We saw all of the Magic Kingdom in three days. One day was an early start until 11pm and the other two we went to the park around midday and left around closing (11pm).
The heat has been extremely hot and walking around the parks between 12-4pm is not pleasant. We found that it is best to use this time to go for a nice long sit down/lunch or queue for something inside. The park is manic at this time as well and queues are at their busiest. I thought the park was best at night with all the lights on, it’s looks fantastic. It’s also a great time to hit the rides. We went on Splash and Thunder Mountain in Frontierland 3 times in 20 minutes and as we were just about to go down the big drop on Splash the fireworks started which was a real treat. Both rides give a great view of the castle at night time. My advice would be to spend one day seeing all the parades (there’s quite a few) then spend another going on rides during parade times as the queues are much shorter! Never get in the queue for Splash or Thunder mountain during the day without a Fastpass, at night you can walk straight on!
Fireworks at 10pm, great show. Get there EARLY. Go slightly right of castle towards Tomorrowland for a good view. Don’t leave straight after the fireworks as the queues are huge! Stick around and go in the shops or have a drink.
Pack ponchos, umbrellas and hats, fans and sunscreen as it swaps from heavy rain to burning sun quite often. If you’re taking a pushchair take an extra poncho to over it with as many attractions make you leave it outside and it can get soaked. You can hire a pushchair for $15 a day. Even if your child doesn’t really use a buggy they are handy to hold all the bags etc!
Disney do a photo pass now where you get a card from a photographer and any photos they take in any of the parks get loaded onto the card. You can then view all the photos online and purchase 30 days after they were taken. TAKE A PHOTO OF THE BACK OF YOUR CARD with the number on so that if you loose it you can still view the pictures.
Dining for us at the Magic Kingdom – we made reservations for the Crystal Palace at 1.30pm. It is an American buffet – all you can eat. Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eyore. It was $75 for us (2 adults and 1 child). To keep the cost down use reservations for lunch time as the price can nearly double for a dinner time reservation. In terms of counter service food we ate in Peco Bills Cafe and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe where it cost around $40 to feed us three – things like salads, burgers, chicken, ribs.
Your child needs to be 40″ tall to get on most rides, 44″ and 48″ for some of the more intense ones. Under 40″ there’s not many exciting rides they can do. Faye, age 3 is exactly 40″.
Fast passes can be used on a few attractions and if you use them wisely you can get a few in one day. This can involve someone running around a bit to go and fetch them but it is worth it. These enable you to jump the queue so you only wait about 5 minutes rather than 55.
Meeting characters is LONG, be prepared! They come and go which can be frustrating. We got a lot of signatures in Faye’s book and people asked us a lot how we did it. My advice, plan your day, plan the timings. We would get in line for a character, then as we got nearer the front, Craig would take Faye to meet them whilst I ran ahead to get in the next queue. It can be very boring for a three year old so it helped to minimise the queuing a little for her. We did most of our characters during the midday heat, rather than queuing for rides. Most of them only stay out till early evening and they’re always busy so it’s just something you have to get on with. If you go to Mickey’s theatre right by the entrance and Pete’s Circus Top in Fantasyland you get Minnie, Micky, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and some princesses. Some of these you can get a Fastpass for or the queues are shorter.
There is a place called Castle Couture at the back of Cinderella’s Castle which girls go to get made into a princess which is EXPENSIVE but loads of parents had paid to get it done. Lucky for me, Faye is more of the type of girl to play with the water hose than worry about her hair. I won’t lie, some girls came away looking more drag queen than princess!
Rides not worth a wait in my opinion were;
Stitch’s Great Escape
Rides we loved;
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Pirates of Caribbean
Money wise we spent between $60 and $150 a day.
This place is not for resting. Expect to walk a lot and sweat a lot from 9am to 11pm!