When you think of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World there are probably specific rides and attractions that spring to mind. Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and other popular and iconic options. Well today I am going to tell you about some of the lesser known, but still equally as magical, spots throughout Magic Kingdom.
- Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse – Based on the 1960 movie by the same name and was an opening day attraction at WDW. This towering 70 foot attraction greets you upon entering Adventureland. You might be tempted to walk right by it on your way to the Jungle Cruise or to grab a Dole Whip, but you should take a detour to check it out. It is a walk through attraction and features many steps so if you are not able to walk up many stairs then this would not be a good attraction for you. As you walk up the stairs you come to several different “rooms” in the treehouse, such as an office, a living room, and bedrooms. My favorite part of the treehouse is the view you get from the top! You can look out over Adventureland and see Cinderella’s Castle and Space Mountain.
- Tom Sawyer’s Island – Tom Sawyer’s Island is in the middle of the river bordering Frontierland and Liberty Square, and the Liberty Belle boat goes around it. You get to it by boarding a raft located across from the entrance to Splash Mountain. Once on the island you will be greeted by signs written by Tom and Huck instructing you where to go and where to avoid. You could spend a lot of time just exploring all of the different spots on the island and it a nice shady spot to relax and take a break. Plus it is such a large area and not as popular as other attractions so it is usually not very crowded. There is even a restaurant where you can grab a snack or a refreshment. My kids loved exploring all of the caves, barrel bridges, the lighthouse, and Fort Langhorn which had toy rifles in the watchtower you could use to shoot at Thunder Mountain Railroad.
- Circus Play Area inside Dumbo the Flying Elephant – If you have ever waited in line for Dumbo the Flying Elephant than you have probably walked by this area. It is an awesome spot to sit down, in the air conditioning, and let your kids run off some energy. When we are visiting the park it is my go to spot when we are all getting a little overheated. It is definitely geared more towards younger kids, there is even a toddler play area, but I have seen kids of all ages enjoying the play structure. The area is designed as an alternative to just standing in line and a Cast Member will give you a buzzer to alert you when it is your turn to get back in line, or you can return to the line at any time. We usually stay way past when our buzzer has gone off!
- Sword in the Stone Ceremony – Located in front of Prince Charming’s Royal Carousel in Fantasyland is a stone with a sword stuck in it. Modeled after the movie Sword in the Stone, it features a plaque on the front with the name and description of what it is. Several times a day there is a ceremony where Merlin the Wizard appears and asks a guest to attempt to pull out the sword. Usually this is a child and if they are successful they are made King or Queen for the day and receive a medal. Even when the ceremony is not going on it makes a fun spot for a photo!
- Harmony Barber Shop – Did you know you can get your hair cut on Main Street USA? That’s right – there is a real barber shop that specifically specializes in first haircuts! Kids will love the fun atmosphere with bubbles, stickers, and a little bit of pixie dust and first haircuts even receive a pair of first haircut commemorative mouse ears. But it doesn’t have to be a first haircut – children and adults of all ages can stop in for a trim or a special style.
- Pete’s Silly Sideshow – There are tons of character meet and greet spots all over Magic Kingdom, and you can wait in line for a pretty long time to meet some of the princesses. But over in the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland there is a character meet and greet that is typically not as busy, most likely because it is sort of tucked back away from the main drag. At Pete’s Silly Sideshow there are two sides, on one side you can meet Minnie and Daisy, and on the other side you can meet Goofy and Donald. The characters are dressed up in fun themes, so not just your standard character, which is cool too. Goofy is the Great Goofini, Donald is The Astounding Donaldo, Daisy is Madame Daisy Fortuna, and Minnie is Minnie Magnifique. This is the only place you can meet these versions of the characters so it is definitely worth a stop!
- Winnie The Pooh’s House – Located at the entrance to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a tree with a door and a sign that reads “Mr. Sanderz” above it. Perfectly kid sized, inside you will find a table and chairs and a bunch of empty honey pots! I think my kids like this more than the ride itself – they never want to leave Pooh’s house. It is a fun little play area that really brings the magic of the Winnie the Pooh stories to life for younger kids.
- Casey Jr. Splash N Soak Station – Looking for a way to cool off in the Florida heat? Head over to Storybook Circus and play in the Casey Jr. splash area. There is a large replica of Casey Jr., which my kids love because they are obsessed with trains, and it shoots water from the many animals in the train cars, and Casey also lets off billows of “steam”. It might be a good idea to pack bathing suits or a change of clothes if you play in this area though, because you WILL get wet!
So the next time you are at the Magic Kingdom I hope you check some of these lesser known attractions. That is what is so much fun about the WDW parks — no matter how many times you have been before, there is always something new to discover and explore!