Walt Disney World Touring Plan: Magic Kingdom updated with Genie+

Please note: Walt Disney World operations continue to be in a state of flux. For recommendations about visiting Walt Disney World right now please visit WDW Prep School.

Although a visit to Walt Disney World is a vacation, it’s like no other vacation you’ve ever taken. Considering the expense, the last thing you want to do is spend your days waiting in lines. Having a solid touring plan for each park is a must. That way you can prioritize your “must sees” and get the most bang for your buck.

That said, if you are someone who likes to go with the flow and be more casual about planning, Disney’s new free Genie tool will help. Or you can use the excellent TouringPlans system which costs $18 for full features for a year. In essence for either system you put in your “to do” list and it optimizes your plans based on walking, wait times, and real time crowds. I seriously cannot endorse TouringPlans enough and wouldn’t go on a Walt Disney World trip without it. Their app’s wait time accuracy is unmatched, whereas Disney’s free wait time system is often wrong.

Magic Kingdom, and its iconic castle, is what most think of when they think of Walt Disney World. And for good reason. There are few places that are as steeped in magic and fantasy as this place. The park is massive, and I strongly recommend two full days at this park.

There are several attractions here that garner long lines. They are:

  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • It’s a small world.
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Astro Orbitor
  • Tomorrowland Speedway

As you can see, it’s a long list. Magic Kingdom is one place it may make sense to spring for the premium line skipping pass called Genie+, especially on busy days.

The Genie+ pass system, which costs $15 per person per day includes:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

This pass however, will not include two headline attractions. These two attractions will be a separate cost to skip lines and be on a surge based pricing system. They are:

  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

For an early morning arrival/late night strategy I would consider:

Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean

or

Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion

or

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain

or

Space Mountain

You could also try your chances with Seven Dwarves Mine Train, but this may be a case where it’s worth the one off fee, especially if you don’t purchase the Genie+ pass. Remember, I suggest two days at this park, so you will have two opportunities to take advantage of short lines. There is a lot of ground to cover in this park so a plan is a must, otherwise you end up criss-crossing the massive park and waiting in lines for no reason. Keep a list in mind of must-dos in your family and make them a priority. I’ve been to the parks several times and still have not ridden everything simply because although fine, there are other attractions that take priority for me.

In addition, a good strategy is to go early, stay through mid day, and then take a break during the afternoon when the heat and the crowds are the worst. Take a nap. Rest and relax. Return at dinner and stay until the early hours of the next day.

Here’s a full roundup of the attractions at Magic Kingdom:

Rides are listed clockwise around the park.

  • The Flying Carpets – tame circular ride
  • The Tiki Room – a classic animatronic bird show – you either love it or hate it. (We love it.)
  • Jungle Cruise – hilarious boat ride with corny jokes
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – dark boat ride with mild flume
  • Haunted Mansion – slow moving dark ride. Intro goes black with screaming and can be frightening.
  • Hall of Presidents – Animatronic show of speeches – go if you need a rest
  • Thunder Mountain Railroad – mild roller track coaster
  • Splash Mountain – long flume ride – big drop.
  • Country Bear Jamboree – Enjoyable, hokey animatronic bear show.
  • It’s a Small World – Classic boat ride with annoying music
  • Peter Pan’s Flight – Flying ships above a dark ride display
  • Royal Carousel – historic carousel originally from NJ. Find the horse with the gold tassel – that’s Cinderella’s.
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic – 4-D Show with 3D glasses
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle – Audience helps tell the tale of Beauty and the Beast with Belle. Great facetime with Belle if you have a Belle fan, otherwise not a must do. Currently on hiatus
  • 7 Dwarves Mine Train – A very brief mild but fun roller coaster
  • Adventures with Winnie the Pooh – cute car that very mildy “bounces” and rocks along with the characters.
  • Journey with the Little Mermaid – Ride a shell car under the sea.
  • The Barnstormer – mild kiddie coaster
  • Dumbo – classic flying elephant
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – drive a car around the track. Always popular but not a fav of ours.
  • Astro Orbiter – another flying in a circle
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Shoot laser guns to win points while riding in a car. 
  • Tomorrowland People Mover – go in a small car for a tour of Tomorrowland. Mild and often lame, it’s a fav of ours – takes you through Space Mountain. They will allow you to stay on with sleeping children for several go arounds. 
  • Carousel of Progress – animatronic show that talks about history. Transitions with a catchy song.
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor – Animated character interacts live with audience
  • Space Mountain – indoor dark roller coaster ride

Shows/Parades:

  • Move It! Shake It! – Held twice daily where guests dance with characters. On hiatus.
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade – on hiatus – will it return?
  • Castle Show – Held several times daily. On hiatus.
  • End of Day show – Disney’s Enchantment. Fireworks coupled with music and castle projections. Amazing – don’t miss 

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