As Walt Disney World’s most iconic and popular theme park, Magic Kingdom attracts huge crowds all year long. But some days are definitely busier than others at the Most Magical Place on Earth. Planning your Magic Kingdom day for a less crowded date can improve your family’s experience in 2024.

My wife Jaimie, daughter Ava, son Ben, and I have visited Magic Kingdom numerous times over the years. We’ve experienced packed days with extremely long lines everywhere, and quieter days when we walked right onto even the most popular rides.

After many family trips, we’ve learned when crowds tend to be lighter and heavier from experience. This article breaks down the best days to visit Magic Kingdom in 2024 based on projected crowds. Additionally, we have shared some helpful tips from our family to help you make the most of your time in the park.

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Best Times of Year for Shorter Waits at Magic Kingdom

If you want to avoid long lines at Magic Kingdom, visit during the following off-peak times:

  • January and February: Crowds are at their lowest right after the busy holiday season, but the weather can be chilly.
  • Late February through early March: Aside from President’s Day weekend, this is still low season.
  • Mid-April until Easter break: Crowds are lower this month before Easter vacation brings an influx.
  • Early May before Memorial Day: Especially visit on weekdays once school is fully in session.
  • Late August through September: The summer crowds have left, but the weather is still ideal during this window.
  • October weekdays: Aside from the Columbus Day weekend spike, October weekdays see pleasantly moderate attendance.
  • November and early December weekdays: Avoid the spikes of Thanksgiving week and the pre-Christmas holidays.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Avoid the Most Crowded Times of Year at Magic Kingdom

It is best to avoid visiting Magic Kingdom during the following peak crowd times of the year:

  • Spring break and the summer months, when school is out and families flock to Disney World.
  • Major holiday weeks and weekends, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, MLK Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.
  • Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays year-round, when families often start or end vacations.
MK Christmas Soldier

A toy solider clearly shocked at the size of holiday crowds at Magic Kingdom

Visiting during the recommended times allows you to experience significantly more attractions and minimize time spent waiting in long queues.

The Best Days of the Week for Shorter Waits at Magic Kingdom

If you can be flexible with dates, visit Magic Kingdom on lower attendance Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. These midweek days see lighter crowds across popular family-friendly rides.

Tuesdays

Tuesdays are often the single least crowded day all week at the park. Many families arrive on weekends and then do Magic Kingdom on Monday as their first full park day. The drop in crowds on Tuesday is noticeable.

On a Tuesday in September a few years back, we walked right onto favorites like Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Winnie the Pooh, and the Haunted Mansion with no wait at all!

Wednesdays

While not quite as optimal as Tuesdays, Wednesdays also don’t draw massive crowds. Some local schools do schedule Wednesdays as a half-day, which can occasionally boost attendance in the afternoon. But Wednesdays still see dramatically fewer guests than hectic weekends or Mondays.

Last January, on a Wednesday morning, we enjoyed short 5-10 minute waits for favorites like Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and It’s a Small World using Genie+.

Thursdays

Thursday is usually the third-best weekday option, following Tuesday and Wednesday. Unless Friday is a holiday, Thursdays tend to have fewer crowds. Guests may arrive earlier for a pre-weekend park visit on Thursdays, but generally, the mornings and afternoons are uncrowded.

One Thursday afternoon in May, we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Pirates of the Caribbean back-to-back with barely any wait time.

Obviously, this tip is null and void on Thanksgiving day.

Related Articles: Best Time to Go to Disney World, Planning a Trip to Disney World

Two children wearing Chip and Dale mouse ears try to pull the sword from the stone

Image © Disney

The Most Crowded Days to Avoid

To maximize your time in the park, here are the most crowded days to try to avoid when planning your Magic Kingdom visit:

Fridays

Contrary to popular belief, Fridays consistently draw larger crowds than Saturdays at Magic Kingdom. Many families arrive on Fridays to begin their Disney vacations, while locals also flock to the park.

On the one Friday we visited in June, the standby waits for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight remained well over an hour all day long.

Saturdays

As the first day of the weekend, Saturdays consistently attract huge crowds all year long. Locals and hotel guests swarm the park beginning in the early morning.

When we visited on a packed spring Saturday, we encountered extremely long standby queues everywhere, even in the evening. Meeting rare characters like Cinderella had waits exceeding an hour!

Mondays

Mondays are almost as busy as weekends at Magic Kingdom because many families start their vacations on Mondays and make the park their first full day.

We visited Magic Kingdom on a Monday morning in July, and it was too crowded and hot. Ava was not a happy camper! We decided not to go back on Mondays and to hit Animal Kingdom instead.

Insider Tips for Visiting Magic Kingdom with Kids

When visiting with young kids, dodging massive crowds is the key to an enjoyable trip. Here are some of our proven insider strategies:

  • Take mid-day breaks when crowds peak and return during less busy times.
  • Use Genie+ to skip long lines for kid favorites like Peter Pan and Jungle Cruise.
  • Ride headliners like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during parades when waits are shorter.
  • Arrive early or stay late to ride more when crowds are lower.
  • Let kids repeat quick rides like Tea Cups and Dumbo when waits spike.
  • Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade from less crowded spots in Frontierland or Liberty Square.
  • Stay flexible with a crowd-avoiding plan and take breaks whenever standby lines start ballooning.
  • Use a Disney travel agency like The Vacationeer!

The Vacationeer, an Earmarked Diamond level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency, can help you plan your ideal Magic Kingdom visit.

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Our Family’s Top 7 Must-Do Magic Kingdom Rides

If you are short on time, here are the best family-friendly attractions at Magic Kingdom:

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: A musical roller coaster that zips through animations of the Seven Dwarfs’ mine.
  2. Peter Pan’s Flight: A classic dark ride that takes you on a flight over moonlit London.
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: An indoor boat ride that takes you through stunningly detailed scenes of skeleton pirates and buried treasure.
  4. Haunted Mansion: A humorously spooky tour through an elaborately themed haunted estate.
  5. Jungle Cruise: A riverboat tour through jungles and wildlife scenes, with hilariously cheesy puns.
  6. Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin: An interactive indoor ride where you blast targets.
  7. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: A delightfully fun, mild roller coaster that races through vibrant canyons and mining scenes.

The new TRON Lightcycle Run is a fantastic ride (and one of my favorites), but it is too intense for young children. However, my 8-year-old son Ben has finally grown tall enough to ride it, and he can’t wait to experience the high-speed thrills on our next visit!

Related Articles: Best Rides at Magic Kingdom, Best Roller Coasters at Disney World, Disney Disney Attractions for Kids, Height Requirements at Disney World

Maximize Your Time at Magic Kingdom with Genie+ & Lightning Lane

When visiting in 2024, maximize your day and minimize time waiting in long queues by taking advantage of Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Magic Kingdom:

Genie+ Service:

  • Provides access to shorter standby-skipping Lightning Lane lines at select attractions
  • Make ride reservations in advance to reduce wait times
  • Use for rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, etc.

Individual Lightning Lane Purchases:

  • Buy individual access to headliners not included with Genie+ (currently Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and TRON).
  • Ensures you’ll experience your family’s top ride priorities with little or no waiting

Helpful Strategy Tips:

  • Check attraction availability when making your Genie+ and Lightning Lane selections
  • Arrive at the park open to make your first ride reservations
  • Remain flexible – adapt your plan based on actual park crowds and ride breakdowns
  • Analyze which rides have the longest waits and use Genie+ on those

Using Genie+ and Lightning Lane effectively can make your group’s experience at the Magic Kingdom in 2024 much better, smoother, more efficient, and enjoyable.

Related Articles: What is Disney Genie, Rides For Disney Genie+. Are Lightning Lane Passes Worth It

Frequently Asked Magic Kingdom Trip Planning Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common Magic Kingdom FAQs:

What is the slowest day to go to Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom is least crowded on Tuesdays, followed by Wednesdays and Thursdays.

What month is Magic Kingdom’s least crowded?

January and February are typically the least crowded months at Magic Kingdom since they fall after the busy holiday season.

What is the best time of year to visit Magic Kingdom?

The best times to visit Magic Kingdom with fewer crowds are:

  • September and much of October, after the summer crowds have left.
  • Mid-May, before Memorial Day.
  • Weekdays in January and February.

If you enjoy holiday magic without the crowds, the first few weeks of December are ideal.

When is the cheapest time to visit Magic Kingdom?

The cheapest time to go to Disney World (and Magic Kingdom) is from early January to Presidents’ Day weekend, when both ticket and hotel prices are lower. The next cheapest times to visit are late August to early September. Non-holiday weekdays during October, November, and December can also be quite affordable.

What are the worst days of the week at Magic Kingdom?

Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays are the busiest days at Magic Kingdom as families often start or end their trips on weekends and visit the park on arrival day.

How many days is enough for Magic Kingdom?

Most guests prefer two full days in Magic Kingdom to experience everything at a relaxed pace, including evening events like the fireworks. However, you can see the highlights in 1 well-planned day.

Can you do all of Magic Kingdom in 1 day?

You can experience the best of Magic Kingdom in one day if you arrive early, use Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes wisely, plan ahead, and stay until closing. However, two days allow you to ride your favorites again and see shows.

Can you do Epcot and Magic Kingdom in one day?

It’s not advisable to try and experience Epcot and Magic Kingdom in one day since they are far apart, making transportation time-consuming. It’s technically possible to do both in one day with a park hopper ticket, but it’s better to devote a whole day to each park for a more relaxed visit.

What should I not miss at Magic Kingdom Orlando?

Don’t forget to take pictures in front of Cinderella Castle, walk down Main Street USA, and experience classic attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Additionally, don’t miss evening events like the Festival of Fantasy parade and nighttime fireworks shows.

Where do people go first at Magic Kingdom?

Most guests head straight for the popular rides in Tomorrowland or Fantasyland first thing in the morning. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin draw long lines fast.

Does Magic Kingdom have fireworks every night?

Magic Kingdom hosts a dazzling fireworks show called “Happily Ever After” most nights, typically starting around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. The show features lasers, lights, and special effects, with projections down Main Street, U.S.A.

Is Magic Kingdom busy during the holidays?

Indeed. The Magic Kingdom is most crowded on major holidays, such as Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, and especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Is it worth visiting Magic Kingdom during Christmas?

Visiting Magic Kingdom during the Christmas season can be magical with all the special décor, events, and festivities. But you must be prepared for massive crowds and long waits. Going during a weekday in early December before the crowds peak can be a good compromise. See our Christmas at Disney World article for more.

What about visiting Magic Kingdom for Halloween?

Halloween is another very popular holiday period at Magic Kingdom. Special ticketed events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party help distribute crowds, but expect higher attendance, and longer waits than average throughout October.

Let The Vacationeer Take the Stress Out of Your Magic Kingdom and Disney World Visit

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