disney world – magic kingdom

Today I’m breaking down all you need to know for planning a trip to Magic Kingdom!

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Overview

Magic Kingdom is the pinnacle of parks in Disney World and is the park that absolutely can’t be missed during your visit. It makes sense that Magic Kingdom was the first of the parks to open in Disney World with the central draw being the castle and spectacular fireworks display.

Magic Kingdom During The Holidays

This year was the first time I visited Magic Kingdom during Christmas time. There was orchestral Christmas music piping through the park, and colorful festive wreaths and garland adorning every lamp post, sign and entry way. It really did make the park experience feel even more magical and festive.

The biggest downside to visiting the park during the holiday season is the park closes during select days for the Micky Christmas Party. This is a ticketed event that costs an additional $100 per person. Although the event looks fun with a holiday parade, a special fireworks show, festive food, and promised snowfall, we couldn’t swallow the cost of admission. On the days the Micky’s Christmas Party is happening, Magic Kingdom closes at 6pm so if you’re planning your visit during this time, this is something to be aware of.

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Rides

The rides are my favorite part of the Disney World experience! There are many options of rides to choose from that it would be impossible to fit them all in one day. For us, our favorite rides tend to be the more thrilling ones or the ones that tell a really great story.

Tomorrow Land

1.Space Mountain – This is a thrilling rollercoaster ride that zips you through a futuristic world in near darkness. It’s so exciting being zipped around without having the spacial awareness to know when the next dip or drop is coming! This ride racks up long wait times so it’s worth using a Fast Pass on. If you don’t have a Fast Pass to spare, I recommend hitting it as one of your first rides of the day right when the park opens up.

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2. People Mover – This is a ride that I didn’t even know existed during my first few visits and it is now easily one of my favorite rides of all the parks. There’s hardly ever a wait as there is a moving platform that quickly and easily lets you grab a cart. On this ride you glide through and around Tomorrow Land, even getting a behind the scenes look inside the Space Mountain ride. This ride is suitable for all ages and gives you great views of the park.

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Adventure Land

1.Pirates of the Caribbean – One of Phil’s favorite rides and a must-do if you’re a fan of these movies! You sit in a boat and float through different Pirates of the Caribbean scenes with characters that look very real. Definitely one of the funnier rides in Disney World. Wait times fluctuate and can dip to as low as 5 minutes so it isn’t typically necessary to use a Fast Pass on this ride.

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2. Jungle Cruise – An outside boat cruise ride that takes you through a jungle scene. The wait times get long so if this is something you’re interested in, it’s worth using a Fast Pass on it.

Fantasy Land

1.Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – A fun rollercoaster that takes you through mines with colorful, shimmering gems that the seven dwarfs are mining. This ride is newer and is notorious for having long wait times. A Fast Pass is a must unless you skip the fireworks and can manage to ride during a low wait time (noting that low wait times for this ride are few and far between).

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2. It’s A Small World – This is a classic ride that everyone needs to ride at least once! It’s another boat ride that takes you through a journey with singing dolls from around the world. I’ll be honest – not my favorite ride but because it’s a staple I stand by needing to ride it at least once.

Frontier Land

1. Big Thunder Mountain – One of the faster paced rollercoasters in Magic Kingdom and a fun ride for those that like thrilling rides. The wait times add up so a Fast Pass is recommended however if you can’t grab one, the line is mostly covered and has small things for entertainment which make the wait go quickly.

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2. Splash Mountain– Another rollercoaster in the park however one that will get you soaked at the end of the ride with a big drop! You’ve been warned because you will get quite wet so either wear a poncho or plan on getting soaked.

Entertainment

Magic Kingdom is the mecca for entertainment. There is an abundance of character meet-up spots, a daily day-time parade and of course, the nighttime fireworks show. The firework show in Magic Kingdom is one of the most magical experiences you can have in Disney World, and possibly anywhere in the world. It’s something they’re constantly tweaking and improving upon so even if you’ve seen the show in the past, it’s worth catching again and again. People start lining the side of Main Street a few hours before showtime so if getting a good viewing spot is important to you, keep this in mind. My recommendation is to stand as close to the castle as you can get. This helps ensure you don’t have a sea of tall heads and bodies blocking your view of the castle itself which lights up!

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Where To Eat

1.Casey’s Corner – Right on the corner of Main Street where all of your corn dog dreams will come true. Casey’s is always busy and you’ll be hard pressed to find seating during peak hours (like fireworks time). However, they serve big portions, the food is delicious, and it’s worth the wait. You can now also order ahead on your phone to avoid waiting in line.

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2. Sleepy Hollow Refreshments– A yummy spot for breakfast with loaded waffles that are beyond delicious. In the mornings most people will stop at the Starbucks on Main Street so to avoid the line, I recommend eating here. Plus, there’s seating outside which is a nice opportunity to rest your feet for a long day of walking ahead.

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3. Be Our Guest – For any Beauty and the Beast fans, this is a must. This restaurant gives you a dose of magic when you’re seated with a well-decorated interior and tasty food.  Seating here fills up so it’s worth booking a reservation in advance.

4. Pecos Bill Café – With nachos, fajitas, and tacos you can’t go wrong. Located near the Thunder Mountain/Splash Mountain in Frontier Land it’s a great lunch spot with tons of seating so you can stop in on the fly.

5. Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant – I’ve never eaten here but it’s on my list! A quick service option with views of the castle that can’t be beat.

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