I Rode Everything at Magic Kingdom Yesterday. Here’s How.
During the pandemic era, the parks have taken on a bit more randomness.
We recently visited on a Thursday and a Monday and experienced entirely different crowd levels.
Still, our traveling party stuck to a plan and then adapted as needed. So, we managed to ride everything at Magic Kingdom. Here’s what we did.
A Risky Approach
Before we start, we must address two aspects of a Magic Kingdom visit at the moment.
The first involves Rope Drop tactics. Disney sometimes opens its parks well ahead of the scheduled operating hours.
One day, we were standing in line 15 minutes before Magic Kingdom technically opened, and our ride was running.
On another day, we stood in the same line queue at the same time, but the ride didn’t start until the official park opening.
Cast members will tell guests when they’re not running the ride until the park opens, but it’s too late by then.
However, we noticed little difference in terms of wait-time either way.
I say this because we headed straight to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train both days.
During the delayed opening, cast members didn’t fill the front of the line queue.
So, we appeared further back in line, but we had fewer people in front of us. This occurred because nobody stood in the indoor part of the queue yet.
Ergo, I’ve switched my opinion on Rope Drop. I suggest that you arrive at the park as soon as possible and then head to the attraction with the longest wait.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the parks are emptiest at the start of the day until about 11:30 a.m. and then the last two hours.
You’ll be shocked at how much you can do during this timeframe.
My group knocked out Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and went across the street to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Tomorrowland by 9:30!
Then, we traveled to Tomorrowland to knock out Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Astro Orbiter.
We had all these attractions done by 11. At this point, we faced a decision about Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, which takes about 30 minutes to complete.
We didn’t want to backtrack. So, we went ahead and rode it then. A few minutes later, we were back in Fantasyland for The Barnstormer.
Now, you may not be as lucky here. Carousel of Progress goes down a lot, as does Space Mountain. And Astro Orbiter’s wait-times are mercurial.
At 10 a.m., all these rides should have waits of 20 minutes or less…but you never know for sure. On a different date, we had much worse wait-time luck.
Similarly, Space Mountain varies dramatically, depending on the day. You must choose how committed you are to riding everything.
You may feel satisfied to ride most of Magic Kingdom’s best attractions, some of them multiple times. And that’s fine, too!
For us, we couldn’t believe our good fortune and wanted to sustain momentum.
So, we knocked out two of the rides with walk-on lines, The Barnstormer and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
After The Barnstormer, we rode Mad Tea Party, which we wanted to do before eating.
Then, we headed to Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Believe it or not, this ride can have a 30-minute wait. We were lucky this day and got in quickly.
Afterward, we had our choice of It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, or lunch.
We’d done a lot by this point and decided we needed refueling. So, we ate a quick Mobile Ordering meal and then returned.
This was another dangerous approach, as Peter Pan’s Flight can double in wait-time in the afternoons.
We were fortunate again, as it remained steady at 25 minutes, which brings me to another important point.
During our most recent visits, the posted wait-times for Disney attractions were almost always high, sometimes significantly so.
Park officials cannot employ their standard barometers to measure lines. So, they’re guessing more than usual.
Cast members must also allow for the ride wipe-downs that occur every two hours.
Nobody in line moves during these cleaning phases. That can blur the timing, too. Trust your own instincts and judgment more than the app!
After we finished Peter Pan’s Flight, we headed to It’s a Small World, which amusingly came with a longer wait.
The lack of FastPasses has really helped Peter Pan’s Flight. We virtually walked on the ride multiple times.
With those two rides knocked out, it wasn’t even 3 p.m., and we had done almost everything at the park.
All we needed by then was the stuff at Adventureland, Frontierland, and a couple of stragglers.
So, we followed the linear path and went to Haunted Mansion first. By this point, wait-times had maxed, causing us to wait 35 minutes.
We also watched a pair of women walk the wrong way before the Stretching Room.
They went up a pair of stairs by the tombstones and were never seen again. I’m mentioning this because A) it was funny and B) it’s a quick way to get banned from the park.
Anyway, once Haunted Mansion had ended, we took the long path to Frontierland and knocked out everyone’s favorite double-feature there.
Right now, Big Thunder Mountain’s weekday wait-times are relatively steady in the 30-40 minute range.
On the other hand, Splash Mountain comes with potluck, as you have no idea what you’ll get at a given moment.
Disney’s announcement that the ride will receive a new theme has restored excitement for the current version.
On this day, we waited 35 minutes for Big Thunder Mountain and 25 for Splash Mountain. Have I mentioned we were lucky a lot?
The Final Push
Anyway, we only had one themed land to conquer and plenty of time to do it.
We headed to Adventureland for the trifecta of Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
The Aladdin attraction is generally walk-on later in the day. Pirates of the Caribbean sinks under 20 minutes toward the end.
We only waited a few minutes to ride Pirates, which blows my mind. However, we did catch one lousy break.
We were a couple of days early for Jingle Cruise, which meant that we rode the regular version instead. Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.
By this point, the line was roughly 30 minutes, which isn’t bad for Jungle Cruise in the late afternoon.
Once we finished, we had 45 minutes of park time left and only one attraction left to check off the list.
So, we headed to the back of Fantasyland for the one we’d missed, Under the Sea ~ Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
I happen to adore this ride, but it felt a bit anticlimactic after such a successful day.
We decided to sneak in two more attractions, Mickey’s PhilharMagic and another spin on Peter Pan’s Flight.
Right before park closing, both these experiences are walk-on, which meant that we did everything at Magic Kingdom plus one repeat!
Friends, when you hear that the wait-times at the parks are at historic lows, you should believe it. We couldn’t believe our good fortune on this day.
Anything’s possible at Walt Disney World right now! All you need is a plan and some decent luck!
Keep an eye on wait-times, always pick the attraction that will get you onboard the quickest, and you’re golden!