There is nothing quite like Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida. It is the most visited theme park in the world after all. Almost 21 million (20,963,000) guests visited in 2019. That is a lot of visitors, visiting a theme park in the middle of Florida.
In 2021, Magic Kingdom turns 50. That’s right, Magic Kingdom first opened on October 1, 1971. Even with the current pandemic, a big celebration is planned. You can bet that this is one 50th birthday you won’t want to miss.
Now let’s take a lot at everything offered at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. Everything from the rides, food, shows, lands and more. You will need more than one day to visit this renowned theme park.
Magic Kingdom Attractions
Out of the four Walt Disney World theme parks, Magic Kingdom has the most to offer in terms of rides and attractions. Magic Kingdom is home to 30 plus attractions which includes rides, shows, and character meet and greets. No other WDW park comes close. Now you can start to understand why you will need more than one day.
Of course, not all attractions are must dos at Magic Kingdom Park. But boy, does Magic Kingdom have some amazing attractions that are perfect for kids both young and old. Just keep in mind that some of these rides were designed in the 60’s and 70’s, so they are a little tight for today’s standards. Looking at you Space Mountain.
The most popular rides based on wait times would be Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain. Both Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad wait times can be long as well. It just depends on the time of day. It is not unheard of for these rides to have an hour long wait. Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train can easily have close to two hours or longer waits in the peak season. While both of these attractions are fun. I don’t think they are worth a two hour wait. I can’t think of any ride at WDW that is worth a two hour wait. But hey, that’s just me. Personally, I don’t really like to wait longer than 30 minutes.
There are some rides that I do on every trip to Walt Disney World. Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Dumbo, It’s a small world, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tomorrowland Speedway, and PeopleMover are the rides I always do at least once when I visit. I usually have no problem doing all these rides at least twice with little to no wait. Of course, I like to arrive at park opening, so that helps knock a bunch of these out early in the morning before the crowds start pouring in. Most people tend to arrive an hour or two after the park opens. Hey, I get it you are one vacation and don’t want to wake up early.
We have a great post showing point of view videos of all the different rides at Walt Disney World. Check out our WDW ride videos post to see what each ride is like. It is very helpful when you are planning your first trip so you know what to expect. Even if this won’t be your first trip, the videos help you relive the wonderful memories from your last trip.
Many of the attractions are housed inside, which is helpful in combating the summer heat in Florida. However, there are very few shows for you to enjoy where you can sit and relax. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Hall of Presidents, and Country Bear Jamboree are the only ones that come to mind.
If character meet and greets are more your thing. Well, you are in luck. Magic Kingdom has the most for you to see. Of course, right now they are not doing meet and greets but I am positive they will be returning in the future.
|Elena of Avalor||Cinderella||Tiana||Rapunzel|
|Evil Step Sisters||Chip & Dale||Tinker Bell||Jasmine|
As you can see from the chart above, there are a lot of characters for you to chat with and get your picture taken with. Best of all, that’s not all of them. That’s just a sample of who you might run into. You could spend the whole day going around and getting your picture taken with all the different characters.
Magic Kingdom Lands
Magic Kingdom Park is broken down into six different themed areas or lands. You have Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Liberty Square. Each has its own unique theme, shops, dining options, and rides.
Which land is the best? That’s for you to decide. My favorite land would have to be Tomorrowland. But that’s because it is home to my favorite ride, the PeopleMover.
Main Street USA
When you first enter Magic Kingdom you are greeted with a look down Main Street towards Cinderella Castle. Unlike Main Street at DisneyLand, Disney World’s Main Street takes influences from around the country and not just from Walt Disney’s hometown. When you first arrive to Magic Kingdom and walk under the train station, you are left with a feeling that this place is like nothing else you have ever visited before.
The attention to detail is amazing. Nothing looks out of place or like it doesn’t belong there. Every piece fits perfectly. From the shops to restaurants. Everything is where it belongs. You could spend hours checking out all the details or eating and shopping.
One of the better places to grab a character meal at (for breakfast at least) is Crystal Palace. It is probably your best bet for a sit down meal at Main Street USA. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant is not worth it at all and the Plaza Restaurant is Okay at best. If you are looking for a quick bite I would pick Plaza Ice Cream Parlor over Casey’s Corner. I am just not a fan of Casey’s at all. But if you want a less than spectacular hot dog. By all means grab one from Casey’s.
Main Street is more about the shopping but there are a couple of attractions for you to enjoy. Town Square Theater is where you can meet a talking Mickey and Tinker Bell. You can get a haircut at the Harmony Barber Shop. Main Street is also one of the stops on the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Take a step back in time when people used to think that the future would look like this. Clean, white, geometric. Of course, the future didn’t turn out anything like what people envisioned in the 60’s. However, we can get a sense of what people dreamed “today” would be like.
Tomorrowland will soon be home to one of the newest rides at Walt Disney World. Originally, it was to be completed by the summer of 2021 but this looks like it will not open until sometime in 2022. Once this ride opens you can be sure that guests will be flocking over to experience this new ride.
Check out what the ride will be like when it is completed.
Other attractions in Tomorrowland include Space Mountain, PeopleMover, Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Carousel of Progress, and Tomorrowland Speedway. Many people complain about the speedway but I like it for the simple fact it gives my young daughter a chance to “drive”. Another thing to note is that Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is nothing like Toy Story Mania over at Hollywood Studios. The aiming on the guns is way off in my opinion, but it is still a fun little interactive dark ride.
The PeopleMover is by far my favorite attraction in Tomorrowland. Not only can you sit and relax as you get a unique view of the park. You can see the inside of some of the Tomorrowland rides that you just can’t witness without going on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
Food in Tomorrowland is nothing to get excited about. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Cool Ship, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, Lunching Pad, and Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe don’t offer anything that is out of this world but they should since they are in Tomorrowland. When these places are open they are okay but I wouldn’t be going out of my way to eat there.
Fantasyland went through a major renovation and expansion recently and everything was completed in 2014 when Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was completed. This is the largest land at Magic Kingdom. Over 15 rides, shows, and character meet and greets, makeup Fantasyland’s attractions.
Since it opened in May of 2014, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been one of the most popular attractions in Walt Disney World. This rollercoaster is not intense and great for riders of all ages. The drops are small and the turns are gentle which helps keep this ride one of the most sought after rides for guests to enjoy.
Other attractions that call Fantasyland home are Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo, Barnstormer, Enchanted Tales with Belle, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, and a stop for the Walt Disney World Railroad. You can meet characters at Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Princess Fairytale Hall, and Ariel’s Grotto. Merida from Brave can be found over at the Fairytale Garden too.
This is where you will probably spend the most time when you visit Magic Kingdom Park. With so many attractions it’s not hard to see why. Plus two of the most popular restaurants are also in Fantasyland.
Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest Restaurant are here. Now Cinderella’s Royal Table isn’t worth the price to me since the food is just okay. However, you do get a chance to meet some princesses and eat inside the castle. Be Our Guest on the other hand is worth the price for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a little too pricey if paying out of pocket. However, I do really enjoy the breakfast but it’s not worth $25.
Gaston’s Tavern, Cheshire Cafe, Friar’s Nook, and Pinocchio Village Haus all offer some delicious food. Grabbing a meal or a quick bite at any of these places is a good idea. Gaston’s Tavern is a great idea for breakfast in the park. Here you can get a huge cinnamon roll. It’s big enough for two adults to share.
Now there is a small snack cart located between Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Dumbo which is a great place to get a refillable “collectable” popcorn bucket. Check each day you are at the park to see which one they have. Just remember that some of the popular ones sell out fast. Like within an hour fast.
The last place I want to talk about is Big Top Souvenirs. Perhaps this is my favorite souvenir shop at Magic Kingdom. While it’s not as big as the Main Street one, it has many of the same things and the lines are much shorter. Plus inside is a great place to grab your snacks. They have cookies, candy apples, fudge, and so much more.
Liberty Square is the smallest land at Magic Kingdom. But don’t let that fool you. It has one of the best quick service locations in all of Walt Disney World. A fantastic ride and great theming and attention to detail. Just watch your step as you walk around. There is a reason for the brown path.
The Hall of Presidents can be found in Liberty Square and is a great place to take the kids so they can learn a little while they are on vacation. Haunted Mansion is a fantastic dark ride that opened with the park and is still as popular today as it was back when it opened. Just make sure you don’t pick up any hitchhiking ghost.
If you are looking to relax a little and take in the scenery. Hope on the riverboat for a relaxing ride around Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Tom Sawyer Island. It’s a great way to escape that midday Florida heat.
A replica of the Liberty Bell can be found within this land. Urban legend claims it was one that Pennsylvania gave Walt Disney World in 1976 after they received theirs that was cast from the same mold as the actual Liberty Bell. This however, is not true as that Bell can be found in Allentown.
Liberty Tree Tavern is a sit down restaurant that offers a traditional thanksgiving dinner. Sleepy Hollow is a fan favorite for their waffles. However, Columbia Harbour House is one of the best quick service locations at WDW. The lobster roll and trio platter are amazing. If you are a seafood fan, you will want to check out Columbia Harbour House.
Frontierland is home to two of the three “mountains” at Magic Kingdom. Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are located in this land. Of course, Splash Mountain will soon be going through a redesign to focus on The Princess and the Frog which is a Disney animated film from 2009. I just hope that “Mountain” is still in its title. I would like Magic Kingdom to still be home to three mountains.
The other attractions in Frontierland include Country Bear Jamboree, Walt Disney World Railroad, and Tom Sawyer Island. The only way to get onto Tom Sawyer Island is by raft. There is no bridge to cross so keep that in mind when planning a trip out to see what all is offered.
Diamond Horseshoe is located between both Liberty Square and Frontierland. This is a pricey sit down dinner and isn’t really worth the money. Take your money over to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn. For me it is really a toss up between Pecos Bill and Columbia Harbour House.
Before the pandemic they had a nice toppings bar here with all the fixings you would need for your meal. Hopefully, that comes back but even without it, it is still a very good, filling meal.
If you want to see the fireworks (when they return) and don’t care if the castle is in view. Frontierland is a great place to see them. It gives you a different take on the show and really gives you a different perspective. Plus you don’t have to worry about being shoulder to shoulder with people.
The final land we will be going over is Adventureland. One of the funniest attractions, Jungle Cruise, calls Adventureland home. Hopefully, you get a good skipper. They are the ones that make this ride so special. A good skipper really makes this attraction.
If a pirate’s life is more your style. You are in luck. Adventureland is home to the Pirates of the Caribbean dark ride. Just start brushing up on “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s life for Me)”, so you can sing along as you keep a lookout for Captain Jack.
The Enchanted Tiki Room, Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Swiss Family Treehouse round out the other attractions in Adventureland. Each attraction is okay but you won’t be missing much if you decide to skip them.
Skipper Canteen is one of the newer restaurants in Magic Kingdom and is a hit. Guests love the theming and food. Sunshine tree terrace is my favorite location to grab a snack. I love the citrus swirl and I try to get that at least twice when I visit. Aloha isle is where you can get the famous Dole Whip. Just prepare to wait in line here. Tortuga Tavern is the other quick service location in Adventureland. Even when it is open you should just skip it. Nothing here is worth it when you have Pecos Bill so close.
Magic Kingdom Food
I went over some of the food when we talked about the different lands. In this section I will go over some of the locations in a little more detail. Of course, you can check out my rankings of all the Magic Kingdom Quick-service locations.
Between the different quick Service locations I would have you check out Pecos Bill Tall Tale inn for the Fajita Platter, Be Our Guest for the French Dip Sandwich, or Friar’s Nook for the Buffalo Chicken tots. Of course, anything at Pecos or Columbia is a good choice. I can’t even think of anything that I had from either place that I didn’t like.
Now I wouldn’t even waste your time at Casey’s Corner. Not only are the hot dogs not even good. The wait is too long even with mobile order and finding a table can be next to impossible. Too many people are sitting at the tables that aren’t even eating food from Casey’s or anywhere for that matter.
One of the hardest reservations to get at Disney World is Cinderella’s Royal Table. The main draw here is not the food or even the princesses. It’s the fact that you can eat in the castle. The food that is served isn’t anything you will remember. You won’t love it but you won’t hate it. I myself would skip this place but that’s because I have already done it once. If you have never done it. It is worth it to say you ate in Cinderella’s Castle.
Now if you don’t care about eating in Cinderella’s Castle but want to eat in a Castle check out Be Our Guest. Here you can eat in Beast’s Castle from the Disney Classic Beauty and the Beast. Before the Pandemic Breakfast and Lunch were quick-service and dinner was table service. Right now (Mar 21) Lunch and Dinner are both table service. Time will tell if it will go back to the way it was.
Magic Kingdom Park is also home to an amazing character meal with Winnie the Pooh and Friends over at Crystal Palace. Currently it is not a character meal and is being served family style.
Towards the end of the year Magic Kingdom is home to two special events. Both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party happen. Both are a separate ticketed event that offer different food, merch, and entertainment.
During Mickey’s Not So Scary you can go around trick or treating. There are also special characters out like the Seven Dwarfs, Jfar, Jack and Sally, and many more. At the halloween party is the only time you can dress up in a costume. That’s right you can dress up and not just your children. Of course, you can not wear a mask, have a weapon, or an offensive costume.
Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain receive a special enhancement for the party. There is also a night time parade, Castle stage show, and special fireworks. The Party was a good time in the past. However, the past couple of years the price has kept increasing and so have the crowds. Like many things at Disney World, it’s almost to the point where it is not worth it.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party offers unlimited cookies and hot chocolate, a special firework show and stage show, and snow on Main Street. All around Magic Kingdom you will find christmas all around. From Tomorrowland to Adventureland and everywhere in between. It can really help you get in the spirit of the holiday season.
Magic Kingdom is an amazing theme park that everyone should get the chance to visit at least once in their lives. You will need more than one day to see, do, and eat everything that is offered. To be honest two days isn’t even enough but you can do most of the things you want in two days. You just need to have a plan and hopefully this quick little guide helped you out.
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