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Is Walt Disney World still Magical for Kids?

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Is Walt Disney World still Magical for Kids?
Credit: Disney

Since the reopening of the Disney Parks, many things have changed. Many Guests have questioned if the Disney Parks are still magical for children. Some Guests have even delayed trips to the Disney Parks due to the many changes. Read one child’s perspective regarding the magic of Disney World and if it’s still there.

Characters

Credit: Donna

Disney recently announced the return of character meets with a few modifications. First, these will not be up close meets where you can get an autograph and hug them. Instead of calling this a character meet, Disney has changed all descriptions on the website to “sighting.”  There is NO Photopass available currently at these character sightings.

Be sure to use Character Locator to have full information on character meets and the best interaction tips!

One of my (Donna) daughter’s all-time favorite Disney princesses is Rapunzel. We heard the great news that “Character Sightings” would be returning just prior to our trip to the Magic Kingdom in November 2021.

Credit: Donna

I was a bit skeptical if these interactions would be magical. My daughter absolutely loves giving the princesses hugs and receiving autographs in her autograph book. My skepticism soon disappeared when we my daughter first saw Rapunzel.  Even though we were separated by a rope, the interaction was still very much magical.

My daughter left the Princess Fairytale Hall with happy tears flowing from her eyes. She hugged me so tight and said, “I’m so glad my friends are back!” 

My daughter left the Princess Fairytale Hall with happy tears flowing from her eyes. She hugged me so tight and said, “I’m so glad my friends are back!” 

At that moment I truly felt that the magic of Disney had returned. This connection with beloved characters is truly the heart of the Disney experience. Although a rope still separates us from our favorite characters, the magic is felt even in this distanced interaction.

Interactive Experiences

Credit: Donna

When Disney announced that the Festival of the Lion King would return with a few modifications and a name change, guests questioned if this would still be the same experience.

The interactive elements were now missing from this show. The first change that Guests may notice is that they are not assigned a specific section due to where they are seated. Previously, a Guest was selected prior to the start of the show to serve as the leader for that section. This Guest leader would then help Guests practice making an animal noise for their section such as a giraffe, lion, warthog, or elephant. 

Credit: Donna

This interactive element was what allowed Guests to feel as though they were truly part of the magic. We were overjoyed to learn that young Disney Guests would once again step into the magic at the newest show, Disney’s KiteTails.

Guests can catch KiteTails at the Animal Kingdom lagoon. 3-dimensional kites and colorful windcatchers dance in the air the classic Disney songs. This 10-minute show consists of two sections. View the showtimes for KiteTails here.

Young Guests can enjoy an interactive parade prior to the KiteTails show in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Credit: Donna

When we arrived my daughter was invited to be a part of the pre-show. She was given a small turtle and was invited to march with fellow Guests throughout the amphitheater.

The looks on each Guests’ face were truly priceless. The children were overjoyed to be apart of this magical pre show. As a parent it felt as though the Disney magic was back. This memory is something that my daughter will long remember and one that has been lacking since the reopening of the Disney Parks.

I hope that other interactive elements may return throughout the Disney Parks. These small moments allow Guests to feel like they are part of the magic of Disney.

Fun Enchanted Extras

Credit: Donna

Many Enchanted Extras and Tours have returned to the Disney Parks. One Enchanted Extra that I what hoping would return is that at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. This experience allows young Guests to be transformed into their favorite Disney characters.

Although this Enchanted Extra was still missing on our last visit, we were delighted for a FREE magical alternative. Prior to visiting Rapunzel, my daughter and I stepped into Sir Mickey’s. We asked a friendly Cast Member for a bit of pixie dust prior to our visit with Rapunzel.

Credit: Donna

My daughter’s eyes glistened as the Cast Member grabbed her pixie dust wand. She asked for my daughter to close her eyes tight and make a magical wish. As she made her wish, pixie dust was sprinkled generously over her head.

Add a little “Pixie Dust” to your day with a visit to Sir Mickey’s shop in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.

Although this was not the true transformation that I had hoped for, it was still a magical moment that my daughter still remembers fondly.

Play Areas

Credit: Donna

As Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, many things had changed.  One of the most understandable changes involved the closure of many high touch surface activities.

Over the past several months, Walt Disney World has reopened many of the interactive play spaces in many attractions and throughout the Parks. My daughter absolutely loves Figment and the Journey Into the Imagination attraction.

Credit: Donna

During our most recent trip, she was so excited to be able to continue her journey in the “What If” laboratory. After enjoying Mission Space, my daughter journeyed throughout the Space Base and she was even able send our family a postcard from space.

Over the past several months, Walt Disney World has reopened many of the interactive play spaces in many attractions and throughout the Parks.

Test Track was truly an interactive experience now that Guests can once again design their own vehicles. This is also a great way to pass the time while waiting in the queue line for this attraction.

Is Disney Still Magical?

Credit: PhotoPass Photographer

Is Walt Disney World still magical? The answer to this question is based upon the opinion of each individual Guest. As for me, I believe that the magic truly is returning to Walt Disney World.

Although there are still several magical elements that are still missing, there are so many magical experiences for Guests to enjoy. The return of characters, interactive play areas, and enchanted extras felt as though the magic has returned to Walt Disney World.

Credit: Disney

As we boarded the plane to return home from our trip, my daughter shared that she was so excited that Disney was back. I asked what she meant as we had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World in January 2021. She shared that in January Disney just wasn’t the same.

It was the Disney magic that she missed. She felt as though the magic was back during this past trip.

It was the Disney magic that she missed. She felt as though the magic was back during this past trip. This is what sets Disney apart from all other Theme Parks. I am so happy to see these magical moments return to “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”

What do you think? Do you think that the magic has returned to the Disney Parks? What do you think is still missing? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook Page.


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