disney, walt disney world, animal kingdom, disney world

In case you happened to miss it, I went to Disney World the week before Christmas with some of my best friends. I'm sharing some of my favorite rides, restaurants, sites, and shows with you one park at a time. Last week was Epcot and now we move on to another favorite! During our Disney adventures, we spent a lot of time at Magic Kingdom. I love that park so much. From Adventureland to Tomorrowland to Fantasyland to so many others, Magic Kingdom has a lot to offer. We've got a lot to cover, so let's get started!

One of the things I loved about staying at a Disneyworld resort were the extra magic hour perks.  On various days, each Disney park opens either an hour earlier or is open later for guests staying at a Disney resort. We really took advantage of this at Magic Kingdom. There were two evenings where the park was open until 3AM for resort guests, and we would stay until 2ish. Yes it was late, and yes we were exhausted, but it was so fun because the park was seemingly empty. Lines were short and we got to go on a lot more rides in a short period of time. Definitely check the schedule for extra magic hours on your next Disney trip!

disney, walt disney world, animal kingdom, disney world

disney, walt disney world, animal kingdom, disney world

In order to eat at Cinderella's Castle, you must have a reservation. For those of you using a dining plan, just know this takes up two dining credits per person. Don't worry...you'll still have enough food for the rest of your time at Disney. You'll need to make your reservation far in advance. They were booked for dinner reservations during our stay, so we made a reservation for lunch time instead. :) You get your photo taken with Cinderella and they give you prints for each person in your party. They refer to you as "lady" and "lord" and it is hilarious. Various princesses arrive at the castle and come visit with your table while you are eating. We kind of got a case of the giggles each time a Disney princess stopped by our table...you just had to be there. The atmosphere is really fun and the food was delicious!

disney, walt disney world, animal kingdom, disney world

disney, walt disney world, animal kingdom, disney world

If you're wanting to do dinner at Belle's castle, you must make reservations and make them in advance. I'm talking at least six months in advance...maybe more. This one books up very quickly. You can also do lunch at Belle's castle, but you may or may not be able to get in. When we were there at Christmas, they didn't have a standby list you could be put on for lunch. You just had to keep going back to ask if they were allowing more people in to dine. We eventually made it in for lunch, and I'm so glad we did! You can choose to eat in the ballroom, east wing, or west wing. Each section is perfectly decorated and so magical!

This roller coaster just recently opened and we ran to get in line first thing on our first morning in Magic Kingdom. Even when you have to wait in line, they make it fun for you with a couple of games throughout the mines. If that isn't enough entertainment for you, just whistle Heigh Ho to your heart's content. The ride is super fun and perfect for all ages!

Second star to the right and straight on til morning! This is one of the classics. It's been recently renovated and looks so great! The line takes you through the Darling house as you wait to board your very own flying pirate ship that will take you on an adventure above London and off to Neverland! I wanted to do this ride all week and we waited until our very last night to make it happen. I'm so glad we went...it's such a nostalgiac ride and I loved it! P.S. You might want to Fastpass this ride if you don't want to wait in line...or you can just go late at night like we did!

I put this ride off for days because I didn't want to get soaking wet and then walk around the parks for the rest of the day. My friends kept begging me to go, so on our last night, I gave in. It was around 1:30 in the morning, it was raining, and I was already cold, so I figured why not?? It was SO MUCH fun. The big drop at the end feels like it lasts forever and then you get doused by the water you practically just dove into. ;) As soon as the ride was over, I immediately wanted to go again. This one is now a must on my list.

Don't forget to grab some of the famous Dole Whip. It is so delicious! Or if you're wanting to go with another Disney snack classic, the Mickey pretzel will do just fine.

You can't go to Disneyworld and skip out on the Pirates ride. It's another classic, and it's one of those chill rides you can do when you need a little break. I'd go on this one more than once just so I could take everything in. There are so many details and Jack Sparrow is eerily lifelike. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Okay, so at Christmastime, they change the ride's name to the "Jingle Cruise." Punny, right? If you like puns, and you like the jungle, this ride is for you. Just ask for our BFF Joshua. He tells all the best jokes. Oh and go on the ride at night. It's a little more adventurous that way. :)

Take a break, grab a seat, and enjoy a 3D musical in Mickey's PhilharMagic. This will take you on an adventure through several Disney animated musical scenes. I may or may not have almost fallen asleep, but that is not because I was bored. Disney music is soothing to me, okay?

Oh dear, the Haunted Mansion. The ride is not scary at all, but the people who work the ride are a different story. While we were in the "waiting room" to get onto the ride, one of the workers, covered in creepy makeup, scared us good. The girls were all huddled around Bruce, terrified out of our minds. We were laughing and screaming and hoping we could get on the ride soon. Props to you, Haunted Mansion lady. You got us.

disney, walt disney world, animal kingdom, disney world, frozen

The light show is incredible and you can't miss it! Tinker Bell sprinkles the Cinderella Castle with pixie dust that turns the castle into the canvas for the show. The castle is lit up to portray scenes and sequences from various Disney movies, and it is magical! I stood there in complete wonder the whole time. You also have got to stay for the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, which occurs just after the light show. You'll see an amazing fireworks show and listen to your favorite Disney tunes during the entire performance!

Eryn Ivey said...

Disney was my backyard in my hometown and I even interned in the corporate office during college. I absolutely adore Disney <3

allisonramsing said...

Love your recap! My favorite is the Tea Cups!

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

WHAT? That is like throw up central! HAHA

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

I agree with everything you just said. PS: did you see how good looking those kids in Cinderella's castle were?!?!

allisonramsing said...

HAHA! I love that ride!

Gennie said...

I have never been to Disney World or Land, but I have ALWAYS wanted to go! I thought we would wait until we had kids, but your post makes me want to go as soon as possible, just me and my husband and maybe a few friends!! :)

Elizabeth Mayberry said...

I like that you do. Just FYI, if we go together you will have to ride it alone!

Elizabeth Jones said...

this totally made me want to go to disney like NOW! My now-husband is wonderful and proposed to me there in 2013 during Wishes. :) I love that place so much!

allisonramsing said...

Oh I'd love to go to Disney with you and Meg! Can I join on the next trip? And maybe if I don't spin it very fast I can convince you to join me? :)

Stacia said...

These are such great tips! The first one really makes me feel like it's worth it to stay at the resort. I love the Jungle Cruise. The puns are terrible yet hilarious. :)

Summer @ Coffee With S said...

This looks like SO much fun! I have never been to Disney World...yet, anyway. I went to Downtown Disney when I was in the area once, since it was free to walk around in. This is a great list for when I go one day!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Hahahah. Tea Cups = No Way Jose. My vertigo would never let me hear the end of it! But I'll wait in line with you! :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

AH! That is so awesome! Eryn, I totes think we would be real life friends. :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

So good! So good!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Lady, you have got to go! I totally suggest taking a trip before you have kids! It'll just be a very different experience free of kids. But then go again when you have kids and they can enjoy it :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

What a magical place to get engaged! I love that :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

It it TOTALLY worth it. It's stress and hastle free. We absolutely loved it!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Oh man, I can't wait for you to go and experience all of the Disney parks! It was one of the best vacations I've ever taken. :)

allisonramsing said...

Okay I don't want you to get sick :(. Good thing it's always a short line! A Disney adventure would be so much fun though!

Jenna Brussee said...

Ahhh, I love Disney World! I live 2 hours away, so it's awesome that I can just go for a day. I went to Hollywood Studios in December, and it was so magical to experience it at Christmas time. It's a must for sure! The lights there were incredible.

Eryn Ivey said...

Uh yes! Frisbee. Travel. Disney. Count me in!

Sweet Little Ones said...

Love these lists :) We went on our honeymoon and are hoping to go back next year for our 5 year anniversary - this time with kids! :) My favorite rides are the Tea Cups, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, and the Buzz Lightyear ride. Can't wait to go back!!
Did you do a recap on your hotel/meal plan/etc? Just curious how that all works!
Katie @ Sweet Little Ones

Samantha@Elah Tree said...

This is so magical! My heart just exploded because it looks so amazing!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Oh I love that! I'm sure experiencing it with your kids will be so much fun! Ah! The Buzz Lightyear ride! I like that one too :)

I don't have a recap of our resort or meal plan yet, but I do plan on writing one. :) Elizabeth Mayberry did a post on her top things to splurge on at Disney which includes our travel agents info :) You can check that out for now if you'd like!


Meg McIlvaine said...

Oh I am so jealous you live that close! We LOVED going at Christmas and seeing each of the parks decorated for the holidays. It made the experience so much fun.

Meg McIlvaine said...

Sam, one day we will all go to Disney together and it will be THE BEST.

Meg McIlvaine said...

Hahaha. SANTA! I KNOW HIM. ;)
She was a nice princess for sure, and was the least weird. Haha.
Peter Pan's flight was so nostalgic...you must go!