Activities & Resources
Magic Kingdom552in Orlando, FL 32830
about Magic Kingdom:
The park is laid out in seven easy-to-navigate lands. If you're using the FastPass system, Disney's equivalent to reserving a future time and space on a ride, you'll want to hang out in nearby lands while waiting for your ride time. Making the trek back and forth across the span of the park can be difficult with kids in tow, so work your way from one land to the next instead.
The first land, Main Street, USA, offers a train ride to other lands on the Walt Disney World Railroad. Most of Main Street is made up of shops and fast food restaurants, but for a good sit down eatery, try Tony's Town Square Cafe; the menu there includes tasty children's menu items like pasta primavera. If you're feeling a little scruffy, head over to the Harmony Barber Shop for a haircut, or let your kids experience their first cut while the barber shop quartet entertains them.
Adventureland features the kitchy Jungle Cruise, packed with creaky old jokes that young kids find side-splitting (parents tend to groan). Pirates of the Caribbean, recently renovated to be more politically correct (hence, no more pirates chasing women), is still a jolly romp through ransacked port cities.
For roller coaster fun, visit Frontierland's Splash Mountain, a water log ride calculated to soak all aboard, especially when the boats back up in the unloading area. Then, dry off on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, an open air roller coaster ride through an unstable mine. You might feel slightly unstable if you sit in the last car, but it is definitely the best place to feel the speed on this medium scream coaster. Do take your hat and sunglasses off, though. Some of the sharp corners will send them flying.
Liberty Square's best attraction is the world faMOUSE Haunted Mansion. It's not so scary that you should keep young children away, but know that a good portion of the ride is in the dark and really small kids may not like the "hitch-hiking ghosts" that invade your buggy during the ride.
By far, little kids love Fantasyland more than any other area at the Magic Kingdom. From Dumbo and It's A Small World to Peter Pan and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, in which the vehicle actually bounces like Tigger, there's a ride here for everyone. Mickey's PhilharMagic is a great addition to the land, complete with 3-D action and piped-in smells.
Tomorrowland seems to be the first destination for anyone over 13. That's due to Space Mountain's timeless allure. This indoor high-speed roller coaster zooms riders past other flying cars with projections of meteors on the ceiling. When the coaster is down for regular rehab, take the WEDWAY People Mover through the attraction for a real scare - the lit up interior shows you just how close the tracks are to each other! Kids also love Stitch's Great Escape!, a show that has special seats that let the alien breathe into little ears, and more.
The Magic Kingdom's 3pm parade runs down Main Street and is worth seeing. If you can stay awake, wait until the sun goes down and watch the nighttime parade, SpectroMagic, where all of your favorite characters wear pounds of beautiful lights on their costumes to illuminate the night. Finish your visit with a real treat, the amazing fireworks display over Cinderella's Castle.
Dining: Plenty of fast food is available on carts and at counter service restaurants. The most popular dining is - of course - character dining, which can be found at Cinderella's Royal Table (breakfast and lunch), The Crystal Palace (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and Liberty Tree Tavern (dinner only). For dining reservations, call 407.WDW.DINE or stop by Guest Relations near the entrance upon arrival.
Strollers are available for rent near the front gates, and restrooms are equipped with changing tables. A Baby Care Station near the Crystal Palace is also a great, calm place to feed and change your baby. Smoking is not allowed in the park, except in a few designated areas.