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Disney World Orlando Florida - Magic Kingdom

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      31.10.2012 12:18
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      Definitely makes a dream come true!

      There is a reason why it is called the Magic Kingdom and that is because it is the place where dreams come true and the magic of Disney comes to life. Even at the age of *cough* thirty something *cough*, I love Disney and even though I have been here before and to the Paris park umpteen times, I still loved visiting the Magic Kingdom. I can only imagine how exciting it must be for young children who still believe in fairy dust and princesses. The Magic Kingdom is split into several areas . . . ===Main Street USA and Adventureland=== Main Street USA is the backbone of the park and provides the grand entryway to the rest of the lands beyond. It is headed by Cinderella's Castle and is absolutely the best place to get the iconic picture of the grand fairy tale castle. There isn't much in the way of attractions in this street, but it is the theme and the carnival atmosphere that exudes from the area that provides the attraction. The street is lined with shops and eateries that are all themed around traditional American bakeries, hot dog stands and ice cream parlours. There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat before you start your day or to grab your souvenirs at the end of the day. It is actually a great place to do your shopping at the end of the day because you have to go down this street to get out of the park, so you don't have to carry bags of things around with you. Be warned though, the shops get very busy just before park closing time. Main Street USA also has, like I said, a carnival theme to it. That is down to the fact that many of the parades and shows take part here, so there is almost always something going on throughout the day and there are plenty of opportunities to spot your favourite characters around these parks. The main parades all go down the main road and they are worth watching, especially if you are with young children. The 'A Dream Come True' parade takes place every night and involves all the main characters on different well-made and fun floats, it is lovely to watch, even for older fans! Throughout the day there are also little one-off performances featuring popular characters and you can meet and greet Minnie, Mickey and everyone else in front of the castle. There is usually a queue for Mickey, but all the others are just milling about so it is fairly quick and easy to meet them. Adventureland is a cute little area of the park and is the first land you get to if you walk in a clockwise direction from Main Street USA. There are a few rides in this area although none of them are for thrill seekers. The main ride is Pirates of the Caribbean, which is a boat ride through the Spanish Main and features Jack Sparrow. It is a very tame ride, although I have to say the Jack Sparrow animatronics look pleasingly like Johnny Depp! Fans of Tinkerbell can meet her in her little nook, whilst fans of Aladdin will enjoy The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. The Swiss Family Treehouse is quite fun especially for younger adventurers and, if you make it to the top over all the obstacles, you can see over the park which is nice. There are a couple of eateries in this area that feature predominantly Mexican food and ice creams. ===Frontierland and Liberty Square=== Frontierland is one of my favourite places in the park because I love the theme. It is sort of an old western theme and Disney pulls it off really well, even right down to the little details like having the food and drink stalls done up like old travelling carts. There are a couple of good rides in this land and they are a bit more exciting for older guests too. Disney does really do high action thrill rides because obviously their target audience is younger but the two main rides here are the closest you are going to get. Big Thunder Mountain is a roller coaster that is a runaway train raging around the mines. It is fast and there are lots of turns and a couple of dips. It is fun. The other one is Splash Mountain, which is a log flume. It's quite a long ride and you go through Brer Rabbit's 'Laughin' Place' which is quite amusing, before plunging down a five storey drop. You don't get ridiculously soaked although you will obviously get a bit wet. Both rides have minimum height restrictions of 40 inches. The good thing about both of these rides is that they last a while so, even if you have queued for a while, you don't feel short changed. Outside of the Splash Mountain ride, you'll find the meet and greet area for the characters from Toy Story. We saw Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and although there was a little queue, they seemed to be spending quite a while with each person, so it was worth the wait. Liberty Square is a new area to me - it wasn't there last time I visited - but it is quite small. It is here that you can board the Liberty Square Riverboat which is a huge paddle boat that travels around the man-made lake. It is a pleasant little trip that takes about fifteen minutes. You can get departure times from the gate here. There is an animatronics show called The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square but I can't tell you anything about it because we just didn't fancy it, even despite its proud claims that it has been re-imagined to include Barack Obama! I will however recommend the last ride here which is the Haunted Mansion. You queue through the graveyard which isn't actually that scary because the tombstones all have little comedic ditties on them although it is very well designed and quite atmospheric. The ride itself is very good; clever and chilling rather than being out and out scary and suitable for all ages. There are quite a few American themed diners and cafes in this area which is pretty handy because this is about the half-way point in the park and is a good place to have a rest and a bite to eat. There is something for all tastes and budgets here, even a little picnic area if you've brought your own food. ===Fantasyland=== This is the area of the park that Walt Disney is famous for and is absolutely fantastic for young visitors. It is where they will see all their favourite characters and where they will be able to go on every ride because there are no restrictions. Everything is very tame although the focus is on bright colours and appealing songs. The Many adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a very popular ride and, being a fan, I had to queue up and have a go. The queuing area is very good and demonstrates just how much Disney value's its younger visitors because there are games and activities all the way round that went down an absolute storm with all the kids. It was loud though! The ride itself is like going through a story book that features Winnie and all his friends. You sit in a little car and go round a track watching animatronic characters. It is pleasant and fun and very bright and appealing for kids. There is a cute carousel which is hosted by Prince Charming and has lovely carriages and multi coloured horses that you can choose from. Soar over Fantasyland on a Dumbo flying elephant or spin around at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, which is one of those spinning cup type rides and is great for everybody to enjoy. There are a couple of good shows in this area as well, which make for some fun entertainment whilst having a nice sit down. The Mickey's PhilarMagic show is a lot of fun. It's a 3D movie and you get proper plastic glasses, not those rubbish card ones that don't stay on. There is also the Pete's Silly Sideshow which takes place under a big top at various times throughout the day. If you want something to eat, there is plenty of that too. You can even have a character breakfast, lunch or dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table, which is located in the castle itself. It's not cheap though - you should expect to pay between $35 and $50 dollars per person for a meal, which does at least include drinks. If this is beyond your budget, you can have a much cheaper lunch of pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs or snacks at various cafes and stands. ===Tomorrowland=== As you might expect from the name, this land is all about the future and the rides and attractions have a spacy type theme to them. Everything in this area is shiny and silver and futuristic. There are some pretty fun rides here. The best is the indoor roller coaster - Space Mountain. It has a minimum height restriction of 44 inches which is mainly thanks to the fact that it spins and turns and is pretty darn fast. I really enjoyed this one and it is the closest thing that Disney have to a white knuckle ride. It was perfect for me though! It is completely in the dark so you can't see what is going on, which I think really added to the thrill. The other ride we really liked was the interactive Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. When you are queuing, you should listen to the instruction from Buzz himself because he gives you tips and hints for scoring the most points once you're inside. You side in a two person space buggy and pass through the ride taking aim and zapping all of the aliens. The photos at the end are pretty amusing too! You can take control of a car on the Tomorrowland Speedway (it is on tracks obviously) and it is pretty quick. There is also the Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor which is an interactive show. Unfortunately it wasn't open when we visited this time because there was some kind of technical problem. I am pretty sure I went on it last time I visited though and I remember it was pretty good. It was a shame it wasn't open though because I do like Monsters, Inc. We had something to eat in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café, which was just basic chicken burgers and fries type foods, but it was good and not that expensive to be honest. I think we paid about $10 for a burger, fries and a huge soda which was enough for both of us and we got free salad with that as well from the salad bar. There are a couple of other places to get snacks from as well. ===Other Information=== There is a train that goes around the park, The Walt Disney Railroad, and stops in each of the lands. It is free to use and is a quick way to get around if you aren't up to walking. The first stop is at the entrance of the park. It is quite a good way to get a nice view of the whole place actually. There are lots of places throughout the park where guests aged three to twelve years can be transformed into pirates and princesses. You need to book an appointment and it isn't included in the price of your park ticket, but they do a very good job and make little ones feel very special. Transform into a pirate at Adventureland or a princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland. Details for booking can be found on the park maps. Make sure you mention when buying your ticket if you are celebrating something special like a birthday or you honeymoon or even if it is just your first visit. You'll get a special badge and throughout the park staff will make a point of wishing you a happy birthday or checking that you are having a good day. If you can time your visit around a holiday season, it is extra special. We were there at Halloween and they go all out with the decorations. Nothing to scary obviously, but there were pumpkins and scarecrows all over the place and it looked fantastic. Christmas is something else though - the place really does become magically and it is hard not to get swept up in it. The park operates a Fast Pass system, which is a free system where you can go to the most popular rides and pick up a ticket with a time slot on for when you should return to the ride and go to the front of the queue. It is a good idea especially in summer when the park gets very busy, but bear in mind that time slot you get can even be a few hours later so it may mess up your planning! If you have only bought a ticket for a single day and a single park, you'll need to get your hand stamped for re-entry. The most flexible way of getting a ticket is to get a multi-park one, they are more expensive but you do get more for your money. We paid about £100 each for a one day ticket although the more days you buy, the cheaper it gets per day. For two week stays it can be as little as £15 per day for an adult and the cheapest prices can be found if you pre-book on line before you go. Parking is $14 per day and allows you unlimited access to all car parks within the Walt Disney World resort, when you are travelling between them; just show your ticket for entry. The car park for the Magic Kingdom is a fair way from the park itself, but there is a monorail that runs between the two very regularly so it is pretty convenient - and it is free. If you need any more information, you can go to www.disneyworld.disney.go.com

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        11.01.2012 11:32

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        A magical experience

        I always wanted to go to Disney World as a child, but my parents could never afford to take me. So, as an adult, I saved up and went with a friend at the age of 23! I still managed to have an amazing time and it made me feel like a big kid! Magic Kingdom was the Disney Park I was most looking forward to visiting, as it is the classic park that people imagine when they think of Disney. Upon entering the park I was faced with Pluto and the Chipmunks having photos with kids (and me!) and then I saw it, Cinderella's Castle! :) The park has rides suitable for children and adults. I would definitely say the park is aimed far more at children than it is at adults, but that is not to say that the big kids amongst us will not enjoy it just as much! The parades and shows that happen daily in the park are great fun, and we stayed late in the park to see one of the world famous firework displays, that was well worth it! Some of the fireworks were amazing, and even Tinkerbell flew across the sky (I still don't know how they did that!!). There are a couple of rollercoaster type rides (Space Mountain being the main one), and then there are more "experience" rides, such as the Lilo and Stitch ride. Personally I would be more inclined not to take children to Disney Land until they were at least 6. That way they can go on all of the rides and their tollerance for walking around a big park in the Florida sun is a little higher. We saw plenty of small children screaming the place down because they were hot, tired and fed up. If you only have time to visit one Disney Park in Orlando, it has to be this one, for the true Disney experience. However, if you visit more than one, I recommend Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios is probably the best park for adults to enjoy.

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        03.11.2009 19:08
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        An amazing park and an amazing holiday !!! It's a must see there's no other option!! :D

        I've recently been to Florida and I had an amazing holiday!! I'm going to write several reviews on all the different things I did there. When I went we bought two different types of tickets- 1st- Disney 2 week pass-which covered: -Magic Kingdom -Animal Kingdom -Hollywood Studios -Epcot -Downtown Disney And two water parks- -Typhoon Lagoon - Blizzard Beach 2nd - Orlando flexi ticket (2 week pass) -Sea World -Aquatica (sea worlds Water Park) -Universal studios -Islands of Adventure (it's linked to universal) -Busch Gardens BUT 1st- Magic Kingdom. :D Magic kingdom is the park you see on all the adverts. It has the Cinderella castle, the dumbo ride, the massive carnival and everything you relate to Disney. It's the heart of all the Disney parks with several different themed lands inside. As you walk through the main gate you walk up the main street U.S.A, it has loads of traditional Disney shops and buildings. It's like old America. The main street is where the main daytime carnival starts. The different lands are: -Main street U.S.A- which has the main shops, restaurants and lockers. Which you can hire for a day and put your bags that you don't want to carry around. Also if a family member needs an electric wheel car to last the day; as the park is large you can hire them from the shop too. -Adventureland- Is themed around jungles and lost cities etc. It has several different rides themed around adventure which are brilliant. It has a show called the enchanted tiki room under new management. This is presented by the bird from the lion king and the bird from the Aladdin. -Frontierland- Which has two of the biggest rides in Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. Splash Mountain-as you can guess is a water flume and Thunder Mountain is a run away train. -Liberty Square- Themes on America and old America with the haunted mansion. -Fantasyland- Is the younger area of Disney with the smaller rides in it. It has the Cinderella castle restaurant entrance in it. The restaurant is actually in the castle. Also this land has the dunbo ride in it. -Mickey's Toon town- this is really for toddlers and babies etc. -Tomorrow land- this land is based on the future and is one of main lands in the park. It has Space Mountain in it which is also one of the main rides in this park. It's an amazing land and my favorite with amazing shows- stitch's great escape and the laugh floor (monsters Inc.) It has amazing rides which are all themed. *All the lands have restaurants and shops of their own. Also there are plenty of toilets and drinking water tapes so you can fill up your water bottles all day for free. When you enter there are free maps which list everything and show you the lay out of the park. Also it lists the restaurants and tells you how expensive it is. Through out the day there are all sorts of different shows on but the main one is on at 4:00pm which is the main carnival that you see on the TV. There are street parties which can be loads of fun. At 10:00pm there's the light carnival which is all the floats have massive lights on them. Then there's a firework show over the castle. Which is amzing and it looks like the fireworks on the Disney logo. In conclusion it's an amazing park, one you must go to!!!! Thanks, Hope it helps, _EmzS_

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          07.10.2009 22:31
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          The most magical place on earth!

          The Magic Kingdom Park in Florida is definately my favourite park in Orlando. It is so much better than the one at Disneyland resort Paris and not just because its bigger. Firstly an overview of the park. As you enter the park you walk under the train station, you will see posters along the walls that depict attractions that are coming up. The main entrance area has a few shops, customer services and the toilets. You then walk up Main street USA towards the castle. This is based on the town where Walt Disney gew up, and if you have time look at the names on the windows - they are all names of famous disney imagineers - including Walt himself. Once you get to the top of main street, if you turn left you are in adventureland - as you move from one land to another you can hear the music changes. Adventureland has various attractions such as the jungle cruise, tiki house and swiss family tree house. My personal favourite is Pirates of the Caribbean. It all has a jungle like fell to it! Continuting round you will end up in frontierland which is a bit like a wild west town, it has some of the parks biggest attractions, splash mountain and big thunder mountain. Its also a great location for lunch as it has pecos bill cafe which has the best fixin's bar in wdw! Its also a great place to watch any parades. The next area we come too is liberty square. This is old town america and has the hall of presidents and the liberty belle riverboat. Interestingly there are no toilets in this land, as the era it is based on didnt have any running water so to keep to that theme they nearest toilets are in the lands on either side. The haunted mansion is the last attraction in Liberty square before you get to fantasyland. Fantasyland is the place for young children (or the young at heart adult) it has all the smaller rides, dumbo, peter pan, iconic small world and philharmagic! It also has lots of meet and greets with the character. From fantasyland you can head of to Mickeys toontown fair which has a small rollercoaster for kids and the houses of Mickey mouse and Minnie Mouse - th houses are definately worth a visit even for adults! They also have a judges tent where they have lots of characters! You ahve to walk back through fantasyland to get to the final land which is tomorrowland. This is a futuristic land that has rides such as space mountain and buzz lightyear. Ive also found its another good place to eat - Rays starlight cafe has several different counters serving a wide range of foods! something for everyone and lots of seating! - It also has a good view of the castle. The atmosphere and excitement in the Magic Kingdon makes this my favourite park in Orlando. It doesnt have the big thrill rides but it really is a magical place. There is always something going on, a show, a parade of just a character popping up when you dont expect it!

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          09.02.2009 11:13
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          Disney World Orlando Florida is an amazing theme park that has so much more to offer than the Paris location (apart from obvious french culture and the Eiffel Tower being a bus ride away) as they have more rides and the Animal Kingdom, Epcot and generally more is going on in the Florida location. It can be very expensive to visit, with prices varying throughout the year, but if you have the money to go, I recommend it. The Magic Kingdom in Disney World Florida is a great place to visit and still my favourite spot to visit in Orlando, there is just something about this place that had me sold from day one, there is so much effort put in to decorating each of the 5 lands within it which are called: Tommorrow land- this is a futuristic land that is called Discovery land in the Paris location, it is home to Space Mountain and other rides that are of similar theme. The Space Mountain in Florida is a lot less scary and high speed than the Space Mountain in France, there is no high speed launch or loops and inversions in this ride in Florida. Fantasy land- this is a fairy tail kind of land with lots of charm to offer and also lots of smaller rides for the kids and the kids at heart, the rides in this land include Its a Small World Afterall, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and many more. Main Street USA- this land has no rides in it, its just got lots of lovely little Disney shops with different themed merchaindise in each store, this is the land that you enter as soon as you enter the park, from the top of Main Street USA you can get a great view of the Disney Castle which is a great photo opertunity. Fonteir land- this is a kind of wild west themed land that houses the famous Big Thunder Mountain and the Phantom Manor ghost house. Adventure land- this is an adventure based land with lots of differnt country influences in tis decorating to make you feel like you are taking an adventure around the different countries. The rides in this land include Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure. The parks are laid out very similarly to the France Disney Land parks, in fact it is hard to tell the difference right down to the very last bin in place between the Florida and France Main Street USA. I think that this is a great location and a great park to visit, especially for the young and young at heart, there are some really great attractions to suit everyone and its a really great experiance if anything to visit this park.

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            04.02.2009 18:02
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            Disney magic

            No matter how many new attractions they add to Orlando and the Disney empire the Magic Kingdom will still have a special place in my heart as the main place to visit and the one I have the fondest memories of as for me it bought back so any childhood memories. We were fortnate enough to have been staying in a Disney propery so could benefit from the early entry that gives you an extra hour before the mass of people arrive. It is also worth considering teh fast pass sytem if you know it is goig to be a crowded day as this saves on queuing time for some attractions. Main Street is the starting point for any visit and you get a feel for small town America, or at least the Disney version of it There are lots of different areas of the park to visit, I like Advenure land which is grea fun and the new Pirates of the Caribbean ride is really good I just wish the real Johny Depp would have been around and not a look alike Frontierland boasts Big Thunder Mountain which is one of those run away rain style roller coasers which to be hnest fet a little tired when we visited but stll good fun bu not as muh fun as Splash Mountain. The great thing about the Magic Kingdom is the sheer range of rides and attractions to suite all ages and for me the highight has to be Fantasyland as this contains the classic atractions and the characters of my childhood like Snow White and Peter Pan. Tomorrowland is home to some great thrill rides like Space Mountain and the Lilo and Stitch ride. The important thing to remember is to plan your time before you arrive to make best use of your tme and then to run around like a child and enjoy the pure pleasure of a fun park.

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            31.01.2009 13:53
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            Give it a go. You won't be disappointed!

            My wife and I have visited the Walt Disney World Resort four times over the last few years. Each one of our holidays has begun and ended with a visit to the Magic Kingdom; the quintessential Disney theme park experience. This review contains tips for those who are planning to visit the home of the mouse, and is an unashamed attempt on my part to persuade those who have yet to experience the magic of the Kingdom to at least give it a go! A brief overview. Approximately 17 million visitors pass through the Magic Kingdom's turnstiles each year; making it the world's most popular theme park. The park is encircled by the Walt Disney World Railroad and at its heart lies the iconic Cinderella Castle. Radiating out from this central hub are seven themed "lands": Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown Fair and Tomorrowland. Main Street USA. The gateway to the most prestigious theme park in the world takes many people by surprise. Instead of being met by lavish water-rides or sky-scraping roller-coasters, visitors to the Magic Kingdom find themselves delivered into the bustling main street of a small American town set in the early nineteen-hundreds. It is Disney's obsessive attention to detail that gives this somewhat prosaic theme park entrance its "wow factor." The interiors and exteriors of the buildings on Main Street are all true to their period, as are the antique cars and fire-engines that pass them by. Whilst visually impressive, it is only when you begin to listen to the sounds of Main Street, that you begin to appreciate the steps Disney has taken to completely immerse its visitors in the Main Street experience. Take time to listen beyond the melodies of the barbershop quartet and the noise of the horse-drawn trolley as it clip-clops up the street, and you might just hear the work-shy students undertaking their 'Singing Lessons' or the sound of the ballet classes practised in Main Street's 'School of Dance.' Ironically, the only thing that breaks the spell of this turn-of-the-century street is the fairytale castle incongruously placed at its far end. Adventureland. If you bear to your left when you reach the hub at the centre of the park, your first port of call will be Adventureland. This section of the Magic Kingdom boasts five major attractions, (including the recently updated Pirates of the Caribbean,) and appeals to the budding explorer in us all. It is a mysterious land of tribal drums, exotic plants, tropical rivers and swashbuckling pirates. I believe that no attraction embodies the spirit of Adventureland more than the Jungle Cruise; one of the few remaining rides that began operating when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. The attraction is a humorous boat ride along a selection of the world's most famous jungle rivers. The jungle steamer is piloted by a safari-suited Cast Member who delivers a very tongue-in-cheek commentary on the events that unfold around you during your journey. Whilst the attraction's audio-animatronics are undoubtedly dated when compared to that of 'Expedition Everest's' Yeti, for me it is the Cast Member spiel that makes the attraction a success. Their expert delivery of wet jokes in the driest possible way keeps me coming back for more. Frontierland. Continuing around the park in a clockwise direction takes you to a small mining settlement in the Old West that is Frontierland. The land is themed to re-create the early eighteen-hundreds when cowboys rode the plains, propectors dug for their fortune and pioneers pushed ever further westward. Visitors to Frontierland will hear the rumble of the runaway mine car as it careers around Big Thunder Mountain, and the "whooops" of the dancing girls spilling out of the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon. They should also prepare themselves for the sound of gunfire from the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade echoing off the clapboard buildings, and the crash of water as Splash Mountain lives up to its name. Frontierland's adventure-seekers can take a raft across the Rivers of America to explore the fort and caves on Tom Sawyer Island. They can alternatively visit the newly refurbished Country Bear Jamboree; a foot-stomping hoe-down with a twist. Whilst many visitors leave this land by following the dirt tracks that meander between the mesquite trees, those who find their cowboy boots ill-fitting might like to rest their feet for a spell by hopping onboard the steam trains that depart at regular intervals from Frontierland's station. Liberty Square. Liberty Square is built around a 138 year old oak called the Liberty Tree. The land's theming transports you back to Colonial times, when America struggled through its Revolution. This sense of American history is further reinforced by Liberty Square's Hall of Presidents; an attraction that invites you to meet life-like audio-animatronic versions of all 44 of the nation's leaders. This land is also home to the newly-refurbished Haunted Mansion, where you are encouraged to climb on board a "doom buggy" and come face to face with 999 of the Magic Kingdom's "grim grinning ghosts", and the Liberty Belle paddle-steamer, which sails along the Rivers of America around Tom Sawyer Island. Fantasyland. Behind Cinderella's Castle lies Fantasyland. Whilst the land has a very medieval feel, its buildings seem to resemble those you would expect to find in a stylised Alpine village. Like Mickey's Toontown Fair, Fantasyland is aimed at a younger audience and the nature of its attractions reflects this. Here you will find classic dark-rides like Snow White's Scary Adventures and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Fantasyland also gives you the opportunity to find out what it is like to fly with Peter Pan and Dumbo the elephant. Whilst some visitors to this land may opt to ride at a civilised pace around Cinderella's magnificent Golden Carrousel, others may prefer to get in a spin by joining the Mad Hatter at his unruly Tea Party. Fantasyland's newest and most technologically impressive attraction is Mickey's PhilharMagic; a show-stopping, multi-sensory, next-generation, 3-D film like no other. A word of warning. Fantasyland is home to the "It's a small world" attraction - with its infuriating song. If you choose to ride, please be prepared to carry the tune around in your head for the rest the day. Don't say you haven't been told! Mickey's Toontown Fair. Mickey's Toontown Fair is the newest and smallest of the Magic Kingdom's seven areas. It is positioned between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, but unlike the other lands is not directly connected to the park's central hub. Many visitors overcome this problem by taking advantage of Toontown's link with the Walt Disney World Railroad. In Toontown you can have a look around Mickey and Minnie's homes and meet many of the Disney characters. You can also pay a visit to Wiseacre Farm and climb aboard the Barnstormer; Goofy's less than reliable crop-dusting plane. Like the rest of Toontown, this mini-rollercoaster is designed for a younger audience, but has great theming and is superb fun! Tomorrowland. Despite being the "last" of the Magic Kingdom's seven lands, Tomorrowland is by no means its least interesting. Disney describes Tomorrowland as the "future that never was," and ironically cites past visionaries as its inspiration. This science-fiction influence is clearly reflected in the land's architecture, which has a real retro feel. There is no better way to soak up the atmosphere of Tommorowland, than by riding one of its most under-rated attractions; the Tomorrowland Transit Authority's Blue Circle line. This futuristic high-level train ride provides a great way to briefly escape the hustle and bustle of the park, as it meanders its way through many of Tommorowland's attractions. Tomorrowland is also home to many of the Magic Kingdom's biggest headline attractions, like Stitch's Great Escape and the iconic Space Mountain. Beneath Tomorrowland's whirling Astro Orbiter you will also be able to hone your shooting skills on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, interact with the Monstropolis comedians at the Monsters Inc Laugh floor and jump behind the wheel of your very own race car to compete in the Indy Speedway. Getting lost... The Magic Kingdom's sheer size (107 acres) makes it very easy to get lost in, so if it's your first visit be sure to pick up a free guidemap at the first opportunity. If not handed out at the ticket booths, they can be located in the entrance way under Main Street Station or at City Hall, which is positioned at the entrance end of Main Street (on the left-hand side as you enter the park.) These guides provide all of the basic information you need to make the most of your time in the Magic Kingdom. They detail the park's parades, concerts and attractions, its places to shop and eat, and give useful information about any special events that may be taking place. The guidemaps often come with a small 'Times Guide' pull-out section. This handy leaflet is regularly updated and tells you when you can expect special performances and entertainment to take place. It also provides information about the park's regular opening and closing times, and the alternative 'special' operating hours of specific attractions and restaurants. Getting found... Before you begin your "assault" on the park, you may also find it useful to agree on a place to meet up if any of your party becomes separated. Disney always suggests City Hall as an ideal venue to do this, but I personally think that the castle is a far more practical location. Unlike City Hall, the 190 foot tall pink castle can be seen from virtually everywhere in the park, and its central location makes it far easier to get to - no matter where you are. Making the most of your time. There are many strategies I have found useful to cut down the wait times at the Magic Kingdom's most popular attractions. Here are a few of them. One of the easiest ways to save time in the Magic Kingdom is to tackle its super-headline attractions immediately after opening or just before the park closes. Another great time to experience the park's most popular rides is during traditional lunch and evening meals times when many families gravitate towards the Magic Kingdom's food courts and restaurants. At these times many of the park's attraction queues are noticeably reduced, so take advantage of this. Off-set your meals and eat at off-peak periods. If you are intending to eat a sit-down meal at one of the Magic Kingdom's many restaurants, make sure you book your dinner reservation in advance. This can be done by calling Disney's Advanced Reservations team. This service is now available to all parks guests, irrespective of whether they are staying at the Walt Disney World Resort. You can make many dining reservations 90 days in advance. So if you wish, you can book all of your sit-down meals from home before you go! Many of the Magic Kingdom's headline attractions offer the free 'Fastpass' facility. (Your guidemap will tell you which they are.) This system offers park guests the opportunity to ride attractions at pre-specified times with little or no waiting in line. To claim a Fastpass time-slot, you need to insert your entrance ticket into one of the Fastpass machines that are situated by your chosen attraction. The machine will then return your park ticket and also give you a Fastpass ticket with a time-slot printed on it. When your time-slot rolls around, you can avoid the regular queue by joining your attraction's dedicated Fastpass line. Then simply surrender your Fastpass to the Cast Member at the boarding area and you are in! Whilst Disney states that each visitor can only have one Fastpass ticket at once, it should be noted that when your designated Fastpass time-slot begins, you then become able to claim a second Fastpass ticket. Knowing this fact gives added flexibility when planning your day. Another thing to remember about the Fastpass facility is that every attraction has a specific number of each time-slot it can offer. In other words, if you leave it too late to claim your Fastpass ticket, you may find that they have all been used up and the regular line is the only remaining option. On particularly busy days this is an important consideration I have had to factor in to my plans. If you are staying in Walt Disney World accommodation, you can take advantage of the 'Extra Magic Hours' program, which gives you the opportunity to spend additional time in the Magic Kingdom before or after its regular operating hours free of charge! This facility operates on specific days and enables you to experience what the park has to offer an hour before non-resort guests arrive and three hours after they leave. Thank you for taking the time to read and rate this review.

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              24.01.2009 22:53
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              Definately the best place to be to meet Mickey!

              The Magic Kingdom for me is the main 'Disney theme park' the home of Mickey Mouse. It is breath taking visiting the Magic Kingdom each time. Getting there earlier is a great feeling and taking the monorail or boat across to the park. Once the gates open you are greeted with a wonderful view of Cinderella's Castle. It is possible to dine in the castle with princess herself for breakfast, Lunch or dinner and it is advisable to book this (known as ADR - advance dining reservations) at least 180 days before you go with Disney as it really is that popular. I had dinner as a couple in the castle and timed it right that to see the fireworks at 9pm. The dinner was good but quite basic. During the dinner the fairy godmother, cinderella and the mice came in and did a small performance singing and dancing. There are loads of rides and something for everyone throughout the part. Brilliant Park for any age

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                06.11.2008 02:11
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                Magic Kingdom - well worth a visit!

                As a child, I was deprived of one of one of my fundamental rights - I was never taken to Disney World! After 26 years of longing, eager to right the wrong, I finally arrived in Florida this September. In fact, it was only the prohibitive price of flights to Nepal that had finally convinced my partner that a week of Disney fun was just what he wanted to do with his summer break! To anyone out there who is still trying to persuade that sceptical someone, just get them to read this review. My partner now rates it as one of his best trips away - though he'd never admit that in public! The iconic Magic Kingdom was first on our list and we arrived at about 10:30am after a slight hold up at a timeshare presentation (see my other review). We were incredibly lucky with the timing of our trip. If you feasibly can, go in late September just after all the schools go back. The place was empty! Worried that there may be long queues, we headed straight for the biggest and scariest rides. In fact, across all the parks that we went to, these were the rides with the shortest queuing times. I guess the advantage of visiting these theme parks as an adult is that you don't have to wait in line for 2 hours to see Dumbo the flying elephant. There are two "major thrill" rides according to the guide: Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. Both were great although slightly overshadowed by the far scarier array of rides at the Universal parks. I'm usually someone who only likes the scary rides (although it takes a far amount of psyching myself up before hand!) but having done the two mountains within half an hour of arriving we turned our attention to some of the tamer offerings. My personal highlight was Mickey's Philharmagic, a 3D film based on songs from all the Disney musicals brought to life with smells and water. Truly incredible!! They may not have the best rides but what sets the Magic Kingdom apart from all the rest is the bubble of happiness that it creates. As we sat after dusk watching the incredible fireworks display set above the castle, I was struck by a sense of serenity and awe. It is truly amazing how much effort and attention to details has been put into creating this experience (check out the talking rubbish bin in Tomorrow Land). Disney calls all its employees 'cast members' and it's true - they all play happier versions of themselves. For just one day you can exist in a world where everyone smiles at you, from the litter collectors to the toilet attendants. It's infectious too; we were smiling at taxi drivers and fellow hotel guests long after we'd left the park. I reckon the world would be a far better place if everyone spent a little time soaking up the magic!

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                  05.09.2008 21:48
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                  amazing holiday

                  I visited Florida many years ago now with my uncle and his wife I think I was only 12 at the time but just the other day I was looking back through some old photos which brought back some really great memories of the time I had there. Well we had set off from Newcastle International airport first ever 10 hour flight I had ever been on so I was getting quite nervous because im not really a one for flying. But during my time on the flight I just occupied myself by watching movies and listening to music so time would pass by quicker. With about 3 hours left I decided to have a little nap as I was abit worn out. Just as I woke up we were just about another 10 mins from landing so everyone on the plane was starting to get a bit excited as we had nearly touched down. Finally we had landed and by god was it hot as soon as I stepped of the plane you could just feel the hot air nothing like back in Newcastle normally miserable weather there raining or very cold. First thing we had to do was to go and retrieve our luggage which didn't take all that long. Then we had to go and hire a car as we had actually booked a villa and we had to travel by car to our destination. Shame we weren't able to get a coach or have some one to drive us there because my uncle did not have a clue as it took us nearly 7 hours just to find where we were staying which was Kissimmee in Florida Orlando. Once we had arrived at our villa the first thing we done was dumped our luggage straight down and checked out the rest of the villa but the first place I had for was the back yard as we had our own swimming pool it was amazing. But after along day flying we decided to go to bed so we could get an early start in the morning. Next morning finally come it was scorching hot outside soon as u walked outside you got a lovely tan that's how hot it felt. I think it was about 10am we set off in the car to go look for food shops just so we could get a few odds and ends in. On the way we also passed a few of these little booths which sold tickets for the lots of different theme parks so we decided to take a look. If I remember correctly we bought tickets for Bush Gardens, Gatorland,Universal Studios,Disney Land and some Water park but I didn't enjoy the water park as much as the others. So after we had got home that night after buying tickets for the parks and a bit of food shopping we all decided that we would go to Gatorland first thing the next day so it would be a good idea if we got a good nights sleep but I didn't I decided to go have a dive in the pool even at night it was still really hot I couldn't believe it. Next morning came and the sun was shining it was red hot again 2 days in a row I couldn't believe our luck we would be lucky if we got two days of hot weather in a row back in Newcastle once a year just kidding. Finally we were all ready and it was time to set off as we were heading for our day out at Gatorland. It didn't take that long to get there to be honest only took about 30 mins or so from where we were staying. Once we arrived we showed our tickets at the desk and away we were. During our time at the park we saw a lot of amazing animals I thought there was just going to be alligators and crocodiles but actually there was a wide variety of other animals too such as snake, spiders and many more but too many to name. We had actually been round the full park and it was still pretty earlier and with nothing else planned for that day we decided to head for another park and I think universal studios was probably the closest to us so we decided to go there for the rest of our day. We then arrived at universal studios the ques were miles long just waiting to get in never mind the ques for the rides they were even longer. Once inside we headed straight for the rides. I think the first ride I went on was some virtual ride I think it was Spiderman I didn't think I would have liked it but I actually really enjoyed it. The next ride I went on was the Jurassic I went on with my uncle I thought this ride would of been ok but it was pretty damn scary it was only a water log ride too but its like a 100ft vertical drop although you cant tell as its really dark and you cant see a thing you don't realise how big the drop is till the rides over and you look up at the building I was gob smacked. We all so went on lots of other rides that day but too many to name so after the rides we thought we would go have a look at some of the shops inside Universal Studios but I was shocked to see the prices of some of the items they were very overpriced. After cruising round the shops we decided to call it a day and head back for the villa but all in all we had a really good day and Universal Studios is a park I would recommend going to if you ever have a holiday at Florida Orlando. We got back to the villa at about just after 10 that night and we were all so knackered we just all decided to go straight to sleep. For the next few days we didn't really do much but just chill and sunbathed by the pool as we were all worn out from the days before. After the 5th or so day the holiday seemed as if it was flying by. Then for the next 5 or so days all we really did was drove about checking out all the different shopping centres they weren't just ordinary shopping centres they were really huge nothing like they are over back in the UK. With 3 days remaining now just before we head home we decided to go to the last two parks we had bought tickets for. First of all we thought we would go to Bush Gardens it took awhile to get there as its in Tampa Bay (I think) Bush gardens was one of my favourite parks out of the ones I had been too during my holiday. Bush Gardens had a lot to offer Animals,rides,shops and best off all the safari which was amazing it was pretty scary though with the lions like metres from you there was also tigers,hippos,rhinos,cheetahs,meercats and loads more but im not really good with remembering the different animals. Next day Just one day before we head home we headed for Disney Land it was our last park to go to. This park was alright but wasn't my best as I didn't believe there was much really to do apart from get your photos taken with lots of different Disney characters and well watching the parade at the end of the night and well a few decent rides and that was about it so I suppose it was ok wasn't my cup of tea though but there was a lot of people there to watch it so I suppose everyone has their own opinion. Heading home Now was the time for us to head back home we got up really early in the morning to sort a few bits and bobs out but we had done most of the packing the night before just before we hit the sack. All done and dusted we headed for the airport arrived on time and within 2 hours we were on our flight back to the good old UK. Didn't take as long on the way home though as it only took 8 hours going back. Finally we reached down in the UK and believe it or not it was raining as usual but it was good to be home to see the rest of the family. But in all honesty I can say this was the best holiday I had ever been on.

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                  23.07.2008 00:08
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                  It's Mostly For Kids

                  We visited Orlando in August of last year and the Magic Kingdom was our first port of call. All I can say is I'm so glad our hotel ran shuttle buses to the place as it would be quite confusing to get to via driving, although it doesn't take long, about 10 minutes from International Drive. I cannot really comment on the prices as I purchased my tickets online before I left home, but I can recommend the place where I got them: www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk It cost £163 for the Disney 14 Day Ultimate Ticket which gives unlimited access to: * Magic Kingdom Park * Epcot * Disney-MGM Studios * Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park * Disney's Blizzard Beach * Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Parks** * Downtown Disney Pleasure Island * Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex * DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park With this ticket you can visit these places as many times as you want within the 14 days. Please note they finger scan you on first use and every use thereafter so you cannot transfer these tickets on to anyone else if you don't need them before the time runs out. Anyway on to the park! When we arrived at the Disney Travel Centre, which has numerous buses and monorails to take you to the various parks, we decided to take the boat/ferry over to the Magic Kingdom and I would highly recommend doing this, especially if you have children as they will love it. You go on an old steam boat type ferry and can stand on the upper or lower deck, this is great for taking pictures or filming with your camcorder. Once there, it is better to already have tickets as the queues are quite long for buying them. Once set you have to go through security, which is not much, just a couple of friendly guys who look in your bag to make sure you don't have anything you shouldn't. You enter the park at Main Street USA and upon our arrival there was a show going on at the castle, it was very pretty with all the princesses, etc dancing and singing and then some fireworks. After we watched the show we went on up the street for more singing and dancing from more characters, it is a bit cheesy, but you can't help but get into the Disney spirit. There are various gift shops and loads of places to eat throughout the park and the good thing is you can take bags and things onto the rides with you in this park, so don't worry about renting lockers unless your arms hurt. I would advise going round the park backwards (anticlockwise) as everyone else goes clockwise so you can get onto some of the rides without queuing too much. Okay onto the different areas, note I will only point out the rides we actually went on ourselves: Main Street USA: This does not have any rides, as it is a street lined with shops and eateries, along with information booths and photopass centres, etc. Adventureland: This place has a separate area for character greeting and getting your photo took with them. Be warned Disney take the pictures and charge you for them and it is a long wait, especially if you have little ones with you. Be prepared for pushy parents and sore feet waiting and a lot of wasted time as you can see characters in the park throughout the day. There is the swiss family treehouse, which if you ask me was quite boring and way too hot. This is a walkthrough exhibit of the swiss family treehouse there are lots of stairs and twists and turns and too many people walking on it at once so it's kind of claustraphobic. The Enchanted Tiki Room is an excellent show, there is even a mini show while you wait to go in. Once inside you get to take a load of your feet and sit down to watch this. I will not spoil it for you, you'll just have to see for yourselves, but it is worth it the characters are wonderfully made/controlled. Pirates of the Carribean - This has recently been updated to go alongside the new relase of the film. This is an indoor boatride. It is very well made and quite enjoyable for people of all ages. Loads of priates arrr me hearties! Frontierland: Splash Mountain - I'm sure you will have heard of this one. It is great, a nice relaxing log flume ride, with each log holding around 6 - 8 people. The main ride is very well set out with a few bumps and twists and turns throughout. The splash at the end of this ride is awesome, and you WILL get wet. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Another favourite of the park. This is a great ride. You sit in a kind of runaway mineshaft train and go through a well laid out track and tunnels, don't worry it doesn't go upside down. This ride goes very fast and is great for everyone of all ages. Liberty Square: Children get to meet the characters here once again and you can take your own pictures this time so you won't have to pay, but you still have to queue. The Hall of Presidents - this is an audio animatronics show. It is quite boring, although the animatronics are very well done. The Haunted Mansion - This is a great ride. When you arrive you get into a round train type chair and go around on the track, with a guy telling you a story along the way. This is not too scary for kids, unless they are scared of the dark. Thre's a lot of hollograms and special effects. This is fun for people of all ages, there is great stuff in the shop afterwards as well. Fantasyland: (mostly for small children) Mickey's Philharmagic - This is an indoor 3D Movie with lots of music and a lot happening on screen. This is very good and one not to be missed. You also get to sit and relax your weary feet. Mad Tea Party - Everyone's favourite, Disney's version of the spinning teacups, decorated like alice in wonderlands tea party with the mad hatter. Dizzy fun for all the family - don't eat before going on. Mickey's Toontown Fair: This place is set out like a fairground and has a lot of fairground stalls and games, like hoopla, catch a floating duck, etc. These stalls are not included in your ticket price, therefore you have to pay a couple of dollars each one you play, the more people playing the multiplayer ones, the better the prizes. Toontown Hall Of Fame Tent - Again this is another place to meet and greet the disney characters. Judge's Tent - This is the place to meet the mouse famously known as Mickey himself and get your picture taken. Beware the queues. Tomorrowland: Tomorrowland Indy Speedway - This is great, you get to dirve and steer an indy car. Don't worry though there is bar running under the cars on the track so they cannot veer to far off course. They even have the start up lights before you race. And yes kids get to drive as well as mums and dads! Space Mountain - Another one of the famous 'mountain' rides. This is an indoor rollercoaster in the dark. It could be scary for small kids, but it is an excellent and very very fast ride. Can leave you disorientated, I loved it. Walk Disney's Carousel Of Progress - Audio Animatronic's ride through time. Great for kids and actually quite interesting, especially if you eat, sleep and live Disneyland. There is also Disney's Railroad which is a steam train that runs throughout the whole park, with various train stops along the way. Great to relax on and get lovely pictures from. As you can see this park is mostly aimed at small children. We didn't enjoy it as much as anticipated, but then we're not kids. It was very hot and clammy and there are loads of kids running around and mum and das with strollers, who will not move out of your way so be warned. The queues are endless so I would recommend getting fast passes for the rides you really want to do (for example the 'mountain' rides) then you can come back at your appointed time and go straight on the ride without waiting. We went here in the early morning at like 9am, I would recommened going in the afternoon if you are wating to see the nightly fireworks, because I assure you it is way to warm to stay all day and night. We never got to see the fireworks because of this, we were so hot and tired we just had to get back to our hotel for some relaxation. Holiday Tips: Have a huge breakfast before you arrive, it will keep you full throughout the day and you'll spend less on the expensive food. Wear comfy shoes as there is a lot of walking and a lot of queuing. Rent a buggy if you have small kids, there are numerous buggy areas to leave them when using the rides. Don't let staff take your pictures, as you have to pay for them later if you want them and they are not cheap. Bring plently of water in a cooler bag because you will drink loads and will not want to keep forking out your hard earned holiday cash. Do not fill water bottles from the drinking fountains, this water tasted quite salty/full of flouride. Do not buy the water assisted mist spraying fans, they cost $12.50 or 2 for $18. Go to Walgreens before you go and pick up one for $1.99. The ones in Walgreens are better as well because they come in different shapes and sizes, like footballs, basketballs, etc. Have fun whenever you are going :)

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                    04.04.2007 14:16
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                    A magical place for the young at heart...not just for the young

                    After reading some of the comments on the other review of The Magic Kingdom I simply had to write because I am horrified at the idea that this is just a park for kids. The young at the heart, the playful, the romantics, the foodies and the adventure seekers are just as thrilled to be traipsing about the magic kingdom as any four year old. In fact, I daresay I enjoy it more now then when I was a wee one. Not to be missed are the following: For the thrill seekers- Splash mountain in Frontier Land: Its not just about a log that goes up and drops. Its a story, and a pretty darn long one. You adventure along with brer rabbit as he leaves home and has to escape the cunning brer fox and his sidekick, brer bear. The colors, electronics, singing, etc are fantastic and the drop is a blast. When my husband (then my boyfriend) and I first went, it was over spring break in march and we got up early, unlike other spring breakers, haha, and rode this ride over and over. Space Mountain in Tomorrow Land: My 24 year old male friend was terrified of this ride. Perhaps its because its in the dark and as you are standing in line, you can see the small lights on the cars way way above your head. There is one drop in particular that always gets me and you never know when its coming because you can't see a thing. Thunder Moutain in Fronteir Land: Not so much thrilling as just plan old fun fun fun fun. You will come off smiling and it won't be too much for the timid ones in your group. For a magical experience (not just for kids!!)- Haunted Mansion: ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night...and brilliant electronics! A ghost will follow you home. Be prepared. Peter pan's flight: Any one who loves this as a child will enjoy the ride, flying over neverland, escaping captain hook. Its like being part of your childhood stories Pirates of the Caribbean: Yo ho yo ho, this is ride is sure for me! Again, brilliantly put together and very entertaining. I particularly love seeing the pirate ship as it bursts into flames. I think dumbo is probably best for the little kids unless you are a huge dumbo fan yourself. If it makes you happy, it won't matter that you're riding with a bunch of five year olds. Mainstreet USA: The shopping is wonderful and the food...you must not miss the bakery. It is like something out of your fantasies. Try the sticky buns as big as your head, and the chocolate cake. Good coffee, too. You should also visit the icecream parlor. Again, they are trying to make dreams come true here. Wait and see the crazy sundaes they can make you. Parades: Probably the best parade in disneyworld happens in the magic kingdom- Spectro Magic. It is a nighttime show and every float is beautifully lit and decorated and the music is dreamy. Get into the spirit, and get there early as it can get crowded. Tips: I noticed that a few people mentioned crowd issues. Something that is relatively recent to disneyworld is what they call a fast past. USE IT! You place your park ticket in a machine and out pops another ticket with a time on it telling you when to return. When you return, you will skip, fast past, the line. You can only have one at a time but that is not a problem. Get a ticket, go wait in a shorter line or grab a snack and by the time you are done with that ride, you'll be ready to fast past. It has allowed me to do everything in the park twice, even during busy seasons. Another tip to help with crowds is to pick the time of year that you go. There are four distinct "seasons" at disney and picking the "value" season is always best for two reasons: everything, from park tickets to hotels is less expensive and there are fewer people so you get more bang for your buck. Be warned, if repairs are needed, they will be done during this time. But its worth the sacrifice. We paid $500 dollars a night for a suite that in the bussier seasons is well over $800. Over a week's time, that difference adds up!! It is true that I spent more time at the magic kingdom when I was little and spend slightly more now at Epcot and Animal Kingdom. So if your group is mixed, that is easily solved. Just get a hopper pass and move about, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in different parks and see it all. Let the magic take over, you'll be surprised how wonderful your vacation is.

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                      21.02.2005 17:14
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                      Please don’t expect this to be a short op. There is so much to say. Magic Kingdom is the park we heard the most about before our trip to Orlando. It is the one place I had high expectations of. Did it live up to my expectation? Read on…… Disney’s Magic Kingdom is located at the end of Highway 192 to the South West of Orlando. Finding the park is easy, and it is well signposted. Car Parking cost us $8. Disabled badge holders follow the blue line and get a really good parking space, close to the park transportation. Most of the parks are located by the car parks, but Magic Kingdom is situated on its own Island, so to get there, you will have to travel by monorail, or Mississippi steam boat. We used both of these, and fund the monorail to be much quicker. There are always large queues to get onto the transportation, and I found this to be the most frustrating part. Bearing in mind that we went at the beginning of January, which is the quietest time of the year, I can’t even begin to imagine the horror of the waiting times to get into and out of the park in peak season. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Getting into the park at the other end was easier, and security were flowing pretty well. Inside the park, my first impression was of a well kept park, which was clean and litter free. So far, so good. We grabbed our maps, and headed for the stroller park. To hire a stroller isn’t cheap, but it is well worth it. The park may not seem big at first glance, but even the adults will have incredibly achy feet by the end of the day. Going around the park, you will see kids up to about the age of 11 or 12 sitting in their sibling’s stroller. We just booked a double, so the kids were happier. First things first – get an autograph book. There are characters all over the park in designated spots, and the queues were well managed. The children got the autographs, and then had photos taken. I think the longest we waited was 5 minutes, but the park was very quiet. The next thing is to either make sure you all have walkie talkies, or arrange a meeting place. The park is very large if you should get separated. My 9 year old was given a walkie talkie just in case. The park itself is split up into 7 sections. I’ll take you through them one at a time. I will only mention the rides and things we experienced as you will be reading for hours otherwise. *Main Street USA* Entering Main Street, you have the option to jump on a Steam Train, which will take you to Frontierland or Mickey’s toontown fair, so depending on where you want to start, this could be one option. There is a horse drawn carriage, or other vintage cars you can take to ride up the Main Street if you wish, but you may have quite a wait. Guest Relations are also based here in the City Hall. As you stand at one end of Main Street, and look towards the centre of the park, Cinderella’s Castle is the first thing to strike you. It stands beautifully proud the other side of a roundabout. Along Main Street itself are mainly shops. If you head into the first shop you see on your left, and wander through the shop to the other end, you will find yourself at the other end of Main Street! It is HUGE. Before you head out into the park though, pick up a times guide so that you know when the parades and shows are on. *Adventure Land* Here you will find an area set next to a lake. The Swiss Family Treehouse looks like a must from the bottom. You will climb and climb and climb those steps until your knees ache. Up in the treetops, you will find rooms set up to look like the tree is lived in. I have to say that for the waiting time, I wasn’t impressed. The kids were not happy that we’d dragged them all the way up there for that. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin were next. This is a ride with magic carpets that goes round and round, and the carpets go up and down. Pirates of the Carribean is a VERY loud ride. You jump into a boat, and take a ride through a land of drunken and debauched pirates. There is actually one drop on this ride, and although it is on water, the wettest you will get is sat at the front, and it is just a little bit of spray. *Frontierland* Splash Mountain is the man ride everyone heads for here. It is a log flume style ride which starts inside through a character village with cartoon type alligator, and then heads outside for the ride. Prepare to get very wet. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a runaway mine train. The kids loved this, and I thought it was pretty cool too. *Liberty Square* The Haunted Mansion is quite corny, but good. You sit in a car, and it takes you round the mansion, and out into the garden. At one point, you come across a mirror, and there is a ghost sat in the car with you. Certainly good for freaking out young kids. The Liberty Square Riverboat is a Mississippi steam boat that goes around a lake. Before you queue up for it, remember that you can go on a boat to get back to the car!! *Fantasy Land* Peter Pan’s Flight is a ride for the children. You sit in a miniature Pirate Ship, and it flies above Neverland. This is not to be missed if you have young children. Mickey’s Philhar Magic is absolutely brilliant. It is a 3D show where Donald tries to conduct the orchestra, and gets himself into trouble. Much more than just a music show. Everyone went out of here going “WOW”. Cinderellas Golden Carousel always seems to attract the queues. It is just a merry go round, but the kids seem to love it. Ariels Grotto is where you will find Ariel. We started to queue for this, but after the line didn’t move for 10 minutes, we gave up. There is a water play area for the kids to run around and get soaked while the parents do the queuing up. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is another of those rides that go round and round, and the elephant goes up and down. This also attracts the big queues, so I suggest if you have young kids, this is the area to head to first thing in the morning before all the queues build up. Snow Whites Scary Adventures is another one of those rides where it takes through the story book. The kids really enjoyed it. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is another ride through a storybook, but sat in a hunny pot. The Mad Tea Party is a teacup ride, and another one of the kids favourites. *Micky’s Toontown Fair* Here you will find Minnie’s Country House and Mickey’s Country House. You can wander through the houses. Sit in Minnie’s fireplace, or sit by her sewing machine. Explore the kitchens. The kids adored the houses. Donald’s Boat is another water play area. We had to stop the kids, as they really were getting drenched by this point. Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm is a rollercoaster. The kids thought this was brilliant, and insisted on riding until we lost count. *Tomorrowland* Indy Speedway – Petrol powered cars, which run around a rail. James was just tall enough to drive, and he loved it. Not very fast, but great fun for the kids. Space Mountain is the other big ride here. It takes place in the dark in a shuttle type vehicle. It wasn’t as bad a ride as I thought it was going to be – there are no head restraints! Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin I think was James’ favourite. You sit in a car, and use a laser to shoot all the baddies in the galaxy. It tots up your score for you so you can see how badly you’ve done! That’s all the areas in the park, but there is still more to do! *Parade* We missed the afternoon parade, but saw the festival of lights parade in the evening. All the characters were lit up, even the dresses. The parade is brilliant, and a chance for the children to see any characters they’ve missed during the day. *Food* Another way to guarantee seeing some characters up close is to book a character meal. We booked the Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner. The food was a Thanksgiving dinner, eat as much as you like, and cost $20, which was about $12 with the exchange rate. Excellent value. The characters were Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale. They really interacted with the kids, and Goofy pinched Amy’s lolly from her to have a lick for himself. He ended up on the floor with Amy climbing on top of him to get her lolly back. It was all taken in good fun, and no frowns from the staff. Once again, don’t forget your autograph books. There are lots of places to eat, and loads of snack barrows. The churros are lovely, and I’d recommend these for a snack while you are waiting for the parade. If you want to book Cinderella’s Castle for a character meal with the Princesses, you need to ring exactly 90 days before you want to dine. I plan to try this for next Christmas. On a Health & Safety note, please be careful. When we arrived in the Fantasyland, the ground was wet where the floor had been washed prior to the park opening. IT IS VERY SLIPPY. After my sister in law ended up on her rear end coming out of the loos (That was a sight, I can tell you!), my daughter then slipped down the steps from the carousel, and hurt her back. The staff were lovely, and when she asked the lady if she could trade a pin, the lady gave the pin to her without swapping. I can’t imagine they can do anything about this other than ripping up the whole of the flooring and starting again, so I guess this will always be slippy. Oh yes, pin trading! Oh, I think I’ve written enough for this op. I’ll tell you about that in my next one. Have fun. Sam xxx

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