Whether it’s your first or hundred and first visit to the Magic Kingdom you can’t overestimate how much walking is involved. At some point in the day you will need to rest and, especially in the summer months, find a nice place to cool off. I have four perfect locations where you can do just that and they are home to the classic shows of the Magic Kingdom. Each has something that appeals to every age as well as seats and air conditioning! While they may not have the hills and thrills of the Mountain Range they deserve a visit!
Country Bear Jamboree
Located in Frontierland
Shows every 10 minutes
This fun and energetic show will have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet in a good old fashioned country hoedown hosted by….bears! These audio animatronic furballs in all shapes and sizes have been entertaining guests since opening day of Walt Disney World, October 1, 1971. This show was a product of Walt’s brainstorming for a dinner show at a ski resort he was planning. The ski resort never materialized but he loved the concept of the bear show so much it was developed into the Country Bear Jamboree and included in the plans for opening day at Walt Disney World. It has remained popular ever since to try and catch a show earlier in the morning or during the afternoon parade for the lowest wait times.
Hall of Presidents
Located in Liberty Square
Shows every 23 minutes
This show is quite serious and very patriotic but still manages to appeal to the younger ones with the presidential roll call. The theater is very large and seats over 700 guests. It begins with a wide screen movie narrated by Morgan Freeman that tells the history of the United States through pictures and music. It’s a beautifully emotional show. After the movie we meet the presidents in a role call, in order, beginning with George Washington. These incredibly real looking presidents are decedents of Walt Disney’s very first audio animatronic, Abraham Lincoln which debuted at the New York World Fair in 1964. The Disney Imagineers have recreated each one of our presidents with an audio animatronic clothed in outfits true to their time periods. The Presidential Seal in the rotunda of the waiting area is the only Presidential Seal allowed to be displayed outside of The White House and it required an actual Act of Congress for approval. While waiting to enter the theater check out the authentic presidential artifacts on display.
Enchanted Tiki Room
Located in Adventureland
Shows every 16 minutes
This beloved show premiered in Disneyland in 1963 and has been playing at Walt Disney World since its opening October 1, 1971. This show has Walt’s hand all over it – he was very involved in the design and music. You’ll find many well known songs here by the infamous Sherman Brothers. Your hosts for this show are four macaws, each with their own personality. Throughout the performance the Tiki Room comes to life with over 150 singing birds, flowers and tikis. The seats are in a circle around a large fountain in the middle of the room. There’s not a bad seat in the house. Each time you visit find a different place to sit as the birds, flowers and tikis around you will be different from the various vantage points.
Carousel of Progress
Located in Tomorrowland
Shows every 20 minutes
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress dates back to the 1964 World’s Fair and was created by Walt Disney himself. This attraction was originally located at Disneyland until it was moved to Walt Disney World in 1975. The Carousel of Progress really is a carousel. Guest sit in a theater that then rotates around 4 different scenes depicting the life of the American family from the beginning of the 20th century. You’ll hear some famous voices to the audio animatronics including the voice of the father (Jean Shepherd) and Cousin Orville (Mel Blanc). The music was written by the award winning Sherman Brothers. When visiting the last scene (Christmas morning) keep an eye out for several hidden Mickeys. While the storyline has been updated throughout the years to keep up with the times, the overall attraction has stayed true to Walt’s original Carousel of Progress.
I hope you’ll take some time to visit these beloved shows. While you might simply need a place to cool off or rest your feet I know you’ll come away with an appreciation of Disney storytelling as told through these vintage experiences that never get old. And you might even have a new favorite song….In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room…..in the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room….all the birds sing songs and the flowers croon….in the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room…..
It’s details like this that make Walt Disney World such a special and unique place. My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel planner with Travel with the Magic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 20 times and I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Email me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on Facebook for tips, tricks and information on all things Disney!