This is the definitive, and completely subjective, ranking of my 8 favorite attractions at Walt Disney World. You’ll get a list from both of us, with some thoughts on each ride. Later, we will post our top attractions from all Disney parks, but this list is exclusive to Walt Disney World in Orlando.
8. Kilimanjaro Safaris
In some ways, this ride enjoyment is dependent on the time of day and the weather. Yes, every time I ride the lions are asleep. That said, it is still an incredible recreation of a safari inside of a theme park. Now that the “storyline” of the ride has been removed, the ride has improved and I feel the environment shines. With the opening of Rivers of Light, The Animal Kingdom will have later evening hours and a nighttime Kilimanjaro Safari.
7. Peter Pan’s Flight
There is really nothing quite as magical as a flying pirate ship. While this ride suffers from incredibly long lines, and an E.T. attraction at Universal may be better, it is still on our must-do list any time in the park. Now that the queue has been enhanced, it is more tolerable to wait in the lines. The ride is short and the line is long, but it is always worth the wait.
6. Spaceship Earth
We have lovingly dubbed this ride “the ride inside the big ball at Epcot”. With a personalized storyline, and rarely any wait time, this is always one of our stops on a day at Epcot.
5. American Adventure
If you are an American patriot, prepare for the room to get dusty. American Adventure is an audio-animatronic show about the history of America. The preshow is impressive with its grand venue, Voices of Liberty show, and the Hall of Flags walkway to the auditorium. The final film montage of the show is awesome and the theme song, “Golden Dream”, will be stuck in your head for days (or until you ride Carousel of Progress).
4. Carousel of Progress
Carousel of Progress is an audio-animatronic show created by Walt himself for the 1964 World’s Fair. First, consider this fair warning that this attraction features a repeated theme song that will sometimes make you wish you had ridden Small World instead. With that in mind, Carousel is an impressive nostalgia trip with stops at the turn of the 20th century, the 1920s, and more.. It absolutely needs an update, as the rides age is woefully apparent in the final scene of the show. For us, the ride is always a part of our Magic Kingdom day, if only to remind us that “there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow…”.
Disney will always be the thing keeping me a child inside of an adult’s body, and Fantasmic captures this feeling better than any other attraction. From the awe of the scale of the amphitheatre and show area, to the smile that seeing Sorcerer Mickey will always produce, Fantasmic is the perfect magical Disney experience. While Disneyland in California likely has the best version of the show, Orlando is still incredible. No trip to Disney World is complete without Fantasmic.
2. Haunted Mansion – The ride that we certainly ride the most is Haunted Mansion. We’re the odd people you may see in the line that have memorized the entire show. The “Doombuggy” will always be our favorite ride vehicle and the ride’s preshow room is my favorite in the park. Haunted Mansion is, of course, best experienced at night (which explains our lack of pictures).
1. Tower of Terror
Any Disney attraction ranking of mine is not complete without Tower of Terror. This ride knocks theming out of the park, with the entire Hollywood Tower Hotel and outdoor line area to visit and explore. One caveat for me is that this ride is the only ride on the list that Brittany does not enjoy, but it is worth it to experience even alone. As my parents are quick to remind me, I absolutely did cry during the preshow and use the chicken exit at age 11. I feel I have redeemed my childhood cowardice with the countless times I have ridden since. From the ride’s randomized drops to the hilarity of every on-ride photograph, there is no better experience in Walt Disney World.
That does it for my list of the top 8 attractions at Walt Disney World. If you’ve been, let me know your favorites in the comments. If you haven’t had the chance to ride these rides, let me know what you’re most excited for.
Thanks for reading!