There isn’t a lack of things to look at when at a Disney Theme Park. Architecture and Disney geeks can bond over the admiration of work done by imagineers in the parks. There are castles, mountains and rivers to see. Don’t forget the beautiful plants, gardens and trees, as well. While all of these things (and more) can be enjoyed when they are right in front of your face, sometimes it’s a different view that makes them special. Luckily for us (and the sake of this blog post), Disney attractions give us no shortage of great views. Today, I’m going to count down my top-10 views in Disney Parks.
Now, my choices may not always follow the standard definition of great views. While the majority of the picks will have fun and unique views of the parks, some may be a ‘go with me here’ answer, to borrow a phrase from WDW Radio’s Top Ten Shows. I feel like this is also a good time to say that I’ve never been on Mickey’s Fun Wheel in California Adventure. I never will go on it either. With that being said, here’s a few honorable mentions!
Spaceship Earth (Epcot) – I always love the part of the ride when you get to the big reveal and see Earth in the center as you float in the darkened space. This narrowly misses the list because it’s a relatively short scene and in the end isn’t as great or unique of a view as others.
Splash Mountain (Disneyland & Magic Kingdom) – This ride momentarily gives us one of the best views of the whole park but then we drop to our apparent doom. Before the drop though guests have a beautiful view of the castle and the rest of Magic Kingdom. The view doesn’t last quite long enough for this list though.
Tower of Terror (California Adventure & Hollywood Studios) – Same story different ride. The view here is tremendous but doesn’t last long enough. I also don’t have my eyes open most of the time because of the terror.
Soarin’ (California Adventure & Epcot) – This is the first of the ‘go with me here’ choices. All of these views are on a screen but they are unique as you are flying over all of the sights. It’s a beautiful ride that just narrowly misses the list.
The Matterhorn (Disneyland) – One more ride filed under the ‘great view, but too quick’ category. The Matterhorn really does offer some unique views of the park, especially at nighttime, but they go by quickly. You also get a view of a monster who doesn’t appear to be welcoming you to the Himalayas.
On to the actual list!
10. Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Magic Kingdom) – Dumbo is as classic of a ride as one can get. It is a very simple attraction but floats high above other landmarks to give you good views of the castle. With its location on the very edge of the park, guests can get a bit of a view of the entire Magic Kingdom. Dumbo also circles around enough so that you can continually get interesting views of the park. Astro Orbiter could take this place on the list, as well.
9. Impressions de France (Epcot) – Another ‘go with me here’ this attraction is simply too beautiful to live off. Located in Epcot’s France Pavilion, Impressions de France gives guests beautiful views of the real France. There’s beautiful cinematography paired with a wonderful soundtrack for this short film. I also included Impressions de France in my favorite overlooked attractions.
8. Tarzan’s Treehouse/Swiss Family Treehouse (Magic Kingdom/Disneyland) – These attractions make the list because of their height. Once you trek your way to the top of these treehouse’s, you get a good view of the castle and other parts of Adventureland. There are also some unique views of the waters that flow down into the Jungle Cruise.
7. Peter Pan’s Flight (Magic Kingdom/Disneyland) – Another choice that doesn’t give a great view of the park but instead gives you a unique view of London and then Neverland. It’s not everyday that guests get to fly over a beautiful city and then a mythical, magical land. The view as you fly over Big Ben is one of my favorite scenes in any Disney attraction. The attraction is iconic and the views are essentially what make the whole ride what it is.
6. Kilimanjaro Safaris (Animal Kingdom) – Another choice with extremely unique views. Flying over Big Ben is unique but is it as unique as a safari? I guess that depends on who you are asking but to me Kilimanjaro Safaris offers just a few more unique views. Some of my favorite views are of the rocks where the lions reside and of the upside-down tree. Those are views that you can’t get anywhere else.
5. The Riverboats (Disneyland/Magic Kingdom) – Both of these riverboats are fantastic attractions. They offer excellent views of Liberty Square, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, and Critter Country. They also go to parts of the park that guests couldn’t see without riding this attractions. The Riverboats go slow enough that it’s no trouble to soak in all of the different views. Sitting on the water makes the attraction seem cooler, as well.
4. Storybook Land Canal Boats (Disneyland) – Storybook Land presents some beautiful models of different mythical lands. You float by them while in the canals of Fantasyland. In a weird way, this is almost like going through different movie sets. The sets are tastefully done and beautiful.
3. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (Magic Kingdom) – The PeopleMover would also be considered as one of the most relaxing attractions anywhere. This attraction offers up great views of Tomorrowland and even the Castle. Riding this attraction at night is wonderful, as well. Maybe the best view the attraction gives is of Walt Disney’s prototype EPCOT city. With EPCOT and the views of the park, this attraction is unique as well as beautiful.
2. Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) – Now, I knocked some roller coasters earlier in the post. They moved too fast to make the list and had to settle for honorable mention. So, why does this one make the list? First of all, it’s higher than any of those already mentioned thrill rides. Expedition Everest literally gives you a view of the entire Disney World resort. Second of all, the climb is longer and where the view is. Expedition Everest can almost be separated into two rides. The first segment of this attraction is a slow-paced coaster with a climb that offers views unlike any other you’ll see at Disney World. After that, it turns into a thrill ride.
1. Disney’s Monorails – While this may not have been the obvious choice, the more I thought about the more it made sense to me. The Monorails have been around since the early days of Disneyland and have always been unique. Whether it’s showing the inside of a park, like Disneyland, California Adventure, or Epcot, or showing you the inside of a resort like the Contemporary, nothing shows you more than the monorails. The monorails are also very unique in that they are high above everything so it’s easy to spot different views. I’m not sure if I have a favorite monorail out of the three in (or around Disney parks). Going through the Magic Kingdom Resorts offers beautiful views of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, as well as the Resorts. The monorail that winds through Epcot from Magic Kingdom is spectacular and a lot of fun. Last of all, the Disneyland monorail is the oldest and winds through both Disneyland and California Adventure. They are all great and quintessential Disney.
Which ones did I leave out? Let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading!