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9.23.2015

First Time at Magic Kingdom | Disney Review

I'm still on a high from our Magic Kingdom day on Saturday!  I've been on Disney's website at least once a day, and have approximately 3 more visits planned at this point.  I figure I'd share with ya'll, some mini reviews of what we did there!

For more tips on How to Survive Disney as an Adult (and without Kids in Tow!) and to see more photos, check out my guest post on Life in German on Friday!

Disney Reviews: Dining, Entertainment, Attractions from a first-time annual passholder


Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant.  2.5/5 stars.
This restaurant is a fast food-style hub, with 3 different bays.  Bays 2 and 3 serve the same food, while 1 has different options.  It definitely has a "Jetsons" vibe going on in there, and it works similar to the rest of Disney in that you don't really choose where you sit; they have workers directing you to the next open table.
Husband and I both ordered their 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and split a drink.  The total came to about $27, and we forgot to slide our annual passes for a potential discount.  Service was quick, even though it was pretty crowded in there.  This wasn't our first choice to eat at, but we soon discovered that reservations are a must in some of the sit-down restaurants and we were STARVING.  The burgers were edible, though the bacon-to-burger ratio was a little "off."  They were also well-done- I assume that's more of a safety thing as far as Disney is concerned.  The best part is that we add whatever toppings we'd like at a buffet bar after getting our food.  This is great for people (like Scott) who get plain burgers, as there is no risk in something being added that you didn't want.  I like bunches of stuff on mine, and while I have no problem doing it myself, there wasn't really enough room in the carton to take the top of the bun off and add the toppings.  There was plenty of room on the tray itself, but I'm weird about my food touching that tray!  Scott really liked his fries while I thought they were just okay- mine were pretty cooled off by the time I got to eating them.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  4.5/5 stars.
I totally would have given this a 5 star rating if we would have thought enough in advance to get Fast Passes.  But we didn't, and we had approximately a 35 minute wait, which was not at all terrible.  The line was constantly moving and there were little activities to do inside (like setting of "dynamite") to make the time pass.  Even though though the line was inside, there were plenty of fans and air conditioning going to keep the masses comfortable.  I'm not a big roller coaster person, and really dislike rides that go upside down.  I love that this one has small drops, and is dark in places, but is by no means a "thriller."  I will definitely enjoy this one the second time around, now that I know what to expect.  Plus, there will be no need for a boy to record the experience!

Frontierland Shootin' Arcade.  1/5 stars.
If there is a gun to be found in the Magic Kingdom, my husband will find it!  $1 will buy you 35 rounds in this laser-style shooting gallery.  There are no real lines for this attraction, and it's a good little pit stop to get out of the heat.  I had fun reading the headstones, however it is definitely meant for younger kids.  I felt like I was transported back to grade school watching kids (assumably in the same family) fighting over whose turn it was, and parents feeding more quarters into the machine so their kid could keep playing rather than giving others a turn.  Scott had a kid of about 8 cut in front of him in line for quarters- we soon discovered when the boy was talking to his mom at his spot, that she had WATCHED him do it!  Scott's only real complaint-  his gun was shooting "high and right" and they should totally zero them in!
Shooting at Frontierland Shootin' Arcade in Disney's Magic Kingdom

Jungle Cruise.  1.5/5 stars.
This has apparently been an attraction since Walt Disney World opened, and was originally at Disneyland. In fact, per Disney Online, the only theme park that doesn't have it is Disneyland Paris. The wait for this ride was about 45 minutes, and it was HOT.  While the waiting area was shaded, it make no sense to me why the areas at either end of the line were the spots with air conditioning and higher powered fans, yet the MIDDLE (where there are more people, and you spend most of your wait) had NO A/C and slower fans!  The corny jokes of the ship captain person were just terrible for a grown up to have to listen to, and the mechanical creatures were obviously very mechanical.  My two favorite parts were the pair of monkeys in a cave, one looked to be latched onto the other's back (which reminded me of when I used to ride on the back of Scott's motorcycle with him!) and the little baby mechanical elephant that sat on its haunches playing in the water.  That totally reminded me of a spoiled little princess pants that did not get her swim time that day!

Swiss Family Treehouse.  2.5/5 stars.
What caught my eye about this one was the "0 minute" wait time.  I was intrigued.  Turns out, it's a giant man-made tree(house).  It was set up and furnished to include a study, a bedroom, and an outdoor kitchen area.  It had a pretty neat view of Space Mountain.  There is a fair amount of stair climbing (according to Disney, 116 steps) on this, so if you have kids, be prepared to carry them or bring them early in the day!  In all, it was a quick 15 minute walk through, and it definitely didn't feel "6 stories high" as the info on Disney.com states!
Study in Swiss Family Robinson's Treehouse attraction, and view of Space Mountain in Disney's Magic Kingdom


Main Street Bakery.  4.5/5 stars.
I smelled it as we walked into the park.  Starbucks is near.  And we should have sought it out then, rather opting directly for food!  Really, I didn't realize this coffee-shop / bakery combination served Starbucks products until we were making our way out of the Magic Kingdom.  We had entered on the other side of the road, so my eyes skipped right over the small sign that read "Starbucks Fresh Roasted Coffee."  Ya'll.  I think I found the parents' hang out- plus it was right around 3pm, so people were preparing for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.  Overall, I'm had much longer waits and FAR less crowded Starbucks, and our drinks tasted phenomenal!  The only real shock was the $10+ for two venti drinks, and the $1+ difference for his frappe!  I'm not sure if I attribute the cost more to Starbucks, or to Disney!  I also loved their Disney Parks-specific mugs, and may have to go back for one!  I can't even be mad at not spelling my name correctly- it only seems fitting in Disney!
Starbucks at the Main Street Bakery in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Festival of Fantasy Parade.  5/5 stars.
Ya'll, we weren't planning to stay for this, but on our way out, we noticed everybody lining up.  We decided to get our drinks, swing by the fire station in Main Street, USA to get our my "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom" cards (more on this once I get a chance to play!) and find a spot for this unknown (to us) parade.  We got a spot at the end of the route and it was fantastic!  I thought before it started, to take a short video for my niece to see.  But that turned into the entire 12 minutes!  I got a very happy Facetime the next morning, and my brother told me she'd already watched it twice!  The route winds around a round about, and we only a had a few people in front of us.  We had a clear view of the action and got to see some of my favorite characters including Snow White and the Dwarves, Ariel, and Beauty and the Beast!  Festival of Fantasy runs daily at 3pm, but it was about 3:20 or so by the time they made it to the "Town Square Viewing Area."  I've read that I can get a FastPass for upgraded viewing, but not sure it's necessary!
Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade the Magic Kingdom

Despite some less than stellar parts of the day, I'm glad that we went on the attractions we did, and can't wait to go back this weekend to explore more!  I'm going to make an effort to stay awake past 8pm to actually see the fireworks over Cinderella's Castle.  I'm also hoping that the more I become accustomed to the Magic Kingdom, the less of a sensory overload it will be for me.  But then we have 3 other parks to explore!

What are some of your favorite attractions / shows / dining options at Disney?

Linking with Painted Teacup & Going the Distance

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