Priority attractions at Magic Kingdom

If time is a factor, what attractions would you choose to see at MK? I know, it depends, yada yada yada, so here’s the pertinent details to help:

Dec 24th, arrive somewhere around 5-6PM, stay until park close. Right now that’s 10PM. 5 people in the group, boys age 8 and 13, plus 2 parents and 1 grandma. I don’t think they’ve ever been before. I’m assuming all attraction are on the table but the boys probably don’t want to do things like Enchanted Tales with Belle. Here’s my list so far, in the order I’m thinking will work best:

Jungle Cruise (with FPP)
BTMRR (with FPP)
Haunted Mansion
7DMT (with FPP)
Fireworks (9PM, I think) with Garden viewing)
Dessert Party (will they be able to comfortably do this then get in line for a ride before 10PM?)
Space? Something else? Not enough time?

I know it’s practically heresy, but is Peter Pan worth it in that short a time?
Should they skip the fireworks and dessert party and get another 2 rides in?

If I think they can pull off a 5PM arrival, I’m thinking about adding dinner at Skipper Canteen.

I’d drop 7DMT in favor of Space Mountain and PeopleMover for sure. I can’t say if it is a boy thing, but as a boy from childhood to today, Tomorrowland was/is my favorite part of MK (probably all of WDW). And after dark, in particular it is beautiful.

If just keeping in mind the boys, I’d also remove IaSW.

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That is iffy. I’d say skip if it time is a factor. It eats up a lot of time if you don’t have a FPP for it, with only a little bang for the buck.

It depends on how much they are into fireworks. I hate the crowds so much it ruins the fireworks experience. I’d much rather be on rides. But, there is something iconic about it.

Good point on People Mover. Not sure how I forgot that.

I keep going back and forth on that. It just seems so Disney and usually doesn’t have much wait.

Don’t tell anyone, but as an adult taking kids to Disney, we’ve never stayed and watched fireworks.

IaSW may not have a long wait, but it is a long, boring ride…at least for boys, methinks. Mostly I like it for middle-of-the-day respite from the heat.

That’s fair.

Also notably absent is Splash Mountain. It is my personal favorite, but it is also a time suck and in December at night, I’m thinking it might not be anyone’s priority to get wet. (I’m also leaving Kali River out of an AK plan)

Totally agree. Great ride…after the sun starts to set, hate to be wet for the remainder of the evening. Too bad there isn’t a no-splash Splash Mountain option! :wink:

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I have 12 yo boy and Space Mountain is his favorite. I would replace PPF with Space M.
Would probably add Pirates.

Whether they watch fireworks or ride a few more rides - I would leave this until they are actually in the park to decide. Desert party is nice, but again, from 12 yo point of view, I know mine would prefer rides. :smile:


Surely that’s what Carousel of Progress is for? :grin:

Seriously though, keeping in mind this will be a short, night-time trip, I’d prioritise rides that hit at least two out of A) quick to get through (line+ride), B) good at night and C) half-decent!

That would give this list for my money:

7DMT (FPP only, wouldn’t consider otherwise)
Space Mountain (FPP)

Would skip IaSW in this situation - and I’ve been on it in three different parks, so I don’t hate it.

For the time you are likely to wait for PPF and the payoff I’d rather do Mickey’s Philharmagic.

Splash takes too long, especially given the result will be wandering around wet in the dark!

Buzz or Astro Orbiter possibles whilst in TL - also near the dessert party and decent firework viewing too.

Maybe MHTP - I still contend it’s the best thrill ride in any park if you put your back into it :grin:

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Listen, if I have to choose between having “It’s a small world” stuck in my head, or, “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,” I’ll pick the latter every time! :wink:

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That’s for napping!


I made my kids stop saying “Spin us faster!” so I know what you mean!

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That was my first thought as well. I’d replace it with Buzz Lightyear for boys of that age.


I would skip Peter Pan with kids that age. Without a FP it’s too long a wait and I wouldn’t waste a FP on it. I haven’t been to WDW over Christmas break since the 80’s so I really don’t know what wait time will be like on Christmas Eve, but I will give you what I would do if I were planning it.

Also I suspect without the dessert party, they will need to be at hub very early to see the fireworks so I would do the dessert party (if it’s in the budget) just for seating purposes and to be able to wait until closer to 9 pm to find a spot for the fireworks.

You’re basically looking at them having about 6 pm - 8:30ish pm for rides.

My plan would be as follows [Note: I have not put this into a TP. Whatever you decide on, I would then enter into a TP and look for potential tweaks based on TP projected wait times on that night.]

(2) PotC
(3) Haunted Mansion
(4) IaSW - depending on time … I would drop if timing is looking tight - which I think it will
(5) 7DMT FP
(6) go back to IaSW if there is time and it was skipped earlier - again, I think they will run out of time. If they have some time here, but not enough for a long ride like Small World, they could try for a short line and short ride in the area like Teacups or Dumbo (not exciting rides, but ok for time filler)
(7) Space Mountain FP - I would FP Space Mountain instead of Jungle Cruise with kids that age (assuming they like thrill rides).
(8) Fireworks followed by dessert party
(9) try to get another ride in by 10 pm – boys that age may like the Speedway which is close to the dessert party location; if they loved Space, they could go for another ride.

Edit: Upon re-reading, I would flip the order of PotC and BTMRR to make PotC first and BTMRR FP second.

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Like People Mover! (I noticed it was missing from your list.)

Strange, I know…but in some ways, the People Mover is my favorite ride. I mean, if I had to pick between Space Mountain and People Mover, I’m not entirely sure which I’d pick!!!

I love People Mover, but not sure 8 and 10 year old boys would love it. But, yes, that would be another option at the end of the night.

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I like your list, although I am reconsidering IaSW. I was thinking about leaving out Jungle Cruise as well. I’ve got FPP for JC at 5:40PM, then ride PotC standby at 6:30PM with a 30 minute wait. Then ride BTMRR at 7:13PM with FPP, followed by HM at 7:36PM Standby with a 23 minute wait. Exit HM at 8:09PM.

If I leave out Jungle Cruise and use that FPP for PotC instead, I would think I could replace it with 2 rides by 8:30PM