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When you think of Disney World, what is the first thing that pops in your mind? For many, it may be the Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is home to lots of iconic rides including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and “it’s a small world.”

Cinderella Castle

There is so much to explore and do inside of Magic Kingdom, and while we think it is a truly magical place, there are also some hard truths to know about this park.

We are exploring some hard truths about Magic Kingdom that may cause a bit of annoyance or frustration; however we are here to help and make sure your Magic Kingdom trip is as magical as possible!

The Transportation & Ticket Center Will Likely Annoy You

The Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC) will be a necessary evil if you are planning on parking at Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, there is no parking lot directly connected to Magic Kingdom, so your only option is to park and then take the monorail or ferry over to the park (or if you are feeling really adventurous, you can also walk!). However, whichever option you decide will add a decent chunk of time onto your commute into Magic Kingdom. As well, don’t forget you will also need to do the reverse when you are leaving Magic Kingdom. After a long day at Magic Kingdom, realizing you still have to get on the monorail or ferry BEFORE you can head to your car can be a bit rough.

Transportation and Ticket Center

The best way to overcome this hard truth is to be prepared. If you need to be at Magic Kingdom at a certain time, leave early so you aren’t rushing through trying to maneuver through the Transportation & Ticket Center. Also, know that the ferry and monorail will have long lines first thing in the morning and right after fireworks. Try to avoid these times if you can so you can make your way through the TTC as efficiently as possible.

Check out these rules you need to know to navigate transportation at Disney World!

The Ride You Want to Ride May Not Be Open

This is true for anyone of the Disney World theme parks, but the ride you really want to ride may not be open. You can prepare for planned refurbishments ahead of time, and Disney World will announce when a ride is going down for a longer period of time. However, there are a lot of moving parts on the attractions and there is always a chance that the ride goes down for technical difficulties. Some rides may also close down due to weather. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

While it can be frustrating to realize the ride you were going to next is closed, there are plenty of other things to experience in Magic Kingdom. It can be especially annoying if you are rope dropping a ride only to find that it is not open. For example, we see Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed a fair amount in the morning. Both of these rides can be popular rope drop rides, so be prepared with a back-up plan if you original ride isn’t open. Be okay with plans changing sometimes, you never know what you might experience instead!

Early Entry Can Be a Blessing and a Curse

If you are staying at a select Disney World hotel, you are eligible to take advantage of Early Entry to the theme parks. This allows you to enter the park 30 minutes prior to non-resort guests. However, be aware that not everything is open during Early Entry. In Magic Kingdom, ONLY Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are open for Early Entry. If you want to ride a ride that is in Adventureland or Frontierland, you will need to wait until the park opens for all guests. Don’t race all the way to Jungle Cruise to find out it won’t be open for another 30 minutes.


While Early Entry is a great perk for Disney World hotel guests, if you are not staying at a Disney World hotel you will want to keep Early Entry in mind. Since Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are both open during Early Entry, there will already be crowds in these areas if you are rope dropping Magic Kingdom. Your best option is to rope drop a ride that is not a part of Early Entry to take advantage of lower wait times.

Check out a full list of what you can ride during Early Entry!

Be Prepared If You Want to Ride TRON Lightcycle / Run

TRON Lightcycle / Run is the newest attraction at Magic Kingdom, and if you are hoping to ride it during your trip to Magic Kingdom, you need to know a few things. First of all, you can only ride this ride by getting a virtual queue or purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane. There is not currently an option to stand in a stand-by line for this ride. You can join the virtual queue at 7AM and 1PM on the My Disney Experience App. It is also important to note that once you get a virtual queue, you will be assigned a boarding group number. You will only be able to ride once your group is called, and you will need to arrive within an hour of being called. There may be a slight bit of leeway on the hour, but TRON is very strict on return times so you will want to try your best to be there within the hour.

TRON Lightcycle / Run

That means that you won’t really be able to control when you ride TRON. If you are wanting to ride at night, you won’t be able to show up four hours after your group was called and expect to ride. As well, if the ride goes down they will pause calling back groups and you will need to wait longer to be able to return. Having a boarding group does not guarantee you will be able to ride, so keep that in the back of your mind as well. The key is being flexible and understanding that you won’t be able to choose exactly when you will ride TRON. If you get a boarding group at 7AM, you will most likely be called back by early afternoon, whereas if you get a boarding group at 1PM you will likely be called back late afternoon into evening.

Find out how to ride TRON at night right here!

The Fireworks are Great, But the Aftermath Is Rough

The Happily Ever After Fireworks in Magic Kingdom are lots of fun, but a hard truth is that it can be crazy around fireworks. People will often start grabbing spots way before the start of the show, and then there will be lots of people trying to leave at the end. You will be doing a lot of crowd maneuvering to see the fireworks, but we think it will be worth it. You don’t need to reserve a spot hours before the show, unless you want a really prime viewing location. As well, we recommend hanging around in the park after the fireworks if Magic Kingdom is still open.


After the fireworks, walkways will be extra crowded and the lines for transportation will also be the longest. If the park is still open, get in one last ride or do some shopping (although we suggest avoiding the Emporium right after fireworks.) There are going to be lots of people trying to make their way out of viewing areas, so bring patience and don’t feel like you need to rush out of the park right away. 

Read about our tips to getting the best view of the fireworks!

The Parade is Also Great, But Can Be Inconvenient

On a similar note, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is a fantastic parade, but it can also cause some inconveniences. As the parade moves through the park, walkways will be blocked off and you may find it hard to get places. If you find yourself stuck by the parade, you may as well stop and enjoy it! It has lots of our favorite Disney characters and we promise it will pass by soon enough.

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Additionally, we suggest avoiding the Walt Disney World Railroad around parade time as it will pause operations to let the parade through. It may seem like a great idea to get off your feet mid-afternoon, but you may find yourself enjoying a longer sitting time if you board as the parade is starting.

Find out the secret way to get the best parade view!

Space Mountain is Showing Its Age

If you are an avid Space Mountain fan, we apologize in advance. However, Space Mountain has been showing its age and has been getting rougher and rougher. We are also getting older, so our backs are not what they once were, but we wanted to warn you ahead of time. We aren’t trying to say don’t ride Space Mountain but be prepared for a jerky and rough ride.

Space Mountain

It is hard to beat shooting through the stars in your rocket, but our backs have definitely been feeling it. We are all for riding Space Mountain for lots of nostalgic vibes, but if you are looking for a smoother ride we may suggest trying a different ride. Some of our suggestions include TRON Lightcycle / Run or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Check out our favorite rides in Magic Kingdom!

If You Are Looking For Olaf, You Are Going to Be Disappointed

We want to send a warning out that you won’t be able to find EVERY character in Magic Kingdom. Not every character meets regularly in the theme parks, and some characters only meet in certain parks. We suggest checking out the My Disney Experience app under “Characters” and you can see a full list of characters that are meeting at Magic Kingdom.

You can find Olaf in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

We don’t want you all dressed up and hyped to meet Olaf, only to find out that you can’t meet him in Magic Kingdom. Although, you can sometimes find rare characters roaming or meeting in the parks, there is no guarantee you will see them if they don’t have a scheduled meet and greet. 

These are just a few of the tips we have for your Magic Kingdom trip. We know there is a lot to know about planning a trip to Magic Kingdom, so make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide to Magic Kingdom for 2024:

We are in the parks every day to make sure you have the best Disney vacation. Make sure to stay tuned to DFB for all your Disney World tips, updates, and reviews!

Check out our favorite meal at EVERY Magic Kingdom restaurant!

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Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!

What is your must-do ride in Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

The post 8 Disney World Truths That Hit Hard and Make You Regret Your Magic Kingdom Decisions first appeared on the disney food blog.