The Magic Kingdom is arguably the most popular Disney World theme park, but how much do you know about it? Are you aware of all the tips and strategies that can help enhance your experience at the park?
Well, if not, then this is the article for you, as we’re going to provide you with tips, tricks, and wise planning tips to help you get the most out of your Disney World vacation.
Make “Rope Drop”
For those planning their very first trip to Walt Disney World, attending “rope drop” means arriving for the park opening. There are many benefits to setting the alarm early to get to the parks when the open, if you are going to “rope drop” any of the parks, definitely make it Magic Kingdom!
Along with a wonderful welcome show shown every morning in front of the castle featuring classic Disney characters, guests who make it to the park for opening enjoy very short wait times for popular attractions whose queues will grow to an hour or more as the day progresses.
While many guests will choose to make a beeline for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Rope Drop, I recommend securing a FastPass for this ride later in the day. It is possible to get on three to four rides following rope drop in the time it would take to ride the Mine Train once.
Start out in Fantasyland with Peter Pan’s Flight, followed by Winnie The Pooh, and Under The Sea with Little Mermaid. Next, head over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain.
Stroll over to Adventureland for Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise, and finish off the morning in Tomorrowland with Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain. It is possible to ride all of these major attractions by early afternoon with an early start.
If it is a heavy crowd day, Space Mountain may have a moderate wait time by this point, but it will still be shorter than it will be during peak park hours in the afternoon.
Some other great attractions with low wait times during the first few hours of park opening are Dumbo The Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, and the Barnstormer.
As crowds begin to pour into the park during the early afternoon hours, take a relaxing break from the rising temperature for a delicious lunch, avoiding endless queue lines and making the most of your Walt Disney World Vacation.
Enjoy Main Street
Take a seat next to the Goofy statue sitting outside of Tony’s Townsquare Restaurant. If you listen very closely, you may hear him talking to you! While this is rare, it has been known to happen on occasion.
Harmony Barbershop specializes in children’s first haircuts, if your family includes young children this is an amazing opportunity for fantastic pictures! Stylists will even ask if children would like some “pixie dust” to be sprinkled on their hair.
Look around for the twelve American flags displayed along Main Street, take a closer peek at their stars to realize none of these flags have 50 stars! This is because of a law mandating all American flags be taken in during inclement weather. To get around this, Disney uses less than 50 stars so that they don’t count as a “real” American Flag. The one flag that is real, of course, flies in front of Tony’s Town Square restaurant. That flag gets a brief Flag Retreat Ceremony each evening as it comes down.
The names displayed on the shop fronts and building windows are actual people who were either close to the Disney family, or who made significant contributions to the Walt Disney company.
One of my personal favorites is John Louis Cantone, the Locksmith featured above the Mad Hatter. Cantone is named as a Locksmith because during the time Walt Disney World was being built, he was the manager of maintaining the actual keys to Magic Kingdom’s gates.
Look Out for Hidden Mickeys
For families planning their first trip, “Hidden Mickeys” are small Mickey Mouse designs that are hidden everywhere in Walt Disney World. Look closely anywhere from the walkway, to the walls, to attraction entrance and exit signs, to decorations, to props used on trides and you may find a fun surprise!
Some Mickeys are very easy to spot, while others are so discretely incorporated into designs you would never notice if you weren’t looking for them!
Walt Disney World Veterans love searching for new difficult to find Hidden Mickeys. Here are some great Magic Kingdom Hidden Mickeys to get started:
Briar Patch on Splash Mountain
After plummeting down the final drop and into the Briar Patch on Splash Mountain, the logs enter the final scene of the ride, a celebration of Braer Rabbit’s return home. Look up at the clouds above the large golden boat featuring singing chickens, you will spot a Hidden Mickey lounging in the sky.
As you approach Cinderella’s Castle, stop by Walt Disney’s Partner’s statue. Take a close look at Walt’s ring to spot a Hidden Mickey!
Haunted Mansion Graveyard Scene
Get ready when your doom buggy enters the Graveyard Party scene on the Haunted Mansion, towards the end of the ride. As doom buggies approach the archway leading out of this scene, look to the right of the doom buggy for a crypt with a floating Grim Reaper above it. In the Grim Reaper’s hand will be a Hidden Mickey!
Jungle Room on It’s A Small World
While floating through the Jungle themed room on It’s A Small World, look closely at the large purple vines hanging on either side of the doorway leading out of the ride, their leaves are shaped like huge classic Hidden Mickeys!
Enjoy Meals During Off Peak Times
Eating meals slightly earlier or later than normal will greatly improve the experience, especially during heavy crowd days at Magic Kingdom. Lines at popular quick service restaurants grow quickly during peak hours like 12:00pm-1:00pm for lunch and 5:00pm-7:00pm for dinner. Scheduling meals outside of these times will make for a quicker, more relaxing dining experience.
The iconic Prince Charming Regal Carousel located behind the castle in Fantasyland is a classic attraction that guests flock to for fun, nostalgia, and beautiful photos.
Many guests do not know that located on this carousel is Cinderella’s horse from the classic Disney film. Look out for a horse with a Golden Ribbon on his tail. His name is Major, he was gifted to Cinderella by her late father for her birthday. This makes for a wonderful photo opportunity!
Swiss Family Treehouse Photos
Spend some time exploring the Swiss Family Treehouse attraction for some beautiful, unique photos of Cinderella’s Castle. Near the top of the attraction, the castle will reveal itself through a break in the greenery. Photos taken from this angle are truly spectacular.
Historical Magic in Liberty Square
An ode to Colonial America, Liberty Square holds an abundance of references to this time period.. History buffs will love these hidden nods to some of the most important moments of American history.
A Progression of Time and Geography
Starting with The Haunted Mansion, continuing through Liberty Square to Frontierland, guests move simultaneously across America through time and geography.
Beginning at an early 1700s Victorian Mansion commonly found along the Hudson River in New York, and moving through Liberty Square modeled after classic 1800s era New England towns.
Look closely at the numbers on the buildings in Liberty Square, put an 18 in front of each of these numbers to discover the decade each building is modeled after.
Moving out of Libery Square and over to Frontierland, guests are taken across the Oregon Trail, through Middle America and into the Wild, Wild West when they reach Frontierland!
Liberty Square Shutters
During the Revolutionary War, there was no metal shipped to America from England. Due to a shortage in ammunition, Americans took the metal off of their shutters to use for this purpose, and rehung their shutters using leather straps.
Shutters hung this way do not hang straight. Look up at the shutters in Liberty Square, none of them will be hanging straight. Now you know why!
Look closely at the ground
Take a peek at the pavement on the outside portions of Liberty Square to spot a brown streak running across the ground. This is meant to mimic the lack of indoor plumbing during the Revolutionary time period. Gross, I know.
The Hall Of Presidents is recognized by the government as a Federal Museum. Along with the large number of wonderful Presidential Artifacts that can be found inside this attraction is a Presidential Seal. Other than the White House, the only other place in the world an official Presidential Seal can be found is here.
The Liberty Tree
Look closely at the Lanterns on the large oak Liberty Tree. There are thirteen of them, symbolizing the original thirteen American Colonies.
Columbia Harbour House
This restaurant symbolizes and actual Harbor located on the East Coast of America. One side, which is technically in Fantasyland, is modeled after Europe. As guests move through to the other side of the restaurant located in Liberty Square, the decor transforms to match 1700s America.
Cinderella’s Statue in Fantasyland
Stop by the fountain statue of Cinderella located behind the castle. If you bow in front of the statue, the crown featured in the artwork behind her will appear to move to the top of her head, crowning Cinderella as princess. Small children do not have to bow, they will always see the crown on top of her head, signifying that sometimes the innocence of childhood can reveal the truth of situations.
The Haunted Mansion Queue Line
The queue line for the Haunted Mansion is filled with fun easter eggs for guests to discover. For starters, if the wait time for this attraction says 13 minutes, there is actually no wait at all.
Keep your eyes peeled for the headstone of a deceased musician, on the side of his tombstone will be engraved musical instruments. Try tapping on the organ for a surprise!
Next up look out for Captain Clyne’s grave, try touching this one, but beware! On the other side of his grave embedded in the pavement is a wedding ring. There are many theories surrounding the origin of this ring.
As you pass by the crypt of the poetess, try pushing on the books that surround her grave, a few of them may surprise you as they pop in and out of their stone shelves!
Just before entering into the stretching room, lookout for the tombstone of Madam Leota. Watch her face for a while to see her eyes open and look around quickly before shutting again. Spooky!
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Among the more well known secrets of Disney World, guests who are able to achieve a high score of 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland will receive a free Galactic Hero button. There are many hidden targets guests can hit to score mega points on the ride, check out these tips for some of the most popular.
Take a close look at your ride vehicle while you are spinning around in space for a bonus Hidden Mickey!
The “Kiss” Goodnight at Cinderella’s Castle
If your family stays until park closing time at Magic Kingdom, avoid the mad rush to resort buses and linger around Main Street USA for a little while longer for a special surprise.
About a half hour after the park has officially closed, the castle will light up, and “When You Wish Upon A Star” begins to play. Listen in for a speech given by Roy Disney on the original opening day of Magic Kingdom.
Finally, Mickey’s voice comes through the music to say “So long everybody, See Ya Real Soon!” as the castle sparkles and the music comes to an end, giving guests a final “kiss” goodnight before going dark
This magical, heartwarming experience will be one families remember forever. Disney Tourist Blog marks this show as a “must do” for Disney lovers.
The level of detail found in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is truly spectacular, and unmatched by any other theme park in the world. No matter how many times a guest visits Magic Kingdom, there is always something new and magical to discover.
I encourage everyone to seek out their own magical Disney World secrets here, I don’t think anyone has found them all yet!
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