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(030129) Disney's Magic Kingdom at night visit (via Lotusphere): Lotus actually rented out the Magic Kingdom for a night for the conference. The park closed at 6pm for normal people so they could prepare for the Lotus crowd to descend at 7:30pm. We had the park for three hours. At least half of the rides were open (I managed to do Space Mountain (rollercoaster), Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin (dorky but no line), the Haunted Mansion, part of a parade, the Hall of the Presidents (animatronics with speeches by George W and Abraham Lincoln), and the fireworks show. What impressed me was that a huge chunk of the Disney staff was retained for our attendance. I was thinking the parade would be animatronics but it wasn't. And it was the full fireworks show (see separate entry).
(030131B) Disney's Magic Kingdom: When Walt Disney. in 1966, settled on the area around Orlando for his new park, mid-Florida was a small-town area. When the park opened in 1971, it was just a few resorts and the Magic Kingdom, a more or less perfect clone of the one in California. Epcot opened in 1982. Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989. Disney's Animal Kingdom opened in 1998. It's not a cheap park to visit--a one-day pass is $50 for an adult--and after just about every ride there's a store to sell you Disney merchandise related to that ride. The one really good part about the Disney parks is that they allow you to bring in outside food so you don't have to put up with the prices they charge for food. Also, the Fastpass system (pick up a pre-timed ticket for later in the day and go to the head of the line when it's your time) is a great way to avoid lines. I just don't understand why most people are too stupid (?) to use that particular system.
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
MAGIC_030129_015.JPG: "Partners". Walt and Mickey together in front of the castle.
MAGIC_030129_023.JPG: I wasn't really familiar with the color of Cinderella's Castle changing like this. I was used to it being just basic white but they did a nice job with the lights.
MAGIC_030129_181.JPG: I'd never buy something like this but I thought it was a nice idea. It's the rose from Beauty and the Beast in crystal.
MAGIC_030131_011.JPG: Cinderella's Castle is the center of the Magic Kingdom. Note the little silhouette in front of it. That's a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse that you'll see later.
MAGIC_030131_018.JPG: This is called "Partners". Walt Disney had said his empire was all built on a mouse.
MAGIC_030131_052.JPG: When I was here previously, there was a cable car which extended between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. This was the terminus of it. I was told the ride had been stopped about four years ago. One of the Web sites said that had been a few accidents on the ride, one of them fatal. While it wasn't exactly an exciting ride, it gave you a wonderful view of the park so I was looking forward to it. The Fantasyland side of it has been turned into a signing booth for a "cast member" in a Dopey suit.
MAGIC_030131_055.JPG: That's the Haunted Mansion in the distance
MAGIC_030131_058.JPG: This is the Liberty Square Riverboat which makes a slow steam-powered cruise ride around Tom Sawyer's Island.
MAGIC_030131_059.JPG: This is the final plunge in the Splash Mountain ride
MAGIC_030131_060.JPG: The Splash Mountain ride is a boat ride through an Uncle Remus-themed area.
MAGIC_030131_107.JPG: The Country Bear Jamboree was the last show of the evening I could do before the fireworks. They tried to have a movie with the characters as the stars but it tanked.
MAGIC_030131_209.JPG: Main Street from the second floor of the train station. Note Cinderella's Castle in the background.
MAGIC_030131_219.JPG: Here's the train station as you walk out of the park at closing. Note the figure of Mickey waving in the front to words of "Bye! See you real soon!"
AAA "Gem": AAA considers this location to be a "must see" point of interest. To see pictures of other areas that AAA considers to be Gems, click here.
Wikipedia Description: Magic Kingdom
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Magic Kingdom is a theme park covering 107 acres (433,000 mē) at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, through its Walt Disney Parks and Resorts unit. Opened on October 1, 1971, it is the most famous Florida theme park and is credited with beginning the Floridian tourism boom. Its layout and attractions are generally similar to those of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and the park was designed and built by WED Enterprises.
Dedication: Walt Disney World is tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney... and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn -- together.
—Roy O. Disney, October 1, 1971
Areas of the Magic Kingdom:
The park contained twenty-three attractions on the day it opened, twenty of them copies of attractions at Disneyland. Today the park map lists forty-eight attractions (though several of these, like the Guest Information Board, probably shouldn't be included in the number) in seven themed "lands."
The Walt Disney World Railroad runs along the perimeter of the park and makes stops at Main Street, Frontierland, and Mickey's Toontown Fair.
Main Street, U.S.A.:
Main Street is lined with shops selling merchandise and food. The decor is early-20th century small-town America, inspired by Walt Disney's childhood. City Hall contains the Guest Relations lobby where cast members provide information and assistance. A real working barber shop gives haircuts for a fee. The Emporium carries a wide variety of Disney souvenirs such as plush toys, collectible pins, and Mickey-ear hats. Tony’s Town Square and the Plaza Restaurant are sit-down restaurants. Casey's Corner is at the end of Main Street and sells traditional American ball park fare including hot dogs & fries. In the distance beyond the end of Main Street stands Cinderella Castle. Though only 180 feet (55m) tall, it benefits from a technique known as forced perspective. The (fake) second stories of all the buildings along Main Street are shorter than the first stories, and the third stories are even shorter than the second, and the top windows of the castle are much smaller than they appear. The resulting visual effect is that the buildings appear to be larger and taller than they really are.
Main Street is considered the opening credits for the Magic Kingdom. You pass under the train station (the opening curtain), and then you view the opening credits on the upper stories of the main street buildings. Each window has a business name on it , such as "Seven Summits Expeditions, Frank G. Wells President", each of these people has a connection to Disney. The windows/credits are ordered as they would be for a movie.
In addition to the bronze "Partners Statue" of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle, there is also a bronze statue of Roy O. Disney sitting with Minnie Mouse near the park's entrance. Surrounding the "Partners Statue" at the central hub, are several iconic Disney characters featured throughout the park. Some of these include; Minnie, Donald, B'rer Rabbit, etc.
Adventureland: Adventureland represents the mystery of exploring foreign lands. It is themed to resemble the remote jungles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the South Pacific. It contains classic rides such as Pirates of the Caribean and Jungle Cruise.
Frontierland: Frontierland is where guests can relive the wild west -- from cowboys and indians, to exploring the mysteries of the Rivers of America. Frontierland contains classic rides such as Splash Mountain ,Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Country Bear Jamboree.
Liberty Square: This area of the park is based on an American Revolutionary town. The Magic Kingdom's Rivers of America hosts the Liberty Belle river boat.Liberty Square is home to the Haunted Mansion and the Hall of Presidents.
Fantasyland: In the words of Walt Disney: "Fantasyland is dedicated to the young at heart and to those who believe that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true."
Mickey's Toontown Fair: An expansion of the expansion Mickey's Birthdayland and Mickey's Starland, this area is the location of Mickey's Country House, Minnie's Country House, and Donald's Boat.
Tomorrowland: In the words of Walt Disney: "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future."
Tomorrowland is themed to be a futuristic bustling spaceport.
Wishes is the largest fireworks show ever presented at the Magic Kingdom.
"The Magic Kingdom" is also a nickname for the Disneyland theme park itself. This usage predates the Florida theme park, but Disneyland never officially bore this name. While Disneyland's official nickname is "The Happiest Place On Earth," the official nickname of the Magic Kingdom is "The Most Magical Place On Earth." This led to the common use in Disneyana literature of the term Magic Kingdom-style, to describe the classic Disney park - with the castle, Main Street, etc.
Up until the early 1990s, the Magic Kingdom was officially known as the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, and was never printed without the Walt Disney World prefix. This was to differentiate between the park and Disneyland in California, which was and is also commonly referred to as the Magic Kingdom. Between the opening of the Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney acknowledged the growing need for consistent theme park names - EPCOT Center was renamed in 1994 to Epcot, and gradually the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom dropped the prefix and became the Magic Kingdom Park.
Cinderella Castle, along with the entrance plaza in front of the Main Street Train Station, are two of the most photographed icons at Walt Disney World. At one time, it was said that Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland was the most photographed building ever, but that designation is open to debate, with Big Ben, the CN Tower, and the World Trade Center also laying claim to that title in various online discussions.
2005 saw the release of a novel set inside the Magic Kingdom, The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson. The novel is authorized by Disney, and sees a group of teenagers searching for treasure in the park following clues laid by Walt Disney and his Imagineers. Another novel that takes place inside and around the Magic Kingdom is Cory Doctorow's 2003 science-fiction book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom park is constructed above a series of tunnels called utilidors, short for "utility corridors," used by park employees (cast members) to reach areas inside and outside the park without being seen by park Guests. This means that Cast Members in Adventureland outfits never have to be seen in Main Street, USA, for example - this comes from an occasion in Disneyland when Walt Disney spotted a Frontierland cowboy strolling through Tomorrowland. The utilidors were built at ground level (due to Florida's high water table) and the area around them was filled in with dirt from the "Seven Seas Lagoon" which was being dug in front of the park, and the Magic Kingdom itself was built on top. This means that, technically, ground level inside the Magic Kingdom is actually on the second story. These tunnels do not extend to areas constructed after the park was originally built. The utilidors were originally planned to be used for every park, but due to financial constraints they were not used in any of the other Walt Disney World theme parks, except for a small network of utilidors in the Future World area of Epcot and under Pleasure Island.
The Magic Kingdom itself is the setting for the Disney on Ice play, Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure.
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