The Magic Kingdom is so rich in experiences that you could spend the majority of your vacation there and still not do everything. With a myriad of attractions, shows, parades, characters, and dining options available, deciding on a short list of preferred experiences is no simple feat. What follows is an attempt at that task, complete with both not-to-miss attractions and other experiences to indulge in. #20-8: Glide, Speed, and Plunge with these amazing attractions:
20. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
One of my favorite rides in the park, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is full of twists and turns, but is tame enough to have a wide appeal. For the gentlest, slowest-feeling ride, try to get a seat in the front. You’ll feel much more whipped around in the train’s rear.
19. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
A trip to the Magic Kingdom won’t be complete without a spin on its newest attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The family-style coaster is unlike any you’ve ridden before. The carts sway from side to side as they glide along the track, adding an entirely new type of motion to the coaster experience.
18. Enchanted Tales with Belle
If you have any out-going young children in your party who would enjoy acting out the story of Beauty and the Beast, you simply cannot miss this unique attraction. In fact, it is so well done that even groups without children should experience it at least once. Get the camera ready: this is a fantastic photo opportunity with Belle!
Children of all ages (yes, I’m talking to you, grown-ups) should soar on Dumbo at least once! The queue area is unlike any other in the parks; you’ll be given a pager (just like when you go out to dinner) and a chance to leave the line and let your children play in a big-top themed play area.
16. it’s a small world
This classic boat ride will remind you that we are all connected, and that “a smile means friendship to everyone.” The artistry and beautiful colors are a lovely bonus!
15. Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid
Hop aboard your clamshell and enjoy a slow-moving jaunt under the sea. This calm ride recreates many of the scenes from The Little Mermaid and will have you singing along!
14. The Haunted Mansion
This slow moving dark ride is inhabited by 999 Happy Haunts who will delight you throughout the ride. Just be careful, they tend to hitchhike.
13. Splash Mountain
Despite being based on a very old and controversial film (Song of the South), Br’er Rabbit’s adventures make for an entertaining, 11-minute cruise. However, Splash Mountain’s 52.5 foot drop means that this one is not for the faint of heart!
12. Peter Pan’s Flight
If I told you that you could soar over London and a mermaid’s cove and get a bird’s-eye view of a standoff on a pirate ship, would you dare pass it up? I think not! Folks, there’s a reason that this classic Disney dark ride has some of the longest wait times in the parks; it’s a fabulous ride! If the thought of waiting over an hour for a non-thrill ride makes you feel a bit woozy, be sure to visit Peter Pan’s Flight first thing in the morning, or use FastPass+.
11. Pirates of the Caribbean
Yo ho, matey. This classic Disney boat ride is so popular that it inspired a major motion picture franchise! With only one small drop, this ride is usually a safe bet for the whole family.
10. Jungle Cruise
Another boat ride! This one will take you on an expedition on several of the world’s most famous rivers. You’re sure to enjoy your skipper’s cheesy jokes along the way!
9. The People Mover
The People Mover does just that- it moves people. There’s never a wait for this continuously moving conveyer ride, so ride it as many times as you like! You will absolutely love the views of the Magic Kingdom that it offers!
8. Space Mountain
This non-looping coaster operates in complete darkness, making it a favorite for both thrill seekers and moderate chickens! (Extreme chickens, however, might want to skip it.)
#7-1: No day is complete without these experiences:
7. Pose for a Castle Picture
Whether you use the park’s photographers or take your own photo, don’t forget to capture a picture of your family in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Did you know that the Photo Pass photographer will gladly take a picture using your camera if you desire?
6. Indulge in a Mickey Bar or Dole Whip
Don’t miss the Dole Whip! You may have to spend a few minutes in line at the Adventureland’s Aloha Isle, but your taste buds will thank you. Not into pineapple soft serve? Have a Mickey Bar (vanilla ice cream coated with chocolate) instead. Obviously, the correct choice is to get both!
5. Dine at a fabulous meal
If you have the opportunity to enjoy a character meal in the Magic Kingdom, absolutely do it! You’ll probably want to make a reservation well in advance (use those 180 days wisely!). The Magic Kingdom is home to two of the most unique dining experiences on Disney property: Cinderella’s Royal Table (inside the castle) and Be Our Guest. Be Our Guest is not a traditional character meal, in that you’ll only meet Beast (and only after you finish your dinner- he’s not around at lunch time).
4. Delight in meeting talking Mickey & other characters
You read it right- Mickey actually talks now. Make sure you meet Mickey (who is looking dapper in his magician get-up, I might add) and have a photo taken at the Town Square Theater. Meeting Mickey shouldn’t be the only character greeting “to-do” on your list. Interacting with characters can be great fun for kids and adults, and the photos you take will be cherished souvenirs. There are so many characters to meet in the Magic Kingdom, from Alice and the White Rabbit to Ariel, Gaston, and Chip and Dale. Make sure you find at least one other favorite to see!
3. Explore the Emporium
Spanning the entire length of Main Street U.S.A., the Emporium is an incredible shop full to the brim with every kind of Disney merchandise imaginable.
2. Experience “Wishes”
The Magic Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular, Wishes, will remind you that dreams do come true. It’s a not-to-miss show, complete with a beautiful soundtrack and dazzling fireworks.
1. Behold the “Festival of Fantasy” Parade
The Festival of Fantasy parade is relatively new, having debuted in March 2014. It is a stellar addition to the already awesome lineup of entertainment found in the parks. In addition to seeing your favorite characters, the parade boasts some truly astounding floats and gorgeous costumes.
We hope this list will give first-time Disney guests an idea of what not to miss on their vacations. For more seasoned guests, how many of these items would make your top 20?
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!