Want a Classic Magic Kingdom Experience?
Here are the 15 Magic Kingdom Must-Dos for your Walt Disney World vacation!
1. The Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony - To get the full Magic Kingdom experience, start early. Arrive at the main gate about 15 to 20 minutes before the park opens for a good viewing spot. Every morning, a full cast of classic Disney characters open the park to the public with (what else) a Disney song and dance opening ceremony! But you have to get up early and be there before opening or you’ll miss it!
2. Take THE Iconic Photo — As you wander up Main Street, one sight draws your eye — Cinderella’s castle. Line up for the perfect photo in front of the world-famous icon, THE symbol of Disney and the Magic Kingdom. If you purchase the Memory Maker photo package, photographers are waiting to snap your photo. But if you don’t have the photo package, there are plenty of other people who will gladly take your photo.
3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant — This classic ride is a must-do for those seeking a classic MK experience. Fly with Dumbo on one of the MK’s original rides. It is based on the Disneyland attraction of the same name.
Did You Know? After Fantasyland’s expansion and renovation in 2011, Disney expanded the Dumbo ride adding an entirely new set of Dumbo cars. These two sets of cars rotate in different direction. Also, they added an interactive, indoor queue themed around the movie’s Bigtop. Once inside, guests get pagers and wait indoors where kids can play while they wait their turn to ride.
4. It’s a Small World — Another MK opening day ride, Take a music-filled jaunt around the world. This attraction is also a modified version of the original Disneyland attraction.
5. Peter Pan — Fly through the air over London and Neverland on this MK classic! Another opening day original, like many of the other rides, it is based on the Disneyland ride of the same name.
Did You Know? MK’s Peter Pan ride audio and sound effects from the original Disneyland version.
6. Haunted Mansion — This modified version of the DL version, it is also an MK opening day original and a must-do for the classic Magic Kingdom experience.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean — Although not an opening day original (it opened on December 15, 1973), this ride is based on the Disneyland ride of the same name. Definitely a Magic Kingdom classic!
8. Space Mountain — Unlike some of these other classic MK rides, Space Mountain is a Walt Disney World original. First opened in the Tomorrowland section on January 15, 1975, Space Mountain is also the Sunshine State’s oldest operating roller coaster. What’s more, the iconic attraction has been replicated at most of Disney’s other parks around the world.
9. The Walt Disney World Railroad — Tired of walking? Hop on the train! Usually the lines are fairly short for the train and you can ride as long as you want and get off at one of several stops around MK. NOTE: Sadly, WDWRR closed temporarily on December 3, 2018, due to construction on a new Tron ride. However, you can see the train at the Main Street Station. The WDWRR is expected to open sometime in late 2019.
Did You Know? The first attraction to be completed at Magic Kingdom was The Walt Disney World Railroad
10. Dole Whip — Introduced in 1986, Dole created this frozen pineapple-flavored, soft-serve treat specifically for Disney parks. Why should you get one of these treat? Because they’re only available at Disney parks!
11. Get a Photo With Mickey — Just like you can’t visit the Magic Kingdom without the obligatory Cinderella’s Castle photo, you HAVE TO get your picture taken with classic Mickey Mouse. And even though you can get photos with Mickey at Disney’s three other parks, the MK classic Mickey is the must-have!
12. Hall of Presidents — Built to resemble Philadelphia's Independence Hall, this classic attraction houses animatronic likenesses of every U.S. President. Also an MK opening day original.
Did You Know? When the Magic Kingdom opened its gates on October 1, 1971, it opened with 23 attractions. 20 of these were modified versions of existing Disneyland attractions. However, three were unique to the MK. Like Disneyland, the MK attractions were divided between six themed sections - Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland. And Liberty Square.
13. Jungle Cruise — Another MK opening day-original, you can take a fun-filled cruise down a jungle river and catch sight of tigers, elephants, and other animatronic wildlife! Even though it is based on the DL version, this ride offers a completely different experience than the California attraction.
14. The Monorail/ Contemporary Resort — No visit to Walt Disney World is complete without a monorail ride. Not only should you ride the monorail, but you need to ride it to Contemporary Resort. Why? The monorail goes THROUGH the Contemporary Tower, the Contemporary Resort’s main building. Also, if you’re looking for a meal, you can dine at Chef Mickey’s family buffet located in the lobby. At this character meal, most of Disney’s classic characters circulate through the dining room giving you plenty of opportunities for photos with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy!
Did You Know? Disney's Contemporary Resort is one of two resorts which also opened their doors on opening day in 1971. The other resort? Disney's Polynesian Village.
15. Fireworks — No visit to Walt Disney World is complete without seeing at least one fireworks display. At the end of a long day (or a couple of days) of exploring the MK, stay for the fireworks. You won’t be disappointed!
Plan Your Own Classic Magic Kingdom Experience
Whether you’re looking to ride the original attractions, meet the classic characters, or simply soak in the magic at the fireworks show, these 15 must-dos will give you a Classic Magic Kingdom Experience!
Contact us today to book you’re first (or your next) visit to the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World!
Jo is a travel planner who loves all things Disney! She also has food sensitivities and lots of experience with special diets while traveling.
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