The Magic Kingdom is the perfect start to your vacation in Disney World. Whether you park and take the ferryboat across the 7 Seas Lagoon, ride the bus from your resort, or take the monorail, you’ll come through the Grand Main Entrance and look down Main Street towards the Castle.
If you get up early enough to get to the gates for the grand opening, you’ll get to see Mickey & his friends sing and dance and celebrate the opening of the gates! This is really cute and worth seeing. Not to mention, it gives you a nice jump on the crowds and the first couple of rides will have virtually no line!
As you walk through the Magic Kingdom entrance, you’ll be on Main Street, U.S.A. Which is always bustling with activity. From the entrance to Cinderella’s castle is lined with restaurants, shops, information desk, and an ice cream parlor. Note: The first restrooms are immediately after the entrance on your left – next to City Hall…seems like our family can’t ever pass this one without visiting?!
Below are details of what each themed-area of the Magic Kingdom has to offer.
I’ve marked our family favorites with a C
What to See & Do on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Main Street Entertainment:
- Magic Kingdom’s Main Street is continually bustling with activity. Sit on the curb with an ice cream cone and you’re bound to witness: The Mayor walking down the street, a brass band of musicians, Trolley car with singers, Dapper Dan singers (barbershop quartet), and much more!
- City Hall:
- This is the place to get information, lost and found, have a package sent back to your room, and anything else you could request or imagine. Disney prides themselves on making you happy – stop in here if you need any help.
- Main Street Vehicles:
- Stroller, scooter, and buggy rentals – the Magic Kingdom has a lot of walking for little and older legs!
- CWalt Disney World Railroad:
- This neat old steam engine takes you on a nice loop around the entire park. Use it for a means to get from point A to B, or just a relaxing 20 minutes to enjoy a tour with a cool breeze!
- Town Square Exposition Hall:
- Check out your PhotoPass pictures here!
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant:
- Great lunch or dinner spot, offering pasta, panini sandwiches, and salads.
- Main Street Bakery:
- Grab a cup of coffee, pastry, or other treat!
- CPlaza Ice Cream Parlor:
- Family favorite! It’s been the usual spot of our last Disney World treat. On our last vacation day, we’ll go to Main Street for souvenirs and ice cream cones, before saying good-bye to the parks.
- The Plaza Restaurant:
- Nice restaurant that offers sandwiches, burgers, and ice cream sundaes.
- CCasey’s Corner:
- Perfect lunch stop for hot dogs & fries – our guys love the old-time baseball theme,
- Crystal Palace:
- Nicer restaurant with buffet service and character meals!
What to See & Do in Adventureland:
- Swiss Family Treehouse:
- Climb up the stairs and ladders into this cleverly-constructed treehouse home.
- Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride:
- Take a flight on a magic carpet over Aladdin’s old stomping grounds of Agrabah
- Enchanted Tiki Room:
- Listen to the these feathered comedian / singers, as the Tiki Room gets transformed into a theater!
- CJungle Cruise:
- This animatronic safari river cruise is a hilarious adventure whose boat driver will keep you giggling…and on your toes!
- CPirates of the Caribbean:
- The theme of this river boat ride is perfected down to the smallest details. You’ll get to see the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow – cannon fire and all!
- Aloha Isle:
- Have a Dole Whip frozen treat (a huge favorite of many)!
- El Pirata y el Perico Restaurante:
- Seasonal restaurant offering tacos, burritos, and salads.
- Sunshine Tree Terrace:
- Offers soft-serve ice cream, slushes, capuccino, and espresso to keep you going!
What to See & Do in Frontierland
- CSplash Mountain:
- This is one of my favorite rides of all time. This is more than a log flume – you’ll get the full story of Brer Rabbit from a 5-story drop to the Laughin’ Place! The mean parents that we are – we made our kids ride it despite their initial fear, and then they wanted to get right back in line to ride it again! (Use the FastPass)
- CBig Thunder Mountain:
- This runaway train roller coaster is a fun ride. It has more spiral turns than big drops. It’s a great roller coaster for younger riders that meet the height requirement (40”/102 cm).
- Tom Sawyer Island:
- Fun place to walk around and explore – especially if the kids have energy to burn and you have 15-20 minutes before your FastPass entry time.
- CCountry Bear Jamboree:
- These music-playing bears put on a show that will get you & your family laughing. We’ve watched this show many times and it never seems to get old!
- Pecos Bill Cafe:
- Offers burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
- Golden Oak Outpost:
- Has chicken nuggets, sandwiches, and fries.
What to See & Do in Fantasyland
- CIt’s a Small World:
- Nice air-conditioned ride with the world’s children singing a song that will be stuck in your head for months – what’s not to like?
- CPeter Pan’s Flight:
- A little pixie dust and you and your car will leave the tracks and fly to Neverland! Cute ride.
- CMickey’s PhilharMagic:
- This 4D (yes…4D…you’ll see) is great fun. Donald’s temptation to try on Mickey’s hat takes the audience on quite an adventure. On some trips, we watched this show 2 and 3 times!
- Dream Along with Mickey:
- Enjoy a musical stage performance with Mickey & friends.
- Fairytale Garden:
- Enjoy storytime with Belle.
- Snow White’s Adventure:
- Ride back to the land of the 7 dwarfs!
- Prince Charming’s Carousel:
- Not just any old Merry-go-Round! If you’re here at the right time, you can also try your hand at removing the sword from the stone (conducted by Merlin, of course)!
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant:
- Magic Kingdom’s Classic ride…complete with long lines. Do it once to say you did it.
- CThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:
- This rolling ride takes you on a fun adventure through the Hundred Acre Woods! The black-lit area brings neon colors to life as you ride through the story book!
- Cinderella’s Royal Table:
- Eat in the castle! A very nice restaurant with American cuisine.
- Pinocchio Village Haus:
- Offers pizza, chicken baskets, and salads.
- Friar’s Nook:
- Offers hot dogs, french fries, sandwiches, and salads.
What to See & Do in Liberty Square
- CThe Hall of Presidents:
- It still amazes me how they make these animatronic representations of our Presidents! Even our teenagers thought they might have been actors. Worth seeing!
- Liberty Square Riverboat:
- You’ll think you’re on the Mississippi River when you ride this giant paddle-wheel river boat around Tom Sawyer island!
- CHaunted Mansion:
- From the creative tombstones to the stretching elevator to the floating ghostly figures floating across the room – this is what all other haunted houses strive to be!
- Liberty Tree Tavern:
- One of Magic Kingdom’s nicest restaurants, complete with American cuisine – great spot for character meals
- Sleepy Hollow:
- Have a funnel cake & ice cream treat!
- Columbia Harbour House:
- Offers fish and chicken baskets
What to See & Do in Tomorrowland
- CTomorrowland Speedway:
- This continues to be a Magic Kingdom favorite of our boys, but it won’t get the adults overly excited. It’s Disney’s version of go-carts on a controlled course, but its popularity never fades! Kids can get their Official Speedway License.
- CSpace Mountain:
- This roller coaster will make you feel like your on a mission to the moon. This is so much more than your average roller coaster thrill ride!
- Astro Orbiter:
- Like the Dumbo ride, kids can raise and lower their car on telescoping arms as you zoom high above Tomorrowland.
- CTomorrowland Transit Authority:
- These magnetic gliding cars have been the perfect ride when we need to sit down and relax for 10-15 minutes. You’ll get a nice tour of Tomorrowland while you re-charge your batteries for more walking.
- CWalt Disney’s Carousel of Progress:
- Sit down and enjoy Walt’s original audio-animatronic ride through our country’s technological revolution – this was his display at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York! It’s funny to see what seemed fantasy then is reality now!
- CBuzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin:
- Aside from Space Mountain, this is probably the Magic Kingdom’s most popular ride. Help Buzz defeat Zurg – it’s the ultimate video game! Use the FastPass and don’t be surprised if the kids want to ride it again!
- Stitch’s Great Escape:
- Modified from the original alien escape attraction – now with a Stitch theme. Fun adventure, but could frighten younger children.
- CMonster’s Inc. Laugh Floor:
- Great family comedy cabaret with your favorite Monster hosts! Lots of audience interaction – and it’s amazing how many times through our vacation that we kept seeing “That Guy” (see the show and you’ll know what I mean!).
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe:
- Offers burgers, chicken baskets, sandwiches, and salads.
- Tomorrowland Terrace:
- Offers hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, and seasonal fare.
CParade & Fireworks:
Every night, Magic Kingdom puts on a farewell production that consists of a spectacular fireworks display, sandwiched by an early and late night parade down Main Street.
For those that want an earlier night, you can watch a 9pm parade followed by fireworks. Or if you’re out late in another park and want to take a ride on the Monorail, you can catch the fireworks followed by the encore parade.
Either way, you can’t go wrong. The parades, music, characters, and fireworks over the castle are too good to miss!