Magic Kingdom Review – Is This Castle Park Worth It?

Cinderella’s castle at night time decorated for 50th Celebration at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom is iconic – there’s no way around that. As Walt Disney World’s “castle park”, it attracts millions of visitors a year. But how does this theme park really stand up against the others? Let’s find out by reading my personal Magic Kingdom review.

Thrill Rides at Magic Kingdom

Score: 7/10

Magic Kingdom is packed with high quality rides, and it does have a few thrill rides that are actually pretty great and worth mentioning in my Magic Kingdom review. 

Space Mountain outside during daytime at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

You’ve got the classic Space Mountain (the first Space Mountain in the world) in Tommorowland. It’s probably THE indoor roller coaster – so many others have been inspired by it. 

Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster speeding by after launch at night at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Tron just opened up right next-door, and it’s got a really fun launch, a great soundtrack fun, and it definitely packs more of a thrill than others most others at Walt Disney World. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is right on the border of a thrill and family coaster. I would say at night in the backseat, it definitely amps up the thrills.

You’ve also got Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which has one big drop. It’s pretty thrilling, but isn’t too scary. Just remember that you will get wet on that one!

Family Rides at Magic Kingdom

Score: 10/10

For this Magic Kingdom review, it’s hard for me to think about how Magic Kingdom can improve the number or the quality of the family rides they have. They just have so many classics at this park.

Pirates of the Caribbean ride sign at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

They’ve got Pirates of the Caribbean, a classic boat road that inspired a huge movie franchise. There’s Haunted Mansion, a dark ride with some fun effects that still hold up. 

Seven Dwarves Mine Train roller coaster on lift hill at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

They’ve got rides for little kids like Dumbo The Flying Elephant, an iconic ride where you control how high up you fly . They’ve got a really great beginner coaster and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, though it is a little short for the long lines it tends to get. They’ve even got a smaller roller coaster for kids – The Barnstormer. 

Really if you’re wanting to go to the best park in the world for family rides, this may be it.

Food and Restaurants at Magic Kingdom

Score: 5/10

For as great as the ride collection is at Magic Kingdom, the food here is not great. There’s honestly not much that’s special about it. It pains me to say it in this Magic Kingdom review, but food is definitely this park’s weakest area. 

Meal at Skippers Canteen at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

The standout place for me really is Skippers Canteen near Jungle Cruise because it’s got some dishes that you probably wouldn’t normally get it a theme park with wait staff that aren’t afraid to crack jokes. 

Everything else is pretty basic. Nothing really stands out or seems super unique. Yeah you can get Mickey ice cream bars and Mickey pretzels, but you can get that across the property. 

Honestly, if I’m not eating at Skippers Canteen, I’m more inclined to go to one of the resorts near Magic Kingdom and eat there than I am to stay in the park.

Entertainment at Magic Kingdom

Score: 9/10

Magic Kingdom is packed with entertainment. When writing this Magic Kingdom review, it was hard to not mention everything that’s offered entertainment-wise.

Dragon breathing fire with Prince Philip in front during parade at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

It’s got numerous parades throughout the year that are fun to watch, especially if you love seeing Disney characters. 

Outdoor sign and facade of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

It’s got multiple shows indoor like Philharmagic, The Enchanted Tiki Room, and Carousel of Progress, which are nice to escape the Florida heat. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and sunglasses when you’re visiting Magic Kingdom!

It’s got a firework show that brings in the crowds. While these aren’t something I need to see every time I visit the park, it’s entertaining and fun to see all the spectacle that goes into it, and definitely worth mentioning in this Magic Kingdom review

If you’re somebody who’s looking for entertainment as opposed to just rides, then this park definitely has that for you.

Experiences at Magic Kingdom

Score: 7/10

There’s some fun experiences you can do it Magic Kingdom.

This is the park to go to if you want to meet Disney Princesses. There are so many meet and greets here. You can meet people like Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel. Even though it’s technically dining, you can eat in Cinderella’s castle with the princesses, which is really neat. 

You can also purchase packages for things like the firework show to pair with dining for a more exclusive experience.

And don’t forget about meeting Mickey and Minnie – no Magic Kingdom review is complete without mentioning the iconic duo at least once!

Theming and Atmosphere of Magic Kingdom

Score: 9/10

Since Magic Kingdom was based on Disneyland, which was one of the original theme parks, it makes sense that the theming and atmosphere at this park are really great, and definitely worth calling out in my Magic Kingdom review. 

The park has a spoke and hub model, where Cinderella’s castle is the central hub with different lands that branch out from it. Be sure to wear some good shoes, because this park is huge.

Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom lit up at night with projection mapping

You’ve got things like Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland. Everything is really well themed. 

My biggest issue is that some of these lands could use some updating. They look a little dated and could use a bit of a refresh. But the theming is still consistent and enjoyable.

Operations at Magic Kingdom

Score: 7/10

For how big and busy this park gets (it is currently the most visited theme park in the world), it is kind of amazing how great the operations are here.

However, there is a lot to do, and the lines are probably going to still be long for certain rides, especially for rides like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad because these rides are so iconic.

As part of this Magic Kingdom review, I would definitely recommend getting Genie+ if you want to do more than a few things during your visit, especially if you’re only spending one day at Magic Kingdom.

Affordability of Magic Kingdom

Score: 5/10

There’s no denying it – Disney has gotten to be really expensive and this is one of the most expensive Disney World parks on property, if not the most expensive.

You really should be getting Genie+ if you want to maximize your day here, so you’re going to be looking at spending money on the ticket as well as Genie plus per person. And if you want to try to ride Tron because you missed the virtual queue opening up or if you want to skip the regular queue for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, those cost extra as well.

Additionally, once you start adding things like food and any packages or experiences you want, that cost can go up pretty high. Affordability is unfortunately another area that takes a hit in this Magic Kingdom review.

Scoring the Park and Conclusion of this Magic Kingdom Review

Final Score: 59/80 (75%) – World-Class

Christian McIlwain smiling for selfie in front of purple wall at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

This is probably one of, if not the most famous Disney parks in the world, and it’s world class, which I don’t think surprises anybody.

This Magic Kingdom review ended with a park score that was tied with Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For me personally, I just prefer some things at the other parks like Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a great park.

If you’re looking for a park that’s jampacked with rides, has a lot of entertainment, and gives that classic “Disney feeling” complete with Disney Princesses, this is the place for you. 

However, if you’re looking for the most extreme thrill rides on property or if you’re looking for somewhere that’s a little more relaxing, has the best food, and is a little cheaper, you may want to give this park less of a priority over others (assuming you’ve been there once before – everyone should visit Magic Kingdom at least once in their lifetime).

What do you think of Magic Kingdom? Is it your favorite Disney park?

Christian McIlwain

Christian has been a fan of theme parks since he was a child. He has over twenty years of experience both researching and working in the industry. He grew up visiting Kennywood Park throughout his childhood. Currently, he lives in Atlanta, GA where he frequently visits Six Flags Over Georgia and Orlando area theme parks.


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