The Magic Kingdom – Why It’s Worth Waking Up Early For

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Many people like to relax, take it easy, and sleep in on vacation. I am all for relaxation, but when I am vacationing at Walt Disney World, I personally prefer to get up early and make the most of my days at the Parks. My favorite Park by far is the Magic Kingdom, and I think in part because it’s a very accommodating Park for those of us who like to get an early start to our day!

So why should you wake up early for the Magic Kingdom? Well, here are the top 5 reasons:

Rope Drop – Every morning before the Park opens, guests are greeted by the Mayor and citizens of Main Street, and even some characters too – including Mickey himself! It’s a nice little presentation that is entertaining and a magical way to start your day at WDW

Photo ops – This is one of the BEST times to get unobstructed photos of Cinderella’s Castle and other Main Street photos too! Utilizing the Photopass at this early time is easy – no wait and great group photos (without other people’s heads in them!). Other spots like the Walt and Mickey and Roy and Minnie statues are usually pretty vacant at this time, so get your photos in of these iconic statues at this time too. Photos are one of the best trip souvenirs, and any chance to get good ones is worth taking!

No Lines! Riding your favorite ride over and over again with little to no wait is one of the greatest things about the first hour or so that the Magic Kingdom is open. Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Peter Pan’s Flight are all good rides to tackle early in the morning as the lines can get really long mid/late morning. Once you’ve ridden your faves a few times, grab a fastpass so you can come back and enjoy it again, and in the meantime – head on over to Main Street for some amazing cinnamon buns at the Main Street Bakery

Characters – All of us have waited in long lines to meet our favorite characters, but the great thing about arriving at the Magic Kingdom early in the morning is that you will have little to no wait time AND increased interaction time with the characters. While we were at WDW in April, Daisy and Pluto were signing autographs at the entrance to Main Street every morning, and Donald Duck dressed as Davy Crockett had no wait time over in Frontierland – what an easy and fun way to get some great pictures and autographs!

Main Street Trolley – We were lucky enough to see the horse-drawn trolley coming out on our last morning in WDW, and we got to take the first ride of the day on it as it strolled down Main street to the Castle – what a fun ride that was! We were told that the trolley runs most mornings until about 10am, so this is definitely something worth waking early for, since you can only ride it in the morning.

One of the (many) advantages of staying at a WDW Resort is that you have access to Extra Magic Hours, which gives you the opportunity to enjoy the Magic Kingdom for an hour before all other guests are allowed in! I say, take full advantage of this – wake up early, and make the most of it! Besides, you can always take a later afternoon/pre dinner nap!

Do you like to get up early for the Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comment box below.


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Catie Hiltz is an avid Walt Disney World lover who has been vacationing there since she was tall enough to ride Space Mountain. She believes there is something for everyone at WDW-and especially writing about the benefits of vacationing there as an adult
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2 thoughts on “The Magic Kingdom – Why It’s Worth Waking Up Early For

  1. How early you have to get up depends on where you are staying. Last week at Saratoga Springs, it easily took us a hour to arrive at each park using Disney transportation but if you stay at a MK resort it should only be 10-30 minutes depending on which one.

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