The Magic Kingdom park is undoubtedly the heart of Walt Disney World. The iconic Cinderella Castle stands tall at the end of Main Street, U.S.A and welcomes guests to a world of fantasy, future and everything in between. The Magic Kingdom is the place where I like to kick off and close out every Walt Disney World vacation. Time after time, it's still like coming home for me. Today I'm going to share a few Magic Kingdom must-do's for any first time guest!
Stop and Stare
The first moment of stepping out on to Main Street and seeing Cinderella Castle is a defining moment for every first timer. You've seen it in pictures and you've seen it on television, but there is nothing quite like that first moment when you come face to face with it. Some people gaze in awe, others laugh and jump for joy and often times those who have waited for so long for this very moment will shed a tear or two. It's hard to explain that feeling of your first castle sighting, but let's just start off by saying it's nothing short of magical.
Listen to the Dapper Dans
Look no further than Main Street to hear the harmonies of the Dapper Dans - Magic Kingdom's very own barbershop quartet. They're wandering the streets multiple times per day, so there's a good chance you won't miss them, but be sure to stop and enjoy their sets. They're entertaining, fun and sound wonderful.
Walt Disney was fascinated by locomotives and it's no surprise that his love of trains carried over into Disneyland, followed by Walt Disney World. The Main Street Train Station is set right at the very front of the park. Here guests can hop on a steam train and ride their way around the outside perimeter of the Magic Kingdom. Along with the Main Street station, there are two more stops where guests can load or unload in Frontierland and New Fantasyland. Not only is it a great way to get from one side of the park to the other, but the ride is relaxing and a great way to give your feet a break!
The Magic Kingdom Mountain Range
Also known as the Triple Mountain Whammy, the Magic Kingdom Mountain Range is made up of three mountains. These mountains aren't snow capped and you surely wouldn't want to to ski down them, but they do come loaded with fun! In Frontierland you can find two thirds of this range with a 52-foot plunge into the briar patch on Splash Mountain and of course there's the wildest ride in the wilderness - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Head across the park to complete this Triple Mountain Whammy by blasting off to the stars on Space Mountain!
While all of the attractions at the Magic Kingdom should be experienced, there are a few classics that first timers simply cannot miss! First off you must sail the seas with the Pirates of the Caribbean! This classic attraction even has a series of movies (and pretty awesome ones at that) that it inspired. Soon after Captain Jack Sparrow became a household name, the attraction was updated to include everyone's new favorite pirate (sorry Captain Hook)! After your sails with Captain Jack, make your way in to Liberty Square where you'll be greated by nine hundred and ninety-nine happy haunts, grim and grinning their way through their Haunted Mansion. But beware of hitchiking ghosts! Another must do classic is one that has a theme song that is known by those around the world, even if you've never been on the ride. And chances are, once you ride, this song will be in your head all day. You guessed it - it's a small world. It's true Disney nostalgia. However, I think nothing says Disney classic like taking a spin with everyone's favorite flying elephant - Dumbo! It's a true must-do if there ever was one!
Sweets and Treats
There are two must-have treats that come to mind when I visit the Magic Kingdom and they both happen to be in chilly form. The first is the delicious yet simple, Mickey Premium Bar. Vanilla ice cream covered in a chocolate shell in the shape of Mickey makes for a delicious snack. Another yummy must-do? The Dole Whip. Whether in float form or just the simple soft serve in a cup, a Dole Whip is best served, well, any time you'd like. There is no wrong time to enjoy a Dole Whip. Turkey legs, while not sweet, also seem to be a popular choice when it comes to must-have munchies. And let us not forget freshly popped popcorn!
If you're a first time visitor, you're in for a real treat. Parades and fireworks like you've never seen await you at the Magic Kingdom! Beloved Disney characters and thousands of lights make their way through the park as part of Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade. Though some of the parade has changed over the years, it's still a classic. The Magic Kingdom is also home to "Wishes!" nightly fireworks extravaganza. Set to the scores of favorite Disney music, Jiminy Cricket hosts the show and reminds us that if we believe in something with all of our hearts, wishes do come true. It's sure to bring a smile to your face, and quite possibly a lump to your throat. Who is cutting onions?!
Ears to You!
No first visit would ever be complete without a pair of Mickey ears to commemorate it with! From the recognizable Mouseketeer style to the fashionable sequined and feathered styles we're seeing recently - there is a pair for everyone! And don't forget that you can get them personalized!
Visit an Old Friend
No visit to the Magic Kingdom would be complete without a hug and a picture with the big cheese himself - Mickey! After all, this whole thing was started by a mouse! Head in to Town Hall to get your mouse time in. Throughout the Magic Kingdom you can find favorite princesses, 100 Acre Wood pals, playful pirates and brave space rangers. Be sure to grab a map on the way in to the park so you can scope out where to meet your favorite character!
These are just a handful of must-do experiences for any first time guest visiting the Magic Kingdom park. Of course, another very important tip is to make sure you enjoy this beautiful, magical park. Take lots of photos, enjoy your experiences and most of all - make lots of memories!
Do you have any must-do suggestions for a first time visitor to the Magic Kingdom?