Dissolution of secondary phases during thermal treatment in cast magnesium alloys influences their engineering properties. In this study, a kinetic model based on a Kissinger-type method has been developed for describing dissolution of secondary phases in the high pressure die cast magnesium alloy AM50 during a thermally activated heating process. Also, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was effectively used for investigating the dissolution kinetics of secondary phases in the AM50 alloy. By fitting a kinetic model to the DSC results, the activation energy of the dissolution of the secondary phases can be determined. In parallel, the microstructure of the alloy was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). It was found that the distribution of secondary phases and the concentration of alloying elements both at the grain boundaries and in the grains play an important role in the solid-state transformation kinetics of die cast magnesium alloy AM50.