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Disney's Magic Kingdom, Here We Come!
A Mum's Advice for a Truly Magical Family Vacation

Welcome to the ultimate Orlando theme park! Whatever you call it, this place is sure to be a highlight of your vacation. Join us and discover how our family conquered Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom to visit Mickey Mouse and all his friends.

magic-kingdom-orlando-girlsAs you probably know, organizing a trip to a theme park is challenging. When's the best time to head over to the park? What attractions will suit your kids? Where are you going to eat? There's a lot to think about.

Well, the information you'll find here is straight from a Mum who's made so many family visits to the park, she's become an expert. We've been travelling to Orlando for over 12 years and have made frequent visits to the Magic Kingdom. So here's my best advice and some answers to your most pressing questions.

With the information on this page, you'll be prepared and ready to truly enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World Florida.

Don't Overdo It

Nothing takes the magic out of a holiday like tired, cranky kids. Our children's ages, especially in the early days, have always been our #1 priority regarding what we could do and how to go about it when visiting the Magic Kingdom and other parks. So remember...if you think it best to split your visit up over two or more days, do it! You will be thankful, and so will the kids.

You should know that your ability to split your visit up over one, two or more days depends on what tickets you have purchased. We recommend you buy Disney's 'Magic Your Way' tickets.

Another advantage of these tickets is that if you are working on a budget, Disney's Magic Your Way Ticketsmagic-your-way-tickets and Orlando Flex Ticketsorlando-flex-tickets do offer further value and flexibility for your hard earned cash. With these tickets, you can go in and out of the Magic Kingdom from 1 to 10 days - whichever suits your budget.

mum-dad-castle-disney-orlandoLet's not forget... we parents and grandparents are on holiday too. The Magic Kingdom is wonderful, but it's noisy, hot and tiring. You may feel you need to return to your hotel, motel or villa to charge those batteries, and that's fine. Mickey Mouse and his friends will always be there when you're ready to head back.

This is another advantage of flex tickets and staying at a Walt Disney Hotel

Also to keep you updated with what's going on in the park during your stay, here's a useful Magic Kingdom events calendar. Check to see if anything is closed on the day of your visit, plus keep updated on the Extra Magic Hours if you are staying in a Disney resort.

Check updates daily:

Arriving at Magic Kingdom

So let's get to the park! If you are staying at a Walt Disney Resort, problem solved. You'll be taken straight to the Magic Kingdom entrance by bus, monorail, or boat. And remember those early entrance hours for Disney residents to beat those queues (lines).

If you are travelling by car, remember your road map/directions. You will approach the Magic Kingdom via World Drive. Once you have paid your parking fees, starting from $14 (2014 subject to change) you will enter the parking area and be directed to your parking space. Remember where you park your vehicle; a sign with Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh etc. will be on each line.

ferry-magic-kingdom-orlando-floridaFrom here you will catch the shuttle train to the main entrance where you will purchase or show your tickets and depart by your choice of monorail or ferry.

We always choose the ferry, during busy times these seem to move the crowds a lot quicker and you dont get held up as much at the terminals...A godsend with young children!

Once you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, you may have your bag searched. This is now common before you enter the park. If you have decided to hire a locker or pushchair (stroller) these are situated to the right of the entrance before you enter the park. Don't forget to pick up your map before you enter.

Which Rides to Choose?

From a Mum's point of view, my best advice if you have very small children is to make your way up to New Fantasyland (2012). You'll find fun attractions like the new Storybook Circus, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (Cinderella Castle), The Barnstormer, It's a Small World, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, Fairytale Garden, Fantasyland Station, Snow White's Scary Adventures (closes March 2012), Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and Dream Along with Mickey stageshow. This area is a must for the entire family. Fantasyland will be expanding through out 2013 with exciting new editions!

orlando-floridaFor older children (and parents) who like the fast rides, Frontierland is a good place to start. Get ready for the rides of your life on Splash Mountain and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Sit in the front seat - you will get wet!).

Visit TomorrowLand and get your heart pumping with the new upgraded (2010) Space Mountain, TomorrowLand Speedway, Stitch's Great Escape, Monsters Inc, Astro Orbiter and save the galaxy & zap aliens on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

mum-disney-world-orlando-floridaDiscover the rest of the Magic Kingdom at your leisure. Here are a few attractions your family will probably love:

  • Adventureland has tons to see, including - now this is for the mums - a Johnny Depp look-a-like at the Pirates of the Caribbean. (Yummy!) Plus, Swiss Family Treehouse, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Jungle Cruise and The Pirates League.

  • Sail on the Liberty Square Riverboat in Frontierland.

  • Have a spooky good time in The Haunted Mansion at Liberty Square.

  • Explore the fascinating world of Main Street USA.

  • Tired yet? Take a trip on the steam train around the Magic Kingdom to rest those weary feet.

Watching Parades with Kids

parade-magic-kingdom-orlando-floridaAgain, best advice: find a spot for parade-watching early on. You'll want a good position for the children and photos are essential. If you want to be around the castle, take your place early to avoid disappointment. Your park map will show you the parade route.

We recommend during the afternoon parade, getting a spot in front of the House of Presidents on Liberty Square.

After watching the parade, you can visit the remarkable historical show about the American Presidents. For the evening parade, we always pick a spot in front of the castle as the lights and fireworks are spectacular. If you leave before the fireworks, catch the ferry back to the other side of the lake and stand by the ferry terminal to watch the display....Fantastic.

Where to Eat in the Magic Kingdom?

Okay, I don't want to confuse you, but there are about 27 different places to eat around the Magic Kingdom. You'll find everything from table service, character dining and counter service to places where you can grab a quick bite. If choosing table service, reservations are strongly recommended. Dining times are available at the main entrance. For advanced reservations upto six months ahead call 407 WDW-DINE(939-3463)

disney-world-cinderellas-castle-restaurant-orlando-floridaCounter service and quick bite locations offer a wide variety of food and beverages to suit most budgets. But do remember you are in Disney and things can get expensive.

When you pick up your Magic Kingdom park map you will see dining locations marked by letters A, B, C etc and up to three dollar ($) signs alongside these letters. The dollar signs indicate the average price-per-person (2013):

  1. $ = $14.99 and under

  2. $$ = $15 - $29.99

  3. $$$ = $30 - $49.99

For the most part, we like to stay at around $10 - $12 per person, depending on where we eat. A favourite is the Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square, which caters to families.

For outdoor lunches in the Magic Kingdom, we use the Cozy Courtyard by the Sleepy Hollow Café. It's hidden away past the House of Presidents and is great if no seats are available in the Columbia Harbour...plus the Sleepy Hollow makes wicked funnel cakes!

Let's not forget those of you who are staying on a Disney resort. The Disney dining plan package is available for each night of you stay...we've not had the pleasure of staying in these fantastic resorts, so we'll hand you over to the experts, click here for further details.

Just like your local paperboy

When you're planning a trip to Disney's Magic Kingdom, you don't want to use old news and information. We will keep updating our site via our RSS feed. Simply click onto the RSS feed above and follow the instructions. It's an easy way to stay on top of what's happening in Walt Disney World, free of charge.

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