• Lisa

Disney's Magic Kingdom: One Day Guide (Perfect for First Timers)

Updated: Jul 2

Ready for an all day marathon in the Happiest Place on Earth?! This guide below will help you plan and organize your day in advance so you can check off everything on your list!

Before Your Trip to Magic Kingdom:

Read my "Know Before You Go" Guide before your trip to be prepared. Some key tips are also listed below.

  • Be sure to download the My Disney Experience App on your mobile device. This will link your park ticket, credit card, fast passes, photopass, and your room key (if you're staying on Disney property). It syncs up to your Magic Band for easy access in the parks!

  • Make your (3) FastPass+ Reservations. The top choices are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain.

  • Check the park hours to find out if there are Magic Hours available - take advantage of those extra perks if you're staying at a Disney Resort!!  

  • Make your Dining Reservations in advance, especially for Be Our Guest and Cinderella's Castle.

  • Pack your Disney Day Bag the night before.



Arrive at least 1 Hour before the park opens. This park requires you to park your car, take the monorail or ferry, and go through security before entering. It is a bit of a hassle so arrive early to give yourself plenty of time.

Once the doors open, walk (speed walk) to the top attractions first before lines get long! Try to do as many rides as you can within the first 2 hours. I suggest... 

  1. Run to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train first! This always has the longest line and is one of the newer rides.

  2. Next, make your way to Tomorrowland - ride Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

  3. Then, check out the more iconic rides... Peter Pan's Flight (always the longest line, somewhat overrated), It's a Small World, and Haunted Mansion.

  4. If you have time, try and make it to Thunder Mountain Railroad & Splash Mountain before lunch!

Walk back towards the castle, take your family photos and iconic pictures now (check out my guide for the BEST Instagram spots in Magic Kingdom)! The park will continue to get more crowded throughout the day so its a good chance after you've ridden a few rides.


  • Quick Service: Carolina Harbor House (fish and shrimp) or Paco's

  • Full Service (Reservation Required): Be Our Guest or Cinderella's Royal Table


After lunch, take it easy and enjoy the park.  Keep an eye on wait times for rides using the My Disney Experience App. Meet your favorite characters, watch the parade, or cool off in the Philharmagic Show. If you want to sit back and relax, hop on the train & ride it around the entire park.

Later in the afternoon, walk over towards Adventure Land and ride Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. Those wait times tend to die down later in the day. This will also give you the chance to stop at Aloha Isle for the famous Dole Whip.

After you've checked off all the rides on your list, it's time for shopping on Main Street USA! When you've shopped til you drop (almost literally after an exhausting day at the park) it's time for dinner!


  • Quick Service: Pinnacchio Village Haus

  • Full Service (Reservation Required): Liberty Tree Tavern or The Crystal Palace


After dinner, be sure to stay for the Happily Ever After Firework Show. Sit in front of the castle at least an hour early so you can secure your spot for the show.

Not featured: Dumbo, Barnstormers Coaster, Tiki Room, People Mover, Carousal of Progress, Little Mermaid, etc

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