This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.

Are you looking for a perfect 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary to outsmart the crowds and get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation?

Need a summary of rope drop tips and info on how to plan your day in the park to maximize efficiency and minimize time spent standing in lines?

Our 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary highlights all of these topics and offers a step-by-step touring plan for an ideal day at Magic Kingdom.

For an absolutely perfect one day at Magic Kingdom, utilize these practical tips while taking time to enjoy the Disney ambiance that makes Magic Kingdom the most popular theme park in the world!

Magic Kingdom Itinerary:  Cinderella's Castle
Cinderella’s Castle

Important Notice: This one-day Magic Kingdom itinerary has been updated many times over the past several years to reflect the ongoing changes at the park.

It represents the permanement suspension of the Disney FastPass system, Splash Mountain, and Disney Magical Express, as well as the additions of the Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane services.

The overall layout of the park has not not changed, however.

Therefore, our popular 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary continues to serve as an excellent resource for planning your upcoming Disney World vacation!

Magic Kingdom touring plan:  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Magic Kingdom Itinerary: Important Considerations

You can’t just wing it when it comes to planning a Walt Disney World vacation.

You can try to go without a plan, but you’ll probably end up being disappointed, especially if it’s your first visit.

Our Magic Kingdom itinerary makes it easy for you to get the most out of your experience by outlining the order in which you should visit the rides and attractions.

It is the perfect strategy for those visiting Magic Kingdom for one day.

If you are visiting the park for a longer period, you may still take advantage of this plan, however.

When customizing your Magic Kingdom touring plan, stick to the general idea of having a solid rope drop strategy and overall itinerary that compliments the layout of the rides within the park.

This will maximize efficiency and decrease the amount of time spent standing in long lines.

Magic Kingdom Itinerary:  Space Mountain
120-minute wait at Space Mountain – President’s Day Weekend

My Quick Thoughts on Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane

Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) passes are Disney’s new ‘skip the regular’ line options that can be purchased in addition to your regular theme park entry.

Though it seems confusing at first, they’re actually quite easy to use if you do your research ahead of time.

When you only have one day at Magic Kingdom, I recommend that you purchase both Disney Genie+ and an Individual Lightning Lane pass for TRON Lightcycle/Run (Magic Kingdom’s newest ride!).

If your funds allow, also consider purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train if it is being offered on the day of your visit (otherwise the wait is LONG, and the ride is so short!)

I 100% recommend purchasing Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) passes when visiting the parks during the peak seasons of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and 3-day weekend holidays such as President’s Day and Memorial Day – unless, of course, you don’t mind standing in line for 2 hours!

For guests who want to get on as many rides as possible, Disney Genie+ and Individual Lighting Lane purchases tend to be well worth the added cost to avoid spending hours waiting in line.

With that said, let’s take a look at the first important steps required to plan a successful day at Magic Kingdom!

1-Day Magic Kingdom Touring Plan:  The Parade
Magic Kingdom parade

Magic Kingdom Itinerary: Initial Steps

  1. Check Magic Kingdom reservation availability.
  2. Purchase your theme park tickets.
  3. Make Magic Kingdom theme park reservations.
  4. Know Magic Kingdom’s park hours for the day of your visit.
  5. Consult a Magic Kingdom crowd calendar.
  6. Review the Magic Kingdom map.
  7. Make a list of ‘must-do’ rides and shows.

1. Check Theme Park Reservation Availability

Along with purchasing a theme park ticket, you need to make a theme park reservation for each day you’d like to visit any of the Walt Disney World theme parks.

This includes needing to make a reservation to visit Magic Kingdom.

It’s important that you start by checking Disney’s theme park availability calendar to see if the date(s) you plan to visit have availability before purchasing your ticket, Annual Pass, or vacation package – as park reservations do run out during peak seasons.

2. Purchase Theme Park Tickets

After ensuring reservation availability, purchase your Magic Kingdom tickets.

The easiest way to purchase a ticket to Magic Kingdom (or any of the Disney World theme parks) is to buy them directly from a Disney Travel Agent or the Disney World website.

Others choose to buy them from an authorized ticket seller or discounted ticket site.

Be sure to stick with reputable third-party sellers, however, and verify that there are no hidden usage rules that apply.

Check here to read about the three different types of theme park tickets available: 1 Park Per Day, Park Hopper Option, and Park Hopper Plus Option.

3. Make Theme Park Reservations

Then, due to the limited availability of theme park reservations, make your reservation immediately after purchasing your admission ticket in order to guarantee your spot.

Theme park reservations can be made online on the Disney World website, or via the My Disney Experience mobile app.

4. Review Magic Kingdom Hours

Magic Kingdom hours vary by day, by month, and by season.

It is very important to check the Magic Kingdom hours for the day that you plan on visiting so that you can plan your Magic Kingdom itinerary accordingly.

The Magic Kingdom park hour calendar shows early entry hours and park hours, as well as the times of events, parades, fireworks, and nighttime entertainment.

You’ll also want to check this calendar for temporary ride closure information.

Additional planning tip: Early theme park entry is a benefit for registered Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels and other select hotels.

It involves getting to enter Magic Kingdom and riding select rides 30 minutes before the park’s scheduled opening time.

5. Consult the Magic Kingdom Crowd Calendar

When you choose to visit Magic Kingdom will make a substantial difference in your Magic Kingdom itinerary.

It’s safe to assume that Magic Kingdom is always going to be busy, but there are times such as Christmas, Spring Break, mid-summer, and other 3-day weekend holidays when the crowds are overwhelming.

Bigger crowds mean longer attraction lines, and consequently experiencing fewer attractions – unless, of course, you’ve carefully planned your Magic Kingdom itinerary and plan to take advantage of Disney’s paid ‘skip-the-regular-line’ options.

You’ll be happy to know that this 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary assumes moderate to high crowds when lines are expected to be long.

In fact, this exact plan was utilized when crowds were rated 9/10 according to Touring Plans.

In order to accomplish this itinerary in a single day, some less popular attractions are skipped. 

No matter when you visit, however, this Magic Kingdom itinerary is optimized and ordered so that walking and your waits in line are minimized.

Additional planning tip: If you are planning on visiting several Disney Parks during your Orlando itinerary, we highly recommend alternating park days with non-park days.

Disney World non-park days offset the busyness of the crowds and help keep you fully energized!

6. Review the Magic Kingdom Map

Magic Kingdom is huge – 142 acres to be exact – and it is important to have a general idea of the layout of the park before visiting.

The grounds of Magic Kingdom are organized into 6 lands that form a spoke-like pattern, with Cinderella’s Castle being in the middle (as shown in the visual below).

Magic Kingdom itinerary map

The 6 Magic Kingdom lands include:

  • Main Street U.S.A.
  • Tomorrowland
  • Fantasyland
  • Liberty Square
  • Frontierland
  • Adventureland

When planning your Magic Kingdom itinerary, be sure to know what ‘must-do’ rides are in which land, as the overall goal is to do as many rides as possible in each land before moving on to the next one.

This decreases the amount of time you will waste zig-zagging within the park.

It also cuts down on the amount of walking you will do throughout the course of the day.

Additional planning tip: In addition to this itinerary, don’t forget to consult our helpful know-before-you-go Disney tips to avoid preventable touring mistakes.

And last, double-check your Disney packing list to be sure that you have not left behind the top 9 most forgotten items to have with you in the park.

7. Make a List of Your ‘Must-do’ Rides

Magic Kingdom is a combination of rides, shows, character-meet-n-greets, dining experiences, and entertainment such as parades and stage shows.

It would be absolutely impossible to do everything in one day at Magic Kingdom.

For this reason, talk with your family or whoever you’re visiting with and make a list of your ‘must-do’ rides and attractions, and be sure to allow time for them in your Magic Kingdom itinerary.

The most popular rides include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Space Mountain.

Meeting Mickey at Town Square Theater, and the nighttime fireworks shows are other attractions most people typically don’t want to miss.

Additional planning tip: As of January 1, 2024, TRON Lightcycle/Run can only be ridden via a virtual queue reservation or by purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane pass – both sell out seconds within being available.

There are 2 daily opportunities to request to join the virtual queue for TRON Lightcycle/Run:

  • 7:00 AM (Guests do not need to be in the park when they join, but must have a theme park reservation for Magic Kingdom park)
  • 1:00 PM (Guests must be in Magic Kingdom park to join the virtual queue)

Set your alarm for these times and ACT FAST, as the time slots go quickly – oftentimes within seconds.

Read here for the best 1-Day Magic Kingdom itinerary from top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan!
Magic Kingdom entrance

1 Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary

Before you arrive at Magic Kingdom, be sure to download the official My Disney Experience app on the App Store or the Google Play Store.

This app, which has always been helpful, is now essential.

You’ll use it to view the park map, look at wait times, order quick-service food, and make dining reservations, as well as access all Disney Genie digital services and virtual line queues.

I also highly recommend installing the free Play Disney Parks app as there are some great attraction-themed games, activities, and trivia that will keep kids busy while waiting in line.

Magic Kingdom Arrival

If you drive your personal vehicle to Magic Kingdom, the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) parking lot opens 2 hours before the park’s official opening.

After paying a $25/day fee, you’re directed to a parking space.

From there, you’ll walk to the TTC and catch either the Express Monorail or a ferryboat to the Magic Kingdom entrance.

If you arrive by Uber/Lyft/taxi or by any other non-Disney transportation (like a non-Disney hotel bus) you’ll also be dropped off at TTC and, again, take either the Express Monorail or ferryboat to the park.

If you’re staying at the Contemporary, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Village, or Grand Floridian Resort, you can commute to the Magic Kingdom by monorail.

(Guests staying at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Tower can walk to the park more quickly than taking the monorail.)

If you’re staying at Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge Villas or Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, you can take a boat or bus.

All Disney resort lodging guests using Disney-provided transportation are let off directly at the park’s entrance, bypassing the TTC.

Note: Disney Skyliner is only available from various resorts to either Epcot or Hollywood Studios and does not service Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom itinerary, the park with no crowds
Morning crowds when arriving early.

Magic Kingdom Park Entry

We recommend getting to the park turnstiles 45-60 minutes prior to the scheduled park opening, especially on projected busy days.

This act has long been long-known as ‘rope drop’.

Rope drop involves getting to Magic Kingdom before it begins operating for the day so that you can be among the very first guests to enter and enjoy the attractions.

In other words, the same four rides you experience in 1 hour upon rope dropping can take as long as 5 hours after 10:30 AM.

Crowds at Magic Kingdom while doing our 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary
Crowds waiting for Rope Drop

The following tips will help you make the most of rope drop at Magic Kingdom:

  • Magic Kingdom lets guests through the turnstiles and onto Main Street U.S.A. 60 minutes before park opening. (We arrived 45 minutes prior to the official opening and found this was sufficient.)
  • After passing into the park, people are only allowed to enjoy Main Street and the central plaza in front of the castle. There will be a rope manned by cast members preventing guests from entering the five different entrances into each of the lands.
  • The Let the Magic Begin welcome show takes place 5 minutes before official park opening at the front of Cinderella’s Castle (the show lasts for 5 minutes).
  • After the show, cast members remove the ropes (hence the name “rope drop”) allowing you to walk briskly, but not run, to whatever land/attraction you desire.
  • If you truly want to ride without a wait, be as close to the front of the waiting rope drop crowd as you can. After rope drop, instant waits of up to 60 minutes for popular attractions (such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, and Space Mountain) will form.
Disney's Haunted Mansion during our Magic Kingdom touring plan
Entrance to The Haunted Mansion

Magic Kingdom Rides: Morning Plan

The following 1-Day Magic Kingdom itinerary assumes a 9 AM park opening without the early entry benefit for onsite guests.

Adjust the times accordingly if you’re visiting when there’s a different park opening time.

We also do not factor in Disney Genie+ reservations as not everyone uses Genie+, and for those who do, every ride choice and return time is different making it impossible to create a universal touring plan.

7:00 AM Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Passes (if you choose). Set your alarm to go onto your My Disney Experience app to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane pass TRON Lightcycle/Run and/or for Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train.

8:15 AM Park arrival. Tour Main Street, take photos outside of Cinderella’s Castle and get in line for Fantasyland rope drop.

9:00 AM Offical Park Opening. Head straight for your first ride as listed below.

Morning Rides and Attractions Schedule

The first half of our Magic Kingdom touring plan includes rides in Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square.

Begin by heading straight to Fantasyland to ride:

1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (If you’ve purchased an Individual Lightning Lane pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, rope drop Peter Pan’s Flight or Jungle Cruise instead.)

2. Peter Pan’s Flight

Once you’re done with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight, quickly make your way to Frontierland and ride:

3. Big Thunder Mountain

4. Splash Mountain (currently being re-made into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure)

Then, walk a short distance to Adventureland and ride:

5. Jungle Cruise

6. Pirates of the Caribbean

7. Swiss Family Tree House (explore for 10 minutes) and/or Tom Sawyer Island

Make your way up to Liberty Square and the edge of Fantasyland while stopping for lunch whenever you desire.


8. Haunted Mansion, then

9. It’s A Small World

Additional planning tip: Visiting with children ages 1 – 4 years old?

Your Magic Kingdom itinerary for toddlers will include more time spent in Fantasyland than in any other area.

In addition, be sure to include this list of the best Magic Kingdom rides for toddlers in your one-day itinerary.

You might encounter rain at Magic Kingdom
Be prepared for rain at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Rides: Afternoon Plan

Be prepared for the potential of an afternoon rain shower at Walt Disney World, as this is very common in Orlando, Florida.

…That is also why we always recommend having a Disney day bag fully stocked with touring essentials including disposable rain ponchos in order to stay dry.

Oddly enough, the afternoon hours are also when temperatures will be at their highest.

This is why we suggest saving the indoor shows at Magic Kingdom for the afternoons in order to enjoy the air conditioning!

Disney's The Hall of Presidents during our Magic Kingdom itinerary
The Hall of Presidents

Afternoon Rides and Attractions Schedule

The second half of our Magic Kingdom touring plan includes rides and shows in Liberty Square, Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland.

Start by hanging out in Liberty Square and watching these two shows to let your stomach rest after lunch.

1. Hall of Presidents (25-minute narration)

2. Country Bear Jamboree (16-minute narration)

Expect longer waits in the afternoon upon making your way to Tomorrowland to ride and watch:

3. Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom’s newest ride, TRON Lightcycle/Run, is located behind Space Mountain)

4. Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

5. Astro Orbiter

6. Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

7. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (8-minute narration)

8. Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid

9. Mad Tea Party

10. Mickey’s PhilharMagic

11. Watch Happily Ever After (Disney’s nighttime fireworks show held at Cinderall’s Castle and Main Street U.S.A.; check the Park Calendar for its daily showtime.)

Magic Kingdom touring plan:  The nighttime fireworks
Magic Kingdom fireworks

Magic Kingdom Dining

There are several restaurants at Magic Kingdom that provide a great time to relax and refuel.

Between sit-down restaurants and quick-service dining, the options are endless.

Our absolute favorite quick-service restaurants (no reservations required) are Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe in Frontierland and Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland.

For a splurge, try to snag advanced reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant – by far the most popular table-service restaurant at Magic Kingdom.

If you’re visiting Disney World on a budget, however, consider ‘snacking’ your way around the park, instead of spending big bucks on Disney dining.

Some of our favorites include giant Mickey-shaped pretzels and ice cream bars, chocolate-covered frozen bananas, Dole Whip from Aloha Aisle, and funnel cakes & a Disney fruit and Nutella waffle sandwich from Sleepy Hollow.

Disney ice cream treats
Snacking our way through Magic Kingdom!

*Click here for our exclusive FREE Family Vacation Packing List and BONUS Disney Day Bag Packing List to complement your Disney vacation!

Family Vacation Packing list

Best Hotels for Magic Kingdom

The proximity of onsite hotels to the theme park entrance, and the Disney theme and customer service that carries over to their hotels is a major enhancement to the overall Disney experience.

As with all major theme parks in Florida (Check out our review of on-property locations at Universal Studios), we strongly recommend staying at a Disney hotel or resort if you can afford the more expensive cost of their hotels.

It’s also very convenient if you have younger kids and might need to take a break in the afternoon for a nap or a swim in the pool.

For families with older children who plan for their day from rope drop to park closing, proximity to the park might not be as important.

Therefore, you might want to check out off-site hotels for lower nightly rates.

Hotel Types at Disney World

Hotels at Walt Disney World are broken up into three categories- Deluxe, Moderate, and Value.

This categorization is in relation to their amenities and their nightly room rates. (Deluxe being the most luxurious and expensive, Value being the most basic and affordable.)

Disney also offers onsite Deluxe Villas and campgrounds.

Most guests consider Disney’s Deluxe Hotels as being a bit more luxurious as they offer more amenities, beautiful rooms, and truly immersive experiences.

The perks of Disney’s Deluxe Resort hotels include additional Disney transportation options, location to the theme parks, and larger standard room sizes.

For instance, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort are just minutes away from Magic Kingdom and Epcot by monorail.

Out of these three hotels along the monorail, only the Contemporary allows you to walk to Magic Kingdom as well.

The Wilderness Lodge, on the other hand, offers both a water taxi and a bus to Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Deluxe Resort Hotels include:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Boardwalk Inn
  • Contemporary Resort
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa,
  • Polynesian Village Resort
  • Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Additionally, the new Riviera Resort is considered a Deluxe Resort.
  • Other select deluxe hotels include: Disney’s Dolphin and Swan Hotels and Swan Reserve

Disney’s Moderate Resort hotels typically include a full-service restaurant in addition to food courts, a swimming pool with a slide and hot tub, recreation options, and some forms of Disney transportation.

Specifically, at the Caribbean Beach Resort, you can take the Skyliner to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and you can take a boat from Fort Wilderness Resort to Magic Kingdom.

The Ultimate Magic Kingdom itinerary from Top U.S. travel blog, Travel With A Plan.

Disney’s Moderate Resorts include:

  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Coronado Springs Resort
  • Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Disney’s Value Resorts are known to be the most budget-friendly.

The standard rooms at the Value Resorts are typically slightly smaller in size, with fewer amenities than you’ll find at the Moderate or Deluxe Resorts.

Each Value Resort includes an onsite food court, two or more swimming pools, and Disney transportation via bus.

In addition, Disney’s Skyliner now offers aerial transportation from a shared station between Pop Century and Art of Animation to Caribbean Beach, where guests transfer to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Value Resort Hotels include:

  • Pop Century Resort
  • All-Star Music Resort
  • All-Star Movies Resort
  • Art of Animation Resort
Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom

1 Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary: Conclusion

In conclusion, this 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary is the perfect combination of rides, attractions, and shows.

We felt like we did it all, and you will too!

We were not zig-zagging throughout the park, and we never stood in line for more than 60 minutes (on a day when every ride had a 60-120-minute wait in the afternoon).

Every parent knows their kids’ limits, as well as knows what touring plan is going to work for their family, so do adjust your personal Magic Kingdom touring plan accordingly.

If you find yourself wandering around the park and the lines are long, check the free Disney Genie app and head to the rides with the lowest advertised wait times.

If you liked reading our Magic Kingdom Itinerary, continue planning your Walt Disney World vacation with us!

Disney World Touring Plans:

Disney World Ride Tips:

Disney World Planning Tips:

Disney World Cost:

Having come across this article, are you now feeling more ready for your first time at Magic Kingdom? What questions can I answer for you about this Magic Kingdom itinerary? Happy travels!


*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*

"If you like it, Pin it!" quote
Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to see the best of Magic Kingdom in 1 day! Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan, details their one day Magic Kingdom itinerary that allows you to see the best rides and attractions at Magic Kingdom if you only have 1 day! #Disneymagickingdomitinerary #MagicKingdom1dayitinerary #MagicKingdomonedayitinerary #MagicKingdomtouringplan #magickingdom1dayplan #1daymagickingdomitinerary #MagicKingdomhours #MagicKingdomrides #MagicKingdomitinerary #MagicKingdomFastpass#MagicKingdommap
Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to see the best of Magic Kingdom in 1 day! Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan, details their one day Magic Kingdom itinerary that allows you to see the best rides and attractions at Magic Kingdom if you only have 1 day! #Disneymagickingdomitinerary #MagicKingdom1dayitinerary #MagicKingdomonedayitinerary #MagicKingdomtouringplan #magickingdom1dayplan #1daymagickingdomitinerary #MagicKingdomhours #MagicKingdomrides #MagicKingdomitinerary #MagicKingdomFastpass#MagicKingdommap

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I love your travel plans for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom! Will you be doing one for Hollywood Studios?

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I hope to have an itinerary published for Hollywood Studios sometime soon! Can’t wait to share!!

    1. Currently, I do not have printables of the Disney itineraries, but that is a FANTASTIC idea! Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. So fun! We would love to do this, so it was fun to read your suggestions. We are Disneyland people, but we are hoping to go to Disney World soon!

  3. Great tips. Rope drop is a must! I agree that about 45 minutes is enough time, and then we usually head to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

    1. Yes! We were going to Rope Drop Sever Dwarfs and kind of regret that we didn’t, but there were literally so many people headed that direction in front of us 🙂

  4. This post was really helpful in kickstarting the startegies I need to plan for our trip to Disney in December. With this template, I feel like I am way ahead on planning now. Thanks for taking some of the stress off!