Magic Kingdom Opening Show

“Good morning. Good morning. It’s great to stay up late. Good morning. Good morning to you, and you and you and you.”

Anyone who has made the effort to be at the Magic Kingdom before opening will have this song stuck in their head all day long – or at least until they ride “it’s a small world.”

I’ve always advocated being at the parks as early as possible if it’s your desire to experience the rides with as little wait as possible. But there is an extra added bonus for you early birds – a show. All four theme parks present a short opening performance before rope drop. All are entertaining, but I think the Magic Kingdom’s is the best.

If you want to see this show, I suggest you arrive at the Magic Kingdom (not the TTC) at 8:30. On slow days this might be a little early, but on busier days, you’ll be glad you arrived at this time. Once there, proceed through the turnstiles. The show takes place up in front of the train station so anywhere in the courtyard offers good viewing. However, if you plan to take pictures, you might want to move to the right side of this area so the sun is at your back.

To keep the little ones entertained before the show, Disney provides a number of hula-hoops for their enjoyment.

Children with hula-hoops

At about 8:50, a citizen of Main Street appears and welcomes everyone to the Most Magical Place on Earth. By the way, Disneyland in California is the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The Magic Kingdom is the “Most Magical Place on Earth.”

Citizen of Main Street

After a short introduction, the Main Street Singers appear and present a lively rendition of “Good Morning.” Written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, most of us are familiar with this song from the 1952 movie “Singin’ in the Rain,” but in reality, it first appeared in the 1939 movie “Babes in Arms.”

Main Street Singers

Main Street Singers

Main Street Singers

Main Street Singers

When their number completes, we hear a whistle in the distance. A few moments later a steam train chugs into view to the tune of “Casey Jr.” and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Onboard we see Mickey Mouse and a number of his friends waving to the crowd below. Also onboard is the “family of the day.”

WDW Steam Train

WDW Steam Train

Mickey Mouse and Citizen of Main Street

Snow White & Alice in Wonderland

After the guest family is introduced, a backwards countdown from ten proceeds to officially open the park. At zero, the guest family throws pixie dust onto the crowd and canons erupt, sending streamers flying.

Family of the Day

Family of the Day

The entire show lasts less than ten minutes, but it’s a lot of fun. It also allows your children the opportunity to see some Disney characters first thing which might pacify their urgent need for a few moments.

This show sets the mood for your day to come. If you haven’t already seen it, I strongly suggest dragging yourself out of bed a little early one morning and make the effort. You’ll be glad you did.

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45 Replies to “Magic Kingdom Opening Show”

  1. I have always been a HUGE fan of your blog and I have almost always agreed with your opinions on all things Disney World. I am going to Disney Land Paris this summer and was hoping you could give me advice on how to do the two parks in one day, and any additional advice you think I should know regarding the parks. Thanks!

  2. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the family of the day does not actually ride in on the train from Fantasyland… When I saw the MK opening show in January of 2014, the train pulls up with Mickey and the gang and then the family just walk through the train car onto the outer platform. Maybe many years ago they let the family of the day actually ride the train but Disney’s safety protocol now a days likely doesn’t allow it because Lilly Belle’s coaches are missing the side panels that were added in 2009. Any other theories?

  3. Thanks for all of the info about the welcome show! I’ve been wondering what to do early in the morning at the Magic Kingdom. We have a reservation for the character breakfast at Ohana at 10:45 when we’re visiting in March. We’re staying at the ArtofA, so we figured it would be easiest to take the bus shuttle to the MK, spend a little time there, and then head off on the monorail to the Polynesian. Our three-year-old is an early riser, so I think we won’t have any trouble making it to the park by opening – now we’ll really try to be 15 minutes early to see the opening show!

    A follow-up question: any suggestions for what to do at the park for the hour or so we have before we need to set off for the Polynesian? I’m assuming we should probably stick near the entrance/Main Street, so that we can get back to the monorail station? We already have FastPass+ for the Fantasyland attractions that we want to do for later in the afternoon, so we’re not too concerned about running and getting on popular attractions early in the morning.

  4. We are going to Disney in December, my favorite time of year to go! My dream is to be family of the day, my question is we will be going with some family so our group will consist of 4 adults and two children ( the cutest 5 year olds you ever did see) do we stand a chance to be picked as family of the day?

    Jack’s Answer:

    First off, you didn’t stipulate what “Family of the Day” you are referring to. There are several of them around property. But I will assume you mean the family that rides the steam train for the opening show at the Magic Kingdom.

    I think your questions steams from the fact that the Magic Kingdom Family of the Day tends to be a family of four — mom, dad, and two kids. This is the typical formula, but is not always the case. Disney tries to be diverse and picks all sorts of families and sizes. So the fact that you are a family of six will not hurt your chances of being selected.


    Your chances of being selected are very slim anyway. Since there can be up to a thousand families watching the opening show, your chances can be as slim as 1 in 1,000.

    There is no formula for being picked. Cast members have told me that they vary their selection process so people cannot “figure out the system” and get selected.

    I can tell you this, you MUST arrive early. And I don’t mean 8:30. You better be there by at least 8am (for a 9am opening). Cast members need time to pick someone then take them backstage for them to board the train.

  5. My family was chosen at Hollywood Studios in 2010. Only three of us could fit on Walt Disney’s car as we were driven down the boulevard to Rock n Roller Coaster. I always arrive early to the parks if possible and I walked away to look at hats. My son came running over to me and was so excited to be picked and was asked by a cast member. We were taken to a VIP lounge and escorted in front of the rope to participate in a “scene”. We than got to pick either the Tower or Coaster to board first and we were alone on the ride. After the ride they gave us fastpasses to Toy Story Mania as it was new than. They also gave us a picture of us on the coaster. So if you are a family of three HS is a great bet!

  6. Well, great. I’ve only seen the opening celebration once…but I listen to the “Welcome Medley” almost every day on my iPod (there are a couple of CD’s it’s on, folks!)…and now that I’m writing a descriptive essay on it, I learn that I have NO CLUE what it’s actually like. Sigh. I’ll check it out on Youtube later.

    The “Welcome Medley” is apparently very different from the actual opening celebration. It includes:

    The “Welcome Melody”
    “Walking Down the Middle of Main Street, U.S.A.” (or something like that)
    “Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley” (or something like that)

    So, are either of the last two shows actually IN the opening celebration? Or even in the park itself?

  7. I saw this show for the first time when I took my parents to the Magic Kingdom (they are morning people – ha!). What a great show! It really is too bad that EPCOT hasn’t created an opening show this entertaining. Do you know how long that have been performing this show? It is always fun to find out how many years they have been doing shows like these for guests.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I’ve been in Orlando for 11 years and I believe this show has been here the entire time. But I really don’t know when it began.

    You’re right. Epcot needs a better opening. What they have is pretty lame.

  8. My family was chosen for MK opening. And I have to say that this is one memory that I will never forget. We had a group picture with 12-13 Disney Characters. That is a one of a lifetime picture that only 365 families a year get to have. Not even Michelle Obama could get a group picture. The guy explained only one family gets a group picture and that is the family chosen to open the park for the day. Along with the autographs of the characters. Can’t tell you how much time this saved for us. We didn’t have to wait in the long lines for autographs. My wife started crying, because she was so happy for our daughter. Who doesn’t even know how lucky she was to have that happen to her. We live in Florida now and can’t wait to go back.

  9. We’ve been family of the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. This gave us rights to ride Tower of Terror, Soarin and take the Safari first and with just us. It was great.

    We’ve never managed to become family of the day at Magic Kingdom. I think we might just camp out next year. My daughter so wants to ride the train with the characters.

  10. I was fortunate enough to be the “Opening Family” with my boyfriend on Hallowe’en. It was so much fun! We accidentally arrived to Magic Kingdom an hour early because we were told that the transportation system from Port Orleans to the parks was slow. We were standing around, realizing no one else was standing in line with us. A cast member came up to us and asked if we liked to sing and dance. We didn’t really know what was in store, this being our first time to Disneyworld all the way from Saskatchewan, Canada. We said “yes” because we knew that if it was Disney, something cool was in store for us. The castmember took us into the park, where we got to have a great photo op of a deserted castle and main street. Then we met the characters that were part of the opening ceremony, and rode the train with Mickey and his gang. It was great! We felt a bit out of place because, we’re not five years old and we didn’t have any kids with us. But the characters were great and so funny. They joked in a more adult manor, so it was a bit more comfortable for us. It was really great for us to have that as our first memory of Disneyworld, especially that we got to do it on Hallowe’en!

  11. Hey Josh,
    The name of the song is called “Welcome Melody” and can be found on the 2 disc set (cd) entitled “Where Magic Lives – Walt Disney World”. To view the video, check out and search using “Main Street USA Trolley Dancers”. I love that song too!

  12. I was at WDW earlier this month. The opening song was the one mentioned about about “it’s all pure magic, wrapped up in pixie dust…”

    I’m trying to find the rest of the words or a video of it. I was videoing the opening ceremony, but my recording stopped right as that song cued up. Does anyone know it or know of a video to it?



  13. OMG Jack!! I just told my husband how much I have learned from your blogging. We just got back from the World Thursday and to come home and read this and about the name badges makes me so excited about our trip in December! Your a true gem! Keep up your amazing work! Or should I say Fun!


  14. Quick question – do they cancel the opening show during the rain? We were at rope drop way ahead of time in 2006 in the pouring rain. We were first at the turnstiles. I don’t recall any show at all. We just all walked in and headed to Space Mountain.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Most unprotected live performances are cancelled for rain. However, the nightly fireworks still go on.

    Since the vast majority of central Florida’s rain occurs in the later afternoon and early evening, the “Good Morning” show is usually pretty safe from cancellation. You just hit it on an unusual day.

  15. the previous post about asking to be family of the day is not true, they will not pick you for just asking. we were family of the day as grand marshals of the afternoon parade. we were selected at the mad tea cup party while waiting for our children to come off the ride, while if u ask you may get “lucky” dont count on it. it is truly a random experience and if you are lucky enough to get selected you will have a great time.

    Jack’s Comment:

    You’re absolutely right. There are no guarantees. But asking apparently worked for a couple of families.

    I suspect that the vast majority of people are selected when they least expect it. If Disney started to pick everyone that asked, in a matter of days, word would get out and they’d be inundated with requests — which they could not honor.

  16. Last month, we were picked Family of the Day to open the AK park early. All I did was say “Hi!” to a cast member when we got to the park early to wait for rope drop (about 8:30AM). The kids had to wear safari shirts and we marched around in front of the crowd with noise makers.

    Then they had a separate Family of the Day to actually open the park after you went through the turnstyles. It was during the opening show. It was hard to see with the show due to the crowd of people.

    We had so much fun being the Family of the Day. It was priceless and a wonderful memory!

  17. From an old CM: To increase your chances of being chosen First Family:
    – Get there early so you’re next to the rope
    – “Everybody neat and pretty.” Preferably have one or more cute kids
    – Wear Disney regalia, preferably a bright color. (If chosen, they may give you matching T-shirts to wear anyway.)
    – Birthday or first-timer stickers don’t hurt
    – Look alert and smiley, but not pushy.
    Also works pre-parade. But nothing’s guaranteed — I’ve seen folks chosen from the back of the crowd by a wandering CM given that duty.

  18. I was just wondering if you know what size families they are looking for as the Family of the Day? We are going next year in June for a major celebration, my 20th wedding anniversary, our oldest son’s high school graduation and my dad’s retirement. There will be 12 of us total, is there a chance they would pick us?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I really don’t know. But your family certainly isn’t approaching the train’s capacity so I don’t see your party’s size as a problem. If you’ve been reading the other comments, it seems that arriving early and ingratiating yourself to the cast members is a good trick at getting picked.

    If you’re staying on Disney property, ask for Grand Gatherings when you make your reservation. This is a group that handles larger parties. Make sure to tell them all the events you are celebrating during your visit. It can’t hurt.

  19. my family and i were at disney world last december for 7 nights/ 8 days, and we were at th Magic Kingdom three of those mornings for th opeing celebration. we were there at 8:30 a.m. or earlier every moring to see the show. the first morning i saw the show i have to admit that the show bought a few tears to my eyes. i just knew it was going to be “a magical day”, and it was. we are planning on going this december (09), and cant wait to see the show again.

  20. We went to Animal Kingdom the first week in July, 2007. We found the opening ceremony there to be uncomfortable and would never do it again. They made an announcement that we would be let in early. Then everyone was kept from going past a certain point. It was very crowded and people were pushing to get through to the front. I was pushed and cursed at and my child sitting in the stroller was hit in the head with bags. As soon as the show was over and they let people through, it was a stampede. We stayed back to the side and waited for the crowd to subside. If this is how the Animal Kingdom still does the opening ceremony, be careful.

    Jack’s Comment:

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience at the Animal Kingdom.

    Disney opens the turnstiles to the Animal Kingdom 10-15 minutes early. This does not mean the park is open. Everyone is allowed into the park as far at the tip-board. Here a rope stops the crowd from going any further. About 5-7 minutes before the park opens, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto arrive at the rope on a safari-type truck and give a short opening greeting. Unfortunately, unless you’re somewhere near the front of the crowd, much of this performance is lost.

    People are excited in the morning and want to run to their first attraction. At the official opening time, the rope is dropped. Then, two cast members “walk” half of the crowd to Expedition: Everest and another two cast members “walk” the other half to Kilimanjaro Safari.

    Disney does their best to keep organization intact, but this is a difficult chore. I think those in wheelchairs and with strollers would be better off waiting a couple of minutes for the initial crowd to subside. Believe me, if you’re there at rope drop, you won’t be adding any significant wait time to your first attraction if you stand back and take it slow.

  21. My eyes well up just reading the comments. We arrived at Magic Kingdom for the opening on my birthday this year (first time at opening without breakfast at Crystal Palace first-where you end up missing the show), and the opening show at the train station brought tears to my eyes. Nothing starts a day at the Magic Kingdom like this show. The breakfast at Crystal Palace is great, but the show just moves me. No other word describes it, besides “DISNEY”. Take it in just once, and you’ll have to see it again.

  22. Hi,
    How do you get in for the early show? Everytime we get there early, we have to wait at a rope for the cast member to let people through to catch the monorail. Love the website.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I avoid the Magic Kingdom when it has Extra Magic Hours so I’m only speaking of days that this park is NOT opening early.

    If you arrive at the TTC at 8:30ish, the monorail and ferryboat should already be transporting guests to the Magic Kingdom. Once you get there, just proceed thru the turnstiles and wait for the show in the courtyard.

  23. I LOVE watching this show!! It’s one of my favorite things about the Magic Kingdom!! It really makes it all real for me, so I drag my family there early EVERY TIME we go!! I get tears in my eyes whenever I see it because I can never believe I am REALLY there!! What a FANTASTIC way to start a perfectly wonderful day!!!

  24. Jack,

    My daughter got us picked for family of the day on her 5th birthday. She woke us up at 5am and had us in line by 6:45 (for an 8am EMH open). When she started going up to each cast member and giving them her extra stickers, we got picked.

  25. I love the MK opening show too – thanks for the pictures, Jack!

    I have a question about the opening show at DHS – Debbie posted that it was her favorite. However, we’ve been there for opening several times but we’ve never seen a show. There’s a big Hollywood type announcement, a countdown and music but I don’t recall Streetmosphere characters or a show.

    Is there an opening show? Wonder if this is only at regular opening and not at EMH when we usually arrive?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Even though I used the word “show” in my blog, I would have a hard time describing the event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by this term. There are streetmosphere characters at the end of Hollywood Blvd. And they do put on a fun performance. But unless you’re relatively close to them, it’s difficult to take it all in.

    Once again, I don’t know how this works for Early Magic Hours since I’m not eligible for this perk.

  26. Jack, I too love the early morning show. However what made a big impression last time was the closing show when we left the kingdom around 11:00 pm. There was music and characters and cast members waving goodbye to everyone with big Mickey type gloved hands. I don’t recall seeing any closing events at EPCOT, do you know anything about other closing shows?

    Jack’s Answer:

    These closing events are called A Kiss Goodnight and a second ceremony takes place at the Animal Kingdom. Check this link for pictures and details.

  27. One other interesting thing about the show at the Magic Kingdom is that it is the only time the Lilly Belle train is brought out for the day (its cars allow you to exit and board on both side and they are now considered to dangerous for guests).

    The only other way you can see/get on the Lilly Belle Train is to take the train tour.

  28. Jack,

    We were picked as family of the day for the MK opening on my daughter’s 7th birthday. We always get there very early and my daughter walked up to the cast member at the turnstiles and told her “I turn 7 today! Do you like my tiara?” 5 minutes later we were family of the day! It was magical!!!!!

  29. Two years ago my husband and I took his mother to WDW. I remember having to explain several times why we needed to be there in time to see this show. In the end she, and we, where glad we made the effort. it set the mood for her first day in the park.

  30. Last time we saw the opening show I don’t remember hearing “Good Morning” at all, rather a song that goes “It’s all pure magic, wrapped up in pixie dust,” has it changed or am I remembering incorrectly?

    In addition, it’s possible they hold the official opening at the end of the morning extra magic hour, I recall hearing the music starting to play from inside the park at nine o’clock.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The show starts with “It’s magic, all wrapped up in pixie dust…” “Good Morning” is sung shortly after this.

  31. On our most recent trip we were at the Magic Kingdom for an early morning EMH and they did an abbreviated opening with the train pulling up, the family of the day, and characters, but no dancers or main street streetmosphere characters. Still a fun show!

  32. Hey!

    Is this magic kingdom in Florida or Paris?

    I am off to Paris for the weekend setting off friday morning, so I may get there nice and early to watch one of these shows, we are staying in the proper disney hotel, one a competition and got a suite!!

    Cant wait 🙂

    Jack’s Answer:

    I was talking about the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Although I haven’t been to Disneyland Paris in over three years, to my knowledge they do not offer a comparable morning show. But don’t despair; they make up for it in so many other ways.

  33. I plan to visit Magic Kingdom & need to know the earliest time the bus picks up at the EPCOT resorts-including Swan & Dolphin. I am considering doing the Castle Breakfast to get in ahead of everyone else. What is your advise/opinion on this.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I do not know the exact time the buses leave any of the resorts. But rest assured, Disney has this all planned like clockwork. If an Early Morning Breakfast takes place before a park opens, the buses will leave your resort in plenty of time to get you there.

    Mind you, if you’re at the Castle Breakfast, you might miss the Opening Show as you could still be eating when it begins or not have time to walk back to the Train Station.

  34. Jack — I love your blog, but I have a question about the opening show at the Magic Kingdom. On extra magic hour days, what happens? Does the show go on for the WDW resort guests, or is it held off for the “general public?”

    Many thanks, and thanks to all of you at AllEars.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I have never been to the Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours at opening. From what I’ve read on official communications, the show is presented earlier on these days. This means, only guests staying at Disney World can see the show on EMH mornings.

  35. Jack, couldn’t agree more about the MK show setting the mood for the day to come. I think we showed up early just trying to get there early and didn’t expect to see a show and then we were pleasantly surprised. I think it has to bring a smile to anyone’s face to start off the day like this.

  36. I’ve only been at the rope drop for Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood studios. I didn´t know they had this show in Magic Kingdom, next time I will do anything to see it. Thanks for the tip and the great information Jack…

  37. Hello Jack,

    We were chosen to be family of the day once at Epcot. We were randomly picked out of the crowd. We were not there that early, so it was pretty rushed. I don’t know if they profile in some way looking for certain family “builds”, as our family is comprised of Me, Wife, 1 boy, and 1 girl. I have also noticed twins on a few occasions being family of the day.

    At Epcot we got to ride in the Test Track Vehicle during the opening parade (back when the double-decker was still going). We also rode test track several times before it opened, received a free test track picture, fast passes to soarin’, as well as VIP seating for illuminations that night. It was and still is our most magical Disney day ever!

    /Cheers, John

  38. They haven’t done the Epcot double decker bus at opening in a while. What they usually do now is let everyone in as far as the fountain in front of Innoventions, and you can line up on the left to head for Test Track/Mission: Space, or on the right for Soarin’. About 5 minutes before, the characters walk out and come up to the ropes to interact with the crowd. The last couple of times I went, they did drive the Family of the Day around in the Test Track car. Then they do the countdown and it’s a mad stampede towards Soarin’.

    Personally, I prefer this method because it gets you closer to Soarin’ before rope drop. It’s an awfully long stampede from the front of Spaceship Earth to Soarin’.

  39. We were chosen to be the family of the day twice on the same trip we turned the 2nd time down as we thought we should give another family the amazing fun. The way we were choosen was we always show up real early & just ask if we could be the opening family. Also, if you go to the left side entrance your chances are better.

  40. Jack,

    I am always repeating myself during WDW vacations, “I want to see rope drop! Let’s go!”

    MK does the train show

    Epcot NO LONGER does the double decker bus (or at least they don’t when we are there in September each year). I’ve also never seen the Test Track car, though I keep hearing about it.

    We go the same week every year, and the double decker bus hasn’t come out in years. Maybe it still does on occasion, but we haven’t seen it come out (or the TT car) during our Sept. trips.

    DHS does an excellent opening show. That one is my 2nd favorite (maybe even 1st if I’m being 100% honest). I love the Streetmosphere actors and actresses!

    …and DAK, well, there’s is just cute with Mickey & Minnie in the jeep at the base of the tree.


  41. The only opening I have seen was at the MK. It is so much fun and it really sets the mood for the rest of the day. Where is the ‘good morning’ seen at Epcot? I think I miss it because I enter through the world showcase.

    Jack’s Comment:

    Mukta posted their question before I posted the answer above.

  42. Jack, I’ve been to the opening of all four parks, and I don’t recall seeing an actual SHOW for Epcot. The characters show up at the rope, but there’s no real show. Am I missing something?

    Jack’s Answer:

    No, you’re not missing anything.

    I have to admit, I haven’t been to the opening of Epcot in sometime, but to my knowledge, things haven’t changed much. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

    A double-decker bus pulls up in front of Spaceship Earth, music blaring. The vehicle is full of Disney characters waving to the crowd. Also, the Family of the Day arrived in a Test Track car and is introduced. After a few announcements, the bus pulls away and drives to the area in front of the Innoventions fountain. Here the characters disembark and have a quick meet-and-greet with those guests not rushing to Test Track or Soarin’.

  43. How do families get “choosen” to be the special family?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Sorry, I don’t really know the details. Sometimes a family might be chosen in advance for some specific reason known only to them and Disney. Other times, it’s simply a random selection from the crowd — possibly chosen from the first few people who arrive that morning.

    If someone can share how they were selected, I’d love to post it with these comments.

  44. Thanks for the tip, do they do this before the extra morning hour too? If so what time? Thanks

    Jack’s Answer:

    The show is presented everyday, but it is shown earlier when the Magic Kingdom opens early for Extra Magic Hours. Just like on regular days, the shows begins about 10 minutes before the park opens.