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.

The Walt Disney World Railroad – A Magic Kingdom Original

The Roy O. Disney

The Roy O. Disney

There is so much to talk about when it comes to the Walt Disney World Railroad, I hardly know where to begin!  As most of you know, Walt Disney was an avid railroad enthusiast, and even had a train setup in his backyard!  It was called the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, and he loved to navigate around his yard on his trains!  Additionally, as you all know, Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney as he was on a train from New York, after he lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal.  So it is no surprise that Walt Disney incorporated trains at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

The Walt Disney World Railroad was in operation on Day One, October 1, 1971.  The four main locomotives were built between 1916 and 1928 by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

No. 1 Train: “Walter E. Disney”

Of course, the number one train in the fleet at Walt Disney World was the Walter E. Disney, a 4-6-0 “Ten Wheeler”.  This train was built in 1925, and is identical to the No. 3 Train that I’ll discuss in a bit.

No. 2 Train: “Lilly Belle”

This train, built in 1928, the same year that Mickey Mouse was created, is a 2-6-0 “Mogul” train.

No. 3 Train: “Roger E. Broggie”

Roger Broggie was instrumental in acquiring the locomotives for Walt Disney World, and in fact, actually worked with Walt on building the Carolwood Pacific Railroad line in Walt’s backyard.  The No. 1 train and the No. 3 train are one serial number apart, and as such, they are known as the “twins.”

No. 4 Train: “Roy O. Disney”

This locomotive is a 4-4-0 “American” built in 1916, and is the oldest of the four trains.  When the trains were being named, the story goes that the Imagineers asked Roy if he wanted to have his name on the No. 3 Train since they were identical.  Roy declined, saying that he “didn’t want to be compared to all the great things Walt had done.”  This blogger would like to tell Roy that he did some pretty great things himself.

Train Operation

The Walt Disney World Railroad has three stops — one at Main Street, U.S.A., one at Frontierland, and one at Fantasyland, which used to be the stop for Mickey’s Toontown Fair.  You can get on and off at any of the three locations, and you can also, to the best of my knowledge, stay on the train for multiple loops around the Magic Kingdom.  One complete loop around the Park is about 20 minutes in length.

The Walt Disney World Railroad plays an instrumental role during the Magic Kingdom “Rope Drop” ceremony that opens the park.  Mickey, Minnie, and a whole slew of characters will welcome you to the park, and Mickey will count down from 10 for the park to open!

Conclusion

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a classic Disney attraction, and is well worth taking a ride on.  As you navigate the park, you’ll see special areas that the Imagineers have created to feature on the ride.  This relaxing trip will allow you to take a load off your feet while still enjoying all that Disney has to offer.  Enjoy!

I’m sharing this post as part of the #ThrowbackThursday post from my friends over at Frontierland Station! Here are the links, click on them and check out the great entries!

Thanks, and make it a Disney Day everyone!

Memorial Meals Monday – Crystal Palace

Pooh and I at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom

For many families with daughters, Disney World is all about the DIsney princesses and the easiest way to ensure a meet and greet is to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table. This is not the case for my daughters and I, for my girls, Disney World is all about Winnie the Pooh and friends. The best way to ensure a meet and greet with Pooh and friends is to have a meal at The Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom.

Located at the end of Main Street USA, the Crystal Palace serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the meals are buffet style; I enjoy a buffet as I think many choices at a meal allows everyone to eat what they like. There is even a special section for kid-friendly foods (think chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and pizza) which ensures something for everyone. Of course no buffet would be complete without dessert and Crystal Palace certainly has tasty desserts. Beverages are served by your waitstaff.

I can’t point to any specific food that was better than any other. What I remember most from all the times I have eaten there is how much my daughters and I look forward to visiting with Pooh and his friends. The typical cast of characters is Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. While diners eat, Pooh and his friends travel around the restaurant (separately) stopping at each table to pose for pictures and sign autographs.

We discovered the Crystal Palace by accident. On a trip with my mother and my daughters, we decided we wanted a “good” sit down lunch. We were walking by the Crystal Palace and noticed people standing by the door and walked over to check it out. When we heard that Winnie the Pooh and friends were “in there”, my daughters practically begged to eat there. As the wait was only about 15 minutes we waited. After 5 minutes, we were shown to our table and a new tradition began.

If you decide to go to the Crystal Palace, I suggest booking an advance dining reservation. This restaurant is in the Disney Dining Plan so if you are using the dining plan, you will only be responsible for the tip;  otherwise, expect to pay between $35 and $60 per person. (Prices can be confirmed via the Walt Disney World website). If you (or the kiddies) are Winnie the Pooh fans, this meal is worth the price!

Disney In Pictures Theme: Wishes!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s theme for Disney In Pictures!  With the Thanksgiving break over, and getting geared up for the Christmas season, it seems an appropriate time to focus on Wishes for our theme!

Of course, when people hear the word “Wishes” and Disney, I think it is natural to think of the fireworks show that occurs at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World!  However, that’s what is so great about Disney In Pictures — you can take the theme and run with it however you like!  Would you prefer to focus on some Disney wishes for this Christmas?  Then feel free to share them with us!  Have some other wishes you want to represent?  Send them in as well!

To do so, follow these steps to be included in this week’s post:

  1. Locate a picture or two or three to share, and email them to me at mickey@mydreamsofdisney.com
  2. Include your name, why the picture is special to you, and what your wish is for the season.
  3. Lastly, if you have a blog, share that with us also, and we’ll include a link to it in the post!

It’s about as simple as that!  Take some time, find a picture to share, and send it on it’s way, and thanks!  This post is only as successful as you make it, so send in your pictures!  It’s also a great way to surprise your family and friends with their picture being on the Internet!

Wordless Wednesday – December Calendar Shot

Image Courtesy my friend Leigh Ann!

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop — hosted by my friend Deb from Focused on the Magic!  This month the theme is our December Calendar Shot, and when you think of a Disney December, the first thing that pops to my mind is Cinderella Castle!  Such a magnificent display of beautiful lights, shimmering in the night sky, coupled with all of that color — I don’t know of a prettier image to display for my December shot!

Since I’ve never been to Walt Disney World for Christmas, I pressed my friend Leigh Ann into service to supply me some pictures I could use!  She sent me the one at the top, as well as this one that I hope you enjoy:

Image Courtesy my friend Leigh Ann!

Both of these shots were taken during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that they were fortunate enough to attend!  Thanks Leigh Ann for sharing!

However, I also have a beautiful picture to share with you that my dear friend Brenda took — the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge!  Brenda isn’t feeling that well right now, partly because her trip “home” was completed, but also because she picked up a bug, so Brenda, I hope you feel better soon!  Love you!  Here is her picture for our enjoyment:

Image Courtesy and ©Ideally Disney!

So, which picture would be your calendar shot?  I kind of picked Cinderella Castle by having it displayed first, but I really could go with any of the three and would be happy in all cases.  Which one will you be picking?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

To see the rest of the great entries for this week, go ahead and click on the button below to head on over to Focused on the Magic, and thanks for stopping by!

Focused on the Magic