Get ready to put rookie mistakes at Disney behind you – we’ve got 10 insider tips for your next Magic Kingdom day.
1. Live the Rope Drop Life
Lines at the Magic Kingdom are shortest during the first hour or two when the park has just opened, and insiders will be up bright and early and at the turnstiles before 9am. The morning Welcome Show is always fun to watch, but don’t listen to the voice telling you to move to the center to see – stay near the tunnels so you’re ready to move when the rope actually drops.
2. Eat Breakfast in the Park before Park Opening
Want to get photos on Main Street with no crowds? Certain restaurants at the Magic Kingdom – the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table – start serving breakfast at 8am, an hour before the turnstiles open. Book an early ADR, and you’ll get to enter the park before everyone else – you can snap some pics and have a private ride to the Hub on one of the Main Street vehicles. If you finish eating before 9am, you won’t even miss any of that prime early morning ride time.
3. Take the First Train to Frontierland
Everyone at rope drop wants to hit the popular attractions first, but insiders avoid the Main Street rat race by heading straight up to the train station and boarding the train as soon as they enter the park. The train drops you right at the entrances of Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Raliroad in Frontierland, and you’ll usually even beat the guests who walked from the front of the park.
4. Meet the Mayor
The Mayor officiates at the Welcome Show, and afterwards he mingles with guests on Main Street. He’s always happy to stop for a photo, and there’s almost never a line to meet him. Main Street has a whole cast of characters and many other memorable citizens to chat with in the mornings as well.
5. Get Your Hair Cut
The Harmony Barber Shop tucked just off of Town Square offers fairly reasonable haircuts (under $20) to guests of all ages. It’s a small space, so reservations are a good idea. Where else could you get your hair cut while being serenaded by the Dapper Dans? And don’t forget to ask for some pixie dust!
6. Give the Little Ones a Rest at the Baby Center
Insiders with little ones who need a break from the heat and crowds and excitement will stop by the Magic Kingdom’s beautiful but often-overlooked Baby Care Center. It’s located between Casey’s Corner and the Crystal Palace. There’s a family room for the kids, a water cooler, rocking chairs, a whole room of changing tables, and most importantly: air conditioning!
7. Have Lunch on the Columbia Harbor House Bridge
Columbia Harbor House has a delicious lunch and dinner menu and beautiful rooms for dining downstairs. But insiders know to take their meal upstairs where there are plenty more tables and rooms, and it’s less crowded. From the tables on the bridge over the walkway you can watch the Fantasyland crowds going by below as you peacefully enjoy your clam chowder.
8. Relax on the TTA
Insiders like to take it easy at Disney, and there’s no better place at the Magic Kingdom than the Peoplemover. There’s almost never a line (or if there is, it moves very quickly), and you get a taste of all the top Tomorrowland attractions without having to move from your bright blue seat. Some even like to enjoy a smuggled Tomorrowland snack, but you didn’t hear that from me!
9. Save your Shopping for after Park Close
As park closing time approaches, insiders will stay focused on getting in a last ride or two. You’ll still have time to pick up souvenirs after close, as the shops stay open later than the attractions.
10. Enjoy the Kiss Goodnight
Many guests follow the mass exodus towards the exit as soon as Wishes ends, but insiders will take their time and soak in the last minutes of magic. The two-minute “Kiss Goodnight” show takes place about a half hour after the park closes – Cinderella Castle starts to sparkle and music plays as the Magic Kingdom wishes you good night!