Strategic Ways to Avoid Standing in Line at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom has remained the most popular theme park in the world for several years now.
That trend will only continue as Walt Disney World spends the next 18 months celebrating its 50th anniversary.
So, you need to act smart in how you approach the crowds. Otherwise, you’ll get grumpy as you spend most of the day waiting in attraction queues.
Here are tips to avoid standing in line at Magic Kingdom.
Understand Park Tendencies
For the rest of the year, Magic Kingdom should operate at least 12 hours a day.
The schedule lists a 9 a.m. opening in October, while closing time is usually 9 p.m. or later.
A 9 a.m. opening is somewhat tricky in that more guests will stand in line for Rope Drop, a phenomenon we’ll discuss in a bit.
Still, a pattern has emerged over the years at Magic Kingdom. Most guests eat at the parks between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Fewer guests stay until park closing here than at the other parks, at least percentage-wise.
Similarly, the start of the day includes less traffic than in the early afternoon. Therefore, you should plan to do the least between noon and 4 p.m.
Even with many people dining during this timeframe, it’s still undoubtedly the most crowded time of day. So, lines will be longest then.
Most of the advice I’m about to offer stems from this overall park behavior. We want to go against the grain for the most part.
Otherwise, we’ll be standing behind the same people all day.
Start the Day at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Rope Drop is the term that indicates arriving in time to enter a park when it opens.
So, Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom occurs at 9 a.m. on most days. However, please understand that this does NOT mean you should arrive at 8:55 a.m.!
No, you want to get to Magic Kingdom by 8:30 a.m. if possible. A line queue will have already formed by this point, but that’s okay!
I have a later suggestion that will solve this problem! Still, you should follow the same strategy as everyone else this one time.
As soon as you enter the park, you should walk straight down Main Street U.S.A. and to the side of Cinderella Castle. Your destination is New Fantasyland.
Here, your target is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, an attraction that generally averages a wait of 60+ minutes on most park dates.
By arriving early, you can start your day the best possible way. You should be onboard Seven Dwarfs Mine Train within 30 minutes of park opening.
Sadly, there’s a lot of variation to this approach. I’ve had times where I had already exited the roller coaster at 9:20 a.m.
Then, I’ve had others where technical malfunctions kept it from opening on time. In those cases, I didn’t have any time.
Still, the potential reward here is so great that it’s worth the risk.
Once you’re done with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you should consider Peter Pan’s Flight.
That attraction features the most outsized wait time relative to ride length. It doesn’t grow crowded as quickly as the roller coaster, though.
So, you may be able to check both off your list during the first hour, which will free up the rest of your day to ride more stuff!
Stay at an Official Disney Resort
This strategy ties into Rope Drop now. Guests at official Walt Disney World resorts gain a remarkable amenity.
Disney calls this benefit Early Theme Park Entry. With it, you can enter the park 30 minutes before it opens to the rest of the public.
That’s why you should arrive at or before 8:30 a.m.! Thanks to Early Theme Park Entry, you might beat the crowd to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!
This statement is speculative, but it’s possible, if not likely, that you will already be off the roller coaster by the time Magic Kingdom officially opens!
The benefit of Early Theme Park Entry is one of many that you’ll receive for staying at an official Disney hotel.
However, during a Magic Kingdom visit, it matters the most. That half-hour head start represents a massive competitive advantage.
Use Disney Genie and Buy Disney Genie+
Disney Genie is a free service that park officials will debut in a matter of weeks. It’s a virtual assistant that possesses all possible knowledge of Magic Kingdom.
This app can tell you the best time to ride something. It’ll literally list the average wait times at various times throughout the day.
You can look at the graphs and decide for yourself when you want to visit. You don’t need to understand graphs to use it, though.
The Genie will tell you whether the current wait is better or worse than usual. If it’s the latter, this virtual assistant will suggest better return times.
Disney Genie is basically a Magic Kingdom expert that you can pull out of your pocket (or lamp) whenever you need help.
Disney Genie+ has proven more of a divisive subject, as it’s not free to use. However, for $15 per day per person, you get access to shorter lines.
Yes, the old FastPass+ system has turned into a kind of paid FastPass system.
From now on, only people who buy Disney Genie+ may access those shorter lines.
While paying $15 on top of Magic Kingdom admission prices isn’t great, it’s still something you should do.
After all, the point of this article is to suggest ways to spend less time standing in line.
Thanks to Disney Genie+, you’ll get to skip the longer lines, while more than half of the park’s visitors won’t.
In other words, you’ll face much less competition for those old FastPass+ lines, which should make them go quicker than ever!
Disney Genie+ isn’t free, but it is a phenomenal way to avoid long lines at Magic Kingdom!
Watch Some Shows
This one may seem a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised how few people watch Disney’s shows.
To wit, the wait times for Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and Country Bear Jamboree are usually ten minutes or less.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic, which is absolutely brilliant entertainment, hovers around 15 minutes. It’s the same with Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, too.
I could toss Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Hall of Presidents into the mix as well.
These shows, all of which are indoors, host a massive amount of guests for each performance.
They’ve also got air conditioning, provide a needed respite on a hot or rainy day.
You should never be more than a few minutes of walking away from a Magic Kingdom show.
When you’re feeling tired and in need of recharging, these attractions will keep you sane. Use them!
Ride the Monorail
Here’s one I recommend at most parks, but it’s especially useful at Magic Kingdom.
The theme park’s monorail station resides just to the right of the exit as you’re departing the park.
You’ll walk about 250 steps to reach the monorail boarding area. From there, you can ride the resort monorail loop to three different Disney hotels.
These properties represent the finest resorts at Walt Disney World, and they’re overflowing with fun amenities.
You’ll find terrific shopping and restaurants here. However, since most people are at the parks throughout the day, these places are nearly empty.
As such, a quick monorail trip will help you skip the lines at restaurants and shops.
Instead, you can take a break from Magic Kingdom while remaining a five-minute monorail trip away from it!
On hectic park days, a bit of Resort Hopping will keep you sane!