How to Survive Magic Kingdom Crowds

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Magic Kingdom Christmas

Magic Kingdom is the busiest park on Walt Disney World Property. It has a capacity of 100,000 guests, but more frequently closes at 75,000 guests. The parking facilities can accommodate over 12,000 vehicles. Needless to say, when we went to Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day, it was packed and the crowds were crazy. Yet, we still managed to book six fastpasses, ride seven rides, watch three shows, and eat breakfast and lunch! Here’s how we did it.

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Our Schedule

The park opened at 8 am. We arrived at the transportation and ticket center at 7:00 am, and the parking lot was packed. We all had to split up on the tram to fit, but that cut the line down significantly. The transportation to Magic Kingdom is usually the monorail and ferry only. On Christmas Day there were buses to transport people from the Transportation and Ticket Center to the Magic Kingdom. The lines for the ferry, monorail, and buses were ridiculously long. So, we hopped on the no-wait resort monorail. Yes, you have to stop twice, but you don’t have to wait in line and that makes a HUGE difference.

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When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, we headed to our first fastpass, Buzz Lightyear. We booked our fastpasses as early in the morning as possible so we could restock when we had used them all! Our next two fastpasses were the Haunted Mansion (2) and Space Mountain (3). We had a time gap between these, so we enjoyed the new Muppets show in Liberty Square before heading back to Tomorrowland. After Space Mountain, we booked a fastpass for Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (4) as soon as we could. This is one of our favorite shows, and we needed to take a break from dashing around the park!

We booked Dumbo next, but we had a time gap. So what did we do? Obviously the Carousel of Progress (5)! There is NEVER a wait for this attraction, and it is one of our favorites! We walked right on to the ride and were glad to get a little more time to rest. Before the Dumbo (6) fastpass, we also grabbed lunch from the Colonial Harbour House in Liberty Square. We ordered our meal, since the line was all the way to the Tangled tower. While our parents grabbed the food, we looked around for a table and were able to get one! Only two of us ordered food, the rest had brought our lunches. We highly recommend this on busy days, ordering food is a huge time sucker!

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We headed over to Dumbo, and used our fastpasses for this. Storybook Circus was almost empty, we were shocked considering how busy the park was. We booked another fastpass for Small World (7), which was our last of the day. We took the back route to Small World by walking through New Fantasyland. On our way out, we watched the Christmas castle show! We loved seeing a show just for the Christmas season, and we weren’t as crammed in as we thought we would be. Overall, we had a very successful day at Magic Kingdom! We left early only because we wanted to spend Christmas Day doing some of our favorite family traditions (where’s Olaf??).

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Our Tips

  1. If you see a bathroom without a line, use it, even if you don’t have to! We wasted a lot of time waiting in lines for bathrooms, especially the ladies room.
  2. Bring your meals or snacks. The lines for food are crazy long, and even mobile ordering still left for a slow process. Bringing a meal will save you some valuable time!
  3. Book your fastpasses as early in the morning as you can. This way, you can keep getting new fastpasses when you use those and don’t have to wait in the lines for the rides. An example, the Tomorrowland Speedway was over a 2 hour wait. In our opinion, that’s not worth it!
  4. Be flexible. There will be huge crowds, you will have to wait in long lines, and people will be frustrated. Don’t let it get to you! Enjoy the magic of being in Disney on Christmas Day, it’s truly amazing!
  5. If you aren’t staying on property, in the morning leave your hotel as early as you can. We sat in miles and miles of traffic waiting to get in. We would have much rather waited outside the gates of Magic Kingdom than in the car, and we wish we left earlier!
  6. Take the resort monorail or a bus if the lines for the express and ferry are long. You’ll save time and start the day off without having to wait in line.
  7. If you want a coffee, grab Joffrey’s from the Transportation and Ticket Center. The line will be much shorter, and you’ll be able to do what you want right when you enter the park instead of waiting.
  8. Take back paths! Don’t expect to be able to cut through Fantasyland by Peter Pan and Small World (trust us, we did it and the cast members made everyone turn around to clear up traffic). The paths on the side of the castle are a good alternative, or cutting through New Fantasyland. If you’re coming from Tomorrowland, walk to the exit by Space Mountain and take the back path there!

Images courtesy of Dad’s Guide to WDW, Touring Blogs, WDW Info, and Walt Disney World.

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