Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Magic Kingdom is a theme park covering 107 acres (433,000 m²) at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. Opened on October 1, 1971, it is the most famous of the Florida theme parks. Its layout and attractions are generally similar to those of Disneyland in California, and the park was designed and built by Walt Disney Imagineering.
In addition to the bronze "Partners Statue" of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle, there is also a bronze statue of Roy O. Disney sitting with Minnie Mouse near the park's entrance.
The Magic Kingdom park is constructed above a series of tunnels called utilidors, short for "utility corridors," used by park employees ("cast members") to reach areas inside and outside the park without being seen by park guests. This means that cast members in Adventureland outfits never have to be seen in Main Street, USA, for example - this comes from an occasion in Disneyland when Walt Disney spotted a Frontierland cowboy strolling through Tomorrowland. The utilidors were built at ground level (due to Florida's high water table) and the area around them was filled in with dirt from the "Seven Seas Lagoon" which was being dug in front of the park, and the Magic Kingdom itself was built on top. This means that, technically, ground level inside the Magic Kingdom is actually on the second story. The utilidors were originally planned to be used for every park, but due to financial constraints were not used in any of the other Walt Disney World theme parks.
The park contained twenty-three attractions on the day it opened, twenty of them copies of attractions at Disneyland. Today the park map lists forty-eight attractions (though several of these, like the Guest Information Board, probably shouldn't be included in the number) in seven themed "lands." Major attractions are listed below.
The Walt Disney World Railroad runs along the perimeter of the park and makes stops at Main Street, Frontierland, and Mickey's Toontown Fair.
Main Street is lined with shops selling Disney merchandise and park food. The decor is early-20th century small-town America, inspired by Walt Disney's childhood. Main Street is the location of City Hall, which contains a Guest Services counter where castmembers provide information and assistance. There is also a real barber shop here which gives haircuts for a fee. You will also find the flagship Magic Kingdom retailing outlet on Main Street, where you can pick up most things i.e. plush toys, pins - the Emporium.
- Swiss Family Treehouse, a large tree with steps and walkways leading high up around it
- The Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management, with Audio-Animatronic birds that sing (the old attraction has been updated to include The Lion King's Zazu and Aladdin's Iago)
- Jungle Cruise, a boat ride with a skipper who tells bad jokes
- Pirates of the Caribbean, a dark ride on a boat through pirate scenes
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, a Dumbo-type spinner ride on flying carpets
- Splash Mountain, a log flume
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a fairly tame steel roller coaster
- Tom Sawyer Island, reachable by raft, on which are caves and a fort for kids to explore
- Country Bear Jamboree, a show with Audio-Animatronic singing bears
Based on New Orleans Square at Disneyland, the smallest land in the park is based on a American Revolutionary town. The Magic Kingdom's Rivers of America hosts the Liberty Belle.
- The Hall of Presidents, a show featuring an Audio-Animatronic version of every United States President
- The Haunted Mansion, a dark ride through a haunted house
- "it's a small world" is a dark ride through colorful stylized representations of many countries
- Peter Pan's Flight, a dark ride in a pirate ship flying over London
- Mickey's PhilharMagic, a 3-D movie experience
- Cinderella's Golden Carrousel (the last word is spelled with two 'r's), the oldest ride in the park, a carousel built in 1917
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the prototypical Dumbo ride
- Snow White's Scary Adventures, a dark ride through scenes from the movie (only scary for young children)
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a dark ride through scenes from the Winnie the Pooh stories
- Mad Tea Party, a ride in spinning teacups
Mickey's Toontown Fair
A 'spin-off' from Toontown at Disneyland, this area is the location of Mickey's and Minnie's houses, Donald's tugboat, and a county fair tent.
- The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm, a small steel roller coaster
- Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, a 'racetrack' with small gas-powered racecars
- Space Mountain, which includes 2 indoor roller coasters in the dark
- Astro Orbiter, a raised Dumbo-style ride in rocketships
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority (originally the WEDway PeopleMover), a gentle people mover ride over Tomorrowland
- Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, an Audio-Animatronic show which debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair
- Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a dark ride with "laser guns" to shoot targets and score points
- The Timekeeper, a CircleVision 360 film starring Robin Williams, Rhea Perlman, and Jeremy Irons
- Stitch's Great Escape in which Stitch escapes from a prisoner teleportation tube and wreaks comical chaos throughout the audience.
In Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, Cinderella's own horse is the only one which has a golden bow on its tail. It's in the second rank in from the outside, in the line immediately before the Indian chieftan horse.
"The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" is built in the former location of "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," based on the 1949 Disney animated film The Wind in the Willows. Fans of the Mr. Toad ride organized a petition in an attempt to prevent it from being replaced, but were unsuccessful. However, the ride contains a picture of Mr. Toad presenting the Toad Hall deed to Owl (look to the left behind the car when you enter Owl's house), and one Mr. Toad car is on display inside the Exposition Hall on Main Street.
Other noteworthy Magic Kingdom attractions which have been removed include "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (based on the film of the same name) and the "Skyway," for which stations can still be seen in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The "20,000 Leagues" lagoon was left visible for years after the attraction closed, but has recently been drained, filled with dirt, and planted with trees in preparation for a Winnie the Pooh themed character greeting area.
"The Magic Kingdom" is also a nickname for the Disneyland theme park itself. This usage predates the Florida theme park, but Disneyland never officially bore this name. While Disneyland's official nickname is "The Happiest Place On Earth," the official nickname of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is "The Most Magical Place On Earth." This led to the common use in Disneyana literature of the term Magic Kingdom-style, to describe the classic Disney park - with the castle, Main Street etc.
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