While I continue to wait for a fellow blog author to get back me for comments about an article that they wrote a few months ago (this is why there was no blog article from me yesterday), I will forward today by ranking the lands within the Magic Kingdom. All told there are six lands within the Magic Kingdom: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Main Street USA, and Tomorrowland. All of them have their pluses and minuses. However, some have more pluses than minuses which will be reflected in the rankings. On to the show, after the jump.
6. Main Street USA
Main Street USA is devoid of any real attractions outside of a couple of character meet and greets. The closest thing to an attraction is the Main Street Cinema but even that is a shadow of its former self at Walt Disney World. What you are left with is a bunch of shops which is great if you are shopper. I’m not. Main Street USA scores some points at the end of the street with Casey’s Corner Hot Dog Stand and the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. I’m not also not a Starbucks or coffee fan so the addition of Starbucks to the Main Street Bakery does nothing for me. Now, I will go into some of the shops especially the Disney art store and the crystal store but mainly to window shop.
Main Street USA, however, is flanked by three table service restaurants. I’ve had the chance to eat at two of them: Tony’s Town Square and Crystal Palace. I have not eaten at The Plaza yet. My family and I love Crystal Palace while Tony’s Town Square was take it or leave it. I can’t speak for The Plaza since I haven’t eaten there. These restaurants add some value to Main Street but not enough to push it off the bottom of the list.
5. Liberty Square
Liberty Square is probably the smallest land within the Magic Kingdom. As a result, it does not have a lot of attractions and restaurants packed inside in which hurts it somewhat in the rankings. The marquee attraction is The Haunted Mansion. I’m not a fan of The Haunted Mansion. It goes along with the fact that I’m not a fan of Halloween except at Walt Disney World. I gave The Haunted Mansion a chance when I visited in August but I spent most of the attraction recovering from the heat that I couldn’t fully enjoy the attraction.
I am a fan of Liberty Square’s other attractions: The Liberty Belle and The Hall of Presidents. The Liberty Belle provides a nice ride around Tom Sawyer Island. The Hall of Presidents is right in my wheelhouse. I’m a history buff especially Presidential history. Plus, its air-conditioned.
The restaurants do leave a little to be desired. Columbia Harbor House is one of the better counter service restaurants at Magic Kingdom. However, I can’t say the same for Liberty Tree Inn. My family and I ate Thanksgiving dinner here two years ago. It was good but I felt like a guest could get a better value at another location.
Tomorrowland has a lot of pluses with its attractions. The pluses come from The Peoplemover, Carousel of Progress, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. These are attractions that the entire family can enjoy. Thrill seekers have Space Mountain. Comedians have the Monsters Laugh Floor. However, there are two attractions which bring down the grade for Tomorrowland: The Tomorrowland Speedway and Stitch’s Great Escape.
The Tomorrowland Speedway is a great attraction for kids because it gives them experience of driving/racing even if they are being guided by a rail. This is an attraction which could use some updating to make the attraction more “tomorrowland” like. Namely, replace the gas-powered cars with either electric-powered or a cleaner burning gas to get rid of the stagnant exhaust at the loading area.
Stitch’s Great Escape is an attraction that should just been blown up and restarted from scratch in my opinion. I just think it’s a terrible attraction and Disney can do better with that space.
Another negative for Tomorrowland is the lack of table service restaurants within the space. The only restaurant is the quick service Cosmic Ray’s. The restaurant does a good job of having many choices but a poor job in layout. There are too many stations to order the different foods from. If different people want different foods, they have to make the choice of standing in line individually and not grab a table or have one member grab a table while the others wait in line at multiple stations. The layout could be improved.
Frontierland is my favorite place to go when the park first opens. This way, I can hit the two marquee attractions in the land: Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. My daughter and I can ride those attractions multiple times with little wait at park open while my wife rides The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Before my daughter was brave enough to go on the two mountains, she would go with my wife to Tom Sawyer’s Island and explore while I was on the attractions.
Frontierland also has a nice relaxing attraction with the Country Bears Jamboree. Like Tomorrowland, it lacks a good restaurants. The only restaurant of note is Pecos Bill’s which is good but not great. Pecos Bill’s is a nice place to watch a parade from, though, if you can grab one of the outside tables. The other quick service, The Diamond Horseshoe, I’ve never seen it open for business so I can’t comment.
When I first did the rankings in my head, I had Frontierland at #2 and Adventureland at #3. Then, I looked closer and saw everything Adventureland had to offer. It has some quality attractions with the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean (which my head had in Frontierland). The Jungle Cruise is a fun, campy ride through the cruise and can be a lot of fun with a cruise director who has a sense of humor. I’m not a big pirates guy either which is why I go on the mountains with my daughter when my wife on this attractions. I understand that lots of people are big fans of the ride especially since the updates to better reflect the Johnny Depp series of movies.
Adventureland comes in with some solid second-tier attractions: Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) for adults and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin for kids and kids at heart.
There is only one restaurant within Adventureland: Tortuga Tavern which, in my opinion, is okay but not worth going out of your way for. Two big pluses for Adventureland are Aloha Isle and Sunshine Terrace where guests can get a Dole Whip (my wife’s favorite) or a Citrus Swirl (my favorite) respectfully. These two snack items, especially the Dole Whip, will drive traffic into Adventureland.
Even before the addition of “New” Fantasyland and its many attractions, Fantasyland was going to be #1 on the list. “New” Fantasyland made an already great land at the Magic Kingdom even better. Guests can now meet five princesses (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, Belle, and Ariel), a queen (Elsa), and a princess-in-waiting (Anna). There are attractions for everyone. For the kid who never wants to grow up: Peter Pan’s Flight. To a guest who just wants to go on an old-fashioned Carousel ride or a spin on the tea cups. Thrill seekers can now go on two roller coasters: Goofy’s Barnstormer and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Non-thrill seekers can go enjoy a show at Mickey’s Philarmagic or a story told by Belle at the Enchanted Tales of Belle.
Movies are Disney’s past are included to where guests can take a spin on one of two Dumbo attractions or go on an adventure with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Guests have two marquee dining experiences in Fantasyland. They can enjoy a meal with Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother and the mice at her royal table within Cinderella’s Castle. Be Our Guest provides unique dining experiences for lunch (quick service) and dinner (table service).
Fantasyland is the one land where there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Thanks for reading!