Walt Disney World, the largest theme park resort on the planet, is home to 139 amazing rides and other attractions. Each and every one of these attractions is fantastic in its own unique way. There’s everything from a terrifying hotel elevator to flying through space towards mars. Many of these attractions are timeless classics such as It’s a Small World and the Jungle Cruise, while others are modern thrill rides that launch you through a speedy course. Yet, there are examples of each of these types of attractions on almost every Disney lover’s list of favorites, including my own. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy my list of the best of the timeless classics and modern thrill rides at the Walt Disney World Resort!
Soarin’ is possibly the most overrated attraction at Walt Disney World. Its lines extend consistently over an hour and frequently stretch above two hours. Yet, the ride is a amazing experience which allows you to smell, hear, feel, and see the beautiful state of California from a “hang glider,” while at the same time staying within the Epcot park at Walt Disney World in Florida. The ride is one of the theme park “wonders of the world.” It is truly a fantastic experience, but the lines are just too long. My tip for anyone who wants to ride this is come early to the park or stay late on a day with extended hours at Epcot and spend your FastPass+ on another Epcot attraction, which is ranked higher in my rankings.
9) Splash Mountain
I’ve only been on this once, but it’s already made my list of favorites. Last Christmas, I rode this log flume style of a ride and I had a blast. The story is cute and funny and the drop got me very VERY soaked. To translate theme park to english, “You may get wet” is in English “You will be soaked.” Ride this on a hot day in central Florida and it will relieve you from the heat. I recommend getting a FastPass+ for this, but it doesn’t always have a terrible wait time like other rides in the park do. Splash Mountain has earned its spot as a classic in Disney’s long list of mountains.
8) It’s A Small World
This is probably the most famous of all the Disney attractions. The song has been stuck in every Disney lover’s head for years, yet we all keep riding. The beautiful Mary Blair art and classic Sherman brothers tune truly make this a classic. The boat ride lasts fourteen minutes and goes through scenes of children from across the globe signing the famous song of the same name as the attraction. The ride has so much history tied into it and is a classic experience that is fun for everyone. From my experience at Walt Disney World, this ride has varied wait times. I’ve gone on it at 10:00am with a short wait and by 10:30 it would have a 45 minute wait. On your trip to Walt Disney World, I strongly recommend to continuously check MyMagic+ on your phone as you get ready to ride this.
7) Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is the popular Disneyland attraction that expanded to Walt Disney World, and eventually created a multi-billion dollar movie franchise. As a big fan of the movies and classic Disney rides, this ride shot its way onto my list. This classic boat ride starts with a brief drop into a slow-moving journey through a caribbean village. Be on the lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow as you move through the classic boat ride. I’ve waited ten minutes and I’ve waited upwards of thirty minutes for this. It’s a ride that is worth a FastPass at times and not worth it at others. Before you hit this ride, check MyMagic+.
6) Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
As a big Toy Story fan and a big shooting dark ride fan, this ride makes my list. It’s always an early stop in our visits to the Magic Kingdom and when we visit it rarely has a line. You go around in a Star-Speeder shooting the evil minions of Zerg, the enemy of the beloved Buzz Lightyear. In the end, you get a fun for the whole family experience with generally short lines. When we visited in February 2014 the lines were 10-15 minutes, but at Christmas the lines were often above thirty minutes, but if you go early this ride is a walk on.
5) Space Mountain
Space Mountain was one of the first steel roller coasters ever created. After forty years and millions of riders, it still draws big crowds. The dark roller coaster is full of twists and drops that you don’t know are coming. It’s fun and another classic Disney ride. I recommend getting to this early or late, when it won’t have a line, but don’t forget to check MyMagic+ in case of varying wait times.
4) Test Track
Test Track is a high speed car “test” in Future World of Epcot. You start by designing your own car in the queue and then continue on into the station, where you get in a test car. Then, you head out of the station through various tests such as the capability and responsiveness as monitors display how your own car did in each category. Finally, you quickly speed up and drive through the speed test outside of the building, where you accelerate to around 60mph. I love Test Track for its car making, fun tests, and especially the speed portion. This ride has one of the worst lines of any ride in Walt Disney World, along with the other Epcot tier one ride, SOARIN’, which is tied in the category. I recommend coming to the park during a time with extended hours for this or using your FastPass+ for this. Test Track is MUCH BETTER THAN SOARIN’ in my opinion, so I recommend that you use the FastPass for it instead of SOARIN’.
3) The Rock n’ Roller Coaster
The Rock n’ Roller coaster is one of the best roller coasters out there. It has a cheesy and funny theme, featuring Aerosmith in a recording studio about to leave for a concert, and as they leave they invite us to go with them in a “super-stretch” limo. The pre-show does its job and you get into the high speed limo and launch through a spaghetti bowl style, super smooth, Vekoma launched coaster. This coaster is one of the best rides in the park, and I recommend using a FastPass+ selection on it. I believe this is a tier two FastPass selection, so you can use your tier one selection on the rides that get even longer waits in this park.
2) Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest is the jewel of the Animal Kingdom, the smallest, and in many people’s opinions, the worst WDW Park. There are three things that I like this park for, the safari, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and Expedition Everest. Every time I go to this park, it’s for a quick ride on Everest before I hit EPCOT or another park. This Vekoma built (Yes, I know the word Vekoma makes it sound awful, but I can assure you that it’s nice and smooth) steel mine train through the Himalayas is one of my favorite roller coasters, and not just at Disney World. It has fun drops, switch tracks that allow for a reverse portion of the ride, and great theming that all combine together into one of the best rides at Disney World. This ride gets a long line, so come early or late for the shortest lines.
1) The Hollywood Tower of Terror
I am a hater of drop towers. Yet, Tower of Terror is my favorite ride at all of the Walt Disney World parks. I’m not sure why, but this Drop Tower just feels different. Whether it’s the thin seatbelt restraints that allow it to give you so much more airtime (in the drop portion, there’s not a second without airtime), or the very well done theming of this ride, this has become one of my favorite rides at any park. You definitely should use a FastPass for this because of its long lines. Otherwise, you can come early or late in the day.
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