Thanks to Disney World, Orlando, Florida, is the one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With four theme parks, three water parks, major shopping centers and more than a dozen themed resorts, there is literally something for everyone. The Magic Kingdom was the first Disney theme park, built in 1971. Disney does not publish attendance data, but the company closes the parks when they reach capacity every day. Magic Kingdom is the park that closes most often on a daily basis. There is a certain strategy to getting the most out of a visit to the Magic Kingdom.
Things You'll Need
Frozen solid water bottles.
Small bags of energy snacks that don't melt
Magic Kingdom maps
1. Choose the right time of year to visit. Summer is the busiest and hottest time of year at the Magic Kingdom. The lines for a ride can average one hour or longer, the heat is almost unbearable for some people, and getting around is difficult with the heavy crowds. The best times to visit are the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, mid- to late January through the last weekend in February (before spring breaks start) and the months of September and October. Temperatures are cooler, crowds are thinner and the lines for rides average under 30 minutes.
2. Map your route beforehand. Planning your route will save you an immense amount of frustration in dealing with crowds of people. The Magic Kingdom is laid out like a large circle. Some of the more popular rides are in the rear of the park. The Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain are just three. (They are all in Frontierland.) Once the lines begin to build for these rides, they just don't get any smaller. As you first enter the Magic Kingdom, you will pass under the Walt Disney Railroad. Catch the train to Frontierland and start riding these three more popular rides before the crowds can get to them.
3. Choose the areas to visit based on your children's ages. If you are going to the Magic Kingdom with teenagers, they will more than likely be choosing the roller coasters and high speed rides. If you have small children, you may want to begin in Mickey's Toon Town. Toon Town gets crowded quickly and doesn't let up during the day. The rides are geared to the elementary-age kids or younger, and they can get a thrill by touring Mickey's or Minnie's houses. For older kids, following Frontierland backward for the major rides then into Tomorrowland for the Space Mountain ride is a good plan.
4. Use the fast passes. These are tickets you get by putting your park ticket through a machine outside one of the rides that will allow you to skip the line later in the day. You can only have one fast pass per ticket at a time so use them for the rides you really want to go on. On a busy day, the fast passes can be exhausted by noon (Disney issues only a limited number each day) so get them early.
By noon, your frozen water bottles should be completely melted and ready to drink. Save yourself $5 and refill them at the water fountains throughout the park.
Tips & Warnings
Take advantage of the misting stations located in the different areas of the park. They are located strategically next to drink vendors with the official drink of Disney, Coca-Cola. Cool off and rest a little.
Find the "rest rides." These are rides or shows with swiftly moving lines that allow you to sit and enjoy the air conditioning. They include the People Mover and Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland, The Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland and the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square.
David Roberts has been writing since 1985. He has published for various websites including online business news publications. He has over 11 years experience in tax preparation and small business consultation. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. He received a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University in 2005.
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