIDES. At this point, your kids and group will be quite impressed with the quick work you’re making of the park.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin — 10:25 — After you are done with Mine Train, it’s time to head to Tomorrowland. We have a fastpass in our pocket that ends at 11:15. Our goal is to try to sneak one ride in before we ride Space Mountain. The wait times at 10:30 should be manageable and allow you to get finished with this ride within 30 minutes.
Space Mountain — 11:00 — Your 2nd fastpass is Space Mountain and it expires at 11:15. You’ve made it with 15 minutes to spare. Enjoy this Disney classic and while you’re waiting in the short fastpass line, decide where you want to eat for lunch.
Lunchtime! — 11:20-12:15 — At 11 o’clock, many people are just getting to the Magic Kingdom. You’ve already knocked out 8 rides and are thinking about lunch. If 11 o’clock seems early for lunch, then make sure your breakfast is light. It’s important to eat early because once noon hits, the restaurants start filling up fast. Since the goal of this touring plan is to see everything, you’ll need to eat a counter service lunch so that you can keep moving. You are going to be headed to Frontierland next, so try and find a restaurant on the way.
Lunch Recommendations - I’ve chosen these 4 restaurants because they keep you from back-tracking and allow you to stay on track. These are listed in no particular order, so browse the menu and go to the one that your family would prefer.
Starlight Cafe — This is located very close to Space Mountain and should have very low lines. This is a standard counter service “burgers and fries” menu
Pecos Bill — This is located in Frontierland, right where you’re heading next. Pecos Bill is also burgers/fries, with a southwestern flavor. They have fajitas and carnitas if you’re in the mood (not the best fajitas I’ve ever had)
Harbour House — If you’re in the mood for something different, try some seafood at Columbia Harbour House. To get to Harbour House, you’ll skip the Main Street USA area and head through Fantasyland. Once you pass Small World and Peter Pan, Harbour House will be on your left.
Pinocchio Village Haus — This is an underrated spot and is my recommendation. They have flatbread, chicken parm sandwiches and even pasta! This restaurant is right in the heart of Fantasyland.
Splash Mountain – 12:15 – After lunch, it’s time to use your final fastpass on Splash Mountain. This ride will have a very long wait at this point, so your fastpass will come in handy. When the Disney cast member scans your magicband and you’re cleared to enter the ride, you’ll now be able to book your 4th fastpass.
How to Use Your Additional Fastpasses
From here on out, the Touring plan can diverge in many different directions. I’m going to continue to give you a “sample plan” below, but I want to talk to you about fastpasses. If you open your app to get that 4th fastpass and you see one that is 8PM, you’re stuck. You’ll now have 7 hours in which you can’t use fastpasses.
But if you see one that is 12:30-1:30, you can immediately get off Splash Mountain and get another fastpass. The goal is to get the earliest available fastpasses. This will help to keep you out of lines.
4th FP Reservation 1:15-2:15 - Jungle Cruise
Pirates — 12:40 — Pirates of the Caribbean is going to have a wait of 15-60 minutes depending on the time of the year. At this point, though, you’re either going to wait in line or walk around. You might as well make the best of things. The line at Pirates moves very fast so you should be in good shape.
Jungle Cruise — 1:30 — Use your 4th fastpass on Jungle Cruise. While in line, try to get a 5th fastpass for the 2-3 timeframe. In this scenario I’m going to get Small World from 2-3.
Book 5th FP Reservation 3-4 — Your choice
Festival of Fantasy — 2:30 — When you get off Jungle Cruise, find a spot to watch Festival of Fantasy. You can head to Main Street, or walk over to Liberty Square. You want to line up 30 minutes ahead of time for the best seats. We love this parade, but the downside is that it takes place in the heat of the day.
Aside from Thunder Mountain, it’s 3PM and you’ve basically knocked out the park! At this point, it’s up to you to decide how you want to finish your day. Do you want to spend your time hitting all the little attractions you’ve missed? Do you want to try and go back and ride the big rides again? That’s your call!
A lot of what you do will depend on the fastpasses that are available. Continue to check your app and look for the best available fastpasses.
Don’t forget to get great seats for the Fireworks show, and don’t forget to try and ride Thunder Mountain. If you can stand on the left side of the castle, a good time to ride Thunder Mountain is immediately after the fireworks show.
That’s it for our one-day Touring Plan! Next, let’s take a look at a touring plan for Epcot!