Within the Magic Kingdom, there are so many things to try that it’s difficult to fit it all in one day. There are the iconic attractions and rides as well as shows to see and lots of delicious food and snacks to eat. Some of the items on this list are well known fan favorites, while others might be missed by first-time guests. Regardless of whether you’re an annual pass holder or you are looking to experience the magic for the first time, here are 10 things to see, do, explore and eat in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom:
10. Explore Cinderella Castle
Once you pass through the gates of the Magic Kingdom, you begin your journey heading down Main Street U.S.A. At the other end of Main Street, the iconic Cinderella’s Castle dominates the skyline. Over the years, the castle courtyard has expanded and now encompasses additional regal turrets and gardens.
Walking straight through the castle, make sure you take some time to explore the incredible mosaics in the castle archway. On your way past the castle, be sure to stop at Cinderella’s Wishing Well on the pathway from behind the castle to Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland.
9. See the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show
Every morning, before the park officially opens, characters come to the Castle Forecourt Stage, and help guests get ready for the magical day that awaits them. (though this time varies depending on how many guests are waiting outside). Watch “Let the Magic Begin” and then let the magic begin!
8. Eat a Cinnamon Roll
There are lots of signature snacks in Disney World and a number of them should be on your list of things to try. If you haven’t tried the Cinnamon Rolls at Gaston’s Tavern, make sure you do. The cinnamon roll is so massive that you may need a knife and fork to eat it. It’s moist, fresh and covered in icing, which makes it the perfect mid-morning snack or afternoon treat.
7. Relax on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
Whether it’s in the middle of the day or in the dark of the evening, the Peoplemover has always been a great ride to rest and relax on. The gentle ride takes you on a tour of Tomorrowland, providing information on all the attractions you pass and giving you an inside view of some of the attractions as well. Your 10-minute journey is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy the view.
6. Eat a Dole Whip
Another signature snack on our list, the Dole Whip is one of the icons of Disney World. Fans of Dole Whips make sure it is on their must-do list almost every time they visit the park. Pineapple soft serve is the perfect treat on a hot Florida day. If you haven’t tried a Dole Whip Float, which is pineapple soft serve over pineapple juice, make sure you get one the next time you visit – you definitely won’t regret it and you may find you become a lifelong fan as well.
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5. Explore Tom Sawyer Island
Tom Sawyer Island is in the heart of Frontierland, but it’s usually never too busy since you need to take a log raft across the Rivers of America. Inspired by the writings of Mark Twain, there is so much to explore on the island. From the waterwheel outside of Harper’s Mill to watch tower on Fort Langhorn, the paths around this island will always bring you somewhere exciting. While you’re there, explore the caves and escape tunnels or cross the barrel bridge in your journey. There’s always something fun to see on the island.
4. See the Festival of Fantasy Parade
The Festival of Fantasy is filled with magical floats and fan-favorite characters. The music drives the parade as each storied float glides by. The princess float starts the parade, followed by Rapunzel and Flynn, Ariel, Peter and Wendy and Merida. A steam-punk inspired Maleficent floats by as a fire-breathing dragon and the final float brings Mickey, Minnie and their friends to close the parade. It’s a visually stunning parade, with so much to see and experience.
3. Do get soaked on Splash Mountain
It’s almost a rite of passage for Disney fans to say they’ve ridden in the front of the logs on Splash Mountain and were first up to get soaked on the 50-foot plunge into the briar patch. If you’re worried about being damp all day, you can wear a light jacket or pack a dry shirt, but this is one experience not to be missed.
2. Dine with Royalty at Cinderella’s Royal Table or the Be Our Guest restaurant
Combining atmosphere, story, characters and fine dining, both of these restaurants are sure to leave you with lasting memories. Meeting a princess at Cinderella’s Royal Table and experiencing the vaulted ceilings, stone archways and large windows inside the castle make for the perfect setting for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The Be Our Guest restaurant is a similar experience with unbelievable detail put into the decor and a wonderful place to eat. While Be Our Guest is only counter-service for breakfast and lunch, they are still great ways to enjoy the atmosphere of Beast’s Castle. Dinner is a must-do for many guests as the experience of fine dining truly feels like you’ve been transported into the movie.
1. See the Evening Spectaculars
As your day in the Magic Kingdom draws to a close, Disney has incredible events for you to see and experience. Once Upon A Time takes over Cinderella Castle with projections on the castle displaying the legacy of Disney storytelling. Characters and animations cover the castle from top to bottom and bring a colorful spectacle to all the guests. With seasonal additions, Once Upon A Time may be different each time you visit, depending on the time of year.
Happily Ever After takes over the night! Tinker Bell flies from the top of the castle over the heads over the guests before the sky fills with fireworks over the castle. Happily Ever After is always special at the Magic Kingdom.
What are your favorite things to see, do, explore and eat at Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!