45 Things to Love About the Magic Kingdom in Honor of the Theme Park’s 45th Anniversary Year

The Magic Kingdom celebrated its 45th anniversary on October 1 so it seems like a good time to expand on our top 10 list of things to love about the Magic Kingdom and take it all the way to 45! When you sit down and really think about it, there are more than 45 things you might love about the Magic Kingdom, but somehow we narrowed it down..

What do you love about the Magic Kingdom?What do you love about the Magic Kingdom?

This list of 45 things to love includes icons, attractions, entertainment, and more. And the one great thing about the Magic Kingdom is that the next time we visit we might find something else to add to the list. Because no matter how many times we walk down the middle of Main Street U.S.A. we find something new to love.

And so, in no particular order, here are 45 things to love about the Magic Kingdom.

1. Cinderella Castle: It's the icon of the park and whether you're seeing it for the first time or the 50th time, it tugs at the heartstrings and makes you smile.

2. Main Street U.S.A.: I used to rush down Main Street on a mission to somewhere, but now I take my time, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of my favorite street. Be sure to take some time and check out the windows above the storefronts. Look for Walt's window at the end of Main Street. ;-)

Roy E. Disney's window on Main Street U.S.A.Roy E. Disney's window on Main Street U.S.A.

3. The Emporium: Hands down, my favorite shop in Walt Disney World (even more than Mouse Gears). It's always crazy busy but you can find just about anything. And it's a great place to duck in when the rain starts to pour.

4. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor:
If you're looking for a delicious ice cream sundae in the Magic Kingdom, this is THE place to go. We love the All-American Sundae.

5. Mickey's Kitchen Sink Sundae: Speaking of the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, you have to order this sundae! For just $14.99 you get two scoops of ice cream topped with your choice of hot fudge, peanut butter, or caramel, plus whipped cream and cherries in a super cute Mickey Mouse pants bowl!

A cute and delicious sundae from The Plaza Ice Cream ParlorA cute and delicious sundae from The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor

6. Casey's Corner: This has been our favorite quick service spot at the Magic Kingdom for a very long time. And while it isn't as magical without the hot cheese for your French fries, you can't beat the views while you nosh on some corn dog nuggets and fries.

7. The Crystal Palace: We love breakfast, lunch, or dinner with Winnie-the-Pooh and friends at The Crystal Palace. The food is good and meeting our friends from the 100 Acre Wood makes it a must-do meal every time.

Meeting Piglet at The Crystal PalaceMeeting Piglet at The Crystal Palace

8. Wishes: Anyone who has been at the Magic Kingdom with me knows I cry as soon as the music starts for Wishes. For me, Wishes IS the Magic Kingdom. It will always be my favorite fireworks. And it will always make me cry.

9. Walt Disney World Railroad: This is a do-not-skip attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Whether you ride it to rest your feet or for the nostalgia of childhood, you just have to take a round-trip journey on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

10. Festival of Fantasy: The afternoon parade is truly a spectacle that you just have to see. The fire breathing steampunk Maleficent dragon left me speechless the first time I watched this parade. And the Tangled float? Incredible.

Who doesn't love a fire-breathing dragon?Who doesn't love a fire-breathing dragon?

11. Dole Whip: Whether you're a purist and go for the straight up Dole Whip or if you're a float fanatic and always go for the Dole Whip Float, there's no denying that this is the iconic treat of the Magic Kingdom.

12. Jungle Cruise/Jingle Cruise: The Jungle Cruise has been a favorite attraction for as long as we've visited the Magic Kingdom. And as great as the original is, you just gotta take a ride on the Jingle Cruise during the holiday season.

13. Pirates of the Caribbean: The queue. The pirate boats. Captain Jack Sparrow. What's not to love about this attraction? FastPass+ or not, this is a must-ride-at-least-five-times attraction.

Sail away on the Jingle CruiseSail away on the Jingle Cruise

14. Citrus Swirl:
A sweet and tart cousin of the Dole Whip, this combination of vanilla ice cream and "orange slush" (aka frozen orange juice) it's another must-have snack when you're at the Magic Kingdom.

15. Splash Mountain: Out of all the mountains at the Magic Kingdom, Splash currently reigns supreme over Big Thunder and Space. We love this ride and the anticipation of the drop is so much fun (the drop, not so much).

16. Liberty Belle Riverboat: Up until a few years ago we didn't fully appreciate this ride and usually passed right by. But now we make it a point to stop and take a cruise on this gorgeous riverboat.

Take a cruise on the Liberty BelleTake a cruise on the Liberty Belle

17. Columbia Harbour House: Another favorite counter service spot at the Magic Kingdom thanks to delicious fried fish and a not-so-secret second floor seating area that is a perfect spot to people! It's one of our favorite spots to sit.

18. Hall of Presidents: This attraction is a great history lesson for young and old and is tops on our list of can't-miss attractions on every visit. [The Hall of Presidents is closing January 17, 2017 so the newly elected president can be added. It will reopen in June 2017].

19. it's a small world: This is the first attraction I remember riding as a child visiting the Magic Kingdom. To this day it is still one of the first attractions I ride when visiting the Magic Kingdom. And yes, the song still gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

20. Rapunzel Restrooms: OK, so it might be odd to add bathrooms to this list, but the Rapunzel-themed bathroom area at the Magic Kingdom IS that cool. From Rapunzel's tower to the hidden Pascals, you really should stop here and check it out.

Yes, we even love the bathroomsYes, we even love the bathrooms

21. Be Our Guest: The first time we dined in Beast's castle we were wowed, by the food and the atmosphere. (Snow! The Ballroom! The West Wing!). If you can get an ADR for breakfast, lunch, or dinner .. do it. You won't regret it.

22. "New" Fantasyland: OK, so it isn't really "new" anymore, but the Fantasyland addition is still an area that we love a little more every time we visit.

23. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: This family-friendly coaster has replaced Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as our favorite coaster at the Magic Kingdom. If you can ride it at night, we strongly recommend it.

Inside Be Our GuestInside Be Our Guest

You still with us? Good! We're halfway there!

24. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover: Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow. This is a great attraction for resting those weary feet and for getting a great view of all of Tomorrowland.

25. Carousel of Progress: When I think of Tomorrowland, I think TTA PeopleMover and Carousel of Progress. Yes, the attraction is quite dated but it's still a favorite. Also, if you ever get stuck on this ride the song will haunt you for days.

26. Main Street Confectionery: If there's one place to go to feed your sweet tooth at the Magic Kingdom, this is it. Every kind of candy, cookie, and krispie treat you could ever want is here. And, if you're lucky you might get a free sample of cotton candy.

Sweet treats being made on Main StreetSweet treats being made on Main Street

27. Dumbo the Flying Elephant: I remember the "old" Dumbo attraction fondly. But the "new" dueling Dumbos? It is so much better. And it's another must-ride-after-dark attraction. Trust me.

28. Tomorrowland Speedway: An original Magic Kingdom attraction, this classic regularly has a long queue and it's also a great place to get something FREE: you Tomorrowland Speedway Driver's License.

29. Pinocchio's Village Haus:
This yummy counter service spot is a favorite for the food, but also because off the really fun window seats that look over it's a small world!

30. Halloween at the Magic Kingdom:
We love the holidays at the Magic Kingdom and Halloween is our favorite thanks to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, HalloWishes, and the Headless Horseman!

31. Christmas at the Magic Kingdom:
But we also love Christmastime at the Magic Kingdom for one reason: seeing Cinderella Castle dripping with millions of twinkling lights is beyond magical.

Cinderella Castle dressed up for the holidaysCinderella Castle dressed up for the holidays

32. Talking Mickey Mouse: Sure, meeting Mickey Mouse is always fun, you really have to meet Talking Mickey Mouse! Interacting with a talking character is such fun, especially for the little ones.

33. Gaton's Tavern:
Two words - LeFou's Brew. OK, that and the massive cinnamon roll. You need to order both. And then proceed to not eat sugar for the rest of the day.

34. Rope Drop/Welcome Show: Rope drop at the Magic Kingdom is something you have to do at least once (or every time you visit like we do). The Welcome Show is great fun and it's the perfect way to start your day.

We love Talking Mickey!We love Talking Mickey!

35. The Monorail: As a kid this was how we arrived at the Magic Kingdom. The ride there was great, the ride back to the Transportation and Ticket Center, not so great. And it is still my favorite way to arrive at the park.

36. Harmony Barber Shop: Yes, you can get a haircut at the Magic Kingdom. And really, why wouldn't you do this at least once?

37. Country Bear Jamboree: It's funny and totally corny and something you have to see at least once when you visit the Magic Kingdom. I loved it as a kid and still love it today.

38. Haunted Mansion: We love everything about this attraction from the Ghost Host to the Hidden Mickey in the ballroom to the Hitchhiking Ghosts. The interactive queue is quite fun too.

LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern is a must!LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern is a must!

39. Mickey's PhilharMagic: We skipped this attraction for years for no good reason. Now, it's always a stop during our visit. Kids of all ages will love it.

40. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel: Cinderella is my favorite Disney film, so it only makes sense that the carrousel inspired by the movie is an all-time favorite.

41. Cinderella's Royal Table: Who wouldn't want to eat inside Cinderella Castle? This magical meal is one of those things you need do at least once. Or three times. Or more.

42. Celebrate the Magic: I was a skeptic when this nighttime entertainment was announced, but I quickly fell in love with this projection show. It gives you all the feels every single time.

43. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The silly old bear's attraction is geared toward the younger guests but we still love it. And the interactive queue is a lot of fun!

44. Big Top Souvenirs: Shopping inside a giant circus tent is so much fun (provided there are no clowns). Make sure you stop at the candy counter to see some sweet treats being made!

45. The Partners Statue: This iconic statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse was unveiled in 1995 and was sculpted by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson. And we love it so.

The Partners StatueThe Partners Statue

Whew! What a list. We hope you enjoyed this list of 45 things to love about the Magic Kingdom. We'd love to hear some of the things you love most about the park. Leave us a comment and let us know.

Many thanks to the Disney Food Blog for use of their photo.

Mike L wrote on Tue, 10/11/2016 - 18:12:

Mike L's picture

You could combine numbers 4 + 5, and add the Liberty Tree Tavern to your list one of the best table service places in WDW.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 10/12/2016 - 15:54:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great list!

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