This weekend we went to Disney World again, but this time we began at Magic Kingdom before heading over to Epcot. Here are a few tips that I wanted to pass along that made our trip smoother. Note: These are things that work for my family when we get to the park first thing in the morning, NOT if we arrive in the afternoon.

  • Park at Epcot and take the monorail over to Magic Kingdom. Yes, you will have to exit the monorail from Epcot and board another at the transportation area for Magic Kingdom, and yes, you’ll have to get your bags searched twice, but it’s so much easier than getting on the tram with a bunch of people and then moving like a herd of cattle to the monorail, especially with a stroller! You can open your stroller right after exiting the tram at Epcot (or if you’re as early as we usually are, we bypass the tram since we’ve always parked close enough to walk to the entrance of the park), get your bags checked, and then head up to the monorail. We were the only ones who took the monorail when we went on Saturday, and we had a nice leisurely trip to the transportation area that takes you to Magic Kingdom. The best part of doing this, in my opinion, is that exiting the park later is a breeze! Epcot is a much easier park to leave from, both in terms of the parking lot design and ability to get back to the major highways.
  • On this day, it was so nice out, we ended up taking the ferry over to the entrance gates of Magic Kingdom, and the kids loved it! I highly suggest taking the ferry over because it’s usually less crowded than the monorail, and it takes the same amount of time. First thing in the morning they’re running a bunch of the boats, so waiting usually isn’t an issue. It’s a really pretty ride, and you can check out a few of the hotels along the way.

  • When you enter the park, over to the right is a big statue of Goofy. The kids found this hilarious, and we got a great picture because everyone else seemed to be getting signatures from the “real” thing. We were able to get a photo without anyone around which, if you’re a veteran Disney go-er, you know how hard it is to get a photo without at least one random stranger in it! So, I highly recommend getting your Main Street photos early while everyone is busy standing in line for the characters! It’s still shady then too, which is a huge plus! Note: I’ve read that the Goofy statue has been known to talk! I haven’t heard it, but who knows?…

  • Head to the back of the park as soon as you can! If you can bypass pictures in the front, all the better, because you’ll beat out a lot of other people who take the time to stop and visit characters, get photos, etc.
  • The general patters of visitors (I’ve found) is that they seem to go to the right at the castle and head into Tomorrow Land, so we always go to the left. I’ve done this a few times now (and in every season, so I don’t really think it matters), and the foot traffic is much less.
  • If you go to Frontier Land first, I’ve found that it’s virtually empty! The Older and The Hubby have gone on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with, at most, a 10 minute wait, and while they’re doing that, I take The Younger down to the little play area under the bridge. There’s also Splash Mountain and Tom Sawyer’s Island right here too, so they’re easy to access.
  • We usually skip the above listed rides, however, and head right to the Haunted Mansion. (Note: If you want to ride on Peter Pan’s Flight, I highly recommend getting a FastPass before visiting the Haunted Mansion; the wait is always crazy-long!) We’ve waited at most 15 minutes at the Haunted Mansion if we head right over, and the wait really doesn’t matter to us anyway because there’s so much to look at while waiting! ( Hint: Right before the entrance of the actual mansion for the ride, look at the headstone to the left. Keep looking, and you’ll notice something that thrilled my kids the first time they saw it happen).
  • Fantasy Land is undergoing some big changes! As of the writing of this post, the Snow White ride is closed, and there is no Dumbo ride. It’s A Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, and Winnie-the-Pooh are all still going strong though!
  • Best part of the Winnie-the-Pooh ride now is all the interactive things they have for the kids to do while waiting in line, in my opinion. We didn’t have a line though, so we actually had to let people pass us so the kiddos could play, LOL!

Here’s a sneak peak at what Beauty and the Beast’s castle looks like so far in Fantasy Land. I can’t wait!

At this point in our day, we had been at Magic Kingdom for 1.5 hours and had ridden 4 rides, stopped to use the bathroom twice, and ducked into a store or two to cool down. Not too badly done, if I do say so myself!

In my next Walt Disney World post, I’ll share some things I’ve found around the parks as well as post some more helpful tips for navigating the parks during the heat. Stay tuned ;-)

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