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Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

History of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom was Disney's second theme park, opening October 1, 1971. For years, it was the only destination of note within the massive Walt Disney World complex, so most people came to know the park simply as "Disney World." Disney later added Epcot in 1982, the Disney-MGM Studios in 1989 and Disney's Animal Kingdom in 1998. The Magic Kingdom follows pretty much the same layout as California's Disneyland, though on a much larger parcel of land.

Engineering buffs should take note Disney first built a series of utility corridors, covered them with dirt excavated from the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon, and then built the Magic Kingdom on top of that. Today, the "utilidors," or underground tunnels, connect all lands in the Magic Kingdom, allowing cast members to move between the park's themed lands while never appearing out of place in a different land's costume.

How do you get to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom?
The Magic Kingdom is located 30 minutes south of Orlando, off Interstate 4. The Orlando International Airport is the closest to the Walt Disney World resort. Take the GreeneWay toll road from the airport for quickest access to the Magic Kingdom. From Orlando, take I-4 to the Epcot exit, then follow the signs to the Magic Kingdom. From the Tampa area, take I-4 to the Magic Kingdom exit.

When is the best time to visit?
The least crowded seasons are from Labor Day to Thanksgiving and from the week after the President's Day holiday (in mid-February) to the start of Spring Break, in mid-March. Fridays and Saturdays are often the best days to visit the Magic Kingdom, as most of Disney World's visitors are out-of-towners who travel on the weekend. And they typically make the Magic Kingdom among their first stops early in the week.

No matter when you visit, arrive early, about an hour before the scheduled opening time, to get in place to visit many popular attractions early, before lines build later in the day.

Where should I stay?
You can read reader reviews and check room rates for hotels in and near Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on our Walt Disney World hotels page.

How do I get tickets to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom?
In January, 2005, Disney changed its ticket structure for Walt Disney World, introducing the "Magic Your Way" plan that added more options and increased prices for most selections. You can choose a ticket length from one day to seven, then add a variety of options at additional cost, including the ability to visit multiple parks on each day and the ability to have your unused days not expire within 14 days of the ticket's first use.

Disney sells Disney World tickets on its website, but you cannot print the tickets at home, meaning you must order early enough in advance to have the tickets mailed to you.

You can also buy tickets through your local auto club, Disney Store or through a school or work activities office. Many offsite hotels also sell Disney passports at their front desks.

Whatever you do, though, buy your tickets before you get to the park. No sense wasting the first couple hours of your first day's visit waiting in line at the ticket booths.

What's new at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom?
Pooh's Playful Spot, a Hundred-Acre Wood-themed play area for toddlers opened in Fantasyland in Sept. 2005.

Cinderellabration is a new stage show set right in front of cinderela castle. It stars some of your favorite disney characters and as you get to witness cinderella being crowed princess.

Also new is Stich's Great Escape where that inky, stinky and drooling alien is loose and you have to find him.

Plan your day at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
If you are travelling with toddlers, you'll want to visit Fantasyland first thing in the morning, as several popular kids' rides in that area, especially Dumbo and Peter Pan, have low capacities and build long waits early in the day. If not, head west to Frontierland when the park opens, visiting Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, then doubling back to the Jungle Cruise. Save Tomorrowland's Space Mountain for later in the evening when the crowds thin, if the park's busy.

Ride and restaurant reservations at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Call 407-WDW-DINE 90 days before your trip for preferred dining times.
Take advantage of the Disney's FastPass. This sweet invention helps you narrow down your wait time to quick or no wait at some popular attractions. Certain restrictions apply. Like your only allowed one at a time. And the pass only applies to certain attractions. Check your guidemap for details.

Is Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom safe?
Like at all major theme parks, you'll be safer in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom than you'll be on the highway driving there. Check our Accident Watch section for recent injury accidents at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Parents should also be sure to take a look at our list of rides with height restrictions at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. For more tips to help ensure that you and your family stay safe, visit our theme park safety tips page.

What's coming next to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom?
In Tomorrowland,after Stitch opened,they will build something called Little Green Men.I don't know what is that.I just know that there is a realtion with UFO.

This article was submitted by Danny Bernard on December 5, 2005.