If you only have one day to spend at the Magic Kingdom and want to do it all, here is a very practical guide to help. For the best use of Genie+ and lightning lane on your 1-Day Magic Kingdom itinerary read on!
Go on a Full Day
The first key to enjoying an optimal day on a 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary is to pick a day when the park is operating normally. That means that you should avoid days that the park closes down early for special nighttime events. Although there are benefits to paying for these events, tackling the park in this way requires a different approach. Ideally you will arrive before the Magic Kingdom opens and stay until the park officially closes. Pace yourself for a 14-hour day.
The High Stamina 1-Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary
There are two approaches to getting the most out of your time at Magic Kingdom. Ride or die Disney fans may prefer the fast-paced, high-stamina version to the slow and steady tactic. If you are using Genie+ to access Lightning Lanes, open the app and pick the closest available reservation. It may mean you have to travel a far distance in a short time, but if you repeat the process and you can keep it up, you can cover a high volume of attractions during the day.
As you enter the queue for each ride start looking for your next available Lightning Lane reservation. The downside of this way of operating is that it will take a lot of steam early on in your day and you won’t be able to look around very much. It can also be difficult to decide when and where to stop for refreshments, although you will certainly want to take a long lunch break.
Study Your Map
If you prefer the slow and steady ticket, you should study your park map in advance and chart your own course. There are lots of great paths to take and all kinds of action plans you can draw up. I like to start with Fantasyland and take the natural progression through Liberty Square and Frontierland. Then I like to head back the other way through Adventureland and cross the plaza to Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland is lovely at night.
Nighttime presents a new way to experience every land. You may not feel the need to complete a land before you leave, expecting to come back in the evening. With such a long day and by keeping a casual pace you can do this. Dumbo’s Storybook Circus and Pirate Plaza take on a whole different character at night. As does the fully lit-up Main Street USA.
The Top 10 Attractions at Magic Kingdom
A 1-Day Magic Kingdom visit should start with your base expectations and build from there as time allows. Ten is a really good number of attractions to shoot for. Among the attractions at Magic Kingdom, these are the ones you can’t miss:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- “it’s a small world”
- The Haunted Mansion
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Jungle Cruise
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Space Mountain
- TRON Lightcycle / Run
Of course this list is adaptable based on your family’s needs. You might choose an itinerary with no thrill rides, or your might want to focus on character meet-and-greets, parades, and shows. The possibilities are endless.
Lightning Lane and Genie+
Of the selections above, only two do not have Lightning Lane through Genie+. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is available for individual Lightning Lane purchases only. TRON Lightcycle / Run is available for Virtual Queue and individual Lightning Lane purchase.
If you head straight for Seven Dwarfs at the start of the day, you will not need Lightning Lane. Unless it is a particularly busy day, you may be able to get through the first five rides and never use Lightning Lane. Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are high-capacity rides that tend to keep the lines moving. By the time you get to the Jungle Cruise However, you will want Lightning Lane because it is a popular ride and you will want the leg up by this point in the day.
As you roam around each area, try to select Lightning Lane reservations for nearby attractions that can help you get more out of your immediate space rather than forcing you to leave your surroundings in search of another ride elsewhere.
Another way to utilize Lightning Lane is to stack your reservations later in the day. This is a great way to do things in the park that are less busy earlier on, and then you’re all set for back-to-back Lightning Lanes afterwards.
Pro Tip: Always double check the Official Walt Disney World Resort website for any refurbishments, Genie+ updates, and more.
I hope that this 1-day Magic Kingdom itinerary utilizing Genie+ and Lightning Lanes is helpful for your family. If you’re looking for more posts on planning your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation, don’t miss these posts here!
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