[DISCLAIMER: The following was originally written by Jerry Skids back in 2009. He is a big Disney fan. He has his own WDW-themed podcast, which you can find here, or here. This is 100% Jerry’s words, completely unedited, out of respect to Jerry. My comments are listed in [ ] – anything is ( ) are all Jerry’s words. I have not fact-checked any of this information. Obviously some things have definitely changed since 2009, and should be used for comparative purposes only, as many attractions have come and gone since the time this was written. However, that does not invalidate his suggestions one iota. This is still useful, and I think this is so amazing, that I want to share his knowledge and wisdom. Thank you Jerry! Posted with his permission. – Editor]
Note: If you get confused by the acronyms or abbreviations, please see the previous posts.
WDW For The Single Guy: an experiment
How To Get Around The Magic Kingdom (Tips And Rules)
- Do me a favor, and don’t just show up at the park without admission at 11AM. If this is your strategy, then just give me your money for the book back and kill yourself now. I’m serious… I’ll wait… … … thank you… oh… you’re dead. If you’re actually alive, then you may continue. If not, thanks for
- Find out all the official opening times (407) 824-4321 will help you do that.
- How many days are you going to spend at MK? I suggest 2½ days OR 1 full days, and two half days. Here’s why: on the day you arrive, I really suggest you check out the layout of the park, go to a few lighthearted rides, grab a bite to eat, and end the night with fireworks. The full day, follow my plan – then the final half (AM) just hang till 11AM, then parkhop to Epcot. Either way will do.
- Show up an hour early the first full day, and figure out if you’re gonna start with Fantasyland or Tomorrowland. If you got on rides I suggest for the morning on your half-day, now’s your chance to ride them again with no wait. If you didn’t go on your first day, then get ready, get set, Go! After the Opening Ceremonies, dash down Main Street (I hope you were waiting on the right, so you can be closer). If you decided to go to Fantasyland first, then run through Cinderella’s Castle – there may be a barricade – if it’s not there, then run into Dumbo. — If there is, then wait until they count down, and don’t push, but don’t be extra nice to anyone. Run ahead with a smile. If you’re after Tomorrowland first, then make your right next to the statue of Walt + Mickey holding hands (it’s called “Partners”), and dash to Space Mountain.
- [If] You start your day with Fantasyland: Run to Dumbo, then Pooh, then Pan. (It should still only be 9:15 – 9:20AM. Now, you can either try to see Ariel (I wouldn’t), or race over to Splash. Grab a FP. Ride Splash. Run to Big Thunder Mountain. Ride it. See if Pirates has a long wait. If it doesn’t, go for it. Now, you can either go to Jungle Cruise if there’s no wait, or ride Splash with your FP. Either way, grab a new FP for Jungle Cruise. If it’s lunch time, go eat. For lunch, I recommend Pecos Bill (counter-service), which is right there, or Casey’s (on Main Street). If you want table service, then I would say Tony’s or Liberty Inn for lunch. If it’s not lunch time yet, but you want a snack, I highly recommend the nearby Dole Whip. Use your FP for Jungle Cruise if you haven’t ridden it yet. At 12PM, you can go to the Tiki Room and get out of the heat, then cross over through the shortcut to the Country Bears Jamboree. Once that’s over, head over to Fantasyland and watch Philharmagic. Then ride Small World and Snow White’s Scary Adventures if there’s a line shorter than 15 mins. If you choose a late lunch at Liberty Tree Inn at 2PM, then do it + watch the 3:00 parade from outside Hall of Presidents. Afterwards (3:30) head over to Tomorrowland for the Carousel of Progress. Then grab a turkey leg and ride the TTA around Tomorrowland to see what’s in store for the next time. Go have a laugh in MILF. [sic] If you want to ride Pirates or Splash again, head that way. While you’re over there, explore the Swiss Family Treehouse. If you have reservations for dinner, go ahead and eat. I suggest Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station, where you just came from, so you can plan accordingly. But make room for Haunted Mansion, BTMRR, and Jungle Cruise in the dark. Watch Spectromagic and then the fireworks with a funnel cake from Sleepy Hollow. Then follow my directions for getting the hell out [#8]
- [If ] You start your day w/ Tomorrowland: Run to Space, get a FP, then ride it. Next head over to Buzz, then Astro Orbiter. Ride Speedway (if you must – if there’s no line), then follow my schedule from Splash onwards. Go back to Space as you want during the day with a FP. If you want to go to Stich, fine, but don’t do it until after the 3PM parade.
- What about the others?: On your first day (eve), I suggest you walk around to familiarize yourself, have a Casey dog and a Dole Whip. Also, you should check out Space Mountain with a Fastpass and ride Splash Mountain in the dark. (It’s really cool.) Don’t ride Jungle Cruise in the dark until you’ve already ridden it in the daytime. If you want a variety of comedians, also check out MILF and maybe Pirates/Haunted Mansion. If you have time, this would be a perfect day to ride the Liberty Belle Riverboat. On your second morning, do the opposite as your full day. (i.e.: if you went to Tomorrowland, start with Fantasyland) then either: A) check out Toontown when it opens at 10AM; B) ride the elaborate carousel in Fantasyland; C) go shopping; D) check out all the fun things on Main Street (Dapper Dan’s, the characters, and the small trolley parade); or E) ride your favorite rides. If you stay til 2PM, go to Tom Sawyer’s Island (otherwise, shove it into your full day if you like). If you leave at 11-12, then don’t forget to wave goodbye to the Magic Kingdom and parkhop over to Epcot. (Oh, squeeze Hall of Presidents in whenever).
- How To Leave MK after the Fireworks: You have two choices: 1) Watch the fireworks from near the exit (you get a full view) and run the fuck out of there the second the lights go on; or 2) Watch from the Hub near Partners (that statue), a great closeup spot, and go to EMH (if you are doing that and if they have one that night) OR enter the stores on your right, facing the exit, and make your way through there (They are all connected) toward the exit. If you are taking the monorail to the TTC, then jump on the RESORT monorail. The Express monorail becomes so crowded, it’s ridiculous. Otherwise, RUN to your bus. You actually have a 3rd choice. Hang around until everyone leaves, then catch your bus. You have an hour or two before they stop coming.
- The Best Bathrooms: No other guidebook has this. Besides the restaurants, the best bathrooms are: 1) Next to Pirates; 2) Directly next to Space Mountain; 3) Right next to City Hall; or 4) Splash Mountain’s exit. The Space one is huge and usually virtually empty. Plus it’s very clean. Pirates is good because it’s out of the way, and fairly quiet. The Splash one is awesome because you hear the music from the ride and it’s nice and cool on a hot day. And if you just got wet, then it’ll really cool you down. I wouldn’t go #2 here wet….
- The Worst Bathrooms: Another original! I’m full of surprises! Never go to the bathrooms: 1) next to Peter Pan’s Flight – there’s always a puddle of water on the floor; 2) in Toontown – obviously dirty reasons; 3) next to Auntie Gravity’s Ice Cream – it’s NASTY; and 4) unless you must, the ones that connect Frontierland + Adventureland by the Country Bears — it’s too busy.
- Obviously, my plan is the way I would do things, but if you like one ride more than another, then ride that twice, but don’t forget to adhere to my “When To Go” section of every attraction. That’s VERY important if you hate lines like I do.
- Right after the 3PM parade, Fantasyland gets CRAZY busy, as does Frontierland and Toontown. That’s why I direct you to Tomorrowland to get away from them. During the parades, rides tend to have way smaller lines.
- Wanna see Belle’s Storytime? Go on your last day of MK before you leave. Then go to one more Mountain with FP. Nice way to end, I think.
- You need to rest? Sure! Here’s some good places: Hall of Presidents is a nice place to sit for a half hour. 🙂 If not, then there are some covered tables in Adventureland by the Swiss Family Treehouse w/nice padded seats; there’s some rocking chairs on Tom Sawyer’s Island; there’s a few nice shaded benches between the Central Hub and Liberty Square; there’s this quaint little cul-de-sac on Main Street between the China shop and the ice cream/bakery area (on the right, facing the castle); and in Tomorrowland, there’s a quiet area near those nice restrooms – past the payphones – way out of the way 🙂 – refreshments nearby. Also, TTA and WDWRR.
- When to see the Castle Stage Show: it’s best during over-crowded times between 12 and 2:30 OR even better, around 6 – 7PM as it gets darker. My opinion.
- Even though I’m very specific, don’t be afraid to figure out your own plan based on attractions you want to see the most.
- Don’t wait on a line longer than 20 minutes unless you have no other choices.
- If you see a line, skip the ride. Don’t blame me; though, because there are a variety of factors out there, such as shirts, flags, and cheerleaders. (see next part for an explanation)
- When I say skip it, I mean for now. Come back later and ride it – everything adds up in the end.
- Don’t be stupid.
- Things not to miss: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dapper Dan’s, the Main Street Pianist, Peter Pan’s Flight, Jungle Cruise, Carousel of Progress, and Philharmagic. And Wishes!
- Go to Google and type in “Steve Soares” the week before you go. He has all the times of the “Live Entertainment” – more about that after Epcot.
- The day before you go, verify all your ADRs and recreation reservations as well as your hotel reservation. If you requested specific rooms, make sure your requests are still in the system as well.
- Have fuckin’ fun!