Since I have been visiting Walt Disney World since 1972, one of the things I love to do is take people who have never been and make sure they see the most important things. Our family has created a somewhat fluid list over the years of what you must do on your first visit to each of the Walt Disney World Parks in Florida. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing those lists with you. I hope you find them helpful. Today we start with the Magic Kingdom.
10. Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo is a classic family ride that has been in the Magic Kingdom since opening day. Recently Dumbo moved from Fantasyland to the Storybook Circus area of the park. There are now two Dumbo rides side-by-side and a circus themed play area for kids to play in while they wait their turn to ride.
9. Character Meet and Greets
Whether you want to meet your favorite princess, pixie, mouse or space ranger the character meet and greets at the Magic Kingdom are not to be missed. While there are chances to meet Disney characters all over the Magic Kingdom, check your guide map and times guide for times and locations, two places use Fastpass+ to make your experience even more magical. At Princess Fairytale Hall you can meet Anna & Elsa or Cinderella & Rapunzel and at the Town Square Theater you can meet Mickey Mouse or Tinker Bell. I recommend getting a Fastpass well in advance of your visit if you wish to meet any of these popular characters.
8. Space Mountain
If you are 44″ or taller and want to zoom through the galaxy, then Space Mountain is the ride for you. This classic Disney attraction, and oldest roller coaster in Florida has been a favorite in the Magic Kingdom since the ride opened in January of 1975.
7. Festival of Fantasy Parade
We are huge fans of Disney parades and the Festival of Fantasy parade is now my 2nd favorite Disney parade ever! This parade debuted on March 9, 2014 to rave reviews. The magnitude of the floats, the wonderful music and the multitudes of Disney characters in this parade is mesmerizing. Add to that the signature steampunk fire-breathing dragon and Disney has significantly raised the bar for theme park parades! The parade usually steps off in Frontierland at 3pm daily but check your times guide or My Disney Experience App for the specific day and time of your visit. You will want to find your spot for the parade at least 30 minutes in advance so plan your day accordingly.
6. The Jungle Cruise
Maybe my family is just crazy but no visit to the Magic Kingdom is complete with out a trip on The Jungle Cruise. The corny jokes, fun skippers and animatronic animals make this ride a quirky piece of Disney fun.
5. Dole Whip
It is my belief that everyone must try a Dole Whip at least once. Personally, I am a purist and I prefer the classic Dole Whip but many people enjoy the Dole Whip Float better. Whichever you choose, try this pineapple treat-it is a Disney rite of passage-and a great way to cool off on a hot Florida day. Dole Whip is available at Aloha Isle in Adventureland.
4. Main Street Electrical Parade
This is my favorite Disney Parade of all time. I really doubt anything will ever top this combination of lights, music and Disney characters. The current version of this parade has been entertaining guests most nights since June 5, 2010. I was honored to be at the premiere of this parade as part of Summernightastic.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
This classic Disney ride opened December 15, 1973. It is a must-do for everyone in your traveling party. See if you can find all 3 Jack Sparrows as you wind your way through the world of pirates. Remember-dead Men Tell No Tales…
2. It’s a Small World
Yes, the song might get stuck in your head but if you have traveled all the way to Florida and don’t ride this classic ride, you have wasted your money. “The happiest cruise that ever sailed” had its beginnings at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair and was an opening day attraction at The Magic Kingdom. While there are almost 300 dolls in this attraction, only 2 are from North America. Can you find them?
The only way to end your day at The Magic Kingdom is by watching the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. More than a fireworks display, Wishes is a heart tugging trip though fond Disney memories. Wishes has been delighting guests since 2003! Wishes takes place most evenings in the Magic Kingdom, check your times guide or My Disney Experience App for more information.
Did I miss anything? What would you include? Please let’s talk about this in the comments! Are you ready to plan your trip to Walt Disney World? Email Me, my planning services are free to you!