5 Misconceptions About the Magic Kingdom

5 Misconceptions Cover ImageA trip to Walt Disney World is a dream come true for many families from around the world. But the realities of planning, packing, and even navigating Walt Disney World can be daunting. So we here at Homes4uu have started a series called the First Timer’s Guide to Walt Disney World. Its all about how to navigate Walt Disney World as a first time visitor, or even as someone who hasn’t been back for a while. Today’s post is all about the Magic Kingdom, and some of the most common misconceptions first-timers have before they come: so here are 5 misconceptions about the Magic Kingdom.

 

Misconception #1. The Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World

Fact: The Magic Kingdom is one part of Walt Disney World

Before I took my first trip to Walt Disney World in my teens I thought that Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom were the same thing. I now know better, but the mistake is pretty common. This probably goes back to the fact that both Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom share a birthday.

Both Walt Disney World, and the Magic Kingdom opened their gates in 1971. Back then if you said you were going to Walt Disney World, everyone knew you meant the Magic Kingdom. Which is probably where one of the most common Magic Kingdom Misunderstandings started.

Another reason for this misconception is because of Disneyland itself. While the park is called Disneyland, the resort is called Disneyland Resort. So if the Magic Kingdom had followed the same naming pattern then it would have been called Walt Disney World in the Walt Disney World Resort. Keep in mind that all of the international parks follow the Disneyland/Disneyland Resort naming patterns as well. So it’s a completely understandable mistake to make!

So why should you know the difference before you go? For one thing, if you ask someone how to get to the main gates of Walt Disney World, they aren’t going to direct you to the turnstiles in front of the iconic train station at the Magic Kingdom. Instead, you’ll end up about a half hour away at the edge of the property. Also, you’ll avoid the odd looks you’d get by calling the park anything other than Magic Kingdom.

Misconception #2. The Magic Kingdom is just Fantasyland

Magic Kingdom is More than Fantasyland

Photo by Skylar Sahakian on Unsplash

Fact: The Magic Kingdom has 6 lands, Fantasyland is just one of them

This fits with the common misunderstandings. When people think that the Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World, then they tend to think that Fantasyland is the Magic Kingdom. It’s not hard to understand why this is. Fantasyland is the home of most of the Magical storylines in the park. Its where you’ll find Neverland, the 100 Acre Wood and the Enchanted Forest. So what about the other 5 lands? Well, folks tend to think one of two things. They either think that those are the other ‘parks’ and completely separate from the Magic Kingdom or they think that Epcot and the rest are part of Frontierland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland.

Don’t worry if you fall into this camp, you are not alone! Just remember, that Fantasyland is one magical part of the Magic Kingdom as a whole.

Misconception #3. Magic Kingdom is the castle

Cinderella's Castle

Photo by Jorge Martínez on Unsplash

Fact: The Castle is the main feature of the Magic Kingdom, not the Magic Kingdom itself

So if the park is called Walt Disney World, then the castle is the Magic Kingdom, right? In fact, the castle is called Cinderella Castle. (Edit: the Castle isn’t called Cinderella’s Castle though that is a very common misconception all on its own.) It is home to Cinderella’s Royal Table, Bibbidy Bobbidi Boutique and the Castle Suite, which can only be granted to guests, never booked.

The castle is the backdrop for the nighttime spectacular shows as well as various stage shows throughout the day. You can see the castle from every land, though you may have to walk to a clearing to do so. The idea was that if you can see it from every one of the lands then you can use it to get you back to the center of the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misconception #4. The Characters Walk Around the Park

Fact: You can find characters, you just have to go to them.

This is another way that the Florida Parks differ from the rest of the Disney Properties around the world. Unless you’re at a party, you won’t find characters roaming around the park waiting to interact with guests. Instead, you’ll find characters at Meet and Greet experiences place around the park. Your times’ guide will let you know who is available, where and when, but there are a few set meetups including Princess Fairy Tale Hall and Pete’s Silly Side Show in the Story Book Circus section of Fantasyland. Other character meetups include Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh near his ride in Fantasyland and more. You can also book a character dining experience to guarantee a meet and greet.

You’ll want to keep a look out of rare characters as well. So if you see Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket or Robin Hood standing off the beaten path and greeting guests,  make sure you stop and get a photo since these characters only come out once in a blue moon.

5 Misconceptions about the Magic Kingdom: Characters Don't Walk Around the Parks

Misconception #5. The Magic Kingdom is for little kids

This is something that I’ve heard from a lot of people before their first Disney trip. I even know of one family who skipped the Magic Kingdom on their first ever trip because they had four little boys and thought that the Magic Kingdom was just for girls! Well if you fall into either of these camps then read on because the Magic Kingdom is for everyone.

We don’t have space to cover everything you can find in the Magic in this post. But I will give you a quick rundown on rides and characters that you can find in the Magic Kingdom beyond the Princesses, and a few rides that grown-ups will love.

Adventurland is all about Jungles, Pirates and even Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. You’ll only find one princess here, and that’s Jasmine. You’ll find the Jungle Cruise and the Pirates of the Caribbean in this part of the park. The kids can ride both of these, but the grown ups will get the humor a bit better.

Frontierland is home to the Wild West and the age of expansion. It’s here that you’ll find Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Both rides have height requirements of 40 inches. Splash Mountain also has warnings that it may be scary for young riders!

Liberty Square is dedicated to the revolutionary era of American History. Here you’ll find the Hall of Presidents. You’ll also find the Haunted Mansion, which can be scary for younger folks. This ride tends to be a lifetime favorite for many guests.

Fantasyland is the home of the Princesses, but only one of the experiences in the area is aimed at younger guests. There’s also a roller coaster in this part of the park, making it perfect for guests of all ages.

You can find Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, the Incredibles and the Monsters of Monstropolis in Tomorrowland. You’ll also find Space Mountain, the fastest ride in the park. Other grown-up favorites are the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (or People Mover) and the Carousel of Progress. This land is even getting a new thrill ride in the form of the Tron Coaster from Shanghai Disneyland by 2021 for WDW’s 50th aniversary.

Space Mountain

There is so much more to the magic than Princesses and Fairies. And if you skip out on the Magic Kingdom because you think its only for little kids then you’re missing out on some of the most iconic experience Disney has to offer!

So those are some of the most common misunderstandings most first times have before they head to the parks. Stay tuned to the Homes4uu blog for more of our First Timer’s Guide to Walt Disney World and other great vacation tips and tricks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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