A Guide to Disney Magic Kingdom, Orlando
The magic of Disney is sought by millions of people around the world, and the amount of visitors that flock to Disneyworld in Orlando numbers in the millions every year. If you are preparing for your first visit to the Magic Kingdom, there are a few things that you need to know in order to get the most out of your experience.
Magic Kingdom is to us and many others, the most exciting and exhilarating part of Disney World. From the moment you step onto Main Street USA, you are transported to a place where the cares of the outside world seem to magically melt away.
Magic Kingdom is the original Disney Park in Florida, having been dedicated on the 25th of October 1971, and it is divided into six worlds, arranged like a wheel, with the magnificent Cinderella’s Castle as the centerpiece at the hub of the wheel. For most people it’s also probably the most magical and memorable of the three parks, so it’s well worth budgeting to spend at least one full day in the Magic Kingdom if you want to see it all.
The Realms of Disney Magic Kingdom
Five realms or lands comprise Disney Magic Kingdom, and the border for each of these lands lies near Cinderella Castle on Main Street U.S.A. The realms of the Kingdom are:
- Liberty Square
Each land of Disney Magic Kingdom has its own theme, and every ride and attraction in the lands work in conjunction with the realm to provide a magical experience in a land all its own. There is a network of tunnels installed underground in the Magic Kingdom to connect all of the lands in order to ensure that none of the actors from the other themed realms are seen moving between realms.
For a guide to park tickets visit our Disney Ticket information page.
The Best Attractions
After passing through the main entry gates, you enter The Magic Kingdom along Main Street USA, passing the City Hall, and the Main Street Town Square, a small American town centre from the year 1900. During December the Town Square holds a massive Christmas tree, adorned with lights and presents.
The fireworks at Disney Magic Kingdom are not to be missed, especially the evening fireworks show, “Spectromagic”. The “Wishes” fireworks show is another popular attraction, and anyone visiting Disneyworld should take time to stroll through the Magic Kingdom just to see these fireworks shows. Read more about Disney Fireworks.
The daily parade travels through The Magic Kingdom in mid afternoon, with a second (usually different) parade heading through the park again during the early evening, shortly after which the “New Wishes” Fireworks display is held.
The parades and floats that go through the streets of the various realms of the Magic Kingdom are worth waiting for, but the wait may drag on. People tend to line up for the parades up to an hour before they are to start, and you will have to do so as well if you want to get a good spot from which to view the parade.
For 3D movie lovers, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is an excellent place to spend 20 minutes enjoying a 3D show, and you won’t have to wait for more than half an hour regardless of how long the lines are.
The Best Rides
Adventureland holds the Swiss Family Treehouse, The Jungle Cruise, The Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Enchanted Tiki Birds.
Frontierland, themed like the old west of the 19th century, is home to the Country Bear Jamboree, along with Splash Mountain and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Frontierland is also the starting point for exploration of the Tom Sawyer Island, reachable by raft.
Liberty Square, themed in the colonial era, houses the Hall of Presidents, The Diamond Horseshoe Revue, The Haunted Mansion, and the landing stage for the elegant paddle steamer which plies the waters around Tom Sawyers Island.
Fantasyland was Walt’s idea for the heart of The Magic Kingdom. There are no thrill rides as such in Fantasyland, which is dominated by the castle and Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride, Peter Pan’s Flight ride, The Legend of The Lion King show, and the charming It’s a Small World cruise. The Castle Forecourt Stage in front of Cinderella’s Castle is the place to find some of the regular stage shows presented regularly thoughout the day. Fantasyland was also home to the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea adventure, an underwater adventure in the Nautilus, and to Mr Toad’s Wild Ride – rides that are now sadly closed.
Mickey’s Starland, (Now Mickey’s Toontown Fair), specially for the younger visitors, is home to Mickey Mouse and some of his friends. Mickey’s House is a small museum to the career of this famous mouse.
Tomorrowland holds the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, The Timekeeper, Space Mountain rollercoaster ride, along with the Tomorrowland Speedway for younger visitors, American Journeys presented in Circlevision 360, Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (formerly the WEDway people mover) can all be found in Tomorrowland.
Magic Kingdom is famous for its many spectacular rides, and anyone visiting the Magic Kingdom should take the time to stop at the following rides:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is one of the most popular rides in Disney Magic Kingdom, and even those who are not huge fans of roller coasters will find that they enjoy the ride. This is a great ride for kids over the age of 6, and you can usually find shorter lines before 11 am. If you come after noon, it is best to come with a Fastpass.
Splash Mountain is the main attraction for anyone who loves water rides, and the plunge you take at the end of the ride is guaranteed to take your breath away. While there is not too much “splash”, you are sure to get soaked by the famous ride. Usually people find that riding Splash Mountain is best when the day is warm, such as in the afternoon. However, you had better bring a Fastpass in order to avoid the long lines at that time.
For small children, visiting the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride is an excellent choice, as the simple fun of the short but sweet ride is sure to excite your kids. The lines to this ride may also be long, so either come early or bring a Fastpass.
Space Mountain. Space Mountain is one of Disney’s world famous rides, and going on this ride is definitely worth the wait. While most of the wait can be avoided with a Fastpass, you will still end up waiting for this legendary ride. Enjoy the sharp twists, turns, curves, hills, and drops, and you will find your adrenaline rushing once you have finished the ride.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin is a great ride for kids, and you will find that your children love shooting the aliens and other objects with the laser gun built into their car. This one may have your kids entranced all day, though usually kids younger than 8 and older than 12 will find this ride gets old after a few spins.
Who is the Magic Kingdom best for?
Disney Magic Kingdom is targeted for children between the ages of 4 and 12, and you may find that your older children may get bored of the “kiddie rides” fairly quickly. However, any child between 4 and 10 will be enthralled by the magic of Disney Magic Kingdom, and they will want to return day after day.
The other three theme parks at Walt Disney World are:-