Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Don’t miss Part One!

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

The Disney’s Magic Kingdom is almost a carbon copy of Disneyland. This isn’t scientific, but I’d guess that they’re about 80% identical. We walked through the main gate and down Main Street USA toward the castle in the park’s center. Once there, to our left was Adventureland and to our right was Tomorrowland and beyond the castle was Fantasyland and Toontown – so far the same as Disneyland.

And that same magical feeling tugging at my heart…

But once we passed through Adventureland – which boasts “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Jungle Cruise” (yes they tell stupid jokes here too) and “The Swiss Family Tree House” (it was recently changed to “Tarzan’s Tree House” in CA), we moved directly into Frontierland. There isn’t any New Orleans Square like in California. That’s one of the biggest differences. Instead, Orlando has Liberty Square, complete with an 18th century style pub where visitors can sample colonial fare.

The other major difference between Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom is the absence of the Matterhorn between Tomorrowland and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It’s actually in another park.

Chinese fire-drill: some rides that are in one place in Disneyland are in a slightly different position in the Magic Kingdom. These include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad being on the opposite side of Tom Sawyer’s Island as compared to CA, It’s a Small World being on the opposite side of Fantasyland and sporting a trimmed down façade, and Tomorrowland Speedway (aka Autopia) being much closer to Fantasyland and Toontown as opposed to being on the outside edge of Tomorrowland in CA.

While Fantasyland was almost identical, I’m pretty sure that Pinocchio’s ride wasn’t in Florida – at least I didn’t see it – but Josh’s favorite ride is on both coasts: Peter Pan. And it offers exactly the same experience, as do most of the duplicate rides.

One exception to that is Pirates of the Caribbean… I think the décor and entrance is better than at Disneyland, but the ride fell a little short compared to the original, which as higher drops and seems to move more smoothly. But if you’ve never been on either, you won’t be disappointed.

So far it’s a draw between Disneyland and Disney’s Magic Kingdom, not taking into consideration any other parks on either coast. Have you been to both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom? How would you compare the two?

Next up :: Epcot Center


  1. says

    The first thing to strike me when I enter the Magic Kingdom is the size of Cinderella’s castle. California’s Sleeping Beauty castle is dwarfed by it! The whole park is very much more spread out however the attractions are very similar. The major differences in attractions is what FL has that CA doesn’t…..anymore. They still have Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority or Peoplemover to us Californians and Tom Sawyer Island. For those of us who remember these lost treasures it’s a refreshing taste of childhood that we don’t see anymore at Disneyland. Then there’s the stuff they have we never did have in CA. Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a fabulous 3-D show, Hall of Presidents is like Great Moments with Mr. Linclon on steroids, and Stitch’s Great Escape. We, here in CA, also have stuff they don’t have in FL, such as Matterhorn, which is not in any park in WDW!! We also have Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye which is one of the best rides in the Park! AND we have the one and only original Enchanted Tiki Room!!! FL completely ruined theirs with Zazu and Iago screeching and rapping through the whole thing. My nephew actually cried!!! There Haunted Mansion is prettier and so is their Pirates but not necessarily better. Liberty Square and New Orleans Square are very different and both are a nice place to get good food and relax in a soothing blend of architecture. So, if you would have asked me in 1989 I would have said Disneyland is the winner but there have been so many changes in both that a visit to each Magic Kingdom on both coasts is warranted if you can afford to!! Little known fact about Magic Kingdom in FL is that you can get a great haircut on Main Street!! If it’s your child’s first haircut they’ll receive some mouse ears fully embroidered and a certificate. For anyone…..all the glitter you want!!

  2. Katie says

    You could say that WDW’s equivalent of Matterhorn is Expedition Everest over in Animal Kingdom. While you aren’t forced to face the abominable snowman, you do have to run from a yeti! There is only the one queue at Everest, but the lines move surprisingly fast most of the time.