Magic Kingdom

Today I want to talk about my favorite theme park of all time; Magic Kingdom. It was the first park built and opened in October of 1971 (my birth year).

I usually request demand that we go to Magic Kingdom on the first day of our trips to Disney World. There is something about coming in under Walt Disney World Railroad and onto Main Street, USA that is very special and very magical to me. It has been that way since our very first trip and I believe it will be that way until my very last trip (in many, many, many years).

The Fletchers at Magic Kingdom in 2014

The park is split up into six themed sections: Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Liberty Square, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Frontierland. The theming of the attractions in each section carries over into all of the attractions within it.

Magic Kingdom MapWhen you’re planning your day at Magic Kingdom, I recommend that you knock out all of the attractions you want to see in one area at a time. It will save you a lot of time. You may not be able to do this 100% due to Fastpass+ or dining reservations but it will save you a lot of time walking around if you stick to one area at a time.

This may prove to be more difficult than you think if you are anything like me and get distracted by an app like Undercover Tourists for ride wait times. You may find yourself hoofing a 15 minute walk from Tomorrowland over to Frontierland because the wait time at Splash Mountain is only 10 minutes. Learn from my mistakes and try to avoid this because in my experience, it does not actually save time.

I think the app is a good place to start to determine where you are going to start and what area you are going to next, but walking from area to area and back will chew up a lot of your day.

Main Street, USA

Main Street contains mostly shopping and dining with a few exceptions. At City Hall you can find Guest Relations and lost and found. At the Harmony Barber Shop you can actually get your hair cut, but you’ll need a reservation. There is also the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom which is an interactive, go at your own pace activity where you set out to find clues throughout the park to defeat the Disney villains. You can also start this from within Liberty Square as well.

Here is the full list of attractions:

  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • City Hall
  • Town Square Theater (you can meet Mickey and Minnie here sometimes)
  • Sorcerers of The Magic Kingdom
  • Harmony Barber Shop
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
  • Main Street Bakery (try the cinnamon buns)
  • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • Casey’s Corner
  • The Crystal Palace (restaurant buffet)
  • Main Street Chamber of Commerce
  • Emporium (one stop shop for Disney gifts and souvenirs)

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland’s theme is… well… a futuristic one. Most of the stuff has a sort of futuristic art-deco styling. The most popular attraction is probably Space Mountain but my favorite is probably Stitch’s Great Escape. Please note that if your young one is afraid of the dark, it does get pitch black for a few moments during the “ride”. It’s not really a ride but you do get strapped into a chair for a few minutes while Stitch is escaping. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to ruin it if you’ve never been.

The Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor is also in Tomorrowland and that is definitely worth checking out. You will get out of the heat for a while and the show is really funny and always unique. Two years ago I was picked to be Sully.

Iris and Kaelynn on Tomorrowland Speedway
Tomorrowland Speedway

The full list of attractions are as follows:

  • Tomorrowland Speedway (Iris’ favorite in Tomorrowland)
  • Space Mountain
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Tomrrowland Transit Authority
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
  • Buzz Lightyear’sSpace Ranger Spin
  • Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor
  • Stitch’s Great Escape!
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
  • Cool Ship
  • The Lunching Pad
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant

Fantasyland

Fantasyland is one of the larger park themes. It went under a fairly large renovation a few years ago, adding to it what some people are referring to as “New Fantasyland”. It is home to the classic attractions It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Prince Charming Regal Carousel (formerly Cinderella’s Royal Carousel) and Dumbo the Flying Elephant (there are actually two of them now.

Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station
Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station

If you have smaller children, you will likely spend most of your day in Fantasyland as most of the attractions are small child friendly.

It is also home to the newest Magic Kingdom attraction which is a family thrill ride named Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This ride is an absolute blast. The lines are typically always going to be longer for newer and recently refurbished rides but this one is definitely worth the wait. Plus there is a lot of cool stuff to do in the line queue like playing a digital gem game. Fun!

Here is also a trivia factoid for you. The Barnstormer is billed as a “thrilling junior roller coaster” for children. What few people know is that it actually is faster than Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain.

Here is a list of the many attractions in Fantasyland:

  • It’s a Small World (the song will be stuck in your head all day)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel (try to find Cinderella’s horse with the golden ribbon in its tail – there is only one)
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Fairytale Garden
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Ariel’s Grotto
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘n Soak Station
  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • The Barnstormer
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • The Friar’s Nook
  • Storybook Treats
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • Gaston’s Tavern
  • Cheshire Cafe
  • Prince Eric’s Village Market
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Big Top Souvenirs

Liberty Square

Liberty Square is a smaller area that is usually a little quieter. It’s a great place to find some shade and enjoy a funnel cake or frozen treat from Sleep Hollow. It is also home to Haunted Mansion and the Liberty Square Riverboat.

I rarely miss getting a bowl of New England Clam Chowder and a lobster roll from Columbia Harbour House.

Lobster Roll and Clam Chowder from Magic Kingdom's Columbia Harbour House

Here is the full list of attractions in Liberty Square:

  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • The Diamond Horseshoe(open seasonally – I have not figured out the seasons)
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Liberty Square Market
  • Columbia Harbour House

Frontierland

Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Need I say more?

Frontierland does not have a lot of attractions, but the ones it does have pack a wallop. Iris loves Splash Mountain and it is probably her favorite ride in Magic Kingdom. Can’t you tell by her face? Seriously, though she does love it. She loves big drops, even though she always screams on them.

Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain

I love Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland. It is another great place to find some shade. You can bring food into the park and enjoy a picnic lunch here. There is also a lot of stuff for children of all ages to explore here.

Here is a list of all of the Frontierland attractions:

  • Splash Mountain (I have been wetter on this ride than any other in all of Disney World)
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Golden Oak Outpost
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
  • Westward Ho
  • Frontier Trading Post

Adventureland

disney-world-aladdins-magic-carpetLast but not least, we come to Adventureland. This is home to the very first ride we road as a family, so many years ago, on our first trip to Disney World: The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. This particular ride holds a special place in my heart. As you can see, we have properly trained Iris to ride roller coasters.

I know, I know. It’s not much of a roller coaster but at the tender age of four, it was a thrill for her.

Also within Adventureland is Swiss Family Treehouse which is fun to climb. You can actually get some good pictures of its surroundings along the way. Take your time going up and back down. If someone wants to go faster than you, just let them by and enjoy the scenery.

My favorite attraction in Adventureland is a tossup between Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. They’re both great.

Pirate’s of the Caribbean is a little more “thrillish” but I have to give a nod to the Jungle Cruise captains. They make each trip unique and they are really, really funny. Pirate’s of the Caribbean was redone a number of years ago to include Captain Jack Sparrow and a few other characters from the popular movies.

Make sure to stop by Aloha Isle and get yourself a Dole Whip. Never had one? Try the pineapple. You can thank me later.

Here is a list of all of the attractions in Adventureland:

  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasures of  the Seven Seas
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Aloha Isle (mmmmm, Dole Whip)
  • Tortuga Tavern (open seasonally – I have not figured out the seasons)
  • The Pirate’s League

I hope you have enjoyed this post about my all time favorite them park, Magic Kingdom. It sure has been fun for me to write and I enjoyed all of the memories it brought back while I was writing it. I can’t wait to get down there (in 29 days from the date of this writing) and make more memories with April and the kids.

What’s your favorite attraction at Magic Kingdom? Let me know in the comments below.

13 Replies to “Magic Kingdom”

  1. I absolutely love the Magic Kingdom. A friend of mine goes every year to Disneyland. She is 23, but who cares. Disney World is not only for the young, but the young of heart.

    1. Disney World is for kids of all ages, Melissa! I go every year and love it more every time and I’m 44. My wife and I are celebrating our anniversary there this June. Our anniversary is actually in May but we can’t make it until June. I can’t wait to be down there with just April. We are going to have so much fun.

  2. Great article! We love Disney, are planning to go back for a few days in a couple of weeks. What would you say would be the top 3 things to NOT miss at magic kingdom?

    Thanks,
    Vicky

    1. How can you pick just three, Vicky? 🙂

      It really depends on the folks your going with. If you’re going with smaller children, I would say Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland Speedway and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (it looks scarier than it is). If you’re looking for more thrills, I would say hit all of the mountains: Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain are not to be missed.

      I’m envious that you’ll be there in a few weeks. We have 28 days to go and I can’t wait. Make sure you enjoy the Christmas lights. If you’re going on a day when they are doing Micky’s Very Merry Christmas, the $75 ticket is worth it for the Frozen Holiday Wish alone.

  3. hi Christian!
    Wow what a magical place! I am a big fan of Disney but have never really visited one of their theme parks (I know, shame on me!). But I have to say that Magic Kingdom does seem, well, magical! I think that when you go to a Disney theme park, time must stop. I think it would at least for me. You provide very good coverage of what the park includes and I am guessing it takes a few days to do all of those activities!

    1. Thanks, Emily. Yes, time does indeed seem to stop, but unfortunately the day is over too quickly. I don’t think you could get through everything even in two days with short wait times on all of the attractions. I cannot count the times that I have been. While I have hit all of the attractions, some of them I’ve only been able to experience once. There is just so much to do!

      I hope you can make it some time. It really is a magical place.

  4. How cool! Magic Kingdom sounds awesome. I absolutely love your site and I’m using it to plan my future trip! I especially love the picture of food and it’s making me hungry. LOL. Sounds like a lot of cool family stuff here.

    1. The food is half of our vacation, Veronica. There are so many great places to eat but if you don’t know where to go or what to order I would say that your dining experience might be marginal, especially at Magic Kingdom which seems to be lacking in the great food department. As I mentioned in the post, the lobster roll and clam chowder at Columbia Harbour House is something that I never miss, even in the summer heat. It is that good.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Wow, you have really put together a lot of information here. I like the break down of each of the six areas and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. I have not yet been to Disney World. I did not have a chance with my children, so I’ll have to wait for my grandchildren. This is a wonderful reference web site so you can plan ahead and have a great time.

    Thank you for all the work you put into this.

    1. It’s my pleasure, Debra. It really is quite fun sharing our experiences. By the way, you are never too old to enjoy Disney World. It seems that every year we run into a retired couple who are vacationing there by themselves, with none of their own children or grandchildren anywhere to be found. It is great for children of all ages.

  6. Hi Christian,

    Wonderful website. My family and I never have been in Disney World before and I can see that we going to have benifit of this page when our kids are a little older. They’re 3y and 1y old and we think it’s too early to visit WDW. We want them to remember the special day of their life.

    We were actually in Paris for a couple of weeks ago and it has cross our mind to take a visit to WDW in France, but we didn’t. But we’re going to visit in the future. I will bookmark this page and share it with my friends with children too.

    Thank you for a great article

    Nam

    1. We’ve not been to Disneyland, Paris yet either, Nam but it certainly is on our bucket list. Hopefully we’ll get there before we have to rent electric scooters to get around. 🙂

  7. Hi Christian,

    I have to honest with you on this one. I live in South Africa and the one place that comes close to Magic Kingdom in our country is Carnival City. What you have share here is simply “magical” indeed and when I visit the United States, I will make sure that this is one of the places to go and see. Thanks for sharing and all the best to you.

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