note: this is one segment in a multi-part series on how to plan a trip from Naperville to Disney World.
When you hear the words: Walt Disney World – what comes to mind?
For many people, images of the Magic Kingdom are the first things that pop up. When you are planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, you will be spending at least one day of your trip here.
While this family-friendly theme park has MANY attractions, I’m going to give you a Top 5 list of attractions that should make every family’s “Must Do” list!
I’ll list the attractions in a geographical order, saving the only attraction with a height requirement for last.
As you enter the Magic Kingdom, you’ll head down Main Street USA. A left turn takes you into Adventureland and the home of our first classic attraction:
Pirates of the Caribbean
Here you’ll see swash-buckling pirates as they kidnap and pillage without a care in the world!
And here’s what I love about this ride: the queue area looks like you are entering a Spanish fort. You wind through the caverns and arrive at the loading area to board your boat to adventure!
There are elements that seem to remain a constant – there’s a short drop into the darkness, there’s still an auction of the local ladies and the dog still holds the key to the jail cell.
There are some updates to the ride with the success of the films. Captain Jack Sparrow makes several appearances, Captain Barbosa mans the large ship in the post drop scene and you might catch a glimpse of a mermaid!
Moving on, I present a show called…
The Country Bear Jamboree
This is a musical revue hosted by Henry, a big brown bear in a top hat.
You don’t have to be a country music fan to appreciate the songs in this show. There is an element of good-hearted humor throughout the program.
The details in the theater and the show are top notch. During “Tears will be the Chaser for your Wine”, Trixie holds a glass of wine that always looks as if it might spill over – but never does.
While you wait to enter the theater, you’ll see bear claw marks in the wood floor of the lobby. You’ll also hear my favorite song called, “Momma don’t whoop little Buford.”
On hot Florida days, this show is a great place to catch some much-needed air conditioning and to take a break from walking!
Next on our tour is a true classic:
The Haunted Mansion
In an era of high tech effects and computer generated images that imitate life, the Haunted Mansion maintains its super status with clever yet simple effects throughout.
Whether you are stumped about how the stretching room works or are mesmerized by the ghosts that dance during the “swinging wake,” guests of all ages can appreciate a little scare!
I love the overall theme of this attraction. You ride in a “Doombuggy” and the cast members that work in this attraction are actually part of the house staff!
Now as we move into Fantasyland, I bring you the quintessential Disney ride:
It’s a Small World
This slow-moving boat ride calls itself the “Happiest cruise that ever sailed.”
Young and old alike have enjoyed this attraction for decades. There are over 300 dolls representing numerous countries from around the world singing their theme song of universal harmony.
Yes, the song can get stuck in your head. And, yes, your children will love this ride and want to go on it over and over.
This attraction has had a few changes over the decades. In the early 2000’s the attraction got a major facelift featuring a new soundtrack which enhances the tune based on which country you’re visiting.
The last classic attraction on my list is in Tomorrowland:
It’s the only thrill ride on my list with a height requirement, which is 44 inches.
Here are some great things about Space Mountain.
- It’s indoors (foul weather doesn’t shut it down)
- It’s in the dark (as the name says – you’re in SPACE)
- You sit behind each other in the car (so you can’t grip your neighbor’s hand)
- 28 mph never felt so fast!
I do love this ride. The track is smooth and the curves are tight. When you’re waiting to board, you can hear the thrilling screams of current riders and you just get super excited to get going!
So, there they are: five classic attractions found at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. I hope when you visit the Magic Kingdom you make sure you have these on your list of “must do” attractions.
These tips are provided by Your Naperville community member Jenn Hart, of Guru Travel. As a Disney Authorized Travel Agent, she can work with you to make your Disney dream vacation a reality. Services to Guru Travel clients are complimentary and designed to make your trip truly magical. Contact Jenn or find her on Facebook as Dis Savvy.
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