Walt Disney World Magical Kingdom
Welcome to Theme Park of the Week, where every Sunday we highlight one of the best theme parks in the world. This week we start with the most visited park in the world – the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World.
The Magic Kingdom opened its doors to guests on October 1, 1971, with an official dedication on October 25 of the same year. The first of what are now four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, the Magic Kingdom is still called “Disney World” by many of its visitors. Or, by some, just “Disney”.
Visiting Disney has become a rite of passage for many families in the United States and around the world. As such, people tend to come here for the whole package more than to experience specific attractions. Still, readers of Theme Park Insider voted Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square park as the top Magic Kingdom attraction last year, followed by Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain indoor roller coaster and the one-day-to-be-renamed Splash Mountain waterslide in Frontierland.
Haunted Mansion is home to “999 haunts,” but there’s always room for 1,000.
For the rest of our top 10 park attractions, please see our guide to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
This page includes our tips for when to visit Walt Disney World as well as our strategy for planning a visit to the parks. If you have any suggestions for additions or changes to these tips, please let us know in the comments below.
As the most visited theme park in the world, there really isn’t an “off season” anymore for visitors hoping for small crowds. But you can minimize your wait times inside the park by choosing to visit on weekdays during the school year, avoiding holiday weeks and runDisney weekends. Mid-August is good for relatively smaller crowds, but it’s prime hurricane season in Florida. You can usually find better weather between the end of Presidents Day week in late February and the start of Spring Break in March.
Like all Walt Disney World theme parks, Magic Kingdom requires advance reservations to visit. If you wish to eat at a table-service restaurant, such as our Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen, Be Our Guest, or Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle, you will need to make reservations through the Disney website 60 days to advance, around 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time.
The big question you’ll need to answer when you visit is whether you should buy one of Disney’s new paid line-skipping services. You can read more about them in our articles, How to Use Disney Genie Plus and How to Use Disney’s Individual Lightning Lane.
Guests at the on-site Walt Disney World hotel enter all four parks 30 minutes earlier each day, so there’s no longer a way to “drop” the park into an empty queue if you’re not staying. not in a Disney hotel. But you can always plan your way around the park to minimize your wait times. Look at the free Disney Genie tool in Disney’s official My Disney Experience app before your visit to get an idea of park wait times. Please share your favorite Magic Kingdom route strategy with us in the comments.
Magic Kingdom is bringing back some of its popular entertainment later this year, including the daily Festival of Fantasy parade. So no matter where you go in the park or when you visit it, you’re likely to find something delightful to entertain you and your family. That’s why Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has become a beloved vacation destination for so many fans around the world.
To learn more, please see our guide to the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World.
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And to read Robert’s stories of his work as a cast member in the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World, please pick up a copy of his book, Stories from a Theme Park Insider.