What's on YOUR Disney Bucket List?

Posts tagged ‘Magic Kingdom’

48 (COMPLETE): Experience all the attractions in New Fantasyland

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is all set to open on May 28th. With this coaster comes the completion of New Fantasyland, and watching it come to life piece by piece over the past couple of years has been an experience I will never forget.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2)
I was fortunate to happen upon a “soft opening” of the Mine Train prior to its official opening this coming Wednesday, and this attraction really is the icing on an already beautiful cake.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (5)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (4)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (3)
To be honest, I was sad when Snow White’s Scary Adventures closed in May of 2012 to help make room for all the new experiences New Fantasyland had to hold (the former site of Snow White’s Scary Adventures is now home to Princess Fairytale Hall). I thought that ride was exceptionally beautiful in its artwork and audio animatronics depicting scenes from the film, and had a charm all its own.

I walked away from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train feeling like all the beauty of the previous Snow White attraction had returned… and then some. I was expecting a fun roller coaster, and that’s what I got! The seats swing from side to side while propelling forward, and the twists, hills, and turns were more thrilling and faster than I expected.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (7)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (1)
But I wasn’t expecting the presence of the characters to amaze and touch me as much as it did, and while the mountain is lovely outside, I certainly wasn’t expecting the inside to be as beautiful as it is. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has everything a great Disney attraction is known for: it’s gorgeous, it’s innovative, it brings wonderful Disney film moments to life, and it’s FUN.

Living in Florida, there has understandably been a LOT of coverage in anticipation of this attraction opening, and I actually did my best to avoid it. I wanted to be surprised and see it with entirely new eyes the first time I rode it. For that reason, I’m not sharing very many of my pictures here, in case you are hoping for a “spoiler-free” experience as well. But in the name of appropriate Bucket List documentation, here’s my view from the very last row…

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (9)
And I will also share that this

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (8)
… only captures a teeny tiny bit of the beauty waiting for YOU inside the mountain!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (6)
Until now, this goal was “In Progress.” You can read about my other experiences in New Fantasyland by clicking any of the links below:

Be Our Guest Restaurant
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Gaston’s Tavern
The Barnstormer and Pete’s Silly Side Show
Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Princess Fairytale Hall

 

10: Walk Down Main Street, U.S.A. Eating One of Those ENORMOUS Lollipops

Aaaaaaand… DONE!

Main Street Magic Kingdom (3)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (4)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (5)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (11)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (14)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (16)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (17)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (20)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (22)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (27)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (28)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (32)
Main Street Magic Kingdom (35)

P.S. It took half an hour… and this is as far as I got!

Main Street Magic Kingdom (33)

20: Get My Hair Cut at the Harmony Barber Shop

From the moment you set foot on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A., you feel as though you’ve entered a turn-of-the-20th-century town (albeit, one with a castle in view ;) ). Once you arrive, you are meant to be part of this town going about its day-to-day activities in everyday life.

One of the things people do in their day-to-day life is get their hair cut… and there IS a place you can do exactly that! Welcome to Harmony Barber Shop!

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (13)

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (11)
Main Street is patterned after Marceline, Missouri – Walt Disney’s childhood home. Because Walt Disney loved hanging out in the barbershop when he was little, he imagined having an operating barbershop in the Magic Kingdom. (I learned this, by the way, from this video. It features Michael, the barber who cut my hair :) ).

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (2)
The signature treatment here is the “First Haircut.” Young tots are brought in for their first cut, and it’s made into a special occasion, complete with a certificate and Mickey Ears. Having missed that opportunity by, oh, a few years ;) , I was happy to know that guests of all ages are welcome for services!

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (1)
Even though I just had a bang trim…

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (5)
… I was still treated to a dash of Pixie Dust at the end – the house specialty!

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (9)
Harmony Barber Shop accepts both walk-ins and appointments (407-WDW-PLAY). A tip for walk-ins (like me!) : the mornings at the Shop are typically packed, but I had no problem walking in at 4:30 pm (closing time is usually 5:00 pm), even on an extremely busy park day.

Harmony Barber Shop Main Street Magic Kingdom (10)
I’m so glad I got to take part in this charming tradition that helps everyone feel a little more “at home” in the Magic Kingdom!

28: Ride Peter Pan’s Flight with my dear friend

Why do we love Peter Pan’s Flight so much?

Magic Kingdom Peter Pans Flight
Because you can hop on board one of these…

Peter Pans Flight (1)
Peter Pans Flight (3)
Peter Pans Flight (2)
And suddenly…

“When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
Think of all the joy you’ll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your cares good-bye
YOU CAN FLY! YOU CAN FLY! YOU CAN FLY!”

Peter Pans Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is a GREAT choice when considering how to use your FastPass+ options. It’s such a beloved attraction that there is always a huge line… and there is good reason for that. Peter Pan’s Flight is an attraction that is quintessentially Disney, and the flight over London is an image that rarely escapes anyone’s memory.

I did ride Peter Pan’s Flight with my friend, by the way… I wanted to respect her privacy and not include our pictures here. When she and I first met and discovered we were fellow Disney fans, Peter Pan’s Flight was one of the first things she mentioned, and experiencing this ride with her is something I’ll never forget :) .

49: Learn About the People Behind the Names on the Main Street, U.S.A. Windows

When you first step into the Magic Kingdom, it’s hard to take your eyes off Cinderella Castle straight in front of you, or you may make a beeline for Space Mountain. Even if you do spend some time on Main Street U.S.A., there are many tempting shops to browse in and goodies to savor.

Rainy Day on Main Street, U.S.A.

Rainy Day on Main Street, U.S.A.

But if you have a moment or two, you may want to take some time and look up. You’ll see names on the windows above the shops around you… names of people that are significant to Walt Disney World. When Walt Disney imagined Disneyland, he wanted guests to experience a show, and these names roll out like the credits of a movie, honoring the people who helped bring it to life. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom “rolls the credits” in the same way.

My tool on the quest to learn more about the people behind the names was the book Windows on Main Street by Chuck Snyder.

Windows on Main Street Chuck Snyder
Guests can find it all over Disney World, but may find it especially handy to pick up in the Magic Kingdom’s Emporium to dig in right away. The book is a guide to the windows in Disneyland and Disney World, and I’d like to share a little bit of what I learned. You will find more detailed information in the book, along with a map letting you know where you can find each individual window. There is also a terrific foreword written by Imagineer Marty Sklar (who now has his own window) explaining the history and tradition of the windows.

Buddy Baker wrote the well-loved music for the Haunted Mansion, as well as orchestrations for Disney’s Carousel of Progress and “It’s a Small World” (the Sherman Brothers composed the songs themselves).

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World (1)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World (19)
I have a special appreciation for anyone involved with the creation of the Haunted Mansion in any way (it’s my favorite attraction). Yale Gracey was a special-effects artist known best for his work on the effects in the Haunted Mansion. You’ll find nods to “Master Gracey” in the attraction itself as well.

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Yale Gracey (3)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Yale Gracey (4)

"Master Gracey's" grave at the Haunted Mansion

“Master Gracey’s” grave at the Haunted Mansion

“Sully” Sullivan (his given name is Bill) was very actively involved in the creation of Disney World, after having started his career as a ticket taker in Disneyland. He oversaw the management of three lands including Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, and Liberty Square.

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Sully Sullivan (36)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Sully Sullivan (37)
Card Walker began his Disney career in 1938 in the Disney Studio. He started in the mailroom, and eventually made his way up to President of the Disney Company in 1971.

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Card Walker (8)
Tony Baxter came up with concepts for several favorite attractions including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Star Tours. My favorite tidbit about him, though, is that he began his Disney career as a sweeper and scooper of ice cream :) .

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Tony Baxter (15)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Tony Baxter (16)

I wanted to learn about this next window, honoring “Miss Joyce, Dollmaker for the World,” primarily because it was one of the few women’s names that I found. I suppose much of that has to do with the era when Disneyland and Disney World were developed.

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World (43)
I didn’t find Joyce in my book, so I did a little digging online. I found (thanks to this great post at allears.net from “The ‘World’ According to Jack” column) that Joyce Carlton played a major role in the creation of the “It’s a Small World” attraction, which makes her “Dollmaker” title especially fitting. Ms. Carlton was also the first woman Cast Member to reach 50 years of working for the Disney company.

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World (42)

And there are windows for the Disney men themselves.

Elias Disney, father to Walt and Roy:

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Elias Disney (7)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Elias Disney (6)
Roy Disney, Walt’s brother who played every bit as important a role in the creation of Disneyland and Disney World as Walt:

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Roy O Disney (31)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World Roy O Disney (30)
The panels pictured below are from the attraction Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. Click to enlarge to read a little about the role Roy played in Walt’s life, Disneyland, and Disney World.

“Walt recalled, ‘Roy was one of the kindest fellows I’ve ever known in my life.’ “

One Mans Dream Roy Disney (2)
“When the idea for Disneyland at last solidified in Walt’s mind, it was Roy who took the concept to New York bankers and secured the funding to make Walt’s dream a reality.”

One Mans Dream Roy Disney (5)
After Walt’s death, Roy oversaw the development of Disney World, “changing the name to ‘Walt Disney World’ so that, in Roy’s words, ‘people will always know that this was Walt’s dream.’ “

One Mans Dream Roy Disney (1)
And, of course, Walt Disney himself:

Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World (16)
Main Street Windows Magic Kingdom Disney World (18)
Walt also has the highest window at the train station overseeing everything at the Magic Kingdom which you can see even before entering the park.

Walt Disney Window Magic Kingdom Train Station
There he is credited with “Keeping Dreams on Track.”

Not a bad way to spend a life :) .

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