There are plenty of good reasons to arrive at the Magic Kingdom before it opens, including the chance to ride popular attraction with little wait – and maybe experience more in the first few hours of the day than latecomers will be able to experience all day with the larger crowds. But another great reason to rise early is the Opening Ceremony at the Magic Kingdom.

Several of Disney’s theme parks have an opening ceremony, and most people consider the one at the Magic Kingdom to be one of the best.

How To See The Show

You will need to arrive at the park about 30 minutes before the park opens, which is typically at 9:00 am. If you haven’t been to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World before, you will need to plan extra time to get there. If you are staying off of Disney property, you will park your car and then take a tram to the Ticket And Transportation Center. From there you will take a boat or monorail to the Magic Kingdom. So plan at least 30 minutes from when you park your car to when you will arrive at the entrance to the park – and this assumes you already have your tickets in hand. Then, you will need to pass through a security checkpoint and go through the admission turnstiles.

Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony At The Train Station
The Ceremony takes place in front of the Main Street USA Train Station.

If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel, you can take a bus directly from the hotel to the Magic Kingdom entrance, bypassing the Ticket and Transportation Center. If you are lucky enough to stay at a Magic Kingdom area resort, you may have the option of a boat ride or monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom entrance.

The Impact Of Extra Magic Hours

Note that if the Magic Kingdom is offering Extra Magic Hours – meaning it is open early for the exclusive use of guests staying at a Disney resort hotel – the Opening Ceremony takes place just once and that is just before the park opens to the first guests.

This means that if you are staying at a Disney resort hotel, it is probably a good idea to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours and also plan to see the Opening Ceremony.

But if you aren’t staying at a Disney resort hotel, you will probably want to wait for a day when the Magic Kingdom doesn’t have Extra Magic Hours in the morning. It is technically possible to see the show from before the ticket turnstiles, but you won’t be able to get up close to see the show well.  To get a good viewing location, you need to pass through the admission turnstiles – and only Disney resort hotels guests will be allowed to do that when there are early morning Extra Magic Hours. You might also have to stand around for an hour or more before you can enter the park with the general public.

Bottom line:  If you are staying at a Disney hotel, check out the show when the Magic Kingdom has morning Extra Magic Hours.  If you are not staying at a Disney hotel, check out the show when the Magic Kingdom does not have morning Extra Magic Hours.

About The Show

The Ceremony happens above the main entrance flower beds at the Main Street USA Train Station. Most all of the spots after the ticket turnstiles are good viewing locations, but here’s a great tip: if you plan to take pictures you may want to move toward the right so that the sun is at your back.

Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony
The Ceremony contains plenty of fun songs and dancing.

At about 10 minutes before the park opens a citizen on Main Street welcomes everyone to the park. Main Street Singers then sing the song “Good Morning” from the movie “Singing In The Rain”.

If you listen carefully you will then hear a train whistle in the background. The Lilly Belle steam train then pulls into the station with Mickey Mouse and his friends – like Chip and Dale, Snow White, Alice, and Pluto. The song “Zip A Dee Doo Dah” from the Disney Movie “The Song Of The South” plays in the background.

The show ends with streamers and plenty of smiles. It only lasts about ten minutes, but it is a fun time that sets the stage for a fun day.