Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World opened October 1, 1971 with its plus-sized version of Disneyland – the Magic Kingdom. Welcoming more than 20 million visitors each year, the Magic Kingdom is the world's most-visited theme park and the anchor of the four-park Walt Disney World Resort, which also includes Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Our recommendations below come from our annual survey of Theme Park Insider newsletter subscribers. Locations with star ratings ranked especially highly among our readers. Subscribe here to our free weekly email of theme park news to participate in the next ranking survey.


Top 10

  1. Haunted Mansion ★ ★
    Dark ride with "999 happy haunts," located in Liberty Square
  2. Space Mountain
    Indoor family roller coaster located in Tomorrowland. Height requirement: 40 inches
    Space Mountain
  3. Splash Mountain
    "Song of the South"-themed log flume ride in Frontierland. Height requirement: 40 inches
    Read about changes coming to Splash Mountain
    Splash Mountain
  4. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    "Snow White"-themed family roller coaster located in Fantasyland. Height requirement: 38 inches
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean
    Indoor boat ride located in Adventureland
  6. Carousel of Progress
    Audio-Animatronic show in a rotating theater in Tomorrowland
  7. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Outdoor family roller coaster located in Frontierland. Height requirement: 40 inches
  8. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
    Elevated track ride through Tomorrowland
  9. It's a Small World
    Indoor boat ride located in Fantasyland
    It's a Small World
  10. Jungle Cruise
    Narrated, outdoor boat ride located in Adventureland
    Jungle Cruise
    In 2021, Disney rewrote several Jungle Cruise scenes at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Photo courtesy Disney

Also recommended:

  • Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
    Boat ride to a playground located in Frontierland
    Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
    Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island. Photo by Robert Niles

Other notable attractions include the Swiss Family Treehouse walkthrough and Magic Carpets of Aladdin spinner in Adventureland; the Barnstormer junior roller coaster, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, the Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Mad Tea Party spinners, and Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan's Flight, and The Little Mermaid dark rides in Fantasyland; and the Astro Orbiter spinner, Tomorrowland Speedway mini-cars, and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin interactive dark ride in Tomorrowland.

TRON Lightcycle Run - an indoor roller coaster that debuted at Shanghai Disneyland - is under construction in Tomorrowland.


Top recommendations

  1. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
    Interactive movie in Tomorrowland
  2. Country Bear Jamboree
    Audio-Animatronic show in Frontierland
  3. Mickey's Philharmagic
    3D movie in Fantasyland
    Mickey's Philharmagic
    Disney recently added Coco to Mickey's Philharmagic. Photo courtesy Disney

Other shows include the Disney Enchantment 50th anniversary fireworks and projection mapping show on Cinderella Castle and Main Street USA, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room show in Adventureland and the The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square.

The Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents

The Festival of Fantasy parade will return March 9, 2022.


Top recommendations

  1. Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen ★ ★ ★
    Table service with world cuisine in Adventureland
    Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen
    The Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen is the Magic Kingdom's home for Disney's Society of Explorers and Adventurers. Photo by Robert Niles
  2. Be Our Guest
    French-inspired counter service at breakfast and lunch with table service at dinner, inside The Beast's castle in Fantasyland
  3. Columbia Harbour House
    Counter service seafood in Liberty Square
    Columbia Harbour House
  4. Crystal Palace
    Family-style meal on Main Street USA.
  5. Cinderella's Royal Table
    Table service meal inside Cinderella Caste in Fantasyland.
  6. Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
    Counter service burgers and sandwiches in Tomorrowland
  7. Pecos Bill
    Counter service Southwestern fare in Frontierland


Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida – about 24 miles from Orlando International Airport.

Best Time to Visit Disney World?

Disney's theme park ticket prices vary by day, so you can use Disney's pricing calendar [scroll down] to see which days have the highest expected crowds. The lower the price for a ticket, the smaller the expected crowd that day.

In general, you will find the lightest crowd levels at the Walt Disney World theme parks during these periods:

  • late April through the week before Memorial Day
  • after the first week of August through September
  • late October and early November

Large crowds will fill the parks on runDisney weekends:

  • November 3 - 6, 2022
  • January 4 - 8, 2023
  • February 23 - 26, 2023
  • April 13 - 16, 2023

In addition, crowd levels are high during:

  • any holiday week
  • President's Day week through Spring Break in mid-April
  • the week of Thanksgiving through New Year's week

Whenever you plan to visit, you must make date-specific reservations in advance to use your tickets. You can see which dates are open to reserve on Disney's "Park Pass" availability calendar. See the next section, below, for more advice on planning your Walt Disney World visit.


The Walt Disney World Resort now requires that all guests make date-specific reservations in advance to visit its theme parks. You can see which dates are available to reserve on Disney's "Park Pass" availability calendar.

Dates are listed up to about 15 months in advance, and reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, Disney maintains separate pools of available reservations each day for its annual passholders and its on-site hotel guests, as well as for regular ticket holders. So if a specific date is "sold out" for annual passholders, it might still be available for regular ticket holders.

If you want to visit more than one Walt Disney World theme park on a single day, you will need a "Park Hopper" ticket. You will make a reservation for the park you visit first on each date, then you can park hop to other parks starting at 2pm that day.

Once you have selected the dates you wish to visit and made your Disney Park Pass reservations, you may want to make dining reservations in advance of your visit, as well. Reservations can be made via the Disney World website, and each date's reservations open 60 days in advance, at about 5:45am Eastern Time. Disney's on-site hotel guests may make reservations for their entire stay (up to 10 days) starting 60 days before their check-in date. That gives Disney's on-site hotel guests an advantage in making reservations for the most popular restaurants.

Disney's hotel guests also get 30 minutes of early access to each of the resort's four theme parks every day. So hotel guests should plan on an early start each morning to take advantage of empty queues. Unfortunately for guests staying off site, this new early admission policy means that they no longer have any opportunity to be the first to enter any Walt Disney World theme park in the morning.

As for planning your day, Walt Disney World now offers a new tool on its official My Disney Experience app to create a custom itinerary for each day of your visit. In addition, Disney offers two ways for its theme park guests to pay to access shorter wait times for many popular attractions. You can learn more about these options in our posts:

The longest wait here throughout the day tends to be Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so even with Disney's hotel guests getting a head start, it's still a good candidate to make your first ride when the park opens. Just try to avoid riding Splash Mountain in the heat of the afternoon, when its wait time spikes. Read our guide to Disney Genie for more advice on how to use Disney's app to avoid long wait times in the park.

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