If you go to just one park while you’re in Walt Disney World (though we’re not sure why you would!), it should be the Magic Kingdom. If you’re looking for iconic Disney landmarks and attractions, from Cinderella Castle to Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll find them here! But first-time visitors to the Magic Kingdom can find the park overwhelming. So we’ve created a guide to help you enjoy your day here, whether you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, or are a returning guest!
The Magic Kingdom consists of six different themed lands, beginning with Main Street USA, and radiating out in spokes from the Castle.
- Main Street USA is the first thing you’ll see when you enter the Magic Kingdom. It’s full of shops selling all the merchandise you can imagine, plus some delectable sweets, but the main point of Main Street USA is that it leads you to the focal point of the park – Cinderella Castle.
- In Tomorrowland, guests enter the futuristic world of tomorrow. Here, you’ll find attractions based on space, plus a few fun surprises! For your futuristic fill, check out rides like Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and Tomorrowland Speedway.
- Our favorite land is Fantasyland, where you’ll find many classic Disney attractions and characters, including Gaston, Ariel and the Beast. We love Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
- Enter the Old West in Frontierland, and mosey on down to attractions like Big Thunder Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree, Tom Sawyer Island, and Splash Mountain.
- Liberty Square is a small area, but packs a punch with the popular Haunted Mansion. You can also find the Hall of Presidents here, or hop on board the Liberty Square Riverboat.
- Finally, you can choose your own adventure in Adventureland! Don’t miss the classic attractions Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise, or step inside the Enchanted Tiki Room to take a glimpse at the audio-animatronics that made so many Disney rides possible. We also love the Swiss Family Treehouse for a quirky break from rides!
The Magic Kingdom is only park that does not have a tier system in place, meaning you can choose any of the rides in this park for your FastPasses+! Of course, this really makes your selection more difficult, as there are more options open to you. Still, there are some rides for which you can regularly expect long lines, and others you will rarely wait long at all for.
Peter Pan’s Flight develops long lines throughout the day, as it appeals to every demographic, so this is always a great use of a FastPass+. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is also a good FastPass+ option, as are Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain (especially in warm weather!) You’ll rarely, if ever, need a FastPass+ for It’s a Small World, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tomorrowland Speedway, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, or Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.
There are plenty of delicious dining options throughout the Magic Kingdom, so wherever your day takes you, you’ll never be far from fantastic food! But there are several eateries that deserve special mention.
If you’re looking for a snack, you’ll want to try the most popular treat in the Magic Kingdom, if not on Walt Disney World property: the Dole Whip. It’s a dairy-free soft-serve dessert, available in pineapple, orange and vanilla – and you can also get it combined with pineapple juice as a float. You’ll find it at Aloha Isle in Adventureland.
For quick-service meals, many guests head to Casey’s Corner on Main Street USA, for their tantalizing hotdogs. If you’re in Frontierland and looking for a quick bite, head to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe for some Old West-style grub, with lots of options for little ones.
Table service meals at the Magic Kingdom are where the fun really starts! Try as hard as you can to snag a reservation at the popular Be Our Guest Restaurant (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner) – the exceptional setting and food here makes this our top dining choice in the park! The Crystal Palace is another hit, if you’re looking for a buffet with table-side character visits from your favorite Winnie the Pooh characters. We also recommend the wildly imaginative Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, based on the classic Jungle Cruise attraction, for those wanting to add a little adventure to their meal!
More Magic Kingdom Moments
No matter what your day in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom involves, you’ll want to stick around for the daily Happily Ever After evening show. It’s a spectacular laser, light and projection show that involves characters from all of your favorite Disney shows, and refrains from many hit Disney songs. And if you want to add even more fun to your Disney day, try a specially ticketed event (we recommend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is also a great event!) – there’s no better way to make your vacation memorable!