Escape to Magic Kingdom
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
If you have never been to Magic Kingdom but have always wondered what it’s like, just imagine a giant hub-and-spoke formation, with the entrance on one spoke, the castle as the hub, and the other lands on the remaining spokes. The center of course is Cinderella's Castle, but the spokes include Main Street, USA, Advertureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. I’ve grabbed a screenshot from the Disney World website so you can sort of get a layout of the park:
Total, Magic Kingdom covers 107 acres. This is probably why I averaged 12 miles a day on my Apple Watch during our trip! It’s LOTS of walking, but it’s well worth it.
Getting to Magic Kingdom
So this is not something I expected when we went to Magic Kingdom for the first time. Magic Kingdom is not a place you just walk up to (ie. Disneyland). Magic Kingdom is on the far side of some giant lake. To get to the park, you park in the parking lot, take a tram or walk all the way to this transportation station, then you either take the monorail or a ferryboat to the actual entrance to the park. So basically, you travel at least 25 minutes from your car before you actually get to the entrance. It is the most annoying thing in the world.
But what’s even worse is when you’re ready to leave at night! Because as the park closes, tens of thousands of people all have to cram into the ferry boats or the monorail to get back to the parking lot. In all honestly, leaving Magic Kingdom is a shit show. And when your legs are that tired… it just sucks. Seriously though, the pic below was taken right as the park closed on a MONDAY! All those people were heading to the ferryboats...
But on a positive note… When you’re riding on that ferry to the park and you get that first glimpse of Cinderella’s castle off in the distance, ahh, it's totally magical.
Magic Kingdom vs. Disneyland
I truly could dedicate an entire post to calling out the differences between Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. But instead I would like to just point out a few.
1. Size. Like I said, Magic Kingdom is 107 acres, whereas Disneyland is only 85 acres. Magic Kingdom does not have Toon Town, but it does have a really, really large Fantasyland.
2. Fantasyland. Fantasyland was remodeled a few years ago to include New Fantasyland, which includes Beast’s Castle and Prince Eric’s Castle. Both of which are gorgeous and perfect backdrops for photos. They also have an extended carnival fantasy section that has two Dumbo Rides (with the coolest line queue I’ve ever seen). The pictures below were taken around Beast's Castle and inside Gaston's Tavern!
3. Interactive Line Queues. Now this absolutely blows my mind, and it’s truly genius. Because Disney World is so much larger than the Disneyland Resort, the number of visitors each year is of course, way more. This means their lines are too, way longer. A cast member told me that the line queue for Soarin’ is over a mile long… ew. BUT!
To keep guests distracted from these awful long lines, Disney has created interactive line queues. The lines have games, entertainment, and just cool things to look at that really impressed me. This is stuff you’ve never seen at Disneyland. Like I briefly just said, the Dumbo line, holy cow, they hand out those little vibrating things just like the restaurants and have an entire play place for children inside a circus tent (like old play places at fast food joints). Children can play in an entire playground while parents sit at comfortable couches while waiting for their turn to ride the ride. Genius. But my most favorite was the collect the jewel game at the Dwarves Mine Train ride. Too fun! I grabbed this shot of the interactive Peter Pan ride, it was super cute. You can't tell, but they had Tinkerbell flying in and around this scene!
Magic Kingdom Rides
Now a majority of the rides at Magic Kingdom are the same, with very few minor changes. They have the Disneyland classics such as Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Teacups, and many more. But there are just slight changes. For example, Splash Mountain is a two seater per row instead of single, and similar Space Mountain is set up like the Matterhorn.
Major differences I noticed was Pirates and Jungle Cruise. On Jungle Cruise, you go into this crazy temple, it’s so cool! The Tom Sawyer's Island is more fun, too. With an actual area where you can climb into the Fort.
Magic Kingdom does have one magical ride that Disneyland needs to get ASAP. The Seven Dwarves Mine Train is THE COOLEST RIDE EVER. Not only is it a classic animatronic Disney ride, but it’s also a fast curvy rollercoaster, THAT SWINGS. Yup, the little mine carts you sit in actually rock side-to-side. So when you take a turn, you swing! It’s seriously the coolest. But because it’s so cool, the wait is NEVER shorter than 75 minutes. We were lucky enough to score fastpasses and rode it 4 times throughout the week. It’s my most favorite Disney ride now.
Cinderella’s Castle is just gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful details, and it’s tall. At 189 feet, it just towers over the park in a way that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle just doesn’t. I can’t even tell you how many pictures we took in front of that castle. I adore it!! Here are just a few!
There’s actually a restaurant inside the castle, which we did not end up going to. But you can see into the restaurant from the backside and it looks beautiful. Look at the details of this mural of the Cinderella Story that was on the inside of the castle.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a really cool park. I really appreciated how it mimicked Disneyland, but still had it’s own unique aspects. And more than anything, I loved knowing that it was the park Walt Disney truly dreamed of creating. But since I do feel it’s important to stay honest, Disneyland is still better!
Be sure to check out all my other posts about Disney World!
Distance: 2,750 miles
Driving Time: 1 day, 16 hours