13 Awesome things to know about Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Dumbo
The Dumbo ride has a 'playground' queue

This week I review Magic Kingdom (MK) at Walt Disney World, Orlando. I review the rides, good places to eat and things to do. We are a family of three, with a 10 year old and we travelled to Magic Kingdom in April 2018.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean – A slow moving dark boat ride, with a 14 foot drop over a waterfall. The queue is in the dungeon. The scariest parts of the ride are in the first 3 minutes - skeletons, cannons, darkness and mist. The skin of the human audio-animatronics is made of rubber and every few years the skin must be replaced because it cracks. You'll see 65 pirates, 19 cannons and 60 animals. Captain Jack Sparrow appears 3 times. Your photo is taken as a PhotoPass ride automatically if you are wearing a Magic Band.

Magic Kingdom Pirates of the Caribbean

Magic Kingdom Pirates of the Caribbean Dog Scene
One of the famous scenes, within the Pirates ride (but as figurines I found in Disney Springs)
The ride takes you past a Pirates Grotto, Dead Man’s Cove, a Caribbean fort and a striking 12-gun galleon (you may get wet!), a buccaneers town and a dungeon. Dead men tell no tales!

This ride was recently revised by the removal of the ‘wife selling auction’ scene, with the ‘wife’ now being ‘upgraded’ to a pirate. And the goods being sold are just stolen goods.
The queue is themed as a dungeon, but is a good escape from the elements outside. The Standby queue seemed longer then quoted at the front of the ride.

2. Dumbo – There is a wait area where you can sit down, its air conditioned, and the kids can play in the indoor playground. You are given a ‘buzzer’ whilst your kids play. When its your turn, the buzzer will sound and you can then go straight on to the ride (with only a 5 minute wait).

3. Liberty Square – a nice area to relax. We even saw wild storks here!

Magic Kingdom Liberty Square

4. Tom Sawyer Island – a one minute boat trip across the lake in the middle of Frontierland takes you to Tom Sawyer Island (which is really two islands). It closes at Dusk.
There are bathroom facilities on the island. On the southern most island there are a lot of references to ‘Tom Sawyer’ with caves and cubby houses to explore. The other island has a fort to explore. There is a moving bridge that you walk across to get to the other island. Note that the island isn’t really wheelchair accessible once you are on the island.

Magic Kingdom Tom Sawyer Island Raft

Magic Kingdom Tom Sawyer Island Rope bridge

Magic Kingdom Tom Sawyer Island Rope Bridge

Magic Kingdom Tom Sawyer Island Map
Magic Kingdom Tom Sawyer Island Fort Langhorne

5. Haunted Mansion - Go before 11am or in the last 2 hours the park is open. Tombstones outside feature the names of the Imagineers who designed the ride. Be sure to take a glance at the pet cemetery when you leave.

The pre-ride was scary for my daughter when she was 7 years old in Anaheim. The stretching room is the scariest for young kids. It is crowded, a confined space and is dark and there is an overwhelming deep voice saying the room is stretching. Terrifying for a little kid. I did see a few whimpering kids in the room at Magic Kingdom. I can happily say my daughter has not been scared since of this ride.

The ride itself is not scary. You  enter 'doom buggies' and tour the mansion. There is a lot to see and multiple re-rides are recommended.

Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion ride is inside

Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion

6. Hall of Presidents – The presidential animatronics are so lifelike its eerie. I enjoyed this show better than the EPCOT one (at the U.S.A Pavilion). Just found it more entertaining and I know my daughter certainly learned from all these American History shows. Highlights of the show are speeches by Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The show lasts for 22 minutes, however you wait in a reception area which is like a mini museum. The reception area contains official paintings, busts and artifacts of the various presidents so you can spend more time there. There are also some references to Walt Disney contained here too. 

7. Magic Carpets of Aladdin - Loads slowly but a FP is almost never needed. Ride before 11am or after 7pm. The ride goes for 1.5 minutes in duration. It is a flying carpet ride with a water spitting camel that guards the ride. People on the ride try to avoid the camel spitting – the front seat controls vehicle height and the back seat the tilt. Everyone will get wet from the camel eventually – in the Florida heat though its welcome! This is a very lively area of Adventureland (my favourite area in Walt Disney World). There is nothing to do in the queue – but soaking up the Arabian music and checking out the scenery is wonderful.

 Magic Kingdom Arabian area in Adventure land

8. Repunzals Tower and the Lanterns – At dusk around 7:30-7:45pm the Cast Members start setting up for Lantern photos. This is not to be missed. They can take the photos with your own camera, but they also do PhotoPass here – which I highly recommend. They have all the special lighting set up so that the photo turns out. At dusk though the Castmembers are also setting up for the Castle fireworks, and do start roping off areas around Fantasyland – so if you wish to get to the entrance of the park (to leave), as soon as you get that photo – you need to get to the other side of the park quickly.

Magic Kingdom  Lanterns near Repunzals tower
This area is where you can get professional photos taken with a lantern. The photos look very good and are a great souvenir from your holiday
Magic Kingdom  Lanterns near Repunzals tower

9. Big Thunder Railroad - Dear husband D.H went on this ride and loved it. He sat near the front. It has bigger drops then the 7 dwarfs mine train and is a really fast ride. He had a 30 minute wait. There was pre ride entertainment too. 

Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Railroad

10. Shopping  - Merchant of Venus Star Wars – a lot of good stuff to be found here including 'I'm celebrating' badges (these are free and are for things like First Time at Walt Disney World, Birthdays, Retirement etc)

11. Best choice for food - Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland (burgers, sandwiches). Lines move fast and its not everyday you get to eat with a view of a castle. There is also an animatronic show inside the Café if your family would prefer another show whilst eating. This cafe also has a free salad and condiments bar to go with your meal as a bonus.

Magic Kingdom Cinderellas castle

A lot of the counter service restaurants had hotdogs for sale at Magic Kingdom. There is not much variety in 'kid friendly' food. The Main Street Bakery had sweets and more hotdogs (You might have guessed already but I don’t like hotdogs). If you are going to splurge on  dining or plan to do Disney Dining, Magic Kingdom would be a good place to do this as otherwise you are really limited to Hamburgers and Hotdogs.

12. The Happily Ever After Fireworks -The Fireworks we saw were the ‘Happily Ever After’ Fireworks. We watched them near the Main street Train station (we were close to the exit). They were wonderful and I shed a few happy tears. MK is packed before the night fireworks. A lot of the park around the castle is roped off, so its not easy getting from one end of the park to the other in a hurry. If you want to leave the park around this time-and are intent on beating the crowds- catch the WDW railroad in Frontierland and ride to the park Exit at Main Street. The train stops running during a parade (don't line up then).

Magic Kingdom Cinderellas castle Happily Ever After fireworks

Magic Kingdom Cinderellas castle fireworks

13. "Kiss Goodnight" - Cinderella's Castle flashes with a dazzling rainbow of light. Not on the schedule, about 30 minutes after posted closing time. A recording of Roy Disney (Walt's brother) thanks everyone for coming.

I hope you enjoyed reading my review of Magic Kingdom, Florida. I hope you can follow us.

Until next week,


KJ said…
Thanks Brenda, Magic Kingdom is awesome

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