Of all the four major parks in Disney World Magic Kingdom is the biggest and in our opinion the best. We love all four parks, but there’s something extra with Magic Kingdom. Maybe because it takes centre stage in Disney World and doesn’t put a foot wrong. It’s hard to explain the love for Disney World to someone who’s never been. I don’t like to say things like this but, there’s just something magical about it…
1. Main Street USA
It takes a long time to get into the actual park. The excitement builds with each stage of the journey, from the car park, to the road train and then the monorail. Once through security we always walked quickly until we finally reached Main Street USA! Everything just suddenly appears and with Cinderella’s Castle in the distance and all the rides to go on it’s easy to rush through the first section. But you should find time to take it all in and explore.
We loved the old style American buildings in the square next to the train station and entrance. There were loads of shops and eateries along Main Street to distract us. The photopass photographers also slowed us down as we wanted as many free photos of us together as possible! Once at the end of the street it all opens out again into a roundabout with a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in the centre, being overlooked by the magnificent Cinderella’s Castle.
2. The Different Lands
The park is split up into different lands and they all have their own distinct character. There’s Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square and our favourite land Tomorrowland. This one is our favourite for many reasons. For starters it has one of the best rides in the whole of Disney World, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The land, like all of them are so well designed and Tomorrowland even more so. It was like we actually stepped into a version of the future every time we went into this land. There is also Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, which sells very tasty pulled pork sandwiches and has great views of Cinderella’s Castle.
3. The Rides
Every park has brilliant rides, but Magic Kingdom has so many it’s hard to get on them all! As mentioned before Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is in Tomorrowland and is one of our favourites. We went on it four times and loved competing against each other to get as many points as possible. There’s the old classics like Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, which is the one ride Walt Disney actually saw himself. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover may not be a thrill ride but is interesting as it moves you around the land and even through several rides like Space Mountain.
Fantasyland has a lot of children’s rides, but there’s still a lot for the adults, such as one of the latest additions to the park, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which was the busiest ride in Disney World when we visited. Don’t pass up the opportunity to witness Mickey’s PhilharMagic, a fun and exciting 4D film, as well as Peter Pan’s Flight which was an exciting surprise as we didn’t think we would enjoy it so much. Flying over London as Peter Pan and his friends did was very exciting! If you have the time then It’s a small world is a ride that must be seen. It might not be one of the best but it’s weirdness and freakishness will keep you entertained throughout, as well as slightly disturbed.
Frontierland is small but has Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which are both busy and popular rides. Watch out for Splash Mountain, you will get wet, which is why we wore our classy $1 ponchos.
I enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland. Like every ride in not just Magic Kingdom, but all of Disney World, they are thought through to every last bit of detail. This is part of the magic, as you become totally immersed into whatever world you have been propelled into. Jungle Cruise is fun and a good laugh, so that’s worth a go.
Liberty Square has the Hall of Presidents, which if you don’t mind some American patriotism, then it’s a must see for the amazingly realistic animatronics. At times we thought some of the presidents were actual live actors. From Liberty Square you can also catch the Liberty Square Riverboat, which takes you around Tom Sawyer Island and with good timing gives you awesome views of excited and scared people on the train on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. To actually get on Tom Sawyer Island then you need to catch one of the rafts from Frontierland.
4. The Feeling
The feeling of Disney World, which feels even stronger in Magic Kingdom is something that is incredibly difficult to explain to someone who has never been. For years Emma would tell me how great it was and how much she wanted to go again. I believed her but didn’t understand fully without going myself. It is more for adults than it is for kids, which for people who have never been is always a statement they find hard to believe. In my opinion it is similar to the feeling a traveller has when they think back to their past travels and desperately wish to be on the road again.
One of the best pieces of evidence to prove how amazing Magic Kingdom and Disney World is, is that Florida of course is very hot, the parks are always busy and crowded, there are long queues at times for food and rides and it is a very tiring holiday, yet everyone around you is happy. They smile through the heat, laugh in the queues and have the time of their lives. If people can still enjoy themselves so much in circumstances that would usually annoy and aggravate the hardiest of people then there is clearly something truly magical about Disney World.
At the end of every day in Magic Kingdom is the firework display. There is also one at Epcot and from the end of May 2016 there is also a night time show at Animal Kingdom. But Wishes at Magic Kingdom is the best and most extravagant, costing about $50,000 a night or possibly more than that. Depending on what site, blogger or random person you believe. It takes place over Cinderella’s Castle and is the best firework display we have ever seen. The Disney music and the displays that play out on the castle work really well with the spectacle, encapsulating the wonder, excitement and magic of Magic Kingdom and Disney for adults as well as children. Tinkerbell flying down all brightly lit up from the castle and over the crowd was an extra bit of magic from Disney.
We may be cynical travellers and we are good at finding faults anywhere we go, but with Magic Kingdom there really isn’t anything to complain about. It’s an experience unparalleled to anything else and one that must be enjoyed by anyone who has the opportunity.