I love all things Disney. The movies, the parks, the magic….It just all makes me feel happy! Thanks to the media relations team at Walt Disney World, the kids and I all received a free one day pass in which we could visit any of the parks we chose to visit. In exchange, I’m giving an honest review of the park. We decided to visit Magic Kingdom because it’s the happiest place on earth 🙂 The last and only other time we visited Disney was almost 10 years ago. A lot has changed!
We started our day in the Watercress Cafe in our hotel, Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa, with a very good breakfast buffet. I will be posting more about that in a later post. Then we caught the shuttle to Magic Kingdom. We spent several hours at the park, came back to the hotel for an hour (though our total time away with the bus delays was more like almost 3 hours), then headed back to the park for a few more rides and fireworks.
I received 2 free tickets to Disney World in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours.
Disney World now has a perk for all ticket holders called FastPass+ where you can pick three rides and get to skip the long lines! You can book your FastPass+ ahead of time with your ticket number or when you get there you can do it at FastPass+ kiosks. Pirates of the Caribbean, a slow boat ride through Jack Sparrow’s world, was the first ride for which we chose a FastPass+. “it’s a small world”, which is probably the most famous of all the Magic Kingdom attractions was the second we chose. Haunted Mansion was not open when we went ten years ago, so we chose to use that as our last pass. It was fun though maybe a bit scary for little ones. We ended up not using “it’s a small world” because of the bus taking too long getting back to the hotel then back to the park, but after the fireworks the wait time was less than five minutes for that ride.
The longest wait we had was for The Jungle Cruise at about 40 minutes, but it was worth the wait. The “tour guide” was hilarious. All of the rivers you get to visit on your trip have interesting animals and funny stories to go with them. The longest wait we saw was at The Princess Fairytale Hall which had a 210 minute wait to see Elsa and Anna from Frozen. Someone had told me to get a FastPass+ for that, but I forgot! It was disappointing to not get to see them, but later in the day we did get to see Aurora and Snow White. We also got to see Tinkerbell and the characters from Winnie the Pooh at our lunch at the Crystal Palace.
I love all of the different lands in Magic Kingdom. I could spend hours just walking around and looking in windows and shops. The details in the design of the park are amazing. The different topiaries and flowers around the park are beautiful. It is so clean at Magic Kingdom and everywhere you go, the people who work at the park are happy and helpful! One issue we had was getting around because there are not too many signs. If you have a smart phone, there is an app for that! But, unfortunately, I still have an old non-smart cell phone. It would have saved us a little bit of time had I been better with map reading 🙂
I really wish we had had at least one more day there. I wish I’d known how small Universal was and only planned to go to that park one day and spent the extra day at Magic Kingdom. I would have loved to go to the shows, but we just didn’t have time. We also didn’t get to visit Frontier Land and that was disappointing. I wanted to visit Tom Sawyer’s Island and go on Splash Mountain. The attractions that we were able to visit were all very fun except for Prince Charming Regal Carrousel because I’m pretty sure we only went around three times….something must have happened because everyone on the ride was shocked by the short ride. So that was kind of a bummer!
One thing to be aware of if you visit Enchanted Tales with Belle: it is a lengthy interactive experience. We thought that it was kind of like a meet and greet with her, but it was much longer than that. We had to leave partway through even though when we got in line we had plenty of time before our lunch reservations. So give yourself lots of time for that attraction.
The kids went on the Mad Tea Party, but I sat that one out! I do not do well with spinning rides! The last time we went, I went on it and ended up with a headache. You can choose to not spin, but if you go with teenagers, they will want to spin….trust me! Peter Pan’s Flight is a very fun ride where you travel through the story of Peter Pan. The Swiss Family Treehouse is very cool. I always loved that movie! Of course, Kyle wanted to go on The Tomorrowland Speedway. I let Molly drive our car (very badly, mind you) and Kyle drove his own.
If you are able to, be sure to buy the Disney Dining Plan! It saves you a lot of money. Since our tickets were free, we were unable to purchase the plan since you need to add it when you buy the tickets. It was costly to eat there for sure! We ate in Tomorrowland, and I saw a girl who went to the school where I used to substitute! She said she’d never seen anyone she knew there. That is so surprising to me!
We made sure we planned our visit to include Wishes, the fireworks spectacular at Cinderella’s Castle. It is beautiful and moving. I cried a little bit remembering the last time we went when Kevin was alive and with us. It is so different being the only parent. I am fortunate to have such great kids though. I really hope we are able to make the trip to Disney again before they leave home. With Molly being 19 and Kyle 16, time is fleeting and precious. I want to spend every available minute with them making precious memories that we can cherish always.
If you’ve missed any of the other vacation day posts, check them out below.
And here are our Magic Kingdom photos!
|The parade was going on when we got there! Here is Lumiere in the parade!|
|Here’s the Town Square Theater on Main Street! We met Tinkerbell here!|
|I caught Kyle walking down Main Street 🙂|
|I love the quaintness of the store fronts.|
|Molly in front of Cinderella’s Castle|
|Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse|
|Molly and Kyle in Adventureland!|
|Swiss Family Robinson Kitchen|
|Swiss Family Robinson Living Room|
|Love this ride!|
|Molly and Kyle want to shoot the cannons off!|
|Going on the Jungle Cruise|
|I’m waiting to go on an adventure!|
|Haunted Mansion…hint, don’t try to fit 3 grown people in one car! We were a bit squashed!|
|Pinocchio Village Haus|
|Molly getting ready to go on the carrousel|
|Nice view of Cinderella’s Castle|
|Inside of Belle’s Cottage|
|Molly is so like Belle in her love for books!|
|Shy Kyle was chosen to be a guard! Picture is kind of blurry, but I had to sneak this picture!|
|It’s Pooh! Be sure to eat at Crystal Palace with the characters from The Hundred Acre Wood.|
|Here we are with Tigger!|
|Piglet is so sweet|
|Here’s another parade with Mickey and Minnie!|
|Molly and Tinkerbell! I got the picture as they were looking at the photographer….oops!|
|Molly and Snow White|
|Sleeping Beauty and Awake Beauty 🙂|
|Kyle and Molly in the Mad Tea Party ride|
|The pre-fireworks show is amazing!!!|
|Belle and The Beast|
|Yes, the whole crowd sang along with Elsa!|
|You need to go! See it in person! Trust me, you will love it 🙂|
I give Magic Kingdom a HUGE recommendation! It is great for families! One note though: if you are traveling with young children, you MUST take lots of breaks. Plan for naps. Don’t disturb your child’s schedule too much. We saw so many crying, whining little ones. Think of their well-being before your fun, please! Even with teenagers you will need breaks! It is so much to take in at once! Plan to be in just this park for at least a couple of days. It truly is a magical place! Go and show your Disney Side!