What’s Worth Your Time at Magic Kingdom?
No theme park on the planet hosts as many attractions as Magic Kingdom.
Even Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth, cannot compete with its younger sibling to the East when it comes to rides and shows.
When you visit Walt Disney World’s crown jewel, you’ll face some difficult decisions.
What’s worth your time at Magic Kingdom? Here’s one person’s opinion on an incredibly nuanced discussion.
Let’s begin with an explanation of my thinking here. Much of what we’ll discuss at Magic Kingdom circles back to a singular thought.
Is this the best thing you can do during your visit? Obviously, for a park with dozens of attractions, that’s a challenging calculation.
Your answers won’t align with mine on some, possibly even most, of these discussions.
So, I’ll explain my thinking and encourage you to make your own decisions here.
For example, The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney Renaissance movie. I’m also a big fan of the 2023 remake as well.
So, you’d expect me to endorse this character greeting completely.
Well, I do, but I still don’t think it presents the best option. In my attraction wait times articles, I’ve noticed something important here.
Guests stand in line for only three or four minutes longer at Princess Fairytale Hall, but you meet two different characters there.
I’d argue that’s twice the value for the same wait. But if you love Ariel, that’s all that matters here.
Verdict: Not Worth the Wait (But Wonderful)
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The alphabet isn’t my friend here, as I’m gonna come across as having an anti-Disney Princess bias at the start.
However, I view walkthrough attractions and shows through a different lens than most.
The opportunity cost doesn’t just come from the time you spend standing in line. These experiences are typically longer as well.
On the average date, you should expect to stand in line for 20-25 minutes at Enchanted Tales with Belle.
Then, the interactive show itself takes another 15 minutes, and that’s presuming that a willful child doesn’t disrupt the proceedings…which does happen!
I feel like 40 minutes is a lot of time to spend for a show that isn’t one of Disney’s best.
Those of you with small children should prioritize it, though. It’s meant for you!
Verdict: Not Worth the Wait (Except for Parents with Small Children)
Okay, some of the attractions we’re about to discuss are bona fide classics.
I’m operating under the assumption that you’ve experienced most of them at some point in your life.
So, this evaluation is more about how recently you’ve ridden them and how much they mean to you personally.
In terms of quality, all of Disney’s iconic rides have stood the test of time and deserve the acclaim they’ve gained over the years.
That’s part of the reason why you must make some tough choices. You cannot do everything in a day at Magic Kingdom.
Still, Haunted Mansion is now and always shall be one of the park’s must-do attractions due to its overriding quality and the sense of joy it creates.
Verdict: Worth the Wait for Sure!
It’s a Small World
On the other hand, It’s a Small World provides a more challenging discussion.
Sure, this attraction’s wait isn’t anywhere near as long as some of the other iconic rides at Magic Kingdom.
However, the ride itself takes about 16 minutes, which is a lot. It’s one of the longest rides at Walt Disney World.
The stubbornly upbeat tone of the ride ensures that you’ll enjoy every second of it…as long as you don’t mind hearing the song over and over again.
Verdict: Worth the Wait If You Don’t Mind the Song
Here’s something you may not know about Magic Kingdom.
For whatever reason, Jungle Cruise typically requires one of the longest waits. On many dates, it’s in the top three in terms of average wait time.
Are you willing to wait an hour for bad jokes and cheesy set pieces?
I mean, as a Disney fan, I know that you are. Jungle Cruise defines Disney at its quirkiest.
Still, I struggle to recommend this one, especially during crowded park days.
Verdict: Not Worth the Wait
I will argue to my dying breath that Mickey’s PhilharMagic is Magic Kingdom’s best show/non-ride attraction. It’s marvelous.
As a diehard cinephile, I relish this opportunity to re-live some of the finest scenes and best songs of the Disney Renaissance.
Also, the attraction rarely requires a wait of more than 20 minutes.
The length of the show and the time it takes to seat guests double that time, though. It’ll take at least 40 minutes to watch Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
I think the attraction more than justifies the wait, but this might be my most controversial vote here.
Verdict: Worth the Wait
Peter Pan’s Flight
I ride Peter Pan’s Flight every time I visit Magic Kingdom. During my happiest visits, I re-ride it multiple times.
As a fan of Walt Disney himself, I see the attraction as he did. He was once a child who played Peter Pan in a school play.
Later, Disney became the creator of a film based on Peter Pan and managed to construct an attraction that believably provided the sensation of flight.
I love Peter Pan’s Flight because it represents the genesis of Walt Disney as a performer and content creator.
Even after saying all that, I must acknowledge the hard truth here. You spend at least an hour in line for a three-minute attraction.
That’s just terrible bang for the buck.
Verdict: Not Worth the Wait
Pirates of the Caribbean
Oh, come on. Who goes to Magic Kingdom and isn’t willing to stand in line for 30 minutes for Pirates of the Caribbean?
Verdict: Worth the Wait, and You’re Definitely Doing It
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Here’s one of the most challenging conversations because Seven Dwarfs Mine Train almost always requires the longest wait.
Over the past 18 months, it’s led Magic Kingdom in average wait time more than 90 percent of the time.
So, you’re sacrificing two other attractions for every Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride.
Disney will allow you to skip the wait by paying $11-$12 for a Lightning Lane, but I presume you don’t want to do that.
Thus, the question comes down to whether Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is better than any two other Magic Kingdom attractions. I say yes.
Verdict: Yes (But I Recommend Lightning Lane)
One of the recurring themes on this list is that many of Disney’s most iconic attractions also require some of the park’s longest waits.
We should treasure Pirates of the Caribbean for avoiding that frustration.
Space Mountain isn’t as fortunate, though. Sadly, it typically requires a wait of 50+ minutes.
Objectively, this isn’t Disney’s best or even second-best roller coaster at the park, either.
You hop on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in half the time, and I think it’s more fun to ride.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train would probably take 10-15 minutes longer, but it’s objectively better and, therefore, the superior use of your time.
Verdict: Not Worth the Wait
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Feature Photo: Disney