It’s a quiet morning. We’re sipping on our coffee,of course, it’s the French Press from Kona Cafe, enjoying an easy-going morning before heading to the parks. In the third part of our four series, we’re sharing our half-day plan for the Magic Kingdom. Noon is upon us, that means it’s time to head to the bus and go say hi to the birthday mouse! Looking fabulous for 90, Mickey!
Half-Day Park Ticket
In the middle of August, August 15th to be exact, Walt Disney World announced a new Mid-Day Magic park ticket. When the clock strikes noon, guests can go to any of the four parks for a lower price than full-day tickets. It’s a great option if you’re more of a night owl or looking for laidback mornings. We dive into all the details in our Epcot Half-Day plan article.
Passholder Insights: The Mid-Day Magic ticket does include FastPass with guests able to make selections 60 days out if you’re staying at Disney Resorts and Good Neighbor Resort or 30 days out for non-Disney Resorts through My Disney Experience.
Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise?
We’re ready for adventure! Our half-day plan for the Magic Kingdom kicks off heading left towards Adventureland and two all-time Disney classics, Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. You can’t say you’ve been to the Magic Kingdom if you don’t take a ride on these attractions. We usually look at the My Disney Experience app along the way, and head to whichever attraction has the shortest wait, then circle back the other afterward.
An alternative to taking a hard left is to take a slight left towards Liberty Square and the Haunted Mansion. You have to say hello to the 999 Happy Haunts at some point. A DVC Duo Magic Kingdom favorite the Haunted Mansion is a fantastic way to begin your half-day for the Magic Kingdom.
Passholder Insights: Every time we roll through Adventureland we like to partake in one of many snack options, from a Dole Whip to the Spring Roll, you can’t wrong with either. It’s a great treat while waiting in line.
Lace-up those hiking boots! From here a lot will depend on which FastPass strategy you’re following. In the case of our half-day plan for the Magic Kingdom we’re deploying our mountain climber strategy, and heading over to Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain to begin our trek. There’s no better way to beat the heat than ride on Splash Mountain. Wrapping up our summits with Space Mountain in Tomorrowland.
With both attractions next to each other, we try to book our FastPass as back to back, as it saves time going back and forth in the park. We like to catch the tail end of the first FastPass time block then head directly over to the second!
Passholder Insights: Recently the fourth row on Splash Mountain is no longer the dryest. Disney Imagineering has added water cannons that more than likely will get you wet.
Or should we say snack time! The Magic Kingdom is slowly becoming the snack park at Disney. Filled with tons of delicious snacks, on our half-day plan at the Magic Kingdom we’re skipping our usual late lunch to grab a snack and take in the Festival of Fantasy parade. One of the best savory snacks to share is at Sleepy Hollow refreshments and it’s the chicken and waffles. Located in Liberty Square near the castle, it’s everything you dream of, and more! Afterward, it’s only a hop, skip, and jump up to Storybook treats for the Peter Pan Float. Not only is it Instagram worthy, but it’s also the perfect refreshing treat for a warm Florida afternoon.
An alternative is to grab a quick bite at one of our two favorite quick-serve locations at Magic Kingdom, Tortuga Tavern or Be Our Guest. It’s recommended to have an Advance Dining Reservation for Be Our Guest, however, you could also try the DVC Duo strategy of walking towards the end of service to see if they can fit you in. It works more often than you may think.
Passholder Insights: If Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is your choice, make sure to look up along the way as you may catch Great Moments in American History starring the Muppets.
Dark Ride Time
Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland has tons of great Disney dark rides. From Peter Pan to Winnie the Pooh, and recently added Little Mermaid, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices. Then, of course, there’s the all-time classic in Small World. For us, we usually end up mixing and matching depending on which attractions have the shortest waits.
A strategy we like to deploy on our half-day plan for the Magic Kingdom is to use our FastPass selections as early in the day as possible. For there we can take advantage of the fourth FastPass and will look to selection a Fantasyland attraction or two.
Passholder Insights: For Seven Dwarfs Mine Train we recommend holding off until the end of the day to ride if you’re not able to snag a FastPass. Stepping in line at day’s end will usually have the shortest wait time.
Finishing With a Bang!
Wrapping our half-day plan for the Magic Kingdom is an enjoyable meal and the best nighttime spectacular at Walt Disney World. For us, the best restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen in Adventureland. If we’re going to sit down for a meal in the park, this is where you’ll find us.
An alternative is to head over to Pecos Bill’s for build your own tacos. The hearty platter of three tacos is just what you need after a fun-filled day exploring the Magic Kingdom. No matter which direction you choose, we would recommend making time to watch Happily Ever After. No spoilers here, just let us know what you think after you watch it.
Passholder Insights: On most nights after Happily Ever Ends you should have a few minutes to make your way to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for one last ride.
There’s a ton to see and do at the Magic Kingdom. The biggest thing to remember is to pick one or two things that are must-experience attractions and let the rest fall into place. If you’re able to prioritize those two things you’ll have a fantastic day in the house of the mouse. Remember to use the fourth FastPass selections to your advantage. Make sure to save us a seat for Happily Ever After!