My husband and I recently had the great pleasure of being able to go to Walt Disney World for an entire week kid free! It was just in February, and we were able to do all 4 parks while we were there. Going to the parks alone together was a vastly different experience than going with 19 people… obviously. We loved the freedom of stopping when we wanted and the quick discussions of where to go next. And not having a stroller was heavenly! We did have a backpack each… Danny with a larger backpack and me with a smaller one. If you want to hear about the beginning of the trip, catch up here. For our tips what to pack for a Disney day check out our post here.
A Kid-Free Magic Kingdom Itinerary
We were staying off site, so we arranged for a ride share company to pick us up at 7:30 am. The park opened at 9:00 am. They dumped us in front of the monorail… I have since learned to ask to be dropped off at Disney’s Contemporary Resort so you can just walk the 5 minutes to the front gate without having to wait for a tram. Brilliant! (Would’ve been good for the end of the night too when we had to wait for the monorail in the crowds.)
For Magic Kingdom, we had a FastPass for Pirates of the Caribbean (because I HATE the disorganization in the lineup), Space Mountain (obviously), and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I actually intentionally booked Big Thunder at night because we’ve never had the chance to ride it in the dark… it’s not always the best strategic idea to book a FastPass at night right away because you are only allowed to book 3 passes a day at WDW, and you can’t book new ones until you’ve used all of yours… but I really wanted to do it at night and it worked out great.
We unfortunately had quite a cold day; with a forecast of rain. The last time we visited WDW it was April, and when it said rain it was usually just a downpour for 20 min and then good to go. Unfortunately this was not the case this time around. It rained from when we got up (technically before) until about 1:30 pm.
We did have ponchos but my husband refused to wear his and wore his rain jacket instead. Everything in his backpack was soaking wet… next time, even though it’s uncomfortable, I’m sure he’d opt to wear the poncho if only to keep the bag dry. We had a hard go in the rain. With it just being the two of us, it was okay, because we were only responsible for ourselves. But I think with kids it would’ve been very, very tough.
We got into the park an hour early, and they let us into Main Street and the shops, plus the centre hub. That was nice… but with the rain, hard to enjoy. I think the toughest thing for me was just that we had our heads down so much with the rain instead of being able to enjoy the sites!
There was some sort of an early morning situation on the day we went too, so we saw that Fantasyland was open but couldn’t get in ’til 9 am. They did a little opening at Cinderella’s Castle just before 9 am, (which to be honest wasn’t as cute as “the opening” that’s at the main gates), but it did put us in a good position to be able to weave in and out of people and get to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train right away… heads up, everyone else in the park is also doing this!. We ended up in a 40 min or so line, but if we didn’t do it right away, we likely wouldn’t have gotten on it… so we were grateful for that.
Next we headed to Enchanted Tales with Belle, because we missed out on it when we went in 2016 with the big group (how we spent THREE DAYS in MK and missed it I’ll never know). It was super cute and if you have kids 10 and under, it’s a don’t miss in my books!
Then we made our way around the park. Surprisingly, we managed to do all of the big rides at least once (remember, if you’re used to DL, there’s a lot less to do), and our favourites twice! We actually headed to Big Thunder in the middle of the day-time parade, which paid off cause it was only a 15 min line! We were still able to see some (most!) of the parade by just waiting for it to start and then standing as close as we could.
With only two of us, we were able to do some of the things we never had time to do with the big group. Disney’s Carousel of Progress was one of them. It was nice when it was raining to get inside… it would also be a nice place for a snack and AC on a super hot day!
As far as characters go, without the kids we didn’t feel like that was a huge priority. But there were a number of “rare” characters in the parks this time, so we did try and capture some on film whenever we had the chance… like the mice from Cinderella! (And because of the weather, a lot of beautiful birds came out to play as well!)
After dinner is when we always kind of stop and say, “where did the time go?” We made a quick check list in our heads of things we still wanted to do, which took us from one end of Fantasyland to the other; from Dumbo’s Circus to “it’s a small world.” Something that’s quite different from Disneyland is the queues are often very detailed, and there are many interactive things about the lineups… that’s one of the reasons we recommend doing standby for rides as well as using FastPass!
We also managed to get on Peter Pan’s Flight in 15 minutes during the start of the fireworks, which allowed us to watch most of the fireworks show upon exiting the ride! We actually watched them from the middle of Fantasyland, which was neat because you are literally in the MIDDLE of the fireworks. Nearly everywhere in the park you can hear the music, so stop and enjoy them while also taking advantage of short lineups!
We stayed from open to close. Some people opt to go back to reboot, we just find that a coffee in the early afternoon and a coffee in the early evening are enough to get us through the tired humps, and then we get more done as well. Coffee is always two stops for us on park days, and my secret tip is to change your shoes if you can… also, take a little Tylenol and Ibuprofen. It really helps with the aching lower back and sore feet that you get from so much walking!
Magic Kingdom Exclusive Experiences
With no kids around, and the freedom to do whatever we wanted, we did find that we used our time differently than with a larger group. This included checking out some in-park activities that are exclusive to the Magic Kingdom, both of which we completely missed the last time we were in WDW… noticing a trend yet?
In the Tangled section of Fantasyland (which is MUCH too small… it’s basically a few tables and bathrooms) we found this fun little hide and seek. We would recommend walking by and looking for the little Pascals. Unfortunately we didn’t have PhotoPass this time, so we didn’t get to do the lantern lighting… it really did look amazing!
The other notable thing we did was A Pirate’s Adventure (find it on the far side of Adventureland as you’re heading around the corner into Frontierland). It was super fun! You get a map to hidden relics in Adventureland; each relic is activated by using your Magic Band and directs you to the next clue. You get a card for completing the map, and if you finish all of the maps (I believe there are 5 in total) you get a FastPass for Pirates. We only did one map and it took us about 10 minutes. We think our kids will have a blast doing this with us the next time we visit!
Lastly, we saw this seal on the ground at one point and weren’t totally sure what it was. I wish we had known about it in 2016 when we came with the family and had multiple days in Magic Kingdom! It’s part of an interactive scavenger hunt called “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.” Hades has an evil plan to make MK his new home and has recruited some Disney villains – Cruella de Vil, Scar, Jafar, and Dr. Facilier to name a few.
You pick up Merlin’s map and locate the 20 portals throughout the park. Eventually you come spell to spell with Hades! We’ve heard from our Disney friends that some of the portal sensors you have to scan during the hunt aren’t the best… but I think it’s a “must do” when the ride lines are long or to check it off the list. We will be doing it next time!
Magic Kingdom Food
If Mexican is your thing, we highly recommend eating in Frontierland at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. This is a counter service restaurant that also has mobile order. One thing we really like about it is that they have a toppings bar. I basically turned our nachos (which we shared) into a giant taco salad. It kept us full and happy!
My favourite thing that I’ve had in a while are the Buffalo Loaded Tater Tots from The Friar’s Nook. They were DELICIOUS! And lastly, my husband had the Churro Ice Cream Sandwich from Sleepy Hollow… dessert isn’t really my thing so he had it all to himself, which he LOVED!
We brought water bottles and asked for ice water whenever we could, and I had Crystal Light packages which we added to it for a nice refreshing drink with our meals. Our budget was $30 USD per day, and on MK day we were definitely under budget. Without kids we ate when we needed to and what we wanted to eat without it getting crazy or out of hand.
Even with that small of a budget I definitely didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. No… wait… that’s not entirely true… Lefou’s Brew looked awesome! Unfortunately we were too cold to try this, so we opted out, but it’s on the top of our list for next year! (Truth be told, we missed this little place altogether last time… make sure to find Gaston’s Tavern the next time you’re in Fantasyland!)
For more details about Magic Kingdom, including our first impressions, click here.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!