How to Have a Retro Day at Magic Kingdom

Being “retro” is all the trends nowadays, but what would that look like if you wanted to do a full day planned with activities that would only appeal to those of us who like living in the past.

When things were simpler.

A time when Dole Whips were a hidden gem and not made into an air freshener.

Let’s look at the best day that can be had in the Magic Kingdom with opening day activities.

Disney Partners Statue at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

When we were coming up with inspiration for this trend, we decided to give a little leeway for folks who want to classify activities that aren’t quite opening day, as retro can be seen as experiences that bring you back to your childhood or before reserving park days or mobile ordering everything.

It’s retro. Just roll with it.

Unless you want to spend the entire day going back and forth from the Carousel of Progress to Hall of Presidents…which doesn’t sound like a horrible day at all!


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Dress to Impress

Graphic Shirts at Walt Disney World (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

To truly dive into the retro experience, consider wearing your favourite vintage Disney attire. Think of classic Mickey and Minnie Mouse shirts, Disneybounding outfits inspired by the past, or even don a classic tee for a forgotten attraction that’s no longer with us. Get ready to step into a time machine even before you set foot in the park.


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Stroll Down Memory Lane on Main Street USA

Arribas Brothers on Main Street USA (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Kick off your day with a leisurely walk down Main Street USA, a part of the park that has retained its original charm since it opened in 1971. Take in the shops, picturesque buildings, and the amazing feeling that fills the air.

Make sure that you stop in to see the amazing skill of the artisans at the Arribas Brothers, as it’s a talent from an era gone by and should be respected as such.


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Timeless Attractions

it’s a Small World at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

The Magic Kingdom is home to some of Walt Disney World’s most cherished classic attractions. From classics like its a Small World to Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover and even the Enchanted Tiki Room. Everything has appeal when you’re looking at the past through rose coloured glasses.

Breakfast at The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

For an authentic retro dining experience, make a reservation at The Crystal Palace for breakfast. This character dining spot has been a fixture since the early days of the Magic Kingdom and features Winnie the Pooh and friends. Enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet in a charming Victorian setting.

The food is also a little “retro”, but part of this is also thinking about how much Disney food has improved over the years.

Savour a Dole Whip at Aloha Isle

Dole Whip in the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

As we mentioned earlier, Dole Whips were once a hidden gem. While they may have become more popular over the years, you can still enjoy this classic Disney treat at Aloha Isle. You can grab a classic dole whip float and just soak everything in. Some of my favourite memories from Disney involve me holding a Dole Whip.

Capture the Moments

This one can get fun, as there are a couple ways that you could look at the retro side of photos.

First, you can go and get a disposable camera. Nothing says retro like taking a photo and not knowing if you captured the memory until a week later when you get the photos developed.

Secondly, you can use a Polaroid and shake it up!


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Shows and Parades

Mickey Mouse in the Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The nice thing with Disney is that most shows and parades are focused around the history of the Walt Disney Company – like Mickey Mouse and other parts of the Disney magic.

One of my favourite spots to capture the history is at the Hall of Presidents, which takes retro into the content and the fact that it’s a great spot to get air conditioning.

Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

A Glimpse of Tomorrow in Tomorrowland

This is a fun one, as most see Tomorrowland as a part of the Magic Kingdom that is retro in the definition of how the land was designed, but alas I digress.

Go and spend time at the Carousel of Progress.


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A Magical Evening

As the day winds down, find a spot near Cinderella Castle to witness “Happily Ever After”. It’s a great way to conclude your retro day at the Magic Kingdom, reminding you that some things, like Disney magic, never go out of style.

Remember that it’s sponsored by Pandora, so you’re able to hit the second part of retro is apparent – get corporate sponsorship to cover innovation. It’s the Disney way;)

Like the Dole whip…sponsored by Dole.

Rivers of America at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

A retro day at the Magic Kingdom lets you step back in time and relive the nostalgia of a “simpler” era in Disney history. From timeless attractions to beloved treats, you can 100% create memories that can transport you to a time when the magic was just beginning.

So, put on your vintage Disney tees, pack your sense of wonder, and embark on a journey to the past at the Magic Kingdom.

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