Magic Kingdom

Written by Sudhir Kumar

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest Disney theme park in the world, spreading over an impressive 500 acres.  Walt Disney, himself, was a firm believer of animal conservation, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom is dedicated to just that.  The park opened on April 22, 1998 as the fourth main Disney theme park in Orlando, following Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios.  Together, the four make up Walt Disney World, with additional Disney attractions such asBlizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and Island Adventure.  Disney World Animal Kingdom mixes the appreciation of animals with thrilling rides and spectacular shows.Disney Animal Kingdom touts its latest attraction, Expedition Everest, as a quick-turning, high-speed roller coaster adventure complete with an 80-foot drop and a Yeti who stalks daring riders entering his territory.  Perhaps not the ideal ride for the little ones in your group, it is sure to excite those looking for big thrills.  Other feature rides at Disney World Animal Kingdom include Kilimanjaro Safaris and Kali River Rapids.  On Kilimanjaro Safaris, head to the African safari without having to actually go to Africa.  The ride has visitors boarding a safari vehicle that heads out into an African-inspired landscape complete with free-roaming animals.  If the weather is hot, Kali River Rapids is sure to cool your bunch down.  Board the 12-passenger circular raft for a turbulent trip down the Chakranadi River.  With plenty of other rides more appropriate for young kids, a list of exciting shows and various animal exhibits, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part zoo, part amusement park, and part off-Broadway theater.

Construction of Magic Kingdom

Although Walt Disney himself had been highly involved in planning The Florida Project, The Walt Disney Company began construction on Magic Kingdom and the entire resort in 1967 after his death. The park was built similarly to the existing Disneyland in California but was built in a larger area and improved upon the design of Disneyland in several ways.There are several anecdotes relating to reasons for some of the features of Walt Disney World, and Magic Kingdom specifically. According to one story, Walt Disney once saw a Frontierland cowboy walking through Tomorrowland at Disneyland. He disliked that the cowboy intruded on the futuristic setting of Tomorrowland and wanted to avoid situations like this in the new park.Therefore, Magic Kingdom was built over a series of tunnels called utilidors, a portmanteau of utility and corridor. These tunnels allow employees (aka cast members) to move through the park out of sight from guests, maintaining the show’s cast. Because of Florida’s high water table, the tunnels could not be put underground, so they were built at the existing grade. This means that the park is actually built on the second story, giving Magic Kingdom an elevation of 107 feet (33 m). The area around the utilidors was filled in with dirt removed from the Seven Seas Lagoon, which was being constructed at the same time. The utilidors were built in the initial construction and were not extended as the park expanded. The tunnels were intended to be designed into in all subsequent Walt Disney World parks, but these plans were mostly set aside because of financial constraints. Future World at Epcot andPleasure Island each have a smaller network of utilidors.

Opening of Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom opened as the first part of Walt Disney’s planned Florida Project on Oct. 1, 1971. It was the only theme park on the resort at the time and opened concurrently with two hotels on the property: Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The park opened with 23 attractions, three unique to the park and 20 copies of attractions at Disneyland. The Walt Disney Company promised to increase this number with more attractions like those in Disneyland as well as more unique ones Destinations guide in USA. The attractions were split into six themed lands, five copies of those at Disneyland and the unique Liberty Square. While there is no individual dedication to Magic Kingdom Park, the dedication by Roy O. Disney for the entire Walt Disney World Resort was placed within its gates.

Naming confusions

Magic Kingdom had often been used as an unofficial nickname for Disneyland Park before the Walt Disney World Resort was built. The official tagline for Disneyland is The Happiest Place On Earth, while the tagline for Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is, The Most Magical Place On Earth. Despite the similarities, the Florida park’s tickets have always borne the official name of Magic Kingdom. In 1994, in order to differentiate it from Disneyland, the park was officially renamed to Magic Kingdom Park but is most often simply called Magic Kingdom. Like all of Disney’s theme parks it does not take an article (“the”), however it is a common mistake to see it described as such. The sign on the railroad station at the front of the park erroneously states “The Magic Kingdom.”

Transportation and Ticket Center

The layout of the resort places Magic Kingdom more than a mile away from its parking lot, on the opposite side of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon. Upon arrival, guests are taken by the parking lot trams to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), which sells tickets to the parks and provides transportation connections throughout the resort complex. It also has a small gift shop and the central lost-and-found facility for all four theme parks. To reach Magic Kingdom, guests either use the Walt Disney World Monorail System, the Staten Island-style ferryboats, or Buses depending on the location of their hotel. The three hotels closest to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa use either the ferry or monorail system to travel to Magic Kingdom. Guests staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground can also ride a dedicated ferry boat to the Magic Kingdom docks. Magic Kingdom is a Adventure Place For Vacations. The other hotels take the buses to travel to this specific park. The three ferries are clad in different trim colors and are named for past Disney executives: the General Joe Potter (blue), the Richard F. Irvine (red) and the Admiral Joe Fowler (green). The main monorail loop has two lanes. The outer lane is a direct nonstop loop between the TTC and Magic Kingdom. The inner loop has additional stops at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Epcot is accessible by a spur monorail line that was added upon that park’s opening in 1982.

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Sudhir Kumar

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