Disney’s Magic Kingdom Review – Disney World
Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. The park opened in 1971, as the first of four theme parks now at the resort. Magic Kingdom’s blue and gold icon is Cinderella’s Castle, that rises 189 feet above the 142-acre park. This really is an exceptional theme park in the tourist capital of Orlando.
You enter the Magic Kingdom through Main Street USA, the heart of the park featuring Cinderella’s castle at the very centre. With a tram-line running down the middle, shops and restaurants line each side of the straight stretch leading to the Castle. Near the park’s entrance is the Walt Disney World Railroad, which takes you around the Magic Kingdom’s themed lands, with stops available at some lands for you to get off if you have a particular attraction in mind. Main Street isn’t home to any rides but certainly, a few experiences with multiple photo opportunities and Disney Character meet & greets.
Home for the adventurous type, you can experience multiple unique attractions. These include the classic Pirates of the Caribbean, a boat ride that indulges you into the pirate life. A great attraction for all, with just one sweeping thrill, at the start of the ride. Another river adventure is Jungle Cruise, a comedic and calming ride through a jungle with a humorous guide, delivering pun after pun as you see what the jungle has to offer on this boat journey. Venture through the Swiss Family Tree, in an exciting walk-through attraction in a treehouse in the middle of the jungle.
An all-round child-friendly attraction is the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. It’s a fantastic flying carousel ride where you really can experience a “Whole New World”. Connecting to Adventureland is Frontierland, home to some of the park’s biggest attractions. In the wild-western themed land are the memorable rides, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain is a log-flume water ride that gives an absolute thrill including 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips and the highlight, a 5-story drop. To start, you gently drift through a colourful Southern bayou along with the happy Br’er Rabbit as he searches for the “laughing place.” But be warned a Bear and Fox are in hot pursuit of the rabbit as they attempt to catch him. Featuring over 100 audio-animatronic geese, frogs, raccoons, possums, bees, alligators and more, along with the classic song, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”, create an interesting but thrilling experience. With the 5-story drop to end, it truly is one of Magic Kingdom’s best rides.
Big Thunder Mountain is a great rollercoaster within the park. You arrive at the legendary Big Thunder Mining Company, descend into an abandoned mine shaft and board a train. As you enter the cursed cavern, the engine speeds up along the rickety track. Dodge exploding dynamite and falling boulders as you swoop around turns, drop into canyons and dart through the mysterious ghost town of Tumbleweed. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a fast roller coaster-type attraction designed for kids and adults. However, some parts of this attraction are bumpy and, in some instances, take place in the dark.
Why not also take a trip to Tom Sawyer Island, a short boat raft trip away. This rustic hideaway isn’t necessarily a highlight within the park but the area is intriguing to look around and explore if you have some spare time away from the thrills, but its not a “must-do”.
Liberty Square features the Magic Kingdom’s classic and long-running attractions the Haunted Mansion and Hall Of Presidents. The Haunted Mansion starts with a spooky pre-show and dark ride experience as you ride in a Doom Buggy through haunted chambers. With no thrills, it’s still a classic and memorable attraction that has some great Special FX.
Disney’s Hall Of Presidents is a theatre show that gives an educational insight into Politics, the American Revolution and Civil War and more. With animatronics of every president in history, it certainly is an interesting experience. The show is 25 minutes long and may not be for those wanting a thrill but runs continuously throughout the day. Be sure to check the large clock hanging under the marquee for the next available showtime.
The Biggest and most fun-filled area of the park is Fantasyland with a mix of classic attractions and new innovations like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Peter Pan’s Flight is a Classic Disney attraction where you across the skies with Peter Pan, linking with the classic film. You glide through some of the film’s iconic scenes with encounters with all the characters including, Wendy and Captain Hook. Mickey’s PhilharMagic is an immersive 3-D movie experience in which Donald Duck finds his way into multiple animated Disney films like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. This 12-minute spectacular is great for families with additional 4D effects. The Barnstormer Coaster is a small roller coaster, aimed at younger audiences with tamer thrills. Also for kids, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area is great to have a bit of fun in the sun. Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid takes iconic moments from the film in a family-friendly ride adventure. With impressive effects and animatronics, it is the ultimate crowd-pleaser.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the latest addition to the park, that sees you journey through the dwarves’ mine. With some great thrills and drops, the ride is unique and innovative with the carts making a swinging motion as they get to high speeds. The ride is still trying to aim at younger audiences with no really extreme thrills.
Tomorrowland is the Magic Kingdom’s futuristically themed area, with advanced attractions. Takedown the Toy Story villain, Zurg, in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, a competitive laser shooter experience. Have a fun time on Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, an interactive show where monsters perform a comedic routine with jokes from the audience. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a classical attraction which presents Walt Disney’s original predictions on what the future may be like. Guests sit in a rotating theatre which takes you through different time periods using animatronics.
Space Mountain is a highlight as a dark ride roller coaster, that speeds you into outer space. Rising 183 feet above Tomorrowland, it certainly provides a thrill through space. A futuristic soundtrack echoes all around you as you fly past shooting stars and celestial satellites. Roar past streaking orbs of light, comets and migrant meteors. Feel the pull of gravity as you’re drawn into a swirling wormhole. As a tip, some suffer from slight motion sickness with this ride, but its nothing major and perfect for thrill-seekers.
At the Tomorrowland Speedway, you can take a spin in your very own two-passenger car. Or why not pilot your very own spaceship at great heights on Astro Orbiter. The two-passenger spaceships spin around and give a great view of the whole of the Magic Kingdom from high above.
To conclude, the Magic Kingdom is one of the most presigious theme parks in the world, and is the highlight of the Walt Disney World Resort. Our only criticism is that we believe certain attractions are slightly outdated, but the Magic Kingdom continues to grow and new attractions are currently being built. One example is the highly anticipated Tron Coaster, coming soon.
Below, you can find information on the events that take place within the park as well as the dining options available…
Town Square Theater
Go backstage at the Town Square Theatre to meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in the rehearsal room and grab a great picture.
Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
This is a fantastic daytime parade, celebrating the characters and stories of Fantasyland. Watch as it drifts down Main Street USA.
Happily Ever After – Every night – Usually 9 PM
This is a stunning nighttime extravaganza featuring lasers, lights and projections. Characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films are featured through state-of-the-art projections, enchanted by more than 50 choreographed spotlights, brilliant lasers and plenty of awe-inspiring fireworks.
Food and Beverage
To Guarantee a table, you must make a reservation at “Table-Service Restaurants”, like Be Our Guest, at least 3 months in advance as it can get very busy. Reservations can be made on the My Disney Experience App/Online.
- Be Our Guest Restaurant (Fantasyland) – Breakfast, fine dining table service with a French flair for dinner
Be Our Guest Restaurant
- Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland) — pizza, pasta, salads and chicken breast nuggets
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Main Street, U.S.A.) — salads, pasta, Italian entrees
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Frontierland) — burgers, sandwiches, salads
- Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square) — clam chowder, fish, chicken, sandwiches
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Tomorrowland) — burgers, chicken, salads, sandwiches
- Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (Adventureland) — table-service dining with the bold flavours of Asia, South America, and Africa
Guests can dine with Disney characters at Cinderella’s Royal Table (Fantasyland – breakfast, lunch and dinner) or at The Crystal Palace (Main Street, U.S.A. – buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner). For dining reservations, call 407/WDW-DINE.
Special Annual Events
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey and the gang invite guests to this all-ages celebration of fun frights held on select nights August through November.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Each holiday season, Mickey and his friends celebrate the season on several special nights with exclusive entertainment and a holiday-themed parade starring Santa Claus.
Se our Review on another Disney World park, Epcot.
The Magic Kingdom is an outstanding theme park that is primarily aimed at families. While there isn’t much thrill seeking attractions, there is certainly something for everyone. The park has innovative & high-quality attractions, that make the Magic Kingdom so world-renowned and the highlight of the Walt Disney World Resort.