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Magic Kingdom – Adventureland

Magic Kingdom – Adventureland

Adventureland, Featured

Adventureland is hard to describe. It’s part jungle, part tropical island and there’s a desert oasis thrown in as well.

From Main Street, you enter Adventureland by crossing a wooden planked bridge. One thing you notice about this section, the walkways where you first enter tend to be narrow and congested. It’s easy to overlook the authentic landscaping as you’re kept busy avoiding strollers and other guests. You’ll probably walk right by the Swiss Family Treehouse. (That’s not necessarily a bad thing.)

Adventureland does have some of the better shops. If you have a teen, this is where you’ll find popular clothing brands. If you need a tropical shirt (and who doesn’t?) you’ll find what you’re looking for at one of the open air shops. If you need a Johnny Depp fix, anything and everything that’s Pirates of the Caribbean themed is sold here.
Speaking of Jack Sparrow, there’s a fun Pirate Tutorial that takes place throughout the day. Other characters often found in Adventureland are Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Rafiki, Timon, Tinker Bell and Goofy. (Check the day’s schedule.) If watching pirates isn’t enough for you, you can become a pirate yourself at The Pirates League. Make an appointment and you can experience a pirate makeover including makeup, a costume and even your own pirate name!

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas is an interactive game in which guests will use pirate maps and “magic talismans” as they compete to become members of Captain Jack’s pirate crew. There are five different 20-minute missions to complete, such as searching for Treasures of the Seven Seas and fighting off pirate enemies. If they fail, they will be left to face the enemies alone without their crew. When guests complete each pirate raid, they can get a Collector Card reward at Pirate Headquarters. An additional card will be given when all five raids are completed.

Arguably one of the best features at Adventureland is the Aloha Isle. This is one of the only spots in all of Walt Disney World where you can purchase the very popular Dole Whip soft serve pineapple flavored ice cream (the other is at the Pineapple Lanai located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort). Be warned, this stuff is addictive.
Other refreshing fruit-flavored treats are on the menu at the Sunshine Tree Terrace.

As you can see, Adventureland is sort of a mishmash of themes. You can climb a tree, fly over the desert, explore the jungle, sail on the high seas and visit a tropical island where birds talk and sing. No matter which adventure you choose, it’s a fun area to visit.

How to Save on Your Trip to a Theme Park

How to Save on Your Trip to a Theme Park

Featured, Theme Parks

Theme parks can be great fun for all, but tickets, parking, food and incidentals can rapidly mount up to burn a hole in your pocket. Here is a list of tips to help you save a few bucks on that summer theme-park excursion, be it one of the popular Disney parks or your local favorite.

Temper Your Expectations

Not to burst your bubble, but saving significant money on major theme parks is a tall order: If you think you’re going to pull one over on Walt Disney, think again. According to Lance Hart of the theme-park website Screamscape, “Most parks, especially the big ones in Orlando and California, have it down to a science these days to make it nearly impossible to shave corners and save money.” Theme-park visitors, especially those who visit once a year or less, are going to have a difficult time saving more than a few dollars on tickets.

Go More Than Once

It seems counterintuitive, but going to a park — any park — more than once immediately slashes the price-per-day by a significant amount. Sometimes it’s almost comical: Want to go to Busch Gardens once? It’s $89.99. Want to go an unlimited number of times for the rest of the year? It’s $99.99.

A one-day Park Hopper ticket to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom can cost $174. If you buy a 10-day ticket, however, the per-day cost drops to about $51. Keep in mind that for these multiday tickets, there is a limited amount of time to use them. In this case, you must use all 10 days within a 14-day period.

Don’t Scour for Online Coupons

Searches for “Disneyland coupons” on the Internet may yield a lot of results, but they’re almost guaranteed to end in disappointment. It isn’t worth your time. Targeting the smaller parks yields more promising results: Groupon, for example, offers discounted tickets to the Raging Waters park in Los Angeles. Visitors can pay $34.99 through the coupon site, which appears to be a decent savings on the $45.99 gate price; upon closer inspection, though, it isn’t exactly a steal. On the Raging Waters website, visitors can scoop up tickets for as low as $32.99 on select days (plus a $3 service charge), making the Groupon deal significantly less of a, well, deal.

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Be judicious about where you buy tickets. Generally, it’s best to buy directly from the park. I would avoid eBay and Craigslist, as the potential for buying fake tickets is too great. Some third-party sites, like Park Savers, offer slight discounts; a three-day Disneyland Park Hopper ticket will run $307 after fees, which saves $8.

Purchase Tickets Ahead of Time

You can buy theme-park tickets at the gate, but that doesn’t mean you should. Parks always want to know when you’re coming (it helps them determine their discount and blackout days, for example), and they love to have your money upfront. In return, many parks (with the notable exception of Disney) offer significant discounts for buying online.

Six Flags Over Texas, for example, offers $20 off the gate price of $74.99 with a three-day advance online purchase. Some parks, like Kings Dominion, don’t require advance purchase to get a discount; the park offers $22 off the gate price ($67) just for buying online, even on same-day purchases.

Be Flexible About Dates

Do you absolutely have to visit Disneyland on Christmas Day? You’re going to pay for it. That is the peak period, when you’ll pay $124 a ticket. If you’re willing to go midweek in September, however, you can expect to pay less: a mere $97.

A ticket to Universal Studios Orlando will also run you $124 during peak season — the Fourth of July, for example. On a less busy day, like Halloween, you’ll pay $110.