Family Vacations to Disney World, Florida

Disney World travel photo
A parade outside of Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida (Disney Enterprises, Inc)

Disney World Travel Tips

  • The Magic Your Way system allows you to buy base tickets that get you into one park each day of your trip (tickets must be used within 14 days). The longer you plan to stay, the cheaper your per-day cost gets.
  • The Park Hopper system allows you to come and go to any park you want all day long for the length of your trip. It costs a little more per day than the Magic Your Way tickets but can be an economical way to cram two or more parks into a single day if you don't have much time.
  • Various options allow you to add on meals, water parks, and other attractions or keep the tickets for a future visit.

As the most visited—and likely most recognizable—theme park in the world, Disney's Magic Kingdom seems to epitomize the family vacation. It's got everything, from food and rides to parades, entertainment, and, yes, a plethora of costumed characters. It can also be overwhelming. With 48 main attractions spread out through seven sections (Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Main Street U.S.A., Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Mickey's Toontown Fair), there's enough to fill one very hectic week. But the park is so packed with favorites new and old that even if you can't see it all, you're still guaranteed a good time.

The same rides that have been entertaining generations never get old: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan's Flight, and Mad Tea Party are pleasers for the two- to six-year-old set. The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm is a kid-friendly roller coaster that's quick enough to excite but less than a minute long should the little ones start having their doubts. And, of course, It's a Small World is a must-see.

Older kids will love Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Tomorrowland Speedway. Tweens and teens tend to love the in-the-dark roller coaster Space Mountain, which may be too intense for some younger kids and probably too tame for true thrill-ride enthusiasts. But the great thing about Disney World is that it brings out the kid in everyone, so don't be surprised if your teen drops the too-cool-for-school act and joins the family on It's a Small World.

Magic Kingdom offers many chances to meet (and perhaps hug) Disney characters new and old. Check the entertainment schedule at Town Square to see where and when you can find Mickey, Jasmine, or the other heroes or villains making their rounds in the park.

You'll also find a schedule jam-packed with entertainment and other special offerings to fill your hours at Magic Kingdom. Take a special tour through "secret" areas of the park, shop at the many stores selling souvenirs and clothing, learn the art of being a pirate, take in a musical stage show, and don't miss catching one of the nightly parades or fireworks shows.

The dining at Magic Kingdom runs the gamut from street-side fare to sit-down meals with Disney characters at Cinderella's Royal Table and The Crystal Palace. Outside of the park, the Disney World Resort offers even more dining options, including dinner shows. A system of buses, ferries, and the monorail makes getting to Disney World's various resort hotels and other theme parks, like Epcot theme park, fairly simple. That's a plus, because as big as it is, Magic Kingdom is only one part of the overall Disney World experience.


Published: 10 May 2010 | Last Updated: 12 May 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Disney World

$607-$651
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Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
$284-$376
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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
$429-$520
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Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
$366-$393
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Disney's Beach Club Resort

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