20 Fun Things to Do at Disney's Magic Kingdom Besides Ride Rides

Megan Zander | Feb 28, 2019 Home & Garden
20 Fun Things to Do at Disney's Magic Kingdom Besides Ride Rides
Image: Megan Zander

things to do in magic kingdom besides ride rides
Megan Zander

Everyone knows Disney's Magic Kingdom is the home to Splash Mountain, the It's A Small World boat ride and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It's the place to be if flying with Peter Pan, taking a Jungle Cruise or riding Aladdin's magic carpet is on the bucket list. For anyone with a favorite Disney movie, there's a good chance there's a ride out there to go with it. 

There are so many fun rides to go on at the Magic Kingdom, it's almost impossible to get on them all into a single day (though it's fun to try!) While some of them offer big thrills (looking at you Space Mountain!) others are gentle enough for even infants to ride. But whether they go slow or super fast, we know that not everyone gets a thrill out of riding the rides.  

Fortunately, it's completely possible to have an amazing day in the Magic Kingdom without stepping foot on anything that spins, swirls, leaves the ground, or even moves at all.

Pregnant moms who can't hop on roller-coasters with the rest of the family, we've got plenty to keep you busy. How about educational shows and shopping in the cool air conditioning? Little kids who aren't tall enough to ride the big rides? There's special dress-up and face painting options just for them. Anyone who suffers from motion sickness or kids who get nervous on dark rides don't have to sit around and do nothing. There are self-guided scavenger hunts to try, hilarious historical puppet shows with the Muppets to watch, and a secret whole island to explore filled with bridges and secret tunnels. 

For non-riders, those with nervous stomachs or even families looking to take a break from waiting in line, check out these 20 awesome things to do at the Magic Kingdom besides riding the rides. 

  • Pirate's League

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    things to do in magic kingdom besides rides
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    Tiny swashbucklers age 3 and older can unleash their inner "Argh" at The Pirates League. Book an appointment for a pirate makeover, complete with eye patch and sword. There's also mermaid packages for any child who's always dreamed of living under the sea. Get all dressed up, then walk around the park soaking up the special attention.

  • Haunted Mansion Queue Line

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    There's no age or height requirement for the Haunted Mansion ride, but some littles might be too scared to take a ride in a doom buggy. Luckily, the line for the ride itself offers plenty of spooky fun. Toutombstonesnes to make ghostly music and play a guessing game with a spirit from the beyond. And who knows, playing along through the queue may give a timid one the courage to continue on to the ride. 

  • Snack Battle

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    things to do in Magic Kingdom besides rides
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    The Magic Kingdom is known for having snacks on snacks on snacks, making it the perfect spot for an epic snack battle. Grab a Dole Whip and a LaFou's Brew, and decide once and for all which one is the superior sweet cold treat. Are Mickey soft pretzels better than the popcorn? Only one way to find out!

  • Face Painting

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    For an activity that the kids will carry with them all day long, check out the face painting station to the right of Space Mountain. It's a fun way to ease the disappointment of any toddlers who are bummed while waiting for their taller, older siblings to ride. The painters are friendly, fast, and the paint options range from classic characters to out-of-this-world designs. 

  • Find The Perfect Souvenir

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    When standing still in a long line starts to take a sweaty toll, heading to the air-conditioned shops along Main Street is a fun way to fill an afternoon. From high-end jewelry and delicate collectibles to toys galore, there's something to interest even the pickiest shopper. Just window shopping?Spend some time watching the glass blowers in Crystal Arts or check out the detailed window displays.

  • Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade

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    There are parades, and then there's Festival of Fantasy. This afternoon park stopper (literally -- it winds through the park, making getting around a bit tricky) features dancers, aerialists, and everyone's favorite characters. But the part the kids will be talking about at dinner -- the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon that closes out the performance. 

  • Enchanted Tales With Belle

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    Adults and kids alike will get a thrill out of stepping into Belle's cottage and magically being transported into Beast's castle at Enchanted Tales With Belle. There, kids are assigned roles to help in a short reenactment of the classic tale ( have the camera's ready!) Afterwards, each child gets to meet the princess herself. It's a performance and a meet and greet, and it's pretty sweet.

  • A Pirates Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas

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    things to do in magic kingdom besides rides
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    This free, self-guided scavenger hunt takes guests on a treasure hunt through Adventureland with the help of a magic talisman and a secret map. There are five missions, each which take about 20 minutes. Try them all, or give just one a try and know it's always possible to come back later for another challenge. 

  • Move It! Shake It! MouskeDance It! Street Party

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    WIth several performances in front of Cinderella's Castle throughout the day, Move It! Shake It! MouskeDance It! Street Party is one part parade, and one part epic dance party. Catchy songs will have everyone on their feet and dancing, and characters often encourage younger kids to come out and interact with them during the songs. It's a great chance for special memories and special pictures. 

  • Meet the Characters

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    Megan Zander

    We could easily spend an entire day going around meeting our favorite Disney characters. The princesses, Tinkerbelle, Pooh, and his pals, Buzz Lightyear, Goofy, Minnie, Pluto, and of course, Mickey himself are all usually on site waiting to take photos and sign autographs. There are even a few villains around to say hi, like Gaston and Cinderella's evil stepsisters. 

  • Get a Haircut at Harmony Barber Shop

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    things to do at magic kingdom besides ride the rides
    Megan Zander

    At the end of Main Street, Harmony Barber shop is a super special place for a first haircut or a quick trim. Anyone looking to keep their length can get a pixie dusting or temporary color treatment. Even if a hair treatment isn't in the cards, just looking around this old-fashioned relic is a fun peek into the past. 

  • Play in Dumbo's Big Top

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    Things to do at Magic Kingdom besides ride rides
    Megan Zander

    Hidden inside the queue for Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a fire department-themed enclosed playscape kids love. Kids usually play here while waiting for their turn to fly, but it's also a great place to stop to let kids burn off some energy while mom and dad sit and plan where to go for lunch. 

  • Visit the Sword in the Stone

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    things to do at disney besides ride rides
    Megan Zander

    Behind Cinderella's Castle, in front of the carousel is where the Sword in the Stone awaits its rightful owner. Take the kids over for their chance, and have a laugh as even the adults can't get it to budge. Check the Times Guide or ask a cast member -- there are times where a small ceremony takes place and a lucky child gets to pluck the sword from its sleeping spot. 

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh Queue Line

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    Even if no one wants to go bouncing through the Hundred Acre Woods in a honey pot, the line for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is worth a visit, especially if traveling with young kids. There's a tiny playhouse to explore and an interactive garden with games and musical instruments. 

  • The Hall of Presidents

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    Feeling slightly guilty about the kids missing history class while on vacation? Then stop by the Hall of Presidents. This 25-minute show explains the story of our nation with the help of three massive screens and 44 impressive animatronics. Did Abraham Lincoln just scratch his nose? 

  • Tom Sawyer Island

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    Tom Sawyer Island is the perfect quiet place to retreat to when lines are long and the family needs a break but doesn't want to leave the park. Walk through paths and tunnels inspired by the works of Mark Twain. Discover a secret fort and working mill. Who knows, maybe there's a cave somewhere?

  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station 

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    Pack a spare set of clothes for this whimsical spray park area right outside of Dumbo that is included in park admission. It's the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day -- in fact, it might be hard to convince the kids to leave! Bathrooms right next door make getting changed after super convenient. 

  • The Muppets Present... Great Moments in History

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    Join the Muppets in Liberty Square for these reenactments of important historical moments in US history. Whatever they lack in facts, they more than make up for in laughs. Shows run throughout the day, so grab a spot to relax and try to watch them all. Long live Georgette Washington!

  • Check Out The Steam Trains

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    wdwnews

    The sad news is that Walt Disney World Railroad is currently under construction. But the good news is that a steam train is parked in the station, ready for a close-up look by anyone who loves trains. Get a great photo, and check out the mini museum inside the station. 

  • Pressed Coins

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    Buying a souvenir is fun, but making one is even cooler. Pressed penny and pressed quarter machines can be found throughout the park, making this an activity that can easily become a fun obsession. Get one for each attraction, or try to find everyone's favorite character. Folders to hold these tiny treasures can be purchased in the gift shops, so they don't get lost. 

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