The Disney Castle in Florida

Magic Kingdom Itinerary (A Perfect 1 Day Touring Planner)

When you say “Walt Disney World,” the image most people see is the view down Main Street U.S.A. with Cinderella Castle in the distance. That’s because Magic Kingdom is the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort. Of all the Disney theme parks, a Magic Kingdom itinerary offers the best combination of attractions, restaurants, and shows for all ages to enjoy. 

I’ve spent a lot of time at Magic Kingdom over the years, even pulling an all-nighter there during a 24-hour event. To help you plan your trip, I put together the perfect 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary to have the best day possible.

And if you have more than one day to spend at Disney World, be sure to bookmark my complete 6 Day Disney Itinerary!

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

1-Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary

Arrive Early

View of people on the entrance of Magic Kingdom
The entrance to the Magic Kingdom

Visiting the Magic Kingdom is a full-day event. The Walt Disney Company knows this too and the Magic Kingdom usually has the longest hours of the four parks. 

I recommend planning to be at the Magic Kingdom from open to close if you want to hit all the best attractions. To see “rope drop” and to ensure that you’re in the Magic Kingdom as long as possible, you’ll want to arrive 30-45 minutes early. 

Currently, Disney resort guests can enter Magic Kingdom 30 minutes before the official park opening for Extra Magic Hours. During this time, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland attractions are open. If you are taking advantage of this perk, arrive 15-30 minutes before the early entry. 

Adventureland and Frontierland 

People in front of the Pirates of the Caribbean Park
Pirates of the Caribbean

Due to the resort guests getting early admission to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, these areas will already have wait times when the park opens. Therefore, I recommend heading in the opposite direction and starting your day in Adventureland

Skip the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Instead, head straight to the surprisingly popular Jungle Cruise. I say surprisingly because this attraction was falling out of favor until it was reimagined a few years ago. As a fan favorite, it always has a daunting wait time now. 

After you exit your boat ride, take the short walk over to the Pirates of the Caribbean. Thanks to the movies and pirate-enthused children, this attraction will end up with a very long wait later in the day. Now would be a good time to enjoy Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room or you can move on to the thrill rides of Frontierland.

View of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Since you’re in Florida, it is most likely a warm day. Hop onto Splash Mountain. Either wear a poncho or prepare to get soaked! By this point in the day, crowds have spread out throughout the park and you should expect a bit of a wait for any attraction, but especially favorites like Splash Mountain.

Next up is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, another classic Disney attraction. This thrill ride puts you on a runaway train through a mining town. 

If you have children that need to run off some energy, I’d recommend heading over to Tom Sawyer Island. There are trails and caves for little (and big) kids to explore. Otherwise, it’s time to find some delicious lunch. 

Lunch

View of the entrance to Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen is a great mid-range Magic Kingdom restaurant for lunch

If you are trying to move around Magic Kingdom efficiently and not waste crossing the park multiple times, I recommend eating lunch in Frontierland or Liberty Square. However, there are so many delicious restaurants in the park that you shouldn’t limit yourself. 

For an affordable quick-service meal, stop at the Columbia Harbour House. There you will find New England-inspired American food. The lobster roll and allergy-friendly chicken tenders are my personal favorites. 

My favorite mid-range table-service restaurant is the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen. This Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant serves international cuisine with a comical twist. You can’t go wrong with the cachapas (Venezuelan griddled corn cakes) and “tastes like chicken” (don’t worry, it is chicken). 

If you want to create a truly memorable experience, get a lunch reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant. Not only can you dine on a 3-course menu, but you can eat in the Beast’s destroyed West Wing. Make sure you try the “gray stuff” for dessert, it’s delicious! 

Fantasyland and Tomorrowland

People in front of The Haunted Mansion building
The Haunted Mansion

As you make your way into Fantasyland, make sure you stop at the Haunted Mansion (located in Liberty Square). Even though the attraction is on the spooky side, it is a slow-moving ride that is suitable for most ages. 

Next, you’ll pass by the famous “Tangled toilets.” Poor Rapunzel doesn’t have her own attraction, but she did get the best restrooms in the park. This area is a nice pit stop with surprising cute photo spots. 

First up in Fantasyland is Peter Pan’s Flight. Expect there to be a long wait time. Peter Pan’s Flight is a Magic Kingdom favorite where your family can take flight through the story of Neverland. Afterward, head across the walkway to “it’s a small world.” This gentle boat ride showcases hundreds of singing animatronics. 

If you have young kids, they may enjoy riding the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, but you can skip it otherwise. At this point, check the wait time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, one of the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions. If it is too long, save it for later and enjoy the other Fantasyland attractions. 

View of people inside the Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid park

Towards the back of the land, you’ll find Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. Head below the surface and see the story of the little mermaid come to life. Also, you can’t miss Dumbo the Flying Elephant. This is a simple ride, but it is a Disney World classic and younger kids love the control. 

Race Car fans (big and small) will enjoy a ride around the Tomorrowland Speedway, but most people can skip this attraction. In my opinion, the ride is not worth the wait. For a shorter wait time and a longer ride, hop on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. This elevated, continuous motion ride takes you through the land and attractions of Tomorrowland. I always add this ride to my Magic Kingdom itinerary because it is a nice break to sit and relax. 

View of the entrance to Space Mountain
The entrance to Space Mountain

Now get in line to ride Space Mountain. This is one of the most popular attractions, not just at the Magic Kingdom but all of Walt Disney World. A majority of the ride is in darkness, so keep that in mind for any younger guests. Space Mountain regularly posts long wait times, but this attraction is worth it. 

Head to the other side of Tomorrowland for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, a laser shooting game. If you want to reach the highest score of 999,999 points, look for targets up high and behind other pieces. 

If you have the time, there are plenty of other popular attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Some of my favorites include the Mad Tea Party spinning teacups, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor, and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.

Dinner and a Show

View of the Cinderella's Royal Table signage on the entrance
Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant and show

I recommend eating dinner before the Nighttime Spectacular: Disney Enchantment, Magic Kingdom’s firework show. Usually, I head to a quick-service restaurant for a fast meal to maximize the time in my Magic Kingdom itinerary. 

Some of my favorite quick-service food is at Pinocchio Village House in Fantasyland. Since this restaurant is located behind the castle, you can see most of the fireworks show while eating outside. 

Eating a table-service dinner at The Plaza Restaurant or The Crystal Palace puts you on Main Street, U.S.A. just in time for the fireworks. Plus, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is nearby. Enjoy a cooling dessert while you find your spot and wait for the show to start. 

For a truly magical dining experience, make reservations for Cinderella’s Royal Table. This restaurant is located inside Cinderella Castle. While you dine with royalty, you can look out into the theme park with a bird’s-eye view. 

It is going to be crowded, but the best viewing for Disney Enchantment is in front of the castle. I recommend finding a spot around one-third of the distance from the castle to the front of the park. This puts you close to the action but far enough away to see the entire width of the show. 

Late Night

People enjoying their ride in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Park hours vary based on the season and special events, but usually, Magic Kingdom is open for an hour or more after the fireworks. Walt Disney World is currently also offering Extended Evening Hours for select resorts on certain nights. 

Hopefully, you have some energy left after a long day at the Magic Kingdom because this is the best time to get on a ton of rides. A majority of the crowds will head out of the park after the fireworks and you can avoid the long lines from earlier in the day. 

The Peter Pan's Flight sign on the entrance

Try to ride the more popular Magic Kingdom attractions at this time. The wait times for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are much shorter in the evenings. Also, Walt Disney World allows you to get in line for an attraction up until park closing time. 

Once the park closes, the cast members will close off the attractions and start directing everyone to the front of the park. Take your time walking out and enjoy the beauty of Magic Kingdom all lit up. If you have a camera capable of taking quality nighttime photos, use it! There will be much fewer guests to photo-bomb your shots. 

The shops near the entrance of the Magic Kingdom will stay open for an hour after closing. This gives you plenty of time to pick up your Disney Parks souvenirs. Now, get ready for some of the best sleep of your life because a full-packed day at the Magic Kingdom will wear you out. 

Attractions at the Magic Kingdom

One of the great things about the Magic Kingdom is that there are options for all ages and interests. Depending on your preferences and the group you are visiting with, you can tailor your day at Magic Kingdom to make everyone happy. 

Attractions For Young Children

People riding in The Barnstormer

A majority of the rides at the Magic Kingdom are suitable for all ages. The thrill rides do have height requirements that may cause the smallest guests to sit out. If you have a child in your party that is not able to ride certain attractions, ask a cast member about “child swap” options. 

For young kids, I recommend finding attractions with shorter wait times and not rushing through the park. Hot and overtired kids can be easily overwhelmed and stop enjoying the day at the Magic Kingdom.

Some of the Magic Kingdom attractions I recommend for younger children are:

  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover 
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor 

If you children still need a nap during the day, staying at a Disney resort will make it easier. You can ride the monorail or a bus back to the hotel for a nap and lunch. Your well-rested kids will enjoy the afternoon and evening much more. 

📚 Related Reading: If you need more recommendations, I put together a list of my favorite Things to Do With Kids in Orlando. 

Attractions For Adults

The author taking a selfie in Magic Kingdom

Even though many attractions are based on Disney animated movies, there is plenty for adults to enjoy at the Magic Kingdom. A day at Magic Kingdom is fun for you and your inner child.

The best Magic Kingdom attractions for adults are:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Astro Orbiter

For many years, Magic Kingdom was a “dry” park and did not serve any alcohol. Now, some of the table-service restaurants serve alcoholic beverages during lunch and dinner. The drinks cannot be carried out and must be drunk during your meal. 

Things to Do and Eat For Foodies 

The author holding a Mickey Mouse shaped chocolate

The restaurants at the Magic Kingdom serve delicious food, but many people prefer to eat their way around the snack options. Either way, you will be able to find lots of yummy foods to enjoy during your visit to the Magic Kingdom. There are some staples that can be found in the park year-round, but Disney frequently changes and rotates snack offerings throughout the year. 

For years, the most iconic food item at the Magic Kingdom (and maybe all of Disney World) was Pineapple DOLE Whip from Aloha Isle in Adventureland. You can now find this treat at the Polynesian Village Resort and Disney Springs, but it is more fun to get it from the original stand in the Magic Kingdom. Sunshine Tree Terrace, also located in Adventureland, has other flavors of Dole Whip and yummy creations. 

A cult-favorite snack stop is the Spring Roll Wagon, also located in Adventureland. These aren’t your average spring roll though. You can enjoy unique flavors like pastrami and pepperoni pizza. 

Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest Restaurant are the two Signature Dining experiences at the Magic Kingdom. Both restaurants come with a hefty price tag ($60+ per person) but the food is scrumptious. I think that Be Our Guest Restaurant offers better food, while Cinderella’s Royal Table focuses more on the experience. 

Since Magic Kingdom is constantly adding new snacks and meals to their food options, make sure you check the Disney website just before your visit. Disney lists all the restaurants, snack stands, and bars in the theme parks and provides menus for you to look over. 

Best Hotels for Visiting the Magic Kingdom 

Note: If you want more options, see my full listing of the best resorts at Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

The Disney's Grand Floridian Resort  from the outside

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is one of the best hotels on the property. Many of the buildings have views of the Magic Kingdom, including Cinderella Castle and Disney Enchantment fireworks. Staying at the Grand Floridian makes it easy to have a packed Magic Kingdom itinerary because you have multiple transportation options between the two: the monorail, a walking path, or a boat. 

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

View inside the Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the closest hotel to the Magic Kingdom. It is a quick 5-10 minute walk from the hotel to the park entrance. This means it is easy to get to the park early or pop back to the hotel for a midday nap. If you prefer the bird’s eye view, the monorail also runs between the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary Resort. 

Shades of Green

Shades of Green is a military-only hotel located near the Magic Kingdom on Disney property. Rates at the resort vary based on a USAF member’s pay grade, making a Walt Disney World vacation affordable for all members. There is a walking path from Shades of Green that connects to Disney’s Polynesian Village and buses can also transport guests to the different theme parks. 

📚 Related Reading: If you’re looking for other hotel recommendations, I’ve put together my favorite Places to Stay in Orlando.

Magic Kingdom Itinerary Planning Tips 

Tip #1 – Wait To Buy Souvenirs 

Don’t worry about fitting shopping time into your 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary. Wait until the end of your visit to stop in the shops on your way out. Even if you are riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train until they kick you off at park closing, you can still get your souvenir shopping in. The stores on Main Street U.S.A. stay open for an extra hour after closing. 

Tip #2 – Don’t Try To Do Everything at Magic Kingdom

Unless you’re visiting Magic Kingdom on a rare slow day or you pay for a V.I.P. tour, it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to do every attraction at the park. Focus on hitting the best attractions and not stressing about the wait times. 

📚 Read Next: Things to Do in Orlando Florida

Tip #3 – Use Disney’s Planning Tools

The Disney website and My Disney Experience mobile app are excellent resources for planning your day at Magic Kingdom. You can see wait times, access dining reservations, see restaurant menus, and find out showtimes. 

Take a look at the Magic Kingdom map before your visit so you are more familiar with the park. When you make reservations and selections, your Magic Kingdom touring plan shows up on the app for you. 

Tip #4 – Lightning Lane and Genie+

Genie+ is a paid version of the My Disney Experience app. It allows you to make Lightning Lane (previously FASTPASS) reservations for various attractions throughout the day. Like the original FASTPASS system, you make one reservation at a time. 

Once you use your Lightning Lanes for an attraction, you can make a selection for your next attraction. Genie+ currently costs $15 per day and can significantly cut back your wait times.

Tip #5 – Research How to Do Disney on a Budget Guide

Looking to save a little money on your Disney World vacation? Be sure to check out my guide to how to do Disney World on the cheap. It’s packed with some serious money-saving tips you won’t want to miss!

Tip #6 – Pack Your Bags Correctly

Your Disney vacation will be less stressful is pack everything you need in advance. Worried you’ll miss an essential? Just use my Disney packing checklist to make sure you’ve got it all packed.

Magic Kingdom FAQs

How many days do you need at Magic Kingdom?

One day at the Magic Kingdom will allow you to hit a majority of the best attractions. To see and do absolutely everything, a two-day Magic Kingdom itinerary is recommended. 

Can you ride all the rides at Magic Kingdom in one day?

It would be very difficult to ride all the rides at Magic Kingdom in one day because there are more than 20 rides. Using Genie+ and Lightning Lane can allow you to minimize your wait times and enjoy as many rides as possible. 

👉 Pro Tip: Visit Disney during the off-season to enjoy the shortest wait times, allowing you to fit more attractions into your Magic Kingdom touring plan. 

What should I do first at Magic Kingdom?

The first thing you should do at Magic Kingdom is visit your favorite attraction, especially popular ones like Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. If you do not have a favorite, start your Magic Kingdom day in Adventureland, riding Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, because many people tend to start in Tomorrowland. 

Should I spend 2 days at Magic Kingdom?

A two-day Magic Kingdom itinerary gives you plenty of time to experience all the attractions and shows at the park. You will not have to worry about rushing around through the crowds. Two days at the park also means you can add more character meet and greets and restaurant reservations to your Magic Kingdom touring plan. 

Where is Magic Kingdom parking?

Parking for the Magic Kingdom theme park is located at the Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, you can ride the monorail or ferry boat to get to the front gates of Magic Kingdom. 

Can you drink alcohol in the Magic Kingdom?

You can only drink alcohol during meals at certain table-service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom. While the other Disney World parks offer alcoholic beverages, the Magic Kingdom was a “dry” park until recently. 

***

While planning your upcoming Disney World vacation, this Magic Kingdom itinerary will help you efficiently navigate the park from the rope drop when the park opens until the cast members are guiding you out of the theme park at closing time. 

📚 Related Reading: For more Disney theme park planning advice, check out our other itineraries:
🎫 6 Day Disney World Touring Itinerary
🎫 1 Day Epcot Touring Itinerary
🎫 1 Day Hollywood Studios Touring Itinerary
🎫 1 Day Animal Kingdom Touring Itinerary

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One Comment

  1. I really appreciated your experience and message. Thank You!! I’m taking my 6 year old grandson and he is very excited. I want to make sure that I make the very best choices for our 1 day trip.

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