Top 10 things you MUST do at the Magic Kingdom

So this is my first entry in my blogs as a Disney Travel Agent, incase you’re not sure what is going on here. My name is Mark, I’m a travel agent for Mickey’s Travel to where I book for Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise line.

I wanted to give more insight for those heading to the parks like what to do, things to eat, etc. I was brainstorming and said to myself what would be a great topic to kick things off? Well, things you have to do at the Magic Kingdom. Now of course my list will vary from others but these are things that I feel if you’re at the vacation kingdom for your first trip these are the things you gotta do. This isn’t going to be my top 10 attractions, (that’s for a future date) but these are the cross the entire gambit of activities. This will be Magic Kingdom alone for the simple fact of doing a top 10 across the entire resort might resort in an even longer list.

Just a quick honorable mention is the turkey leg. Even in the middle of summer you’ll see guests chomping on this meat delicacy. I shared one once and that was all I needed but it’s a snack that you love or hate. So it’s not making the list but I feel I’d get flack if I didn’t mention it.

10) A family picture in front of Cinderella’s castle!

I place this one low because it’s something everyone does no matter what but even well after 10 plus trips to Walt Disney World, it’s something Michelle and I do every so often. It’s classic and timeless. The castle always looks majestic whether you’re seeing it for the first or the hundredth time. My suggestion for you? Move closer to the castle. Those Photopass photographers are all down Main Street USA, you don’t need the first one you see. Our favorite place is in front of the partners statue of Walt and Mickey. Oh and also, don’t be afraid to ask the photographer to use your camera as well.

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9) Take in the Main Street Electrical Parade

Those who are close to me know I’m not a huge fan of the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) as I prefer what followed it,Spectromagic but that neither here nor there. MSEP is the originator of night-time parades, it has shifted from coast to coast having debuted in Disneyland and has been shipped back and forth a few times and has gone through some slight variations over the years. When you get down to it, it has catchy music and your favorite old school Disney characters, for that you need to experience it.

Pro tip: Get a spot early that is if you’re looking for a curbside seat anywhere between Main Street and Frontierland. If you really don’t mind waiting a while top of the train station on Main Street is a great place to see parades in general.

8)  Get a Dole Whip or Citrus Swirl or both!

Once again kind of low because for the fact I’m not a huge Dole Whip fan. I can hear the gasping now. Both of these frozen concoctions can be found in Adventure land. The citrus swirl is an ice cream swirl of vanilla and orange. It’s one of my favorite treats to get. The Dole Whip is a frozen snack that harkens back to early days at Disneyland on both coasts are found near The Enchanted Tiki Room. The Dole Whip is a pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice. It’s staple of Disneyland and Walt Disney World and even if you find out you don’t love it, it’s worth trying just once. Besides don’t you want to go to Walt Disney World and say you had the world-famous Dole Whip?

7) “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!”

It may not be captivating  attraction for the kids but Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a Walt original attraction. Originally produced for the 1964 New York World’s Fair as a part of the GE pavilion, it was later brought into Disneyland, closed 1973 and brought over to Walt Disney World for 1975. What is it? It’s a spinning theater to where you visit a family through out the ages, learning about how technology has enhanced and benefited their lives. It has been changed over the years but still holds that charm that Walt originally had put into it. If you’re a Disney fan, you owe it to yourself to experience this attraction. You’ll be singing the song for the rest of the day!

6) Take flight with Dumbo!

Another attraction that pretty much a pop culture icon, Dumbo the Flying Elephant will have you soaring above Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. It’s great for all ages. There’s no height requirement for the kiddies as well. One of the great things since they moved Dumbo from the middle of Fantasyland to Storybook Circus is now there’s two Dumbo spinners! It helps with wait time and if it’s still a bit of a wait there’s a great and highly detailed play area for the kids to play in while you wait your turn!

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Even when you turn 31, it’s still cool to ride Dumbo

5) “It’s a Small World After all! It’s a small, small, world!”

It’s that song that you love or love to hate. There’s no middle ground on it. This is THE pop culture attraction that has spawned countless parodies in movies and TV.  Another Walt Disney original attraction it was originally created for the ’64’ World’s Fair UNICEF pavilion sponsored by Pepsi. The attraction basically promoting the idea of world peace and unity, that we can all simply get along. Walt said he wanted a simple song that could be easily translated into other languages and the Sherman Brothers gave us that song that will never ever leave our heads. As your ride through it the song changes languages as you go country to country. Mary Blair who was an art director for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella & Peter Pan was the one who designed the world-famous dolls in the attraction.

It’s one of those attractions that you have experience just once in your lifetime.  It’s simple yet elegant and has a wonderful message.

4) Wishes! Dream a dream! Wishes!

Wishes is the Magic Kingdom’s night-time fireworks display. Jiminy Cricket hosts the spectacle as he shows the power of wishes. All the musical nods and elements from your favorite Disney films like Aladdin, Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast and more! It’s a wonderful fireworks display. There is some sentimental attachment to it as I proposed to Michelle before them.

Depending on the time of year as well you can get treated to different versions of wishes. During Halloween at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party you can experience Hallowishes, a villainous twist to the fireworks. During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party you can see Holiday Wishes, a Christmas themed display. The Magic Kingdom also typical offers different show for 4th of July and New Years Eve as well.

To take from Disneyland’s current fireworks show Disneyland Forever, they express that Walt wanted the fireworks to be like a kiss goodnight and to be a magical way to end the day. So what better way to end your day at the Magic Kingdom than with the fireworks?

Pro tip: If you’ve seen the fireworks multiple times or okay with not seeing them from in front of the castle, take a trip to Fantasyland. They shoot off the fireworks from behind New Fantasyland. You can get a great viewing of the fireworks and NOT deal with a bunch of people.

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Untouched, unaltered from New Fantasyland. One of my favorite shots ever!

3) Celebrate the magic! 

So along with the previously mentioned night-time spectaculars, Celebrate the Magic is a wonderful pre-show to Wishes, though it’s not really billed as it. The show takes place 15 minuets before the fireworks nightly. So what is it? It’s a wonderful show that uses projections on Cinderella’s castle and transforms it! One moment you’re seeing the castle turn into the Nicelander’s apartment building from Wreck-it-Ralph complete in its 8-bit glory, to the floating lanterns from Tangled soar up the castle and even turn into Elsa’s ice castle from Frozen. Not to mention all the tributes to previous Disney animation and to Walt himself. It’s technologically one of the most impressive shows on Walt Disney World property.

Just a small sampling of what can happen

2) “What time is the 3:00 parade?”

The daily parade is a long time staple of the Disney parks, so of course it’s a must do. The current iteration of the daily parade is the Festival of Fantasy parade. Every trip since it’s debuted we have set aside time to see this parade. The floats are majestic, the music is wonderfully catchy and will be stuck in your head, the costumes are colorful and vibrant, and honestly I could go on and on about this parade. You get a great mix of classic and new Disney characters such as Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder with the Snuggly Duckling crew, Ariel the Little Mermaid and probably my favorite Disney parade float ever, a steam punk, mechanical looking Maleficent Dragon from Sleeping Beauty and it even breathes fire!  That alone should hook you in. You owe it to yourself to see this parade.

Pro tip: Once again GET THERE EARLY! If you want a curbside seat you gotta do it. Be forewarned some will try to push their kids up to the front last minuet. Much like my MSEP tip, if you want an eagle eye view and don’t mind waiting a while, top of the train station is amazing.

1)Meet Mickey Mouse!

Why not meet the mouse that start it all?! Magician Mickey Mouse meets all day at the front of the park in Town Square Theater, depending the time of year wait times are very minimal. I’ll let you in on a secret, there are multiple rooms in the theater to meet the plucky magician. The other HUGE thing about this meet and greet? Mickey will talk to you! *GASP!!!* I know!!! This is the only place in the entire Walt Disney World resort that he can do that. This I feel is an absolute must do!

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No trip isn’t complete without meeting the mouse!

I could type pages and pages and pages of things you need to do while at the Magic Kingdom but you’re not here to read a book. Let’s be honest my must do items will be vastly different from anyone else. These are just my suggestions on what to do.

Feel free to contact me at mark@mickeystravel.com for any inquiries or questions. I’ll be glad to help you out with your Disney travel bookings!

You can also check me out on Facebook at Mark-Mickey’s Travel and if your interested in non travel related ramblings which does include Disney as well you can follow me at @JediMark82 on Twitter.

Lastly photo credit, all photos are mine. Please don’t use without permission unless for personal use.

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