There are so many wonderful things Disney has to offer for adults. No matter what others have told you, Disney World is not just for kids. From the amazing restaurants, rides, shows and shopping to eating and drinking around the world, there’s a lot you can do and see as an adult and still enjoy Disney World. As I began writing this post, just the Magic Kingdom section was extremely long, so I decided to break it up into separate posts starting with this one about Magic Kingdom.
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What to do in Magic Kingdom as an Adult?
Disney World’s biggest and most iconic park is Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is full of Disney magic, wonder and characters galore! If you haven’t been before, Magic Kingdom has smaller themed sections or kingdoms set up in a semicircle around Cinderella’s Castle. All of the parks are huge but easily walkable. Even as an adult, I find it is easier to arrive at the park early and reap the benefits of a slower start. Magic Kingdom is to some the most kid-oriented, but there are plenty of things to do for adults. However, I must warn you that Magic Kingdom is the only park that does not serve alcohol around the park. There are some restaurants that offer wine with dinner, but there are no bars.
When to get to the park?
When looking at the calendars on a Disney website you will find that Magic Kingdom is typically open the longest per day. Then on top of that, there are Extra Magic Hours for Disney resort guests, sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening, and special events that take place either in the morning or evening as well. So, when should you arrive at Magic Kingdom? Of course, that depends on your schedule and what else you are doing that day.
Even as an adult, I like to get an early slower start to the day. This gives you the chance to get an amazing morning shot in front of the castle and get to ride some of the big rides before it gets too crowded then park hop if you are going too.If I’m park hopping I prefer a morning at Magic Kingdom and an afternoon/ evening in Epcot. It is a great pairing utilizing the monorail between the two and you can even use the monorail to go back to Magic Kingdom at night for a show if you have a lot of energy!
If you are utilizing extra magic hours and Magic Kingdom has evening hours then of course SLEEP IN or go to another park first then go to Magic Kingdom late and stay late. My husband and I have had a blast running through Magic Kingdom at midnight trying to get on as many rides as possible in two hours.
What to Ride?
Upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom I take a left into Adventureland and work my way around the park. People naturally take a right first and wait times on the left side of the park are usually slower early in the day. On your way through Adventureland stop for a classic Dole Whip. It is a must! The best and biggest rides in the Magic Kingdom are Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. These are rides you will want to try and get a fast pass for, along with anything else that may personally interest you.
My personal favorites in the Magic Kingdom, besides the big rides, are The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of The Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear and the Teacups. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor makes a great and hilarious place to cool off. The rides in Fantasyland bring some of the classic movies to life such as Peter Pan, Winnie The Pooh, and The Little Mermaid, but often have the longest wait times. Without kids, you will be able to do and see more, but make sure to take breaks. The park is huge and you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Riding a classic ride with typically no wait time, the Jungle Cruise, People Mover or the train is a great move to get off your feet and relax.
Other Things In The Park
Shopping along Main Street USA is the perfect place to get a souvenir. Each section has themed shops if you are interested in a particular theme or area. My favorites are the pirate shop in Adventureland and the Christmas shop in Liberty Square. If you are staying on site you can have your purchases sent to your room! There is also more snack stalls that I could count, a Starbucks along Main Street, great shows, photo ops and character meet and greets.
The character meet and greets are actually a lot of fun for adults. We love getting photos and interacting with characters! If you aren’t interested in that, the photo spots throughout the park with photographers are perfect for getting a group or individual shot and some are interactive! Also, some of the rides especially the big ones have photos and now videos taken during the ride. The parades and nighttime shows at Magic Kindom are amazing now using drones and special effects! A great spot to watch a parade or show is right in front of the castle.
Breakfast in Magic Kingdom
I am not going to lie, usually, when I eat breakfast inside the park it’s a bagel from Starbucks. I know, I know, there are so many wonderful options and this is what I chose and there really are many wonderful options! If you are even slightly a Cinderella fan, I love breakfast in Cinderella’s castle. It is not a cheap option, but honestly, it is an amazing experience inside Magic Kingdom and much cheaper than dinner in the castle. Another great option is to get a snack at Gaston’s. Giant Cinnamon roll anyone? My favorite breakfast options are:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table: Dine like royalty with Cinderella and her friends at this amazing table service breakfast experience. Try the stuffed french toast!
- The Crystal Palace: Wonderful buffet breakfast dining with Winnie the Pooh and friends right off Main Street USA in a gorgeous location.
- Be Our Guest: By day a quick service and by night a table service, you can get a reservation for breakfast to eat in the gorgeous dining rooms. Order off a prix fix menu, including the french croissant-doughnut or eggs florentine.
Lunch in Magic Kingdom
Each section of the park has a few quick services places and I prefer to eat at those for lunch. They are cheaper, faster and no reservation are needed. Like all restaurants at Disney, quick service restaurants are all themed differently, but they do offer a smaller menu. One trip, I ate in Futureland and it was my least favorite quick service meal EVER. In my opinion, you are better off anywhere else in the park for a meal or snack. Fantasyland, Frontierland and even Liberty Square have wonderful options that don’t have to include hot dogs and french fries. Here’s a list of the best spots for lunch (these are quick service, refer to my dinner list if you want a table service place):
- Columbia Harbour House: Boathouse themed quick service restaurant in Liberty Square with seafood, chicken, and vegetarian options. (Photo below)
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn: Western-themed quick service restaurant in Frontierland serving Mexican fajitas, burritos, and rice bowls.
- Pinocchio’s Village Haus: Quick Service restaurant in Fantasyland offering flatbreads, pizza and salads.
Dinner in Magic Kingdom
For dinner my favorite sit down restaurant is Be Our Guest, this is also one of the hardest places to get a reservation. If you can snag a reservation just the dining rooms alone are worth it. The food is french and they are one of the only restaurants to offer wine in this park. There are different themed rooms as if you were actually inside Beasts castle and since you are dining in his home, you get a chance to have a photo taken with the Beast if that interests you. The best dining options are:
- Be Our Guest: Dinner at this Beauty and Beast themed table service restaurant offers delicious french classics. Book reservations early and make sure to try the Grey Stuff!
- Liberty Tree Tavern: Themed like an 18th century home this table service restaurant offers an American family-style meal with turkey, pork, beef, salad, potatoes, mac and cheese and stuffing (photo below)
- Jungle Navigation Co.: The new table service restaurant themed off the nearby ride The Jungle Cruise offers an exotic menu of Asian, African and South American fare.
Snacks in Magic Kingdom
I should really just an entire post about food at Disney, because there’s really so many fantastic options! Disney snacks are the best! Yes, not everything is amazing, but that’s okay because there is so much that is! Here’s my go-to list:
- Aloha Isle: Dole Whip found in Adventureland is a must! The classic pineapple soft serve is a delicious treat on a hot day. (photo below)
- Sleep Hollow: Stop by this Liberty Square spot for a waffle sandwich, funnel cake or delicious ice cream sandwich.
- Gaston’s Tavern: Grab a giant warm cinnamon roll or LeFou’s Brew (frozen apple juice) for a delicious treat in Fantasyland
- Liberty Square Market: For the health conscious this little spot is the perfect place to grab fruit or a healthy snack.
What’s New to Magic Kingdom?
Magic Kingdom has some of my favorite new shows and parades in 2017!
The Muppets Present: Great Moments in History
This is a fun little show right outside the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. Great for Muppet fans or history buffs. It’s funny, entertaining and perfect addition to Liberty Square.
Once Upon A Time
This new show brings Cinderella Castle to life with projections of beloved Disney scenes and characters, this is also my new favorite show! Once Upon A Time should not be missed if it is happening when you visit.
Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular
Opening May 14, 2017, this show will combine storytelling, pyrotechnics and classic characters using projection mapping. Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular will take place on and in the skies above Cinderella’s castle. The show will have a new original score, hand-drawn characters, and villains. If it’s anything like Once Upon A Time, you will not want to miss it!
Fast Passes, Tickets, and Tips
Magic Kingdom has the most ride. Having fast passes will help you out with wait times A LOT and is a must in this park if you attend on a crowded day! You’ll want to reserve fast passes early, so you don’t miss out on the most popular rides. If you stay at a Disney resort you can reserve fast passes up to 60 days prior to your stay. If you are staying off site you can reserve fast passes 30 days prior. You can do this on the app or Disney World Website. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight have horrible wait times! You will not get on them during peak season without a fast pass unless you want to wait in line more than an hour.
If you only have a 3-day weekend to do Disney, you’ll want to have a park hopper pass to see the most. For a 7-day vacation, you honestly do not need to park hop, but many people prefer to for the purpose of eating meals in other parks or to split up the day. If you like the idea of going to one park in the morning and another in the afternoon depending on crowds or your mood that’s a wonderful reason to get a park hopper. It can be very exhausting to keep moving to other parks and transportation can take much longer than expected.
I strongly suggest if you have a longer vacation skipping the park hopping. Go to the pool or Disney Springs to break up the day or sleep in! Also, check park hours. On certain days parks open and close early. You may want to switch things around to make the most of your time.
Yes, there’s an app for that. Download the My Disney Experience Mobile App before you go! You can check wait times, make dinner reservations, reserve fast passes, see park maps and more! This app does drain power easily, so make sure to carry around a cell charger. There are multiple places to charge your phone including at the restroom near Rapunzel’s tower in the Magic Kingdom.
Water is free inside all the parks. Ask any quick service location for a cup of water and they will give you one for free! Also, you can get free buttons for special occasions like a wedding, birthday or just for fun. Ask a cast member! Magic Bands will be your lifeline if you are staying on property. You can attach a credit card, it will be your room key and your admission to the park. You can even customize them in advance on the Disney website!
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