The Magic Kingdom. The Happiest Place on Earth. Where it all started…or at least where Walt Disney World started! Originally, where there was only one park, there was Walt Disney World. As the World expanded with Epcot (Epcot Centre) they were not sure if this would still be considered Walt Disney World or if it would become the Magic Kingdom. So, Magic Kingdom would have been known as Walt Disney World park and Epcot Centre. Strange but true. I remember being there during the opening of MGM (now Hollywood Studios) and the ‘Kids of the Kingdom’ were discussing it. Anyway, what it is now is the place where Cinderella’s Castle exists. Heck, even Belle’s castle is there now with the expansion of Fantasyland. So, what is the Magic Kingdom – well – originally Walt Disney wanted an amusement park that was safe he could take his daughter to. He built Disneyland for this. What he hadn’t considered was that all the land around Disneyland would be bought up and the area around the park would no longer be ‘magical’. So, when he decided to build in Florida – he bought a ton of land. All undercover so no one would know it was Walt’s new park. When the Magic Kingdom was built he also created the Seven Seas Lagoon so that the park itself would still be ‘magical’ and away from it all. You’d park the car – and then travel via monorail or ferry boat ride to the park and the ‘real world’ would never invade the park.
PARKING: Follow signs for the Magic Kingdom. If staying on property at one of the monorail resorts, you’ll go through the parking booths to get to your hotel Stay to the right if you are going to one of these three hotels. You’ll also see a blue line/green line for those who are handicapped or on a AAA vacation. These spots are nearer the front of the parking lot.
ARRIVAL: Once you’ve parked, you’ll either walk to the Ticket and Transportation area or you will take a tram ride there. Once there, you have your choice between taking a ferry boat ride or a monorail. There is also a monorail track to take you to Epcot. Which would be the best way to enter the park? Typically, if the ferry is not there yet – we do not take it. It takes at least five minutes to cross the Seven Seas Lagoon plus you have to take into account the time it takes to board and fill up. The monorail is usually quicker. However, for the pure beauty of it – the ferry takes the cake! It is great to watch the castle come up as the boat gets nearer the park. On the other hand, the monorail will go through the concourse level of the Contemporary Resort so it is still a sight to see if you opt for the monorail ride.
ENTRANCE: Security is located down the ramp and then a walk around to the left to get into the park from the monorail. From the ferry – stay to the left the entire time. When you go through the turnstiles and under the railroad tracks, you’ll find yourself on Main Street USA. I could spend the day here walking around and watching everything. This is a lovely park! Continue down Main Street USA – and you’ll approach a ‘spoke’ in the wheel. To the left is a tip board. Typically, people go to the right when they enter the park in the morning or go forward through the castle and into Fantasyland.
ADVENTURELAND: If you opt to turn left at Casey’s corner, you’ll pass the Crystal Palace and enter Adventureland. This area features a jungle, some pirates and a bazaar.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse: This is a walk through attraction based on the movie. Not much to see or do actually. Most children today haven’t even seen the movie so although I’m sure it was quite popular in the early 70s, it is often passed by today.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin: You’ll come up to a spitting camel, and you will know you have arrived at the ‘Aladdin ride’. It is much like Dumbo, but you ride carpets instead of elephants.
Jungle Cruise: Across and down from the Aladdin ride, is the Jungle Cruise. I don’t think the spiel has changed since the park opened but it is fun in a nostalgic way and kids seem to like it. These are boats with seating along the edges.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Board a boat (picture a flume ride boat/car that has five rows) and to into the movie. Of course, originally there was a ride THEN a movie. But now, they’ve added robotic Johnny Depps all through the ride. The words of the song have been tamed. And in the pillaging scene, it used to be that the pirates chased the women and now the women chase the men. Also, when the women are ‘for sale’ it is now an auction ‘for brides’. Love this ride.
The Enchanted Tiki Room: Across from Pirates and near Aladdin, many people actually like this robotic bird show. I wasn’t one of them!
Walking into Frontierland from Adventureland, you will notice the screams from Splash Mountain first. This is also where you’ll find Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye.
Splash Mountain: One of three mountains in the park. This one is wet! It features a large hill but really the best part is the ride itself. It goes all through the story of Brer Rabbit. Love it. Zippedeedoodah all the way!
Big Thunder Mountain: This is a ‘fast’ track ride through a mine shaft. I wouldn’t really call it a roller coaster. It is more of a fast train that ‘got away’.
Country Bear Jamboree: On the raised wooden sidewalk, you’ll see the Country Bear Jamboree. This is sort of like the show from Chuck E Cheese. That’s the best way to describe it. Some people don’t consider it a trip unless they’ve visited these bears. They change the show for Christmas.
Tom Sawyer Island: Board a raft and ride over to Tom Sawyer’s Island. As many times as I’ve been to Disney (more than 50 trips), I’ve been here once. It is an okay place to let the kids run I suppose.
Walt Disney Railroad: There is a stop here – and in Fantasyland – and back up at the entrance.
LIBERTY SQUARE: You might pass through this section and not even realize it is a different ‘land’ than Frontierland!
The Haunted Mansion: Oh how I love this ride. The queue lines you up outside either taking a direct route or another slightly longer way through the graveyard. Once through, you’ll reach a door guarded by a ‘character’ that looks like a Lurch-type guy or gal. They don’t smile and try to make you afraid by not saying anything. Next, you’ll enter a room with stretching walls. Look up at the end. Then, make your way out of the room and into a ‘doom buggy’. This will take you through the ride – not too scary – but fun nonetheless.
Hall of Presidents: This is a wax figure type show. It used to be a great thing for kids (or adults) who needed a history lesson. But they changed it. Abraham Lincoln used to speak. Now it is Bill Clinton. It used to be narrated in a respectful manner. Now it is Milo Angelo. I don’t go to this.
Liberty Square Riverboat: This is a boat ride on a ferry. If you’ve taken the ferry over or if you have ever taken a ferry – that’s all there is!
Peter Pan’s Flight: There is always a line but there is fast pass access here. You board a ‘boat’ that flies over London and other scenes from the Peter Pan movie. This would be a typical ‘horror house’ type of ride from the 70s without the crashing doors and the horror.
its a small world: Love it or hate it. That’s the two choices for there are few who are in the middle. The boats you ride are similar in size to the flume boats from Splash Mountain but there is no splash and no mountain. The boats are pastel instead of log painted. This is a slow moving ride through different rooms painted in pastels with some old-fashioned robotic dolls. Plus the theme song made famous as a joke in most places.
Prince Charming’s Royal Carrousel: All the horses are white. There are no bad horses!
Mad Tea Party: The teacup ride – swirls you in circles that you control by spinning (or not spinning) the car.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: I call this the Tigger ride. It is again much like an old time horror ride – without the horror. You are on a track and meet up with Tigger and other characters from Winnie the Pooh.
Enchanted Tales with Belle: Some guests are invited to be part of the story as Belle tells her tale.
The Barnstomer: A kiddie coaster
Dumbo: There are now two Dumbo rides. These are elephants that seat one or two, that go up and down.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin: This is a video game ride with two laser guns that shoot aliens and Zurg (from the Toy Story ride).
Astro Orbitor: This is a Dumbo ride in the sky!
Carousel of Progress: You sit in an auditorium that slowly moves through ‘time’.
Stitch’s Great Escape: This is not so much a ride as an attraction. Guests are seated in chairs that make you look like it is a looping roller coaster but actually the bars over your shoulders have speakers to keep you more involved in the story of Stitch as an alien.
Speedway: These are the typical cars you drive by yourself found in amusement parks around the country. Kids love them. Adults too but I don’t know why!
Peoplemover: This is a slow moving vehicle ride that takes you all through Tomorrowland. This is great if it is raining, or if you have a small child that is sleeping. There is usually not a line and the staff will usually allow you to say on going around and around. It’s peaceful in the crowded world known as the Magic Kingdom.