The Magic Kingdom is the name of the first and primary theme park
inside each of the four Disney
, Walt Disney World
, Tokyo Disneyland
, and Disneyland Paris
. Only in WDW
is the name used often, since only WDW has three other major parks within.
All four Magic Kingdoms are different, but they do have several common elements. They are all oriented around a central hub, which sits directly in front of a large castle. In Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, it is Sleeping Beauty Castle (or Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant in French); in Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, it is Cinderella Castle.
The entrance into the Magic Kingdom is a street conveniently lined with shops (neat shops, but shops nonetheless). This street is Main Street, U.S.A. at the two American parks. The street leads you directly to the central hub. From there, you can visit the other lands.
Typical lands found in the Magic Kingdom are Fantasyland (accessed by going through the castle), Tomorrowland, Frontierland (or Westernland), Adventureland, and some sort of Toontown or equivalent. Walt Disney World also has Liberty Square; Disneyland has New Orleans Square.
Popular attractions at the Magic Kingdoms:
- Splash Mountain. A flume ride as only Disney could do it. Based around the movie Song of the South, it's an animatronic ride combined with an exciting flume drop at the end, right into a briar patch. One of the first rides at a Disney Park to offer photographs of riders, some people have turned it into Flash Mountain.
- Space Mountain. Indoor, low-light roller coaster with no inversions, but in the darkness you can't really tell anyway. Infamous for many years as the ride with the longest line (although Splash Mountain usually holds that distinction now).
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Classic mine-train type coaster, very rickety and wild. Lots of nice scenery if you can keep your eyes open.
- The Matterhorn. Only at Disneyland, a fast, wild bobsled ride.
- The Haunted Mansion. 999 Grim Grinning Ghosts come out to socialize.
- It's a Small World. The Disney classic, first exhibited at the 1965 World's Fair and then moved to Disneyland. Despite how annoyingly catchy the song is, it's still a must-see, just because.
- Country Bear Jamboree (or some variation thereof). Rollicking, classic Audio-Animatronics show featuring a huge group of hillbilly bears, especially Big Al.
- Jungle Cruise. Guests are taken on a nice long boat ride through tropical scenery, guided by experienced skippers armed with pistols and far too many puns.
There are scores more attractions, of course, but the differences among the parks start to become more apparent. Despite what people say, the Magic Kingdom really is a magical
place, especially for kids. But only the most cynical
s would be unable to have fun right along with them.