9 Best Tips for Magic Kingdom

In this guide, we will cover our best Magic Kingdom tips to ensure that you arrive to the park extremely prepared, and know all of the 'hacks' to maximize your time and money.

magic kingdom tips

Table of Contents

  1. Know About Disney Genie and Disney Genie +
  2. Get in the Park Before it Opens
  3. Take the Monorail to the Park
  4. Be Prepared for the Rain
  5. Consider Single Rider Lines
  6. Know the Can't Miss Rides
  7. Know About Rider Swap
  8. Shop at the End of the day
  9. Designated Drop-Off Spots

1. Know About Disney Genie and Disney Genie +

The days of Fast Passes are over, but the days of Disney Genie has just arrived.

It's important to know that Disney Genie and Disney Genie + are two separate things.

disney genie plus

Disney Genie +

is an upgrade that costs $15 that allows riders to skip the regular line and access to the 'Lightning Lane' entrance. This is essentially the new fast pass.

Lightning Lane selections must be made on the same day of your visit and can be used across several theme parks, which is extremely convenient for those with the Park Hopper options.

Disney Genie

Disney Genie on the other hand is included with admission is essentially a live itinerary, that you can use to plan your day before arriving to the park, and while you're at the park through the My Disney Experience app or Disney app.

disney genie logo

Disney Genie only provides 'Standby' access to guests, however guests can purchase Lightning Lane for up to 2 rides.

Summary

In short, if you're interested in a FastPass for most rides, you'll want to purchase Disney Genie + as it gives you access to Lightning Lane (which works like the new Fast Pass).

magic kingdom rides

If you're only interested in skipping the line for one or two rides during the day, then you can pay for Lightning Lane for those two rides separately.

Also, Disney Genie is a live itinerary that updates in real time to suggest the best options, based on your preferences.

We've created an entire Disney Genie Service guide where you can read more details about this.

2. Get in the Park Before it Opens

You're actually able to enter the park before it opens by booking an early reservation at Crystal Palace.

crystal palace magic kingdom

Besides being able to enjoy breakfast in a calm environment, you and your family will also be able to meet the Winnie the Pooh + company characters.

On your way to Crystal Palace, you'll go through the entrance, cross through Main Street before making a sharp left.

It's a decent walk away, which gives guests plenty of time to see the park in rare form, without large crowds.

3. Take the Monorail to the Parks

Once you have parked your car in the garage, you'll actually have to travel to the parks themselves through another means of transportation including a ferry or a  monorail.

monorail magic kingdom

If you are focused on getting to the parks as soon as possible in order to get every last minute out of your day, you'll want to take the monorail.

The monorail is much faster than the ferry, and is perfect for those just wanting to start their day at the parks.

The ferry on the other hand, is a much slower moving ride that takes guests through the water and is essentially a scenic tour on their way to the parks.

It's absolutely a great experience especially for the first-timers at the park. 

4. Be Prepared for the Rain

You're in Florida which means it could be sunny and pouring outside! How's that possible? Nobody really knows.

But what Floridians do know is to carry a poncho or an umbrella every day during the summer.

rain magic kingdom

Normally there are daily rain showers in the afternoon in the 1 pm - 4pm range.

If you're at the park, you'll want to make some plans to eat around this time, and if that's not possible, the second best thing is to be prepared for the rain.

Also, you'll want to consider bringing an extra pair of socks. The last thing that you'll want to deal with during your vacation is walking an entire day in soaked socks.

5. Consider Single Rider Lines

If you're not able to take advantage of Disney Genie +, you can take advantage of Single Rider lines.

During a ride, there will almost always be an opening in a row for one person. This is due to groups of people wanting to ride together. For example if a family of 3 gets in a 4 person row, naturally there's an empty slot.

magic kingdom single rider

This is where single rider lines come in handy. You can volunteer to ride by yourself in order to quickly ride your favorite lines.

The downside to this is you'll be riding with complete strangers, rather than your party. However, some people just want to ride the actual ride, and don't care who they ride it with.

6. Know the Can't Miss Rides

Some of the top Magic Kingdom rides include Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.

magic kingdom rides

These rides are so popular that it's almost a guarantee that they will have long lines at the park. You'll want to make sure that you ride these first (as early as possible), before they get very crowded throughout the day.

Haunted Mansion is a dark ride that allows riders to hop inside of 'Doom Buggies' and experience the walk-through in the vehicle through the Haunted Mansion full of ghosts!

Space Mountain is another dark but futuristic ride. It's a space-themed coaster, where through the majority of the ride, riders are flying through high speeds in the dark.

space mountain magic kingdom

Splash Mountain allows riders to hop inside of a log to begin the ride, and will float on the water as they are taken on an indoor and outdoor adventure including a massive drop.

7. Know About Rider Swap

Rider swap is perfect for those who have guests in their group who aren't tall enough to ride a ride.

Rather than splitting the group up and having to wait in line twice, you can use the Rider Swap program.

magic kingdom rider swap

This is how it works:

  1. The whole group gets in line
  2. Right before boarding, let the ride operator know that you'd like to use Rider Swap, and they'll hand you a pass
  3. One adult will wait with the kids on the other side of the ride (where riders head towards after done riding)
  4. The other adults will ride the ride
  5. When the first pair of adults ride the ride, they get off, and now its their turn to stay with the kids, and the adult who had waited can hop on the ride

8. Shop at the End of the Day

You'll want to save shopping for last, rather than shopping early in the day!

The shops are actually open a full hour past closing time, which will give you an additional hour of experiencing the park itself.

shopping magic kingdom

Also, you won't have to deal with carrying your shopping bags for the entire day if you were to shop in the morning.

9. Designated Drop-off Spots

If you're not driving to the park, and are getting dropped off whether through a ride sharing service or a friend, you'll want to know that there are designated drop-off spots.

uber ride sharing service

The farthest right two lanes at Magic Kingdom are the designated drop-off lanes. By using these, you'll avoid having to wait in line for those paying for parking in front of you.

If you miss the drop-off lanes, don't worry.

When you arrive at the kiosk (where everyone pays for parking), you'll tell the cast member that you're being dropped off and they'll advise you where to go next.

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