Let’s talk about Walt Disney World.
It’s been absolutely ages since my last Disney post, and it’s long overdue.
But since it’s been so long, let’s have a little refresher. I, and my family, are a little obsessed with Disney. We go to Disney World in Florida every few years, almost always at Christmas.
In my last Disney post, I discussed a few of my favorite things about Disney at Christmas. For this post, I’m going to talk about the Magic Kingdom exclusively.
Magic Kingdom is Disney’s most iconic park. It is also packed with the most stuff, so I will by no means be able to discuss everything about the park. Notice that I said the most stuff, not just the most attractions or rides or anything, because the park is utterly infused with endless amounts of charm, happiness, and, well, magic!
Let’s start at the beginning – Main Street.
There is something awe-inspiring about entering Magic Kingdom. When they designed the park, they absolutely knew what they were doing to create the most magical effect possible.
When you first enter, there is a small central square that blocks the view down Main Street, so that only when you are in the exact right place to experience the magic do you see the castle.
I will absolutely never tire of that sight.
Main Street itself actually has a great number of interesting shops, though we never stop at any of them when we first get to the park.
My best tip to anyone planning a trip to Disney, and this goes for all parks, not just Magic Kingdom, is to get there at opening and book it to the back. Most people dawdle at the front of the parks without much of a plan. If you go quickly (no running though, that’s not allowed) you can get onto some rides that usually have extremely long wait times in just moments. We usually head back to Adventure Land first, which is immediately left once you get past Main Street.
In Adventure Land, our top two rides are always Jungle Cruise, which is my personal favorite, and Pirates of the Caribbean, which is my dad’s.
Somehow, it has also become a tradition for us to ride the Aladdin’s Carpet Ride as well.
This camel spit on me the last time we rode the Carpet ride, and somehow it is still one of my favorites.
So you’ve experienced the awe of your first sight of the castle, you’ve made it to Adventure Land for some rides, what’s next?
Well it’s probably about time for a Fast Pass!
I don’t remember when they first started introducing Fast Passes, but regardless, they’re a godsend. There are so many rides that I would simply say, “Oh well, not going on that I guess,” to, because the lines can get insane.
Seven Dwarves Mine Train, for example, is a relatively new ride. The lines for this can be around two hours during the busy Christmas season, and that is just not happening. Which would really be a shame, because the Seven Dwarves Mine Train is a great ride! It’s much longer than you think it’s going to be, and tons of fun without being too intense. No one in my family besides myself usually enjoys roller coasters, but we all love this ride.
So now you’ve just finished your first Fast Pass, and there seems to be something going on. A bunch of people are sitting down beside the pathway, and cast members (the brilliant name for Disney employees, in case you didn’t already know), are directing traffic off the main walkways.
It’s time for a parade!
There are a number of different parades that happen every day at Magic Kingdom, featuring everyone from Mickey and Minnie Mouse, to Flynn Rider from Tangled.
If you have little kids, this is going to be a terrific experience for them. They’ll be able to see all their favorite characters! But do make sure to find a spot early; it fills up fast.
For those of us on the older side who care less about seeing every aspect of the parade, there are plenty of spaces that are a bit less crowded that afford a decent view.
When we were last at the park, my family found a nice spot near one of the transition areas, a bridge from Liberty Square to Main Street, which allowed us some space to rest but also see the parade.
Ok now, let’s get to the most important part of the trip – the food!
The hot thing at the Magic Kingdom right now, or at least what the hot thing was when we were last there, is the Dole Whip.
My dad got one of these while we were down and he let us all try it, and honestly I don’t see what the fuss is about. It’s pineapple flavored ice cream with pineapple pieces. It’s nice, but not spectacular.
What I really like, and love getting every time we go, are the Mickey Mouse Pretzels! Of course, these are just regular pretzels, there’s nothing special about them, except that they’re shaped like Mickey Mouse and I just think that’s so fun.
In terms of walk-up restaurants – these are the restaurants typically used for lunch, so named because you walk up and order food like at a fast food restaurant – Magic Kingdom is not my favorite in this field. Nothing is particularly memorable, at least not in a good way, though we’ve had a few walk-up meals that definitely left us not feeling so great afterwards.
For sit-downs this year, we tried a couple of new places.
My parents insisted that it was probably the last time we were ever going to be able to go as a family, just the four of us, and I in turn insisted we do something special.
So we had breakfast in Cinderella Castle!
Let me tell you, it cost a small fortune, about $200 for the four of us, since we couldn’t use our meal plan. And you do pay before hand, and simply choose whatever you want from the menu.
But it was so worth it! It’s a character breakfast, which is not my favorite thing since no one in my family likes interacting with or taking pictures with the characters. I sucked it up, though, and got some cute pictures with some princesses.
My favorite pictures, though, were with our waitress!
She was an absolutely fantastic waitress, and so at the end of our meal, I asked if I could get a picture with her. She must get this all the time, because she had a little performance put together for it where she made a show of freshening her lipstick, and had poses planned for us to do.
But as usual I’m getting ahead of myself. What about the food!
We all had amazing food, and it actually turned out to be my brother’s favorite meal. He had some variation of steak and eggs. My mom and I shared a quiche and some apple french toast (I wanted the French toast, but didn’t think I could handle so much sweet. I was right).
I highly recommend this experience to everyone, just once. It feels incredibly special being able to eat in Cinderella Castle, and I’m glad that I can say I’ve done it at least once.
Our other sit-down choices were for Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant, and Tony’s Town Square, from Lady and the Tramp.
Be Our Guest is a fun restaurant with several different rooms, each themed. We ate in the West Wing themed room. This room is dimly lit and has a constant sound of rain and thunder, as well as the famous rose in a glass case!
Every once in a while there’s a lightning flash and a roll of thunder that changes the ripped portrait of Prince Adam on the wall into a portrait of The Beast! It’s very cool.
Tony’s Town Square, on the other hand, is a very typical bistro style restaurant, but it is now one of my all time favorites.
The service was fantastic, the food was phenomenal, and the atmosphere was perfect.
We also may have started a new tradition with this restaurant! We ended up eating at this restaurant at lunch time, and it was such an amazing experience that we may be doing lunches for our big meals of the day in the future. It’s a much more relaxing atmosphere during the afternoon than durning the evening, and gives us the perfect opportunity to rest.
Well, I think that’ll have to do for now! There’s just way too much to talk about with Magic Kingdom. I could go on forever! Let me know if you’d like to hear more about this particular park, and look forward to some more Disney Parks posts!