As you can imagine, at this point, I am fairly long in the Disney tooth. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy Disney Parks since I was a kid, and now, it feels so familiar that I could do it all in my sleep. However, I wasn’t always very good at it. Each time my circumstances changed, my planning had to shift slightly. When I first brought my husband to Disney, our first visit was with one child and then two. I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way. Here are five of the mistakes that I have made in Magic Kingdom so that you don’t have to waste time making the same ones!
Not Getting Into the Park Early
While rope drop might seem chaotic, it’s actually just the best time to be there and get started on your day. As soon as it is time, that crowd of people will disperse throughout the park, leaving you to enjoy the quietest part of the day. This is the perfect time to head to your favorite attractions without the longer wait times that arise during the day. The single (only) time that I thought it would be nice to let the kids sleep in and get to the park later was a disaster. They seemed to tire out twice as fast, and the whole experience was hectic. Get in early and make the most of those days.
Getting Popcorn Buckets and Sippers Early in the Day
Ugh, I know this is a confusing one. The benefit of a popcorn bucket is the ability to refill them at a discounted price. As such, buying one earlier in the day feels like it makes the most financial sense. However, then comes the small issue of carrying it around all day. And friends, that becomes a nightmare. Getting on and off rollercoasters and roaming around the park is not conducive to carrying around any sort of bulky items short of storing them in a stroller. I’ve made the mistake of buying one of these early and then carrying it around like a third child for the day, only to wish I had never given in to that adorably shaped piece of plastic in the first place.
Not Bringing Another Layer at Night
Walt Disney World is known for being hot. We hear the stories all the time of sun exposure and dehydration; by the time you get that, you might be expecting a desert-like environment. However, when it comes to the later part of the year, it’s not unheard of for this location to get rather chilly at night time. I made the mistake of thinking that just because I was already sweating at 7 am meant that I would not need a warming layer when staying in the park until later that night. I was wrong. The Florida heat can turn its back on you at the least convenient time, leaving you shivering during the fireworks or wishing you didn’t have to buy that misshapen Spirit Jersey just to keep warm.
Assuming Magic Kingdom Is a Copy of Disneyland
When people picture Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park, it’s not uncommon to think that they are almost the same. While similar in the approach of the quintessential Disney characters and experience, the two parks need to be treated as differently as children, each with their own personality and strengths. Disneyland has a bit of everything and is able to incorporate more of that diversity into its space due to the lack of other parks around it. Magic Kingdom, on the other hand, has EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom to share the more appropriate theming, and as such, is able to focus a little more intently on what it does best: retelling our favorite stories. Magic Kingdom takes areas like Fantasyland to a new level, and not leaving enough time to enjoy this area of the park is an absolute mistake.
Rushing Down Main Street, U.S.A.
For some, Main Street, U.S.A., is simply a means to enter and exit the park, but this elongated shopping area holds so much more than a long walk back to the ferry. Rushing down this area and not taking in its beauty is a mistake you only make once. It is usually recognized as a mistake at the end of the evening when you desperately want to have a closer look at all the details, but the swarm of people being funneled to the exit won’t allow it. Grab an early spot for the parade and take turns wandering around so you can enjoy the environment while also filling in time and mining your perfect viewing spot.
Hopefully, you can avoid making some of these mistakes on your next trip to Magic Kingdom. What mistakes have you made that others should avoid?
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.