Disney World Orlando
Disney World Orlando forms part of the Walt Disney Company that has resorts and parks all over the world. Disney World Orlando joins Disneyland California, Disney Tokyo, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Hong Kong and Disney ShangHai. Walt Disney World Orlando is the largest and most visited theme park in the entire world and comprises of 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 8 golf courses and 20 resort hotels! I initially went to Orlando for business and had some free time after I visited SeaWorld Orlando. I only had 2 days to spare after I visited SeaWorld, so I decided to visit Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Disney World Orlando has 4 theme parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Seeing that I only had 2 days, I was only able to visit 2 of the 4 theme parks. Magic Kingdom to me is a classic when it comes to Disney and for me the one Disney Park that I had to go to, even if I only had one day. So I basically had to choose between 1 of the remaining 3 parks. The theme of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios Orlando (another non-Disney theme park in Orlando) seems to be movies and seeing that I’m still planning on visiting Hollywood, California sometime in the near future I decided to skip these 2 parks. The reason is that I think more movies and TV shows are shot in Hollywood and I’d rather visit the real thing in Hollywood.Having visited many wildlife parks and also SeaWorld Orlando, I decided to skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well. Just thought I’d put some insights into my reasoning as to which parks I decided to visit….
I personally think that Magic Kingdom is a park that is more geared towards kids from say 5 to 13 years of age. You could clearly see the enjoyment that families with small kids got from spending time at Magic Kingdom. I will definitely return to Magic Kingdom one day when I have kids…..But having grown up with Disney as a child, I do think that visiting a Disney themed park is a must for anyone of any age. So I decided to visit Magic Kingdom first, just to see the Disney characters and those kind of things I grew up with as a kid.
When you arrive at Disney World there are different trains that go to the 4 different parks, so navigation is pretty easy. Remember to buy your tickets first, before climbing onto a train! Something else I think you guys ought to know about the tickets is that you can buy multiple day tickets. The longer the period of your attendance at Disney World, the less the cost of each ticket per day. I only had 2 days to spare when I visited, so this multiple day ticket discount didn’t really apply to me. Also if you’re a Florida resident, then you get additional discounts. Ticketing information can be found here: disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/
Magic Kingdom has 2 modes of transport that goes from the ticketing center, which is either by monorail or via a ferry that takes you over the lake to the Magic Kingdom. The ferry takes longer, but is something a bit different and gives you a nice view of some of the hotel resorts around the lake. Most of the resorts and hotels in the Disney World area have busses that will drop you off at the ticket center ,where you will then take the monorail or ferry (Magic Kingdom) onwards. Just makes sure what the bus number of your hotel is that drops you off and what time it’s picking you up , as it can be bit confusing when you return after a long day in the sun.
Well, Orlando gets unbelievably hot and humid, especially in summer time. So be sure to keep hydrated throughout the day. You are able to take your own water and sandwiches into the park, if you like to do so. I think the policy is obviously to let you bring your own drinks and sandwiches, as long as you’re not excessively abusing the system. So a whole cooler box obviously won’t do! I always like to drink as much water as possible, so I took in a 1L water bottle, which came in pretty handy when standing in queues waiting to go on a ride.
That brings me to another pretty cool crowd organization tool that Disney World has, something called the “FastPass”. The FastPass is basically a ticket that enables you to get onto rides quicker and it is free of charge. How it works – When you go to a ride that you want to go on, you have 2 choices: a) Stand in the normal queue or b) get a FastPass. The FastPass is printed automatically by a machine at each ride and shows the time that you should return to go on the ride, based on how many people have taken FastPasses already. So you would print a FastPass at Ride 1 and go to Ride 2 that is in close proximity. When you are done with Ride 2 you return to Ride 1 at the time as per your FastPass and go stand in the way shorter line specifically allocated for FastPass holders. If you coordinate the way you do rides at Disney World- you’ll save and huge amount of time by preventing yourself from standing long queues. Believe me, there will be queues! It makes most sense to go get the FastPasses at the most popular rides when you arrive at the park.
The main street of Disney’s Magic Kingdom is themed after a small Midwestern American Town and the detail is pretty cool. The electric parade of floats is pretty well organized and basically shows all of the most popular Disney characters on the floats/vehicles. This parade goes through the whole park and is something certainly worth staying at the park for till the end. The fireworks extravaganza that is done right before the park closes for the day ,that is also accompanied by the lighting up of Cinderella’s castle with different colours is also something that was pretty well orchestrated and looked great at night. I enjoyed the overall theme of the show, which was to inspire the little kids to keep on dreaming and that any dream is attainable – More adults should take this message to heart!
Looking at my overall experience at the Magic Kingdom: even though the park is more geared towards younger kids, I actually enjoyed rekindling some childhood memories by seeing most of the Disney characters I grew up with. The rides at Magic Kingdom are way more chilled, especially compared to the Roller coasters I did at SeaWorld the day before…. Looking back at my experience at Magic Kingdom , I would say that I’m glad I went to see what Disney World is all about and that I’ll definitely return one day when I have kids.