Some parks at Walt Disney World are easier to tour than others, and Magic Kingdom is definitely one of the more difficult parks to tour.
Magic Kingdom is a huge park with tons of attractions, which is why we recommend spending 2 days there if your schedule and budget allow.
On this day, we tested out touring at Magic Kingdom – one of us (Heather) toured without Genie+, and the other one of us (me, Felicia) toured with Genie+.
I was able to ride lots of attractions, including the most popular ones, with little wait and very little crisscrossing of the park.
Here’s how I did it:
How we put together our Magic Kingdom touring plans
We used our guide on How to Tour Magic Kingdom (without waiting in lines) to put together today’s plan for touring Magic Kingdom.
There, you’ll find everything you need to create a touring plan for your day at Magic Kingdom, too, including a detailed breakdown of each attraction with insider tips on the most strategic times to ride.
In addition, there are user-friendly graphics that can be easily saved to your phone, providing you with the necessary information to make informed, real-time decisions throughout the park.
If you’re interested in comparing what a day at Magic Kingdom would be like with and without Genie+, read also about our experience on the same day Touring Magic Kingdom without Genie+.
During my Magic Kingdom visit, I was able to accomplish 14 rides/attractions before lunch time at 1:15 p.m. I didn’t continue touring after lunch, but if I had I would have been able to do or see many of the remaining attractions/rides/shows with little issue.
Here is a summary of what I was able to do:
- 8:29 – Peter Pan’s Flight
- 8:38 – Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- 8:57 – Haunted Mansion
- 9:19 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- 9:33 – Pirates of the Caribbean
- 9:53 – Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- 10:03 – Meet Jasmine
- 10:22 -🧞 Jungle Cruise
- 11:02 – Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- 11:22 – Under the Sea… Journey of the Little Mermaid
- 11:54 -⚡ Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- 12:15 – Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- 12:43 -🧞 Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
- 12:56 -🧞 Space Mountain
- 1:15 – Lunch at Crystal Palace
If I had stayed after lunch, I would have tried to do these remaining items:
- 2:45 – 🧞 Meet Tiana and Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
- 9:30 – ⚡ TRON
- 🧞 Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Anytime attractions
Before we left the room
I started the day by buying Genie+ for myself. This is available to purchase starting at 12 a.m. on the day of your park visit. I was already asleep by then, so I bought it in the morning at 6:30 a.m.
Because we are staying on-site at Art of Animation, I was able to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes at 7 a.m. for TRON and 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. There were plenty of return times when I was booking for both attractions, so I had no issue getting a time that worked with my plans for the day.
I booked TRON first because those return times disappear the quickest. I wanted to be able to ride after dark so I chose a 9:20 to 10:20 p.m. return time. I chose this time because Happily Ever After was at 9 p.m. this evening and is approximately 20 minutes long. My plan was to watch the show and then head to TRON.
At 7 a.m., I was also able to make my first Genie+ selection. I booked this second, after my TRON Individual Lightning Lane. My first selection was Jungle Cruise because this is one of the quickest Genie+ selections to become unavailable each day at Magic Kingdom. My return time was 10:25 to 11:25 a.m., which was perfect for my plans.
Third, I booked 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and chose a return time of 11:55 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. because I knew we had lunch at 1:15 p.m. and I wanted to do other touring before using the Lightning Lane here.
Getting to Magic Kingdom
Today, Magic Kingdom opened at 9 a.m. with Early Theme Park Entry starting at 8:30 for on-site guests. Generally, we recommend that you get to the bus stop about 75-90 minutes before park opening (or 75-90 minutes before Early Theme Park Entry, in this case).
We arrived at the bus stop at 7:13 and there was already a double bus full of people ready to head to Magic Kingdom. We were able to get on a second Magic Kingdom bus that was arriving as we got to the bus stop. There were only 5 of us on that bus but it did not wait for additional guests and instead brought us straight to Magic Kingdom.
Our bus arrived to the Magic Kingdom bus dropoff area a few minutes before 7:30. Buses aren’t allowed to actually pull into the bus stop area until 7:30, so we were held on the street in front of the Contemporary Resort for a few minutes until it was time to enter.
Because our bus arrived with the first wave of resort buses, we were some of the first people to lineup at the tapstiles at 7:33 a.m. after going thru security and only had a few people ahead of us in line. Guests were let into the park at 7:46 a.m.
After tapping into the park, all guests are able to walk down Main Street and into the hub area. If you are an on-site guest that is participating in Early Theme Park Entry, cast members are lined up on the right of the hub near the bridge to Tomorrowland ready to scan MagicBands to verify you’re an on-site guest.
Once you’ve scanned thru, guests are held at two different locations: the bridge to Tomorrowland and the walkway toward Fantasyland between Cheshire Cat Café and Cosmic Ray’s. If you are planning on heading to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, or any other Fantasyland attraction, you will want to head to the Fantasyland walkway hold point. If you plan to rope drop Space Mountain, Astro Orbiter, or any other Tomorrowland attraction, you will want to line up on the Tomorrowland bridge.
We made it to the Fantasyland hold point around 7:50 and were in the second to third row of people back. The crowd continued to grow quickly behind us as more guests made it into the park and back toward the walkway.
At 8:25, we were able to enter Fantasyland and head to our first attractions. As a warning, this process and experience is chaotic and not the most enjoyable. While guests are told to not run, as soon as people are told they can start heading into Fantasyland, people run and push their way toward 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. Luckily I was headed to Peter Pan’s Flight and was able to get out of the chaos relatively quickly.
Attraction 1: Peter Pan’s Flight
- Posted Wait: N/A (Early Theme Park Entry)
- Time entering line: 8:26
- Time boarding: 8:31
- Time exiting: 8:35
- Total Wait: 5 minutes (time it took to walk the queue)
I was the first person to make it to Peter Pan’s Flight. As I previously stated, the majority of guests are headed to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train first. I had purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for that attraction for later in the day so was able to head elsewhere first.
I arrived at the queue at 8:26, however they did not start letting guests into the queue until 8:29. By the time the queue opened at 8:29, a large line had built with the other people that were starting with Peter Pan’s Flight. By the time I was exiting the attraction at 8:35, the posted wait time was already 35 minutes.
Attraction 2: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Posted Wait: 5 minutes
- Time entering line: 8:38
- Time boarding: 8:44
- Time exiting: 8:48
- Total Wait: 6 minutes
While it wasn’t originally my plan to come to Winnie the Pooh after Peter Pan, I did end up doing this because I was able to get onto and off of Peter Pan’s Flight so quickly.
While the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh isn’t a headliner attraction, it is popular and is slow-loading which means waits can build here. That makes it a good candidate to ride during Early Theme Park Entry. It did require that I backtrack thru Fantasyland slightly, but it was worth doing this for the short wait.
If I was further back in the rope drop crowd and therefore would have been off Peter Pan’s Flight later (anytime after 8:45ish), I would have skipped this and instead went straight to lining up to go to Haunted Mansion.
Attraction 3: Haunted Mansion
- Posted Wait: 13 minutes (which really means it is a walk on)
- Time entering line: 8:57
- Time boarding: 9:04 entered the Stretching Room and 9:06 boarded a Doom Buggy
- Time exiting: 9:14
- Total Wait: 5 minutes
- Notes: For this attraction, if the wait time says it is 13 minutes that means the wait is actually only 5 minutes. This is also true at Tower of Terror.
While waiting to be let into Liberty Square and Haunted Mansion, the Let the Magic Begin show was happening on the castle stage. This show ends with a couple of small fireworks and those fireworks signify the official opening of the park. I could hear the fireworks go off at 8:56 (4 minutes before official opening) and at that time, we were let out of Fantasyland and able to start entering other queues.
I entered the Haunted Mansion queue at 8:57 and was off by 9:14. There was no real wait. From here, my plan was to continue thru Liberty Square to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain.
Attraction 4: Big Thunder Mountain
- Posted Wait: 5 minutes
- Time entering line: 9:19
- Time boarding: 9:23
- Time exiting: 9:27
- Total Wait: 4 minutes
- Notes: Row 15 is the back row and (in my opinion) is the most intense.
I took the walkway by the Rivers of America from Haunted Mansion over to Big Thunder Mountain. The posted wait time when I arrived was only 5 minutes and this proved to be rather accurate. I never had to actually wait, though. The entire 4 minutes I waited was just how long it took me to walk the queue.
I received row 15 which is the back row of the train. I prefer this location because it makes the ride more intense, but honestly this coaster is fun anywhere. I exited this attraction at 9:27.
Attraction 5: Pirates of the Caribbean
- Posted Wait: 5 minutes
- Time entering line: 9:33
- Time boarding: 9:40
- Time exiting: 9:49
- Total Wait: 7 minutes
- Notes: This attraction can get you wet, especially during the cannonball scene. It doesn’t always happen, but for my ride this day I did get a bit wet.
After exiting Big Thunder Mountain, I wanted to start making my way toward Jungle Cruise since that was my first Genie+ selection for the day. I still had almost an hour until my return time when I exited Big Thunder Mountain, so I knew I had time to ride probably 2 more attractions before I would redeem that Genie+ selection.
Up first was Pirates of the Caribbean. The posted wait time here was only 5 minutes but I waited 7. This queue is long and almost entirely indoors (the part that isn’t is in a covered area) so the wait never feels too terrible. In my case, I spent the majority of my wait walking the long queue and then only waited 2-3 minutes to board a boat.
Attraction 6: Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Posted Wait: 15 minutes
- Time entering line: 9:53
- Time boarding: 9:59
- Time exiting: 10:03
- Total Wait: 6 minutes
After riding Pirates of the Caribbean, I still had about 20 minutes until my Genie+ return time for Jungle Cruise. I didn’t want to leave the Adventureland area so decided to ride Magic Carpets of Aladdin. This is an attraction that I normally would not prioritize early in the day when wait times are shorter everywhere because waits are rarely super long and this is an attraction that is easy to churn with Genie+. However, it was close to Jungle Cruise and the line was short so it was a good option for me at the time.
This attraction is quite similar to Dumbo, however there are controls in both rows of the carpet that do different things. One moves you up and down and the other tilts you. It isn’t the most thrilling attraction, but it is entertaining enough for smaller children.
Attraction 7: Meet Princess Jasmine at Agrabah Bazaar
- Character meet start time: 10:10
- Time entering line: 10:03
- Time meeting character: 10:18
- Time exiting: 10:20
- Total wait: 15 minutes
Right outside the exit of Magic Carpets of Aladdin is the meeting location for Princess Jasmine. I didn’t have it in my plans to meet her and would have likely walked thru Swiss Family Treehouse or gone to the Enchanted Tiki Room show after riding Magic Carpets while waiting for my Jungle Cruise return time. However, when I was exiting the attraction I noticed the line was forming and saw in the My Disney Experience app that she was set to meet in less than 10 minutes at 10:10, so I hopped in line.
I only waited 15 minutes to meet her and would recommend doing this if the opportunity arises. It is a fun and engaging meet and greet with a great background/setting. There is a Photopass photographer there taking pictures as well as a cast member that will use your phone or camera to grab photos or videos on your personal devices.
Attraction 8: Jungle Cruise
- Posted Wait: 45 minutes
- Time entering line: 10:22
- Time boarding: 10:27
- Time exiting: 10:43
- Total Wait: 5 minutes with Genie+
Now it was time to finally use my first Genie+ selection at Jungle Cruise. My return time was 10:25-11:25 a.m., however you are technically allowed to tap in up to 5 minutes early. So I did this and tapped in at 10:22. The posted wait time was 45 minutes but I only waited for 5 with Genie+.
After tapping in at Jungle Cruise, I snagged my next Genie+ selection while I was walking the queue. My next priority was Space Mountain so I grabbed that with a return time of 11:25 a.m. -12:25 p.m. When exiting Jungle Cruise, I still had about 45 minutes until it was time to go to Space Mountain, so I decided to head back to Fantasyland to ride some attractions with low posted wait times.
Attraction 9: Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Posted Wait: 5 minutes
- Time entering line: 11:02
- Time boarding: 11:15
- Time exiting: 11:18
- Total Wait: 13 minutes
On my way over to Fantasyland from Jungle Cruise, I stopped to get a drink and exchange my Fuel Rod at Big Top Souvenirs. When I was leaving Big Top Souvenirs, I noticed the posted wait time to meet Daisy and Minnie at Pete’s Silly Sideshow was only 5 minutes. I got in line for this, but once inside I could tell the wait was going to be much longer than what was posted so I hopped out of line and decided to head to Dumbo instead.
I waited 13 minutes to ride which was a little longer than the posted wait time but wasn’t bad at all. I had a couple of options for what to do next: I could head to use my Genie+ selection at Space Mountain or I could ride something else in Fantasyland while waiting to be able to use my Individual Lightning Lane selection from 11:55 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. at 7 Dwarfs Mine Train.
Attraction 10: Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Posted Wait: 15 minutes
- Time entering line: 11:22
- Time boarding: 11:40
- Time exiting: 11:46
- Total Wait: 18 minutes
I opted to stay in Fantasyland to wait for my return time for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train so that I could minimize backtracking. The posted wait time at Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid was only 15 minutes which seemed reasonable, so I got in line for this.
The wait time for this attraction is often overstated and the attraction is fairly quick loading since it is an omni mover. However, I did end up waiting 18 minutes which was a bit longer than the posted wait time.
Attraction 11: 7 Dwarfs Mine Train
- Posted Wait: 70 minutes
- Time entering line: 11:54
- Time boarding: 12:01
- Time exiting: 12:04
- Total Wait: 7 minutes with Individual Lightning Lane
When I exited at 11:46, it was almost time for my 7 Dwarfs Mine Train return time so I headed toward that attraction. I tapped in a minute early at 11:54 and only waited 7 minutes to board. The posted wait time was 70 minutes, so this was a huge time savings over waiting in the standby line.
After leaving 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, I headed to Tomorrowland to use my Genie+ selection at Space Mountain. Unfortunately, when I got over to Space Mountain the ride was down and my Genie+ selection was converted to a “Multiple Experiences” pass. I could either use the Genie+ selection at a different attraction (as noted on the Multiple Experiences pass) or I could save it and use it at Space Mountain at any time during the rest of the day once it came back up. I opted to save it to use once it came back up.
Attraction 12: Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Posted Wait: 10 minutes
- Time entering line: 12:15
- Time boarding: 12:20
- Time exiting: 12:38
- Total Wait: 5 minutes
Now it was time for me to book my next Genie+ selection. At this point in the day, I wanted to start churning my Genie+ selections which meant I wanted to pick something with a return time close to the current time. My preferred attraction was Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. I was able to grab a Genie+ selection for 12:55-1:55 which was further away than I had hoped for so my plan was to try to refresh frequently and modify it for an earlier time.
While waiting for my Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin return time, I hopped in line for PeopleMover. The posted wait was 10 minutes but I only had to wait 5 minutes. While in line waiting to board, I was able to modify my Genie+ return time for Buzz Lightyear to 12:45-1:45 which was more in line with what I wanted.
Attraction 13: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
- Posted Wait: 25 minutes
- Time entering line: 12:43
- Time boarding: 12:47
- Time exiting: 12:53
- Total Wait: 4 minutes with Genie+
After exiting PeopleMover, it was time for me to tap into my Genie+ selection for Buzz Lightyear. My plan was to use my Genie+ selection at Buzz, go (hopefully) use my Genie+ selection at Space Mountain if it was back up, and then head to our lunch reservation at Crystal Palace at 1:15. Because of this, I wanted the next Genie+ selection I chose to be for after 2:30-2:45ish. I was able to snag a Genie+ selection at Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Tiana and a visiting princess for 1:50-2:50 once I tapped in at Buzz Lightyear.
My wait for Buzz Lightyear was short – only 4 minutes. But, despite how badly I wanted it, I sadly did not become a Galactic Hero on this ride. Maybe next time…
Attraction 14: Space Mountain
- Posted Wait: 35 minutes
- Time entering line: 12:56
- Time boarding: 1:05
- Time exiting: 1:10
- Total Wait: 9 minutes with Genie+
Once I was finished with Buzz Lightyear, I headed over to Space Mountain with hopes that it would be up and running again so I could ride before lunch. And it was! I entered the line a little before 1 p.m. and was off the attraction at 1:10.
After all of that, it was time to head to our 1:15 dining reservation at Crystal Palace (read our review of that here). Before lunch, I was able to accomplish all of the headliner attractions and did a total of 14 things in the first 4 hours that the park was officially open.
How I would have spent the rest of the day
After eating at Crystal Palace, we decided to head back to the hotel to get some work done. However, if I was visiting for vacation, I would have stayed at the park and finished out the rest of the things I wanted to do there.
The attractions I would have focused on grabbing Genie+ selections to churn would be:
Attractions and shows that would be good things to fill time while waiting for Genie+ return times:
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Carousel of Progress
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Based on planning this day as if I was going to be in the park all day at 7 a.m. when I was booking Individual Lightning Lane and Genie+ selections, I purchased an Individual Lightning Lane selection for TRON. I chose a return time in the evening after dark, 9:20 to 10:20 p.m. for my day. I chose this time because Happily Ever After was scheduled for 9 p.m. and is approximately 20 minutes long. This would allow me to watch Happily Ever After and then head over to ride TRON after dark.
Overall, touring Magic Kingdom is made so much easier with Genie+. If you were only to get Genie+ at one park, this should be the one you get it at.
This becomes less necessary if you plan to be at Magic Kingdom two or more days, however I would still recommend getting it one of the two days so that you can get through as many popular attractions as possible which will allow your extra days to be more relaxing. If doing this, you could even have time to re-ride some favorite attractions.
VIDEO: Touring Magic Kingdom with (and WITHOUT) Genie+
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