Today we are going to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park. I want to show you some of the Magic Kingdom must do’s you must experience on your visit!
Before starting your wonderful Magic Kingdom vacation, you may already feel intimidated by all of the planning you have to do.
You can read my full Magic Kingdom guide here or you can jump into my best Magic Kingdom rides and attractions below!
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1. Conquer the Three Mountains at Magic Kingdom
On your Disney trip, you MUST ride Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain.
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2. Watch the Disney Fireworks Show
The Disney Enchantment Fireworks show usually starts around 9:20 p.m. each night (time is subject to change based on the season).
The newly added display takes you on a remarkable voyage through many of the fan favorite Disney animated films.
This is a can’t miss fireworks show that may make you shed a tear…
…or maybe I’m the only it has that affect on 🙂
Hipster Power Tip: Be sure to watch the shows towards the back of the castle if you want to be in a less crowded area with a good view.
3. Ride the Classic Carousel of Progress
I know this may not be all that thrilling, but it is a must do ride. It’s one of Disney’s brainchild attractions that he personally oversaw.
Plus, it’s an amazing nostalgic experience. Especially for me as I go down memory lane of my childhood with this Disney attraction being one that I remember the most.
4. Join the Happy Haunts and Ride the Haunted Mansion
This is another classic Disney ride and it is a must for any trip to the Magic Kingdom.
The Haunted Mansion is a spine-tingling tour through an eerie haunted estate.
5. Ride Pirates of the Caribbean
Join Captain Jack Sparrow and dive deep into the watery pirate adventures.
You will also be able to sail away and watch the swashbuckler raid towns and participate in a few questionable things.
6. Have a Character Dining Meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table
It may set you back some dollars, but it’s a spectacular dining event. Even for adults, it’s pretty awesome!
RECOMMENDED: BEST Magic Kingdom restaurants here!
7 – Ride Tomorrowland Transit Authority.
7. Ride Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
I love getting on this ride, especially when I’m tired of walking.
It’s a perfect ride on a hot day or day when you want something to pass the time while waiting for your Genie+/Lightning Lane reservation.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority takes you through different areas of Tomorrowland high in the sky.
Plus, you’ll receive some cool Walt Disney World secrets and facts while aboard the attraction.
8. Have a Delicious Pineapple Dole Whip!
The Dole Whip culture and society is one that has taken off in the past decade and growing every day. It is absolutely delicious and refreshing on really hot summer days.
The Dole Whip is a soft serve swirl available at Aloha Isles inside the Magic Kingdom.
You can even get one with a dash of dark rum at select Walt Disney World locations.
9. Hop Aboard the Jungle Cruise
This is another classic Disney ride that is just one of those things you must do at Walt Disney World.
The jungle cruise takes guests on a boat tour through the most exotic rivers across Asia, Africa, and South America.
10. Discover and Relax on Tom Sawyer’s Island
To get over to Tom Sawyer’s Island you will have to take a little boat raft from the platform in front of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Once you arrive to your own little private island, adventure through the dark caves, mysterious landscape and rustic buildings of yesterday.
It’s also a nice place to get great views of Liberty Square and Frontierland. You’ll be delighted to discover shaded areas to sit down and take a break.
11. Ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is quickly becoming a Disney fan favorite. It’s not an overly thrilling roller coaster, but it is a great introductory thrill ride.
Plus, you’ll have a little surprise at the end.
12. Watch and Enjoy Mickey’s PhilharMagic Show
This immersive 3D presentation takes you into the wonder of Disney animation with the help of a 150-foot-wide wraparound screen. It is visually and sensually appeasing.
Hipster Power Tip: Mickey’s PhilharMagic Show is a great spot to go for an AC break.
13. Become a Galactic Hero on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Board an XP-37star cruiser and see if you can reach the high score on this out-the-world space mission.
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14. Listen to a Conversation on the Mystery Phone
Walk into the Chapeau Shop on Main Street. It’s a small hat shop tucked away in the far-right corner of Town Square. Pick up the phone and will hear some interesting conversations.
Please note that during the pandemic, this phone was removed for safety reasons. On my last visit it was still down, but it may be back on your visit.
15. Take Photos with Your Favorite Characters
Make sure you find out the character meet and greet times and locations.
For the more popular characters, such as Rapunzel, I recommend a Genie+ reservation. That way you are guaranteed to get that special photo.
16. Have the Loaded Tater Tots at Friars Nook
In the past, my favorite Disney snack was the roast beef mac & cheese at the Friar’s Nook. However, it’s no longer available. Each season options change and you’ll be able to try a newer version of the Friar’s Nook tater tots.
The tater tots will always have the same great taste with a variety of delicious toppings that will continue to change throughout the year.
Please note that the menu is always subject to change. Current offerings are loaded tater tots of multiple flavors.
17. Taste a Sweet or Savory Waffle at Sleepy Hollow
Don’t be afraid to try both the sweet and savory waffles at Sleepy Hollow. The treats are made of Belgian waffles.
Sleepy Hollow waffles you can choose from:
- Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich
- Waffle with Powdered Sugar
- Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich
- Waffle served with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
- Breakfast Egg and Cheese Waffle
The line is usually pretty long at brunch time, so be sure to take that in consideration when planning your delicious waffle trip.
18. Play with Belle and All of Her Magical Friends
Eat at Be Our Guest restaurant after you’ve sat and listened to enchanted tales from Belle.
Make sure that you book your reservations to Be Our Guest as soon as possible as reservations are extremely hard to get.
Recommended: Get More Disney Food Reviews and Tips here!
19. Take a Photo in Front of Cinderella Castle
This is a Disney must! You must have this standard photo of you on Main Street posing in front of the most famous castle in the world.
20. Eat Your Heart Out at Liberty Tree Tavern
I loooooooove this place so much! I mean, you get to have a Thanksgiving Day Feast any day of the year that’s ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-EAT!
This is one of my absolute favorite things to do at the Magic Kingdom!!!! I can still remember my first trip there and taking that first bite of my meal and immediately being sent into a foodie bliss!
21. Get Lost in the Disney Magic
Watch the Magic Kingdom welcome show at the beginning of each day. Also known as the “rope drop” moment that kicks the day off!
Here, Mickey Mouse and all his friends officially welcome you inside the park with an opening salute and walk down the famous Main Street U.S.A.
It’s the best way to start your day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.
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What to Know Before Your Magic Kingdom Trip
Before I end this Magic Kingdom must-do cheat sheet, let’s go over some of the most common questions I’m asked.
What Should I Use My Genie+/Lightning Lane Reservation on at the Magic Kingdom?
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
What Can You do at the Magic Kingdom for One Day?
Now that you know what the best rides and attractions are at the Magic Kingdom, let’s go through your perfect itinerary for your trip!
Get Your Disney World Tickets
Before you get to the Magic Kingdom purchase your tickets and download the park map.
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Get Your Magic Kingdom Genie+ Ride Reservations
Book your reservations to popular attractions, such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain as soon as you can.
Start Early at the Magic Kingdom
Arrive at the gates prior to the parking opening and head down Main Street U.S.A.
Head to Adventureland
Once you’ve taken in Cinderella Castle go left and head towards Adventureland. This is where your attraction adventure will begin.
Climb the Swiss Family Treehouse
Once you’re there, hike up the Swiss Family Treehouse. The treehouse provides amazing views of the Magic Kingdom.
Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!
Go on a Jungle Adventure
Join other park goers on the Jungle Cruise and listen as the skipper enthusiastically tells stories that echo on the rivers of the jungle.
Join Captain Jack Sparrow
Now it’s time to head on another voyage to find Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Have the Famous Dole Whip
Once you’ve escaped the treacherous boat ride grab a Dole Whip.
If anybody knows the Disney culture, then you know you must have a Dole Whip on any trip to the Magic Kingdom. If you don’t care for pineapples they do offer alternatives.
Ride Splash Mountain
After your refreshments, head over to Frontierland and hop on Splash Mountain. During Splash Mountain, you will go on an adventure with Br’er Rabbit as he avoids Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear.
Ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
If getting wet is not an adult thing for you to do, then skip it and ride the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
This is a classic, simple, fun ride reminding you of childhood. It’s enjoyable both alone or when you’re there with people who love screaming on rides as much as you do.
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Visit Tom Sawyer Island
Take a break and explore the fabulous Tom Sawyer Island. You have to take a mini boat over to the island. It’s only a three-minute ride at the most.
On the secluded island you will see Liberty Square from different viewpoints. There are also many caves to discover and it’s a location to take a break from the hot weather.
Visit the Haunted Mansion
Once you have enjoyed your time at Tom Sawyer Island ride the Haunted Mansion. This is a Walt Disney World classic ride and it has so much rich history and storytelling.
You can find more Disney Halloween merchandise here!
After dancing with the happy haunts, take a break and have lunch. I prefer Liberty Tree Tavern, but you can book a character dining RSVP at the Crystal Palace.
Ride with the Dwarfs
- After you have spent time with the seven dwarfs, step into the future and ride Space Mountain.
- Go on the Carousel of Progress.
- Since you have that attraction out the way, head over to challenge the space cadets on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. It’s like Men in Black Alien Attack or Toy Story Mania. Be sure to get the highest score on this out-of-the-world ride.
Take a Break
It’s time for you to relax on your adult adventure. In addition, you can have a special dining experience booked at one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts.
Watch the Fireworks Show
There’s no perfect way to end your day at the Magic Kingdom then to watch the fireworks extravaganza!
Trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss this!
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Final Thoughts on Everything You Must Do at the Magic Kingdom
I hope you enjoyed the 21 Magic Kingdom Must Do experiences. Planning a trip to Disney doesn’t have to be intimidating.
This guide is meant to help you have a jump start to mapping out your most amazing day ever at the Magic Kingdom!
I want to know what you love doing the most when you go to Magic Kingdom? Let me know in the comments section below.
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
Planning a trip soon? If so, read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!
(Original Article Date: April 27, 2019/Updated June 23, 2022)