Imagine going to Disney World, and Disney World itself, what do you see? If you are like 90% of people, you see the Magic Kingdom, and it’s icon Cinderella’s Castle. The Magic Kingdom encompasses Disney and Disney World and is Walt’s vision even though he died before it opened. It is a magical place, and somewhere many people call home.
And yet while all the above is true this park also well…. kind of sucks. I don’t say that lightly as I go to the Magic Kingdom at least once every other week, and I have some genuinely excellent times there.
The eight things below are some of the not so magical things at the Magic Kingdom, after all, every story has magic and villains, and this park was built on stories.
1. No alcohol out in the park
Not too long ago, you could not get alcohol anywhere in the Magic Kingdom. This has changed recently, but you still have to work for it. To get an adult beverage in the Magic Kingdom, you have to be sitting down at a table service restaurant, which means an expensive meal, and hoping you set up an ADR for when you need that drink.
The Magic Kingdom remains the only Disney World park in which you cannot walk up to a stall and get an alcoholic drink and then walk around with it. With the Magic Kingdom being the busiest park, and always the one where it seems like the most children are around a drink now and again would be nice.
2. Getting into the park
If anything keeps me out of the Magic Kingdom, it is getting into the park itself that does it.
The Magic Kingdom at Disney World is that only a park that is not directly connected to its own parking lot, which means a trip to the TTC ( Transportation and Ticketing Center). This transportation hub is the official parking lot of the Magic Kingdom, but it is just over a mile away from the actual park.
So what you need to do to get to the Magic Kingdom from its parking lot is park at the TTC, and then either take the monorail, ferry, or bus to the Magic Kingdom. This makes accessing the park takes longer then I would like, and it always feels a bit inconvenient.
3. The two longest waits are for disappointing rides
Imagine not being able to get a fastpass for the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train ( the most needed fastpass in the Magic Kingdom?), so you wait in line for 50-80 minutes only to find out that while this coaster is cuter, and fun it is really short and not thrilling. Even though I love this attraction, I am just a bit disappointed in it every single time I ride.
This is not the only attraction like this. Peter Pans Flight suffers from the same thing. Peter Pan is usually the second-longest wait after the mine train, and yet is under 3 minutes in length.
This makes the two longest queues in the park for two attractions that are among some of the shortest attractions within the park.
4. Park with the most ride breakdowns
Attractions break down all over Disney World and at every park, but this seems to be the case more often at the Magic Kingdom. On any given day, it can be expected for at least one attraction to go down for even just a bit. This is true whether the attraction is down for mechanical reasons, or because of the weather ( during different times of the year they will be down because of the weather quite often)
You can keep track of what attractions are currently down in the My Disney Experience app. These attractions will show with a bubble with a star in it instead of a wait time. You also will get a multi-experience fastpass if your fastpass window happened while the ride goes down… these are a great perk of these ride breakdowns, and you can certainly use them to your advantage.
5. Getting around during parades
Even with the most knowledge and the best planning, you can still find yourself trapped in an area by the afternoon Festival of Fantasy parade. If you are in Frontierland while the parade is going on or trying to get from there to Adventureland or out of the park while the parade is going in front of the train station, you are going to have a fun time moving around.
The Festival of Fantasy parade is excellent, but the fact that it is hard to move around some lands of the park during it or move out of areas right after takes away from it a bit.
6. Strollers are parked everywhere
Before you get angry, this is not me complaining about strollers in the parks at all, as I understand they are a necessity for a lot of families, but yet the strollers are everywhere. The Magic Kingdom seems to be the park with the strollers parked outside of attractions and shows in the worst and most obvious places.
In Tomorrowland, they gather around where the PeopleMover is, frontier land they clutter the landscape in front of Big Thunder Mountain, and let’s not get started on Fantasyland. These strollers clutter up the view, and I wish Disney would find a better way to manage these stroller parking locations.
7. Doesn’t have the best table service restaurants
Disney has some great table service restaurants, but unfortunately, none of these are in the Magic Kingdom. That is not to say that the food options in the park are bad, but that there is nothing that you must eat there.
Even the two restaurants that are hardest to get into Disney, which resides in the park, are not known for having the most fabulous food. This includes Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest restaurant. These restaurants are great for the experiences ( I mean who doesn’t want to eat in the castle) and are a must-do for my family and me, but other restaurants outside the park are so much better.
8. Inconsistent closing times
Considering most people start planning their Disney vacation around a year in advance of when they will be in the parks, it would be nice if the Magic Kingdom had a more consistent closing time. The park can close anywhere from 6:00 pm EST to midnight on some days.
There are also party days in which the park stays open later till midnight for the event as well as some after-hours events as well. When you look at the park hours on the app and online, it says the hours and then the hours for the special ticketed event, but these times and event dates can change when more get added. Then take into account that they sometimes do Extra Magic Hours at night, and you can see the inconsistencies.
This can make planning your park days a bit confusing, especially if you and your family are night owls.
A Disney vacation has sooooo many magical upside and moments that you will have, but just like everything else, there are some downsides at all the parks of a Disney vacation as well. I would still choose to go to Disney World and the Magic Kingdom any day then to go anywhere else. After all, the magic is what you make it, and even with the sucky, the Most Magical Place on Earth is just that…. magical.