…Continued from EPCOT…
The Magic Kingdom in Florida is the most visited park in the world – bringing in over 20 million visitors! Magic Kingdom opened in October 1971, and is known for its beautiful Cinderella themed castle. The park is meant to be similar to Disneyland, with of course it own unique features.
Attractions & Areas to Highlight:
Main Street U.S.A. – Like Disneyland, and so many other Disney parks – Main Street has the classic look of America at the turn of the 20th century. Different from the rest of the parks, there is actually a working barbershop on the street, as well as other well-known stores – the Emporium, and confectionary shop. At the end of Main Street is the famous, Partners statue with Mickey and Walt Disney. Also on Main Street is a tribute to Roy Disney (who helped finish Walt Disney World after Walt Disney’s death). The statue, Sharing The Magic, shows Roy sitting on a bench with Minnie Mouse.
Walt Disney Railroad – The Main Street station is one of three stations (Frontierland and Fantasyland are the other two). On busy days, the park operates with three trains. We were able to ride to Frontier only because the train was closing down for the day, my guess to prepare for fireworks.
Meet & Greet with Magical Mickey – We used a fastpass to visit Magical Mickey. Why so magical? He talks! I was really excited to meet him and to see the technology (sorry for spoiling it). Without giving too much away, he performed a “magic” trick and he complimented my ears.
Adventureland – Embodying the adventures of exotic places like Asia, Africa, and the Middle East – Adventureland brings out the explorer in everyone. To my dismay, we weren’t able to go on all attractions due to time limits – The Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Treehouse, and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
Pirates of the Caribbean – The Pirates ride is a classic, and is very similar to the Disneyland version. The outside façade is different, set in a “San Juan” type city rather than New Orleans. We enjoyed the ride, which likely included our last time seeing the auction of the red head.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – The last time I went into the Magic Kingdom Tiki Room, it was called “Enchanted Tiki room: Under New Management” and featured Zazu from Lion King and Lago from Aladdin. Since 2011, the room has been changed back to the original theme – similar to Disneyland. Whether you think its silly or not, it is a great way to get into A/C for 20 minutes. Plus, who can resist singing birds!? I can’t!
Frontierland – Like the other Disney parks, guests can explore the adventures of the old American west – from the rivers of America, Cowboys and more. We weren’t able to get on all attractions – Country Bear Jamboree and Tom Sawyer Island.
Splash Mountain – One of my favorite attractions at Disneyland is Splash Mountain. The singing, the splashing and the big drop – I love it all. Magic Kingdom is no exception. With the same boats as Tokyo, you get to enjoy the drop sitting next to your partner in crime.
Big Thunder Mountain – The actual monument structure is quite larger than Disneyland (by 25%) but the ride is similar enough. I love Big Thunder Mountain and could ride again and again.
Liberty Square – This area is set to a colony during the American Revolution era. During our time there two attractions were closed – The Hall Of Presidents (currently closed pending Trump’s animatronic) and the Riverboats.
The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History – This cute live action show happens right in the square and has some of my favorite Muppets – Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the all American patriot – Sam. There are two different shows – the story of the Declaration of Independence and the story of Paul Revere. We watched the Paul Revere story – with of course, a little Muppet madness thanks to Fozzie Bear and Gonzo.
Haunted Mansion – I love this version of Haunted Mansion, almost as much as the original. Actually, its quite similar except it’s a longer ride. The outside it not a New Orleans style mansion, but something from “Old America”. The ride was recently updated with the evil bride like the Disneyland version, but does not have the Hatbox Ghost.
Fantasyland – By far, my favorite Fantasyland of all the Disney parks is here at Magic Kingdom. In 2014, Fantasyland doubled in size, and added more magic. The staple is the Cinderella Castle, but even within Fantasyland there are “mini” castles where other princesses live. In fact, within Fantasyland there are three sections within it, all with its own vibe and storyline.
Castle Courtyard – This area of Fantasyland is directly behind the Cinderella’s castle. The area looks a mix of Medieval and Bavarian style. The restroom in this area is near the “Tangled” castle with special lanterns. The attractions we weren’t able to do here are: Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire (Meet & Greet), Merida Meet & Greet, The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and the Princess Fairytale Hall (Meet & Greet)
It’s A Small World – If you have been on It’s A Small World at any park, they are all similar. This version has an indoor queue. This version also does not have “hidden” Disney characters hiding in their country (which I found disappointing).
Peter Pan’s Flight – This ride is like all other Peter Pan’s flight, except, if you don’t have a fastpass – don’t worry, the queue is AMAZING. There are so many interactive features in the queue, the 45 minutes goes by quick. I don’t want to give away all the secrets, but just know – it’s pretty awesome.
Mikey’s Philhar Magic – We did this attraction before here, but also at Hong Kong Disneyland. The movie attraction is so darn cute and creative; it is one of my favorites.
Storybook Circus – This area of Fantasyland is themed after a Circus based on elements of Dumbo and Mickey Mouse. We didn’t have kids with us, and with long lines we didn’t do any of the attractions – The Barnstormer, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, Dumbo The Flying Elephant (two of them), and Pete’s Silly Sideshow (Meet & Greet).
The Enchanted Forest – This area is themed to the Beauty and The Beast movie, even featuring Belle’s cottage, Gaston’s tavern, and the Beast’s castle, which you can dine at (try the gray stuff, its delicious). We weren’t able to do the following attractions – Ariel’s Grotto (Meet & Greet), Enchanted Tales with Belle (Meet & Greet), and Mad Tea Party.
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid – This is the same exact ride as the one at California Adventure. If you are a fan of the movie, or mermaids, or of fish – this is a must do ride.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – This ride debuted in 2014 at Magic Kingdom, and a similar version opened in Shanghai in 2016 at park opening. I am in love with this ride. The queue has interactive games and features. The ride itself is fun. The train utilizes a tilting vehicle, which allows the carts to sway and tip as the train moves. The animatronics used in the ride were “recycled” from the Snow White Scary Adventures ride that was once at Magic Kingdom, but of course with a facelift, and using new animatronic technology.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – One of my favorite dark ride experiences is the Winnie the Pooh ride. After riding the Tokyo one, every Pooh ride seems a bit of let down. I can’t express how amazing the new trackless technology is. The ride at Magic Kingdom took the place of Mr. Toad’s Wild Adventures – so of course there are pictures on the ride of Mr. Toad on the ride, hidden. The ride queue was recently upgraded to have similar interactive features at Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Tomorrowland – This area is meant to look like a future city, how they suspected the future would look from the 1950s. To me, the Magic Kingdom version reminds me of the old Disneyland version from years ago. In the coming years, I imagine the Magic Kingdom look will change, especially as Tron makes its way to Magic Kingdom! We weren’t able to ride: Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Tomorrowland’s Speedway, and Stitch’s Escape!
Space Mountain – So, Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom is my least favorite Space Mountain. It is a bobsled ride similar to the Matterhorn at Disneyland. Nonetheless, we rode it, and can appreciate it differently now that we have ridden them all. This was the only Space Mountain we have been on that hasn’t changed to a Star Wars theme; it still has the original Space launch concept. I am not sure if it is always like this, but when we rode, there was a light on. Most of the ride was dark, but had areas where it easy to spot the track because the light was on.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Also, my least favorite Buzz Lightyear ride of all the parks – why? The laser is fixed on the car, so there is limited range of motion for the laser. Also, the targets don’t have different shapes, making it unclear on which ones are worth more points.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – This is such a clever attraction. It uses similar technology to Turtle Talk with Crush, basically allowing the monsters to interact with the guests. The whole premise is that we are at a Comedy Club, using live feed of guests as punch lines. One time we went and Steve got put up on the screen as someone who most resembles Sully (with the beard he always seems to get picked for something). The 10-minute show is so cute and actually pretty funny.
There are so many shows at Magic Kingdom; it would take weeks to see it all. With our limited time, we only made time for the main nightly show.
Happily Ever After – This nightly fireworks show is pretty spectacular. The fireworks shoot from the castle and behind the castle, with the show lasting about 20 minutes.
Once Upon a Time – This show is exactly like the Once Upon a Time in Tokyo. With projections on the Cinderella Castle of previous movies, with some firework features, the 20-minute show was pretty amazing.
Magic Kingdom is the most visited park in the world – given that, the crowds, the heat – it was had to do it all. We made the most of the time, even going to extra magic hours. I love the Magic Kingdom, and feel it’s an essential spot for all Disney lovers to go to at least once!