After Walt Disney successfully opened Disneyland® in California, he was disappointed by the encroachment of billboards, hotels, and restaurants just outside the park, which he felt ruined the illusion of being in a magical place. This led him to seek out much more space when he started to plan Walt Disney World®—he wanted enough land to contain all the company’s dreams without ever breaking the illusion of being someplace magical. The Magic Kingdom® sits in the middle of 43 square miles of ever-evolving Disney property. Nothing can get near it to break its magical spell.
Click on the Map to explore the park, or click on the links to each land...
You actually have to take a little journey to get to the Magic Kingdom®. This was very intentional. Guests must leave their cars in a massive lot on the other end of a large lake and take a monorail, ferry boat, or bus the rest of the way to the actual gates of the Magic Kingdom®. And yes, you really do feel like you have journeyed to a magical place once you arrive!
Getting To The Magic Kingdom®
Disney Resort hotel guests can take buses right to the gates of the Magic Kingdom®. Some Disney hotels also offer monorail and ferry boat access to the kingdom’s shores—check with your hotel for details. If you are coming from outside the Disney property, the parking lot and bus drop-off is at the Ticket and Transportation Center on the southern end of the Seven Seas Lagoon. You’ll get your admission passes here and then hop onto either the monorail or the ferry into the Kingdom.
The monorail moves faster, but it will take you around the entire lagoon and its line can sometimes be long. The ferry looks like it should be slower, but it goes straight across the lagoon and can carry a lot more people in one load than the monorail. We suggest you choose the ferry at the beginning of your day to get you there faster, and then take the monorail back at the end.
Have your admission pass or MagicBand ready when you arrive at the gates of the Magic Kingdom®. Disney has heightened park security by matching your admission pass or MagicBand with a scan of your fingerprint.
All bags are checked before entering the park. You can speed this process along by opening all zippered compartments on your purse or backpack for the security officer before you get to their inspection table. Make sure you re-zip and seal everything back up before you get underway—you don’t want to be leaving a trail of personal items behind you as you move into the park!
Put your admission pass in a VERY safe place, and double check that your MagicBand is securely snapped on your wrist. You will need it throughout the day to redeem meal plans and claim FastPass+. In many cases your admission pass or MagicBand is also your hotel room key...you need to make sure you know where it is at all times.
This guide follows this recommendation and will take you land to land in a clockwise circle around the castle.