Walt Disneys Magic Kingdom
When many people say Walt Disney World what they really mean is the Magic Kingdom. We Disney addicts know better but there is no denying that while Walt Disneys Magic Kingdom may not be Disney World it is the crown jewel of Walt’s vision for the Florida Project. In fact, do you really feel like you went to Disney World if you do not stop by the Magic Kingdom?
The Magic Kingdom is divided into six distinct lands. Each land has it’s own theme, attractions, food and shops. Each of those lands has a brief introduction below as well as list of the attractions, shops and food venues. I hope you enjoy your visit to grumpymickey.org.
If you have questions, comments, suggestions or even corrections, please feel free to drop me a line.
Main Street USA
Modeled after an early 20th century small town like Walt might have grown up in, the gateway to the Magic Kingdom is Main Street USA. Visitors pass under the Main Street Station of the Walt Disney World Railroad and it’s like raising the curtain on a theatrical production. Looming in the distance is what Disney calls the “weenie”. The weenie is something designed to be focal point that draws people out of the real world and into a world where even the oldest most jaded guest can become part of Walt’s vision.
In this case the weenie is Cinderella Castle in the distance and it fulfills its purpose. In fact it might do its job too well as many people rush down Main Street and miss a lot of the magic Disney has for them. Fortunately Grumpy took time to make an inventory of what you might have missed.
I have tried to list the attractions, shops and restaurants as you would find them heading north down Main towards the Castle and then taking the first left towards Adventureland.
Walt Disney World Railroad: Did you know Walt Disney was a train enthusiast? He was. So much so, in fact, that he had a working railroad built on his California home, the Carolwood-Pacific. Unlike the Carolwood-Pacific, which was a ⅛-scale model railroad, the four engines pulling the cars around Walt Disney World are the real thing. The Walt Disney World Railroad is not only a great way to see the entire park, in about 20 minutes, it is also the best way to avoid the closed streets and crowds during a parage. The WDW Railroad also makes stops in Frontierland and Fantasyland.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Stop by the Firehouse on Main Street to get a map and a few game cards to start your adventure. Mickey and pals need some help fighting off some of the worst villains from the Disney films, the likes of Ursula and Dr. Facilier (from the Princess and the Frog) by playing your cards at select locations throughout the Magic Kingdom.
Town Square Theater: Meet Mickey Mouse and friends here and have your picture taken! You can also buy your photography supplies here.
Main Street Transportation: Tired of walking down Main Street, hitch a ride in these turn of the century vehicles that make the trip up and down Main. You can also hop on a horse-drawn trolley for a nice trip.
The Dapper Dans: Headquartered in the Harmony Barber Shop this quartet does not limit itself to serenading people getting their hair cut. They also perform several times a day.
The Newstand: Though not technically on Main Street (it is on your left before you head under the Walt Disney World Railroad) it is close enough for me. Despite the name they do not sell newspapers here. Instead it is camera supplies.
Main Street Transportation Co West: Every little girl is a princess! Prepare to meet one with pretty princess wear and an official autograph booklet!
Main Street Chamber of Commerce: Did you know that if you buy something in the park but don’t want to carry it around till time to go you can have it shipped to the front of the park and have it waiting for you? Well you can and if you do this is the place to pick it up. In fact, under the right circumstances you can have it shipped directly to your resort if you are staying at an official Disney Resort.
Curtain Call Collectibles: Mickey ears, toys and plush animals sold here.
Box Office Gifts: Camera supplies, gifts, housewares and pins.
The Harmony Barber Shop: A real functioning barber shop in the Magic Kingdom? Why yes there is. Especially popular for your little ones first cut.
The Chapeau: You can get all kinds of hats here.
Main Street Confectionary: Cure your sweet tooth here and watch your favorite treats being made.
Uptown Jewelers: According to Disney you can even find something on a budget here! Shop features fine jewelry, china, clocks, Disney figurines and pins.
Crystal Arts: You can buy things made of, well crystal obviously! There are also demonstrations of glass blowing techniques.
Disney Clothiers: Disney themed clothes for the entire family!
Restaurants and Refreshments
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Table Service): Based on the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp this eatery features Italian dishes. The pizza here is great!
Main Street Bakery: Now sponsored by Starbucks! Real coffee makes the magic a lot more magical in the morning. Serves only Starbucks food items till around lunch time then adds in some Disney favorites. Unfortunately the cinnamon roll is not one of them
The Plaza Restaurant (Table Service): Turn of the century restaurant that is often overlooked. Menu includes items like cheeseburger, grilled Reuben and meatloaf. Reservations are recommended.
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor: Old fashioned ice cream favorites.
Casey’s Corner (Quick Service): Enjoy a hot dog in this baseball themed eatery. You might be tempted to pass this one by but don’t. The hot dogs are great and there is a bar with toppings to spice up your dog. The cheese sauce is also great for your fries. Click here to read more.
Crystal Palace (Table Service with Characters): Enjoy a wonderful buffet while Pooh and friends come around to your table for pictures and autographs. Reservations are recommended.
The attractions in Adventureland take guests from the South Pacific to the Caribbean, from Africa to Asia and South America and even the Middle East.
Swiss Family Treehouse: Based on the tree house from the movie, this is worth a look as you see how Disney translated the movie from the screen to Adventureland.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin: Get an areal view of Adventureland but watch out for the spitting camel!
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room: This classic has returned to its classic line up, for the most part. An enjoyable show and a good break from the heat and the walking.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Pirates of the Caribbean was a favorite of Disneyland visitors but it was not in the original plans for Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Enough people complained that it was added later. Thanks to those complaints we can now enjoy the Pirates on both coasts. For more information click here.
A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas: An interactive quest challenging you to find out if you have what it takes to be part of Captain Jack Sparrow’s crew.
Island Supply: Gifts, souvenirs and apparel inspired by they Islands
Zanzibar Trading Company: Apparel and accessories
Agrabah Bazaar: Plush dolls, princess costumes as well as glassware.
Plaza Del Sol Caribe Bazaar: If you ride Pirates of the Caribbean you cannot miss this shop. The ride exit leads you right into it. As you might imagine it is the home to pirate themed merchandise including the blockbuster film series Pirates of the Caribbean.
La Princesa de Cristal: Arribas Brothers crystal and glassware, cut crystal, blown glass and crystal figurines.
The Pirates League: Make an appointment and get a pirate make over.
Restaurants and Refreshments
Aloha Isle: Located at the entrance to Adventureland this is the spot for the famous Dole Whip but you can also get floats, chips and even a pineapple spear here. FYI, if you haven’t had a dole whip you haven’t lived yet. Just saying.
Sunshine Tree Terrace: Located near the Enchanted Tiki room this snack spot offers frozen beverages and treats.
Tortuga Tavern (formerly El Pirata Y El Perico Restaurante): Located near Pirates of the Caribbean, didn’t see that coming did you, this counter service restaurant features burritos, taco salad and nachos.
The wild west comes to life in Frontierland. But wait that river boat looks like it should be on the Mississippi and that isn’t the west! Well you are half right. That boat does go with the Mississippi and Tom Sawyer Island does too. But…the western frontier used to be the Mississippi!
Frontierland Station: The Walt Disney World Railroad makes a stop here.Trying to get somewhere during a parade? This might be the best route to take as many streets are blocked off.
Splash Mountain: Ride with Br’er Rabbit he tries to avoid being lunch! This is a flume ride and has a big drop followed by an even bigger splash. However, it is also a classic Disney dark ride with plenty of animatronics and singing before the plunge. Even grumpymom (not to be confused with Mrs grumpy) kind of enjoyed this one and she is a definite fear of heights case study.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: They are getting ready to close down the mine but not before one more party. Fortunately you are invited. This roller coaster may be the wildest ride in the wilderness but it is not the wildest coaster in the world. It is designed as a family ride and there are plenty of animatronic critters to see…if you can keep your eyes open.
Tom Sawyer Island: Take a raft over to Tom and Huck’s hiding place. You can explore a fort and a cave. There are rickety bridges to cross. Getting lost is a real possibility here but if you get desperate there are signs to help you out. Just be on the look out for Injun Joe.
Country Bear Jamboree: Big Al and his bear friends serenade you in this cool theatre. The songs have a decidedly bluegrass feel but it is a show everyone can enjoy together.
Frontierland Shootin Arcade: The games here are typical. Note there is a charge per game.
Briar Patch: Dry off and shop at the same time as you exit Splash Mountain. This shops features items and apparel themed to Splash Mountain.
Prairie Outpost and Supply: Snacks, jellies and preserves.
Big Al’s: All your frontier needs like coon-skin hats, badges and rifles.
Frontier Trading Post: Major pin trading going on here as well as Mickey ears and vinylmation.
Restaurants and Refreshments
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café: One of the best burgers in town! Also has a wonderful fixins bar with sauteed mushrooms and onions. BBQ pork sandwiches, taco salads and chili are also available.
Westward Ho: Just drinks and chips here.
Diamond Horseshoe: Enjoy sandwiches and chips.
Between Frontierland and Fantasyland, Liberty Square was originally intended for Disneyland but it did not work out. So Walt added it to the plans of the Magic Kingdom. Designed to remind of us colonial America it truly is one of the beauties of the Magic Kingdom.
Trivia: Did you know that in 1976 50 exact replicas of the real Liberty Bell were cast. One was intended for each state but Pennsylvania had the original so they did not know what to do with theirs. Disney asked for it and now it is in Liberty Square.
Liberty Square Riverboat: Board the Richard F. Irvine and take a trip on an authentic steam ship down the Rivers of America. You get a very scenic and relaxing tour of Liberty Square and much of Frontierland. The trip takes about 17 minutes.
The Hall of Presidents: Every president is represented here in stunning detail. For example FDR has braces on his legs. A patriotic presentation of America. That voice you hear when president Obama speaks sound very close to the real thing? Well that is because it is.
The Haunted Mansion: There are plenty of ghosts and lots of history in this one. This is a Disney haunted house, though, and child friendly. The ghosts are more comical than terrifying.
Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe: Disney themed Christmas supplies.
Heritage House: Apparel and accessories.
Liberty Square Portrait Gallery: Get your portrait done here.
Yankee Trader Shop: Some unique and unusual kitchen ware as well as Mickey Mouse pasta, jams and jellies.
Restaurants and Refreshments
Liberty Tree Tavern (Table Service): Lunch is ala carte but dinner is served family style at your table. Offerings for dinner include sliced turkey breast, pork and beef. A particular favorite of mine. Sadly, characters no longer make the rounds here. Reservations are recommened.
Sleepy Hollow: Many freshly prepared snacks here including the grumpy favorite funnel cake. Though outdoors there is shaded seating next to Sleep Hollow.
Columbia Harbour House (Quick Service): Fish and chicken sandwiches, chili and clam chowder.
Inspired by some of the Disney classics as well as a few more recent Disney hits, Fantasyland is in the midst of a major renovation. Most of the work is done already but there are a few more attractions still to be finished. As part of this renovation Fantasyland is now broken down into two sections, Storybook Circus (which will comprise mainly the attractions we have come to know and love) and Fantasyland Forrest which centers around Beast’s Castle and new attractions.
it’s a small world: This dark ride takes us on a tour of children from around the world singing in their native language. It’s a song we love to hate (it even makes a brief appearance in the Lion King causing Scar to say, “Anything but that!”) but we are still drawn to the ride!
Peter Pan’s Flight: Go with Peter and the Darlings on an adventure over London and Neverland. Guests ride in their very own flying pirate ship!
Mickey’s PhilharMagic: Donald Duck tries to steal the show in the 3D spectacular but in the end he treats us to some of the best songs of the Disney movies. This attraction also uses smell and touch to enhance your viewing pleasure.
Prince Charming Regal Carousel: This authentic carousel was built in 1917. Disney found it and refurbished it and now it treats untold numbers of children and adults to a ride every year.
Enchanted Tales With Belle: Let Belle tell you a story in this interactive attraction.
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid with Scuttle’s Scavenger Hunt: Join Ariel, her friends and her enemies in the depths of the sea and on land to experience the wonder and the music of the movie. After the ride stop by Ariel’s Grotto for an autograph!
Pete’s Silly Sideshow: Meet and greet with some familiar characters in unfamiliar roles. Minnie Magnifique , Madame Daisy Fortuna (, The Great Goofini (Goofy as a stunt pilot) and The Astounding Donaldo.
Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station: Little ones can play in the water and get splashed by the animals on Casey Jr., the train seen in Dumbo.
The Barnstormer: Featuring the Great Goofini: Goofy is flying high on this roller coaster designed for the young ones. It’s not fast or wild enough to scare most of them but it is fast and wild enough to keep them screaming (hopefully with joy!). Grumpy’s three-year old niece was a little reluctant at first but when asked after if she had fun, all she said was, “Again!”
Dumbo the Flying Elephant: A Disney World classic, this spinner ride lets guests control the altitude of their very own Dumbo. This ride is so popular a second spinner was added during the Fantasyland expansion. An indoor play area was also added with interactive games for the young ones.
Fantasyland Station – Walt Disney World Railroad: The last stop before the train returns to Main Street.
Mad Tea Party: Inspired by the unbirthday party in the Disney classic Alice In Wonderland, this ride is featured at all Magic Kingdom style parks world-wide. Guests sit in a tea-cup on a spinning platform. Guests can also spin their own tea-cup which is on the spinning platform which makes for a lot of spinning. Spinning makes grumpy grumpier. If you are like grumpy, skip this one.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Jump into a honey pot and travel through the Hundred Acre Woods in search of honey.
Cinderella Castle: Though there is no ride here there are shows in front of the castle. These shows include characters and dancing. The closing ceremonies for the Magic Kingdom, Wishes, is a fireworks spectacular. If the shows were not enough there is nothing that says I am in Disney World/The Magic Kingdom like being able to see Cinderella’s Castle.
Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet your favorite princess here including Elsa and Anna from the Hit Frozen. Elsa and Anna are also hits so unless you want to stand in line for up to six hours get a Fastpass.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: The mine is now open for business. Join the dwarfs as they head of to work in the mines. This is a roller coaster but a rather tame one. A little more extreme than the Barnstormer and a little less extreme than Big Thunder Mountain. The train cars also rock which actually helps smooth out the ride. This coaster is not all about speed though. There are sections where the cart slows down and you can see the dwarfs at work in the mine. Click here for the full ride article.
Fantasy Faire: Hang a right as you exit Mickey’s Philharmagic and you are in Fantasy Faire. Many items, though not all, are themed to the Philharmagic. Among the wares offered are t-shirts, plush animals, and mugs.
Bonjour! Village Gifts: Located near Gaston’s Tavern this Beauty and the Beast themed shop features goblets, dinnerware to clothing. Styles range from elegant to cartoonish.
Big Top Souvenirs: Plush circus themed animals, hats and edible treats that remind you are near, if not under, the big top.
Casey Jr. Railroad Mercantile: Been to the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Play station but forgot your towel? They sell them here as well as sunscreen and watershoes.
Castle Couture: This shop across from Cinderella Castle sells all kinds of princess clothing and accessories. But you can also get your little princess’ (or the whole family’s) picture taken in a formal setting.
Hundred Acre Goods: Formerly Pooh’s Thoughtful Shop this is the place for plush characters inspired by the honey-craving bear. Clocks, costumes and backpacks are also among the goods offered.
Sir Mickey’s: Featuring the Little Mermaid inspired clothing, mugs, pins and even dinglehoppers!
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Get your official princess makeover here in the castle. Costumes and packages vary. Reservations strongly recommended.
Restaurants and Refreshments
Pinocchio Village Haus: Right next to it’s a small world and with some tables even having a view inside the attraction, Pinocchio Village Haus is a Quick Service restaurant featuring. Highlights of the menu are soups, salads, flatbread, chicken nuggets and sandwiches. Children’s choices include pizza.
Be Our Guest Restaurant: By day this eatery is Quick Service but it still features a decidedly French elegance. Get in line early to get a table in one of three Beauty and the Beast themed dining rooms. At dinner time the restaurant becomes Table Services. Reservations are recommended and hard to get!
Gaston’s Tavern: Belle’s suitor has opened up his own shop in Fantasyland. This is a really more of a snack stand but with more indoor seating then you might have come to expect. Three things here stick out though, the pork shank (think of the smoked turkey leg and add in a generous portion of fatness), LeFou’s Brew (frozen apple juice with a hint of marshmallow) and a cinnamon roll with a hint of maple syrup. I know the Brew may not sound good but it is! It’s almost competition with the Dole Whip. As for the cinnamon roll it is big enough to share but you will not want to.
Cheshire Café: Next to the Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, this counter service offers muffins, fruit, juices, coffee and hot cocoa.
Friar’s Nook: Chicken nuggets (including a teryaki version), hot dogs, caesar salad with chicken and even a a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are the offerings here. Located between Pooh and the old Snow White’s Scary Adventure location.
Storybook Treats: Grab yourself a cookie or brownie and wash it down with a shake. Or go for a sundae and a soda. Your call.
Cinderella’s Royal Table: The hardest table to get in all of Walt Disney World is one at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Breakfast is a family style affair that is all you can eat. All other meals are ordered off the menu. The food, while not terrible, is not the draw here. It might be the princesses who make their rounds for photos with your party but you can dine with them at Askerhaus at Epcot’s Norway Pavillion. The draw here is you are inside the castle! Reservations are a must and it can be hard to get one. Occasionally you used to be able to walk up to the Castle and get a table without too much wait. Grumpy and Mrs Grumpy did it once. Don’t count on it though.
Originally conceived to be an accurate forecast of what the future might hold Imagineers found the future kept catching up to them. The current incarnation of Tomorrowland is more of a page out of 1950′s science fiction.
Tomorrowland Speedway: Drive like an Indy driver except for the rail between your tires that keep you on course. It makes for a bumpy ride sometimes but smaller children love it because they can drive here (as long as they meet the minimum height requirement.)
Space Mountain: The first Disney World rollercoaster plunges you into darkness as you explore space at the breathtaking 28 mph. Yes I said 28 mph. It’s the tight turns that make you feel like you are moving faster.
Astro Orbiter: Not your typical Disney spinner ride, this one starts off high in the sky letting you get a good look at all of Tomorrowland if not all of the Magic Kingdom.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority: Want to see what Space Mountain is like without the fear? Board a train that takes you into Space Mountain and then through Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress: One of the last attractions that Walt worked on personally was transported from Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom. Sit down in this theatre for a look at our past as a country and the advancements we have made. Unlike traditional stage shows, when one scene is over the entire theatre rotates around the stage until you reach the next scene.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: Buzz needs new cadets and you are it. Jump into a spaceship with two cannons and one joystick. While only one of you can “drive” you can both shoot and rack up points as you fight the evil emperor Zurg.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor: Help keep Monstropolis flowing with energy in this comedy show presented by Mike Wazowski. Watch the pre show and get the special text messaging password. Then you can send in your own joke which could be used in the show. I hate to see some of the jokes they cannot use.
Stitch’s Great Escape!: Experiment 626 (Aka Stitch) is on the loose again. Strap yourself into your seat and see if you can help catch him. This is in effect, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter-lite if you ever experienced that attraction.
Mickey’s Star Traders: One of the larger shops in the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Star Traders is located across from the Tomorrowland Speedway. It features toys and clothes with a futuristic touch. You might even find Tron inspired items here. Sun care supplies can also be purchased at Mickey’s.
Tomorrow Land Light and Power Company: Exit Space Mountain and enter the Tomorrowland Light and Power Company. Find all your furturistic needs including some space food. There is also an arcade.
Buzz’s Star Command: Near Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin, and serving as the exit, is this shop. You can get appropriately themed clothes, costumes, toys and figurines.
Merchant of Venus: As you exit Stitch’s Great Escape you will find yourself in the Merchant of Venus (you can also walk right in without experiencing Stitch.) Most of the merchandise is Stitch themed and includes toys, hats, shirts and collectibles.
Restaurants and Refreshments
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café: The largest and one of the more popular quick service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom the star here is not only the food but Sonny Eclipse, an animatronic lounge singer who performs all day and night long. This location has lots of indoor seating and a rather large menu. Unfortunately the ordering stations are divided into three distinct menus so while you might be in line at one station for chicken the rest of your party may be in another line for a hot dog. The menu includes the aforementioned chicken, hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches. One nice thing to remember is the fixin’s bar so you can do your sandwich up right. Read more including a full menu here.
Cool Ship: Between the Tomorrowland Speedway and the Astro Orbiter/Tomorrowland Transit Authority is this small stand that serves fountain drinks, bottled water and salted pretzels.
The Lunching Pad at Rockettower Plaza:Underneath the Astro Orbiter this Quick Service location is really like a refreshment bar with some tables. Though technically outdoors you are shaded by the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Specialty hot dogs and Philly cheese steak. Sweet cream cheese pretzels and muffins are the offerings here.
Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies: Located inside the Merchant of Venus this small venue offers a few breakfast items like cereal, muffins and whole fruit. Later in the day come back for soft serve ice cream in the cone or a cup. Or splurge with a sundae or a smoothy.
Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe: Simple breakfast items such as croissants, mini-waffles and beignets. Lunch and dinner offerings include an angus cheeseburger, fried chicken sandwich, pastas and lobster rolls.