Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park

The flagship destination for Walt Disney World is the Magic Kingdom Park.  For new visitors, however, this theme park can be overwhelming.  As you walk in the doors, there is a lot of activity EVERYWHERE, and you can literally spend an hour wandering the park before you get your bearings!  How can you ensure that your family has a great time at the Magic Kingdom?

Today, we are going to discuss the layout of the Magic Kingdom, and simplify things for you.  If you have a plan beforehand, and know what to expect, you’ll have a much better time on your vacation!

Layout of the Magic Kingdom Park

First of all, if you are driving, you will be parking at the Transportation Center, and then taking the monorail to the park.  If you take the bus, you will be dropped off right at the gates.

Once you enter the front gates, you will enter a large “courtyard” with buildings all around you.  You’ll see characters in the middle of the courtyard, and you will see a lot of congestion.  The first time-saving tip I have for you is this:  Head directly to the castle!  The surrounding area is called “Main Street” and runs from the entrance all the way until you get to the open area in front of the castle.  Main Street has a lot of neat shops and food establishments, but there aren’t any real rides or attractions, aside from an area to see a few characters at the front gates.

Once you are in front of the castle, it’s relatively easy to gain your bearings.  There are four paths that you can take, one to each of the four sections.  There also is a back path that connects all four sections that you can use as well.  But if you ever get lost, head out to the front of the castle, and you’ll quickly gain your bearings.

magic kingdom park

It’s crowded but magical!



Directly behind the castle is Fantasyland.  This is one of the most popular sections in all of Disney World and is designed primarily for small children, although adults love it to!  Many of these rides follow a similar format:  You sit in a slow-moving car and explore the worlds of many of your favorite characters!  Some of these rides are old favorites, such as Peter Pan and “It’s A Small World”, and you can also head catch one of Disney’s newest rides, “Under the Sea”!  There are two roller coasters, one that is finished and one that will be completed in 2014.

All in all, Fantasyland is very fun for small children, as they can actually do things and not have to wait in strollers.  However, it can be VERY crowded!  It’s also very frustrating for parents, who can wait in line for 30-45 minutes, only to ride in a small circle for a couple minutes.

How can you exploit this?  Get there early!  We recommend getting to the Magic Kingdom 30 minutes before it opens.  When the gates open, head directly to Fantasyland.  You will be able to knock out the entire section in an hour and a half if you plan it right.  If you wait until early afternoon, you’ll find yourself spending over 30 minutes at each ride!


To the right of the castle is the futuristic world of Tomorrowland.  This section is home to the famous indoor thrill ride, Space Mountain.  This ride is on everyone’s short list of “must-do’s” and you don’t want to miss it!  Make sure and grab a Fast Pass for this one, so you don’t spend too long waiting.  There are a few other fun rides in Tomorrowland as well.  Check out Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger’s Spin, a game where you interact and shoot targets with lasers.  Monsters Inc has a hilarious show that you just MUST watch.  If you aren’t one for shows, make an exception and try this ride out.  You’ll have a blast.


Directly to the left of the castle is Adventureland, home of the classic Disney ride, Pirates of the Caribbean.  This ride takes you through the world of Jack Sparrow, and is a slow-moving ride that the whole family can enjoy.  Another favorite of ours is the Jungle Cruise, which is not all that exciting in itself, but features hilarious “tour guides” who have many jokes to tell!  The flying carpets are fun for kids, and some like the Swiss Family Treehouse, although if you have problems climbing stairs, don’t do this one, as there isn’t really a ride.  It’s a walk up to the top and then back down.




Frontierland is between Adventureland and Fantasyland and is themed in the style of the American Old West.  This section features two of the most beloved rides in the park, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Splash Mountain is a log plume ride that just might get you wet at the final 53-foot drop.  Big Thunder Mountain is a traditional roller coaster that will give you great views of the park.  We recommend using a fastpass for both of these popular rides

Other Events

There are a few other events, that really make the Magic Kingdom come to life.  One is the nightly fireworks show.  Be sure and get a great viewing spot.  In my opinion, the best place to see the fireworks is directly in front of the castle, but closer to Main Street.  You need to back up a bit to get the best views.  Another exciting event is the nighttime parade!  This parade takes place nightly during the busy seasons.  During other parts of the year, it may only occur 2 or 3 times during the week, so make sure and find out when it will be happening on your trip!

More Tips for Touring the Magic Kingdom

We’ve tried to give you a brief overview of what to expect at the Magic Kingdom.  Head over to our Magic Kingdom Touring plan section, to get a detailed plan of how you can tour this park!  There are many other exciting things to do here, and we know you’ll have a blast at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Do you have any additional tips for the Magic Kingdom?  Please share them below!

By:  Ryan Shade


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Magic Kingdom Rides

The reason that the Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world, is simple:  There is something for everyone.  There is plenty to eat, plenty to see, and plenty of Magic Kingdom rides and attractions to enjoy.  But which ones should you see?  When should you see them?  Will the lines be… Read More

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