Magic Kingdom 2014 Picks and Tips

For those that don’t know much about Magic Kingdom, the best way to start describing it is that it’s bigger than Disneyland. And this is not just in the land size. For example, Main Street’s buildings are full size whereas Disneyland’s second stories only look full sized.


EPCOT 3Then there are the more blatant differences: a different variety of lands and the appearances of them. Not to mention the attractions. Magic Kingdom was built to be a better, more “efficient” Disneyland. Now whether or not it really is better is up to the guest.

One of the big differences, and newest element, of the Magic Kingdom is New Fantasyland. It was completed just May of this year, and it really ups the quality of the lands. This is an all encompassing themed area. There was a Fantasyland before this, but now it is expanded to what was formerly Mickey’s Toontown Fair, which was formerly Mickey’s Starland, which was formerly Mickey’s Birthdayland, which was formerly probably storage or something like that.

New Fantasyland is sort of divided up into three sections: the castle court, Fantasyland forest, and Storybook Circus. On a former trip I was able to see most of it, but the newest attractions, Princess Fantasy Faire and Seven Dwarves Mine Train, were not complete. Although I didn’t experience the princess meet and greet, I did ride the mine train a few times.
cinderella castle

Seven Dwarves Mine Train is my first pick, and the first attraction I went on at the park.  Seven Dwarves Mine Train is one of the most elaborate rides at the park. It combines roller coaster and dark ride and includes some pretty sophisticated audio-animatronics. The cars not only travel fast, but they swing at every turn. It may sound wild, but the experience is fun and smooth. It isn’t random, but follows the turn. What was especially enjoyable was the dark ride portion. The cars enter the mine where the seven dwarves are hard at work. These are not rendered in the old dark ride cutouts of before. They are fully three dimensional with projected faces. Having the projections seem like it would look off, but it looked like riders are entering into the classic movie! The end has some of the original Snow White ride figures, and a new witch figure that is fully articulated as well.

This was definitely a FastPass attraction. It has an interactive queue, but the hour average wait time was too much for me. Other than that, it is a splendid addition to the park. The mountain it is housed in creates a great view barrier to separate the castle from the forest. It was just a wonderful place making ride, and fun to boot.

With the addition if New Fantasyland, a new parade was needed. Festival of Fantasy is something that complements the new land very well, and a pick that is worth staking out a spot to watch. It showcases the classic movies with great music and beautiful floats. Oh, and there’s a fire breathing dragon! The song easily got stuck in my head for the rest of the day. It was catchy and enjoyable. The floats were fun to watch pass by. They were all fanciful and nicely detailed. This is a parade that has been a long time coming for Magic Kingdom.  When I went, a great spot to watch the parade was in Town Square in front of the train station.  Even across the street from it was a good spot.  It didn’t fill up too fast, maybe a little after a half hour before.  But, with all parades, Frontierland is always easy to find a place to watch.

Something I was looking forward to was Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater. What is so special about this? Well, this is “talking Mickey”! My start with was capturing Mickey being tested at Disneyland. Now, he is talking to guests everyday at Magic Kingdom! And, I’ve been wanting to see this since I first saw the beginning of it. I was beside myself with Mickey. This is the way Mickey should always meet guests! I felt like I could have a full conversation with him. It was truly magic. In groups, guests walk in on Mickey getting ready for his next show. He takes a break to mostly pose with guests for pictures, but also interacts with them. He asks if they’ve checked out certain attractions or if they have a birthday button, how old they are. It seems like it’d be very predictable, but he keeps up with everyone.  It is definitely a pick that is one of the most unique experiences at any Disney park!

Magic Kingdom has a variety of food options for guests.  Besides usual burgers and fries, there are more and more unique eateries sprouting up.  A longtime favorite of guests is Casey’s on Main Street.  The featured fare is hot dogs, and they are delicious!  It’s easy to get in and out, and though it’s all hot dogs, there’s enough variety to fit taste palates.  One quick note about my trip: I did do the Quick Service Dining Plan.  I highly recommend the dining plans at the resort!  It was under my own budget for food, and you get a lot of food, even with this particular plan.  Quick Service meals included the entree, and also large drink and dessert.  And this is all per person!  There’s one snack per day per person, but there’s quite a variety that fits the criteria.

Ok, back to some food place picks.  Be Our Guest restaurant is somewhere I’ve been to before, but didn’t go this trip.  It has really great food, and one of the best settings anywhere at the resort.  But, be aware that dinner is by reservation and lunch usually has 45 minute plus lines!  It’s worth going at least once, but it’s good to plan which is better to do.  A quick service place I like going to is Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland.  There’s entertainment in the form of an audio-animatronic Sonny Eclipse.  And, there’s some variety to quick service items.  In all, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, and it’s hard to get something not good in the park.  There’s probably more burger places than other types of food, but it’s all still delicious.

In all, Magic Kingdom is magic with all of the experiences guests have. Night is spectacular with three different shows. One is the great Main Street Electrical Parade. Wishes lights up the sky with fireworks. Celebrate the Magic uses Cinderella Castle as a screen for projections. The park takes on a different atmosphere and feel at night. And, the day is just as fun and exciting.

For a regular Disneyland guest like myself, Magic Kingdom takes a lot of unique spins on classic attractions. It’s fresh and fun for Disneyland passholders. There are some great unique attractions here too.  Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Jungle Cruise are the classics that appear in both, but are my picks for going on at the Magic Kingdom as well.  But, really, Magic Kingdom is all something to experience whether a veteran or novice guest!

Until next time, have a marvelous day!