The Magic Kingdom is where it all began in Central Florida. Cinderella Castle is not only the park’s icon, it is also beautiful. Few guests forget their first glimpse of the Castle. The Magic Kingdom has plenty of rides, attractions, shows, and restaurants, and it is next to impossible to do it all. Here are ten things that you might not yet have experienced at the Magic Kingdom.
10. Pete’s Silly Sideshow
In the Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland lies what is somewhat of a hidden gem. Pete’s Silly Sideshow is located next to Big Top Souvenirs, and many people don’t give it a second glance. It’s too bad, because inside is a great meet and greet area featuring Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and Daisy, all dressed up as circus performers. If you want pictures with all four you’ll need to get in line twice because it’s two characters per line; Goofy and Donald in one and Minnie and Daisy in the other. The good news is that the lines are usually manageable and you will wait in air conditioned comfort. FastPass+ is not offered, but since most guests do not venture that far back in the park you really don’t need it.
9. Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial
You may have walked by this show on your way to Pirates of the Caribbean, but have you ever stopped to watch? Next time you’re at the park, stop and see what it’s all about. The show lasts about 25 minutes, and young volunteers will be picked from the crowd. It’s a lot of fun, and the kids have a great time. Remember that it is an outdoor show, so it may be canceled if the weather dictates.
8. Casey’s Corner Pianist
Main Street, U.S.A.
Everyone knows that Casey’s Corner features a pianist, but how many people include watching him in their plans? You don’t have to order a hot dog to enjoy the show, all you need to do is to check your Times Guide and show up. You’ll hear songs of yesteryear and maybe a few bad jokes. You’ll feel like you have traveled back in time, and the 20 minute show will remind you of what Main Street, U.S.A is all about.
7. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Main Street, U.S.A.
Who wouldn’t want to learn magic and save the Magic Kingdom at the same time? That’s exactly what you can do with Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Hades wants to take over the park, and he’s enlisted the aid of some Disney villains. Merlin the Magician wants your help to defeat him. You’ll become an apprentice sorcerer, and use Merlin’s map to fight the forces of evil. You will check in at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., but your adventure will take you through other lands in the park. It’s a lot of fun for adults as well as children.
6. Fireworks Dessert Party
Delectable desserts and a fantastic view of one of the best fireworks displays and projection shows on the planet, what’s not to love? An hour before the fireworks head to Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant, where you will enjoy chocolate mousse, cupcakes, fruit, cheese, ice cream, sparkling cider, and more. You will then have a prime spot from which to enjoy the fireworks. The Fireworks Dessert Party during Happily Ever After is not held every night, and reservations are highly recommended. Make them as early as you can, because it will sell out.
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5. Mickey’s Parties
Two seasons a year the Magic Kingdom closes early on select nights for separate ticketed events that are a lot of fun. In September and October it is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Once that is over the park is transformed into a winter wonderland for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. You need to experience both of them. There are special parades, characters, shows, seasonal fireworks, and more. At the Halloween Party there is trick or treating, with plenty of complimentary candy. The Christmas Party includes cookies and hot cocoa in the price. The number of tickets is limited, meaning you will be able to hit your favorite attractions with shorter than normal lines. Some evenings will sell out, so order your tickets early.
Even if meeting characters is not at the top of your list, you need to stop by Gaston’s Tavern in the Enchanted Forest section of New Fantasyland. Enjoy a Warm Cinnamon Roll and some LeFou’s Brew, and then head outside. If you’re lucky, the big guy himself will be by the fountain that features his likeness, interacting with guests. He’s as full of himself in person as he is in the movie! Be prepared to laugh, especially if there are some little ones around who do not quite agree with everything that he has to say.
3. Kiss the Goodnight
Main Street, U.S.A.
Kiss the Goodnight (also known as Kiss Goodnight) is something that many fans do not realize takes place. Why hurry out of the park at the end of the night? Approximately 30 minutes after the park closes When You Wish Upon a Star will play, and the lights on Cinderella Castle will start to twinkle. Guests are thanked by a narrator and Mickey for spending the day there, and told to have a safe trip home. It’s a magical (and polite) way to remind guests that it’s time to leave. The show lasts approximately three minutes and is held most nights.
2. Tours Galore!
If you want to know more about the magic at the Magic Kingdom, take a behind the scenes tour! There are several to choose from, and they are all special. You can learn about steam trains, find out more about the man who started it all, or play detective with the whole family. To learn as much about the park as possible, sign up for Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour. It’s a five hour walking tour that will allow you to see many places that are off limits to most guests. For more information or to make reservations, call 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).
1. Flag Retreat
Main Street, U.S.A.
The Flag Retreat is something that every Walt Disney World fan needs to experience at least once. Each day around 5:00pm, the American flag in the town square is retired for the night. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited, and The Star Spangled Banner is played while the flag is lowered. A color guard folds the flag as God Bless America is sung. The flag is handed to a veteran, who had previously been asked to assist in the ceremony. There is then a procession down Main Street, U.S.A. The short ceremony is a beautiful tribute to those who have made countless sacrifices for freedom.