The internet is filled with lists and itineraries of what you should do at Disney Parks, including the itineraries we’ve created on this blog. Many of those plans mirror each other to a degree but it can still be overwhelming to have so many factors pulling in different directions. On top of that, most itineraries pack a park day to the brim when there are many other, more relaxing ways to enjoy a day at a Disney Park. With that in mind, we’re starting a new series on the blog called Top Five. I’ll be going through each of the U.S. and Tokyo Disney Park’s and giving my top five things to do at each park. Essentially, this series is a don’t miss this guide.
We started this series in Disneyland and now are moving across the country to Magic Kingdom. Instead of doing this series resort by resort, I decided to go through the parks chronologically instead. Magic Kingdom is a castle park just like Disneyland but the lists don’t share any similarities.
My top five for all of these posts can consist of attractions, shows, dining, or anything else I think of (it will mainly be in those first three categories). The main caveat is that these top five lists have to consist of tangible things to go and do. We certainly advocate wandering around these parks, enjoying the architecture, design and detail. That is truly one of my favorite things to do in theme parks, it’s just not what we’re going for in this series. Of course, if you read the first post in the series then you know I’ll happily bend the rules to fit my picks! Along with all of this, I’m going to do my best to stay away from just naming five attractions.
Magic Kingdom doesn’t quite keep up with Disneyland from an attraction numbers standpoint but it’s no slouch. The park also has a strong slate of entertainment options. Where Magic Kingdom is somewhat lacking is in the dining department, although we have a couple of brief mentions of it below. This Top Five was relatively tough as the park offers a ton of things I like but don’t love. The list could just as easily been 10 or 15 instead of 5. But, that’s not the game! So let’s get to Magic Kingdom’s Top Five.
Magic Kingdom’s turns in the west coast’s campy version of Haunted Mansion and builds on that world with intricate scenes and exceptional characters. The attraction’s queue is interactive and the building’s facade fits in with the Liberty Square location. Once on the ride, there are memorable scenes galore. Some of my favorites include the staircase, ballroom, attic and graveyard scenes. While it’s not the most popular attraction in the park, Haunted Mansion could easily lay claim to being the best.
Happily Ever After, Main Street Magic & A Kiss Goodnight
Happily Ever After is Magic Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular that debuted in 2017. It replaced the beloved Wishes! but is superior thanks to fantastic technology. Fireworks and Disney castle parks are synonymous and this is one of the best that I’ve ever seen. The show is heartfelt, fun and not to be missed.
The fun on Main Street doesn’t stop there. A few less heralded things to enjoy in this area include The Plaza Restaurant some of the green areas in the hub to enjoy the parade, castle shows and just the view. Once the park is closing down, wait around this area to enjoy the Kiss Goodnight, a short and sweet projection show that bids guests farewell on the way out of the park.
Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland has a strong slate of attractions and for this must-do we’ll stick to a trio of rides – Space Mountain, Carousel of Progress and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Make no mistake, none of these attractions are flawless. Space Mountain will leave you pretty sore with a bumpy track but it’s too fun not to ride. Carousel of Progress is in desperate need of maintenance but tells a beautiful story and is a piece of Disney history. The PeopleMover has gone from underrated to slightly overrated in the last few years but if there’s no line then this is the most relaxing attraction in the park. All three of these attractions are historic and interesting, offering a little bit of everything to park goers.
Take in the Old West
Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland is one of the best lands the park boasts. Walking down the main drag with storefronts that look like old saloons on one side and the river on the other is a treat. Along that saloon side reside some bears who will sing you one of the best sets of music that your ears have ever heard. That might be selling the Country Bears a little high but the show is good, campy fun and a vestige to a previous era at Walt Disney World.
A little further down the road is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While it might not be the best version of Big Thunder out there, it does sit right on the water and is a ride full of laughs. Not only is the attraction great, but seeing it’s peak from the river is one of the best sights Magic Kingdom has to offer.
Like Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain improves upon Disneyland’s version with a fun track, great animatronics and clear storytelling. The ride doesn’t even get you quite as wet as the Disneyland version. A poncho might still be a smart way to go though. While there are plenty of attractions that just narrowly missed landing on the Top Five, Splash Mountain makes it because it’s the best version of a classic castle park attraction.
I’m tempted to try and sneak in another selection as not listing anything in Fantasyland, Jungle Cruise or the water in Frontierland feels blasphemous. But, rules are rules and here we are. There’s no shortage of great things to do in Magic Kingdom but hopefully these Top Five will get you started.
What would be in your Magic Kingdom Top Five? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our Disney World Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Top Fives
Haunted Mansion, FOF, Splash Mountain, Happily ever After and Journey of the Little Mermaid.
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