Today I thought I would share with all of you some of my favorite sites, sounds, and experiences that I have enjoyed at the Walt Disney World resorts and parks. Most of the time, when we visit the Parks, my focus is on all of the big attractions — Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and all of the others. However, there are times when I want to focus on the things that don’t raise the adrenaline level to the roof, those sites and sounds that are part of the “road less traveled” at Disney World. So for today, we’ll take a look at my top five “sites and sounds” at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy!
5) Tom Sawyer Island
Tom Sawyer Island is one of those attractions that you can just hop a raft over, wander around, go through the cave, follow the paths, and just chill. For those that are camera buffs, Tom Sawyer Island will provide some great photo locations for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, so get those cameras ready! However, for me, the real fun with Tom Sawyer Island is just watching Sophie explore all of the different parts of the island, especially the caves — she really gets a kick out of immersing herself into the story, as if she really is going to find Injun Joe!
Walt Disney World Railroad is one of those awesome attractions that just let you and your family really relax and enjoy a real working train as it takes you on a scenic journey around the edge of the Magic Kingdom. The two stops for the WDW Railroad are at Main Street, U.S.A. and Frontierland. This is another attraction that will lend itself towards getting some great photographs of different areas of the Park that you may not think about otherwise.
The Carousel of Progress is one of my all time favorite shows to see, and watching it in it’s unique circular theater is a really neat way to get away from the Florida heat and take a relaxing trip into the history of America’s progress. I don’t know about all of you, but there is really something neat to me when I see the scenes from America’s past portrayed for all of us. It’s really kind of funny, but every time I see CoP I immediately think of the Thornton Wilder play Our Town. The Carousel of Progress is one of those attractions that I make a point of seeing at least once every trip to Disney World.
2) Wishes Fireworks
For years and years, I avoided seeing Wishes or any other fireworks show at any theme park. I even stayed away from fireworks during the 4th of July celebrations. The noise from the exploding fireworks was just something that I had a hard time with. But then, in 2008, we finally had the bright idea of purchasing two sets of ear plugs — one for me and one set for Sophie — and let me tell you, it was like we had blinders taken off of our eyes. Gone was the fear and trepidation of the fireworks shows, and all of a sudden Sophie and I (my wife has always loved the fireworks) were HUGE fireworks fans. For me, Wishes is one of my all time favorite fireworks shows, and we experience it at least twice when on a trip. This year we are going to experience it at the Magic Kingdom, and from the rooftop of Bay Lake Towers, and maybe even — if we get lucky in our room placement — even from our balcony at BLT! Now, I know that Wishes can be an adrenaline builder, especially when they get to the climax of the show. But it is a great show to see, so don’t miss out on it!
And lastly, at #1:
1) Main Street Electrical Parade
The Main Street Electrical Parade is, for us, the ultimate parade in all of Walt Disney World. I remember seeing the Electrical Parade when I was younger, and Cindy and I saw it in the year 2000 (at least, my memory remembers seeing it – please correct me if I’m wrong!) — and when it returned last year as part of the “Summer Nightastic!“, it was like meeting your long lost friend you hadn’t seen in 10 years. It was just as great as it was last time we saw it, but simultaneously, it was also better because of the improvements in technology that they have now. I am really excited that it has been extended without any end date, and can’t wait until I see it again in June!
So now you have my top five sites and sounds that I can’t miss at Walt Disney World. Some of the sites and sounds are laid back, some are more exciting, but none of them are to be missed in my opinion! What are you top sites and sounds that you have to see at the Magic Kingdom?
I love your list. We recently took our three kids under five to Tom Sawyer's Island. I hadn't been there since I was a kid. We just always forget to go there. Once we got off the raft, we just let the kids explore. We told them to run and we would follow. They were in heaven discovering the fort, treehouse, caves. Thanks for writing.
Hey Emily, thanks for the nice comment! I just linked back to your site, and I really liked your post about running at AKL. Sorry that you weren't able to enjoy a good run though! If you are looking for a couple of places to try out, check out Coronado Springs and Port Orleans French Quarter, they both have some nice trails you can run where the hotel rooms are located. Good luck!
Lee A. Beatens
I'm agree with four out five, Mike! TSI never did it for me, but then, I don't have kids whose eyes I can see it through. Will disney ever 'Pirate' the WDW island? We wonder…