Last Updated on October 17, 2021
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions are the best, particularly for families traveling with young children and those who enjoy early bird specials at Steak ‘n Shake. The majority of the rides are slow moving with a lot of detail. Unlike at Universal Studios Florida, we end the day feeling just as nauseous as when we arrived, meaning not at all. For this reason alone, I choose to overlook the sweltering heat, crippling crowds, and exorbitant prices. Tolerating the not so great parts of the day is much easier when I know I have saved money and have a battle plan to take on the masses. Like the Battle of Winterfell. It won’t be far off.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Disney World sells base tickets that allow you to visit one park per day, and Park Hoppers you can use to bounce between parks. I personally think Park Hopper tickets are unnecessary because traveling between the parks is a major time suck. The parks at the Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort are walking distance. Not so at Disney World. Saddle up for some public transportation. I have never found it to be a good use of time, but someone traveling without a stroller and a ticking 8:00 p.m. time bomb may disagree.
Disney World ticket prices vary throughout the year. The prices are available on this calendar. Regardless of the day, tickets cost more than your child’s braces. I buy tickets directly from the Disney World website using discounted gift cards. If you are not in the mood to input and keep track of a bunch of Disney gift cards, tickets can be purchased at a discount on websites like Undercover Tourist.
Magic Kingdom Attractions FastPasses
Most Magic Kingdom attractions offer FastPasses. FastPasses are free to all visitors, which means the lines for FastPasses aren’t necessarily all that fast. They are, however, much better than the regular lines. You need theme park tickets or annual passes to book FastPasses.
You can book three FastPasses per person per day 60 days in advance if you stay at an on property hotel, and 30 days prior to your visit if you don’t. The ability to book FastPasses 30 days before everyone else is one of the biggest perks of staying on property. FastPasses for a lot of the most popular attractions go quickly. Everyone in your party does not need to pick the same attractions.
Guests staying club level at an on property hotel can buy three extra FastPasses for $50 per person per day with a three day minimum. It would cost our family of four $600 on top of the substantial added expense of staying club level. We’re going to go for that semester of college instead.
FastPasses have a return time with an hour window. The windows cannot overlap. After the windows have expired for all three FastPasses, you can reserve more from the app, one at a time, until no FastPasses are left for the day.
Priorities for FastPasses for Disney World’s Magic Kingdom attractions in no particular order:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Splash Mountain
- Jungle Cruise
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Space Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
We typically book the first FastPass a couple of hours after park opening to take advantage of smaller crowds in the morning. I try to make the last one end by the early afternoon. After the first three are gone, I get on the app while in line for the third attraction for which I just used a FastPass to try to find another one. This may sound antisocial, but it seems like the majority of people in line are doing the same thing. Riding more rides is way more important than spending quality time with your children. Obviously.
Some people walk into Magic Kingdom with no FastPasses or plan. These are the people who will probably not return. A plan will go a long way to ensure you have a pleasant experience, particularly when you are juggling kids.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions Touring Plans
Magic Kingdom brings out the Sean Penn in me. My patience for entitled, inconsiderate behavior is nonexistent. In an effort to encounter as few members of Honey Boo Boo’s family in a two hour line as possible, we try to stick to a touring plan.
Every good touring plan starts with an early arrival time. Magic Kingdom is at its most glorious first thing in the morning. You want to be up nice and early whether it leads to divorce or not. On our Disneyland vacation, I let the family sleep in. Big mistake. If at the end of the day, your kids do not look like this:
…you left some attractions on the table.
To make our itineraries, I use the free version of Touring Plans. This app allows you to input what you want to do and gives you an initial plan, but you can update the plan throughout the day if plans change.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions
Magic Kingdom has six sections with different themes. I prefer Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure for the actual theming within the parks, but Magic Kingdom’s attractions are better in both the rides themselves and their queues. In this post, I will cover attractions in my two favorite sections, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions in Fantasyland
“it’s a small world”
We love “it’s a small world” despite the weird lack of capitalization in its name and its subtly racist overtones. It is a classic attraction that has clearly not been updated. You take a slow, very long, boat ride through different sections that represent different parts of the world. I love the idea of teaching kids about different cultures. Everyone can ride this ride. The ride has air conditioning and is a great break from the weather. The line usually isn’t that long. There is a ton to see. I do not think some of the animatronics are politically correct today, but I assume they were when it was originally constructed. We appreciate the classic Disney feel and the length of the ride. We ride this multiple times, every time.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is a great attraction. During the ride, you fly in a slow moving boat. It gives the impression you are with Peter Pan. The animatronics are well done given their age. The whole family can ride. The ride itself is air conditioned, but the queue really isn’t and there isn’t much to see in it. The ride is also fairly short. The line builds early and stays long all day. While I really enjoy this ride, I am not sure why the line is consistently as long as it is. I would not wait for an extended period of time to ride this ride. This is a great attraction on which to use a FastPass.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a 3-D movie during which Mickey conducts an orchestra. Instruments fly around and Donald Duck gets mad. The movie is fun. It is nice and cool inside. There is never any wait beyond waiting for the next show. We always visit this attraction in the afternoon when it is hot and crowded.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a slow moving (but kind of jerky) ride through the Hundred-Acre Wood. It is a short ride with an acid trip vibe to it. It is not my favorite, but the kids, who have not yet resided in a college dorm, don’t know about acid and love it. The line seems to get long on this one and loads slowly. We usually hit this one first thing in the morning. To Disney’s credit, the queue has things with which kids can play while they wait. A line is a lot more tolerable when I don’t have to tell my children to get off the bars every ten seconds.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
No, that is not a typo. Carousel has two Rs. The internet tells me it is a French thing. I have no idea if that is accurate. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is like any other merry-go-round. It has white horses. Anything special about the theme of this ride is lost on my boys. We always ride, but it is not worth any kind of a wait whatsoever.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is another classic attraction. You fly around in a circle in Dumbo. There is nothing unique about the ride itself, but there is something about it being in Magic Kingdom that makes it fun. The line loads slowly on this one as well, but there is a play area for the kids. My younger son in particular loves this ride.
The Barnstormer is a kiddie roller coaster with a picture of Goofy. There is nothing exceptional about the ride or the queue. We always ride, but it is not worth a long wait unless you have a roller coaster junkie who is too short to make it onto other big rides.
Mad Tea Party
Mad Tea Party is an iconic ride with spinning teacups. The line is super short in the morning. It is like any other ride where the riders control how much the car spins, but like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, its location increases its appeal. I always help the kids spin by holding the wheel tightly and pretending the wheel must be really hard to turn. It isn’t 1992 anymore. Adults aren’t meant for the Gravitron.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
I have boys who DNGAF about Beauty and the Beast. The lack of interest in the movie, my disdain for theme park theater, and long wait times are the reasons we have yet to try this attraction. Apparently, Enchanted Tales with Belle is a play where select guests are chosen to participate. This is popular, so clearly people like it, but I can’t imagine it being that great if your kid isn’t picked.
Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid
Love, love, love, love, love Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid. You ride in a clam shell through the story of the Little Mermaid. It is a super cute attraction with air conditioning. I love the music. The colors are bright and fun. It reminds me of childhood sans the priest wood and cover with a phallic symbol. This is one of my favorites.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a roller coaster with some animatronics sprinkled in. My kid loves it. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. The second the rope drops in the morning, people run for this attraction faster than the people about to be gored by bulls in Pamplona. Don’t even bother joining the stampede. You’re not going to win the race if you have children with you. Get a FastPass if you are staying on property. If you’re not, you’re probably not getting a FastPass, because they will be gone. The line is regularly two hours, so allow for that when making your touring plan.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions in Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland Speedway is an attraction where kids drive cars. My kids steer while I operate the gas and brakes. There is a track to prevent the car from leaving the roadway and hitting cars to its sides, but it is not a smooth ride when you hit it. The line usually isn’t too bad, but you will be baking in the sun while you wait. Other than kids getting to drive cars for an extended period of time, this ride isn’t exciting. We often get FastPasses for this attraction after our first three are gone.
We love Space Mountain. It is an indoor roller coaster through space that is dark and fast. Every time we ride, I get paranoid my son has fallen out of the car. He never actually has, but logic doesn’t stop this idea from setting up shop in my head. You sit three to a car single file. When I try to reach in front of me to make sure he is still there, he swats my hand away like I would if someone tried to take the last piece of cheese. Space Mountain is another good choice for a FastPass, although I can usually get one after the first three are gone.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a show where you help Mike Wazowski collect laughter. It is pretty funny. Cameras zoom in on audience members to mock them. The line usually isn’t much longer than waiting for a show or two. It is a great attraction when it is hot and crowded.
Astro Orbiter is just some rockets that spin around in a circle like Dumbo the Flying Elephant. The only differences are that Astro Orbiter goes much faster and it is higher in the air so you have a nice view. To get onto the ride, you have to go up an elevator. The line moves like molasses and is located in the Mojave Desert. This is another good ride to hit first thing in the morning before the line builds. It is also a ride that may make you nauseous if you are sensitive to motion sickness. Since the ride is short, I am fine with it, but I definitely could not ride it all day without feeling the effects.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
We love Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. You sit in a car and take a smooth ride above Tomorrowland. The cars ride through buildings past Space Mountain and other attractions. The ride is a good length. It is always a walk on. We ride this several times every time we go.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Apparently Walt Disney knows how to spell “carousel” after all. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a show with a moving theater where you watch an animatronic family talk about different periods in history. It is slow and very outdated. However, it has air conditioning, there is never any wait and it is a great place to sit down for a few minutes. Also, the final scene is priceless. The “high tech” features are as dope as flannels and scrunchies.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is a Toy Story themed laser shooting attraction. It is slow moving, so everyone can ride. It is fun to shoot at the targets. There is a lot to see. We always enjoy this one, although it might not be obvious from the outside when one of my competitive children inevitably cries because his brother beat him. The line gets long here too, but I can usually get a FastPass in the evening after the first three are gone, sometimes multiple times.
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are the best. This is the worst kept secret of all time, as evidenced by the crowds. Book FastPasses and make a touring plan. Be flexible with your plan depending how crowds and lines shake out. You’ll need to look at the app regularly, but try not to obsess over it or you might miss listening to your kids complain about something. That would be a tragedy. Seriously though, try Magic Kingdom. You will not regret it.