Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is the one park that most kids long to visit. While this was my first time to Magic Kingdom, it was, in a way, not. I have been to the West Coast counterpart, Disneyland, many times and used it as a basis in forming opinions on our trip to this particular park.
Getting to the Magic Kingdom was a bit different than to the other Walt Disney World parks. You can only access the park via monorail or ferry. We opted to take the monorail which was enjoyable as we sat across from a crew of little girls that had been made up as princesses at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (costs $50-$190 per kid). It was like a festival of mini-fied Jasmine look-a-likes and you could tell they really liked being dressed up with the whole hair and makeup ensemble.
We were pretty pooped at this point so we arrived a bit later, around 11:30 am. As we entered the park and made our way down Main Street we were just in time for a parade. The main theme was celebration of anything and everything. From your first visit to a special anniversary, everyone was invited to dance along. My mom and I goofily bounced around, totally embarrassing my daughter.
The first thing we did was head to the Tangled Meet & Greet. All the reviews I had read about this attraction were overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, everyone else must have read the same ones. The line was crazy long and, with no shade, most of the guests were cranky. They only let about 80 people in each hour and the rest had to queue up and wait for their turn. Based on the number of people in line and the fact that there was no 1:00pm show, we would have had to wait about 3 hours to see Rapunzel and Flynn. We skipped it and moved on. I must say, the stage area was very cute and beautifully detailed.
Everything in Magic Kingdom was smaller than in Disneyland. Granted, a new Fantasyland is under construction. Still, I missed attractions like the Matterhorn and Alice in Wonderland. ‘It’s a Small World’ was REALLY small! The line was all inside, you could totally see the ceiling, and each land area was so squished together that you could hardly differentiate them. I think the attraction at Disneyland Paris was even better than this.
After grabbing Fast Passes for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, we popped on a few rides. It was an extremely busy day. For example, we were in line for 1-1/2 hours to go on Winnie the Pooh with three adults and one tween and we had to pass on Peter Pan (another favorite) because the line just kept getting longer and longer. One attraction that we really enjoyed was Mickey’s PhilharMagic. We even saw it again later that day. Make sure to go through the doors on the left, sit in the first five rows, and sit as close to the middle as possible – it makes a huge difference.
One ride that I had never been on and was looking forward to was Splash Mountain. Wouldn’t you know that it broke down and never reopened again that day. Bummer. Oh well, since I heard about it so quickly we all rushed to Pirates of the Caribbean where there was practically no line at all. Guess what? The ride was different! Again, another strike for Magic Kingdom and a point for Disneyland.
It was really hot and humid but we finally dragged my mom and her husband to the ferry so we could give them a special anniversary surprise at the Grand Floridian. That was wonderful! My husband decided to retire to the hotel and the rest of us went back to the park to use our Space Ranger Fast Pass. That is always a fun standby ride.
The last thing was to use the other Fast Pass we got earlier for the Mickey Meet & Greet. We got into the studio really quickly but then waited almost another hour with about 10 other people before we finally got our photo shoot. Both Mickey and Minnie were present and they were a hoot! We had this whole ‘conversation’ about my nail polish. It was amazing how we could have this detailed interchange and without them even speaking, only gesturing. That was great fun and a wonderful way to end the evening.
Crowds were rushing back to the park to watch the fireworks but we hopped on the monorail. Actually, we got prime seats for the show as we saw the whole thing, unobstructed, while in the train.
If you’ve never been to any Disney park, you may like the Magic Kingdom. It sadly pales in comparison to Disneyland, though, in terms of size, attractions, and memorability in my book. In fact, I immediately wanted to book a trip to Disneyland just to get rid of the ‘bleh’ I got from the Magic Kingdom. Still, there’s no denying that the iconic castle here is astonishing to look at any angle and at any time of day.