The Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is probably the most popular and most famous of all the Orlando theme parks. It has a magical attraction for both adults and children alike. It is situated about 15 - minutes from International Drive and around the same time from most of the Villa communities. If you are driving there it is very easy to find. With many signposts showing the way. A lot of hotels and motels offer either a paid or free shuttle service to and from Disney parks. The only down fall is you are governed to their drop off and collection times. Getting to the actual Magic Kingdom involves arriving at the transportation and ticketing center car park. Then you have the choice of getting either the monorail or the ferry across the Seven Seas lagoon. Why not take one own way then come back the other way? Make use of the fast pass system. Fast passes work by you inserting your Disney pass into the machine, it then prints out a ticket with two times on it these are the times you can return between to access the ride quicker.
TIP Watch out for the “EMH” these are Disney’s Extra Magic Hours these are days that participating parks open earlier and stay open later just for Disney hotel guests. So the parks will be fuller than if they were not EMH so try to avoid going on those days. It’s a good idea to go the day after an EMH as then a lot of the Disney guests will have visited the day before and will probably be in another EMH park. Also when you do visit the park, try and get there early and head right into the park and do the attractions and rides furthest away from the entrance then work your way back. Have a good idea of the rides you want to do first.
The Magic Kingdom is divided up into 7 different “Lands” they are as follows:
Main Street USA Adventureland Frontierland Liberty Square Fantasyland Tomorrowland
This area is full of Disney shops where you can buy souvenirs and all kinds of Disney merchandise. There are Ice Cream parlours, and Candy Stores too. You can also board the Walt Disney Railroad which encircles the theme park, stopping at Toon Town and Frontier land. There is also the show “Cinderellabration” which takes place on the stage at the front of Cinderella’s Castle.
Moving around the park we have Adventureland. Here you can find Swiss Family Treehouse where you and your kids can climb over rope walkways and discover this huge treehouse. The Jungle cruise a boat ride through jungle areas of the world, such as those found near the Amazon River or Asia, featuring Audio-Animatronic animals. A little dated now. The Pirates of the Caribbean a dark ride on a boat through pirate scenes using Audio-Animatronics. Now updated (2006) after the new film starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Country Bear Jamboree, Animatronic bears sings classic country songs. Splash Mountain a very popular ride for all the family and one that is not over too quickly A log flume, based on the stories of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and other characters from the Disney movie Song of the South, ending with a 5 storey drop into the briar patch. Big Thunder Mountain a roller coaster, designed to look like a runaway mining train. This ride is right next to Splash Mountain and is also very popular. TIP: it is an idea to wait in line for one of these rides and get a fast pass for the other. Tom Sawyer Island, a small island, reachable by raft, on which there are caves and a fort to explore.
The Hall of Presidents, a show featuring an Audio-Animatronic version of every United States President. This may not be for the younger kids. The Haunted Mansion, a dark ride through a haunted house. With some spooky special effects. Liberty Square Riverboat, Travel Through the Rivers Of America on the Liberty Belle. A large riverboat that circles Tom Sawyer Island.
Those of you with small children will have a hard time leaving this area. The area went through a large expansion and renovation between 2010 and 2014. Included is a new dark ride themed to Disney's 1989 film The Little Mermaid and an area themed to Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast featuring the Beast's Castle with a new sit-down restaurant and Belle's cottage. There is also a rest area themed to Disney's 2010 film Tangled.
Mickey's Toontown Fair was closed on February 11, 2011 in order to build the Storybook Circus area of the Fantasyland extension. Some elements of Mickey's Toontown Fair were demolished and others were re-themed to the new area. Storybook Circus is based from elements of the film Dumbo and other characters from the Mickey Mouse universe. The Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride was removed from Fantasyland and rebuilt in Storybook Circus, the new version doubling the capacity of the old ride and introducing an interactive queue.
The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm was renamed The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini. Storybook Circus has been completed and is fully open to the public.
Snow White's Scary Adventures closed on May 31, 2012. The original ride was removed and Princess Fairytale Hall, a new Disney Princess "meet and greet" area, opened on September 18, 2013, where the attraction previously existed. An area themed to Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs features the dwarfs' cottage and a new roller coaster ride called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The coaster features a first of its kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to the twists and turns of the track. Although not part of the original plans for the new Fantasyland, this attraction will take the place of several proposed interactive Disney Princess meet and greets; these have been removed from the updated plans for the expansion. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened on May 28, 2014, completing New Fantasyland.
- Ariel's Grotto
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- The Barnstormer
- Casey Jr, Splash 'N' Soak Station
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Pete's Silly Sideshow
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- It's a Small World
- Cinderella Castle
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Merida "Meet and Greet" at Fairytale Garden
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Princess Fairytale Hall
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, a simulated racetrack with small gas/petrol-powered race cars. Space Mountain, which includes 2 indoor roller coasters in the dark, themed to look like rockets traveling through space. Also known as the tallest mountain in Florida!! Can be long waits for this ride as it is very popular. Astro Orbiter, a raised Dumbo-style ride in rocket ships Tomorrowland Transit Authority (originally called the WEDway People Mover), a gentle people mover ride over Tomorrowland. You get to see what Space Mountain looks like on the inside. Nice to sit on this ride for a rest! Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, an audio-animatronic stage show about changing lifestyles, shown in a rotating building, which debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It shows too, a bit boring and dated. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a dark ride, based on Toy Story, with "laser guns" to shoot targets and score points. Good fun. Stitch's Great Escape in which Stitch from Lilo & Stitch escapes from a prisoner teleportation tube and wreaks comical chaos throughout the audience.