Featured Photos

Baseball Hall of Fame - 8/23/11

Featured Video

Avery's QuEST Project - It's Healthy!

House Construction

The Completed Home Renovation

Home Renovation - Complete!

Our House Construction Photoblog

RSS Feed

« | Main | »

Seeing The Magic Kingdom – The Greenberg Method

By Brian | January 21, 2008 | Share on Facebook

The family and I have just returned from our third trip to Disneyworld in three years, which I guess earns us some points on the Disney expert meter. To be sure, our family’s approach to The Magic Kingdom is much like the U.S. Army – we do more before 10AM than most people do all day.

This time around, though, we travelled with the University of Pennsylvania Band on a performance trip, which meant we got to hang out with some folks who were not as obsessed experienced with Disneyworld as we were. Their reaction to how we approached the park made me think, hey – maybe this information could be useful to the public at large.

And so a blog post was born. And so: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, presenting your guide to getting around the Magic Kingdom, Greenberg style!

1) Get there before the park opens
There’s a cute show when the park opens that involves Mickey and all his pals riding the steam train from Toontown to sprinkle magic pixie dust on the crowd, which opens the Magic Kingdom for the day. I believe it’s worth seeing (both for kids and adults) and besides, if you want to conquer the park quickly, you’re going to need all the time you can get.

2) Don’t Follow the Crowd
When the pixie dust flies and the doors open, just about everyone is going to run for the stroller rental or to Main Street USA for pictures of the castle, etc. This path leads to the dark side, my young apprentice. Instead, proceed directly to It’s a Small World, which is in Fantasyland, directly behind Cinderella’s castle. Important point here: you’ll need to walk down Main Street USA and around the castle itself to get there. Resist the urge to stop and take pictures of all the cool sights, even though everyone around you is doing it. You’ll have time for that later, and trust me – they’ll all look the same when you do.

3) Ride the Big Rides
If you make it through the gauntlet that is Main Street USA, you will likely be the first ones to reach It’s a Small World. Run through the empty, snake-line gates, reveling in your cleverness, and get in the first boat. Enjoy the ride! When you get out, proceed directly to Peter Pan’s Flight, which is right across the path from Small World. Again, there will be no line at all. Enjoy Peter and the gang as well.

Now you’re on a roll. Hang a left out of Peter Pan and follow the path around to the Haunted Mansion. By now, there may be a couple of families on line with you. Chuckle at what is the longest line you’ve seen so far today, and proceed directly into the mansion (recently redone and beautiful, by the way). After that, it’s a bit of a walk to the Pirates of the Caribbean (also recently redone – now with extra Jack Sparrow!). At Pirates, there will certainly be other people, but no line big enough to make you wait. Once again, enjoy the ride! When you get out, proceed rapidly through the gift shop and marvel at how they place the merchandise in precisely the right place to make the kids scream, “I want one! I want one!” Deflect their cries with talk of the Jungle Cruise (the “punniest” cruise on earth). This isn’t as big a ride as the others, but the line can get long if you wait to do it, so best to get it done early.

4) Pick Your Tier-2 Selection
By now, you’ve been in the park about an hour, and you’ve already experienced most of what people can wait hours in line to see. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back. Then, put on your thinking ears, because you’ve got some choices to make. There are two more sets of rides that can get crowded, and you have to decide which you want to approach first.

The first set is back in Fantasyland, and includes Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Mad Tea Party (a.k.a., the Teacups), Mickey’s PhilharMagic (the best 3-D show in the park), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Ariel’s Grotto (autograph opportunity with Ariel and a fun jumping fountain for the kids – but no ride), and while you’re there, Cinderella’s Carousel (this one’s a fast moving line at any time of the day, so no big rush).

The second set is in Tomorrowland, and includes Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (a shoot-em-up video game incorporated into a ride – see who in your family gets the high score!), the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, and the Astro Orbiter.

Pick the set you like best and cover those rides, and then move on to the other set. You’ll probably have to break for lunch at some point during the second set, but at least you had a productive morning!

5) Mop Up the Remaining Rides
After that, you have just a few more things to do, which you can spend the afternoon on. The biggest items on the list are in Frontierland – Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This might be the first time during the day you’ll need to use your Fast Pass (get a pass for one and wait on the line for the other).

After that, you’ve basically got the smaller rides left, so you can pick and choose to your own taste. None of them should have super long lines, so despite the crowds, you should find yourself moving at a pretty good pace throughout the day.

So, there you go. The Magic Kingdom in one, whirlwind day (OK, maybe two – it depends how much time you spend in each place). Pass the word along, but not to too many people – we don’t want them ruining our method, after all.

And remember, have a magical day!

Topics: The Disneyverse | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Seeing The Magic Kingdom – The Greenberg Method”

  1. Jeff Porten says at January 23rd, 2008 at 5:03 pm :
    I predict that this post will drive the most Google traffic to your site of anything you write this year.

    I’ll add one thing to the list, the trick we used when I was a kid: “take the kid out of school for a week and go when no one else is on vacation.” Worked a charm for skipping lines, and my edumacation didn’t seem to suffer much.

  2. Jeff Porten says at January 24th, 2008 at 2:24 am :
    Ok, you’ve convinced me. Next time JDate holds a Disney cruise, I’m there.

  3. Brian says at January 24th, 2008 at 12:56 pm :
    From your keyboard to Google’s ears!

    Good point regarding timing the trip – all three of our trips have been of the “take our kids out of school for a few days” variety.

    For those who must go when the kids are out of school, I recommend the Disney Cruise. In some ways, it’s even better than the parks (in that the parents have lots of time to themselves while the kids are being entertained Disney-style), and regardless of what time of year it is, a cruise ship can only get as crowded as “full.” And Disney is plenty well staffed to handle a full ship…


Comments will be sent to the moderation queue.