Taking a left off Main Street leads one to the aptly entitled Adventureland, an area entirely devoted to the concept of the word though at an admittedly more restrained setting. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of fun and enjoyment to be had but if one is a thrill seeker hoping to find Adventureland capable of quenching their appetites, I’m afraid that you’ll have to wait a bit longer for that. Most of the attractions found in Adventureland, such as The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, are geared with young children in mind and despite it oftentimes being the first official land that most traverse to, I personally find it to be a better spot for resting one’s legs and taking time to chill from the Florida sun.
One such source of relaxation, or vexation depending on whom you ask, is the Enchanted Tiki Room. As its name implies, it is a room where one finds themselves surrounded by enchanted speaking tiki heads though these aren’t the true source of amusement.
No, that comes in the form of a flock of exotic birds whom sing and serenade to the audience. For a time, the Tiki Room was under “new management” via Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King. It was a rather interesting crossover of characters to be honest and one that worked for the show, for the most part anyway. However, due to a small fire that left Iago with more than a few singed feathers, the show has since returned to its original format with a few slight tweaks here and there.
The Jungle Cruise is a simple boat ride pass a wide array of animatronic animals, which are, to be fair, rather lackluster compared to the real sights to be had at the Animal Kingdom. The real delight from the ride comes from the skipper whose quips and one liners get a laugh from even the stoniest of visages. It more than any other ride though is not one that I’d recommend enjoying in the rain as the cruise canopy does not provide much protection for those seated at the sides of the boat.
For a time, there was the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, which is quite literally a tour of one of the most recognized treehouses in literature. While a rather fun, and somewhat bemusing, tour I should warn that while traversing the house is not too much of an issue even for those whom, like myself, have a slight… disfavor towards heights… The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is one that is nearly always under refurbishment for one reason or another though, most commonly, due to extreme weather which can and has discombobulated the place more than once.
Last but certainly not least is The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction which has since undergone some rather interesting changes in the years since the premiere of the film series. Initially the ride had no actual story to it beyond a crew, or three, of pirates pillaging and plundering a coastal Caribbean town.
Nowadays however, the rides begins first with a ghastly introduction to the era of piracy by way of Davy Jones or Blackbeard, which in itself is rather bemusing as the ride never had an intro to begin with and, up until the fourth film, was exclusively Davy Jones and then exclusively Blackbeard before changing back and forth between them. As to the ride itself, it’s still about a pirate crew, or three, ransacking a Caribbean seaport but with the addition of one Captain Jack Sparrow evading the crew that’s hunting him down, led by his old first mate Barbossa no less, whilst trying to find and locate some treasure of his own.
Speaking of pirates there is oftentimes a delightful photo opportunity to be had in a little show that, more often than not, features Captain Jack Sparrow himself, played by a cast member whom I swear could be the real deal himself. These performances vary by the season but are generally done on an hourly basis with younger audiences becoming inducted to serve on a pirate crew, at least the last time I was down there at any rate. Aside from Captain Jack Sparrow there are quite a few other characters to be found in Adventureland though, again mind you, these are subject to vary and change at a moment’s notice.
Primarily, the main crew of characters that call Adventureland their home away from home are Baloo, King Louie, and occasionally Mowgli from The Jungle Book, Aladdin, Jasmine, the Genie, and on rare occasion Jafar from Aladdin, Captain Hook and Smee from Peter Pan, with the leader of the lost boys playing an occasional prank-filled visit to the old codfish.
While locations vary and change often, there are a few common spots in which to find them. The Jungle Book characters are often found closest to the main entryway of Adventureland, which leads to the central grounds of Cinderella Castle, while those from Aladdin are located near the Magic Carpet ride, and the pirates by Pirates of the Caribbean.
Some rare, but altogether not unheard of, characters that perchance Adventureland are Rafiki and Timon from The Lion King and Tarzan, Jane, and Terk from Tarzan. There may be others, sometimes far more rare, characters that might pop up but for all the times that I’ve been at the Magic Kingdom those are the ones whom I have seen. I’d also bet my bottom dollar that once Moana has had her time to shine, that she, and hopefully a few others, will eventually be present for some delightful photo captures.
As to the shopping and dining scene, there’s a little of both to be had but only in smalltime quantities, especially the food. No joke, just grab a cool drink/treat at either Sunshine Tree Terrace or the Aloha Isle, and keep on moving because, believe me, there are far better foodstuffs to be had in other lands. Not that the Tortuga Taven Restaurante or the Skipper Canteen are bad places to dine for dinner or lunch, but trust me you’ll want to eat on the move at the Magic Kingdom.
As to the stores, or bazaars as they are called there’s three in total. The Jungle, Agrabah, and Pirate Bazaars are all befitting to their respected names with Jungle pertaining to the “mundane” stuff while the latter focus entirely on their respected genres. I personally find the Pirate Bazaar, which is located at the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean, to have the best items geared towards pirates, items that are not found elsewhere in the Magic Kingdom or the rest of Walt Disney World save for a rare, and admittedly far too common, few.