As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
On my family’s very first trip to Walt Disney World (back in 1988), my parents put me in charge of planning our vacation. I remember pouring over the Birnbaum’s Guide and making up 3×5 cards to carry with me. One thing I specifically remember is getting to the end of Main Street USA and turning left into Adventureland. Not only am I a leftie who tends to turn left anyway; but Mr. Birnbaum recommended taking the left lines and turning left (as most of the population turns right). So, though there have been a few times that we’ve tried to go the opposite direction (heading to Tomorrowland first), it just makes sense for me to make Adventureland our first stop for attractions in the Magic Kingdom.
What about YOU? From the castle hub, which direction do you go first?
Today I’m going to talk about what makes Adventureland so special . . .
Here is adventure. Here is romance. Here is mystery. Tropical rivers –
silently flowing into the unknown. The unbelievable splendor of exotic
flowers … the eerie sounds of the jungle … with eyes that are always watching.
This is Adventureland. ~Walt Disney, “Dateline: Disneyland,” July 17, 1955
What attractions are found in Adventureland?
On Magic Kingdom’s opening day in 1971, only 3 Adventureland attractions were operational – the Swiss Family Treehouse, Jungle Cruise, and the Tropical Serenade (which would later become the Enchanted Tiki Room). Since that time, while these three attractions stay very close to their original form, several more attractions have been added to the adventure.
I love this ride! It may have a lot to do with the fact that it was one of the first rides that my family experienced on our first visit, but it holds a spot on my “must do each visit” list and I don’t look for that to change! I love the corniness of the skippers’ lines and, no matter how many times I hear them, I still keep laughing! It’s just a feel-good attraction that I wouldn’t want to do without!
FUN FACT: The river in Jungle Cruise is actually dyed brown so that it looks authentic. Otherwise, guests would see that the “river” is only 3 1/2 feet deep!
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
I’ve always been a fan of this attraction, but it wasn’t ’til we finally decided to watch the movie series that we really gained a new appreciation for this ride. Sure, I know that the movies were based on the ride and not the other way around; but once I was able to tie the two together, I really started to LOVE this ride. And, it really helps that they’ve added cameo appearances by my beloved Captain Jack throughout the ride.
FUN FACT: The Walt Disney World version of Pirates of the Caribbean is shorter than the Disneyland version.
SWISS FAMILY TREEHOUSE
I remember walking up all the steps to check out this attraction on our first visit as well. I feel like so many people just walk right on by the treehouse and don’t even realize that it’s there. And there have been many visits that I have opted out of that climb as well. But, when I do visit, I’m always intrigued by the views and the imagination that went into creating this fun attraction.
FUN FACT: The Swiss Family Treehouse contains 300,000 polyethylene leaves! These reportedly cost $1/each to make in 1971!
WALT DISNEY’S ENCHANTED TIKI ROOM
I love that this attraction was one of Walt’s original ideas. The Tiki Birds were some of the very first audio-animatronic animals to be created by Imagineers, so they’re classics! But, I have to admit that we only stop to see this show once every few trips – it’s not a must-do for me. What about you?
FUN FACT: Audiences resented the 1997 updates to this attraction (Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management). After a small fire broke out in the attic of the attraction in early 2011, the attraction reopened later that year with Walt Disney’s name in the title, and a version much more similar to the original.
THE MAGIC CARPETS OF ALADDIN
While some people complain about this attraction and say that it doesn’t fit in Adventureland, I have to admit that we have ridden this one quite a bit more than we’ve ridden Dumbo, only because it’s usually much easier to get on (because the lines are shorter). And, on a hot day in sunny Florida, those spitting camels are a welcome treat! Sure, it makes Adventureland seem a bit more crowded with this ride smack dab in the middle, but it’s also a fun addition for the littler members of the family.
FUN FACT: The spitting camels found at this attraction were originally part of Aladdin’s Royal Caravan Parade at Disney-MGM Studios (currently called Hollywood Studios). They were moved upon the closure of that parade in 1995, and eventually found their current home in 2001.
What are the best food choices in Adventureland?
For the longest time, if you wanted a nice, sit down meal in the Magic Kingdom, you had to look outside of Adventureland. This is no longer the case with the opening of Skipper Canteen! I have yet to try this restaurant, though I was chatting with a friend this past weekend who really enjoyed it. I like this review over at the Disney Tourist Blog, and will definitely be trying this restaurant when I get the chance.
Though only open seasonally, Tortuga Tavern (located directly across from the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean) is a great quick service option in Adventureland, serving BBQ sandwich options.
My absolute favorite Magic Kingdom snack can be found in Adventureland – the Dole Whip Float! It’s available at Aloha Isle Refreshments (which recently traded location spots with Sunshine Tree Terrace). Over at Sunshine Tree Terrace, you’ll also find a snack that is a favorite of many – the Citrus Swirl. The Egg Roll Wagon offers Vegetable Egg Rolls and Cheeseburger Spring Rolls (these get rave reviews from some, and others think they’re horrible – I have yet to try them, but think they sound fun).
What else makes Adventureland special?
Fans of the Pirates franchise will love the Pirate League Makeover. We haven’t done this one yet, but it’s a much more cost-effective makeover than Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and is a great option for boys or for girls who are more into Pirates than Princesses.
And what could possibly be more fun for a Pirate fan than to be trained by the favored Captain Jack himself? Ian got to participate in the Pirate Tutorial a few years ago and had an absolute blast! Unlike the Jedi training, you don’t sign up for a spot in this “class,” rather guests are chosen at random (so good luck!)
While it’s hard to pick a favorite land in the Magic Kingdom, I have to admit that Adventureland is up there pretty high on my list. Do you agree?
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Lands of the Magic Kingdom Loop:
- 1st Stop – What’s the Point? | Main Street, U.S.A.
- 2nd Stop – Superheroes and Teacups | Frontierland
- 3rd Stop – Dad for Disney | Fantasyland
- 4th Stop – Heidi’s Head | Adventureland
- 5th Stop – My Dreams of Disney | Tackling Tomorrowland at Night!
- 6th Stop – Disney Nouns | Liberty Square