Exploring the Magic Kingdom Shows!

In a new series “Exploring the Shows”, I’m taking a look at all of the different shows throughout the Walt Disney World Parks.  In today’s episode, I’m going to take a look at all of the Magic Kingdom Shows.

For our purposes, a show is something on screen or on stage, that you watch as you would watch a movie or play.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mickey's PhilharMagic

As I have previously written, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is one of our favorite shows.  I’m a Disney music junkie, and I absolutely love all of the great music that Mickey’s PhilharMagic brings us each and every time we see the show.  I have never gotten sick of hearing music from The Lion King, Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Aladdin, and I don’t think I ever will!  Top it off with the reaction Sophie always gets when Donald get’s in trouble, and you’ve got quite a show!

Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree

Cindy and Sophie are not much of a fan of the Country Bear Jamboree, but I like to watch it every two or three years or so.  I like it because of the Audio-Animatronics bears, I like it because of the music, and the “show” that they put on for us, and I like it for the air conditioning and because we can always walk right in without a line.  However, I can also certainly understand why Cindy and Sophie aren’t big fans of it, since they don’t like country music.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Carousel of Progress

The Carousel of Progress is one of my favorite shows/attractions at any of the Walt Disney World parks.  I am continually fascinated by the telling of how technology has advanced throughout the years, and Disney does such a great job of telling that story!  Couple that with one of my favorite Disney songs “It’s a Great big Beautiful Tomorrow”, and I’m hooked!  The show hasn’t changed much over the years, but to me that is part of it’s timeless charm.  Also, when I think about how this attraction was featured at the 1964 Worlds Fair, and that just provides the icing on the cake to me.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Factory

Laugh Floor

Monsters, Inc. is a cute, funny show for us, and something that we see at least once per trip to Disney World.  Located over in Tomorrowland, the show is located in the part of the park which used to house the Timekeeper attraction from years gone by.  Timekeeper was a good show, but I only saw it a couple of times, but Sophie really likes Monsters, Inc.  I’ll never forget one of the first times we saw it, Sophie had been telling jokes all the time, her favorite at the time was “Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get away from KFC!”

Well, part of the charm of Monsters, Inc. is that you can text a joke into a special number, and they might pick one and use during the show!  I texted in Sophie’s joke, and they used it!  It was so funny because when they had read the joke, Mike (I think Mike had read it) looked at all of us and said, “I don’t get it either.”, at which everyone laughed!

The Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents

For me, I like historical subject matter, and Disney does a really great job at the Magic Kingdom particularly, of incorporating a great review of history with having a lot of fun.  One way that they do that is at the Hall of Presidents.  This show almost never seems to be busy when we go to visit it, yet it is one of our favorite shows.  I would say that we see this attraction at least once per visit.  It has a lot going for it; it is an indoor attraction to escape from the heat; it has Audio-Animatronics of every president our nation has had, and it has an entertaining way of teaching us about the history of our country.

The Enchanted Tiki Room

Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room originally opened as Tropical Seranade when the Magic Kingdom opened it’s doors over forty years ago.  After a run of several years, Tropical Seranade was closed and re-opened as The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management.  To be honest, I don’t even remember Tropical Seranade, but I never had any problems with the new management part of the Tiki Room, I thought it was a fun little show.  I know a lot of people didn’t like it though.  In January, 2011, though, a fire started in the attic of the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the show was closed for several months.  It re-opened in August of 2011, and Disney has announced that it will be back to it’s original, non-New Management version.  I look forward to seeing it in the future, and deciding for myself which version we like better!

I hope that you have enjoyed exploring around the Magic Kingdom, looking at all of the great shows that Disney has to offer there!  Tell me, which is your favorite show at the Magic Kingdom?

 

Your Favorite Magic Kingdom Attraction

30 Things To Do At Disney World: Peter Pan's Flight

Coming in 1st Place, with 91 votes, Peter Pan’s Flight!

 

A few weeks back, I did a series of informal polls; one about your favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain, one about your favorite Magic Kingdom show, and lastly, one about your favorite Magic Kingdom attraction!

I’ve got to tell you, this one wasn’t even close!  Coming in with 91 likes, comments, and shares was Peter Pan’s Flight!  Some of the great comments about this attraction included the following:

Wrote my friend Donna Kay Disney, “It’s our favorite ride!! We always ride it multiple times.”

Added Stephanie, “Peter Pan’s Flight is always our first ride of the day…a family favorite!!”

Barbie wrote,“This ride has been a favorite for a long time but seeing my small grandchildren’s look of wonder on their little faces made it even more a favorite !!!!”

And the comments went on and on and on!  Thanks everyone for contributing to the post!

Pirates of the Caribbean

With 40 votes, Pirates came in a distant 2nd!

Coming in second place was Pirates of the Caribbean.  I thought the voting would be closer, but since this is a VERY unscientific poll, take the results with a grain of salt!  From a personal perspective, I like Pirates better because it is a great ride that almost never has a long wait, unlike Peter Pan; so I can ride it multiple times versus only once with Peter Pan.  Not that I dislike Peter Pan’s Flight — because I love it — but I really like the speed with which I can ride Pirates!

Coming in third, the Haunted Mansion, with just 28 votes.

Coming in third, the Haunted Mansion, with just 28 votes.

Of the three attractions I listed here, I guess I would put the Haunted Mansion in 3rd place.  I like the Haunted Mansion, and we ride it at least once every time we go to the Magic Kingdom, but it isn’t the top thing on my list of things to do.

Thank you for participating in our little informal poll!  What do you think about these attractions?  How do you rank them?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks everyone!

Your Favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain!

Splash Mountain's 52' Drop!

Splash Mountain’s 52′ Drop!

By Mike Ellis.

The other day on Facebook I submitted this picture of Splash Mountain, along with pictures of Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (see below), and asked the following question:

“What is your favorite Magic Kingdom Mountain? Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?”

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My Magic Kingdom Must Dos

Cinderella's Castle at night

Cinderella Castle at night

Today I thought I would share my “must dos” from Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I must say that while I love all four Disney World parks, the Magic Kingdom will always have a special place in my heart. That’s probably because it was the first Disney park I visited but also because it’s based on Disneyland which had Walt’s touches everywhere.

The magic starts before you even step through the turnstiles. If you don’t stay in a Disney hotel, parking for the Magic Kingdom is across the Seven Seas Lagoon over at the Ticket and Transportation Center. You can travel over to the park via the monorail or the ferry. I usually try to ride one on the way to the Magic Kingdom and the other on the return trip. Of course, some people have a preferred method of travel, but I suggest you try each at least once (unless you get seasick, then I would stick to the monorail). If you are staying on property, the Disney buses take you right to the Magic Kingdom (the exception being the “Magic Kingdom hotels”. There are still buses that go from the hotels but there are additional options here. Guests at the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian have the monorail and the ferry available to them or you can walk from your hotel to the park. Polynesian guests have the monorail and the ferry as additional options. Guests of Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness also have a launch available to the Magic Kingdom).

I think the easiest way to describe my favorites is by “land” and each land by order of how I travel the park (meaning I will start on Main St. USA and then head left to Adventureland moving clockwise around the park). Starting on Main Street, I always ride the Railroad. I hit the Chapeau (THE place in the Magic Kingdom to get monogrammed mouse ears) to check out the newest ears. Main Street is my favorite place to watch parades as well as the Wishes! fireworks show. Finally, I always eat at the Crystal Palace. While it may seem pricey, I stay on property and get the dining plan (this restaurant is included on all the Disney dining plans except the “quick service dining plan”) and I can’t resist a good buffet with Winnie the Pooh.

Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise – so much fun

Next up is Adventureland. I love the Jungle Cruise. Between the interesting animals and the silliness and puns of the boat captains, it’s lots of fun that I never miss. If you read my posts, you won’t be surprised that my next must do is Pirates of the Caribbean. If I could only ride one ride at Disney over and over again, it would have to be Pirates. If I could, I would move into this ride (you think I joke but I am enthralled with this ride). I also always visit the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Coming next is Frontierland, home of two of the three Magic Kingdom mountains and my Frontierland must dos. Splash Mountain is a fun ride through Disney’s “Song of the South”. Briar Rabbit is a fun character that we join for adventure. Big Thunder Mountain is a runaway main railroad ride through the Old West.

Continuing on, we come to Liberty Square. The Hall of Presidents may not interest everyone but I am a huge fan of American history so I love this one (plus it’s cool, dark and you sit for the whole show, a welcome break at Disney). If I could live in Pirates of the Caribbean, I would work at the Haunted Mansion. More fun than scary, the Haunted Mansion is lots of fun. Oh, I also always hit the fruit stand by the Hall Of Presidents for a yummy pickle and a water. Its a welcome break during the day.

Next on our tour is Fantasyland. I never miss Mickey’s Philharmagic; a fun, multi-sensory trip through Disney movie music. I always hit the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh which is a whimsical ride through the Pooh movies. I hit Mrs. Pott’s Cupboard for a strawberry shortcake sundae (a yummy mix of a strawberry shortcake and a strawberry sundae) and while I haven’t been there yet, I am looking forward to seeing Beast’s Castle.

Last but not least is Tomorrowland. I hit Space Mountain, a fun roller coaster ride in the dark (if your kids are afraid of the dark, you may want to skip it). I love Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor (again, not a surprise if you have read my other posts). I visit Experiment 626, also known as Stitch! The Escape (this show has moments of complete darkness with audience members held in place by shoulder harnesses, things to keep in mind if you are traveling with little ones). Two of my favorite must dos are often overlooked but provide chances to sit and rest your sore, tired feet. There is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority which is a ride above Tomorrowland on a track powered by magnets (really cool). Finally, there is Carousel of Progress. This is an entertaining show that follows an American family through many of the best technological advances of the past 100 or so years.

Do you have other Magic Kingdom must dos? I’d love to hear from you. Up next, my Epcot Must dos coming soon.

Exploring the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

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One of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom is the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  This man made treehouse and tree, with it’s 116 steps, looks like a real tree, but in reality, it’s made up out of steel, concrete, and stucco!

One of the best things about the treehouse is how many details there are.  This is a walk-through attraction, so you can travel at your own pace, and since it’s been here since opening day, in this day and age it doesn’t have a lot of traffic — so you can take your time and look at things in a leisurely pace.

Measuring 60 feet tall, and 90 feet wide, this tree offers up some of the most incredible views of points of the Magic Kingdom.  For example, I particularly like this shot of Space Mountain, which you may not have realized you would be able to see from there.

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What really makes this attraction for me is that, when I am taking a tour of it, I am able to lose myself in the book and the movie.  There are so many incredible details that the Imagineers have put into place that really make this attraction special to me.  Here is a picture from up top, looking down at the entrance, where you can see the water pulley system.  This is really cool to me, what about you?

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I have often speculated with Cindy and Sophie about where you would sleep if you could spend the night in the Magic Kingdom.  That place, if I had my way, would be the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  In fact, it was one of the points I mentioned during a Magical Blogorail Post back in March.

In so many ways, the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is a throwback to a different time at Disney.  As you all know, the world outside of Disney has exploded around all of us — there is so much you can do, and the world is so much smaller.  I think, because of how busy and fast paced the world is, attractions such as Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse will always have a draw to people like me who like to slow down when they are on vacation.

Tell me, please: what do you think about the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse?  Please let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!