Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dreaming of Disney - the Magic Kingdom

You step off the monorail and walk down the ramp. The first image you see is usually a seasonal mickey topiary. Once your fanny pack has been cleared and you've squeezed through the turn style, you walk thru the tunnel under the railroad station and there it is, MAIN STREET and up ahead, the Castle.

A dream is a wish your heart makes...

It's 80 degrees, the sun is shining, smiling faces are everywhere! Smell the popcorn  from the Victorian vendor, listen to the barber shop quartet or dixieland band and the clip clop of the horse-drawn trolley. See the rainbow of mickey shaped balloons - there's always balloons!

And here is where I guide you through the Magic Kingdom! I realize many of you may have been here before so add your input!
: Each park has a big store/line of stores for your souvenier pleasure. The Magic Kingdom's is on MAIN STREET and the stores connect all the way down. Best time to shop is in the morning or during parades.

First we walk down main street. Unless you time it right and catch a ride on a trolley or other vehicle up to the castle. [: there's a "Tip Board" in the middle of the park with wait times and show times. There's also an app for that!]

I will rank the rides as we go through each section.
green - the best, never miss  [: a good time to ride popular rides is during parades]
blue - also great
red - old favorites
orange - for the kiddies
FP - fast pass ride

: go to the left when choosing a line, they're usually shorter - I have found this works outside DW too.
So we start to the left and enter ADVENTURELAND. Feel the rhythm of the tropical music and steel drums as you walk through an old island marketplace.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean FP- new and improved with an appearance by Jack Sparrow for a live show daily - and we love the shop after the ride.
  • Jungle Cruise FP- the driver is the best part!
  • Tiki Birds - can't believe it's still around, I haven't been since they updated it, but my sister said it was great
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin - similar to Dumbo, round and round, up and down =)
Now we continue through to FRONTIERLAND. The music has changed tempo to hillbilly and bluegrass. The colors are desert browns and reds.
  • Thunder Mountain Railroad FP- I don't like rollercoasters but I like this one. One of the few I will still go on.
  • Splash Mountain FP- You will get wet and be lifted out of your seat on the drop.
  • and Pecos Bill's is a nice spot for a quick lunch or you can take the train back to the front entrance.
Keep walking and you come to LIBERTY SQUARE. A traditional river town, complete with Steamboat.
  • Haunted Mansion FP- I'd show you where all the secret passages are, but I don't want to spoil it for you =)
  • Hall of Presidents - updated and a nice break from sun and crowds
The next two sections are the biggest and the best.
  • It's a Small World is on your left and Peter Pan's Flight FP is on your right, coming from Haunted Mansion.
  • Then the walkway opens up and you can see Cinderella's Golden Carousel with the Sword in the Stone for kids to try and pull.
  • A newer experience is Mickey's Philharmagic FP- a 4D movie.
  • Don't forget the Tea Cups!
  • Longest waits are for Dumbo and Goofy's Barnstormer
  • You can catch the train back from here if you're getting tired! Maybe relax at the pool while the kiddies swim =)
If you came back later, now you head to the right of the park to finish up with TOMORROWLAND. It's dark and the neon is glowing!
  • Space Mountain FP - if you don't have a fast pass, fugetaboudit.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin FP - Superfun!
  • Indy Speedway
  • Carousel of Progress- great place to sit and rest and I love this old presentation!
  • Transit Authority- another restful experience. funny thing - the last time we went, my husband and older son were on space mountain while we were on this and it runs through space mountain and space mountain broke down - it was lit up so we saw them sitting in the car on the track! ha haha!
  • Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor - audience interactive and hilarious!
If you want a good spot for a parade, sit on the curb EARLY! Have lunch there. Let Dad save the spot while Mom shops and take turns. Depends on how badly you want to see it. The electric light parade at night is awesome! But the fireworks we usually watch while we wait for our bus to take us to the hotel.

My sister and I took a picture of my parents - and they took a picture of us in Peter Pan's Flight and we didn't know it until we developed the pictures! Remember getting pictures developed?!

Sorry I get so long winded - I just love talking about Disney! Is there anything you'd like to know or share?


Jess said...

My favorites are Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin! Those two are awesome!

FirstTimeMom said...

Great post!! Now I'm all sad we canceled our trip :( Trying to have another baby is worth it though, right?? I love the picture of your Mom and Dad on Peter Pan! Old Disney pictures are the best!

Liz Fichera said...

When I was a little kid, we went the year it first OPENED!! Man, I remember that vividly. You stepped off that monorail and it was like stepping into a different world. We had such a great day that day...I'll never forget the Haunted House. I think that one was my fave back then.

Angie Cothran said...

I LOVE Disneyland :) I think my favorite ride is the one I'm on at the time. Don't tell my kids, but my hubby and I are giving them a trip there for Christmas.

Rance said...

All this makes me want to do is go, go, go! I've never been to Disney before. :( I think I'm one of those semi-neglected children that, while my parents were fantastic, never got to see Disney in its splendor as a child.

I am scarred. SCARRED. And this post has done nothing but scar me further! ;)

But one day, I'd love to bring my own children there. Picking through this post was an adventure to a whole new place. Thanks for the overview, Tara!

Ellie Garratt said...

Never been but so want to. Glad you had such an amazing time!

Anonymous said...

Definitely a Disney fanatic. We've enjoyed every trip there with you and the grandkids. When we first went there you had to use tickets, what a pain!

allie said...

Been to the French Disneyland, but not Florida, which I assume is much bigger. It's definitely on my to do list.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Been to both Disneyland and Disney world. Can't do the Tea Cups though. Makes my brains spin.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I have never been to Disneyland. I know! I'm so sad! Your post makes me want to take my kids so bad.

Tara Tyler said...

Jess, you are young enough to enjoy space mountain (or I'm just a chicken =)

Carla, wish you didn't have to sacrifice for it. just shows what a dedicated mom you are!

Liz, yep. Magic Kingdom was the first (in FL)

Angie, We need to get over to DL - never been to Anaheim! *whispers* merry xmas!

Rance, don't worry, you'll get there. and since you're scarred and want to go so bad, you'll probably be disappointed (no you won')

Ellie, thanks! glad you stopped by amidst your writing!

Mom, I like turning in the tickets for the passes - we got a deal!

Allie, Disney in France - I still can't picture it =) I'd love to get over there someday too!

Alex, I can spin! but I understand =)

Peggy, some day will come =)

Heather Henry said...

Wow, that was total nostalgia. I love Disneyland, but haven't been for many years. You described it perfectly, I could almost smell the popcorn and hear the music playing. I always loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Space Mountain, I considered going on, but I think I just love all of the rides...The Haunted Mansion is so awesome too. Now I really want to go.
Sounds like you had a wonderful time. :)