About The Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is probably the most popular and most famous of all the Orlando theme parks. It has a magical attraction for both adults and children alike. It is situated about 15 minutes from International Drive and around the same time from most of the Orlando Villa communities. If you are driving it is very easy to find as it is well signposted. A lot of hotels and motels offer either a paid or free shuttle service to and from Disney parks. The only downfall is you are governed to their drop off and collection times.
Getting to the actual Magic Kingdom involves arriving at the transportation and ticketing center car park. Then you have the choice of getting either the monorail or the ferry across the Seven Seas lagoon. Why not take the monorail one way then come back via ferry the other way?
Once in the park, make use of the free fast pass system. Fast passes work by inserting your Disney pass into the machine, it then prints out a ticket with two times on it. These are the times between which you can return to access the ride, with a much shorter wait..
TIP: Watch out for the "EMH" this is Disney´s Extra Magic Hours and are days that participating parks open earlier and stay open later just for Disney hotel guests. So the parks will be fuller than if they were not EMH so try to avoid going on those days. It´s a good idea to go the day after an EMH as then a lot of the Disney guests will have visited the day before and will probably be in another EMH park. Also when you do visit the park, try and get there early and head right into the park and do the attractions and rides furthest away from the entrance then work your way back. Have a good idea of the rides you want to do first. See the Walt Disney World EMH schedule for this year.
The Magic Kingdom's 6 Lands
The Magic Kingdom is divided up into 6 different "Lands" they are as follows:
Main Street USA
Main Street USA
This area is full of Disney shops where you can buy souvenirs and all kinds of Disney merchandise. There are Ice Cream parlours, and Candy Stores too. You can also board the Walt Disney Railroad which encircles the theme park, stopping at Toon Town and Frontier land. There is also the show "Cinderellabration" which takes place on the stage at the front of Cinderella´s Castle.
Moving around the park we have Adventureland. Here you can find Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse where you and your kids can climb over rope walkways and discover this huge treehouse. The Jungle cruise is a boat ride through jungle areas of the world, such as those found near the Amazon River or Asia, featuring Audio-Animatronic animals. A little dated now though and not very convincing. The Pirates of the Caribbean a dark ride on a boat through pirate scenes using Audio-Animatronics. Now updated (2006) after the new film starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
It is still a big family favourite and able to move large numbers of visitors quickly.
Country Bear Jamboree, Animatronic bears sing classic country songs. Splash Mountain a very popular ride for all the family and one that is not over too quickly A log flume, based on the stories of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and other characters from the Disney movie Song of the South, ending with a 5 storey drop into the briar patch.
Big Thunder Mountain a rollercoaster, designed to look like a runaway mining train. This ride is right next to Splash Mountain and is also very popular.
TIP: it is an idea to wait in line for one of these rides and get a fast pass for the other. Tom Sawyer Island, a small island, reachable by raft, on which there are caves and a fort to explore.
The Hall of Presidents, a show featuring an Audio-Animatronic version of every United States President. This may not be for the younger kids. The Haunted Mansion, a dark ride through a haunted house. With some spooky special effects. Liberty Square Riverboat, Travel Through the Rivers Of America on the Liberty Belle. A large riverboat that circles Tom Sawyer Island.
Those of you with small children will have a hard time leaving this area. It's a small world is a dark ride through colourful stylised representations of many countries You will be fed up with hearing that song by the end of the ride! Peter Pan’s Flight. a dark ride in a pirate ship flying over London and through scenes from Peter Pan. Mickey's PhilharMagic, a 3-D movie experience, starring Mickey and Donald! Cinderella's Golden Carousel, the oldest ride in the park, a carousel built in New Jersey, later moved to Walt Disney World. Its theme was updated to be based on the Disney movie Cinderella. Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the prototypical Dumbo-style ride has elephant shaped vehicles, which rise off of the ground, supported by a rotating structure. Snow White's Scary Adventures, a dark ride through scenes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a dark ride through scenes from the Winnie the Pooh stories. Mad Tea Party, a ride in spinning teacups based on the Disney movie Alice In Wonderland. Pooh's Playful Spot, a children's play area designed as the Hundred-Acre Wood. Cinderella's Castle, walk through the icon of the park; contains mosaics telling the story of Cinderella.
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, a simulated racetrack with small gas/petrol-powered race cars. Space Mountain, which includes 2 indoor roller coasters in the dark, themed to look like rockets traveling through space. Also known as the tallest mountain in Florida!! Can be long waits for this ride as it is very popular. Astro Orbiter, a raised Dumbo-style ride in rocket ships Tomorrowland Transit Authority (originally called the WEDway People Mover), a gentle people mover ride over Tomorrowland. You get to see what Space Mountain looks like on the inside. Nice to sit on this ride for a rest! Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, an audio-animatronic stage show about changing lifestyles, shown in a rotating building, which debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It shows too, a bit boring and dated. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a dark ride, based on Toy Story, with "laser guns" to shoot targets and score points. Good fun. Stitch's Great Escape in which Stitch from Lilo & Stitch escapes from a prisoner teleportation tube and wreaks comical chaos throughout the audience. Strollers/Pushchairs can be hired for the day from the Guest services area at the entrance to MK as are wheel chairs and motorised chairs for people who can't walk far.
TIP: With strollers though it is a good idea to buy one from Wal*Mart for around $20 and then leave it behind when you leave Florida. Also a lot of villa owners provide them free of charge if you are staying a in a villa. Remember if you have a Disney Pass with park hopping you only need to pay car parking once per day.