The following is a column that I wrote for the Times Georgian in Carrollton, GA.
Do your research.
Walt Disney World is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. According to an article by Huffington Post, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom receives an annual 17,000,000 visitors and is listed in the number 8 spot on the Top 50 Tourist Attractions in the World. With that information in mind, you must research as to when the best time of the year to visit is. I’ve visited Disney World in all of the seasons and have found late fall to early spring to be the best time to go.
Don’t go in the summer time.
Magic Kingdom is in Florida. The temperatures soar above 90 with near 100% humidity every day. Not to mention all of the other visitors that are in Disney World at the same time. Wait times for classic rides like It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, and the Haunted House are well above an hour.
Do take your children.
Many of my best memories in Magic Kingdom are from when I was small. My family and I took many trips to Disney over the New Year holiday to watch Auburn play in bowl games. Children love the interaction with characters and rides.
Don’t bring a stroller.
However tempting it may be though to bring your small child, please keep in mind that stroller can (and will) kill your trip. My last visit to Disney World (last weekend) was ruined by dodging strollers. I even saw seven and eight-year-old children in strollers. There were entire spaces were strollers were meant to be stowed away because they cannot go on rides nor do they fit down the long walk ways while waiting in line. Strollers were everywhere. I understand that I am not a mother and don’t know the joy it would bring to my child to be in Disney World with his or her favorite character. But, until he or she is able to walk around the park by themselves, I will not take them.
Do Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s most famous park with all of its castles and parades and fun-for-all activities. You can save the planetary universe with Buzz Lightyear and spin yourself sick at a tea party. You can enter a haunted house and wander down Main Street. You can climb the Swiss Family Tree House and listen to several of America’s presidents.
Don’t expect to meet all of the characters.
In Magic Kingdom, as well as all of the other parks, you can meet the characters! But please know that lines form at the meeting locations about an hour before the character’s arrival. Princesses like Anna and Elsa or Snow White or Merida tend to have very long lines. Even Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald Duck have very long lines. Unless you are willing to wait for long periods of time, you probably will not meet many of the characters.
Do buy souvenirs.
Make your memories not only by experience and photography but by also buying souvenirs! You can keep these treasures for years to come and always remember your experience.
Don’t forget that you have to carry your purchases.
But, please remember that what you buy, unless it is promptly consumable (ie food and drink) or immediately wearable (ie hats and t-shirts), you will have to carry it around. Bring a book bag into the park with you so that your purchases can be easily stowed.
Do see the fireworks.
The fireworks at the end of the day in Magic Kingdom are always beautiful. Giant bombs illuminate the night sky with radiant colors and designs. Who wouldn’t love that?
Don’t try to leave right after the fireworks.
The fireworks usually take place about an hour before the park closes. Immediately following the end of the show, everyone (and I mean everyone) will try to leave at the same time. My sister and I got stuck in the hordes of people trying to leave the park after the fireworks last January. If she and I had simply waited another 30 minutes, the exit would have been much smoother. Not to mention all of the lines in the park would have been very short.