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Walt Disney World Resort - Magic Kingdom, Part 1

Index

Magic Kingdom
The Entrance to Magic Kingdom. Let The Memories Begin!

Introduction

MK Map
Park maps are provided for relative location and area, not detail. Oh, original map ©Disney...
Magic Kingdom. The Most Magical Place on Earth. The Place Where Dreams Come True.

A little pixie dust, a little bother, and you can live happily ever after. Well, at least until the Visa bill comes in. You happily witness the pillage of a village, converse with monsters and welcome a ghost that follows you home.

We want the redhead, and a great big beautiful tomorrow in your own happy place. We want to go to infinity and beyond, yet stay in a small world and end the day on the main street of a small town in Missouri.

This is the park Walt wanted to do right. A place where he could control everything. And I'm sure even Walt would have been surprised at just how well he succeeded. It may not be the place he was planning, but it does have the magic and spirit that built Disneyland.

In the grand scheme of Walt Disney's "Project X", his Florida Project would begin by building a theme park next to Bay Lake. Once the theme park was in operation, he would funnel the profits into his Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow. , , to house his 1964 New York World's Fair attractions, and to help fund his City of Tomorrow, EPCOT. There were supposed to be several other attractions at Magic Kingdom, but most got drastically changed after Walt's death. With Disney World on hold, the World's Fair attractions went to Disneyland. But the company already owned 43 square miles of property...

Walt Disney World (Roy had added "Walt" to the name to honor his brother) opened on October 1, 1971. At the time, it was the Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian hotel and the Contemporary hotel, all connected by monorail. (You can find out a little more history from my May 2011 trip, where I attended D23's WDW 40th anniversary event.) It hadn't changed when I first visited in 1977. Hop on the monorail to the Poly, have an adult beverage, monorail back. It was...fun. :-) But you can read about that in the general Disneyworld section.

Today, it is the most visited park in the world, with over 17 million visitors, and in 2012 will see its first major expansion in a decade. (Oct 2013 update. Most of the new Fantasyland is open, and construction on things like the new Snow White attraction is well underway...)

What Magic Kingdom is about, is Classic Disney. In a way, Magic Kingdom is still Walt Disney World to me. Everything else is just a bonus.


I stayed at the Contemporary Hotel in May 2011, since WDW's 40th anniversary event was being held at the convention center there. Since it was going to be my "Monorail Hotel" stay, I got a park view room. A wise decision. I would have to recommend staying at a monorail resort with a park view room to any Disney World fan. Just once...

View of Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary Hotel
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Entrance to Magic Kingdom

Entrance Magic Kingdom
MK Map The entrance is usually a busy place (as if any place in the Magic Kingdom is not), since this is where all the different forms of transportation converge, bags are given a cursory once over, and it seems most guests just can't figure out the turnstiles.

I found the best transportation here is from the Wilderness Lodge/Fort Wilderness boats, that dock right in front of the Magic Kingdom.

Entrance
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Main Street U.S.A - Town Square

MK Map Main Street U.S.A, is supposed to be reminiscent of Walt's childhood home at the turn of the century (albeit the 20th century); Marceline, Missouri; forced perspective, blah, blah, blah.

What Main Street really is, is the entrance and exit to Magic Kingdom, and in a way, the credits for the park. All along the street, in plain view but rarely noticed by the guests, are the people who made Disney famous. Almost every second story window has a name, mostly in the guise of advertising, of the Imagineers, the cartoonists and the people who made Disneyworld happen. After all, Walt was a movie maker. All of his productions had to have credits...

It is also, of course, one long store from the train station to the hub, where one can eat and buy almost anything Magic Kingdom and Disney World...


Town Square is the start of Main Street, where you'll find Guest Services, a restaurant, package pickup, etc. It's your introduction to Disney World, and they make sure you know it.

Main Street U.S.A. - Town Square
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Main Street U.S.A

It may sound odd, but for me, a visit to Magic Kingdom isn't complete without a walk up Main Street. In past visits, I've hopped the Railroad to Frontierland or Toontown, and it felt like the wrong way to enter the park.

So you might do a little more walking. It's not like you haven't walked enough that trip. On the other hand, if I'm leaving the park, I've got no aversion to saving a few... hundred steps.

Main Street U.S.A.
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Main Street U.S.A - The Hub

The Hub is the central location of Magic Kingdom, from which 'spokes' branch off in every direction to the different lands. In the center of the hub is the bronze 'Partners', a statue of Walt and his alter-ego Mickey. Surrounding 'Partners', are smaller bronzes of the characters that made Walt the man he was. Or at least made The Disney Company what it was...

Main Street U.S.A. - The Hub
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End Magic Kingdom - Part 1 of 10.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

Revisions:
  • 04/17/2010 - Entire page re-imaged, rewritten
  • 06/02/2012 - Complete replacement
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2