Guests usually think of classic attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight and Mad Tea Party, and staples like Mickey Pretzels and castle selfies when the Magic Kingdom is mentioned. We all have our favorite attractions, park section and snack but there may be some details of the Magic Kingdom that you have missed during previous visits. This article unpacks eight things you might have missed in the Magic Kingdom. If any of these details are new to you- be sure to check them out on your next Disney vacation.
8. Tom Sawyer Island
You have likely seen Tom Sawyer Island from Liberty Square but may not have visited before. Did you know guests can raft over the Rivers of America to set off on a self-guided trek around Tom Sawyer Island? Poke around caves, cross barrel bridges tour Harper’s Mill or visit the fort during your time on Tom Sawyer Island. This lush hideout is well suited to characters like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and was a special attraction that Walt Disney himself dreamed up. Rafts set sail from Frontierland from eleven in the morning until six in the evening.
7. Free Celebration Buttons
Celebration buttons seem to abound at Walt Disney World with guests visiting the happiest place on earth to celebrate honeymoons, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, retirements and other life milestones. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort a Cast Member will ask if you are celebrating at check-in and can provide buttons. But did you know you can also drop by City Hall in the Magic Kingdom to snag a celebration button? Yep, guests that want to show off their celebratory spirit can request a personalized celebration button from a lineup of options at the entrance to the park.
6. Traffic Shortcuts
Foot traffic can get backed up around the time of park opening and closing, and during any outdoor shows, or character sightings in the park. Guest tend to take the main pathways around the park but there are ways you can fan out and avoid the largest crowds by heading around the wave of guests. Walking through the shops from Casey’s Corner down to the Fire Station when heading out of the park via Main Street U.S.A. is a good trick for folks looking to dodge the crowds and strollers on the street. Likewise, funneling around the castle instead of through it, when bound for the back of the park is a good idea. Entering Liberty Square from the side entrance near the Crystal Palace footbridge instead of following the crowd over the main bridge and under the Liberty Square sign will also help disperse the flow of traffic.
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5. Interactive Ride Queues
Interactive ride queues are one of the Disney details that pushes Disney parks to the next level. Take a look at the Disney website prior to your trip to get an idea of which attractions have interactive ride queues. Download the Play Disney Parks app to enjoy Disney attraction themed games on your phone while you await the real fun of the attraction.
4. Hidden Seating Areas
Walt Disney World pros love to kick back and enjoy the rhythm of the park. The attractions are fun and the food is delicious but there is something so special about just hanging out in the parks. Peoplewatching, enjoying the Florida sun and soaking up some vacation relaxation is always in order during a Disney trip. You may not know about some of our favorite seating areas in the Magic Kingdom. Hanging out along the flowerbeds on benches in Storybook Circus is a great way to get away from the more congested areas of the park and kick back with some breathing room. If you are looking to break in a more centrally located but not overrun area, we suggest the benches near the gazebo in Liberty Square. You can sit in the shade and enjoy some hot popcorn from a nearby cart or a powdered sugar dusted funnel cake from Sleepy Hollow Quick Service eatery as you relax.
3. A Trip Down the River
Much like Tom Sawyer Island, you may think of the Liberty Belle Riverboat as a theme park fixture and not as an attraction. However, this beauty offers a relaxing seventeen-minute ride for guests to enjoy. Hop aboard this attraction to see the park from a different perspective as you circle the Rivers of America while your guide narrates the trip by Harper’s Mill, Big Thunder Mountain, an early American homestead and even Native American villages. Exploring the beautiful riverboat is a lot of fun too, we recommend you try out this ride on your next trip.
2. Double the Dole Whips
There is a reason this iconic treat seems to be on every guest’s to-eat list, it’s just so delicious! We recommend you snag a cold and fruity Dole Whip but we want to help you skip the line. The Aloha Isle stand next door to the Enchanted Tiki Room and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is the Dole Whip home that likely comes to mind for guests. Did you know Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland also has Dole Whip soft serve on the menu? Depending on when you visit the wait may be shorter at either of these stands. Still, know that you have options if you are craving Dole Whip soft serve during your park day.
1. Adorable Shows
I love a thrill ride or a storybook attraction and believe they give Disney parks a unique flavor of fun. Still, guests can get sidetracked with hitting all the rides and forget some the great shows the park has to offer. Shows are a great way to beat the heat in an air-conditioned space for a longer time period and often has shorter wait times than rides. My can’t miss show on a trip to the Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland. This immersive 3D show has my favorite Disney music and characters so it’s a longstanding favorite. Visiting the Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland are also great attractions that you might have missed on previous visits.