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Can we go directly to the Magic Kingdom when we arrive?

by Laura

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“I actually have quite a few questions. 🙂

We are coming from Tennessee to Disney World with our 6 year old in July. We have our reasons for not flying, we’re going to drive. We plan on leaving late at night, midnight or 1 AM, to let kiddo sleep majority of the way, get to DW around noon.

Check in at our hotel is not until 3PM. Our trip is not long, only a few days. Our reservations are Monday-Thursday. Btw, this is our first time ever coming to DW 🙂 My questions:

1.) If we get to DW around noon, can we go ahead and get into the park when we get there to eat, look around, shop, etc? Or would we have to wait until we check into our hotel first?

2.) I was planning on doing Magic Kingdom for our park on Monday and Tuesday, and Hollywood Studios on Wednesday, and then we will be leaving on Thursday morning.

I feel like after we get checked into our hotel on Monday, we won’t have a lot of time in the park to ride rides or do anything. So then we would just have Tuesday and Wednesday for parks. Do you think we would have time in the park to do a few things on Monday or should we consider going outside of our tight budget and adding a 4th day?

3.) When I reserved our vacation, I chose the 1 park per day option. I kind of regret it now. Is the park hopper option a good choice? Is there any way that I can change my tickets now?”

The entrance to Walt Disney World

When you get here, go directly to the Magic Kingdom – Photo by Cliff Wang

Hey Laura, let’s get you some answers.

1. If you arrive before the room is available yes, you can go directly to the parks. Be sure to do the online check in and your tickets will be activated. Disney will send you a text when your room is ready. There’s no reason to wait until noon. You could arrive at the parks at opening and everything will be fine.

2. Arriving at noon, you will have plenty of time to ride several rides on Monday. Make some FastPasses for Monday afternoon. This way you have 6 Fastpasses you can make in advance 3 for Monday and 3 for Tuesday.

Dad’s FastPass+ page

You should be able to see most of the Magic Kingdom in 2 days and even have time to repeat a few favorites.

3. I would stick with the one park per day option. Just because “Park Hopping” takes time. Even with your own car it will take about an hour to park hop. It’s also kind of expensive (in my view). With a short period of time, I’d stick with the one park per day.

I would add another day to my park tickets and leave Thursday late afternoon or evening. That’s a more economical way and you’ll get another day in the parks.

That being said, it’s really easy to upgrade to either park hoppers or to add the extra day. Just go over to a ticket window and they can add it.

If you haven’t already made your reservations, I highly recommend you get in touch with our partners at Destinations to Travel. They’ll be able to help you with all the details.

Dad’s Destinations to Travel Page

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

You are going to have a great time. Relax. Go directly to the Magic Kingdom. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a lot of rides on your first day. Make some FastPasses and have FUN!


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