Let’s dive right in, shall we. We started this magical 31 Days of Disney journey yesterday, and I thought of no better place to start than with the Magic Kingdom. ‘Cause, it’s my favorite.
See that castle? Isn’t it beautiful? Sigh. I wish I was there right now. Seriously! Just looking at a picture of the Cinderella Castle brings all my sense alive. I can hear the cast members (that’s what they call the people that work there) greeting me as I walk down Main Street. I can smell the popcorn. I can see all the colors – balloons and shop windows and rides. Oh my!
The biggest tip I give people that are going to the Magic Kingdom for the first time is to have someone in their party walking ahead of the kids and turned around so they can capture their first glimpse of the camera on film. I have NEVER managed to do this well. This is what happened when we tried to video it in 2009.
As you can see, she was not impressed with my efforts. Of course, this was like her 10th time to the Magic Kingdom. We did get this fun picture though.
Now, once you’re in the Magic Kingdom, there is SO MUCH to see and do. I could almost do 31 Days on that. Hmmm… maybe next year. Maggie and I had a discussion and we came up with the things about the Magic Kingdom we thought you should ABSOLUTELY know!
As you walk down Main Street, you will see Cinderella’s Castle. Did you know every Disney park has a different castle? Little trivia there. The castle is at the hub. It’s like the center of a wheel. Different “lands” surround the hub. All should be visited. All are awesome and have their own personality,quirks and treasures.
Your handy map (You did pick one up at the entrance right? You need a map.) will help you determine where you want to go. Maggie’s advice is to ALWAYS go towards Fantasyland first as it gets the most crowded as the day goes on. Another option is to go left toward Adventureland as the majority of people automatically go right.
There are so many different rides to enjoy at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In fact, if it’s your first time going to Disney World, I recommend at least two days in the Magic Kingdom to truly enjoy it. I doubly recommend that if you have kids under the age of eight. The atmosphere is so awesome and engaging that you want to savor your time there and not feel rushed from ride to ride. Enjoy each one. Even the People Mover. This would be one of the least exciting rides in the park, and yet on of my daughter’s favorites.
When you (or your kids) get hungry, there are multiple Quick Service restaurants to choose from. Consult your map to find the one closest to your location or choose what type you like. A House of Hills favorite is Pecos Bills in Frontierland for great burgers with a toppings bar like you would not believe. Have a little person that will only eat chicken nuggets? Like we do… No problem! Right around the corner from Pecos Bills (actually out the side door) is the Golden Oak Outpost where you can grab some nuggets. Here’s another tip from Maggie. Get the adult nuggets and ask for entree only so you don’t have to pay for the fries. Apparently, the adult nuggets are better quality chicken than the kid ones. Who knew?
If you have younger children, I HIGHLY recommend heading back to the hotel if possible for an afternoon snooze. This is even more important during the warmer months, which is everything except the dead of winter in Florida. Seriously people. It gets hot there. If you’re not able to escape the park all together and have very little people, I suggest taking a break in the Baby Care Center. This gem is tucked near the bathrooms and First Aid center between Mighty Casey’s and the Crystal Palace. It’s a must see if you are changing diapers during your visit.
Once you return to the park all nice and rested, you’ll want to check your times guide to see if there are any evening parades (because those are like, the BEST) and what time Wishes is happening. You will not want to miss Wishes. It’s the most beautiful fireworks show I’ve ever seen, and just hearing the opening music (which my husband has on his phone) will bring a tear to my eye. No, I’m not exaggerating. I have pictures of my Maggie watching Wishes since she was in a stroller. Every single one of them is priceless.
Once Wishes is over, it’s usually time to leave the park. Unless of course there are Extra Magic Hours. Ah! What are those you ask? Extra Magic Hours are extended times (either morning or evening) that parks are open to guests staying at a Disney Resort. You’ll want to check which parks have Extra Magic Hours during your stay and plan accordingly. Depending on the time of year, you may want to avoid the park with Extra Magic Hours because it will be the most crowded one, and during busy seasons, that can get a bit crazy. You will want to make sure you have your room key or Magic Band handy so the cast members will allow you on the rides.
Maggie would be upset with me (and so would my hubby) if I didn’t make sure you knew a few other things about Magic Kingdom.
You’re going to want to make sure you get a picture with the Main Mouse himself, especially if this is your first visit. Currently, you can find Mickey at the Town Square Theater on Main Street when you first enter the park. There’s nothing that says, “I went to Disney World!” like a picture with the Big Cheese.
And, Maggie feels very strongly that you should ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland as it is “the best ride ever.” We don’t remind her that we tried to get her on it for five years before she would even attempt it. Now, it’s over and over again.
Finally, there is this.
The Magic Kingdom was created by Walt Disney to be a place where FAMILIES could enjoy time together. That’s what being there is all about… laughing, dancing, smiling, screaming… having fun with your family.
So, when are you going?