The holidays in my humble opinion are the best time to visit Disney World. The over-the-top decorations make it magical, it’s simply buzzing with a Christmas spirit that makes it even more exciting. If you’re headed to Disney World this holiday season, make sure you check out my favorite rides and attractions. I’m a seasoned veteran with over 20 visits under my belt so I appreciate the old and the new attractions. Don’t judge a book by its cover, the original rides are often overlooked leaving them shorter lines! However, sometimes the classics are worth a bit of a wait, I mean they’re what you came for, right?
To make the most of your time in Disney World, plan your visit based on what parks offer extended “Magical” hours. If you’re staying at a Disney Hotel, you can get in a few hours early or stay later at different parks, depending on what day you visit!
You’ll of course have to check out the newest attractions at the Magic Kingdom, Under the Sea-The Journey of the Little Mermaid, an animatronic ride in a clamshell that takes you “under water.” Finally, an experience with Ariel! It’s about time. The second new attraction is an interactive experience with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, “Enchanted Tales with Belle.” There are also two new restaurants in Fantasyland: Gaston’s Tavern and Be Our Guest. A French-inspired restaurant that’s modeled after Beast’s castle. The biggest news! The Magic Kingdom is going to be serving up beer and wine! Happy kids and now happy parents too!
Here are what I consider to be the best, must-see rides and attractions at the Magic Kingdom.
Pirates of the Caribbean– Be sure to look out for Johnny Depp aka Captain Jack Sparrow!
Mickey’s PhilharMagic– This experience is so fun and entertaining you’ll be dancing in your seat! A must-see, uplifting experience for all! Even the most cynical Disney visitor will be pleasantly surprised.
Peter Pan’s Flight– An oldie but a goodie! Fly over London with Peter himself in this magical journey. Here we gooooooooo!!! (Inside joke for true Disney buffs). Get a Fast-Pass for here early if you can. This ride often gets long lines later in the day.
It’s a Small World– No trip to Disney is complete without this iconic Disney classic. You won’t be able to get the song out of your head for days but that’s half the fun!
The Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management- Every bit as fun as ever! Crane your neck to watch this bird-riffic attraction in action.
Mad Tea Party– Take a spin in a zany tea cup on this classic ride.
The Haunted Mansion– If you really want to be spooked, visit this ride after-dark and see if you make it out alive…
I don’t go to Disney to experience the Roller Coaster, I’m more of a traditionalist but if thrill is what you’re looking for Space Mountain and Splash Mountain are the ones worth waiting for.
The Snow White Mine Ride is probably my favorite new attraction.
For a true classic, visit Tomorrowland’s Carousel of Progress. This retro ride is one of my favorites! Kids might not appreciate it though. However, it is a great place to go if you need a rest and to get out of the sun!
Commemorate your Disney experience for free with a photo in front of Cinderella’s iconic castle for the perfect souvenir that doesn’t cost a penny! (Of course Disney Photographers will be happy to take the photo for you for a fee).
If you can make it until Park Closing there is a (free) fireworks show that is really breathtaking that they do over Cinderella’s castle.
I wouldn’t recommend wasting money on any expensive restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, especially Crystal Palace where the food is one step above mediocre. Really, none of the food at Magic Kingdom is too special, so don’t expect much more than good and you’ll be happy! You didn’t come for the food anyway! The snacks are where it’s at! Popcorn, pretzels, icees, ice cream? I always splurge on these favorites and skip the burgers.
And check out my posts on KatieLara.com about Honeymooning in Disney World, VIP Tours in Disney World, Disney Golden Oak, A Review of The Villas at Grand Floridian, Best Rides in Epcot, and Best Rides in Magic Kingdom.