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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

Magic Kingdom - Getting your Bearings

Updated: Mar 3

Get the lay of the land in this virtual tour of the Magic Kingdom. We'll give a quick overview of each of the areas around the park and point out some highlights to keep an eye out for.





 

Main Street U.S.A.





When you first enter the Magic Kingdom you will go under the Train Station and then find yourself on Main Street, USA, the heart of Walt Disney's vision. At the front, just after the Train Station is Town Square. Town Square is where you find Town Square Theater, where you can meet Mickey Mouse. It also contains Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, a table service Italian restaurant in which you are surrounded by Lady and Tramp theming. Finally is City Hall the home of Guest Relations at the Magic Kingdom.

Moving on from Town Square, as you move down Main Street, USA, you will pass by the Emporium on the left, and a bunch of smaller shops on the right. To the right you will also find the Main Street Bakery, which is where the Starbucks is located in the Magic Kingdom. Each of the parks has one large main shop where you will find all of the main park souvenirs. In the Magic Kingdom this is the Emporium.


At the End of Main Street, USA, are situated a handful of dining locations and then beyond that is the hub.



The Hub




Situated in front of Cinderella Castle is the hub. Magic Kingdom is designed to be like a wagon wheel, with a central hub and paths leading out in all directions to each of the different lands. To the immediate left is the entrance to Adventureland, then a little further up and still to the left is the bridge to Liberty Square and beyond that Frontierland. Immediately ahead is Cinderella Castle, and by walking through the Castle you get to Fantasyland. To the right is the route into Tomorrowland.


The hub is also the ideal place to watch the evening fireworks. Happily Ever After is the current nighttime show at the Magic Kingdom, and it features incredible fireworks and projections onto the castle. To get the full effect you’ll want to position yourself where you can see the castle.


In the center of the hub, situated right in front of Cinderella's Castle you will find the Partners statue. This statue of Walt DIsney hand in hand with Mickey is symbolic of the entire Walt Disney World ideals. This is a great photo opportunity with Photopass photographers always at the ready to snap a pic.

*Pro tip: If you are looking for the perfect magical castle photo with you and your family,

plan to get to the park at least an hour early. They start letting people onto Main Street and up to the castle that early and photographers will already be in position to snap that perfect pic. You will have a much better chance of snagging that perfect moment shot at this time. Your other option is to close the park down. The posted closing time for parks is when the rides close, but the shops remain open for another hour. If you hang out until close to the end of that hour you’ll likely be able to grab some fun photos of the castle lit up with little to no people in the foreground.



Adventureland






To the left of the hub, you will cross over a bridge into Adventureland. Here you will find popular rides like the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. This is also where Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is located. This is a Walt Original show that is often not too crowded and provides a place to sit in the AC while enjoying singing birds - 'cause why not.


Adventureland is also home to the infamous Dole Whip. You can now get this pineapple-y frozen treat at a few other locations around the parks, but this is its original location. If you are looking for something more substantial to eat, try Tortuga Tavern, which is open seasonally, or Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen where reservations are typically required.


Frontierland


Reached either by going through Adventureland or Liberty Square, Frontierland is situated at the far left of the park. Splash Mountain closed down earlier this year to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, projected to open in 2024. The only real remaining ride in Frontierland is Big Thunder Mountain, which is a roller coaster set on a runaway mine train and is self proclaimed “the wildest ride in the wilderness.”

In Frontierland you will also find boats over to Tom Sawyer’s Island, a great place to let kids run around and use up any excess energy. You will also find The Country Bear Jamboree, a "16-minute, foot-stompin’ cele-bear-tion." *** The Country Bear Jamboree is closed and in undergoing a transformation. It should reopen summer of 2024. Dining options over here include Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, the Golden Oak Outpost, and Westward Ho. The first is a quick service location, and the other two are good snacking spots.


Liberty Square



One if by land, two if by sea. Everyone knows the poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” which referred to the lanterns that would warn the colonists of the British arrival by sea. But did you know you can find those all famous two lanterns in Liberty Square? By taking the walkway at the top left of the hub, you will find yourself in Liberty Square, where historical details like this are everywhere you look. Liberty Square is home to the Hall of Presidents, a 22 minute show about the founding of our nation, the Liberty Square Riverboat, where you can sit back and cruise the Rivers of America, and the Haunted Mansion, where 999 happy haunts wait to greet you, but there is always room for one more.

In addition to the attractions, there are a number of reliable dining locations in Liberty Square, including Liberty Tree Tavern, our favorite table service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House, and Sleepy Hollow.


Liberty Square is also where you will find the Christmas Shoppe, which is a great place to pick up Disney themed Christmas ornaments to cherish for years to come.


Fantasyland



Fantasyland is just quintessential Disney. Found by walking directly through Cinderella’s Castle, because you are royalty, or one of the side entrances from Tomorrowland or Liberty Square, Fantasyland is home to some of the most popular rides on property. They may not be the hottest and newest, but they are time tested and bring back memories of childhood every single time. Here cartoon characters come to life in Peter Pan’s Flight, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, along with plenty of others.


In Fantasyland you can dine like royalty at Cinderella’s Royal Table, located in the castle itself where you dine while being visited by Disney princesses, or at Be Our Guest Restaurant, where you dine in the Beast’s castle from Beauty and the Beast, complete with Grand Ballroom and Enchanted Rose. Beyond dining like royalty, you can grab a quick bite to eat at Pinocchio's Village Haus, and we love the cinnamon roll over at Gaston’s Tavern for a snack.


Tomorrowland





To the right of the hub you will find Tomorrowland. This area has had a bit of an identity crisis in recent years, but you will find space and futuristic themed attractions here. The big new addition to the area is TRON Lightcycle / Run. This is a high-intensity rollercoaster that can only be ridden if you snag a virtual queue or an individual lightning lane (ILL). Beyond the Grid, the other e-ticket attraction in Tomorrowland is Space Mountain. This is a roller coaster that has you careening around corners and down hills all completely in the dark - making it super hard to brace. Other rides in this futuristic area include Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Astro Orbiter, the Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, fan favorite the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and the Carousel of Progress - a Walt Disney original.


Park Overview -



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