Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom
Themed after a galactic spaceport, Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland welcomes travelers to Walt’s vision of progress and the future. Yet, while focused on the future, the land actually transports its visitors into the past to a time when much of our modern technology was still nonexistent and the allure of space travel was the dream of many young visitors.
This land offers something for everyone, including a top tier roller coaster, one of our favorite dark rides, and two Disney classics that should not be missed. Throw in a few rides for the youngsters and one of the silliest characters in Disney world and you have one of our favorite spots in all of Disney World.
This post is part of a series on all of the “lands” of Disney and Universal. You can check them all out here!
The main headliner of Tomorrowland is Space Mountain. Located at the very back of the land, this coaster is an all time classic and the best of the original mountain rides at Magic Kingdom. While the ride only gets up to 25 mph, the total darkness and quick drops and turns make for a really thrilling attraction. The ride itself has two tracks, both are equally fun and basically mirror images of each other. Try to ride this attraction early in the morning or grab a FastPass + (if available) as wait times for this classic thrill ride can get very lengthy.
In addition to the attraction, the queue for this ride is a fun call back to that dream of space travel we mentioned above. Plus it's educational! Once you get to the main loading area, and even while on the ride, be sure to look up. You will see the vast night sky complete with shooting stars (and shooting roller coaster cars).
Across the courtyard from Space Mountain and on your right as you enter the land from Cinderella Castle is Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin; a dark ride (slow moving indoor ride, either in a boat or in a car/buggy on a flat track) that is our #1 of its type and one you will definitely want to enjoy twice. This video game-like ride takes you on an adventure to defeat Zurg with only the best Space Rangers coming out on top! It's fun, it's competitive - it's just the best. While in the queue be sure to check out the life sized Buzz Lightyear as well!
Directly outside of Buzz Lightyear you will find the three story launch pad; home to two attractions and a quick service lunch spot. The second story is home to a Disney classic - the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. You get great views of the Magic Kingdom Castle and Tomorrowland, so make sure to keep your camera at the ready for these scenic spots. Additionally, you can get an inside look at Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. Most importantly, there is rarely any wait. This is a great thing to do in the afternoon when the crowds pick up, since you get to sit the entire time. Plus, It actually picks up a little speed for a breeze, but be sure to put your hands in the air!
On the third story of the launch pad is Astro Orbiter. This aerial carousel style ride, seats guests in rocket ships and rotates around a central monument. As the ride is very slow loading, the wait is often not worth it for most adults. However, the view from the top is one of the best in the park as you can see the castle and most of Magic Kingdom while on the ride. One word of warning though, the seats are not at all big enough for two adults to fit in one rocket. Just make sure to request two different ride vehicles for each adult if you choose to ride.
Behind the launch pad is Carousel of Progress. This classic Disney attraction is the only one at Disney World that Walt Disney supervised the design of himself. Originally appearing at the 1964 New York World’s fair, it was then moved to Disneyland only to be moved across the country again to Magic Kingdom in 1975. The attraction itself is a circular theatre that rotates through 4 different scenes of animatronic characters. Throughout each scene you follow a family through the history of technology and “progress” from the 1900s to 20th century, with the same catchy tune throughout. This ride is another example of how the Tomorrowland can both look to the future while also transporting you back to a simpler time.
The final attractions in Tomorrowland are the Tomorrowland Speedway and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. Both are skippable for adults if you are running short on time. The speedway is a basic racecar attraction where each participant can drive their own vehicle around the track. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a live and interactive comedy show hosted by the characters from the movies. It's funny and the graphics are pretty cool, but it is geared more towards children.
Don’t Miss it!
The main draw of Tomorrowland is definitely the attractions, however, there are a few other fun things to check out while in the area. First of all, there are several quick service spots to grab a bite to eat or a snack in the land. While we would probably recommend other locations throughout Magic Kingdom for your lunch or dinner, in a pinch they would definitely do.
The main and largest dining location is Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe, serving basic American style fare like hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken nuggets (don’t sleep on the nuggs!). It also offers salads and grilled chicken options for those looking for something on the healthier side. And don’t miss performances from Sonny Eclipse, the animatronic star of Cosmic Rays, in the dining area. This restaurant does offer mobile dining, which we always recommend that you take advantage of to skip the lines and avoid crowded areas.
On the first floor of the launch pad in the center of the land you can find the Lunching Pad. This outdoor dining area only offers a roast beef sandwich and hot dog, but can be a good choice when lines are longer elsewhere. You can also find ice cream and other frozen treats, including a delicious browning sundae, at Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies.
The final dining area is a rarely open spot on the outskirts of the land called the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant and is home to a special dessert dining package for fireworks viewing (when showing). Currently the area is being used for one of the relaxation zones where you can remove your mask, take a break for a bit, and get a great view of the castle.
When it comes to shopping in the area, the main spot is Star Traders (and the adjacent Merchant of Venus). Here you can find your basic Disney World merchandise with some Tomorrowland specific items. While inside, make sure to look up and see if you can see the People Mover going by, as the track for the ride goes around the outside of the shop.
If you are looking for some more unique Tomorrowland options be sure to check out the shops at the exit for Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain. The Buzz Lightyear shop offers some fun Toy Story related options. The Space Mountain shop, or Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. as it is officially called, has Space Mountain memorabilia of course. However, the real draw is the Star Wars gear and you can even build your own lightsaber! As the lines for Star Wars and Toy Story items can often be long in Hollywood Studios, you can find some of the same items here with much lower waits and crowds.
Finally, don’t miss checking out the progress on the upcoming major thrill coaster Tron, coming sometime in the next year or two. You can see the ride from most of the land, but the best views are while riding the People Mover or over near Space Mountain.
This land is definitely one of our favorites. While the theming may not be for everyone, we do enjoy getting the chance to look forward to tomorrow and the progress that it will bring. Plus the rides are some of the best in the park!