One thing you need to know before starting is that it is absolutely impossible to do everything in one day. There are things you are going to have to miss. The best thing you can do is research each land and then figure out what are must-dos. If you break your day down into manageable parts it will make it easier to do everything you want to do in one day.
Also, keep in mind that even the best laid plans can go awry. Weather can change things, park crowds can be larger than expected, ride closures do happen, and god forbid, someone could get sick or have an accident. Be flexible. Even if you are trying to hit the highlights and not rushing, kids can melt down. Just be prepared for the chance that the plans may have to change. That way if it happens you are not super disappointed.
If you are visiting Magic Kingdom in a day, chances are you won’t be leaving to eat, so that means you must eat in the park. If you don’t mind losing an hour or so, you can most certainly take advantage of character dining like The Crystal Palace for dinner. Or you could choose to do Be Our Guest for lunch. You won’t meet Belle but service is usually very quick, and you can be in and out in under an hour. Another great option is to eat at one of the many quick-service places around the park. They have great food at a fraction of the cost. You can find a shady spot, sit down to eat, and be on your way in 30 minutes or less.
Beat The Lines
After your trip down Main Street watching the opening, pay attention to which way the crowds are moving. If they go right, you go left and vice versa. You can beat the lines by going backwards. By the time you hit Fantasyland the lines are a lot shorter for attractions like The Mine Train and Belle’s Enchanted Journey.
Even if you try to bypass lines by going in a different direction you have to remember that a lot of other people had the same idea. While the lines will be shorter, there will still be lines. Utilize your Fastpasses for the most popular rides. It will make things a lot easier and faster, giving you more time to explore the park.
Go During The Off Season
If you go during the off season the lines will be a lot shorter. Late September to early November are great times and so is after the new year up to spring break. Not only is it a lot cooler but also less crowded since most kids are in school. The times to avoid are during spring break, summer vacation, and the holiday parties.
Purchase Tickets In Advance
It may be tempting to buy them when you get there but don’t give in to temptation. Not only will the ticket prices be higher, but it will delay your entry into the park. To make the most of your time you want to get into the park right away. Also, buying them in advance will give you a chance to research for any discounts – and that means cheaper tickets!
Get There Early
Get there at least 30 minutes early so you can be one of the first people in the park. This saves a lot of time. If you have a ride you are dying to ride, you can be one of the first people on it. This is also great if you want an a front row view of the park opening which is a magical experience you don’t want to miss!
Magic Kingdom really lives up to its name. And while it would be best to have a couple of days to enjoy it, if you are short on time, you can fit a lot of magic into one day. The best tip I can give is slow down a little, savor the moments, and make a lot of memories that you will treasure for years to come!