Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Magic Kingdom Park

There are so many things to do in Disney World, some are obvious, some...well, not so much. So here are my top things to do in the parks. There will be a more extensive park page (when I get around to it) but until then, here's the obvious - and not so obvious things that you should do!

  1. Rides
This is a biggie. It's the reason most people come. Magic Kingdom was the first park built and has the most rides by far. Most people dedicate more than one day to this park and I would certainly recommend it too. You have all the classics here, such as 'It's a Small World', 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and of course, 'Dumbo - The Flying Elephant'. Along with 'Splash Mountain', 'Space Mountain' and 'Big Thunder Mountain' you already have a decent list of world famous rides to get you going. If you're looking for something really simple like the Teacups or something a bit bigger, you will certainly find something here.

Brightly costumed dolls representing Japan and Mexico in scenery from their lands at 'it’s a small world'
'It's a Small World' - Image from

    2.  Characters

OK, so this is another big one that everyone always thinks about. Especially if you have kids or a Disney obsession. The Magic Kingdom plays host to so many characters. You have Buzz & Stitch over in Tomorrowland, the Princesses in Fantasyland, all the old favourites like Donald and Goofy at Pete's Silly Sideshow and throughout the year or when a new film has been released you might be able to catch new characters or special versions of the characters wandering around too. One of the best places to find out who is where and for how long is to download the Disney My Experience app. It's free, and better yet, you can use it in Disney for free (Magic Kingdom has free wifi!). So there's no excuse to miss out. All of the characters have a chaperon so everyone can get in the picture. If you feel like it, why not grab their autograph too?

Merida stands in a castle-like room at Meet Merida Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland
Merida in Magic Kingdom - Image from

   3. Parades

If you've never been to Disney, you probably won't understand the importance of this. On your first visit, you will know exactly when the parade is due - masses of people sit down on the pavement all through the park and it becomes almost impossible to get around on the parade route. If you want to see it, grab some snacks and a drink and find a good place to sit about an hour early. And don't move. It's really important you don't move. It gets very busy and everyone wants to see. Kids will be restless. People will be thirsty and tired - But it's worth it. The Magic Kingdom parade is one of the most touching things in Disney. You get to see lots of characters, a bit of dancing and some great Disney music - however, you really need to take in the floats. Some of the mechanics and design going on is nothing short of spectacular, and if you don't stay for the whole thing, try to catch a glimpse from a ride (the queues and wait times are much shorter when the parade is on). One of my favorite places to watch from is the train station on Main Street. It's higher up so it gives a great vantage point and if you decide it's not for you, hop on the train and you're away, no fuss. There are two main parades going on at the moment, the first is the daytime Festival of Fantasy and then at evening shortly before 'Wishes' is The Mainstreet Electrical Parade. They are both very different and deserve to be given a chance - even if it's not normally your thing.

The Pete's Dragon Elliott float sparkling with lights in the Main Street Electrical Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade float - Image from

   4. Street Entertainers

Not usually something people think of when in Disney, but you can't miss these guys. They're dotted all over the parks and you have everything from The Dapper Dans barber shop singers on Main Street and Wowzer who perform circus entertainment over at the Storybook Circus. You've got various musicians and actors everywhere to enhance that 'magical' feeling and all of them are great at guest interaction. They add to the atmosphere and really bring that little bit extra to the day. If you happen to notice them, they're great entertainment between rides or something to do when you're eating an ice cream. 

   5. Food

You can't forget food. There are so many different places to eat in this park it's almost unreal. Don't be fooled into thinking everything is burgers and chicken nuggets though. You have Mexican dishes, French cuisine, salads, sandwiches, Italian restaurants and so much more available. There are quick service stands and sit down restaurants and character buffets. You can grab and go with some popcorn or a world famous turkey leg or grab an ice cream or drink from a cart. There are so many options here and it's just ludicrous to miss out!

 6. Tours

A lot of people don't even realize tours are available. The prices vary depending on what tour you want and how long it is, but there are few to choose from.  Most of the tours are geared towards adults or teenagers with everything from a 'behind the scenes' look at the park to 'behind the steam' tours of the trains in the parks. They cost extra on top of the park entry however if you do have a special interest or would like to find out more about Walt Disney or the park this is something you might really enjoy. It does involve a lot of walking and every park has it's own tours, so if there is nothing in the Magic Kingdom for you, I'm sure you'll find something elsewhere.

Partners statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle
Magic Kingdom - Image from

 7. Sorcerers of The Magic Kingdom

This is something everyone can enjoy - especially gamers. This is an interactive role playing game that takes place throughout the Magic Kingdom. Using various cards to unlock portals and spells you can battle your way through the park defeating villains in the process. You can complete as many or as few missions as you like which means it can take up as much or as little of your day as possible. It has a similar feel to the Perry the Platypus Mission in Epcot and will probably be enjoyed more by men and boys (especially those who enjoy video games and board games.)

 8. Wishes

'Wishes' is the firework show at the end of the night at Magic Kingdom park and according to Trip Adviser is the number 1 thing to do in Orlando. The show itself is not to be missed, it features music, projections and fireworks over Cinderella Castle. They're on most nights and throughout the year various versions of the fireworks are available including Christmas Wishes. The most popular place to watch is in front of the castle, however they can be seen all over the park. You can also get a great view from the 7 Seas Lagoon and from the surrounding resort hotels, the most popular of which is The California Grill at The Contemporary. This is something you really need to see and you might be interested to know the fireworks are launched further away than they seem (you can see this from the California Grill view) which means if you're scared of fireworks, you aren't too close and the music masks the noise.

A fantastic fireworks display illuminates the sky above Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom park
Fireworks - Image from

So, there is plenty to do at the Magic Kingdom, even if you don't like rides. The park is also packed with themed shops, photo opportunities and amazing scenery so there really is something for everyone. If you do have any questions about what there is to do, drop me a line in the comments or use the email link for a more personal response!

Have a great day!