The Magic Kingdom still attracts millions from around the world, drawn here by the opportunity to experience the fun and fantasy that only Disney can deliver. Attendance, at slightly more than 17 million, makes this America's most popular theme park. The 107-acre Magic Kingdom is filled with more than 40 attractions (with new experiences being added almost yearly), unique shops, and themed restaurants. Its most recognizable feature is Cinderella Castle, the park's icon and centerpiece. And surrounding the castle are the park's seven themed lands, stretching out like the spokes of a wheel.
Main Street U.S.A - Designed to model a turn-of-the-20th-century American street (though it ends in a 13th-c. European castle), this is the gateway to the Kingdom. Don't dawdle on Main Street (it's filled mostly with shops and restaurants) when you enter; leave it for the end of the day when you're heading back to your hotel.
Adventureland - Cross a bridge marked by tikis and torches as the rhythm of beating drums sound in the distance. As you make your way through lush jungle foliage, trees hung with Spanish moss, dense vines, and stands of palm and bamboo, you are transported to an exotic locale where swashbuckling adventures await.
Frontierland - From Adventureland you'll step into the wild and woolly past of the American frontier, where the sidewalks are wooden; rough-and-tumble architecture runs to log cabins and rustic saloons; and the landscape is Southwestern scrubby with mesquite, cactus, yucca, and prickly pear.
Tomorrowland - This land was originally designed to focus on the future, but in 1994, the WDW folks decided Tomorrowland (originally designed in the 1970s) was beginning to look a lot like "Yesteryear." So it was revamped to show the future as envisioned in the '20s and '30s -- a galactic, science fiction-inspired community inhabited by humans, aliens, and robots. A video-game arcade also was added.
Liberty Square - Unlike the other lands in Magic Kingdom, Liberty Square doesn't have clearly delineated boundaries. Pass through Frontierland into this small area, and you'll suddenly find yourself in the middle of Colonial America. Before you can say "George Washington," you'll be standing in front of the Liberty Tree, an immense live oak decorated with 13 lanterns symbolizing the first 13 colonies. The entire area has an 18th-century, early American feel, complete with Federal and Georgian architecture, quaint shops, and flowerbeds bordering manicured lawns. You may even encounter a fife-and-drum corps marching along the cobblestone streets. The Liberty Tree Tavern is one of the better Magic Kingdom restaurants and offers a popular character meal at dinner.
Mickey's Toontown Fair - Wondering where to find Mickey? Instead of walking about the park as he did many years ago, the Mouse now holds court in Toontown. The candy-striped Judge's and Toontown Hall of Fame tents inside this zone are where kids get a chance to meet many of their favorite Disney characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. The entire area (small as it may be) is filled with a whimsical collection of cartoonish attractions geared mostly to those younger than 6 (making it one of the more crowded spots in the park).
Fantasyland -- The most fanciful land in the park, Fantasyland features attractions that bring classic Disney characters to life. It is by far the most popular land in the park for young children, who can sail over Merry Ole' London and Never Never Land, ride in a honey pot through the Hundred-Acre Wood, and fly with Dumbo. If your kids are younger than 8, you'll find yourself spending a lot of your time here (and at Mickey's Toontown Fair).