The Magic Kingdom was the first of Orlando’s Disney parks, constructed in 1971. Here you’ll find Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the seven dwarves, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and his wild ride, Dumbo, the Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey, Goofy and Pinnochio!
Parents feel transported back to their childhood, while children experience the magic of Disney. Unlike other amusement parks, at Disney World Orlando every single detail, be it a sign, a plant arrangement, a costumed cast member or music, has been agonized over to transform the illusion into a very real world.
Once guests pass through the Main Street “opening credits,” as the Disneyworld imagineers call them, Tomorrowland appears to the right. This part of the Magic Kingdom was designed to look like the future, as 1920s science fiction writers imagined it. Space Mountain, a fast-moving indoor rollercoaster, is by far the most popular attraction at Disney, as a whole.
Kids will love Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin that puts you right in the middle of an arcade game. Parents will marvel at one of the oldest Disney rides, the Carousel of Progress. Kids will also enjoy the neighboring Mickey’s Toon Town fair, where they can climb through cartoon replica houses and ride Goofy’s barnstormer mini-rollercoaster.
Following the Magic Kingdom around, guests will enter Fantasyland. Your Disney vacation wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Cinderella’s castle! Inside her castle there are the family coat of arms and mosaic murals. The second floor houses Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant but you’ll need a reservation to get a seat.
The Cinderella Suite is also on one of the upper floors of the 180 feet tall castle and is one of the most coveted prizes Disney has to offer. However, for the other guests, Fantasyland has many low-impact rides, suitable for young children. “It’s a Small World” is a popular ride here, as is the Mad Tea Party and Cinderella’s Golden Carousel. The Pinnochio Haus is a great place to grab double cheeseburgers and “Figaro” fries on the cheap!
The next Magic Kingdom land you’ll find yourself in is Liberty Square, home to the Hall of Presidents, the Liberty Square Riverboat and the extremely popular, and spooky, Haunted Mansion. The exterior of the Haunted Mansion was completed in 1963, but the imagineers couldn’t decide what to do with the interior until 1971, when it finally opened!
Inside this Gothic 18th Century Hudson River Valley manor, you’ll find 999 spectacular ghosts! The mansion is more “cool” than seriously terrifying, but you may not want to bring very young children all the same.
In Frontierland, you’ll find Splash Mountain, one of the best rides Disney has to offer! This is not your typical log flume ride. Once inside, you’ll move through the story of Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear with over 100 animatronics and you’ll experience a series of unexpected twists before taking the final 52 foot plunge into the thorny briar patch below. In this part of the Magic Kingdom, you may want to grab a turkey leg, stop in to the shooting gallery or watch the Country Bear Jamboree, where animatronic bears sing their country hearts out!
You’ll cross a wooden plank bridge and find yourself suddenly in Adventureland, a fun and diverse section of Magic Kingdom. Here you’ll find the Pirates of the Caribbean ride with incredible detail built into each animatronic pirate – including facial expressions, hairy legs and all.
Sing along, narrowly miss flying bullets, pass through jails and experience the marketplace with Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa. On the Jungle Cruise, you’ll tour four continents and see Cambodian tigers, headhunters, hippos, elephants, ancient temples and giant butterflies from your swampboat.
Disney resorts like the Contemporary and the Polynesian are located right next to the Magic Kingdom theme park. You can arrive at any theme park via the Contemporary resort’s monorail, which runs right through the building, making it the most convenient accommodation. However, the Polynesian has a really excellent “Spirit of Aloha” Dinner Show. These accommodations are some of the pricier resorts, averaging around $ 329/night.
The Magic Kingdom is home to several special events. First of all, the Disney Dream Come True parade passes by three times daily. There’s also a nightly Spectromagic parade, which never ceases to amaze with its fiber optics, neon lights and holograms. As it gets darker, you won’t want to miss the Wishes Spectacular fireworks display above Cinderella’s castle – set to music and narrated by Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy. Whether young or old, it’s moments like this you will always treasure.