Quite a lot has changed at the Magic Kingdom in recent years. Many Magic Kingdom planning tips and tricks are no longer valid and will never be again. FastPass+ may have gone, but there is new essential knowledge you need to master to get ahead of the crowd. We have completely refreshed our Top Magic Kingdom Hacks with all the latest information for 2023. If you follow these Magic Kingdom Tips, you will have a fantastic time at the “World’s Most Magical Place.”
Remember, not everything is the same at the Magic Kingdom
If you have previously visited the Magic Kingdom pre-2020, you will find a very different experience. It is still an enjoyable experience, but many things have changed. Following the reopening of Walt Disney World, some significant changes meant many of our traditional Walt Disney World tips, hacks & tricks were no longer valid.
Over the last few years, some suspended services returned to the Magic Kingdom, but others have been canceled forever. In addition, many new services have been introduced, including Disney Genie+, Disney Park Pass, and Early Morning Magic.
Don’t attempt to do it all in one day.
The Magic Kingdom is a massive theme park with lots of attractions. Attempting it all in one day will probably lead to failure, tiredness & grumpy kids. List your must-do attractions if your vacation only allows for one day at the Magic Kingdom.
Create a Magic Kingdom Plan
When Magic Kingdom reopened, removing FastPass+ and Park Hopping meant little planning was needed. However, as crowds have increased, Disney has introduced additional services, meaning detailed planning is essential again.
Magic Kingdom planning has become a serious business again! This is, after all, the world’s busiest theme park. In 2023 guests must consider DisneyGenie+, Individual Lightning Lanes, Virtual Queues, Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours, and Disney Park Pass.
Our Free Walt Disney World Planners are a great resource to help create a perfect Walt Disney World Vacation Plan.
Book a Disney Park Pass
Your Disney Park Pass is the critical booking you must obtain as soon as you get your Magic Kingdom ticket. To access a park, pre-book a reservation online through the Disney Park Pass System. Availability is generally good, even on the day, but they run out at the Magic Kingdom in peak periods.
To access the Magic Kingdom, guests must present their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry.
Remember, to dine in the Magic Kingdom, you must also have a Disney Park Pass.
If you are planning to Park Hop, guests will still need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for their first park each day, and they must enter this park before trying to enter another. Guests can then enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours.
Park Hopping Hours are subject to change but have been operating from 2 pm to close at all parks.
Only pack essentials in your park bag
What are the things you must take into the park? Remember, you will be carrying your bag all day.
List what you need, e.g., a camera, autograph book, poncho. Pack your bag the night before and check it before you leave in the morning. We have created an updated guide to what you should include in your Walt Disney World park bag.
Make sure the kids are tall enough to ride.
Before planning, attractions ensure everyone who wants to is big enough to ride. Disney enforces height limits rigidly. If the kids are not big enough to ride, ensure they know beforehand. The following attractions at the Magic Kingdom have height restrictions:
- Tomorrowland Speedway 32″ of 54″ to drive
- The Barnstormer 35″
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 38″
- Big Thunder Mountain 40″
- Splash Mountain 40″
- Space Mountain 44″
- TRON Lightcycle 48″
However, if the kids are too small, it does not mean older children and adults can’t ride. Visit our Guide to Rider Switch for more information.
Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential when visiting Walt Disney World. Don’t even consider entering the Magic Kingdom in 2023 without access to Wi-Fi.
Having access to WiFi allows you to access My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World that allows guests to plan their vacations. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make Disney Genie, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Order in advance food at select Quick Service Locations. Mobile Ordering is a great time saver.
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and essential information via the app.
- Check on all the latest resort changes, including any closed attractions.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile devices before entering parks. Also, they recommend having location services and notifications enabled.
Get to the Magic Kindom early & stay late.
Get there for the park opening. Lines will be quieter for the first few hours each day. You will also find the last hour is usually quieter.
Take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.
Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours are a great benefit for guests staying onsite, plus both are available at the Magic Kingdom.
Early Theme Park Entry started in 2021 and replaced Extra Magic Hours. All Walt Disney World Resort guests, and other select hotels, can gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park each day. However, you will need a Disney Park Pass.
Extended Evening Hours are only available for guests staying at Deluxe Resorts. Guests staying at one of these resorts can enjoy extended evening hours in the Magic Kingdom on select nights. A valid Disney Park Pass is also essential for guests taking advantage of Extended Evening Hours. However, guests may visit with a Park Hopper option as long as the park where they made their reservation has been visited earlier in the day.
Extended evening hours are typically held at Magic Kingdom park on Wednesdays and EPCOT on Mondays. Try and complete some of the resort’s most popular attractions during these periods.
Consider carefully whether to buy Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes.
Disney Genie+ is the paid replacement for FastPass+, but it isn’t cheap, costing up to $29 a day per person. Purchasing Disney Genie+ allows you to book reservations for the Lightning Lane at select attractions in the Magic Kingdom. The Lightning lane will enable you to join a shorter line than the regular standby line.
If you are on a short vacation, you might wish to purchase it every day, but it probably isn’t necessary for more extended vacations. Many attractions included with Disney Genie+ do not have long waits, and Lightning Lane isn’t required.
Some of the most popular attractions at the Magic Kingdom are unavailable on Disney Genie+. An individual fee of up to $25 is required to access the lightning lane for these attractions.
The list of rides has changed several times since the introduction of Individual Lightning Lanes, but the current attractions in the Magic Kingdom are:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- TRON Lightcycle Run (starting April 4, 2023)
Visit our guide to learn more about Individual Lightning Lanes.
Use the Virtual Line
For TRON Lightcycle / Run, there will be no standby line, and guests must reserve their place using a Virtual Line via My Disney Experience.
Guests must have valid admission and a theme park reservation to join the virtual queue. There will be 2 daily opportunities to request to join the virtual queue for TRON Lightcycle / Run:
- 7:00 AM (Guests do not need to be in the park when they join, but must have a theme park reservation for Magic Kingdom park)
- 1:00 PM (Guests must be in Magic Kingdom park to join the virtual queue)
An additional opportunity to request to join the virtual queue will be available at 6:00 PM during extended evening theme park hours.
You will be notified on the phone when it is your turn to board. Unfortunately, a Virtual Line reservation does not guarantee you can board.
Be prepared for every type of weather.
Sunscreen, a hat, and a poncho might all be needed at the Magic Kingdom any day. Have a plan for what to do if the
Read our guide to Orlando Weather for more tips & tricks.
Plan Meal and Drink Breaks
The heat in Orlando, especially in summer, can be very hard going. Dehydration and sunstroke are easy to acquire but easy to prevent. Carry water and drink regularly. There are plenty of free water points at all parks.
Don’t skip meal breaks; a 40-minute break in an air-conditioned restaurant can reinvigorate the whole family.
Book dining reservations in advance & use mobile ordering
A new 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window applies, and you can book via My Disney Experience. Make sure your reservations are made as soon as possible. While standby lists can exist, there are no guarantees you will get a reservation on the day.
I used to think Mobile Ordering was pointless, but I was wrong! In fact, it is perhaps the greatest time-saver at Walt Disney World; order your food in advance at quick-service restaurants. Ordering is simple through the My Disney Experience app.
Consider skipping some attractions.
If time is limited, you may need to skip the odd attraction; you can’t expect to do everything in one day. We have created a list of 5 attractions we would consider skipping at the Magic Kingdom.
Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year. Check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Do you have any Top Magic Kingdom Hacks? Why not leave a comment below?
To learn more about Walt Disney World, visit our 2023 Guide to Walt Disney World.