4. Appeal to introverts and explorers
One of the reasons I always preferred Epcot and Disney's Animal Kingdom (and even Disney's Hollywood Studios, to a degree) to Magic Kingdom was that the latter seemed to be the worst park to visit as an introvert. Even in the off-season, Magic Kingdom was usually more crowded and tended to draw the surliest parkgoers. Also, it felt like if you had explored it once, you had seen it all. There was so much more to discover in other parks, so many more details to take in.
Even in this regard, Magic Kingdom won me back as a fair contender. Part of the incredible achievement of New Fantasyland, for example, is the incredible sense of immersion and detail. It is surprisingly easy to get lost, and there is so much to take in, from the looming of the Beast’s castle to the replica of the festival square from Tangled. An Instagrammer could find shots to fill an entire year of content in New Fantasyland alone.
I was shocked when I realized how many refuges Magic Kingdom had for introverts. I found a favorite place to relax and reflect on the Tomorrowland Peoplemover. I took my time exploring the high flets of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse in Adventureland. Even on a busy day, I could catch a quiet moment to gather my thoughts in the upstairs of Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square. Oh, and I discovered Dole Whip Floats. I don’t know how I ever lived without stopping to savor the creamy decadence of a Dole Whip Float.
The true hidden treasure this introvert had been missing out though was Tom Sawyer Island. You could visit Magic Kingdom a hundred times and still miss it. I had written off Tom Sawyer Island as a playground for children. I had no idea it was just as much a playground for adults. If you want a quiet moment to recharge, you can’t beat its patios and gentle rocking chairs. At the same time, you can’t help but tap into the spirit of exploration on Tom Sawyer Island. Every creepy old shed and rickety stairwell becomes a new adventure. Indeed, venturing into Injun Joe’s cave prompted the most fun I’ve ever had writing an article.
6. A park (finally) for all ages
Once upon a time, I had assumed that Magic Kingdom was a fun place to visit, but only a potential favorite park of families with small children. As of 2017, my opinion has completely changed.
It is true that Magic Kingdom is one of Disney’s finest parks for families with kids. However, they have done a fantastic job creating a park where an entire family—even those without kids—can have a magical day. Teenagers who previously may have only enjoyed Space, Splash, and Big Thunder Mountain have an ever-increasing range of choices to fill a Disney day. They can revisit Disney classics from their childhood in New Fantasyland, have a laugh visiting Gaston, banter with Jack Sparrow in Adventureland, or enjoy a goofy scare at the Haunted Mansion.
Adults without kids can still enjoy all the same fun attractions and nostalgia mentioned previously but now also have access to a wider range of unique dining opportunities. Be Our Guest is a treat for any visitor, both during lunch and dinner, and we’ve praised Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen’s charm as a great place to have a laugh and enjoy some Disney atmosphere for all ages.
Magic Kingdom may not have become my favorite park, but against all odds, it has once again become a park that I love to visit. If your past experiences were mundane or bittersweet like mine, it may just be time to consider giving Magic Kingdom another chance to win a place in your heart.
Were you a Magic Kingdom skeptic who was won back? What caused you to fall in love with Disney’s flagship park again?