Are you ready? Buckle in as if you’ve just boarded Space Mountain because today I’m sharing the rundown of our two-and-a-half days in Magic Kingdom.
We had the equivalent of six full park days during our November trip to DisneyWorld. After extensive research and planning, we determined that Magic Kingdom was where we would spend the most time. (It wasn’t a surprise that we came to that conclusion, but I’m glad we did the research anyway.)
As I’m putting together this recap, I’m surprised by how much we didn’t do because we were going from morning til night.
So I’ll preface this with saying that our son (the Dude) is incredibly chill. He legitimately seemed cool with everything. Our daughter (the Bean), on the other hand, is five and girl has got opinions.
Our most frequented ride at Magic Kingdom was It’s a Small World. It’s not the most exciting; we know that. However, it’s super family-friendly. It’s a continuous boarding ride so even if the line is long, it keeps moving. There are no thrills or surprises but the kids enjoyed observing the characters and talking about what was the same and what was different in the various “worlds.” (Tip: Keep an eye on the screens in the last area before you exit the ride. They wish “farewell” to riders by name and if the timing is right, you can see yours. I saw my name as well as my daughter’s!)
Bean’s favorite ride of all was Peter Pan’s Flight. This is also continuous boarding and just after leaving the line, the ship you’re in “takes off” and you fly over London and Neverland, observing scenes from the movie. There are a handful of quick dips in the track but nothing too alarming for young ones. (Tip: If you have to prioritize a Fast Pass selection, go with Peter Pan’s Flight. It’s a crowd favorite and even in November, I never saw the standby line drop below 35 minutes.)
We also enjoyed Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. (I think continuous boarding may be a theme among our favorite rides. My husband and I are ok with lines, but the kiddos… not so much.) A control in the little car allows you to spin yourself around, and there are two laser guns to shoot at targets as you travel through Toy Story scenes. (Tip: Let an adult control the spinning at first. The control is a bit touchy and if your young one is prone to motion sickness you’ll want to ease in to spinning.)
We had Fast Passes for Space Mountain so my husband went on the ride while I hung out with the kids and then we switched. This ride is still so much fun. It’s not too wild (especially compared to the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios!) but still has enough twists, turns and drops to make it worth waiting in line for a few.
My husband and I also enjoyed the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. It was legitimately funny. Our daughter laughed along when she realized others were doing so, but I do think some of the jokes were a little bit over her head. Nothing was inappropriate by any stretch; I think she just isn’t the target audience for that attraction.
And I realize this next selection as a parent favorite might be surprising, but hear me out. We love the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Continuous boarding. Wide, comfy seats. No hills or thrills. Lots to look at. Perfect for taking a break without the kids feeling bored. Occasionally good for lulling a toddler to sleep 🙂
Other Things We Rode
We managed to squeeze in trips on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, two rounds on Pirates of the Caribbean and Prince Charming’s Carousel, and we took in a show at Mickey’s PhilharMagic. All of these were perfectly fine. I mean, it’s Disney World. Even the things that are “fine” are still downright awesome. We had trouble on our first go with Pirates. Bean thought the pirates were frightening and she wasn’t thrilled by a surprise drop that we didn’t warn her about. By the time we returned to the park a few days later though, she was over it.
What We Thought We’d Ride…
We had fast passes for Haunted Mansion, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but all went unused. We entered the Haunted Mansion, but it was a bit too intense for Bean. The first holding room with the expanding ceiling put her over the edge so we asked a cast member to show us the way out. Bean also didn’t love the speed of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. She would’ve been fine with the other two, but we were running low on time.
What We Knew Better Than To Try
There were a few rides we knew we’d be skipping. Splash Mountain was a little too intense for Bean, and also it was chilly for most of our trip. I’m not a Jungle Cruise fan so we never even mentioned that one to the kiddos. We knew that Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress weren’t going to be of much interest to them.
We debated letting them explore the Swiss Family Treehouse, but this is one of those attractions where I knew both kids would want to stay for HOURS. That wasn’t an argument I was willing to have. We also opted out of Astro Orbiter, fearing it would be a bit too much.
Who Did We Meet? What Did We See?
While at Magic Kingdom, we scored Fast Passes for Princess Fairytale Hall, meaning we got to meet Elena of Avalor, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Tiana. These were among our first character meet-and-greets. Bean was a bit bashful at first but warmed up to Tiana and did much better afterwards. Dude seemed confused by the whole thing, but the princesses found him to be very cute. Elena laid a big smooch on one of his perfect cheeks, leaving a perfect lipstick mark. We also met Stitch, Tinkerbell and Buzz Lightyear.
We caught the Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party one morning which was a lot of fun. We were waiting in line to get our photo taken on Main Street in front of the castle when we had to clear the way for the parade. The upside? We nabbed a perfect viewing spot and the photographer stood with us so we could still get the photo once the street was clear again.
What We Ate
I can’t help but feel like this is the most important section of this post, but that’s because I am constantly thinking about food. Eating is truly one of my favorite hobbies.
Not surprisingly, the food highlight at MK was Be Our Guest. We scored an 8:30 a.m. breakfast reservation on our second day in the park. It was fun getting there early and really being able to see the park without throngs of people around.
The food was very good. I ordered the Croissant Doughnut. The website describes this as a “fried doughnut topped with banana-caramel sauce, pastry creme, and chocolate ganache served with fresh fruit.” Let that sink in. It was breakfast dessert and I devoured it. (I definitely felt it later on though. If I don’t have protein early in the day, I’m not feeling so hot by lunch.) My husband ordered the Feast A La Gaston and the kiddos split the French Toast. You receive complimentary pastries with your meal as well. Surprisingly, we were able to use our Quick Service Dining Plan credits for this meal since it was only breakfast! I was thrilled by this. My breakfast was listed at $28. It was delicious, but if I’d had to pay at that moment for it with cash or my credit card, I’d have resisted.
We indulged in a few Dole Whips at Aloha Isle, and also grabbed meals at Columbia Harbour House, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Liberty Tree Tavern, Pinocchio Village Haus and Sleepy Hollow. All of these places were totally fine, but if you’re looking for a true dining “experience” they might not be the best options.
How We Made It Special
It’s difficult to call the lighting of the castle anything other than special. During the holidays, they do a special show with the cast of Frozen and I literally teared up.
If you’re headed to Disney World with your young daughter (niece, cousin, etc.) I highly recommend Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Since we planned this trip for Bean’s birthday, it seemed fitting that we set her up at BBB with her own Fairy Godmother!
Just like everything else at Disney World, the experience was 100% thoughtful. There are multiple packages available. I can’t remember the name of the one we selected, but Bean got to choose a princess dress and get her hair done. In addition, her Fairy Godmother painted her nails, applied some (very light) makeup and presented her with a sash, tiara and souvenir bag.
Afterwards, we crossed the path to Castle Couture where a photographer snapped what I can only describe as glamour shots of our newly-crowned Princess Aurora. The whole thing was over-the-top and exceeded our every expectation. Bean was happy, so we were happy.
That was kind of the theme for the trip: we were together and we were happy. Disney World just really brought out the best in all of us. It was, dare I say, magical—and I’m already daydreaming about heading back when our son turns five 😉