The 10 Most Disappointing Experiences at Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is truly a magical and fun-filled vacation destination for thousands of people every year. Walt Disney’s dream of a perfect place for parents and children to enjoy rides and attractions together was fulfilled by Disney Imagineers and developers who helped create and build his vision. In 1955 Disneyland opened its doors to people from all over the country, and in 1971, Walt Disney World welcomed visitors from all over the country and world. Since that time, Disney Parks have been built in Japan, France, and soon, Shanghai. There are, however, some disappointing experiences that my family and I would not want to repeat.

10. Rainstorm Flooding — Even though afternoon showers are commonplace at Walt Disney World, a downpour is not that common, and the drainage systems are not adequate enough to handle this increase in water flow, therefore major puddles pop up everywhere. One particular area that drains very slowly is in front of the conveyor belt entrance to the People Mover. This major puddle is at least 2 feet in
diameter around the on ramp, and unless you are experienced in jumping hurdles, your feet will get very wet. The rain may stop, but your feet will still be wet, probably for the rest of the day.

9. I Don’t Fit — The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh—For those of you who are a bit overweight, as I am, there are some rides or attractions that are not easy to access. One of those is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The opening to the ride vehicle is very small, and it takes some creative maneuvering to get in. I was not aware of this until I was ready to board and realized just getting in and sitting down was not that easy. I quickly sucked in, squeezed in, and was so embarrassed having to do this in front of an audience of onlookers waiting for their turn. During the entire ride, which was very delightful, I found myself thinking about an exit strategy which would not draw too much attention.

8. Tom Sawyer’s Island — Tom Sawyer’s Island is an island in the middle of the Rivers of America, that recreates the boyhood playground of Tom Sawyer, which can only be accessed by riding a motorized wooden raft. On this unique island, you will find walking trails, caves to explore, a barrel bridge, a swinging bridge, and even an old Western Fort to check out. What could possibly interfere with our adventure? Well, leave it to me. I paused on the barrel bridge to get a quick picture of a perfect view of the Haunted Mansion. Just as I was aiming my telephone to snap the picture, a group of youngsters came bounding onto the bridge, and I nearly did a nosedive into the water. As soon as I had my balance back, I moved right along, acting as though nothing had happened. Don’t let this happen to you.

7. When a Ride Breaks Down — When you see the wait time on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you don’t pass this opportunity up, even if you have a fast pass for a later time. So, you get in line, but when you reach the end of the queque, you see a rather large number of people for a 20-minute wait time. The line is moving, slowly but steadily, so you commit to ride. After about 20 minutes the line seems to have stalled, and now you begin to wonder if there is a problem. At this point, the option of exiting the ride is not a good idea, so you wait some more. The next PA announcement informs guests that one side of the attraction is down, so there will be an extended wait time. Yes, our 20-minute wait time became 50 minutes, and our great opportunity became an opportunity gone wrong.

6. I’m Hungry — Let’s Eat—There are so many dining choices at the Magic Kingdom, from an ice cream parlor, to an elegant full service breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Cinderella’s Castle, including a visit by several Princesses. There is, however, a dining experience that can cause you to become a bit frustrated. First of all, dining is just like the attractions. There is a queque and you wait in line to order and pick up your food. It helps to have one member of your group to search out a table while you are in line to order. Even on the busiest days, there are tables available. The cast members are excellent at keeping the tables clean and ready for the next group. Here’s the problem. If you forgot to order enough drinks or desserts, you have to get back in line and do it all over again. Unfortunately, by the time you get back to your table, the rest of your group are finished eating and are ready to roll! You quickly scarf down your food, inhale your drink, and are miserable by the time you get to the next attraction. My best advice is to know exactly what you are ordering before you get in line.

5. “Fast Pass” Fumble — All the parades at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom are a joy to behold; filled with beautifully decorated floats, classic Disney characters, fanciful music, and the nighttime “Main Street Electrical Parade” draws thousands of onlookers who line up several hours before the parade begins.

The only bad experience we have had with the parades is being on the wrong side of the parade. For instance, if you are in the queque for Splash Mountain, and you have a Fast Pass for Pirates of the Caribbean, you will not be able to cross over to Adventureland if the Parade has already made its way to this area. If your Fast Pass is about to expire, you are out of luck. You will have to wait until the Parade is completely out of sight before you can cross over.

4. Shop Till You Drop — One of the worst experiences for any Disney guest is trying to buy a souvenir on the way out of the Magic Kingdom at closing time. After the last showing of the nightly fireworks extravaganza and Main Street Electrical Parade, a majority of the crowds head for the exits and many visitors walk through these shops to pick up that last minute souvenir. If you have ever experienced Time Square in New York City, on New Year’s Eve for the “ball drop”, you will have that same claustrophobic sensation in these stores. It is literally shoulder to shoulder shopping, and the cashiers work feverishly to keep the lines moving. I compare it to “Black Friday” shopping. Not only is it crazy crowded, but it’s very difficult to keep up with your group or family members. It is not an experience you want to repeat. Do your shopping early and have your merchandise sent back to your Resort or to your home address.

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3. Meet and Greet Characters — There are certain “Meet and Greet” areas that are “Fast Pass” accessible, but when the characters come out on Main Street or in one of the other “Lands”, it becomes a first in line affair. The reason I classify this as a sometimes disappointment is the fact hat you can be waiting in this line for more than 30 minutes and your turn is next, when the character Host will make the announcement that the character you are trying to meet has to “take a quick break”. There is usually a 10 to 15 wait before the character returns. I remember the days when almost all the characters would show up here and there, and guests would line up to get their pictures made with them, not visit. That is what the “Meet and Greets” are for. My best advice for anyone who wants their child’s picture with any of the characters is to get a fast pass for the character “Meet and Greet”.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean After a Heavy Rainstorm — Pirates of the Caribbean is an indoor dark boat ride through a pirate adventure involving a battle between the Black Pearl and a village fort, plundering and setting fire to a village, and an encounter with Capt. Jack Sparrow. Since this is an indoor ride, you really don’t expect the seats and floors to be wet, but on this particular day, there had been a very heavy rainstorm, and even though guests were asked to remove their ponchos, our boat was filled with water on the floors and seats. There was at least a ½ inch of water on the floor, and every time the boat stopped or bumped the boat in front of us, the water would splash over our feet. The seats had small puddles of water, and it was no easy task to try to avoid sitting in them. I was very uncomfortable throughout the ride and couldn’t wait to get out and dry off.

1. Holiday Crowds — I can offer some worthwhile advice on how to avoid large crowds. Don’t go on any Holiday which includes school vacations. Even the Fast Pass lines have a short waiting period, and the standby wait times can be over 2 hours. It is during these busy times that some Parks, especially the Magic Kingdom can reach capacity, and the front entrance gates will be closed. The crowds make it very difficult to get from one area to the next, and the restaurants have long lines also. Fast Pass reservations help, but once you use them up, it is almost impossible to get one for the more popular attractions. Of course, any time you can go to Walt Disney World is worth the trip, but research the best times to go if you want to avoid the throngs of people. If you really want to go to WDW during the Holidays, bring along plenty of patience and a good sense of humor. You’ll need them both.

In conclusion, a Disney Vacation to Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom is a dream come true for many of us. No visit to this magical place is ever disappointing. Over the years, we have learned how to deal with many of these bad experiences, or how to avoid them. You will too. Do your research regarding
low and high crowd times, weather, refurbishments, etc. Minor disappointments can occur, but at Walt Disney World, there is a whole bunch of magic and happiness to make you forget about them and have a thoroughly fantastic Disney vacation.BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Cecilia

I am a working mother of four adult children, 2 granddogs, and one grandcat. I have been a Disney fanatic since 1959, when my parents took my sister and I on a journey across the country to Disneyland. Needless to say, we were thrilled, and this became our vacation destination for the next 10 years. Later, when Walt Disney World was opened, we travelled to Florida and discovered a whole new Disney experience, and WDW became our new vacation destination. Now, our extended family members are all Disney Fanatics and always ready to talk about anything Disney.

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