36 Things To Do at Magic Kingdom, an Insider’s Guide

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We made a quick trip down to St. Pete earlier this year. Disney wasn’t on the itinerary.

While planning the trip, I got on the My Disney Experience app and started tracking wait times, flirting with grabbing an extra day to get a quick Walt Disney fix.

I wanted just enough to hit some popular attractions and hold us over until next time.

Ultimately, I couldn’t work it out. But anytime we get close to Orlando, I will see what we can do. 


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Is Magic Kingdom worth it for one day? 

In the past, I’ve gone to the Magic Kingdom for just half a day, so absolutely, it’s worth it for a single day. At least, I think it is financially. 

But it also depends. Would I drive 10 hours to Orlando for one day in the park? Maybe not. However, we’ve done a single park day while on our way to someplace else before and it was great.

So, I think it’s worth it for a single day. 

How much time do you need in Magic Kingdom?

I think two days is ideal. There is a lot for guests to pack into a single day. 

My ideal Disney vacation itinerary is at least five park days. I like to have two for the Magic Kingdom and one each for the other three parks. When doing six or seven days, I usually add a second Hollywood Studios day.

I have done three Magic Kingdom days and one each in EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, but that was prior to the major popular ride additions to those two parks. 

I think Magic Kingdom remains the original and best of the Walt Disney World Resorts. 

Read Also: 15 Best Magic Kingdom Snacks: What You Should Try, Ranked

What should you not miss in Magic Kingdom?

There are a lot of things to do in the Magic Kingdom. For organizational purposes, we’re gonna break it down by section of the park. I’ll rank the top “can’t miss” experiences and identify something you can skip.

Editor’s Note: We’ve also made a printable version of this list available here.


peoplemover in tomorrowland view
The PeopleMover offers a relaxing ride with good views (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

1. PeopleMover

Rating: Must do

There’s not a lot to this ride. It takes you up and around the park.

But it’s relaxing, has great views and offers a good chance to rest and soak up some ambiance. Also, it usually has short wait times. 

Buzz Lightyear Magic Kingdom Ride
Buzz Lightyear is an interactive omnimover ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Rating: Must do

This omnimover dark ride allows you to hit various targets as you go. It’s a simple, fun ride.

Exterior View Space Mountain Magic Kingdom
Space Mountain is an iconic, indoor roller coaster in the Magic Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Space Mountain

Rating: Must do

Space Mountain is among the most iconic roller coasters in the world. It’s also a good candidate for the Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane.

But for full disclosure, this is not my favorite ride. I skip it now. But if you’ve never ridden it, you should do it at least once.

A Young Woman Tries Out the Tron Lightcycle Car
TRON Lightcycle is a lot of fun and also offers a virtual queue (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. TRON Lightcycle Run

Rating: Must do

This coaster is worth the Individual Lightning Lane. It’s also available via a Virtual Queue. You will need one or the other to ride it at the time of this writing, and be sure to book your spot as early as possible.

The semi-enclosed launch steel motorbike roller coaster is one of the best thrill rides in the park.

Read Also: TRON Magic Kingdom: What I Wish I Knew Before I Rode [2023]

5. Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor

Rating: Skippable

This isn’t a bad show. If you have a couple of days in the park, it can be worth your time. Otherwise, you’ve got too many other important things to do.

animatronic at carousel of progress
The Carousel of Progress is a theater featuring animatronics (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

6. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Rating: Skippable

This experience might be a classic for some. But I’d rather ride the PeopleMover again, instead.


Mad Tea Party Ride Magic Kingdom
The Mad Tea Party is perfect for families (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

7. Mad Tea Party

Rating: Must do

This ride has short wait times. It’s a basic flat ride, but an iconic Disney classic with short wait times.

peter pan flight entrance with wait time sign that says 95 minutes
Peter Pan’s Flight is a good candidate for a Lightning Lane (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

8. Peter Pan’s Flight

Rating: Must do

This is another one of the real Disney classics.

Usually, the wait times are awful. It’s a great candidate for Lightning Lane, but you will miss the interactive queue. It’s nice, but not worth the extra hour of waiting.

Magic Kingdom's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Poo Entrance
The kids enjoy Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

9. Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Rating: Must do

On this slow ride, you get to visit the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh and friends. 

Ariel's Grotto in the Magic Kingdom
Meet Ariel at the Grotto in the Magic Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

10. Journey of the Little Mermaid and Ariel’s Grotto

Rating: Must do

This is a great ride to hit in the morning with very low wait times and an efficient queue. Afterward, walk over to the Grotto to meet the princess herself.

This is not a candidate for Lightning Lane, so use your precious lanes someplace else. 

inside its a small world in disney magic kingdom orlando
Small World is likely the most famous of iconic Disney rides (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

11. It’s a Small World

Rating: Must do

The iconic ride of rides. For some, it’s a grating earworm and I get it. But like Space Mountain, this MUST be done at least once.

seven dwarfs mine train
If pressed for time, guests could safely skip the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

12. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Rating: Skippable

This may be controversial.

There was a lot of hope for this ride when it was announced, and there are parts to like.

But the combination of lengthy wait times and an uncomfortable ride vehicle move this to the skippable pile for me. If you must, try to get the Lightning Lane.

mickey's philharmagic
While we do not recommend wasting your precious vacation time on Mickey’s Philharmagic, it is a lovely air-conditioned reprieve on a hot Florida day (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

13. Mickey’s Philharmagic

Rating: Skippable

Are you amazed by 3D technology? If not, skip it. It is a nice place to get some air conditioning and a comfortable seat if you need a rest. 

Storybook Circus 

This area is technically part of Fantasyland, but the Storybook Circus deserves its own entry. 

petes silly sideshow
Pete’s Silly Sideshow is a little known character meet and greet spot in Magic Kingdom (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

14. Pete’s Silly Sideshow

Rating: Must do

This is a great place to meet Disney icons Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Minnie. 

The Barnstormer Magic Kingdom
Barnstormer is an entertaining kids’ coaster (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

15. Goofy Barnstormer

Rating: Must do

Barnstormer is a surprisingly entertaining kids’ coaster. 

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride Magic Kingdom
The little ones will enjoy the Dumbo ride and also the play area (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

16. Dumbo Flying Elephant

Rating: Must do

This refurbished classic has an excellent ride queue with a play area to help keep kids entertained.


Jungle Cruise Entrance Magic Kingdom
The Jungle Cruise typically has long queues (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

17. Jungle Cruise

Rating: Must do

Jungle Cruise has a massively long wait and the cruise captains tell dad jokes.

This is a skip for me on most days, but if you’ve never ridden, you should. 

The Enchanted Tiki Room Entrance Magic Kingdom
Animatronic birds telling dad jokes await guests in the Tiki Room (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

18. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

Rating: Must do

Animatronic birds telling dad jokes and singing? I’m in. 

Pirates of the Caribbean Signage
Don’t miss the Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

19. Pirates of the Caribbean

Rating: Must do

Adventure is out there. This ride is an absolute must. It’s stepping back into vacation history. Plus, it offers good air conditioning.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Topped With Dole Whip
Treat yourself to a pineapple upside-down dole whip at Aloha Isle (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

20. Dole Whip at Aloha Isle

Rating: Must do

It’s dessert heaven. Dole Whip is a moral imperative. The hamburger spring rolls in the cart at the entrance to Adventureland also earn an honorable mention. 

The Swiss Family Treehouse entrance
The Swiss Family Treehouse may not hold a great deal of significance for younger guests (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

21. Swiss Family Treehouse

Rating: Skippable

I grew up watching the Disney live-action classics like “Swiss Family Robinson” and have shared the movie with each of my kids as they’ve grown up.

But unless your family is familiar with the movie, I have no reason why you’d want to climb this treehouse to see vignettes of the film.

Still, it’s important to me personally so I hope Disney keeps it. But man, I can’t imagine it having much pull a decade or so from now. 

Aladdins Magic Carpet Ride Magic Kingdom
Magic Carpets is similar to other common theme park rides across the country (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

22. Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Rating: Skippable

I like this ride. We ride it every trip, often multiple times. But it’s the same as Dumbo, or the TriceraTop Spin in Animal Kingdom or many other similar rides in theme parks across the country.

The queue is squeezed in and uncomfortable. Unless you have a favorable wait time, I say skip it. 

Liberty Square 

a lobster roll
Columbia House serves lobster rolls to go inside Magic Kingdom (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

23. Lobster rolls from Columbia Harbor House

Rating: Must do

My wife and I wanted lobster rolls. The kids wanted pizza and nuggets. We got the lobster rolls to go and let the kids order from Pinocchio’s at Fantasyland.

While I sat outside waiting for them, holding the rolls, I had at least four people come up and ask where we’d got them. I was the most popular non-princess in Disney. 

Liberty Tree Tavern Exterior
Liberty Tree Tavern offers a delicious and satisfying meal (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

24. Liberty Tree Tavern

Rating: Must do

We spent years walking past this stately colonial-style inn serving traditional New England-inspired fare before we finally tried it. We immediately regretted not doing it sooner.

They offer roasted turkey, pot roast and over-roasted pork. It is all you care to eat, so maybe factor in the day’s heat and give yourself a little time to digest. 

haunted mansion
The Haunted Mansion can be scary for the younger kids, but the technology is still great (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

25. Haunted Mansion

Rating: Must do

This is not the scariest of rides, but it can freak out the youngsters.

I marvel at the achievements of the Imagineers who designed this ride – which is still great – without the technological wonders of today. 

Liberty Square Riverboat Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square Riverboat (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

26. Liberty Square Riverboat

Rating: Skippable

Can I make a confession? My wife and kids have never been on the riverboat. I rode it as a kid.

We didn’t work it in on our first trip with our oldest. We just never got to it.

Every Disney vacation since we’ve said we MUST ride the riverboat this time and yet here we are. It inevitably gets skipped for us.

lincoln animatrnic at the hall of presidents
The Hall of Presidents has historic animatronic figures (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

27. The Hall of Presidents

Rating: Skippable

This experience features awkward animatronics lecturing about patriotism.

I can live with it. But these days, you run the risk of someone in the crowd who wants to make a political statement. No, thank you. 


Country Bear Jamboree Magic Kingdom
Cheesy animatronic critters are the stars of the Country Bear Jamboree (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

28. Country Bear Jamboree

Rating: Must do

This experience has incredibly cheesy animatronic bears playing Southern stereotypes and old country music.

I considered putting this in the skip category, due to my complicated relationship with the attraction.

Read Also: 22 Best Magic Kingdom Rides for Toddlers, Ranked

thunder mountain railroad ride
This train coaster is one of the best rides in Frontierland (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

29. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Rating: Must do

With Splash Mountain undergoing renovations to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, this train roller coaster is the top dog in Frontierland. 

tom sawyer island at disney
Guests can travel by log raft to a hideaway at this attraction (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

30. Tom Sawyer Island

Rating: Skippable

Visitors board a log raft and take a self-guided tour of the island inspired by stories from Mark Twain.

The kids have enjoyed playing around on the island when we’ve gone, but I just think there are better experiences out there. 

Main Street 

'Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade' features Belle in front of Cinderella castle
Belle waves to guests during the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom (media photo by Courtney Kiefer/Disney)

31. Festival of Fantasy Parade

Rating: Must do

Some of our most lasting Disney memories have been built watching our little ones have their minds blown by the A-list characters marching, dancing and waving just feet away.

Disney does parades exceptionally well.

Hot Dog Plain from Casey's Corner
Casey’s is about tradition and good hot dogs (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

32. Casey’s Corner

Rating: Must do

I’m a baseball guy. I memorized “Casey at the Bat” when I was in second grade, and I love good hot dogs. This is a Gullion family tradition that I want to share with all my friends. 

Meet Mickey Poster at Disney World
Meeting Mickey Mouse is a big part of the Magic Kingdom trip (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

33. Meet Mickey Mouse

Rating: Must do

A big part of planning your day at Disney is when you get to meet the mouse.

Maybe you’ve planned some character dining, but if not, get to the Town Square Theater. Keep an eye on wait times. Usually, you can catch some good opportunities throughout the day. 

Fireworks Behind Cinderella's Castle
The evening fireworks at Cinderella’s Castle are worth waiting for (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

34. Fireworks at Cinderella’s Castle

Rating: Must do

Disney has built a must-see fireworks experience into the end of its park day. It’s touching, emotional and amazing. If we were ranking all the musts, this would be the top one.

city hall and the chamber of commerce
City Hall isn’t necessarily one of the more exciting sections of the park (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

35. City Hall, Chamber of Commerce and the Engine Company

Rating: Skippable  

I don’t really want to go to those places when I’m home. I’m not sure why anyone would want to spend Disney time visiting City Hall. 

Cinderella's Castle Turrets
Cinderella’s Castle has some of the best character dining at the resort (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

36. Dine at the Cinderella Castle

Rating: Must do  

Get dining reservations to meet the princesses inside the castle. It’s the best character dining experience in the Walt Disney World Resort.

What is a must-do for you at the Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

Photo of author


John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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