Tackling any one of the theme parks at Walt Disney World can be an overwhelming experience. This is especially true of the Magic Kingdom because a combination of things. Here are the ten things that you need to know about visiting the Magic Kingdom!
10 – Busiest Park…in the World – since its opening in 1971, the Magic Kingdom quickly became the busiest theme park, not only in Florida, but also in the world. In 2014, over 19 million guests passed through the gates at the Magic Kingdom. There are days during peak season where Disney will be forced to close the gates to guests because the number of people inside the parks (this happened a few times during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day). You have to make sure that you plan your trip accordingly if you are looking to avoid crowds.
9 – Classic Rides – when people think of Disney World and the rides that populate the landscape, chances are they are referring to rides at the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom is home to Disney classics: Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean. You’ll definitely want to check out one, two, or all of these attractions when you visit the Magic Kingdom!
8 – Themed Dining – the Magic Kingdom is home to wonderfully themed restaurants: you can dine in the Italian restaurant from Lady and the Tramp at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant or enjoy a classic American feast in one of the themed dining rooms at the Liberty Tree Tavern or dine where the Jungle Cruise skippers relax at the Skipper Canteen. You do not need to eat at one of the table-service restaurants to enjoy the theming either – any of the counter-service restaurants are also well-themed – our favorites are Cosmic Ray’s Starlite Café or Pecos Bills!
7 – Monorail or Boat – unless you are staying at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Tower, or are finishing a meal there, you have to make a decision on how you are going to get to the front gates of the Magic Kingdom. Guests have the choice of taking a ferry boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon or taking the Monorail from the Ticket and Transportation Center. The Monorail tends to be quicker, but the ferry boat offers some amazing views of the three resorts dotting the Seven Seas Lagoon.
6 – 6 Themed Lands – the fun and attractions at the Magic Kingdom are separated into 6 different themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Be sure to grab a map when entering the park so you know where your favorites are, but also so you can discover where new additions may be hiding!
5 – Take Advantage of Extra Magic Hours – since the Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world, there will almost always be crowds. To combat this, Disney offers Extra Magic Hours that allow resort guests early admittance to the parks or allow them to stay late at the parks after normal closing time. Using Extra Magic Hours will let you to enjoy the parks will less crowds, but can also allow your family to enjoy favorite rides or a popular attraction with less wait time. The times and parks subject to Extra Magic Hours changes occasionally, so make sure to consult the website or the MyDisneyExperience app to double-check the times for the Magic Kingdom.
4 – FastPasses are a Must – a byproduct of its popularity, guests need to use the FastPass service to select three rides or attractions that they want to experience. The service allows you to plan your rides around any dining reservations that you have. If you are staying on property, you can make your reservations beginning 60 days before your check-in date.
3 – Character Interactions Galore – the Magic Kingdom is home to a huge amount of character interactions. Guests can meet Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell, Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Aladdin to name a few. Three of the restaurants are character meals: Cinderella’s Royal Table, the Crystal Palace, and Be Our Guest. You’ll definitely want to grab a Times Guide when you enter the park to see who is greeting guests that day, where they are located, and what times they will be available.
2 – Great Shopping – the Magic Kingdom has great shops for guests to find the perfect souvenir – we are particularly fond of everything that is available at the Emporium and the shops that run the entire length of Main Street, U.S.A. We also love Big Top Souvenirs located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland.
1 – Fantastic Entertainment – the Magic Kingdom is home to some fantastic entertainment choices – you can take in a show at the Country Bear Jamboree or the Enchanted Tiki Room. Sit down at learn about the president’s of the country at the Hall of Presidents. The Magic Kingdom is also home to two fantastic parades, the Festival of Fantasy Parade and the Main Street Electric Parade. We like to top everything else off with a viewing of Celebrate the Magic and Wishes.
We love visiting the Magic Kingdom and experiencing as much as we can at the park. It is important to plan your trip and know what the park has to offer. What is your favorite thing to do when visiting the Magic Kingdom?
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