We all make mistakes on vacation. Tackling the World’s largest theme park on vacation is no easy task. It is easy to make plenty of mistakes if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom. Thankfully most errors do not mean our vacation is ruined, but they can mean we do not enjoy our day as much as we should. These are our Top Magic Kingdom Mistakes you must avoid in 2023.
Not creating a plan for the Magic Kingdom.
You must plan what you intend to do in the Magic Kingdom. There is just too much to do at the Magic Kingdom to manage without a plan.
The planning process has changed quite a bit for the Magic Kingdom over the last few years. 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.
You attempt to do the Magic Kingdom in one day.
The Magic Kingdom is a massive theme park with lots of attractions
List your must-do attractions if your vacation only allows for one day at the Magic Kingdom.
Not booking a Disney Park Pass.
To visit Magic Kingdom, you must have a Disney Park Pass.
In 2023 you must obtain a Disney Park Pass as soon as you get your ticket. You must book a reservation online through the Disney Park Pass System to access your first park daily. If this means you intend to visit Magic Kingdom first, you must obtain a Park Pass.
To access 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. Now that is a mistake you will want to avoid!
Guests can access a second park, with the correct ticket, during Park Hopper Hours.
Thinking you have to purchase Disney Genie+
Disney Genie+ is the paid replacement for FastPass+, but it isn’t cheap. If you are on a short vacation, you might wish to purchase it every day, but it probably isn’t necessary if you plan to visit Magic Kingdom for several days.
Guests who purchase Disney Genie+ join a much shorter Lightning Lane entrance. Many attractions included with Disney Genie+ do not have long waits especially close to park closing time, and Lightning Lane isn’t required. However, due to the number of attractions at the Magic Kingdom, you will probably obtain more Genie+ reservations than in other parks.
If you decide to purchase Disney Genie+, you can book your first experience at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit. The most popular attractions quickly run out of slots; make sure you are ready for 7:00 AM to book your first attraction.
Thinking you have to pay extra for individual Lightning Lane Attractions
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
Both rides are must-do attractions, but you can always join the standby line or virtual queue. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a regular standby line that is often quieter towards the end of the day. TRON has a Virtual Line, which you can enter for free.
Being too late for the Virtual Line for TRON Lightcycle/Run
There is no standby line for TRON Lightcycle/Run.
Guests must have valid admission and a theme park reservation to join the virtual queue. There are two 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. Make sure you book early to get the best chance of riding.
You can’t access the park’s Wi-Fi.
Don’t even consider entering a Walt Disney World Park in 2023 without access to WiFi.
You must download the My Disney Experience App before accessing the Magic Kingdom. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make Disney Genie, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Join the Virtual Line for TRON
- Order in advance food at select Quick Service Locations
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and essential information via the app.
- Check on all the latest resort changes, including any closed attractions.
Know height requirements before you visit the Magic Kingdom
If the kids can’t ride Space Mountain, let them know in advance rather than getting turned away in a line. Disney does strictly enforce height restrictions. If the kids are too small, you can use a rider switch to allow the rest of the party to ride.
We have created guides to Rider Switch and Height Requirements at the Magic Kingdom, which contain further information.
You didn’t realize how much walking the kids had to do
Sure, they don’t need a stroller when you visit the local park, but many small children will walk more than back home. Be ready to hire a stroller for all under 5s and some older kids. Kids will get tired & grumpy at the Magic Kingdom.
Bringing too much into the Magic Kingdom.
Don’t bring too much as you will carry it all day.
Make a list of what you need, e.g. camera, autograph book, poncho. Make sure you don’t forget sunscreen & a good hat. Plus, you will need access to plenty of water.
Pack your bag the night before. Remember not to take too much as you carry it all day. We have created a guide to what we recommend putting in your park bag.
Not taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.
It is a mistake to miss these great benefits! Try and complete some of the resort’s most popular attractions during these periods.
Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours are for guests staying onsite, plus both are available at the Magic Kingdom.
Early Theme Park Entry is available for all Walt Disney World Resort guests and other select hotels. Guests can gain 30 minutes of early entry to any theme park daily. 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.
Not having a break.
Don’t underestimate how much there is to do in the Magic Kingdom. Plus, the Florida heat can be unforgiving. It is easy to burn out if you are not careful. Take your time & plan to have plenty of breaks.
Many guests will take a break during the mid-afternoon when the park is at its busiest and hottest.
One option is to consider returning to your hotel for a few hours. If you decide to stay in the parks, take plenty of time out & don’t skip meal breaks.
Not planning dining reservations in advance.
The Magic Kingdom does not have a huge selection of table service restaurants. Don’t expect to get a favorite dining location on the day. If standby reservations are available, you will often experience very lengthy waits.
A 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window applies, and you can book via My Disney Experience.
Spending too long in the shops.
“The park is now closed, but the shops are still open!”
Need a souvenir? Why waste ride time during the day?
The shops on Main Street USA stay open for 1 hour after the park advertised closing time.
Not staying for the night.
The Magic Kingdom is even more magical at night, plus there is unique
Often waits for the most popular attractions will be shorter later in the day, which is a great reason to stay late.
Not checking park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year. If you visit between late August & December, there will be Halloween or Christmas Parties in The Magic Kingdom on select dates. Parks will close early on these dates for guests without party tickets.
Make sure you check opening times before you visit. Click the link to get all the latest Walt Disney World Park Hours.
Visiting the Magic Kingdom on major holidays
The Magic Kingdom is at its busiest during summer and public holidays. The parks during these times are busy, very busy. Remember, this is the World’s most popular theme park.
However, you can still have a great time but be prepared for added crowds.
Read More Magic Kingdom Tips
Our Guide to the Magic Kingdom contains further information to help you get the most from your day.
If you want to learn more about Walt Disney World, visit our Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World
Les Brown says
Don’t carry water, food outlets will give you a cup of iced water free. Just ask. Saves you carrying bottled water that will quite quickly become warm. Cast members will advise you where the nearest location to get water.