About the Post

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Helena Artmann has a bachelor degree in Communications with a vast experience in PR and the online world. Before moving to Canada in 2005, Helena published a variety of articles in Brazilian magazines and websites, mostly about travel, adventure, outdoor, gear, environment and her favourite activities, mountaineer and hot air ballooning. This is her website: http://artmanncommunications.com

Magic Kingdom

There is a reason for having the word ‘magic’ in the title of this park…


It is the biggest of the four Disney World’s parks and the one that offers some of the best rides. We spent our first day at Magic Kingdom, a total of 9 or 10 hours there and went back for a ride on Saturday, because it was closed the first day. It is always packed and the lines were insane on the weekend, which is a bit overwhelming for me.

But then you have Disney’s organization put into work: fastpass! It’s free and totally worth it. The only catch is that you can’t have more than one fastpass at a time. So, plan your day to use it wise and you will be able to enjoy everything you want.

Talking about planning…

  • If you can, go out of season. I can’t imagine Disney during Summer! And probably I would have a totally different experience if I had chosen to go during any busy time of the year.
  • Stay at one of the resorts. You don’t need the best, you don’t need the fancy ones, but you will thank the convenience of staying inside Disney. We stayed at All Star Music Resort, a ‘value’ resort, and it was perfect! Of course we didn’t spend many hours in the room and we didn’t even found time to enjoy the pool.
  • Magic Hours – if you are in one of Disney’s resorts, you can enjoy the parks an hour before or after the normal hours of operation. Check the schedule asΒ ach park will open an hour earlier or close an hour later at least one day of the week. It is so worth it… even if this means a very scary ride before you had breakfast!
  • Transportation – use the bus system that Disney offers you free of charge. They are convenient and stress-free, including the ride from the airport to your hotel and back.
  • Use – and abuse – of fastpass. Why stay in line if you can ‘reserve’ your place in line with fastpass? It is free as well but just the most ‘important’ attractions will offer them.
  • Food. My plan was to buy some essentials on a grocery store and pack snacks for the day. I ended up eating every time we were hungry and it was not bad at all. The price was quite reasonable (we spent around US $55 per day, for both of us) and we just indulged in one good restaurant during our stay: Chef Mickey’s, at Contemporary Resort, inside the Magic Kingdom.

The magic of Magic Kingdom and our impression:

  • Walt Disney World Railroad was used to move around the park, but just twice as we found out it was perfectly fine to walk from one attraction to the other.


  • Buzz LightyearBuzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Ian decided this was the very first attraction of the whole Disney World that he wanted to go. And so we did. And went again. And once more. Four times in total. Luckily for me, we split it in two days. The first day, Buzz in ‘person’ was there…
  • Splash MountainSplash Mountain was closed our first day there, which made us come back just to ride it. Five free-falling stories plus wet clothes. Ian thinks it was one of the best rides of our trip. I don’t agree with him but hey, who am I?
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – a long line, but it totally worth the waiting. I enjoyed this one, even if I am not a roller coaster person… πŸ˜‰
  • Big ThunderTomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a nice relaxing ride and we ended up doing it a few times.
  • Space Mountain – it was the most terrifying ride of my life. A roller-coaster in the dark? Are you kiddin’ right?
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway – the first ride we went that Ian didn’t have the required height, so I was driving the car. I didn’t like it. Would use my time to repeat TestTrack at Epcot again and again!
  • Astro Orbiter – I thought it was going to be easy peasy but ended up a bit sick. Ian enjoyed it. Of course.
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – the structure of the show is amazing, but a bit boring for a 5 year-old.
  • Stitch’s Great Escape! – ‘yucky! What is that, mom?’ Not my favorite nor Ian’s but we had time in our hands and the line was very short.
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor – Ian got his first joke from this show: ‘Why 6 is afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9!’ πŸ™‚

New Fantasyland:

  • Peter Pan’s Flight – we decided to use the fastpass for this one and it ended up being one of the most magical rides! Ian is still thinking that we were flying… Amazing!

Peter Pan

  • It’s a small world – the classic of Disney and its boat ride around the globe. Relaxing and beautiful.
  • The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini – a small roller coaster. But still a roller coaster… πŸ™‚

Liberty Square

  • Liberty Square Riverboat – we had time to kill. Definitely not a ride for a very active 5 year-old and no places to sit…
  • Haunted Mansion – the most well-done haunted house but not my thing. Ian was not too impressed. πŸ˜‰


  • Swiss Family Treehouse – go up and down through stairs. Boring for Ian.
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – he loved it! And found out that he could control the ups and downs. Poor mommy… πŸ™‚

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  • The Enchanted Tiki Room – only attraction in the whole Disney World that both wanted to leave in the middle!
  • Jungle Cruise – not my favorite but, again, we had time to kill waiting for our Chef Mickey’s reservation.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – very well done! I enjoyed this boat ride and I think Ian enjoyed it as well.

Pirates of the Caribbean

No parades, no character spotting but we did see some fire works from the monorail when leaving Chef Mickey’s restaurant. By the way, monorail was probably one of the things Ian enjoyed the most of the whole trip – He bought two monorail miniatures to bring home with him!


And, yes, I recommend Chef Mickey’s if you want to have at least one good meal and spot some characters at the same time. Next, Epcot.

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