This is Part 1 of the Walt Disney World Overview Series.
Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, FL. It was the first park built at the resort, and opened on Oct. 1, 1971. The park’s layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland, which is located in Anaheim, CA. Called The Most Magical Place On Earth, it is divided into six themed lands. In 2011, the park hosted approximately 17 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the world. Designed like a wheel with the hub in front of Cinderella’s Castle, pathways spoke out across the 140 acres of the park and lead to these six lands. Here is a quick overview of the Park, including the rides, shows, dining and attractions.
Main Street, U.S.A.
Main Street is lined with shops selling merchandise and food. The decor is early 20th century small-town America, and features architecture from around the United States. There are plenty of opportunities to greet characters, meet the Mayor of Main Street and other residents, view a Dapper Dan show, and get your picture taken in front of the castle. Main Street also offers great viewing spots for the daily parades and nightly fireworks.
Attractions: Walt Disney World Railroad, City Hall (Guest Relations), Main Street Chamber of Commerce (package pickup). Town Square Theater (character greetings), Main Street Vehicles, Harmony Barber Shop, Firehouse (Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom)
Dining: Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Main Street Bakery, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, The Plaza Restaurant, Casey’s Corner, The Crystal Palace – A Buffet with Characters
Shops: Box Office Gifts, Chapeau Hat Shoppe, Curtain Call Collectibles, The Emporium, Main Street Gallery, Uptown Jewelers, Main Street Confectionery, Newsstand
Other: Main Street Baby Services, Magic Kingdom Stroller/Wheelchair Rental, Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party, Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes
Adventureland represents the mystery of exploring foreign lands. It is themed to resemble the remote jungles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the South Pacific, with an extension resembling a Caribbean town square. There are no parades in this land, but there are opportunities to meet characters.
Attractions: Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook, Swiss Family Treehouse, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean
Dining: Aloha Isle, Tortuga Tavern, Sunshine Tree Terrace
Shops: Agrabah Bazaar, Island Supply, Pirate’s Bazaar
Other: The Pirate’s League
Frontierland is where guests can relive the American Old West – from cowboys to exploring the mysteries of the Rivers of America. The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade ends in Frontierland, and there are opportunities to meet characters.
Attractions: Walt Disney Railroad, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Toy Sawyer Island, Country Bear Jamboree
Dining: Golden Oak Outpost, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, Westward Ho
Shops: Big Al’s, Briar Patch, Frontier Trading Post, Prairie Outpost and Supply, Splash Mountain Shop
This area of the park is based on an American Revolution colonial town. The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade passes through part of Liberty Square on it’s way to Main Street U.S.A. and there are opportunities to meet characters.
Attractions: The Hall of Presidents, Liberty Square Riverboat, Haunted Mansion
Dining: The Diamond Horseshoe, Liberty Tree Tavern, Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square Market, Columbia Harbour House
Shops: Heritage House, Yankee Trader Gourmet Shop, Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
Other: sign up location for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom behind the Christmas shop
In the words of Walt Disney: “Fantasyland is dedicated to the young at heart and to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.” Fantasyland is themed in a medieval-faire/carnival style. This section of the park includes the original footprint, as well as two new areas – Storybook Circus and Fantasyland Forest, which will be opening in stages beginning December, 2012. There are no parades in this land, but there are plenty of opportunities to meet characters.
Attractions: Cinderella’s Castle, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, Walt Disney World Railroad, Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station, Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid (opening December 6, 2012), Enchanted Tales with Belle (opening December 6, 2012), Ariel’s Grotto (opening December 6, 2012), Princess Fairytale Hall (Scheduled to open in 2013), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (opening date to be determined)
Dining: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Pinocchio Village Haus, The Friar’s Nook, Storybook Treats, Cheshire Café, Be Our Guest (opening November 19, 2012)
Shops: Castle Couture, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Fantasy Faire, Hundred Acre Goods, Seven Dwarf’s Mine, Sir Mickey
Other: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Dream Along With Mickey
Tomorrowland is themed to be an intergalactic city; a concept of the future as seen from around the 1950s: rockets, UFOs and robots, etc. There are no parades in this land, but there are plenty of opportunities to meet characters.
Attractions: Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain, Astro Orbitor, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Stitch’s Great Escape, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
Dining: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, The Lunching Pad, Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
Shops: Buzz Lightyear Shop, Buzz’s Star Command, Merchant of Venus, Mickey’s Star Traders, Space Mountain Shop, Ursa’s Major Minor Mart
Other: Club 626 Dance Party, Push the Talking Trash Can
Parking and Transportation
There is no shortage of ways to get to the Magic Kingdom:
Ferryboats: to the Ticket and Transportation Center
Monorails: to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and the Ticket and Transportation Center
Boat Launches: to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Buses: to all other Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Parking: available at the Ticket and Transportation Center