Walt Disney World 4 Parks in 2 Days: 5 Hours of Magic Kingdom Bliss

Before we could begin our day, Justin and I had plans to meet up with his sister and her new husband for breakfast just outside of the Orlando area at a place called Keke's. Then, we dropped off our rental car and had the shuttle driver take us to the Contemporary Resort where we boarded the monorail for Magic Kingdom. It was my first time in the Contemporary Resort and my first time on the monorail, so the experience was a bit of a treat. :)

We finally arrived to the Magic Kingdom around 10am. The park was already crowded since it had opened as early as 8am! Our first stop – the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which put us right in the middle of FantasyLand. As we waited the hour+ to board our ride, Justin had me mark all of the rides I wanted to go on. This ended up working out to our advantage, because there was never a question of where we were going next or what we were doing. With a combination of the map as our guide and using the estimated line times that are listed in the Disney app, we were able to form a plan and work around that. We scheduled fast passes for the Haunted Mansion and Tomorrowland Speedway, neither of which were needed … and somehow managed to get in the fastpass line for It's A Small World without realizing it? Either way, it cut down on our wait time and we were on our boat within minutes.

Here are the rides I recommended to Justin:

AdventureLand –
+ Pirates of the Caribbean

FrontierLand –
+ Splash Mountain (which we ended up not doing)
+ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Liberty Square –
+ Haunted Mansion

FantasyLand –
+ It's A Small World
+ Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

TomorrowLand –
+ Tomorrowland Speedway
+ Space Mountain
+ Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
+ Carousel of Progress
+ Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (we ended up skipping)

Before we left the park, we ate a quick lunch at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café (in TomorrowLand), stopped by the Swiss Family Treehouse (in AdventureLand to get an overhead view of the Magic Kingdom), and checked out the end of the daily Christmas parade as we followed Mr. and Mrs. Mouse to the park exit.

There were definitely a few things we didn't get to do that I would recommend to future park visitors, especially families with children.

+ Be sure to check out the night time parade. The lights and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are amazing! And I hear they recently added snow to make "Cinderella's castle" into "Elsa's ice castle". When we were there, the park was hosting Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and we didn't want to pay the extra cost to see the fireworks that night. (Though staying late in the park with less crowds is always a perk!)
+ Be Our Guest in FantasyLand is a very well known and popular restaurant. If you plan to dine there, book asap before your trip to Disney World!
+ Mad Tea Party in FantasyLand is also a well-known ride. I've never been on for fear of getting sick.
+ If you can't get reservations for Be Our Guest, you might could try for Cinderella's Royal Table or the Crystal Palace. Cinderella's Royal Table (FantasyLand) offers a similar dining experience to Be Our Guest and provides the opportunity to meet Cinderella! The Crystal Palace (Main Street, USA) is another character dining experience within the park. Great fun for little ones!
+ Grab a Frozen Dole Whip (like the ones they sell in Hawaii!) from Aloha Isle in AdventureLand!
+ I hear the Princess Fairytale Hall is quite popular with young girls. If a meet and greet with Elsa is necessary, this is the place you should go.
+ For other characters, keep your eyes peeled! You never know when you might spot one out making the rounds! :)
+ There are also plenty of shows in the park that will appeal to children, none of which I can recommend since it's been so many years since I last saw one.

While it took my husband and I a good five hours to explore the park, it could easily take a family a few days to cover the same amount of territory. Do not be surprised to find rows and rows of stroller parking. And, of course, where there are strollers, there are angry, pushy parents who bite at your heels with their child's stroller pushing you along through the park, encouraging you to get out of their way. (Totally your choice. Many parents and children at Walt Disney World feel entitled, so you may have to fight for your space in line/right to walk/whatever. And the parent's will all use the excuse "But so-and-so is just a child…" Yeah, well why aren't you being a parent? Argh!)

Pro-Tip: Don't let pushy parents and kids spoil your time at Disney World. Choose your battles. And don't expect Disney Park employees to do anything.

Overall Justin and I had a great time exploring what I had deemed to be a "kid's park". The details that went in the design of the Magic Kingdom never ceases to amaze. Of course, neither do the crowds. ;)

A few more tips before you go:
+ If you want to see the Christmas parade (the one that airs "live" on tv on Christmas Day), be warned that it does not actually happen on Christmas Day. It occurs sometime in November. (I'm not sure how you would find out exactly when it will happen aside from being friendly with park staff.)
+ In the months from October to December, Magic Kingdom hosts a variety of parties, including Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Both events, when they occur, cost extra and mean that the park will close early to non-party-guests. (My guess is that they will scan your wristband after the park closes to the public before you are allowed to ride on rides to make sure you are one of the "allowed" people.) Check the web to see when these parties occur to make sure you aren't paying too much for a shortened day at Magic Kingdom. OR buy hopper passes so that you can visit another park when Magic Kingdom closes for the night.
+ The daytime parades and nighttime firework shows attract a lot of Disney visitors. If you want to see either, find a spot for watching at least an hour before start time. (The earlier the better!) If you aren't interested in seeing the parade/fireworks, make a beeline for the busiest rides, where you'll find shorter lines. This is how you can turn a two hour wait time for Pirates of the Caribbean into a 15 minute wait time!

If you've been to the Magic Kingdom, are there any tips I'm forgetting? If you haven't been, would you consider making your first visit during the holiday season?

See more of my #4Parks2Days series here:
• Part one: Animal Kingdom
• Part two: EPCOT

** Linking up to City Trippers Mummytravels.com and Wandermum.co.uk

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