Know Before You Go: Your Guide to Creating Magical Family Memories at Walt Disney World® Resort

Disney

I want to thank Disney for hosting my family and me at the Walt Disney World® Resort where we spent a magical time filled with pixie dust.

 

When I think of the Walt Disney World® Resort, I am transported to a happy place where I can unleash my inner child and make magical memories with my family. Our love affair with Walt Disney World® Resort is so strong that we have celebrated my daughter’s birthday there almost every year since she was 3 years old. She’ll be 12 soon and we’re already planning our next trip. Two of my family’s favorite Disney parks are Magic Kingdom® Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Magic Kingdom® Park

I visited Magic Kingdom® Park with my parents as a child. We traveled all the way from Guatemala and I’ll never forget walking down Main Street, U.S.A.® Area and seeing Cinderella's Castle for the first time. It was like stepping into a fairy tale. No matter how many times I visit, the awe and wonder in my children’s eyes bring back those happy childhood memories.

Magic Kingdom® Park is divided into six themed lands with rides, shows, dining and shops: Main Street, U.S.A.® Area, Tomorrowland® Area, Fantasyland® Area, Liberty Square Area, Frontierland® Area and Adventureland® Area. Be sure to plan your visit around the attractions that your family will enjoy most and use the FASTPASS+ service for several popular rides and experiences.

Main Street U.S.A.® Area is where the Disney magic begins! You will feel yourself transported to a typical turn of the century American town where you can ride a horse drawn trolley while looking out for the Mayor, or listening to The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet perform. Here you can meet Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater. Main Street U.S.A.® Area is also the perfect spot for shopping as you leave the park, with a variety of charming shops where you can find everything from Disney animation art and Mouse Ears to Disney themed jewelry and clothing. Stop at the Crystal Arts store and you might see the glassblower working in his glass studio; this was such an unexpected treat.

Space Mountain® in Tomorrowland® Area is one of the most exhilarating rollercoasters. Here you can also stop at Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin®. This is one of my family’s favorite rides, and we all compete to see who can score the most points as we fight the evil emperor Zurg.

In Fantasyland® Area you’ll find great rides for you little ones; toda la familia can soar on Dumbo the Flying Elephant®, float along on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, fly over London on a magic pirate ship on Peter Pan’s Flight® and spin on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. For some thrill, you can speed down the mountain aboard a runaway mine cart on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. In Fantasyland® Area you can also find Mickey's PhilharMagic®, this fantastic 3D movie musical is perfect for taking a break from the heat or when lines are longer on the most popular rides. For a dose of nostalgia don’t miss it's a small world® — my heart always fills with joy as my whole family sings along with me, it always takes me back to that first visit to Walt Disney World® Resort with my parents.

In Liberty Square Area check out Haunted Mansion®, this ride is not very scary and good for the whole family.

Frontierland® Area is the place to find thrilling rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® and Splash Mountain®. Frontierland is also the perfect place for snagging a good spot to watch the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

In Adventureland® Area the Pirates of the Caribbean® boat ride is an all time classic and you can climb atop the Swiss Family Treehouse for panoramic views of Magic Kingdom® Park.

For my family one of the highlights of visiting Magic Kingdom® Park is interacting with our favorite Disney Characters and Disney Princesses from Goofy to Moana. On our last visit we got to meet Elena of Avalor at Princess Fairytale Hall for the first time and, as she shared her love for tamales, plátanos maduros and pizza with my kids while she went back and forth between Spanish and English, their eyes widened with excitement. It meant so much, especially to my daughter, to see that Elena of Avalor not only spoke Spanish, but was also blending both her Latino and American culture just like we do. It brought tears to my eyes to see our heritage and culture represented by a Disney princess.

When it comes to dining, Magic Kingdom® Park has some of the most spectacular restaurants and some of them of them include Character Dining which lets you meet some of your favorite Disney characters without having to stand in line. The Crystal Palace has a great buffet and, because we celebrated my daughter’s 3rd and 4th birthdays here with Winnie-The-Pooh and friends, this restaurant holds a special place in my heart. For an enchanted experience right out of a fairy tale Cinderella’s Royal Table, inside Cinderella Castle, is a must do. If you prefer a quick service meal, Be Our Guest (for lunch only as dinner requires reservations) has a fantastic atmosphere and the Columbia Harbour House offers a very varied menu.

Read about Disney's Animal Kingdom® on page 2 >>>