LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Magic Kingdom, the first Walt Disney World Resort theme park, debuted in 1971 – 16 years after Walt Disney’s first park, Disneyland, opened in Anaheim, Calif. Magic Kingdom Park’s blue- and gold-turreted, 18-tower icon, Cinderella Castle, rises 189 feet above the park’s 142 acres.
Similar to Disneyland Park, the park is divided into six themed lands:
• Main Street, U.S.A. – City Hall, Main Street Vehicles, Main Street Chamber of Commerce (package pickup), Harmony Barber Shop, Town Square Theater, Main Street Bakery, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Walt Disney World Railroad, shops and emporiums.
• Adventureland –Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Treehouse, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Pirates League, A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas.
• Frontierland –Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree, Tom Sawyer Island, Walt Disney World Railroad.
• Liberty Square –Haunted Mansion, Liberty Square Riverboat, The Hall of Presidents.
• Fantasyland – Cinderella Castle, “it’s a small world,” Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Tea Party, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Fairytale Garden, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey’s PhilharMagic 3-D movie experience, Walt Disney World Railroad. Dumbo, the Flying Elephant in Storybook Circus, Barnstormer Coaster, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area, Fantasyland Train Station, Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s Grotto, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Princess Fairytale Hall, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
• Tomorrowland – Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Stitch’s Great Escape, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
• Town Square Theater — Go backstage to meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in this rehearsal room.
• Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade — Daytime parade celebrating the characters and stories of Fantasyland.
• “Happily Ever After” — This new, stunning nighttime extravaganza features more lasers, lights and projections than any Magic Kingdom Park show before it. Characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films are featured through state-of-the-art projections, enchanted by more than 50 choreographed spotlights, brilliant lasers and plenty of awe-inspiring fireworks. Presented nightly.
Food and Beverage
• Be Our Guest Restaurant (Fantasyland) – “great food fast” by day; fine dining table service with French flair for dinner
• Pinocchio Village Haus (Fantasyland) — pizza, pasta, salads and chicken breast nuggets
• Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Main Street, U.S.A.) — salads, pastas, Italian entrees
• Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Frontierland) — burgers, sandwiches, salads
• Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square) — clam chowder, fish, chicken, sandwiches
• Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (Tomorrowland) — burgers, chicken, salads, sandwiches
• Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (Adventureland) — table-service dining with the bold flavors of Asia, South America, and Africa
Guests can dine with Disney characters at Cinderella’s Royal Table (Fantasyland – breakfast, lunch and dinner) or at The Crystal Palace (Main Street, U.S.A. – buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner). For dining reservations, call 407/WDW-DINE.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party — Mickey and the gang invite guests to this all-ages celebration of fun frights held on select nights August through November.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party — Each holiday season, Mickey and his friends celebrate the season on several special nights with exclusive entertainment and a holiday-themed parade starring Santa Claus.
Following the success of Disneyland, which opened in 1955, entertainment pioneer Walt Disney (1901-66) set his sights on what he called his company’s “most exciting and challenging assignment” — the creation of a vast vacation paradise known today as Walt Disney World Resort. Walt’s dream was realized when Magic Kingdom, the first of four theme parks at the sprawling Florida site, opened Oct. 1, 1971. Walt’s older brother and lifelong business partner, Roy O. Disney, inaugurated the park. And the magic began.