If you’re taking a longer Walt Disney World vacation and plan to spend 2 days in Magic Kingdom, this provides a plan for efficiently experiencing the park’s most popular attractions to save time. Our itinerary also offers tips for ways to “stop and smell the roses” and enjoy the exceptional theme and atmosphere. (Updated March 28, 2021.)
This 2-Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary has been overhauled as of Spring Break 2021 during Walt Disney World’s phased reopening. There are a number of reasons for that, with the biggest being the temporary suspension of FastPass+ (here’s when we expect FastPass+ to return) and lines going standby only. On top of that, operating hours have been scaled back, with a later opening and earlier closing time many days, and no Extra Magic Hours.
Finally, capacity has been reduced. There are two elements to that cut: Magic Kingdom is capped at 35% of normal attendance and some attractions are not filling every seat or row. This has caused changes in wait times, guest behavior, and certain rides to have longer–and shorter–lines. We’ve visited Magic Kingdom countless times since reopening, monitoring wait time data, and fine-tuning our strategy as crowds have progressively increased during that time. This is the 2-day Magic Kingdom itinerary we’ve devised as a result…
Another thing of which you should be aware is that most entertainment is temporarily on hiatus as are a few attractions and all character meet & greets. In Magic Kingdom, this currently means no Happily Ever After Fireworks, Festival of Fantasy Parade, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, or Enchanted Tales with Belle in addition to what’s listed on the normal 2021 Walt Disney World Refurbishment Calendar.
That might seem like a relatively short list, and compared to some of the other parks at Walt Disney World, it is. However, all of that takes up a substantial amount of time, as does some of the atmospheric entertainment and other offerings that are currently absent.
Add to that the 35% attendance cap, which means lower wait times across the board as compared to pre-closure. Honestly, the end result is that most Walt Disney World visitors simply will not need multiple days in Magic Kingdom right now.
If you do opt for a second day, much of it can be spent repeating favorite attractions. Rather than following this unique plan, you could take our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary, and do that a second time, making modifications and skipping things as it suits your tastes and interests. Or simply have a more laid back and spontaneous visit, not using a touring plan at all.
Nevertheless, the 5-day ticket is Walt Disney World’s most popular ticket, so many of you are going to spend more than one day in at least one of the four parks. Without a doubt, we spend the most time in Magic Kingdom. It’s also the most-visited park at Walt Disney World, and there’s more to do in Magic Kingdom than any other park. Quite simply, the vast majority of guests who are going to spend 5 days in Walt Disney World should spend their “bonus” day in Magic Kingdom.
If you want maximum efficiency and don’t want to simply “double up” on our 1-day Magic Kingdom Itinerary, this is the plan for you. This is a stand-alone post that reevaluates what your priorities and pace should be if you’re spending a second day in Magic Kingdom.
You might even opt for a “best of both worlds” approach and follow the steps laid out here for each morning, and then do your own thing for the afternoons and evenings. That’s probably the best way to go during Walt Disney World’s phased reopening–basically any time between now and October 1, 2021…
A Fantastic Morning – For families, Fantasyland is the heart of Magic Kingdom. Saying Fantasyland is “for families” misses the point of Walt Disney World entirely and how it’s for the young or young at heart. Fantasyland sets the tone for that, and is where you should start your day.
Knocking out Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, followed by Peter Pan’s Flight, followed by the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, followed by Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is an excellent way to start the morning. Running around doing these Fantasyland attractions is like walking barefoot over burning embers–both equally likely to hurt your feet–it’s a rite of passage among Disney fans.
Fright Row – Next up are Magic Kingdom’s two scariest attractions. Haunted Mansion and ‘it’s a small world.’ One features creepy characters whose words will send shivers down your spine, frightening you to your core. The other has grim grinning ghosts. In between, “schedule” a stop at the nicest restroom in Magic Kingdom, the Tangled Toilets.
Morning Snack: Citrus Swirl – The great Dole Whip v. Citrus Swirl debate we discussed in our 1-day Magic Kingdom Plan becomes a non-issue now, because you have a morning to try each of them and then make an informed decision as to where your allegiances lie. It’s like democracy in action…or something like that.
Lunch: Be Our Guest Restaurant – Still the most popular spot in Magic Kingdom, this Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant now does breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The table service reservation is still difficult to score, but we recommend doing lunch here, anyway, and table service dinners at other restaurants.
Midday Break – Going back to your hotel and taking a nap or lounging by the pool to prevent your kids from having a meltdown later in the day is a great option. Logistically, transportation and parking eats a lot of time, and you can expect to add at least 90 minutes to your break for transit–possibly 2 hours.
The midday break is a great idea, but here’s an efficient, decompressing alternative: indoor stage shows. Things like Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, or even a few back-to-back showings of Hall of Presidents (currently closed for refurbishment, likely until July 2021). All are dark, laid back, and feature plenty of refreshing air-conditioning.
While sleeping during Hall of Presidents may not work for everyone, if you think it will work for your kids, give it a shot. If they are really zonked, they’ll likely fall asleep within the first 5 minutes. That is, unless you’re raising little Rutherford B. Hayes aficionados.
Tom “SERENITY NOW!” Island – Now that your kids are rejuvenated, burn some of that second wind on Tom Sawyer Island. This is one of the biggest chunks of Magic Kingdom, and the vast majority of guests never visit it. I could blame it on “the kids these days,” but I think it’s more on the parents, and not wanting to “waste” time on a play area given the cost of a Walt Disney World vacation. However, this is a great place to unwind, get away from the crowds, and blow off some steam. I enjoy wandering it even as an adult, and it’s a great change of pace and reprieve from the stimulation of Magic Kingdom.
Sunset Cruises – Late afternoon is the perfect time for the transportation attractions in Magic Kingdom. While you’re in the area, we’d recommend setting sail aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat. It’ll give you another vantage on Tom Sawyer Island, and as with that, it feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of Magic Kingdom.
Dinner: The Plaza Restaurant – While this spot won’t wow you with amazing theme, it’s a table service restaurant that does comfort food really well and offers some great entree and dessert options. It’s a nice place to relax a bit and enjoy a quality meal without breaking the bank.
Night Kingdom – When the sun goes down in Magic Kingdom, the park totally transforms and really comes alive. It’s impossible to describe until you’ve experienced it, but virtually everything about Magic Kingdom is better at night, and this includes many attractions. We highly recommend experiencing outdoor attractions at night, especially those on our Top 10 Magic Kingdom Attractions at Night list.
Last Call at Night Kingdom – After knocking out as many attractions as you can, it’s time to choose how you’ll end the day. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain are great options, or you can hop in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine train 1 minute before park closing to experience a short wait. Follow whichever attractions with a leisurely stroll through New Fantasyland (or Frontierland) and to the front of the park after it closes.
The shops on Main Street are open roughly 1 hour after the park closes, so don’t feel rushed as you leave–but remember, you have to do all of this bright and early the next morning (or a future morning, if you’re not doing Magic Kingdom on consecutive days).
Magic Kingdom Mountain Range – Start with Space Mountain, then bounce to the other side of the park for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad followed by Splash Mountain. Take a photo at each (pics or it didn’t happen) and brag to your friends on social media about your glorious achievement. It’s basically as big of an accomplishment as reaching the summit of Everest. (The one in Animal Kingdom…and probably the actual mountain, too.) If you have kids who are too young to do these attractions, consider repeating some of the Fantasyland itinerary from Day 1.
Rumble in the Jungle – While it’s still early, head over to Adventureland after Splash Mountain to hit Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise (in that order). While you’re in the area, if the temperature is getting high, make a pass through the misting Liki Tikis–yes, even if you’re an adult. Remember that whole “young at heart” bit.
Dole Whip Break – Same idea as the day before, but this time with a Dole Whip. Morning ice cream is the key to stamina for Magic Kingdom touring.
Quick Diversion – While you’re in the area, consider doing Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room or Country Bear Jamboree. It’s probably best to do these before lunch. Best to avoid falling asleep during these shows and being forever labeled “distinctly unpatriotic” by your friends and family (or as they will call you, “just a casual acquaintance, I swear!”)
Lunch Break – If you’re doing two full days in Magic Kingdom right now, our strong recommendation would be at least 3 table service meals over the course of your 4 meals. In part, because counter service is really weak at Magic Kingdom, and in part because sit-down dining takes more time, and you’ll have a surplus of that to kill. As for this lunch, we’d recommend Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, which recently “redeemed” itself for us.
On the counter service front, we’d go with Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn for lunch. It’s a Tex-Mex place with a really robust toppings bar, but a fairly loud seating area. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe would be our alternative pick if you’re looking for a wider-ranging, but ordinary menu.
Afternoon Unwind – Just like the midday break from the previous day. If the tried and true formula of Hall of Presidents did the trick exceptionally well, repeat that. If you want to try something new, go for a spin aboard Carousel of Progress. (Both have the most comfortable seats of any shows in Magic Kingdom, making them equally great for napping.)
Ice Cream Antidote – Ice cream fixes everything. There’s a reason Ben & Jerry were (probably) awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, and that’s because ice cream is a known panacea. After the show, consult our Best Magic Kingdom Snacks & Desserts List for a sweet treat. The Peter Pan Float (pictured above) is highly recommended! That should curb any meltdowns that are brewing as a result of the prolong time in the sun for the stage show.
Sunset Cruises Sequel – Again, the perfect time for the transportation attractions in Magic Kingdom. This time, we’d recommend heading over to Dumbo, Tomorrowland Speedway, Astro Orbiter, and Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover (currently down for refurbishment), these attractions are great ways to transition from day to night in Magic Kingdom. When you’re done with those, you should also find a short wait time at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
Dinner: Skipper Canteen – The newest restaurant in Magic Kingdom is themed to the Jungle Cruise attraction, and it’s a great option, especially for adults. I recommend requesting the S.E.A. room, which is nicely appointed and includes tons of detail (many of which will be lost on non-Disney fans).
The cuisine here is the best in Magic Kingdom, so that’s another plus. Don’t be scared away by the menu, it’s surprisingly approachable once you get past the window dressing of the descriptions.
Magic of the Kingdom at Night – Even if you’re going on fumes at this point, the experience of being in Magic Kingdom at night should be a nice shot in the arm. At this point, you can either try to hit the other attractions on our top 10 list that you missed, or slow down and take a leisurely stroll through the park, soaking up its brilliant nighttime ambiance. Do some last minute shopping in the Emporium on Main Street, and call it a night.
Historians always blather on about how Europeans scoured Florida for the Fountain of Youth during the Age of Exploration. Obviously, these guys were too cheap for a park ticket, because anyone who has spent a couple of days in Magic Kingdom will tell you that it can be found there. As tiring as 2 full days might seem, I always leave Magic Kingdom energized and with a smile on my face. If you follow the rough plan in this guide, I suspect you will, too.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Did we miss anything you consider a highlight or must-do at the Magic Kingdom? Any other quiet moments or ‘ambiance spots’ you’d recommend? Have any questions about our recommendations? Hearing your thoughts is half the fun, so please share your comments or questions below!