Walt Disney World Resort’s famed Magic Kingdom Park is the stuff that legends are made of. Whether you’ve never been here, and even if you have been here several times before, you’re bound to have questions. And fortunately, we’ve got the answers.
Here’s a list of 10 essential questions and answers to help you discover more about Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
10. Is Magic Kingdom Park in Disney World the same as Disneyland Park?
Answer: In short, the answer is no. While California’s original Disneyland Park no doubt served as a prototype inspiration of sorts in Walt Disney’s re-envisioning of a new theme park in Florida, there’s no denying that both parks are distinctly different from one another.
Disneyland in Anaheim is what it essentially claims to be—a “land” boasting two parks in its collaboration. Disney World, on the other hand, is a whole “world” comprising of a total of four distinct parks, two waterparks, and a wealth of undeveloped surrounding land, which offers the prospect of even new possibilities to come. After establishing Disneyland Park, Walt Disney took note of specific considerations for improvement, to avoid some of the unforeseeable issues that emerged with the former.
So in many ways, Magic Kingdom Park is a revised edition to Walt Disney’s original dream and even features many of the same classic rides and attractions as the first one. But again, both locations have their own unique identities and exclusive offerings as well. On another side note, even the castle centerpieces that both parks are renowned for are different, with Disneyland sporting Sleeping Beauty Castle and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom proudly displaying Cinderella Castle.
9. With all of the recent changes, which characters can I still expect to see here and how are interactions different?
Answer: Magic Kingdom Park is still home to most of the characters you typically associate with being classic Disney, including Mickey and all his friends. Due to recent health crisis restraints, however, typical character meet and greets have been temporarily suspended, and most character interactions are delivered in alternate formats (this includes character dining as well).
In navigating through such challenges, Disney’s Magic Kingdom has been presenting character cavalcades throughout the Park that feature your favorite friends on themed floats. While times for such surprises are largely random, here’s what you can expect by way of character cavalcades:
- The Royal Princess Processional featuring Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Rapunzel, Tiana, Merida, Elena of Avalor, and the Fairy Godmother
- The Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade aka Magic Kingdom Cavalcade, which includes Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Peter Pan, Alice, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Moana, and Gaston
- A Goofy Cavalcade with Clarabelle the Cow, Panchito Pistoles and José Carioca (Donald’s Caballero friends), Goofy’s son Max and Goofy
- Tinkerbell, leading a Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure Cavalcade
- The Mickey and Friends Cavalcade, starring Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Minnie, and the one and only Mickey Mouse
In keeping with social distancing protocols, you can still spot the following characters from a far: Cinderella’s stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella behind Cinderella Castle or at nearby Princess Fairytale Hall, Pooh and his friends close by the Crystal Palace, Chip and Dale over on Tom Sawyer Island, the Country Bears near their Country Bear Jamboree attraction, and many, many others. However, these interactions are not guaranteed each day.
8. Each Disney Park has its own various lands within it. Which lands make up the Magic Kingdom, and can you share a little bit about each land?
Answer: Magic Kingdom Park is divided into six different themed sections, or “lands,” as they are called.
These lands include:
- Main Street, U.S.A.
- Liberty Square
Upon entering the park, the first land you will come to is Main Street, U.S.A.—a reflection on good old small town Americana at the turn of the 20th century. Liberty Square is just beyond that, standing as a representation of colonial historical America. Gearing to the left, you will pass through Frontierland—a trek through the old west pioneering days. You will then eventually come to Adventureland—the very epitome of adventurous exploration. If you head right of Cinderella Castle instead, you will embark on Fantasyland which is perhaps the “Disney-est” spot in the park and home to all the themed Disney classics. Just beyond that is Tomorrowland—the park’s most modern, futuristic display of innovation and progress.
7. What table service dining can I expect to find here?
Answer: While it’s a given that all Disney Parks offer a wide range of quick service picks, those who seek full table service dining while at Magic Kingdom Park will not be disappointed with these seven full-service dining establishments to choose from:
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant—This Lady and the Tramp-themed Italian restaurant, dishing up all the classics you know and love is open for lunch and dinner daily.
The Plaza Restaurant—This turn-of-the-20th-century, elegant sit-down joint, which boasts casual American eats and exclusive offerings alike, is open every day for lunch and dinnertime.
The Crystal Palace—Once familiar for being the Magic Kingdom’s resident buffet featuring Winnie the Pooh and Friends character Meet and Greets, the current alternate experience here, in regards to dishing up the works in family-style format and omitting character interactions still offers plenty for diners to take delight in. Take in the elegant, shimmering Victorian theming and same delectable lunch and dinner offerings, delivered to your table in all-you-can-eat fashion.
Liberty Tree Tavern—Stop in for lunch or dinner and enjoy an all-you-can-eat family-style New England feast and colonial fare traditions offered through various fixed course menus to choose from.
Be Our Guest Restaurant—This is one of the park’s newer restaurants, following a Beauty and the Beast theme and offering full-service sit-down dining of at dinnertime, featuring famed French fare with a flair.
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Skipper Canteen—Here is another new establishment, themed after the famed Jungle Cruise attraction and offering an array of African, Asian, and Latin/American fusion cuisine picks with a humorous twist. They are open for lunch and dinner daily.
Cinderella’s Royal Table—This classic restaurant, located inside of Cinderella Castle of all places, is a rite of passage—a must-try designation for first-time visitors and a favorite tradition for longtime fans alike. While high-end dining and mingling with Disney Princesses is usually included in the experience, such interactions are currently unavailable, though the exquisite signature dining/American fare to be had here continues to stand strongly on its own merits.
6. What are some of the park’s top-related rides?
Answer: Like other Walt Disney World Parks, the Magic Kingdom boasts its fair share of rides. Here are some of the top-rated must-ride rides they’re known for:
- Dumbo The Flying Elephant
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party (Tea Cups)
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Goofy’s Barnstormer
- Aladdin’s Magic Carpets
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Astro Orbiter
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
5. Beyond the rides, what other attractions are there?
Answer: Aside from its famed rides, the Magic Kingdom is known for a whole host of alternate attractions, including shows and other in-park activities. Here are just a couple of said alternate pursuits:
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Hall of Presidents
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Swiss Family Treehouse
4. Does Magic Kingdom Park feature firework displays and parades daily?
Answer: Magic Kingdom Park is proudly known for these two claims to fame, in addition to many others. That being said, it’s pretty much guaranteed that under all normal circumstances, when you visit the Magic Kingdom, you’re bound to experience parades and fireworks.
Of course, there are situations that may factor into why such regular offerings are not available at a given time temporarily, as has been the case since reopening following a long-term closure due to the current pandemic. In an attempt to prevent crowding, Disney’s usual Festival of Fantasy Parade is not being offered, though the aforementioned character cavalcades are parade designations nevertheless (and their random intervals allow for less crowding to pop up).
It’s also worth noting in general that specific themes and specific celebrations do change regularly, so the fireworks and/or parade presentation you experienced on a previous vacation years ago is not necessarily going to be the same on your next trip. In fact, new experiences are already underway, in lieu of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration. At the moment Happily Ever After is available, and on October 1, Disney Enchantment will begin!
3. When is the best time of year to visit Magic Kingdom Park?
Answer: While anytime is a good time to visit Walt Disney World, there are certain dates throughout the year that are better than others. If you’re looking for the best available rates, lower crowds, and best weather conditions, we recommend planning a visit sometime between September and early November or mid/late January through May. Be sure to take into consideration that hurricane season in Florida extends from June through early October.
There’s no doubt that summer is the time vacationing works best for most folks, so if you are going to Disney World during the summer months, try opting for a weekday at Magic Kingdom Park (Monday through Thursday) as opposed to a weekend. Select weekdays are known as “value” days. We recommend avoiding a visit to the Magic Kingdom Park during peak season, which usually coincides with major holidays. But also take note that there are various fun seasonal events and happenings around such dates.
2. What is the best way to stay up-to-date on the most current times and schedules of events taking place on a specific day at Magic Kingdom Park?
Answer: It’s no secret that schedules and various in-park happenings throughout Walt Disney World Resort are sometimes subject to last-minute changes. Thankfully, there’s the Times Guide, printed regularly, detailing all weekly schedules and happenings. Each Disney Park has its own Times Guide, available at all resorts as well as at the entry of a given park. So if you want to know what’s happening at Magic Kingdom Park at a given date and time, you can’t go wrong by picking up a Times Guide. You can also keep up-to-date with the My Disney Experience app on smartphones for live, real-time updates as they unfold.
1. Is it possible to tackle everything in the park in a day?
Answer: In order to do everything there is to do, without cutting corners by omitting any of the important parts, we advise not limiting your time at Magic Kingdom Park to a single day. To enjoy all it has to offer at a less harried pace, we strongly suggest taking two days here, at the very least. Of course, we understand that some vacationers have limited time for visiting. So while tackling the Magic Kingdom in a day is doable, what isn’t doable is tackling everything in the park in a single day. In those cases you must pick and choose a little and plan accordingly well in advance.
While these are just 10 sample questions, we know that you’re bound to have many more. With the constantly changing health situation, developments in new and existing attractions, and all other upcoming changes centering around Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, new things are always happening.
Therefore, we recommend keeping up-to-date by visiting Disney Dining for all the latest.