In this section of the Florida write-up, I am focusing on the Magic Kingdom, which is probably the best known Disney park, with the Cinderella’s castle and rides and attractions.
(For information, the 12 Hints and Tips for Walt Disney World would be quite a useful pre-read! 12 Hints and Tips for Walt Disney World)
If you’re staying off-site, getting to the Magic Kingdom is either a boat or monorail ride from the car parking lot, which will probably add 15 minutes to the journey, but the views from the boat are amazing, even though the monorail is my personal favourite! Either way, it gives you chance to sunscreen up!
Getting to the Magic Kingdom for the start of the day is a must do as there is an opening show either in front of the entrance, or (in 2017, due to building work) in front of the castle. It is the perfect way to start the day, so give yourself enough time to get there.
The park is set out in a number of different sections, each with a different theme, but all with rides, characters, mini shows and attractions. Depending on who is in the group, will mean different parts suit different people, but for the younger people, the area (Fantasyland) behind the castle is most suitable with a number of child specific rides such as the merry-go-round, Small World and Winnie the Pooh, as well as a lot of characters! However, use the map/app to plan what suits you the most.
If I had to suggest three things for the Magic Kingdom, they would be:
Dole Whip – These are sold next to the Tiki Room show in Adventureland, and while there was a 20 minute queue, it is well worth it. Pineapple juice beneath ice cream – delicious!! Also, the pineapple ice cream itself is pretty good!
Shows/Parades – There is generally a parade mid afternoon and various shows in front of the castle and on Main Street throughout the day. You’ll probably bump into the shows on your travels, but the parade is brilliant for the little ones, especially if you can get in some shade (not great for photos!)
Crystal Palace breakfast – The lunch option is more expensive and the food was not particularly suited to British tastes, but the buffet breakfast is lovely and having breakfast with Eeyore, Winnie, Tigger and Piglet is amazing. You aren’t rushed at all and it just adds a bit of magic. Book your table as early as you can and if you get an early slot, you are in a perfect position to get brilliant pictures in front of the castle!
As you can imagine, the park is pretty large so a pushchair may be needed, and there are loads of places to park it as you go in for rides etc. The park itself is flat so it is easier to walk for little legs! If you have smaller travellers, the bathrooms are decent sized (if you are a dad taking daughter to the toilet!) and pretty much every toilet block had a baby change bench for men to change nappies.
Finally, the fireworks are pretty amazing, and while it does get busy,even if you get in front of the castle 5 minutes before the start, you’ll get a good view. You’ll just have to fight the crowds to get back to the car (via the monorail or boat!) It took us an hour to get to the car after the end of the fireworks, so bare that in mind with tired legs!
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