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Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is the original and the best. It sets the standard by which every other theme park is judged, and even adults will be enthralled by its magic charm. This park is vast. It will take a minimum of 2 days to do it justice, and if you have small children possibly even three! Disney Villas

Just getting to the park is an event in itself. From the car parks you'll be taken by tram to the transportation centre. From here you can either board the monorail or take the ferry across the lake which will take you to the park gates. Then after you have negotiated the inevitable security measures you're in. Orlando Villas

The first sight you'll get is of Cinderella's Castle which dominates the skyline for miles around. Instead of heading down main street towards the castle, catch the steam train round to Frontier land at the back of the park. This will put you away from most of the queues and allow you to get a couple of the more popular rides done before everyone else catches up with you.

To avoid the worst of the queues, take advantage of the free Disney Fast Pass system which allows you to get a ticket which is printed with a time for you to return to the ride to join the express line which saves queueing for too long. You can only have one Fast Pass running at a time, but once the time has expired, you can get another one, so if you're careful with your planning you can avoid queueing all day. Disney Villas

The park is divided into 6 key areas which all have their own unique feel. To cover the most popular attractions you're going to need to visit all of them so there will be plenty of walking to do. Plan an itinerary and try and stick to it, otherwise you'll be worn out by lunchtime. Orlando Villas

Frontierland - This is loosely based on the Old Wild West. The two most popular rides in the park are here, Splash Mountain & Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Get a fast pass for one, and go straight away and join the queue for the other one. That way, by the time you've been on the first ride, it should be about time for you to use your fast pass on the second one. This really is the strategy to use with the fast pass system, and if you're lucky you won't spend too long queueing between rides.

The only other attraction of note here is the raft over to Tom Sawyer Island, but leave this for later in the day as it never has queues.

Liberty Square - After two thrill rides in quick succession you'll be ready for a break, so head for Liberty Square. The Liberty Belle Riverboat makes regular trips, and has a large enough capacity to ensure that everyone seems to get on, so leave it for later in the day when the queues build up.

The Hall of Presidents - is worth skipping unless you are really into American Political History, but it is air conditioned if you need to get out of the heat. Disney Villas

The Haunted Mansion - just down from the Liberty Belle is this great ride which is often overlooked. There is a great pre-show (even now I'm not sure if the floor really does go down Orlando Villas) and the ride itself is more entertaining than truly frightening. Watch out for the extra passenger at the end though. Disney Villas

Fantasyland - There are many rides here and as a generalisation they probably appeal more to the younger visitor. The main ones include; Cinderella's Golden Carrousel; Peter Pan's Flight; Snow White's Scary Adventures; The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; and the infamous It's a Small World. This last ride is a somewhat cheesy boat ride through an animatronic wonderland which visits the various countries of the world, only to find that they all sing the same song. The ride is great fun if you see it through a child's eyes and I guarantee you'll be whistling the tune all day! Orlando Rentals

Adventureland

Coming round to the front of Cinderella's Castle, follow the signs for Adventureland. Here you'll find another two very popular rides. The Jungle Cruise, which takes you in a boat on an animatronic jungle safari, and The Pirates of the Caribbean, another boat ride themed on the Disney film.

If you have time, you can visit the Swiss Family Treehouse, or catch the Enchanted Tiki Room (animatronic) show. If the park is busy then you might as well see them now, otherwise keep hitting those rides and come back to these when the park fills up.

Tomorrowland

There are a couple of popular rides here, so use your fast pass so that you only have to queue for one of them. Space Mountain is a fast turning Roller Coaster set in complete darkness. This one can be quite scary, especially for younger children. The other ride is Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. This is similar to Men In Black at Universal, and you join Buzz Lightyear Florida Villas with your laser gun in hand to blast the robot army of the evil Emperor Zurg!

After that, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride is a good idea. It doesn't usually have queues and you get a good idea of the layout of the park.

Mickey's Toontown Fair - The final area is definitely one for the younger members. This is the place to meet your favourite characters and even take a look round Mickey and Minnie's houses. Disney Villas The main ride here is the Goofy's Barnstormer, a mini-roller coaster.

That covers the main area and major attractions, but there are a couple of other points to make. The first is that when the park closes there is a firework display in the air above Cinderella's Castle. The best place to see this is from the park at the top of Main Street. There is seating here and it's far enough back that you'll get a good view. If you are taking young children, there is no way they will still be awake if you've been at the park all day, Orlando Villas so either make it a late start, or perhaps take a couple of hours off in the afternoon so they can take a nap.

The other tip is when you enter (and also in the park area at the top of main street) is a board (and sometimes leaflets) which detail the times of the various parades and shows. The better shows are normally on the stage area in front of Cinderella's Castle, although there are sometimes other venues. If you are in the vicinity at around the time of the shows, these are definitely worth catching, and they give you time to get refreshments and take a break before heading back to the rides.

There are also several parades every day and the route they take (and the parade times) are marked on the park map you can pick up at the entrance. You'll soon spot the route the parade takes as people will start lining it well before it begins. In truth you don't really need to do this, because they cover quite a long route, so you can usually find a spot to watch the action. Orlando rentals The characters are great fun and it's the best chance you'll get to see all the Disney characters parade in front of you. If you aren't planning to watch a parade, it's still worth knowing what time it will be on, as many people will go to watch, so the rides are less busy. Use this as an opportunity to do one of the more popular rides whilst things are more quiet.

For details of opening times and special events, visit the theme park web site by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.


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