In the continuing series of reviews from my Disney World trip, first up for the parks is Magic Kingdom. The iconic flagship of all the Disney magic. My review is purely on what we did an not necessarily a bland, generic review of the park itself. There are things left out because we didn’t do them for one reason or another.
We hit the Magic Kingdom first and visited it in a total of 3 times during our trip. From the Wilderness Lodge it was just a boat ride away, easy. When you enter the park you walk down Main Street toward the castle. Main Street is a collection of museum type shops with retail. We didn’t go into any of the Main Street attractions, the 4 year old probably would have been bored and we didn’t go to Disney to shop for elevated priced merchandise.
The park is laid out in a hub and spoke design which made it easy to move around, the castle being the in the center. In no particular order here are my reviews on the attractions I/we hit up.
I’ll start with my favorite ride here. Disney is not known for it’s thrill rides and in Magic Kingdom Space Mountain is as close as you are going to get to a rushing thrill. I loved this aged, classic. I have never been on it before but knew all about it. I watched the videos, I have seen it with the lights on so I knew what I was getting into. The single rider car was pretty cool and the trains were very short. All in the dark, starry lights, random flashes, an occasional glimpse of the track this ride was very, very fun. It’s amazing that the ride tops out under 30mph. One thing about this ride is that it bangs your body around, you will feel it as you ride and after. Rating: A
We didn’t ride this but I still want to comment on it. We were at the Magic Kingdom 3 days in a row. We tried 5 times to ride Splash Mountain. 4 times the ride was broken, we even saw the crew taking down walls trying to get stranded riders off the thing. When it was running the wait was well over an hour. I have never seen a ride broken so often.
Big Thunder Mountain
Our traveling child was 3 years and 50 weeks old, 41 inches tall, and wanted to go on the Train roller coaster. He loved it until the tight turns, then he hated it. For the adults, this is a very tame coaster. Although a few spots lift you out of the seats, if you are looking for a speed rush this is not a coaster for you. Ride it for the icon but anything more than a 30 minute wait for it is not worth it. Rating: B-
This is a 3D/4D movie event. This is one of the best 3D effects I have ever seen. The screen is huge, wide and the effects are out of this world. The file should actually be called Donald’s PhilHarmagic because it’s all about Donald, Mickey is in it for about a minute. They blow air on you, spray you with water and it’s a truly an engaging experience. The youngster, being that it was his first 3D viewing of anything, didn’t enjoy it. He didn’t like that Donald and the other characters kept throwing things at his face. Rating: A+
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
This was by far the favorite ride of the sub-4 year old. We went on this one I think 4 times over the 3 times we were at Magic Kingdom. The name of the ride is a little misleading, I wouldn’t say the ride spins but rotates and it’s under your control. This is more of a game than a ride. The car seats 2, each have a gun and you ride through carious scenes shooting at Zurg logos. Very much like an updated carnival gun game only more crazy. Each person has a score that’s kept for you, I topped out at 950,000 points, the max is 999,999. This attraction is very, very fun. The space tunnel near the end is pretty sweet. Rating: A+
It’s A Small World
Another Disney classic. The very long, internationally themed It’s A Small World is a ride you have to go on at least once, I think it’s a Disney Law somewhere. It’s very intriguing how much and how detailed the animatronics is and remembering this was made back in the 70s. The song will reverberate through your head the rest of the day, but it’s worth it. I am convinced that whoever designed this attraction was on every drug known to man at the same time. It’s quite the visual trip. Rating: Priceless
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
It goes around and up and down at the control of the rider. The sub-4 year old loved it and every other ride like this one. Not much more to say about this other than if there is a long wait there’s a cool play area in the circus tent as you wait. The lines were very short and we didn’t play in there.
We went on this twice. The old style boat, which is really on a track, takes you through a river filled with animatronic animals, tribesmen and other oddities. It’s cute, you go by the under a waterfall (you don’t get wet). One thing is if there is no wind be prepared to suck exhaust from the boats, especially if you are sitting in the back of the boat. Rating: C+
The Magic Carpets Of Aladdin
Another up and down and around ride, this time you are in flying carpets. Same as all the others, the kids love it. Outside there is a camel that randomly spits water at the passer-bys.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This ride we got stuck in the middle of a short and long wait time. When we entered it said it was a 10 minute wait but very quickly we realized it was wrong and we waited over 30 minutes for this ride… It was not worth the wait. The nearest comparison of a like attraction is the Peter Pan ride that I talk about later, Pooh was not even close to that. Disappointed. Rating: C-
Peter Pan Flight
Everyone I talked to that has been to Disney before, even my cousin who was there a week before us, all said to get a Fast Pass for this. All day long this ride’s wait times were 45 minutes or longer so it must be really awesome. Our FastPass time arrived we got on the flying ship and were taken through the ride. Now, this was a very cool ride, fun, the miniature London was impressive… but I cannot understand why people line up for almost an hour for it. There are far better attractions out there, why this one? It was cool but it wasn’t that good. Rating: B
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
This is the interactive comedy show with Monsters Inc. The technology is state of the art, the audience is part of the show, off the cuff and I laughed all the way through it. I love Pixar movies and I loved this attraction. Young, old, in the middle you should see this. Worth the wait. Rating: A+
Pirates of the Caribbean
Another iconic attraction that is a must to experience. Updated with the themes and characters from the movies this attraction was great. The sub-4 year old loved it. It’s dark but not scary, the little thrill hill in the middle throws the right amount of rush and the animatronics are amazing. We went on this a few times. Rating: A+
Stitch’s Great Escape
To start off this is not a cute ride for little kids. It’s dark, loud, freaky, and overloads your senses. Be warned. Aside from a terrified sub-4 year old through the last half of the attraction, I didn’t like this at all. For the peak of the ride you are in the pitch dark with the sounds cranked up so loud it hurts your ears, you get air blown on you, and other sensory over load effects. Then it’s over. Rating: C
Swiss Family Treehouse
A really, really big tree house with a walkway up and down. Laid out like a museum. Rating: C
Gas powered Go-karts on a track. How can this not be fun? It’s great. The sub-4 year old drove the steering wheel while I hit the gas. It was a blast. Rating: A
Tomorrowland People Mover
This is a train that sits on a track than goes around Tomorrow Land. It may look lame but it’s actually very interesting. You go through various exhibits and even through Space Mountain and the Buzz Lighyear rides from above. I enjoyed it, the sub-4 year old loved it, it was his idea to go on it in the first place. Rating: B+
That covers the attractions we hit up on this trip. Magic Kingdom is an experience and the level of detail on all these rides, in the parks, the parades, the side shows is absolutely amazing. The details is what sets Disney above and beyond everyone else.
Next up Animal Kingdom, the day where we dealt with the outer arms of Tropical Storm Isaac.
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