The Magic Kingdom is the original theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort complex. This park is a favorite of small children and, for some reason, honeymooning couples.
The Magic Kingdom is divided into 7 sections: Main Street USA, the main shopping thoroughfare and parade route; Adventureland, home of pirates, tiki birds and the Jungle Cruise; Frontierland, with its Wild West shootouts, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain; Liberty Square, featuring the Hall of Presidents and the very popular Haunted Mansion; Fantasyland, a child's dream with flying Dumbos and the chorus of voices in Its a Small World; Mickey's village, a walk through tour of the mouse's house; and Tomorrowland, a somewhat futuristic area with flying rockets and the roller coaster, Space Mountain.
I've been going to Disney almost since it opened when I was very small and the city of Orlando was little more than the one theme park. I have to confess that this is my favorite park as well. Something about the colorful displays, cheery songs and exuberantly cheerful staff makes this place truly magical.
If you only have one evening to spend at Walt Disney World, then you should definitely try to catch Magic Kingdom's two night shows: the Spectromagic night parade and "Wishes", the fireworks show. Even though there's not a whole lot I could remember from my first two visits at Walt Disney World (I was only 3 and 6 years old), I still had some memory flashes from the Main Street Electrical Parade. It has now been updated and has a new name, Spectromagic, but some elements from the previous version have not been changed and most importantly, it is still just as magical as it used to be. The same goes for "Wishes", a fantastic fireworks show that uses Cinderella's Castle as a backdrop (it can therefore best be seen from Main Street, U.S.A.). I love fireworks and I love to attend fireworks competition, but nothing quite comes close to those of Magic Kingdom. My cheeks were hurting after the show from smiling so much!!
This is the place to go when you're travelling with teenagers: they will love Frontierland's and Liberty Square's attractions, especially Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion. The very first thing we did when we got to Magic Kingdom was to head over to Frontierland, get a fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and then go wait in line for Splash Mountain - and trust me, it was worth the wait! The flume ride through the mountain is a lot of fun, even though it's hard not to think about the 50 foot drop that's coming up! We enjoyed it so much that we managed to do it twice during the day :o) The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is also really cool, it's not hardcore enough to scare children away, but it still goes pretty fast. We were lucky because it started pouring just as we were getting ready to go on it - as a result, most people who were waiting in line disappeared and we were able to ride it 4 times in a row! The other Frontierland attractions, Country Bear Jamboree and Tom Sawyer's Island, are pretty tame by comparison but there's hardly ever any wait and both are good spots to cool off when it gets hot during the day.
The Haunted Mansion at Liberty Square is more beautiful and funny than it is scary, which is why we all enjoyed it so much. The ballroom scene in particular looked like something you'd see in a Harry Potter movie! We also went for a boat ride on the Liberty Belle Riverboat, which was quite relaxing. It offers great views of Tom Sawyer's Island, and we also enjoyed watching the steam engines work.
Adventureland and Tomorrowland are great because they include many rides that are fun for the entire family. Our three favourite attractions at Adventureland were "Pirates of the Caribbean", which has been updated to include some elements from the popular movies it inspired, "Jungle Cruise", which is not as impressive now that you can go on a "real" safari at Animal Kingdom but your tour guide's silly jokes totally make up for it, and "Swiss Family Treehouse", another Disney classic (and there's hardly ever any wait for it).
At Tomorrowland we all loved the "Indy Speedway", especially Alex who got to drive her very own race car (not bad when you're too young to have your driver's license!). The other two rides we went on, "Stitch's Great Escape" and "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin", weren't quite as fun, but we did have a good laugh when I somehow managed to beat my nephew 232,000 to 27,300 points in the Buzz Lightyear attraction. Don't ask me how I did it, we went on it twice and I still don't understand how it works!
If you're travelling with young children, Fantasyland and Mickey's Toontown Fair are the two areas you won't want to miss at Magic Kingdom; but even for grown-ups they can be a lot of fun! At Fantasyland, you'll find all the classic rides that are oh-so Disney, beginning with the ever popular "It's a small world" and "Peter Pan's Flight" (make sure you get a fastpass for this one because the line can get really long and of all the "kiddie rides", it was our favourite one). We skipped some of the rides at Fantasyland because my niece and nephew were a bit too old to really enjoy them (I'm not sure Dumbo could have lifted Kevin!), but we did very much enjoy "Mickey's Philharmagic", a funny 3D movie with some cool "4D" effects.
At Mickey's Toontown Fair, we all went for a ride on board Goofy's Barnstormer, a rather tame but still fun rollercoaster. We also very much enjoyed walking through Mickey's and Minnie's Country Houses - it was just like stepping into a comic strip and Alexandra was psyched to get her picture taken inside Minnie's house, she's her favourite Disney character!
Magic Kingdom was the first theme park to open at Walt Disney World in 1971, and today it is the most visited theme park in the world with over 15 million visitors every year. As you enter Magic Kingdom, you find yourself on Main Street, U.S.A., which is mostly filled with souvenir shops and restaurants on both sides. Your eyes are of course immediately drawn to Cinderella's Castle, the well-known symbol of Magic Kingdom. Thanks to one of its 27 towers, the castle reaches a height of 189 feet. It's possible to walk though the castle, though there isn't that much to see besides mosaics depicting some famous scenes from Disney stories. If you're travelling with young children, you might want to stick around the Main Street area in hopes of meeting with Disney characters or catching the "Dream-Along with Mickey" show. If you're travelling with teenagers, you might want to catch a ride on board the steam train and head over to Frontierland to get a fastpass for one of the attractions there.
One thing not to be missed on Main Street, U.S.A. is the daytime parade called "Celebrate a Dream Come True". We were lucky enough to grab frontrow seats for the parade, and the characters interacted with everyone of us - Cinderella's cruel stepmother came over to look down on me (!) while Jafar, the villain from Aladdin, shook my nephew's hand (I guess he figured Kevin was big enough not to cry!). Alex got more lucky and was greeted by a princess :o)
The Magic Kingdom is the oldest and best-known of Disney's Orlando theme parks. Visitors enter through Main Street USA, a recreated downtown from an early 1900s American town. At the far end of Main Street USA is Cinderella's Castle, the symbol of the Magic Kingdom. From there, you can walk to the park's various themed areas: Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Toontown, and Liberty Square.
Budget at least a full day for the Magic Kingdom. It involves a lot of walking and you will have to spend a fair amount of time waiting in lines for the rides.
A few of our favorite highlights from our two days in the Magic Kingdom were Space Mountain (indoor roller coaster), the Haunted Mansion, and getting autographs from all of the Disney characters. Anna loved the parades, the Mad Hatter's spinning teacup ride and the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. We also saw a couple of shows and .
There are restaurants and food stands spread throughout the park. If you want a fancy meal, you may need to make a reservation in advance, as the number of upscale sit-down restaurants is limited.
At the end of each day, the Magic Kingdom has a fireworks display above Cinderella's Castle.
If you are looking for a break from reality for a vacation, you cannot beat the Magic Kingdom. Space Mountain is the best roller coaster ever. If you are afraid of heights it is awesome because it is inside and dark so you cannot tell how far up you are. Also because of the darkness, you cannot see what is coming next. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was great.
Pirates of the Caribean was closed the day we were there.
Make sure you take advantage of the Fast Pass which is kind of like making reservations at a restaurant. You come back at a set time and don't have as long of a line to wait in.
If you are alone, you can also jump way ahead on many rides. Just listen for them to yell "single rider".
Make sure you take your own food and lots of drinks. Rent a locker near the entrance. You can even ride the train back to the locker.
June 2008 was my first trip to the Magic Kingdom. It was a hot day and we were a bit tired but that didn't stop us from having a fun day. Liz is a self-proclaimed Disney freak and has been many times. She knows the parks like the back of her hand, so I let her show me her world of Disney. We started our adventure by riding the monorail into the park. It was a fun experience and allowed a good view of the surrounding property and resorts. We entered the park and made our way down Main Street USA which is full of shops and people.
We reached the Crystal Palace and our Pooh and Friends breakfast at the end of Main Street. Liz was so looking forward to her character breakfast. She was talking about it for months ahead of time. It's a really good set up here. It's a well organized buffet breakfast with excellent service. The food is really good and I loved watching Liz's face light up whenever a charcter stoped at our table for a picture. I was originally dredding the idea of a "kiddie" breakfast but I really enjoyed myself.
After breakfast we headed for the Pirates of the Caribbean. The wait was barely 10 minutes and it was a nice break from the heat. The gift shop was cool with Pirate Mickeys and other fun pirate gear. We had the Yo Ho Piarates Life song stuck in our head for hours after the ride. The Haunted Mansion was the big ride on Liz's to do list and again there was a brief wait in line. We really had fun on the Tea cups. We both got off the ride stumbling and dizzy...they must have thought we were drunk. She did say to spin as hard as I could.....
My favorite part of the day was the train ride around the park. I love trains and this was a relaxing break from walking in the sumer heat.
The Magic Kingdom was my favorite of all the Disney parks. Part of the reason is because it had a nice mix of rides, shows, restaurants and activities. The Magic Kingdom like all of the other Disney parks is loaded with stores and places to buy memorabilia. I had a great time in the evening hours before dinner exploring some of the shops. My favorite was a glass shop which had colorful glass dragons in the window and a man doing a glass blowing show in the back. I think the children all liked this park because of the rides. I got Sebastian to ride his very first roller coaster here and Patrick and I coaxed Thaddeus and Sebastian into going on Splash Down Mountain. Patrick really loved the Carousal of Progress and Mike Wazowski's Laugh Floor the most. There's loads of places to eat here, The Crystal Palace is great and so is Cosmic Rays. There's a train that goes around all of Magic Kingdom, a monorail that will take you through Space Mountain, Dumbo, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Safari and so much more to do and see.
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