• What is... Magic Kingdom?

What is... Magic Kingdom?

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Jan 18, 2024

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2024

What is... Magic Kingdom?

When you think about Walt Disney, there is a good chance that the Magic Kingdom will come to mind. This is, after all, one of the most famous theme parks in the world, home to a vast array of classic attractions like Space Mountain and It’s a Small World. Some of them even spawned movie franchises like the Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise! Of course we can’t forget about Captain Jack Sparrow, who came directly from a small dark ride built in 1973 called Pirates of the Caribbean.

I will let you know beforehand that the Magic Kingdom is massive. The theme park has more than 40 rides and is divided into six areas, most of them invoking a childhood dream. We got, for example, the theme of princesses and knights on Fantasyland. Tomorrowland, for example, is all about visiting space and dreaming about the future, and it’s also where you will find Space Mountain and the most recent attraction, Tron’s Lightcycle Run. Every area is impeccably designed and just breathes that Disney magic.

Disney Magic Kingdom Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 1 - Copia.webp

Magic Kingdom isn’t much about thrill rides, but experiencing the history of Disney characters and just imagining you are inside a fairy tale. It’s definitely more about the atmosphere and having a good time with your family and friends. This is also the best theme park by far for young children and parents with their toddlers. Not only will you find many rides without a height requirement, but just walking around and meeting characters is a joy.

I would say that, if that’s your first time here, you should save two days for the Magic Kingdom if you want to see everything. One day only, if you have access to Genie+. Of course, this will depend on what types of attractions you want to see and if your party has young kids or not.

How to get to the Magic Kingdom

I think it’s important to say that the Magic Kingdom is the only Disney park where you can’t just walk from the parking lot to the entrance and immediately experience the rides. At Epcot Studios or Hollywood Studios, you can park your car and then hop on a tram or simply walk to the main gates. Show your ticket, go past the turnstiles, done! You are good to go.

At the Magic Kingdom, after parking your car you need to enter a monorail which will lead you to your destination. The trip should take about ten minutes until you reach the happiest place on Earth. Just keep in mind that there is also a monorail that gets you to Epcot Center, so make sure you are entering the right one to the Magic Kingdom. There are a lot of signs and helpful employees that can guide you.

You will also need to take the monorail if you are going to the Magic Kingdom using a service like Uber. The driver will leave you at the Transportation and Ticket Center and, from there, you have to take the Monorail to the Magic Kingdom. When exiting the Park, you will also need to take the monorail back to the parking lot and follow the instructions sent by Uber.

The only transportation that will take you directly to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom, without the need of taking a monorail, is an official Disney Transport. Disney hotel guests are in luck.

With that said, let’s dive deeper into the fantastic world of Mickey Mouse.

Rides

Rating: 7/10

Disney magic Kingdom Aladdin entrance.webp

With over forty rides, there is a good option that you will find something here for you. Before anyone asks… no, the Magic Kingdom wasn’t built for us thrill seekers that want an extra dose of adrenaline. You won’t find anything as blood bumping as Islands of Adventure VelociCoaster or even a scary, thrill ride like Disney Hollywood’s Tower of Terror. For the thrill seekers, the most you will find here is Space Mountain and 2023’s Tron Lightcycle Run. Both are pretty fun, by the way! Space Mountain is not only one of the most classic rides ever, but it has also aged like fine wine. Tron is also a roller coaster that shares some DNA with Space Mountain and will bring a smile to your face.

Both are indoor roller coasters, but there are also two outdoor steel roller coasters that are fun and amazing for young guests: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The two of them are very similar, with Big Thunder being another absolute classic that you must go at least once. They are also perfect for kids or people that might not enjoy thrill rides that much. There are no loops, corkscrews or crazy bumps in any of them. 

Magic Kingdom is all about celebrating the story of Disney and fairy tales, so expect to find a lot of rides inspired by movies and books from the past… a hundred years? There are carousels, magic carpets, teacups rides, haunted mansions, trolley rides, basically anything you expect to find if you take the classic definition of a theme park. Most of the attractions also celebrate Disney franchises like Peter Pan, Snow White, The Little Mermaid and, of course, Mickey Mouse, so they get that extra dose of charm. 

Another classic attraction - Splash Mountain - closed early 2023, but it’s expected to launch in 2024 under a new name: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Expect it to be a similar water ride that you must go if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom.

Atmosphere

Rating: 10/10

Disney Magic Kingdom balloons.webp

The Magic Kingdom is basically the official home of Disney, so it’s no wonder that it gets the perfect score when it comes to atmosphere. Just walking around Main Street and checking the sights is an absolute delight. The streets are extremely clean and the music, oh, the music! Not only traditional theme park fanfares, but you can also listen to beautiful Disney movie songs while walking around or waiting in line for your favorite ride.

The sights are beautiful. The main star that you have probably seen in a thousand pictures is a life size replica of the Cinderella Castle, which basically marks the middle of the park. There are also beautiful gardens all around, including another perfect spot which features a statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse. A tremendous, beautiful tribute that is also a perfect spot for a picture. Oh, there is also a colorful garden welcoming you to the Magic Kingdom just after you go past the main gate, yet another popular spot for pictures. Honestly, keep your phone close by since a lot of places here are perfect to build memories with your family.

There is also the fact that you will see a lot of Disney characters walking around and setting up lines so you can snap a picture with them. Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck, Daisy… the whole gang's here. You can also meet movie characters like Ariel, Gaston, Belle, the Beast, Snow White and many more. The list just goes on and on and on.

Not enough? The cast members in particular are all incredibly helpful and nice. Not that this doesn’t happen in other theme parks - it does - but there is just something different about the Magic Kingdom. Everyone is always so happy here. Love it.

Kid-Friendliness

Rating: 10/10

Disney Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle statue.webp

Whaaat, another perfect score!? Yep, and a very easy one to give. The Magic Kingdom is the theme park for kids under fifteen years old. Absolutely perfect for the younglings under ten, and the best choice for parents with toddlers that just want to experience the atmosphere and take píctures of their kids with the numerous characters.

A lot of attractions at the Magic Kingdom don’t have a height requirement, which basically means that guests of all ages can experience them. Some examples include It’s a Small World, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and many, many more. Even the roller coasters don’t have crazy height requirements. You need to be at least 38″ to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and 44″ for Space Mountain. Tron Lightcycle run sits at a 48″, which is the highest height requirement in the whole park.

Of course, you shouldn't only think about rides when coming to the Magic Kingdom. The sights alone and the chance to take pictures with characters from movies will be enough for a lot of the young guests. With that in mind, let’s check the ideal age ranges for kids at the Magic Kingdom.

0-5 years old: the best theme park to bring your toddlers and younglings. Awesome, colorful rides for the whole family and a bunch of beautiful locations and characters for pictures. Top tier recommendation.

6-9 years old: another great, great age range for the Magic Kingdom. Kids around this age will probably be able to experience every attraction and have a good time at roller coasters like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and trolley rides. Once again, Magic Kingdom is a top tier choice.

10-14 years old: Another good age recommendation for the Magic Kingdom, just not as top tier as the two previous ones. Kids can still enjoy the four roller coasters, including Tron Lightcycle Run now.

15+ years old: other than the thrill rides, kids at this age range will have a better time at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

Food

Rating: 7/10

Disney Magic Kingdom Gaston Tavern.webp

There are a lot of options for eating at the Magic Kingdom, with anything ranging from table service restaurants that you might need to make a reservation to quick-service kiosks offering the traditional theme park cheeseburger with fries. The most common options are nothing to write home about and, most of the time, you will find the typical fast food options. Where the Magic Kingdom shines, however, are with the different options for character dining which are an amazing experience especially for kids.

The Be Our Guest restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table and the Crystal Palace are all good options if you want to eat together with classic Disney characters. The first one gives you the option to take pictures with the Beast inside his castle, and there is even a chance to find Bella around as well. Cinderella’s Royal Table is your chance to have lunch or dinner inside one of the most epic buildings in all theme parks. You can, of course, snap a picture with Cinderella before sitting down, and sometimes she also visits guests at their table. The Crystal Palace is all about Winnie the Pooh and his friends, a buffet style restaurant with a bunch of options for all tastes.

Table service restaurants are not cheap: expect a fixed price around $60. There is a good chance that you will need to make a reservation weeks in advance as well, since everyone wants to have lunch with their favorite Disney characters.

Ride Queues

Rating: 6/10

Disney magic kingdom peter pan flight entrance.jpg

Here is where things get a little bit rough. We already told you that the Magic Kingdom is one of the most well-known theme parks in the world, the unofficial house of Mickey Mouse and a great destination for kids with an amazing atmosphere. It’s no surprise, then, that queues can get quite long for most attractions. Well, basically for every attraction. Try to come to the Magic Kingdom during months like September and October, or late January and March. Coming here during July or Christmas can get really, really rough.

A lot of rides have long queue times, even when we are not talking about the peak seasons. This is easily explained since parents can bring their kids to most attractions, and kids don’t care too much if they are spending hours in a queue. Something like Space Mountain can easily be a 100 min queue most of the day. Meeting Ariel at her grotto can reach a one hour line during the afternoon. Peter Pan’s Flight? Not uncommon to see a 120 min waiting time for this one. I never understood how Peter Pan always has massive waiting times, honestly. 

Remember that new attractions use a Virtual Queue, so log in your Disney World app to queue up for rides like Tron Lightcycle Run. The same process will probably apply for future rides as well, like Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in 2024.

Since queues can get very long at the Magical Kingdom, it might be a good idea to upgrade to Disney Genie+. You can also buy individual Lightning Lanes for selectable attractions, like the newly released Tron Lightcycle Run. 

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