This blog has a tradition of celebrating our milestones with large or strange posts. Post number 500 brought our Disneyland Planning Guide, one of the more useful things we’ve ever put together. In fact, it was so useful that for our 600th post we’ve gone with something that is no help at all – a ranking of all the rides at Walt Disney World.
On the surface this does seem like it may help people. Someone could make a goal of riding the top 30 or 40 on this list and that would make for a solid vacation. But, we’ve already done individual park rankings for all of the Disney World Attractions so this is basically compiling it all into a giant list. Still, doing the top 40 in a trip would be a cool accomplishment. We could make buttons “I did the Wandering in Disney Top 40!” Put that on top of a spirit jersey and hear the hipsters swoon. Better yet, try to do the bottom 10 all in one day. Anyone can ride the best rides, but do people have the patience to ride Disney World’s worst rides all in one day? Only readers of Wandering in Disney!
Joking aside, I mostly put this list together for fun. We just returned from our latest trip to Disney World and I realized we are current with all of the attractions there so it’s a good time to put this list together. I didn’t completely follow the individual park attraction rankings in this post, as some have fallen or risen since publishing those. I will get around to updating those eventually, although I think my list changes everyday. If you notice an attraction missing from this list, please let me know. This list includes anything you can ride on and attraction films (3D or World Showcase films). I didn’t include any of the interactive games and stayed away from most modes of transportation, as much as I adore them. In total, I came up with 64 attractions between Disney World’s 4 parks.
With a complex equation (along the lines of 2+2=X) I tried to balance my favorite attractions along with what I think is best. The results were interesting and some I’d switch tomorrow if I was going to post this then. Instead, I’ll post it now! From 64th to number 1, my ranking of all the attractions at Walt Disney World.
64. Primeval Whirl (Animal Kingdom) – My pick for worst attraction might also be my most surprising pick. There are quite a few attractions I just don’t care about. They rate higher than this because I despise Primeval Whirl. I think it’s an eye sore that is loud and is a ride that you could find at your local fair. Some people think the ride itself is fun, I clearly do not agree.
63. Tomorrowland Speedway (Magic Kingdom) – Another ride I despise. The speedway is loud and intrusive, making that area of Tomorrowland annoying to walk through. And it smells bad. I understand the history but I do not like it.
62. Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (Epcot) – This attraction simply annoys me because guests could watch these short films at home. I’d like to see something halfway original here instead of this.
61. The Seas with Nemo & Friends (Epcot) – Frankly, this attraction was just a bad idea. The queue at least gets you a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon because it’s soooooo long. The book report storytelling is frustrating and visuals are not inviting and look cheap. Thankfully, this is the last of the attractions I despise at Disney World.
60. TriceraTop Spin (Animal Kingdom) – Now to the attractions I simply don’t care about and will probably never ride again. This spinner doesn’t go high enough to give you an interesting view or fast enough to make you feel anything. On the plus side, riding on a dinosaur is cool.
59. Turtle Talk With Crush (Epcot) – This is for kids and I am no longer a kid. It’s kind of funny and interactive so it’s fine.
58. Journey Into Imagination With Figment (Epcot) – Epcot’s really showing out in the bottom 10 here. Journey is a bad ride but has a class character and enough weird moments to keep it interesting. If I was factoring in that this attraction was changed from a classic to this then Journey might be last on the list.
57. Magic Carpets of Aladdin (Magic Kingdom) – Another spinner that just isn’t super interesting. It looks fine though.
56. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid (Magic Kingdom) – Many people like this one more than me. I don’t like the storytelling and think the sight lines and lighting are pretty bad. The Ursula animatronic is impressive though.
55. O Canada! (Epcot) – A cheesy short film in World Showcase that hasn’t aged very well. The film itself is pretty but the jokes aren’t.
54. Prince Charming Regal Carousel (Magic Kingdom) – A carousel can only go so high and we’ve entered into rides I like okay but don’t find particularly interesting. This is beautiful and earns points for that.
53. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Magic Kingdom) – A fine dark ride that happens to be pretty lame compared to other Winnie the Pooh rides in the world.
52. The Barnstormer (Magic Kingdom) – A dumb little kid coaster tucked away in Fantasyland that happens to be a blast if you go late at night and there is no line. You can just keep going around and around until someone shows up to take your seat.
51. Mission: Space (Epcot) – Well, it was a nice try! Mission: Space is extremely ambitious and equally disappointing as the concept is great. Unfortunately, the visuals inside of the ride are terrible and the plot is lacking.
50. Swiss Family Tree House (Magic Kingdom) – This continues to be an excellent walk-through attraction. Like the carousel, I can only put it so high.
49. Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom) – A river rapids ride that tries to take the fun out of the attraction with a convoluted plot.
48. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (Magic Kingdom) – I do like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin but this is the worst version (no handheld guns!) and we’ve entered into some pretty fun attractions. I could be talked into moving this up a few spaces though.
47. Alien Swirling Saucers (Hollywood Studios) – A ride system that improves on the classic flat ride by flinging guests around in the car. It’s hard not to laugh. Because of it recently opening, the attraction looks pretty good at the moment.
46. The Boneyard (Animal Kingdom) – This is way too high for a playground but it’s an incredible playground. Themed to an archaeological dig site, The Boneyard is full of areas for kids to explore.
45. Na’vi River Journey (Animal Kingdom) – Pros: The attraction looks amazing and is relaxing. Cons: There is zero plot outside of the attraction looking amazing and the wait times are still terrible for some reason.
44. Reflections of China (Epcot) – An older World Showcase film, and it shows. However, the age has made this film look more interesting. I like the concept of the film and the 360 theater is used well.
43. Mad Tea Party (Magic Kingdom) – A simple flat ride but also a classic. Hard to overstate what some excellent theming and nostalgia can do to a ride’s reputation.
42. Astro Orbiter (Magic Kingdom) – Another simple attraction but this spinner earns points because it goes up so high and looks great in the Tomorrowland skyline. Weirdly, one of the scarier rides at Disney World.
41. It’s Tough To Be A Bug (Animal Kingdom) – And now the scariest attraction at Disney World. One of the weirdest 3D films you’ll ever experience. Bonus points for it being under the Tree of Life, making the entrance and exit beautiful.
40. Mickey’s Philharmagic (Magic Kingdom) – A nice 3D ride with a fun plot and a good way of showing some of Disney’s classic characters.
39. Walt Disney Presents (Hollywood Studios) – We’ll complete our run on short films with one that tugs on the heartstrings. This film about Walt Disney is beautiful, as are a few of the exhibits in the pre-show area.
38. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (Magic Kingdom) – I’ll not go to Disney World for a while and think about how this attraction doesn’t really fit in Tomorrowland and how it’s odd. Then I’ll go to the show and constantly be surprised at how funny it is.
37. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail (Animal Kingdom) – A beautiful walking trail full of animal experiences. The first half is very zoo-like. Once you get to the gorilla habitat, you see Animal Kingdom at it’s finest with beautiful landscaping and a wildlife encounter you won’t forget.
36. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros (Epcot) – An underrated attraction that takes from the Three Caballeros and inserts the film into some beautiful sets invoking Mexico. The animatronics at the end are great and I’m always surprised at how beautiful the attraction is.
35. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom) – A classic and beautiful attraction that is looking worse for the wear every single time I see it. Some standard upkeep here would be appreciated!
34. MuppetVision 3D (Hollywood Studios) – Like Carousel of Progress, MuppetVision looks old and is in need of some work. The attraction is still funny and a beautiful tribute to Jim Henson.
33. Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Magic Kingdom) – The best spinner in all the land. Dumbo has benefited greatly from changing their queue system. Riding at night makes for some wonderful views of the park.
32. Liberty Square Riverboat (Magic Kingdom) – There are few things I love more than a cruise around the Rivers of America on the riverboat. The narration here is surprisingly entertaining and the views are wonderful.
31. The Hall of Presidents (Magic Kingdom) – An attraction that fits Liberty Square perfectly. It’s old-fashioned but the animatronics are breathtaking and the message is inspiring.
30. Spaceship Earth (Epcot) – Even with a relatively high-ranking, this attraction could be so much more. The script and ending are pretty bad. Fortunately, the concept still shines.
29. Test Track (Epcot) – A cool ride system and fairly fun thrill ride but another attraction that could be far more interesting than the current iteration.
28. DINOSAUR (Animal Kingdom) – The last of the “it could be so much better group”. DINOSAUR succeeds in telling an interesting story and putting guests in a compelling plot. There’s an awful lot of dark spaces and holes in the attraction though.
27. Walt Disney World Railroad (Magic Kingdom) – Maybe too high on the list, but there’s something about hopping on the train and circling the park that never gets old.
26. Frozen Ever After (Epcot) – A solid dark ride that should be in Fantasyland.
25. Rock n’ Roller Coaster (Hollywood Studios) – Rock n’ Roller Coaster is Disney World’s most intense coaster both in terms of the physical track and the mental “what in the world is this?” plot.
24. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (Magic Kingdom) – A show that still works and entertains all these years later.
23. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues (Hollywood Studios) – While the ride system isn’t a favorite of mine, Star Tours is a blast and invokes the goofy spirit of the original Star Wars trilogy.
22. Toy Story Mania (Hollywood Studios) – I will never completely decide if this is actually a good attraction. I do know that it’s a good amount of fun for all ages.
21. Impressions de France (Epcot) – My favorite (but not the highest on this list) attraction in Epcot. The film is gorgeous and narration is soft and mysterious. A perfect World Showcase film.
20. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (Magic Kingdom) – For years, the PeopleMover was underrated. We may be on the verge of that trend flipping. Nonetheless, this is a very relaxing ride that takes you around Tomorrowland’s skyline in an interesting way.
19. Maharajah Jungle Trek (Animal Kingdom) – The other Animal Kingdom walk through attraction showcases some of the most beautiful art in a theme park anywhere, an intriguing story and some beautiful animal encounters.
18. Pirates of the Caribbean (Magic Kingdom) – This one may be too low but I can’t help but compare Magic Kingdom’s version to Disneyland’s and that makes this look pretty bad. Still an impressive attraction though.
17. The American Adventure (Epcot) – The American Adventure is World Showcase’s flagship attraction and is no less impressive now than it was when it first opened. It shows age but is still intriguing and the system of flipping the stage for each scene is incredible.
16. Living with the Land (Epcot) – Another Epcot classic that blends entertainment with education in a seamless way. I like it more than most, as I find the look behind scenes and seeds intriguing.
15. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom) – I’m not sure how well Magic Kingdom’s latest mountain will age, but for now Mine Train is fun ride for the whole family with an impressive show scene in the middle.
14. Slinky Dog Dash (Hollywood Studios) – A surprisingly fun attraction that looks great at this point in time. I’m guessing this one will fall down the list in the coming years.
13. Soarin’ (Epcot) – I’ll never be as excited about Soarin’ as some but the ride itself is beautiful, relaxing and thrilling. A weird combination of feelings.
12. it’s a small world (Magic Kingdom) – While the outside facade doesn’t measure up to Disneyland’s original, Magic Kingdom’s it’s a small world looks great inside and I appreciate that it doesn’t include characters… For now.
11. Peter Pan’s Flight (Magic Kingdom) – One of the best dark rides ever created, Peter Pan’s Flight is iconic and the queue is pretty enjoyable at this point.
10. Country Bear Jamboree (Magic Kingdom) – Likely my most divisive pick. I love the Country Bears and would happily go watch them 5 times a day in Magic Kingdom. There’s nothing quite like the humor in this attraction, an excellent show. This would be even higher if they hadn’t cut down the show years ago.
9. Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom) – A consistently fun and great attraction.
8. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom) – There’s not much to say about these classic attractions that hasn’t already been said. Big Thunder is one of the best family-friendly coasters ever created.
7. Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) – People try to knock Space Mountain for being a roller coaster with the lights shut off. It’s more than that and the plot and execution are well done.
6. Avatar Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom) – Disney World’s most impressive technical achievement as of now. Flight of Passage is beautiful and unique. It takes you on a journey that you won’t soon forget.
5. Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom) – The top 5 could be in any order and I’d be happy. Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion is the best version of the attraction, full of great storytelling and history.
4. Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) – A roller coaster that consistently grows on me the more I ride it. Putting an active plot into a coaster is hard work. It’s done with ease on Everest and the mountains presence over the park does exactly what Imagineers intended.
3. Kilimanjaro Safaris (Animal Kingdom) – Animal Kingdom has an impressive showing in the top 6. Kilimanjaro Safaris is my personal favorite attraction – there is nothing like it in any Disney Park.
2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Hollywood Studios) – Decades since it opened, Tower of Terror’s ride system is still impressive and the storytelling is done exceptionally.
1. Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom) – Splash Mountain takes the crown for now. I’m consistently amazed at the number of animatronics there are and how concisely the story is told. A perfect attraction.
What would you change about my rankings? Let me know down below in the comments! If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, check out our trip planning guide. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney! If you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages! You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!