When Alex and I found $120 roundtrip direct flights to Orlando and back a few weeks before the holiday season, we immediately filled in our credit card details and clicked purchase. There was one special place we had in mind for our winter getaway: Walt Disney World. Here is my ultimate travel guide to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. From my top attractions and shows to the best dining and resort experiences, I’ve got you covered!
Top Magic Kingdom Attractions
Based on the original park in Anaheim, California, Magic Kingdom is the dream Walt created when he envisioned a place for children and adults to play together in a world of past, future and fantasy. For the children at heart, this is the park for you! The most lighthearted of the parks, this park has an energy of youthfulness and magic in every turn.Having been to Disneyland in California and Disneyland Paris, Magic Kingdom has a few attractions that exceed other parks.
Top experiences were the joyful Mickey’s Philharmonic 4D show in Fantasyland, the nostalgic “ dark ride” Peter Pan, Splash Mountain and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. I was amazed at the park’s detail and how extensive Fantasyland was; I was impressed by how Disney incorporated almost all of the Disney princesses and their worlds. Liberty Square is also a different, but lovely, addition to the park, as is Frontierland’s bigger size.
My favorite attractions to ride at night were the colorful Astro Orbiters, Haunted Mansion (be sure to play a bit in their interactive queue!) , and entertaining Jungle Cruise. These three went above my expectations and were definite stand outs. Enchanted Tiki Room is always a fun classic to get you in a happy mood – and gives you the chance to sit down for a bit – as is the super interesting, if not outdated, Carousel of Progress. Both are classic must dos.
Where to Eat
Two of the best dining experiences I had while at Disney World Resort were here at Magic Kingdom. For the ultimate Disney fan, it is a must to experience Be Our Guest in the beast’s castle. From the moment you cross the stone bridge and into the armor room, you become part of this enchanted story. Once you pick up your rose and choose your meal on the touch screens provided, you are free to explore the 3 themed rooms, including the elegant ball room and the beast’s west wing. Dining carts (just like in the movie!) roll out and chipper cast members serve you your chosen meals! Be sure to try the French onion soup and “grey stuff” – as you may know, it “is delicious!” The entire experience is magical, and I now understand why the reservations fill up so fast. Tip: Make your reservation for lunch (the quality of food is better and it’s much more affordable) and be sure to make your reservations months in advance. I had tried every week to get a reservation six months in advance but did not score a table for 1 until 2 days prior to the trip. Make that reservation for 1 and hope that the host is kind enough to bring in the rest of the party – usually the Disney cast members are happy to do so.
The second best dining experience I had was at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen right across from the jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland. Fully committed to the theme of adventure cruising, travel and safari, this new sit-down restaurant serves bold, flavorful cuisine from Asia, South America and Africa. Be sure to try the spicy vegetable noodles! Maps and antique décor surround you, as well as animal-inspired artwork. Plus, the skippers are just so happy and really seem to love their job!
Best Disney Magic Kingdom Snacks
Curious about the best Disney snacks? I’m right there with ya! Check out this blog post on my top favorite snacks at the resort here.
Magic Kingdom Tips for Adult Couples
- Get there early. Plan on getting all your must-do attractions in the first 3 hours of opening, as crowds will become unbearable by noon.
- Stay at a Disney resort to get special early bird admission! The park opens 1 hour before opening for Disney resort guests, and with the park being pretty empty during this time, this is the ideal time for rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and most importantly, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train.
- Reserve your fastpasses in advance. Most fastpasses were gone when we arrived at the park and line wait times can go past 2 hours.
- Plan on visiting calm, indoor attractions during the mid afternoon heat when the crowds are at its peak. Eg.Mickey’s Philharmonic, Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor, Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents.
- Don’t forget to grab a super delicious Mickey ice-cream bar.
- If you’re celebrating a special occasion, be sure to tell a cast member! They will gift you a pin which will probably come in handy during the rest of your trip (a.k.a. special treatment, front-of-line access, private tours).
A few images from my photo diaries…