Magic Kingdom is my favorite park to go to at Walt Disney World. There is so much to do there, that it is borderline impossible to do it all in one day! (Which is why we suggest going to Disney during the “off season” because if you are there in a busy season, like the heat of the summer, there is no way you will be able to do everything Magic Kingdom has to offer in one day.)
Every single attraction at Magic Kingdom is fun and family friendly. Though some of the younger crew may not enjoy the drops of Splash Mountain, or the thrills of Thunder and Space Mountain, pretty much every ride in the park is accessible to visitors of all ages. My family and I have been on every ride there is, and today I would like to take a stroll through each land of Magic Kingdom and give you a summary of the attractions you’ll find there!
Buckle up and please keep all hands, feet, and Mickey Mouse balloons inside the vehicle at all times, because it’s going to be a wild ride as we tour all of the attractions in one post!
First up, The Walt Disney World Railroad. As soon as you enter the park, you will cross under the train tracks to this timeless locomotive. For some reason my family usually skips a ride on the Disney World choo-choo, but when we do ride, it is never a disappointment. Kick up your feet and relax as you circle the entire Magic Kingdom park, passing Indian encampments and Tom Sawyer Island, getting a backstage and close up view of rides like Splash and Thunder Mountain, all while listening to the commentary of a railroad tour guide. If you don’t want to stay aboard until you reach the front of the park again, you can hop off at the Frontierland station, right behind Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. For our purposes, though, lets keep on chugga-luggin’ back around to the front of the park.
Once you exit the Walt Disney World Railroad, head straight for Cinderella’s Castle and take a hard left before you get there. First bridge to the left and straight on ’til Swiss Family Robinson will bring you right into Adventureland! Here’s what you can expect to find:
First up on the left, The Swiss Family Treehouse. Climb through and take a tour of the tree that the Swiss Family called home! It’s a fair amount of walking for just a lot of looking, but you gotta do it at least once…just to say you did it!
Keep walking and you will run smack into The Magic Carpets of Aladdin! What a fun ride. This Dumbo-type ride makes room for four passengers per carpet! And don’t think the guys in back are just along for the ride. Both front and back riders get a chance to control the carpet. One gets to control how high and low you ride, while the other controls a back and forth rocking motion. With the breeze in your face you can’t help but love this ride, and maybe break out into a chorus of “A Whole New World”. Okay, or maybe that’s just me.
Right behind The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is none other than the Tiki Room, officially titled The Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management. The past few times we have gone, it has been closed, to my husbands delight, due to construction. My mom, sister, and I, however, have been devastated, because though it can be a bit cheesey, we love this sing-song animatronic bird show, led by rivaling Iago and Zazu. We always leave with the theme song in our head…“Iiin the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room, In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room…” We definitely consider it a must do.
Next up, right across the way is the Jungle Cruise. Sit back, relax, and get a giggle from your [Ba-doom-chi!] silly ship captain as you set sail on a jungle safari boat tour. The animals are not real, but the good times are, if you get a good guide. And don’t worry…you won’t get wet in that threatening waterfall. I always worry about that for some reason…
As you exit the Jungle Cruise take another left and you’ll stumble upon a slightly unhinged, but dashingly good-looking, pirate named Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean. This old-time favorite has actually been updated in recent years, so keep an eye out for Captain Jack in a couple of the scenes (ie. hiding behind some dress forms, popping out of a barrel, and drunkenly singing amidst his treasure right before you exit your boat). Also, brace yourselves for a deceivingly short drop in the dark!
Give a hearty wave goodbye to those swashbucklers, and get ready to say “Yeeehaw!” as you take a short walk and set foot inside of Frontierland!
Put your brave face on and get ready for the five story drop into the Laughin’ Place on Br’er Rabbit’s Splash Mountain. But there are more drops than one on this thrill seeker’s ride. Actually three previous and smaller dips prepare you for the big plunge you will take, and you just may be squealing right along with Br’er Rabbit, “Nooo! Pleease don’t throw me in the Briar Patch!” But if you are not worried, take a peak at the Castle from the top of the hill…what a view! Beware, front riders do get wet! And don’t forget to look for a picture of your big splash experience on the way out. It’s available for purchase and really does make for a great, memory prodding souvenir.
If your legs aren’t wobblin’ yet, head right next door to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, more commonly called Thunder Mountain. Hop aboard a rickety and speedy runaway mine-train that is sure to please the coaster-lovers in your family.
To your left, you can take a trip over to Tom Sawyer Island and explore the world of an adventurous and often trouble-prone boy.
Next take a stroll across the long bridge and maybe stop and watch a few folks take their own plunge down Splash Mountain. It’s fun to see their faces and you can always tell first time riders because they always look surprised and are usually laughing hysterically.
If your feet need a rest, you can stop by the Country Bear Jamboree. It is another silly animatronic sing-song show. Honestly, your younger kiddos may love it, but we feel that it could use some updating and skip it. Yikes! Did I just say that? The show we actually prefer, is just down the street a bit as you enter into Liberty Square.
It may sound boring, but we find it very interesting, and the animatronics here are up-to-date and borderline unbelievable! Don’t miss a viewing of the Hall of Presidents! Watch a short video on a huge screen of our emotional U.S. history, and then be amazed as the curtain rises on all forty-four of our U.S. presidents standing before you. They really look like they are living and breathing as they take turns giving soul-stirring speeches about our country. I love to pay attention to the presidents that are not speaking. They occasionally nod their heads, tap their toe, or look around the room, using body languages true to their personalities! You have got to see it for yourself!
Take a right out of the theater and step into line at The Haunted Mansion. [Imagine my best spooky voice: “Oooooooo!”] I love to watch and talk to the scary cast members that lurk around this ride, uttering life-threatening orders like, “Move to the dead center of the room!” First get shoved into a seemingly exit-less room with spooky paintings of unlucky mortals, and then settle into a dark “Doom Buggy” and experience a smooth-riding tour of the Mansion, including the attic and graveyard grounds, all the while, being invited to make your stay more permanent… If you do so choose to stay mortal for another day, be on the look out for hitch-hiking ghosts to follow you home. Although this ride is dark and sinister, young kids can still ride without the fear of scary figures jumping out at them, or crazed corpses chasing them with chainsaws. This is Disney we are talking about, after all. It’s a tamed scary.
Take a left out of the exit cue of The Haunted Mansion and pass under an overhang, and you will be entering into the most Magic Kingdomy of all Magic Kingdom lands. Fantasyland! Fantasyland will undoubtedly be all of the youngsters favorite place to spend the day, possessing the most attractions, all of them kid friendly, but you may be surprised just how much you enjoy it as well!
Making our entrance from Liberty Square, the first attractions you will meet, one in front of the other, are It’s a Small World and Peter Pan’s Flight. Both of them must dos for Magic Kingdom first timers.
Take a boast cruise all around the world in It’s a Small World. Be amazed at the countless amount of animatronic dolls singing and dancing in their own country’s version of the head-sticking self-titled song, It’s a Small World. It’s already getting stuck in my head as I write this post. [Humming: Hmmm Hm-Hm-Hm Hmmmmm Hm-Hm!]
Grab a fist full of Pixie Dust and take flight with Peter Pan aboard an enchanted two to three seater pirate ship. You will literally fly high above London to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning, where you will arrive in Neverland to watch Peter battle his nemesis, Capt. Jas. Hook!
Take a right out of Peter Pan’s Flight and take a spin on Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, then fly with Dumbo on Dumbo the Flying Elephant!
If you are not a sit-and-watch-a-show type person, and have skipped all of the previous shows, do not skip Mickey’s PhilharMagic located right behind Cinderella’s Castle! It is an amazing 3-D show where Donald gets himself into a little more trouble than he can handle when he swipes Mickey’s sorcerer’s hat before a PhilharMagic concert. Get swept away into one Disney movie classic after another, experiencing them larger than life! Please, please, please do not skip it. It is truly Disney magic at it’s finest!
Next, stroll along the string of attractions to your right, starting with Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Take heed, this one is a bit of a fright for the very young, since that ugly and evil Queen keeps popping out at you! Next up is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, where you will live out Christopher Robin’s storybook ventures inside of your own honey pot. Get blown away on a blustery day with Piglet, literally bounce around with Tigger, and float away in your honey pot during a big rain storm. This ride is so much fun.
Last but not least, before making your way out of Fantasyland into the world of the future, you have to take a spin on the teacups at the Mad Tea Party. The fun part for us is always choosing our favorite color cup to climb in to. I usually ride with my dad or brother-in-law, Zack, because the three of us love to spin, spin, spin, using the wheel in the center of the cup. The faster you turn the wheel, the faster you spin! Motion sickness prone people, such as my mom and husband, prefer to just enjoy the breeze and light, easy, and natural spin of the cup if you choose to ignore the wheel all together. Just know if you ever ride with me, wooziness may occur!
Take a left and it’s back to the future! I say that because Disney knows that Tomorrowland isn’t exactly the land of the future. No, we are not wearing spacesuits and riding in self-flying cars like the Jetsons. So they have put a retro spin on this fun and funky land and it has some pretty great attractions to boot.
First up as we enter through the backside, is the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway where you can drive your own racecar around the track. Straight ahead and to the left is the ever popular Space Mountain! Recently updated, this race through space rollercoaster is darker than ever as you speed through the stars and galaxies through twists and turns and dips. I have ridden it several times, and I still get a nervous stomach right before take-off. Eek!
Next, keep right and grab a seat inside the round theater of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress! This is such a cool attraction. Walt Disney himself, dreamed up and created this attraction and it premiered at the World Fair in New York City in 1964! People came from all around to see this animatronic time-line of technological progress in America. It now sits in Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and to this date has had more performances than any other stage show in the history of American theatre! So even if this doesn’t turn out to be your favorite attraction at Disney, you should definitely give it a chance…because “there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day!”
Right across the way from the Carousel of Progress, take a ride in an elevator up to the Astro Orbiter. Take flight in a spaceship on another Dumbo-type ride high above Tomorrowland. It will give you great views of the park and the Castle! But hold on tight! It seems to go a little bit faster than Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
Alright all of you gamers, you gotta check out Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin! Get in a two seater space car and use your laser gun to shoot at targets and rack up points to beat your opponent beside you. There is a joy stick in the center of the dashboard that will spin your car three hundred and sixty degrees so you can aim at as many targets as you can as you glide from room to room. Hint: shoot at the targets farther away to get a higher score. This is another ride that will take a picture of you in the heat of your eye-on-the-prize moment. These pictures are also available for purchase at the end of the ride. It is really funny to see how serious people look when they get competitive.
Come out of Buzz Lightyear’s Sapce Ranger Spin and prop your feet up for some laughs at Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. This is a really cool attraction for any techie nerds out there like my hubby. Watch Mike Wazowski, along with several other giggle-worthy monsters, on a screen as they interact with you live! That is one thing I will never understand. How do they get cartoon characters to talk live to people sitting in the audience? Their mouths line up with what they are saying, and it is truly different every time! There are no secretly planted cast members in the audience playing a roll in the show. They interview and lovingly poke fun at guest in the audience to get you laughing so that you can help Mike meet his laugh quota for the city of Monstropolis before Roz gets a hold of him! It really is a funny show, but bring your sense of humor incase you are the lucky one to get made fun of!
Just across the walk way is Stitch’s Great Escape. This ride used to be Alien Encounter, which was a very scary experience! In it’s place is a very similar attraction, where Stitch breaks loose inside of a pitch black spaceship-esk room where you are sitting strapped in to your seat. Listen as he runs about the room causing ruckus and even rudely burping a taco burp in your face. Ugh!
Last but not least, make your way back to where the entrance of the Astro Orbiter was, but instead of getting on the elevator, glide up the moving sidewalk and hop in one of the always moving cars on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. This is my mom’s favorite ride. Each car seats four people, two sitting forward, two sitting backward, and coasts along a track that goes all throughout Tomorrowland. Sit back and relax and reminisce on the fun you had on each Tomorrowland attraction as you pass through, listening to the commentary as you go. Ahhh…makes me wanna take a deep breath and feel the breeze in my face now. You can also get some great views of the Castle as you ride along. It’s a nice breather after a long day.
Well, believe it or not, we are at the end of our journey! Wow, what a day! I told you it was hard to fit it all in. There is just so much to do at Magic Kingdom, and we haven’t even gone shopping, eaten a meal, or gotten a makeover!
Makover, you say?
Yup, a Magic Kingdom makeover, for boys and girls, alike! But more on all of that later this month!
Kick your sneakers off and put your feet up, it’s been a long, but fun, day in our Park March through Magic Kingdom!
So I’ve been to DW 4 times. And I had no idea about Swiss Family Robinson’s Treehouse, never been on the Jungle Cruise, and we always skipped the train as well. I cannot believe how much information is in this post, I cannot believe I read it all (promise–no skipped words), and I want to go now thanks to your amazing descriptions! I loved Alien Encounter by the way and Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean will always be my favorites.