Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan

Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan

So, you’re at Walt Disney World and you have just one day to spend at Magic Kingdom – so the question of course is… what is the Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan? Well, there’s really no one right answer; it totally depends on what you want to do. We’re here to help you have a magical experience during your day at Magic Kingdom, so, as Walt Disney said “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do”.

There’s a lot to do at Walt Disney World, especially at Magic Kingdom – from rides to attractions, to meet and greets and shows – there’s no way you can get it all done in just one day. But with a little bit of advance planning and prioritizing, and timely reservations, you can experience a lot of what Magic Kingdom has to offer. This isn’t a “you must do everything on this” list, nor is it a 1 plan fits all, minute by minute touring plan. We’ve toured Magic Kingdom many times, and have had different experiences depending on who we were with and how we toured. We’ve provided a “One Day Magic Kingdom Touring Plan”, along with tips, based on three focuses of touring: attractions, character meet and greets, and food. Think of this as an outline where you can mix and match from any of these and make your own, perfect for you plan.

All plans and tips are based on medium Disney crowd days, being at the Magic Kingdom from rope drop to fireworks, with no breaks outside the park, and assuming that everyone is able bodied and there are no restrictions to riding anything (height, pregnancy, heart issues, etc.).

Our Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan Depending Upon Interests

Below you’ll find different plans for Magic Kingdom depending on what you would like to focus on while you’re at Disney.

Focus: Magic Kingdom Attractions

Our attractions focused Best One Day Magic Kingdom plan would start off with rope drop, and when we say rope drop that does not mean get there at park opening. If Magic Kingdom park hours start at 9am (barring no Extra Magic Hours or special events), plan to get there at 8am.

Priority number 1 of the day – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

However, if you happen to have FastPass reservations for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, then you could consider rope dropping another ride instead. Or just do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train twice. Then go ride Space Mountain. Now you have two popular rides out of the way. Since you’re in Tomorrowland, try to become a Galactic Hero on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The wait to ride Buzz later on in the day can get pretty long, and at this point it probably isn’t.

Time to head to Storybook Circus and ride Dumbo then Barnstormer

If you don’t have children you might want to skip those two, but Dumbo is a classic Magic Kingdom attraction and Barnstormer isn’t as tame as you would think. At this point it is probably around 11am and it’s time to use our first FastPass, which would be for Peter Pan’s Flight. Granted, the standby queue is pretty cool, but the wait times for this ride are notoriously long no matter what time of the day, and if you’re trying to get as much done as you can, this is definitely a great ride to use a FastPass.

Now it’s lunchtime, so stop and get something to eat

Since you’re going to be in the park all day, take your time – it’s a good excuse to take a break and recharge. To extend your break, and you are in Fantasyland, go see Mickey’s Philharmagic. It’s a fun show and it’s air conditioned!

After you have refueled and rested a minute, it is time for your second FastPass, which you’ve planned for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Yes, you just ate, but since it’s on the other end of Frontierland, by the time you get over there you’ve digested a bit. Another thing you want to think about when you are making your FastPass reservations, is you don’t want to end up having to crisscross the park – Magic Kingdom is a big park and you don’t want to walk back and forth unnecessarily. After Big Thunder, you can either ride Splash Mountain or head over to ride Pirates of the Caribbean – depending on weather and/or wait time.

It’s now probably around 2pm and time for FastPass number three, and that’s Jungle Cruise. Unless you plan on rope dropping this ride, we suggest getting a FastPass because the queue for Jungle Cruise is completely outside and if it’s the middle of the summer, that 2pm sun is going to be brutal.

You’ve now used your three FastPasses

Time to take a minute and check My Disney Experience to see what other FastPasses are available. You probably won’t be able to get one for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but Haunted Mansion might be available – not a bad alternative if we do say so.

It’s now probably around 3pm, and many people will be waiting for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Take advantage of everyone else watching and you could go ride some rides and spend less time waiting. Just be aware that certain paths may be blocked due to the parade, so you may need to go the long way around. Since you are over by Adventureland, head on over to Liberty Square and ride Haunted Mansion.

Afterwards, head back to Fantasyland and ride It’s a Small World and Winnie the Pooh, but only if the wait is under 45 minutes. Once you’re done with those, head over to People Mover. Even if the line looks long, you’ll only wait a minute or two. This is a great time to sit back and just enjoy the ride.

It’s now time for dinner

If you have made a dining reservation for a table service restaurant, great. Otherwise you can grab a quick service meal – there are a bunch of great options at Magic Kingdom. As this is an attractions based plan, we are going to skip Happily Ever After. You are in a great spot because most people will be staking out a spot to watch the show and not riding rides, so, just like at parade time, you’ll have less of a wait on the more popular attractions such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Pro Tips

#1) To get another ride on your favorite attraction, get in line right before park closing. For example, if the park closes at 9pm, get in line at 8:58pm. As long as you are in line before park closing, the Cast Members will let you ride. Since there is no longer a FastPass line running, the Standby line moves pretty quickly.

#2) Don’t make FastPass+ reservations before 11am. Wait times are generally low before then as the majority of guests don’t arrive until after 10am.

#3) Once you’ve scanned your third FastPass, you can immediately grab your fourth. Then while you are in line for your fourth, you can get your fifth, and so on. That brings additional flexibility to planning your day.

Focus: Magic Kingdom Characters

We don’t think you could make a full day out of meeting characters at the Magic Kingdom (though there are a lot of them to meet, more than any other Disney park probably), so we sprinkled in a few rides, which we think is how most people would tour anyway. Also, most of the character meet and greets do not have a FastPass option – and you want to make sure you use those FastPasses.

Rope Drop

For our character focused Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan, we are again going to rope drop because that’s just how we roll. We will start the day meeting Mickey at Town Square Theater. This is a popular meet and greet, so the sooner you get in line the better. After that, in the same building, meet Tinkerbell. She normally has a much shorter wait time than Mickey, but later on in the day those times will increase. Meeting Mickey and Tink at this point in the morning will probably take about 30 to 45 minutes.

Time to take a leisurely stroll down main street towards your first FastPass – meeting Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall. This meet and greet is very popular and can get very busy. Tiana is very interactive with kids and it is an enjoyable experience. And since you’re in Fantasyland, might as well ride some rides. You’ve got plenty of options – It’s a Small World, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, or Winnie the Pooh.

Time To Meet Gaston

Then head over to, in our opinion, the best character meet and greet at Magic Kingdom, Gaston. Every time we’ve interacted with Gaston he has been really funny. He’s just very witty, just a really fun interaction. He meets outside of Gaston’s Tavern, and while you’re there, grab a delicious cinnamon bun, as its probably time for a snack anyway.

After saying goodbye to the true hero in Beauty and the Beast, it’s time to see Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Minnie in Storybook Circus. After meeting these crazy animals, it’s probably be a good time to grab some food and A/C, and relax for a bit.

After your break, you’ll want to use FastPass number two for Enchanted Tales with Belle – which is not only an attraction, but you also get to meet Belle at the end, so two birds one stone – it’s perfect. Plus, you can tell her she should have chosen Gaston (you picked wrong, Belle, you picked wrong).

As you walk back through Fantasyland, Peter Pan is sometimes lurking around the queue area of his ride. He’s not really on a schedule, so you could always ask a Cast Member when he might be out next. What time is it now? Time to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. They meet guests in Adventureland, across from the Magic Carpets of Aladdin – again they are not on a schedule, so ask a Cast Member. And, if you’re hungry, Dole Whips are right next door!!

You can now use your third FastPass for either Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean. While in line at Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean, you secured FastPass number four to meet Cinderella and Elena of Avalor. It’s probably around 4pm at this point, so after meeting Cindy and Elena, it’s as good a time as any to go ride the People Mover. Now that you’re in Tomorrowland, you might get lucky and meet Buzz Lightyear.

Dinner Time

It’s now dinnertime and if you planned to have a character focused Magic Kingdom day then hopefully you were able to get a reservation Cinderella’s Royal Table, located inside Cinderella Castle. Not only do you meet Cinderella, but several other princesses as well. Princesses not in the cards? You can meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet at The Crystal Palace. If you are not be able to make reservations at either eatery, then go watch Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray’s – it’s the next best thing!!

Pooh and Tigger also meet guests next to Pooh’s ride and Ariel meets in her Grotto over by her namesake ride. Another fun (or terrifying, depending on how you see things) is meeting the Country Bears. They just roam around Frontierland, there’s no one spot where they meet – it’s like catching them in the wild.

At this point you’ve met the characters you want to, so you’ve got a few choices: 1) you can do some shopping; 2) ride some more rides; 3) pick a spot and watch Happily Ever After; or 4) leave early and beat the crowd. We would suggest Happily Ever After because it is the best nighttime show at Disney.

Pro Tips

#1) Character meals allow you to eat, relax, and meet characters all at once. Whenever possible, if characters are a priority, book a character meal. They are offered not only in the parks, but at many resort restaurants too.

Focus: Magic Kingdom Food

Before we get into our food based Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan, we just want to preface this by saying what we are about to propose is a lot of food and you’re basically going to be eating all day. But Disney food is good, so it will be worth it in the end!! We sprinkled in some rides and character meet and greets to give you time to let that food settle. In this scenario, however, we won’t be rope dropping Magic Kingdom.


We’re pre-rope dropping

What? Yup, we want to eat breakfast at Be Our Guest. Even though this is a quick service restaurant, it still requires a reservation, and is a great way to start your day. If you have a reservation at 8am, Cast Members will usually let you enter the park around 7:45am. Consider the Disney Magic in having a minute or two to take pictures in front of Cinderella Castle and on Main Street with relatively no one around.

After breakfast at Be Our Guest, go ahead and get in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you’ll get there before everyone else. These pre-park breakfasts are usually the reason why Mine Train has a 40-minute wait at park opening.

If There Is A Early Morning Magic Event

If Magic Kingdom has an Early Morning Magic day, Fantasyland rides will not be available until 9am, even if they let guests into other areas early. You can certainly get in line after your breakfast, you just won’t be able to ride until the park is open to everyone else.

But it’s a regular Magic Kingdom day, so you finish your breakfast and ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and you’re off the ride before the 9am crowd arrives. Now’s the time to ride Peter Pan’s Flight – before the wait gets crazy. Guess what? Time for more food. This time, stop at Gaston’s Tavern for a cinnamon bun with a side of extra icing with a LeFou’s Brew to wash it down.

You’ve now walked over and ridden Haunted Mansion, and it’s now 11am. Even though you just had a giant cinnamon bun, head over to Storybook Treats and order a Peter Pan Float because it is delicious and refreshing – it’s key lime Dole Whip with Sprite and it’s excellent.

Time for FastPass number 1, which is for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s a great ride, and you are so full right about now you might throw up on the person next to you. No big deal, they’ll be fine. And, since you’re over in Frontierland, go ahead and use FastPass number two for Splash Mountain. Even if you didn’t have a FastPass for Splash Mountain, if the wait is relatively low, go ahead and ride it anyway.

It is now noon – how about a mid day break and some lunch?

We’d recommend Skipper’s Canteen in Adventureland. It’s a table service restaurant and probably the best in Magic Kingdom. The theming is much like Jungle Cruise and the waitstaff tells corny jokes just like the Cruise captains do. The food here is very good and unique. It is not a character meal in the traditional sense, but the staff is very entertaining. After lunch, keeping with the theme, you’ll want to use your third FastPass on Jungle Cruise. And while you are waiting in line, grab your fourth one.

Who wants a Mickey Bar or a Dole Whip? You’re probably already stuffed, so why not completely push yourself over the edge with more food?

Maybe you were able to snag a FastPass for Haunted Mansion or even if you didn’t, we suggest riding that next. Now maybe you are in need of a nap. What better place to take one then at either Mickey’s Philharmagic or Carousel of Progress. It’s got air conditioning, you probably feel like you’re going to die, a nice nap might make you feel better. Follow that up with a ride on the People Mover because it’s the People Mover and why not?

Once you get off that and we aren’t completely revolted by the sight of food, go find one of those souvenir popcorn buckets and munch on some tasty buttered popcorn. There are a ton of snack options in Magic Kingdom, including a bunch of limited time snacks that pop up all the time, so maybe you want to try one of those.

Heading To Main Street

Time to walk off some of those snacks and do a little shopping on Main Street, or do a couple of character meet and greets while you ponder where you want to eat for dinner. Oh we know – Liberty Tree Tavern!

If you needed another reason to take a nap, Liberty Tree Tavern basically serves a Thanksgiving meal, family-style all year round – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, the tastes of freedom.

After consuming all that freedom you’re probably at the point where you are miserable, wondering why you made the choices you made and why in the world did you listen to us??!! Hey, you asked for a food focused touring plan and we gave you one, so actually it’s YOUR fault. We kid, we kid – but really, don’t eat that much food!!

However, if you are a glutton for more punishment, you could partake in one last food feast – a fireworks dessert party. Just think of all the desserts. And that is how you would end your day at Magic Kingdom. Actually, you will probably need to be rolled out of Magic Kingdom.

You’ve had a very full day (see what I did there?), and yes, we realize not many people could eat that much food in one day, so just think of it as options.

Pro Tips

Magic Kingdom is the best snack park on Disney property. To experience the most food, snack, snack, snack. There are plenty of savory snack options that you can sample to make it feel like a meal.

Bottom line

There is a so much to see, do, and eat in Magic Kingdom. Ideally, the Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan would include a combination of it all. We hope we provided you a starting point to help you get the most out of your 1 day at Magic Kingdom.

If you liked our Best One Day Magic Kingdom Plan, be sure to check out our other articles about Walt Disney World like the 27 Magic Kingdom Secrets & Hidden Gems.


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