How to strategize to get the most out of Magic Kingdom in One Day! From which rides to go on first to the food you can't miss out on.
Let me just start this post out by saying that my first Disney World experience was nothing short of amazing. I didn't really know what I was in for but the day truly felt like a fairytale, even with the Florida heat and humidity.
Zack and I went on a week-long vacation to Universal Orlando last month. We wanted to explore all 3 parks, Universal Studios, Universal's Island of Adventure, and Volcano Bay, and not have to run through the parks and sacrifice the magic each. Since we bought the park explorer pass, we were able to bounce back and forth between parks each day. On Thursday we decided that we had fully gotten the Universal experience and we should look into visiting Disney World for one day before we left early Saturday morning. Zack and I decided on the Magic Kingdom and that we would have to come back for another trip to visit the other parks.
We woke up EARLY on Friday morning to catch an Uber from our Universal hotel to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The park opened at 8 am and closed at 6 pm, and we were determined to spend every second we could there. Zack texted his co-worker who frequents the park to find out which rides we should do first so we don't waste a ton of time in lines. With our list of first rides, we headed into the park–but not before taking tons of selfies in front of Cinderella's Castle and getting our First Visit buttons! While waiting in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train line, we discovered the Disney app that lets you know wait times, etc. That's a game changer, so make sure to download the app before arriving.
We were able to ride every single ride with a few exceptions due to closures or not being children or parents! Zack even insisted we watch the parade pass Main Street USA. I can't believe I almost let us skip that!
To give you an idea of our day in the park, we started with the Mine Train, then Peter Pan's Flight, onto "it's a small world" and Mickey's PhilharMagic. All those rides are near each other and the PhilharMagic indoor/air-conditioned show was a perfect and fun break.
Before the parade and lunch, we hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates, and Jungle Cruise. Thankfully, we packed snacks so we were able to munch on those as we waited in lines. Before we ate lunch, we found a spot in front of the castle to watch the parade pass. Then made a beeline for food.
After lunch, we rode Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party (teacups), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Journey of The Little Mermaid. We ended the day with Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and a ride on the PeopleMover.
Let's talk about food.
I knew Disney served vegan and allergy-friendly food, what I didn't know about was how accommodating the cast members and managers truly are. Plus how amazing the food really is. I went in knowing I needed to try the Mickey Ears Pretzel and Dole Whip but other than that, I was kind of winging it.
We ended up having lunch at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. The service was out of this world! No, seriously. Our cast member flagged a manager down and he came out to talk us through the allergy-friendly menu. I ordered the Chicken Breast Nuggets with Fries and Zack got the Barbecued Pork Sandwich with Fries. The manager told us to find a seat and he would bring our food out to us. In addition to that, he gave us Enjoy Life's Chocolate Chip Cookies PLUS frozen lemonades. Now, that's service!! The food was spectacular and I could honestly talk about that amazing experience for hours.
We ended up not getting Dole Whip since we only saw it on the menu at one place on the other side of the park – Zack and I both agreed it was okay since we got to taste it at the Dole Plantation in Oahu during our honeymoon. We did, however, track down the Mickey Pretzels! Our last moments in the park were spent sharing the soft pretzel as the sunset and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party kicked off.
If you only have one day to explore Magic Kingdom, you can definitely do it!! Download the app to help determine line wait times and go in with a plan – but be flexible.
Zack and I both loved the mostly covered lines at Disney World compared to so many uncovered at Universal. Everything just seemed so efficient and easy at Disney.
I can't wait to go back and visit the other parks! All that to say, I loved Disney but I also loved Universal.
Have you been to Disney World's Magic Kingdom? What's your favorite ride or magical experience?