Sunday 8 October 2023

USA Day 7: Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

As a huge Disney park fan who has visited one every year in 2015-2019, visiting Walt Disney World (WDW) was a dream come true! 🥹😍

Due to the limited time we had, the 'Twin' and I agreed to focus on 2 of the 4 WDW parks, namely Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. The cost of a 2-day park ticket was US$315. Compared to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris, this was the most expensive Disney park ticket that I've ever bought! 😲 

[TIP] WDW is different from other Disney parks, hence I'd strongly recommend doing research before going! I had watched many YouTube videos to familiarise myself with the system and learn tips from experts, whose full time job is to explain it! I'd be using many WDW terminologies in this post and if you need help understanding them, please consult Google or YouTube! 😄 

We downloaded the Disney World app to plan our day and book the virtual queue at 7am for the Tron Lightcycle Run. Despite logging into the app diligently just before 7am, we didn't get a queue number! 😓😩 It was so disappointing! We'd have to try again at 1pm, otherwise we'd have to buy individual Lightning Lanes or skip it (there're no physical queues for this ride).

With a cup of tea in my hand, we left our room at 7.35am and walked to the bus stop conveniently located in front of our room (we were very lucky)! 

We waited for about 10-15 minutes before boarding the complimentary shuttle bus to Magic Kingdom. The park officially opened at 9am but when we arrived at around 8am, the entrance was already flooded with people!

Everything from security to crowd control was done very efficiently. After a cast member scanned our QR code ticket on the Disney app, he issued us with souvenir park cards that we can tap if we needed to re-enter the park. We can also use the same card to enter EPCOT the next day! 😊 

On top of Halloween, Magic Kingdom was also celebrating 100 Years of Disney! It was really fated that we could visit during such a momentous occasion! 😁

The skies were cloudy but the temperature was a lovely 17°C! It was the perfect weather for photos with Cinderella's castle, the central attraction of Magic Kingdom! 😍

As Disney hotel guests, we could enter Fantasyland and Tomorrowland 30 minutes before the official opening. The cast members scanned our park and hotel cards before letting us through. The early entry was crucial as we decided not to pay for Genie+, which you'd need to book Lightning Lanes (the paid equivalent of FASTPASS).

Since all attractions typically have the shortest queue at opening time, we strategically picked rides that were known to have long wait times to ride first. One such ride is Peter Pan's Flight.

Even though I've already done this in Paris, I still loved it! The queuing areas were well-decorated with many special effects that were unique to WDW. For example, shadows of bells cast on a screen would ring whenever you wave and 'hit' them with the shadow of your hand! It was very cool!

We decided to skip It's a Small World because we've both rode it before (for me in Hong Kong and Paris)! 😄

We decided to ride Winnie the Pooh instead because I had loved it in HK Disneyland and the wait time was relatively short (20 minutes). The waiting areas were filled with activities for little kids!

According to the Disney app, the wait time for Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid was only 15 minutes, hence we headed straight there! 😁

It was a fun ride for all ages, especially fans of the Little Mermaid! My girls would have loved this ride!

We loved the ride so much that we went on it twice since the wait time was 30 minutes the second time! 😁

By the time we were done, it was almost time for Enchanted Tales with Belle to start at 10.30am. We decided to shop nearby before joining the already developing queue. We waited for about 20 minutes! 😊

The attraction was more tailored to children and only those who participated in acting out the tale could have their photos taken with Belle. I only realised this at the end and was quite disappointed as I was hoping to take pictures with Belle! Sad 😢

By now, the wait times for many of the rides have increased to more than 40 minutes. We headed to Monsters Inc Laugh Floor as the wait time was 20 minutes.

This attraction is unique to WDW! It was interactive and quite funny!

The rest of the rides in Tomorrowland had long wait times hence we decided to ride them later at night.

We took the Walt Disney World Railroad train to Frontierland instead. We only waited for 10 minutes before we boarded the train.

There were many sights to take in along the way! The train was a great way to get around the park without walking!

The queue for the popcorn cart in front of Big Thunder Mountain was short, so we bought some!

It was almost 1pm and we didn't want to miss getting a virtual queue for Tron so we camped at the app. We managed to get a queue group but it was really late at night! We had hopes that we could still ride it since we were staying until the park closes.

With our virtual queue secured, we ate our lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. We love Mexican food! So yummy! 😄

We rushed to nearby Pirates of the Caribbean as we noticed the wait time decreased from 60 to 40 minutes! Even though I've experienced it in Tokyo, I was willing to queue for it again because it's such a classic!

By the time we were done, it was almost time for the 3pm Festival of Fantasy Parade. We chose to skip it but regretted it later because it turned out to be the best parade of the day! Oh well 😵

We walked back to Tomorrowland to ride a Walt Disney classic, the People Mover, which was unique to WDW!

Don't be fooled by its simplicity; there's more than meets the eye! It was an interesting ride and better than expected! We loved it! 😁

Even though our app showed a 30-minute wait time, we waited for almost 60 minutes for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin because of technical difficulties and longer than usual Lightning Lanes!

It was fun but it wasn't worth the long wait because I had already done it many times in Hong Kong and Japan.

We sat down on the pavement along Main Street to take a break and caught the Main Street Philharmonic's performance.

During our break, I realised that the wait time to meet Mickey had finally reduced to 30 minutes! Since Town Square Theatre was just 3 minutes from where we were sitting, we decided to go for it!

Mickey noticed our Minnie ears, pointed to them and laughed! 🤩

My energy finally waned (my jetlag typically kicks in around evening time) so we sat down on the pavement in front of Cinderella's Castle to watch the 6pm Adventure Friends Parade.

The parade was really short and underwhelming though it was a great opportunity to get close to my favourite characters!

We had been surviving on fruits and snacks since lunch and were very hungry. However, all the restaurants either required reservation or had long queues. We decided to have hotdogs at Launching Pad in Tomorrowland for dinner so we didn't have to queue.

It wasn't ideal but it refuelled us and I regained my energy for our next ride, Carousel of Progress. Yet another Walt Disney classic that is unique to WDW!

After our ride ended, we had to quickly find a spot to catch the Happily Ever After fireworks. Main Street and the areas in front of and surrounding Cinderella's castle were already filled with people! I suddenly remembered a tip shared by an expert on YouTube about watching the fireworks from the Main Street Railway Station! That's where we decided to go!

It wasn't the best view but at least we were not obstructed by any buildings or structures! It was an awesome show and definitely still the biggest highlight of the Disney parks!

While there were many people who left after the fireworks, there were many others like us who stayed on in the park.

We walked to Astro Obiter but decide last minute to queue for Haunted Mansion instead otherwise we might not have enough time! The wait time was a staggering 90 minutes but we ended up waiting for 40 minutes!

The ride was good and also a classic but I personally preferred the Mystic Manor ride in Hong Kong

We crossed the park to Tomorrowland to kill time while waiting for our virtual queue for Tron to be called. Tomorrowland Speedway was very similar to Autopia in Paris and generally meant for little kids who wanted to experience driving! Since the wait time was short, we decided to ride it and were the only 2 adults with no kids in the queue! 😂 The course was long and winding and super fun! Cheap thrill but who cares! 😆

We joined the queue for Astro Obiter but just as we were boarding the ride vehicle, we were informed that the Tron ride was officially closed and no other queue numbers would be called!! We were soooo disappointed!! 😩😓

We could only take pictures of the beautifully illuminated Tron Lightcycle Run ride structure as consolation! 😞 It looks like I'd need to visit Shanghai Disneyland in order to ride Tron!

The closing time that day was 11pm, which was later than the usual 9pm for most Disney parks! We had 20 minutes to make a final dash for Space Mountain before the park closes! I thought we wouldn't make it as other parks would have closed the ride at 11pm sharp. Apparently, Magic Kingdom is not your usual theme park! I thought the people joining the queue at 10.55pm were delusional but it turned out that Magic Kingdom only closed their queues at 11pm! 🤩😆

We got into our single seater, 3-row rocket at 11.05pm and had to squeeze our backpacks next to our feet as the car was very small! The ride vehicle was taken from the Matterhorn Bobsled in Disneyland and designed by Walt Disney himself! It was very different from the usual 2-seater, multi-row ride vehicles of Space Mountain in Tokyo and Hyperspace Mountain in Hong Kong! If you need to ride with someone so that you can grab onto them, you won't be able to do so on this ride as you'd be seated alone! It was quite scary not having that support but I felt more worried that my bag would fall out of the car! 😅 Although the verdict on this ride is divided, I personally enjoyed it! It's one of the classics that's not to be missed!

As we were leaving the park, I saw many families with babies and toddlers still around! Amazing! Their parents looked exhausted though! 😅

We participated in 18 attractions in 15.5 hours in Magic Kingdom, a new personal record for the longest I've ever spent in a theme park in a single day! And this is for someone who has visited more than 20 theme parks around the world! 🤩 The lack of kids and amazingly cool weather definitely played a part in this achievement! 😁

We dragged our tired bodies to join the queue for the bus back to our hotel. The 15-minute journey ended up taking almost an hour due to road works that caused a huge traffic jam! We finally arrived at our room at 12.30am and only got into bed at 1.30am! 😅

It was an unforgettable day! One that I will probably talk about forever and ever! 😂


P.S: Want more Disney? Here's the full list of my experiences at Disney parks around the world:

Continue to >> USA Day 8: EPCOT, Disney World
<< Back to USA Day 6: Disney's Coronado Springs Resort


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Lexington & Orlando, United States of America as well as other travel itineraries

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