We’ve finally reached the end of our attraction rankings series. I’m not sure that I’ve ever actually finished a series on this blog so it’s truly a groundbreaking day. Another series that I’m pretty excited about is right around the corner but first we have to make our way over to Magic Kingdom and rank those attractions. If you have missed any of the previous posts in this series just click on the corresponding park (Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, California Adventure, Disneyland). As always, let’s brush up on the rules.
- No Meet & Greets. These are impossible to rank as each experience is unique. Also, I don’t particularly like them.
- No Live Shows. Nighttime shows are almost always better than rides, in my eyes. Also, big stage shows are impressive and don’t fit the profile of a typical ride. I will include 3D movies though. Basically you have to physically ride or walk through something.
- These are all my opinion. Lou Mongello constantly says that “every attraction is someones favorite.” While that is corny and seems a little silly, I think the sentiment is mostly true. I can’t account for other people’s memories in these rankings and will try (probably unsuccessfully) to take some of the nostalgia out of my views of these attractions. You’ll likely disagree with these rankings. Please let me know what you disagree with in the comments.
- No Stitch’s Great Escape. This attraction is hardly open anymore and it would have been the worst ride on the list. I won’t even bother.
Magic Kingdom has the most attractions of any park at Walt Disney World. While some are more outdated than others, there is a good lineup of attractions and these rankings will have plenty of tough decisions abound. I’ll try to keep nostalgia out of this, which may be hard due to some of these being classics from my childhood. Like the Disneyland post, there are a ton of rides at Magic Kingdom. The park is in good health overall. Of course Magic Kingdom isn’t perfect but just looking at the attraction lineup is impressive. Let’s get started!
30. Tomorrowland Speedway – I get it, the Tomorrowland Speedway is a classic and is fun for some kids. But you know what else is fun for kids? Go-Karts at your local Family Fun Center. This attraction doesn’t look particularly good, smells bad, and is a pain in the butt to ride for numerous reasons. Some may disagree with Tomorrowland Speedway being last on the list (it wasn’t originally but after further consideration was moved down) but I’ll happily let those people ride this while I go do something more fun.
29. Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station – Honestly, I couldn’t remember if I had been ranking splash areas so I threw this one in. This is a pretty fun little play area, especially on a hot summer day. It’s rated so low because it is a splash station, which don’t generally appeal to all ages.
28. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – Speaking of not appealing to all ages, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is dumb. Flying on a carpet is cool and all but this is another spinner ride in a park that has two vastly superior spinners.
27. Prince Charming Regal Carousel – The history behind the carousel is great (it’s the oldest attraction in Disney World, built in 1917) but when it comes to riding this, it’s still just a carousel.
26. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – This attraction probably doesn’t deserve to be so low but it took the place of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and I’m petty. This is an average dark ride with an interactive queue. I always feel underwhelmed after riding it though.
25. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – The Disneyland Buzz Lightyear ride is so much better, mainly because you can hold the blasters in that attraction instead of them being connected to your vehicle like they are here. If you ever have the choice of holding something or not holding something, usually choose holding something especially if it pertains to you protecting the universe against Evil Emperor Zurg. This is a fun ride to cool off on and shoot some lasers but it’s nothing more.
24. The Barnstormer – The Barnstormer is a kid roller coaster that’s not that great. But go late at night when there are no crowds and they’ll let you ride this over and over again until some other poor saps show up looking for a blast. How do you make a short roller coaster longer? 1. Build more track. 2. Just never get off. Number 1 doesn’t appear to be an option, so go with number 2.
23. Mad Tea Party – Most of these rides so far and kind of dumb or lacking and Mad Tea Party fits that bill. Still, I find it charming with all of the decor around it. I’m also a sucker for rides that people can’t stop laughing on like this and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. This is only 23rd but definitely a jump in quality here.
22. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – The joys of Disney blogging include contemplating for 15 minutes where to put a ‘ride you hate/queue you love’ on an arbitrary list that relatively few people will see. Under the Sea is my least favorite type of attraction, a 10 minute book report of the movie that doesn’t particularly look good. But that queue is really something with the beautiful rock-work and waterfalls. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling (this attraction) at 22.
21. Astro Orbiter – A terrifying version of Dumbo. The Astro Orbiter goes really high in the air. It also feels like it’s on the verge of tipping over. You also stuff yourself into an elevator with a bunch of strangers to get up to where the ride takes off. The whole experience is weirder than anticipated which is one of the best case scenarios for a spinner. I also am probably in the minority on this but I like the way Astro Orbiter looks, especially at night. A+ for the views too, unless you’re too scared to open your eyes. Not that I know what that’s like….
20. Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor – This is a pretty fun, original attraction that is in the worst possible location. I think some of the jokes really work well and I like the actual concept of Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. But… What in the world is it doing in the middle of Tomorrowland? Put it in Hollywood Studios and I would really like this attraction.
19. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – This is kind of the inverse of Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. An attraction that is dated and lost a bit of its punch but it’s the perfect representation of the optimistic Tomorrowland. I hope they update Carousel of Progress at some point, I’d love to see a new ending with the same great spirit that the attraction already possesses.
18. Liberty Square Riverboat – I love slow boat rides and unique views. The Riverboat offers these things plus is an actual steam boat, which I think is really interesting. Far from exciting, but this is a perfect place to spend half an hour in the afternoon.
17. The Hall of Presidents – This is a cool attraction that modern-day management would never agree to make. I truly believe there’s a need for these slow-paced, educational attractions in theme parks. Just from an operational standpoint, they help spread people around and give guests more diverse options. The Hall of Presidents does this very well and I’m going to stop writing about it now so that I don’t make some really stupid political joke.
16. Walt Disney World Railroad – Like the River Boat, the Railroad isn’t the most exciting thing to do but it’s a wonderful way to spend the busy parts of the day at Magic Kingdom. Another thing it shares in common with the River Boat is it does a nice job of taking you back to a simpler time with a different means of transportation than we’re used to today. That along with the history puts this in the ‘very good’ section of the list.
15. Swiss Family Tree House – I surprised myself by how high I put the Swiss Family Tree House. We just went up it on our last trip for the first time in a while, so it may be benefiting from recency bias. I was impressed by the detail and some of the picturesque aspects of the attraction. I also liked the running water throughout the treehouse, giving it a nice kinetic energy. Swiss Family Tree House is far preferable than Tarzan’s Treehouse (Disneyland) in my opinion.
14. it’s a small world – I love it’s a small world but I do find the Disneyland version better, mainly due to the beautiful facade. The most divisive Disney attraction there is, it seems that most people either love this or hate it. I fall in line of loving it as I think it perfectly embodies the idea of Disney Theme Parks – bringing people from all over the world to experience joy together.
13. Mickey’s PhilharMagic – A really charming 3D movie that does a decent job of incorporating great moments from Disney film history. Another attraction that is great to cool off at, PhilharMagic is really fun. This short movie also gets the whole ‘Donald Duck is an idiot’ thing completely right.
12. Dumbo the Flying Elephant – As good as spinners get, count me as a big fan of this updated attraction. I think Dumbo still holds nostalgia and is an old, simple attraction made more accessible. I love the blue and red colors of this attraction at night and also love the views it offers. The queue is innovative and the ride is as possibly high as it could get given the ride system’s simple nature.
11. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – I love this old show and that Disney World does a longer version than Disneyland. The Tiki Room has held up well even though the show is quite old. I think the soundtrack is fantastic and the animatronics and attraction still look great.
10. Country Bear Jamboree – Just like the Tiki Room, this is some good old-fashioned fun. In fact, the attractions are very similar but just have different animals and musical genres to fit the area of the parks they’re in. I would imagine both Country Bear Jamboree and the Tiki Room will eventually be replaced but they are a testament to a simpler story-driven time. I put Country Bear Jamboree one slot above the Tiki Room because I think that it’s funnier and I love Big Al.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean – Pirates holds the title of the most disappointing attraction at Magic Kingdom if you have ever been to Disneyland. That’s not to say this version isn’t impressive, as the story is slightly different from it’s predecessor and the long, winding queue is great. The show scenes are still beautiful but the scale just isn’t as impressive as Disneyland’s.
8. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom’s newest mountain is a fun roller coaster for all ages. I like the technology used in slowing down your cart and rocking back and forth. I also think the mine is really impressive. I do think the attraction need to be at least another minute longer and that’s what holds it back from being a clear-cut classic.
7. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – Count me as just another Disney blogger who loves the PeopleMover. The most relaxing ride in Disney Parks, the TTA takes guests on a tour of Tomorrowland. There are some unique sight lines throughout the attraction and good bits of Disney history like the original Epcot model. I’m also a fan of attractions that are titled after what they actually do. Sure, there are some extra words here to make it sound fancy but PeopleMover is an apt description of this ride. This is another attraction where if your ride at a less busy time then they’ll typically let you just go around again.
6. Peter Pan’s Flight – This queue has become a lot more interesting in their work and the attraction is still a classic. I’m not sure any ride is worth waiting more than an hour for but Peter Pan’s Flight remains the crown jewel of Fantasyland dark rides.
5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad may be slightly better at Disneyland but I like the queue in this one better and also like the route of the track better. I think MK’s version of Big Thunder has the benefit of space and utilizes it well. With a little plussing, Big Thunder could easily be in the top 3 attractions at Magic Kingdom.
4. Space Mountain – Space Mountain is like wrestling. As a kid it’s really fun because it’s cool to jump on your dad’s back for what you think is an expert takedown. As an adult, it’s enjoyable because the activity is fun and everyone is laughing but it also hurts because a kid just jumped on your back. Space Mountain hurts to ride but is still awesome.
3. Jungle Cruise – The Jungle Cruise sometimes gets overlooked because its an old, cheesy attraction that is a bit gimmicky. The Magic Kingdom version boasts both the funny script and animatronics as well as a beautiful segment in the temple with the tigers. That peaceful moment in the temple is a great balance to the constant puns in the first half of the attraction. All in all, I think the Jungle Cruise exceeds it’s reputation in Magic Kingdom which is some pretty high praise.
2. Splash Mountain – I used to prefer the Disneyland version of Splash Mountain because it splashes guests more. Then I rated a splash park 29th out of 30th on this list and realized my thinking was nonsensical. Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain is beautifully detailed and looks great. Splash Mountain is some of the best storytelling done in a theme park attraction while still having amazing thrills.
1. Haunted Mansion – Speaking of storytelling, Haunted Mansion spares no expense in bringing this spooky house to life. I love the length of the ride (nearly 3 months longer than Disneyland!), the queue, the amazing show scenes. While Magic Kingdom has its own Pirates of the Caribbean, I think Haunted Mansion is the best comparison to Disneyland’s Pirates. The grand scale and seemingly never ending show scenes are where I draw the comparisons. You could ride this 100 times in a row and still not catch every detail. That’s what lands Haunted Mansion at the top of my Magic Kingdom list.
As you can see, Magic Kingdom has an impressive array of attractions. Second only to Disneyland in quantity, Tomorrowland Speedway is the only ride on this list that I simply don’t like and even that holds a special place for many people. While I think Magic Kingdom could use one or two more massive E-ticket attractions (mainly due to capacity reasons) I think the lineup is very good as is.
What did I get wrong on my list? Let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney, you can subscribe to the blog and like our Facebook site on the right side of this page.