If you read this site regularly, you’ll know we’re all about the best ways to get in and out of the parks while accomplishing as much as possible. However, in all my time writing for the site, I’ve never seen my absolute favorite trick mentioned on the site. It is with great reluctance that I will share it with you, because I love it so much that I am scared to see others using this trick.
All of the Touring Plans for the Magic Kingdom call for you to be at the park between 45 minutes to an hour before the park opens. If you’re like me and you enjoy a good breakfast while on vacation, that’s a difficult thing to do. After all, getting up and getting out the door is hard enough, but getting up early and grabbing breakfast is not easy. However, when it comes to the Magic Kingdom, I have found the perfect solution.
Arrive in the Magic Kingdom parking lot about an hour and a half before the park is set to open. When you do that, it’s usually wide open in the parking lot. You can easily park in the first two or three rows of the parking lot, a short walk from the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) ticket booths. With that quick walk, you’ll find yourself at the gateway to the Magic Kingdom in short order. From there, facing the ticket booths, take a sharp left.
A little hidden gem of Walt Disney World is the fact that there is a nicely manicured path between the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Polynesian Resort. If you follow all the way to the left, you’ll find it. From there, it’s a nice, relaxing five minute walk over to the Great Ceremonial House at the Polynesian. This is really one of the most enjoyable walks in all of Walt Disney World. You get to see the grounds of the Poly when few people are actually awake.
If you follow the path through the grounds, past the former Tangaroa Terrace and past the smaller of the two pools, you’ll pass through to the Great Ceremonial House and enter on the ground floor. If you’re interested in some eggs and bacon or even Tonga Toast then head straight ahead to Captain Cook’s. If it’s just some great Kona blend coffee and a pastry, then take the stairs up to the Kona Island coffee stand. Depending on the crowds, you could even try to snag a table at Kona Café and have a full breakfast.
Regardless, if you make it in time, you’ll be able to eat, then hop onto the Monorail on the second floor of the Polynesian. After a brief stop at the Grand Floridian, you’ll be right there at the Magic Kingdom, with a full stomach and the energy to tackle the day. There are several advantages to this tactic. First, you’ve parked right up front near the TTC, so there’s no need to take the tram when you want to leave. If you stay on property, you could take a midday break by taking the buses from the Magic Kingdom entrance back to your resort, then leave your car parked up front. That way, you can get out easier at the end of the night.
Second, by walking to the Polynesian, you can get on the Monorail a little quicker than at the TTC, and get to the Magic Kingdom in a shorter time. And of course, you’ll be able to eat whatever kind of breakfast you want, without having to go through the hassle of stopping at your hotel food court or another restaurant.
This is my favorite little trick at Walt Disney World. I do it almost every time I go and use the time I save to enjoy Fantasyland attractions early in the morning with my kids or by myself. The walk through the Polynesian gets me energized for the day, and I love breakfast at that resort. What tricks do you use first thing in the morning?