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Take the Nine by Noon Magic Kingdom Challenge

By guest blogger Carl Trent of Dad’s Guide to Walt Disney World 

Walt & Mickey Statue at Magic Kingdom® ParkA couple of years ago, the New York Times published a story about how Disney was trying to introduce some crowd control policies that would increase the number of rides, shows and attractions that a guest would experience. One thing in the article jumped out at me. It said, “according to Disney research, the average Magic Kingdom® Park visitor has had time for only nine rides.”  (Check it out.)

NINE? That’s outrageous. Reading this got me to thinking. I think I could do 9 attractions by noon at the Magic Kingdom® Park. That’s just easy. I could do 9 by noon in my sleep. (And frequently do. What, don’t you dream about Disney World?)

Let’s look at that for just a minute. Nine attractions in a day … Let’s say the average guest arrives at the Magic Kingdom® Park at 10:30 a.m. and stays until Wishes at 9 p.m. That’s more than 10 hours in the park. That means they are averaging less than one ride per hour. How do you do that?

Disney’s answer is to build better ride queues so people can get through lines faster.  (Yes, I know they’re also adding MyMagic+, but we haven’t seen how that even works yet.) We’ve seen the new queues at Space Mountain® Attraction (still a monster line), Dumbo the Flying Elephant® (line is as long as ever, just air conditioned now), and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® Attraction (don’t know the outcome of this one yet). Better queues are a great idea by the way, but there’s got to be a better way.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® AttractionI think a better answer is to have a better plan (duh).  Planning is the key to life, or at least to a great day at the Magic Kingdom® Park or any other park for that matter. (Hey, what else did you expect an obsessive compulsive planner to say.)

Now I know some of you out there are screaming at your computers … We don’t need no stinkin’ plan! You’re right. You don’t. Enjoy your 9 attractions a day while some of the rest of us see 9 by noon.

Tomorrowland® Area Transit Authority in Magic Kingdom® ParkFor the rest of you, I have a challenge. I call it the Nine by Noon Magic Kingdom® Park Challenge.  How does it work? It’s really hard. You go to the Magic Kingdom® Park and try to complete 9 attractions by noon. There is really only one rule. You can’t repeat any attraction (riding Tomorrowland® Area Transit Authority nine times in a row doesn’t count).

Pretty simple. Who’s ready to give it a shot? Tell us how you would accomplish it or how you have accomplished it below. Good luck and enjoy the Magic Kingdom® Park.

Frog Family’s Strategy: Skip the lines with Tips, Apps and Real tickets

Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation is a big task. There are hundreds of things to think about. That’s where I come in. Hi, my name is Carl Trent, but I’m better known as Dad. The Disney Dad. I run a little website called DadsGuidetoWDW.com. At Dad’s Guide we want to help you plan a “Perfect” Vacation. Dad is a self-proclaimed (rarely challenged) Disney World “expert” who focuses on how to develop a plan that will allow you to have the best vacation possible.


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11 Responses to “Take the Nine by Noon Magic Kingdom Challenge”

  1. Steve and Nicole says:

    It can be done – think we’ve done it in the evening over 3hrs before. In the AM, to me you’d have to go straight to Big Thunder, grab a fastpass, and ride Splash Mountain. By the time you’re off, go on Big Thunder, then straight to Country Bear Jamboree, that kills hour 1. Head from there through the bathroom cutoff and go on Pirates, Tiki Room, and either Aladdin, Jungle Cruise, or the Swiss Family Treehouse – whichever is shortest line. You should not be complete with hour 2 at this point, which gives you time to take the train over to the back of Fantasyland. Walk to Tomorrowland and hit the Transit Authority, then Carousel of Progress and you’re at 9, counting the train. If you have the legs, run over to Small World and you’ve done ten in three hours.

  2. Beverly says:

    You definitely need a plan! We always have one. Get to the parrk at 8:00, since we stay on property. Head right to get fastpasses for space mountain or Space Ranger spin, then go on the other one. That’s 2. Done by 8:30. Then head to the opposite side of the park for Jungle Cruise and Pirates which never have long lines first thing in the morning. Hop on Alladin’s carpets if the line is short and you are at 5 by 9:30. In the meantime, someone in the group has gone for FastPasses to Winnie the Pooh, which always gives you a bonus FastPass for Philharmagic. Head into Fantasy Land, and go to the Carousel. After that check the lines for It’s a Small World, and get on if its less than 20 minutes. If not, use the FastPasses for Pooh and Philharmagic and you are at 8 attractions by 10:30. Then you can head to anything you want because you’ll have an hour and a half to get to 9. At this rate you really can do the whole park in a day, even in the summer.

  3. Shelly says:

    I know we have done 7 attractions well before noon!! We start with Peter Pan, It’s a Small World, Mickey’s Philharmagic, and Little Mermaid, then move on to Space Mountain, Buzzlightyear, and Tomorrowland Transit Authority. That’s seven! It’s usually around 11:00am or so by then and we tend to do an early lunch to avoid the lunch rush. So we could definitely do 2 more attractions before noon if we didn’t stop for lunch! Only nine attractions in an entire day is crazy!! Maybe if it’s Christmas week, Easter week, or Spring Break, but not the rest of the year. :)

  4. FrogBlog says:

    These are all great touring plans! Keep ‘em coming!

    – Mommy Frog

  5. Nahed says:

    I know it can be done! I’ve done it every year. The key is to wake up early and use the FP wisely!

  6. Marisa says:

    We usually start with Buzz, grab fast pass for Space Mountain and hit FantasyLand. Most FantasyLand rides are under 10 minutes at 8 in the morning. So you can do Dumbo, PeterPan, SnowWhite and Pooh and if you have time take a spin on the Carousel. We head back to Space Mountain for our Fast Pass time. We walk back to the Haunted Mansion which hardly ever has a line longer than 30 minutes and someone runs to Splash Mountain for Fast Passes. If the River boat is ready to take a spin we will take a ride on that. We usually grab lunch early too at Columbia Harbor House. By now it is hot, so we will either do the Presidents Hall of Fame or Country Bears to get out of the heat and take a quick cat nap. Our Fast Passes are usually in the afternoon for around 2 and we will get in line for Thunder Mountain Train until it is time to ride Splash Mountain.

    I have 12 rides in by 3 in the afternoon. We either leave and come back around 7 for the parade and Wishes.

    At 7, most times, you can walk onto Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Carpet Ride, Swiss Family Tree House, visit the Princesses in Adventure Land maybe the Jungle Cruise. We walk over to the Plaza or the Bakery for ice cream and still have time to take a spin on Tomorrow Transit.
    I think we are up to 18. Between the parade and wishes the kids will run onto Buzz sometimes and sometimes we get on the Train after the parade and take a lap around till Wishes too. Great place to watch Wishes is on the landing up by the Train Station.

  7. Dizneychik says:

    My family accepts this challenge! Going to WDW April 18th, we will report back then as to our successful strategy.

  8. Angela says:

    We have done 9 rides in calafornia adventure in 1 hr, with no kids on a really quiet night at Christmas. Wondering if 9 by noon is possible with a 3 year old at magic kingdom, this will be our 1st WDW trip and would love advice to do 9 by noon with a 3year old princess obsessed little girl!

  9. Snowbird says:

    We usually go in October, but we stay offsite. This being said, we almost always go to the MNSSHP. This is a big advantage for us because Disney only lets in a certain number of guests to attend the party. We like it since we can’t take advantage of the EMH because we are not staying on property. Even though the party is only about 6-7 hours long, we stay the entire time and are able to ride AT LEAST 10 major rides. And that’s without the fast pass (since they are all sold out for the day). We usually hit space mountain first and ride it twice. Then we walk over to Buzz Lightear’s Space Ranger Spin and Monsters Inc. Then we head over to Frontierland and ride Splash Mountain and BTMR each twice, both with little to no wait. Third, we hit Fantasyland. Since I am a teen, Fantasyland doesn’t take me that long :) By the time we ride Mad Tea Party, Mickeys Philharmagic, and Its a Small World, only a hour and a half has passed. Then we allow about 2 hrs to watch the parade and fireworks, and of course, trick-or-treating! By the time the festivities are over, we usually have about 1:30 hrs left. We fill this time with the Haunted Mansion (it is Halloween of course) and Space Mountain about 3 more times :) we really like Space Mountain. As the night continues, we end our day with a stop at the shops and Confectionary to get our goodies (as if we didn’t get enough candy from trick-or-treating).

  10. Jill says:

    I was there on Sunday morning and did 5 in the first hour

  11. Rick says:

    June 3rd, moderatly busy day. Get FP for Buzz, ride Space, ride Speedway, back to Buzz, Mom and kids in line for Dumbo, Dad grabs Mermaid FP, ride Dumbo, ride barnstormer with 20 min wait, ride small world waiting for Mermaid FP time, ride Mermaid, ride carasel, grab Peter Pan FP on the way to Haunted Mansion. 9 done and lunch at the Columbia House. Where we got sidetracked for the legs of my 5 and 8 yr old was grab FP for Thunder, wait the hour for Splash – get handed 8 Space FP’s in line by a family who was exhausted already. Train ride over to the other side of park to ride Space and then hit Adventureland late afternoon. Dinner at 7, parade and fireworks, and more Space Mountain for the 8 year old. Carasel of Progress and people mover at like 12:15 with magic hours. You understand why we were late to Epcot the next morning…with our plan.

    Understand their is no perfect plan, but much better to have one! Cool topic.

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