9 Things I Learned On My First Trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom
A few weeks ago, I escaped the cold Chicago temps and headed to Orlando for Spring Break! All of my sisters are high school teachers and for the first time in years, all of our Spring Breaks aligned. This meant we could ALL get away together! Of course, we had to take advantage… making sure to bring our parents, hubbies, and little ones along too!
It was amazing to spend the week together, but the highlight of my trip was spending ONE day at the Magic Kingdom (which I felt was plenty since Ben is so young). I’m so clueless when it comes to all things Disney and relied solely on my sister’s research and plans for all of it.
I literally did NOTHING to prepare except show up, and it was glorious. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that if you’re traveling without a “leader”. Disney is expensive and a few tips and tricks can go a long way in helping you make the most of your time there. Here are the few “tips and tricks” I learned throughout the day. My hope is that these very rookie Magic Kingdom tips will help other newbies prep for their trip to Disney.
My Best Magic Kingdom Tips
1. Go to Rope Drop
Rope drop is a small “show” outside of the castle to signify the park is opening for the day. Mickey, Minnie, and friends come out and put on this show outside of the gorgeous castle and then the rope drops, which means guests can officially enter all parts of the park. We did this and I’m SO glad that we did because it was easily one of my favorite parts of the day.
It was the least crowded part of the day and the grounds of the castle were stunning. This was also the time where we got the best photos of Ben in front of the castle because it wasn’t as crowded. But in order to get to rope drop via the parking lot, make sure you allow at least an hour to commute over on the monorail or the ferry. That way you have plenty of time to enjoy Main Street and the grounds before the “big opening”.
2. Bring Anything You Want
3. Little Kids + Pregnant Women Can Go On Almost Every Ride
4. Make Reservations If You Want A Sit Down Meal
5. Bring A Portable Charger
6. But Don’t Forget to UNPLUG
7. Wear Comfy Shoes
8. Make Realistic Goals
I think this is why we had such a great day at Disney. Going for the first time with a one-year-old who naps twice a day and goes to bed by 6:00 pm meant I had no expectations for our trip. Anything was going to be a “win” for me.
I think the day can quickly become stressful, or even overwhelming, when you make an unrealistic “to-do list” of all the things you want to accomplish. However, I see why people do this, especially after spending so much money to go. Do what you can to resist the temptation to do all the things and focus on a few that are most important to you. Then if you have time for the extra stuff, it will be icing on the cake. And if you don’t have time to get to these other things, you won’t be disappointed or angry. I know, I know…. this is much easier said than done. But I did want to mention this tip because I think it can make the difference between a magical day and a stressful one.
9. Stay For Fireworks!
My last piece of advice, and possibly my most valuable, is to stay for the fireworks. I’m a stickler for Ben’s bedtime (he’s never stayed up passed it!!) but Matt and I decided that we would stay until the fireworks since we were only going to Disney for one day (and we drove with the group).
Although Ben fell asleep in his stroller, I’m so glad that we stayed because the light show on the castle, paired with the amazing firework show behind the castle, was like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’m typically not a “fireworks person” but wow, I was blown away. The show was pretty magical. If you have the opportunity to stay late for the show, it’s worth it!
I know none of these Magic Kingdom tips are groundbreaking, especially for the Disney experts tuning in! But for my fellow rookies planning their first trip to Disney, I hope these simple Magic Kingdom tips help make your day more enjoyable (and less stressful). Happy planning!!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.