1972: Frontierland Railroad Station (Magic Kingdom Park)
Editor’s Note: This post is part 2 in a forty-part blog series in celebration of Walt Disney World Resort’s upcoming 40th Anniversary. Please welcome to The Window Seat guest author and Walt Disney World’s Moms Panelist Heather Roberts-Nault.
In 1972, Magic Kingdom park guests were given the extra convenience of an added stop along the Walt Disney World Railroad. Today, learn the keys to navigational success inside the complex Disney theme parks.
So you’ve decided to go to Walt Disney World Resort, and you know you’ve got some planning to do. You’re probably focused on where to eat, what to ride, or which characters you want to see. All good things! But planning out your days in the parks is very helpful, too.
Believe it or not, successful park navigation begins at home when you have just booked your vacation. Take the time to print out and study the park maps. If you familiarize yourself with the layout of the parks now, and mark your ‘must-see’ attractions, you will be better able to navigate once you arrive in The World.
The next step in park navigation comes while you’re packing for your trip. A few simple inclusions will make your park days run very smoothly.
1. I strongly recommend that you bring a small first aid kit with items like band-aids, antibiotic ointment, bug spray, sunscreen and pain reliever. Not only will these items be useful on your trip, but you’ll save yourself valuable vacation time by having them on hand – no need to search for a First Aid Center in the parks!
2. Get yourself a good backpack (not on wheels!) in which to carry your park items. You’ll need somewhere to put that first aid kit, a camera, wallet, water bottles and a change of clothes for the little ones.
3. When it comes to packing your children’s clothes, organization is the key. I like to pack my own daughters’ outfits in separate zip-sealed bags, one outfit per day. This makes it easy for them to grab a bag and dress themselves, and it also makes it easy for me to grab a change of clothes to throw into our park backpack. The zip-sealed bag is helpful because it gives me a place to store their wet or dirty clothing after they change.
4. And then finally, the big day has come! You’ve arrived in the park and you’re ready for a day of fun. Where to start? With a map, of course! At the entrance to each park, you’ll find smiling Cast Members distributing park maps and show schedules for the day. Get two – I promise you’ll need both at some point! Take note of the location of the first aid and baby care centers, just in case the need should arise.
As a general rule, most people tend to bear to the right, so visiting the attractions on the left first is one way to avoid crowds. Taking advantage of the single rider lines, where available, is another helpful tip. And always keep an eye out for shortcuts! In the Magic Kingdom, for example, you can ride the train to another part of the park. In Epcot, you can take a Friendship Boat over to World Showcase. These may not be faster than walking, but they will save your legs a few steps, and they are a fun adventure in and of themselves!
And finally, make it a point to visit the less publicized attractions. Not only will you find smaller crowds, but you’ll enjoy some wonderful experiences as well. In my family, we love the thrill of Splash Mountain, but we also enjoy the charm and nostalgia of the Carousel of Progress. If you stick only to the “big”rides, you’ll miss the very heart of this World that Walt planned – and it’s a wonderful world, indeed.
MORE ARTICLES & TRAVEL DEALS
1971: Magic Kingdom Park (The Window Seat)
From time to time, the Window Seat publishes articles and blog posts written by guest authors to give you a fresh perspective on the world of travel.