for fellow travellers

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Magic Kingdom, the doors open automagically

Map of Magic Kingdom
It has often been said that the true essence of Disney magic can be experienced simply by stepping foot inside the Magic Kingdom. Opened in 1971, the venerable theme park has withstood more than three decades of changing cultures, a constantly shifting social climate, and an explosion of technology that has left lesser places outdated and obsolete. Yet, somehow, the Magic Kingdom continues to remain the undisputed king of Theme Parks, drawing more yearly visitors than any other.

How the Magic Kingdom has managed to maintain its charm and appeal over the years is a lesson in simplicity. It has stayed true to its original vision, a place where families could gather in a clean and safe environment to enjoy the time they spend together. No trip to Disney World is complete without visiting the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom is divided into five distinct areas (lands), arranged in a spoke-like formation, all meeting at the top of Main Street USA right in front of Cinderella Castle. The five lands consist of Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland. Each land is themed to its appropriate title.
My daughter did not believe that she was in Disneyland till we came in full view of Cinderella's castle.

On the net there are several guides which can help you plan your day in this theme park and others for e.g.
TourGuideMike's online itinerary planner, Fodor's guide

An example would be:

Arrive at the parking lot 45 minutes before scheduled opening, and once in the park, dash left, or hop the Walt Disney World Railroad, to Frontierland, where you can claim an early Fastpass time for Splash Mountain. After you've received your ticket, head over for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, then ride Pirates of the Caribbean. By now, your Fastpass ticket should be valid to ride Splash Mountain. Next head over to Liberty Square and get a Fastpass for the Haunted Mansion. See the Country Bear Jamboree show or ride it's a small world until your time to visit the mansion is up. When you're finished, sprint over to Tomorrowland and pick up your next Fastpass, this time for Space Mountain or Stitch's Great Escape. Try to time this so that you can have some lunch and then see Cinderellabration at the castle. If you have longer to wait, head to the Timekeeper or the Carousel of Progress if they're operating. By now, it'll be time for you to experience Space Mountain or Stitch. Afterward, pick up a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Then ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority or squeeze in any attractions above that you may have missed.

If you haven't seen the 3 PM parade on previous visits, start looking for a viewing spot at 2:30 (many begin even earlier). Once you settle on a curb, send a member of your group to pick up the next set of Fastpass tickets for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. If the crowds aren't too thick, the second floor of the train station makes a really nice parade viewing spot. After the parade, hop the train to Mickey's Toontown Fair and pose by the colorful house fronts for some fun photos. From there, stroll into Fantasyland for your Fastpass appointment with Pooh. Afterward, get your Fastpass appointment for Mickey's PhilharMagic or Peter Pan's Flight. While you wait, take a spin on Cinderella's Golden Carrousel and check out the Cinderella Castle mosaics.

You probably have time to get dinner and return to your hotel for a couple hours' rest before the SpectroMagic parade and Wishes fireworks show. If you watch the fireworks from Town Square, you can be ready to grab a monorail seat back to the parking lot as soon as it ends. On the other hand, if you want to ride Splash Mountain or Space Mountain again, lines will be short now, and you can see the fireworks from pretty much anywhere in the park.

Most spectacular of all Disney's parks are the parades and fireworks displayed at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Most notably, the current combo of the "Wishes" fireworks show, and the perennial nighttime favorite, Spectromagic.
(For this post I have borrowed heavily from DIS)

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