With my childhood and life-long love of everything Disney related, one of the happiest places for my family to spend their time is at the Magic Kingdom® Park and Epcot®.
When people (and my family included) think of Walt Disney World® Resort, most immediately they think of the Magic Kingdom® Park first. The home of the beautiful and iconic Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom® Park has numerous attractions, rides and shows showcasing beloved Disney characters. Magic Kingdom® Park features Adventureland® Area, Frontierland® Area, Liberty Square Area, Fantasyland® Area, and Tomorrowland® Area. Main Street, U.S.A.® Area, connects the Magic Kingdom® entrance and is the central hub for the entire park, including signature entertainment like parades, fireworks spectaculars, and character meet and greets.
One of things that my family greatly enjoys about Magic Kingdom® Park is that most of the rides and attractions can be experienced together. We enjoy being able to ride together as a family and everyone has their favorites. The following are some of our can’t miss experiences at Magic Kingdom® Park:
- For those having a “need for speed,” Space Mountain® Attraction is a must experience! Riding a space flight in the dark, it is the fastest and wildest ride in Magic Kingdom® Park. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin® Attraction is in an interactive and spinning ride that lets everyone become one of Buzz Lightyear's Junior Space Rangers and enter into battle with the evil Emperor Zurg. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover Attraction is a slow-moving and peaceful 10-minute ride that gives you a bird's-eye view of the Tomorrowland® Area.
- One of the newest rides, Seven Dwarfs Mine TrainÂ® Attraction, features some of the movie scenes from one of the most beloved movies, Disneyâ€™s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Itâ€™s a speeding mine cart and roller coaster that will have you moving from side to side while showing the Seven Dwarfs hard at work at their diamond and jewel underground operation. Under the Sea - Journey of The Little MermaidÂ® Attraction, relives another classic movie, Disneyâ€™s The Little Mermaid. The rides descend underwater (without getting wet) and features classic songs and beautiful moments of Arielâ€™s story. Though my twin boys had seen The Little Mermaid, they had a new appreciation for the film after riding. Peter Panâ€™s FlightÂ®, Dumbo the Flying ElephantÂ® and Itâ€™s a Small WorldÂ® are attractions that create wonderful nostalgic feelings for myself and now my children so we never leave the park without riding and seeing our much loved characters.
- If you are looking to get wet, the Splash Mountain® Attraction will get you soaked! Board a log ride through Brer Rabbit's Laughin' Place and get ready for the five-story drop that makes it one of the favorite thrill rides at Magic Kingdom® Park. For a bumpy and laughing good time, definitely ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® Attraction. Just remember to hold on to your hats as you roller-coast your way through the Old West on a runaway mine train. (Don’t forget to see the knee slapping fun of the Country Bear Jamboree show located in Frontierland® Area too.)
- If you like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, you won’t want to miss the inspiration for the films, the Pirates of the Caribbean® Attraction. One of the most popular and in-demand attractions at Magic Kingdom® Park, you will ride through a seacoast town being overrun by pirates and swashbucklers and “see” Captain Jack Sparrow. You will feel like you are in the deep rainforests and jungles of Asia, South America and Africa with the sights and sounds of exotic robotic animals aboard the Jungle Cruise® Attraction. Remember to fly and soar high on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin® Attraction.
Epcot®was designed to both educate and entertain and is made up of Future World and World Showcase. Both Future World and World Showcase are full of attractions, dining, and entertainment. Future World is where you can experience the past and future of technology advancements. World Showcase highlights the art, architecture and culture of the countries that surround the World Showcase Lagoon.
One of my favorite memories at Epcot® is being able to visit and experience different countries without ever having to leave the park. World Showcase shares the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada.
Among our favorite restaurants is San Angel Inn Restaurante (Mexico). Modeled after a 17th-century hacienda at the base of Mayan ruins, it offers tasty Mexican dishes in a twilight atmosphere. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzería (Italy), serves hearty pastas, fresh salads and pizzas perfected in wood-burning ovens. Coral Reef Restaurant (within Future World) has delicious seafood and breath-taking views of a living coral reef—and the 4,000 amazing sea creatures. Toyko Dining (Japan) features traditional Japanese cuisine like sushi and fresh fish.
To help educate and entertain children, kids can join Agent P's World Showcase Adventure (Agent P is also known as Perry the Platypus from the popular Disney Channel series "Phineas and Ferb"). The interactive experience, Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure is based on the efforts of the cartoon platypus to thwart his nemesis, Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Kids can become secret agents using a "high-tech secret agent device" to receive clues for each case. Solving the clues will take agents to different places throughout seven World Showcase countries. Also, throughout the World Showcase, most Epcot® retail shops sell Passport Kits. Each kit contains a blank passport and stamps for every World Showcase country. As kids accompany their parents to each country, they tear out the appropriate stamp and stick it in the passport. The kit also contains basic information on the nations and a Mickey Mouse button.
Epcot® has some amazing (and futuristic) rides and attractions. No visit to Epcot® would be complete without experiencing the Spaceship Earth® Attraction. The premier landmark at Epcot®, it depicts mankind’s developments in communications, from cave painting to printing to television to space communications and computer networks. The Soarin’® Attraction, literally makes you feel like you are flying in the air and showcases beautiful scenic views. Though currently closed until summer 2016, Soarin' Around the World will replace the current attraction. New locations in the attraction will include the Great Wall of China and Monument Valley (USA). Along with a new film will be upgraded digital technology. The Seas with Nemo & Friends® Attraction is a high-tech ride featuring characters from the animated hit movie Finding Nemo. The ride exits into special exhibits, Turtle Talk with Crush Attraction, and viewing platforms for the main aquarium area. For a Nascar-type of thrilling racing ride, check out Test Track® Attraction.
Magic Kingdom® Park and Epcot® both provide the magical and unique experiences every family may be looking forward to share on their vacations.
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Disney gave me a complementary Walt Disney World® vacation to write about my experience. All opinions are my own.