Disney World Magic Kindom Theme Park Guide

By James | Last updated April 17, 2024

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Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, the first Walt Disney World Resort park in Florida, opened in 1971 and follows the same basic layout at the original Disneyland park in California.

If you have small children then this is probably one of the best places to take them. As well as all the rides and attractions, you can also get to meet some of their favorite cartoon characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Donald Duck, and many others.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world with an estimated 20.4 million visitors.

Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom, Disney World
Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom, Disney World photo by @bankzsnapsdisney

To get to the Walt Disney Magic Kingdom you must park at the Walt Disney World Resort Ticket and Transportation Center and then take one of two monorail trains or a paddle-boat ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Note that a monorail service also connects the Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot.

Disney World Magic Kingdom Lands

Radiating from the central hub of the castle are six separate themed ‘lands’ representing different aspects of life in America. Reading clockwise they are:

  • Main Street USA – a Victorian-styled street complete with a barber shop, cinema, and way too many shops to walk past without buying something!
  • Adventureland – with a mixture of African and Caribbean themes, home to the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Frontierland – reliving Hollywood’s vision of the Old West and the pioneer days, with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster and Splash Mountain log plume ride
  • Liberty Square – post-colonial America in the 18th and 19th centuries represented by the Hall of Presidents and the Haunted Mansion
  • Fantasyland – centered on Cinderalla’s castle, home to many of the young children’s favourite rides including Dumbo and It’s a Small World
  • Tomorrowland – sometimes referred to as “Yesterdayland”, by its very nature it is constantly having to evolve to keep up and is home to the Space Mountain roller coaster

Another land called Mickey’s Toontown Fair where you could meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse and even get your photo taken with them, a magnet for children young and old, was absorbed into a rebuilt Fantasyland when Fantasyland was redeveloped.

Of course when you think of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, you must not forget the parades and fireworks.

Magic Kingdom Parades

One of the most popular activities at the park are the Magic Kingdom parades. These are special Disney events that capture the magical storytelling of the famous books and movies that have been shared with millions.

There are daily parades at the park and they are often classed as a must-see for the die hard Disney fans. Make sure you check the timetable at the park for the parade time and give yourself plenty of time to get a good viewing spot for when the parade starts. Knowing the parade route will help you locate the best viewing point at the park. Having a view down one of the main roads with the parade coming towards you would be a good place to stay.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

One of the highlights of a Magic Kindom visit is the nighttime spectacular shows that include an amazing light show, a short story, and the world-famous fireworks. By standing with a view towards the castle, you will see the light projections onto the Magic Kingdom Castle where the story will be told and later the firework show will take place over the castle. It’s worth noting that the nightly shows run on a schedule and the shows can vary based on a seasonal calendar (e.g. Christmas show) that you can find on the official Disney site.

Happily Ever After fireworks show at Disney World
Happily Ever After fireworks show at Disney World

Magic Kindom Rides And Attractions

Magic Kingdom is a very family-friendly theme park, with plenty of attractions that will appeal to all ages. You can find exhilarating rides, family-friendly adventures, captivating shows, and opportunities to meet your beloved Disney characters.

Rides and Rollercoasters

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. One of the all-time classic Disney World rides that will have you traveling through a haunted gold mine in search of treasure. Legend says the trains have a mind of their own in this haunted mountain. This ride is designed for both adults and kids but does have a scare element you may want to factor in as it goes fast in the dark and high in places. You may be pleased to know this does not go upside down at any point.
Big Thunder Mountain Rollercoaster view
  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Tron Lightcycle
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Barnstormer
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Meet The Character Experiences

This is your chance to meet all your favorite Disney characters and get your photo taken with them. You can often catch characters roaming around the park for a quick photo but the main characters like Mickey Mouse will you to join a queue. Some of the popular character experiences are:

  • Meet Cinderella and Elena at the Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater

Best Magic Kingdom Rides for Kids

Magic Kingdom is the flagship park of Disney World, it caters to families of all ages, so you can all enjoy the majority of experiences here together. We take a look at some of the best Magic Kingdom rides for kids that are a must-visit for your next Magic Kingdom adventure.

Best Fantasyland Rides for Kids

  • Cinderella Castle (attraction)
  • It’s a Small World
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Best Adventureland Rides for Kids

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Best Frontierland Rides for Kids

  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Country Bear Jamboree

Best Tomorrowland Rides for Kids

  • Space Mountain (although maybe not suited for younger kids who are afraid of rollercoasters and the dark
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Tomorrowland Speedway

Best Liberty Square Rides for Kids

  • Haunted Mansion
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • The Hall of Presidents (attraction)

Disney World Monorail Service

When leaving the Magic Kingdom, there will be two queues for the Monorail, one sign posted Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) and the other sign posted Disney Resorts.

If the TTC queue looks long, simply take the Resorts monorail. Both monorails go to the TTC but the Resorts monorail stops at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel (it actually goes right through the middle of the hotel) first and generally is less crowded as most people automatically queue in the TTC line.

You enter the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom under the Main Street Station and walk up Main Street USA towards the trademark Disney Cinderella’s castle.

Disney has offered special Disney After Hours tickets which gives you access to the more popular attractions but with way fewer guests. These are limited-time offers for only a few select nights.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world with an estimated 20.4 million visitors. That is an average of over 55,000 people every single day of the year but on some days those numbers can easily double.

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