This week on Wandering in Disney, Darrell (of the Wandering in Disney Podcast and guest posting fame) is taking over. Well, mostly taking over. Along with some of our usual content, Darrell is going to have a post each day about one Disney Parks thing or another. I may be your fearless leader but I am scared about what’s to come. Fate comes for us all though so without further ado, here’s Darrell.
Three years ago I wrote, four or so posts for the site. I planned to write five, but became exhausted. This time I gave myself a little more time and am now writing my seventh post for my week take over. Now here I am writing the post I wanted to three years ago where I rank every Disney Parks attraction that I have been on. Before I might not have made it to 50 attractions, but now I have been on almost every ride in the States and was blessed with a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort. So with a little bit of bending my own rules (and then bending them a lot) I have made it to 100 attractions. The rules are that there will be no live shows and no fireworks. With parks that have similar rides I will take my favorite version and cancel out the lesser versions so Tomorrowland Speedway won’t end up on the list because Autopia is a far superior version and for rides like Splash or Space, I’ll just pick the one I prefer. Great queues can affect a place on the list, and usually long wait times will not affect them. I am including most walk-throughs (this was so I could reach an even 100) as some of them are really awesome, so I will gladly rank them. And please, these are my favorites and not what I think are the greatest rides. So this list probably looks insane, but it is just what I personally love the most. Let’s rank.
100. JUMPIN’ JELLYFISH (DisneySea)
I have only been on the one in DisneySea, so I am forced to pick this. The ride goes up, slowly. Then, get this, slowly goes down. I am convinced the ride down is even slower than the way up. The seats are shaped like a clams that are connected to a jellyfish, so that is pretty cool. The simplicity of the ride drives me crazy and that is why it is at the bottom of the barrel.
99. TRICERATOP SPIN (Animal Kingdom)
The simplicity in Jumpin’ Jellyfish makes me go mad, so it is no surprise that the spinner rides are going to be low on my list. What makes this rock bottom of spinner rides is that it makes the least amount of sense. We have rocket ships, a flying elephant and a magic carpet. What is the theme here. Triceratops connected to a giant top that is spinning around. Yeah, great. Why couldn’t this be a pterodactyl? Yes, I get the name but I mean, there is a flying dinosaur out there.
98. THE WHIRLPOOL (DisneySea)
It’s the Mad Tea Party except so much lamer. The manual spinning is toned down. The contraption, shaped like a shell or whatever it is, has to have its door open for it to stop spinning. There is a light that shines on you that really is a bad touch. I swear I love most of DisneySea’s rides, but The Little Mermaid section is tough.
97. MONSTERS, INC MIKE & SULLY TO THE RESCUE! (California Adventure)
This ride used to be Superstar Limo, then it was lazily redone as a Monsters, Inc ride. It pretty much recaps the whole movie, but goes as slowly as the Limo ride did. The animatronics don’t do enough to captivate you and the voice acting might literally be from the film. The door room looks pretty good though.
96. SILLY SYMPHONY SWINGS (California Adventure)
These swings apparently have a story like you are helping Mickey find musical notes or something. I’m not looking up the story because this is a fair ride with Mickey painted on it. Somehow this ride both scares me, with it looking like you will run face first into a pillar, and bore me as I wait to head back to the ground.
95. THE SEAS WITH NEMO & FRIENDS (Epcot)
The Seas is a sort of sequel to Finding Nemo, but also basically tells the very same story as before. Nemo is lost, again, and Marlin and Dory meet all the same people trying to find him, again. It’s mostly projections of the characters on a dark window or on the aquarium. It does not look that good and the story being told is fairly boring, because most of the time Nemo is in no danger. The East Australian Current scene is an eye sore, because it actually hurts your eyes like an epilepsy video would. There is one scene with a puppet and that looks good. The whole ride should have been that.
94. UNDER THE SEA – JOURNEY OF THE LITTLE MERMAID (California Adventure)
This is a direct recap of The Little Mermaid, as told by the parent who was mostly on their phone while their kid was watching. The part where you are taken underwater, and then out of the water later, before the story begins is a nice touch. The Under the Sea section looks really good, until you reach the Ariel animatronic which you watch hula hoop nothing for too long. The rest looks fairly bad.
93. WILDLIFE EXPRESS TRAIN (Animal Kingdom)
To be clear I am not ranking Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which has some redeeming elements. I am ranking the train ride there. This is a bumby, ugly and simply boring ride. The best part is when you can kind of see animals. The worst is those posters of The Lion King and some looks at the mediocre background of Animal Kingdom.
92. JASMINE’S FLYING CARPETS (DisneySea)
Here’s the next spinner. Aladdin’s Carpets are terrible, but Jasmine’s at DisneySea are tolerable. Don’t get me wrong, they are boring as could be, but they don’t creak like crazy as the ones in Magic Kingdom.
91. AUTOPIA (Disneyland)
A far better version than Magic Kingdom that has no hint of gasoline smell, an easier pedal to push down and a more appealing queue. All that said, this still sucks. The solution is to take out the barriers so it would just become go karts, but that is too dangerous, so the real solution is to take this down all together.
90. TARZAN TREEHOUSE (Disneyland)
I used to joke that I hated this walkthrough because I was sick of walking and didn’t want to do more of it on an uphill angle. Anyone who knows me though, knows I love walking. The reason this is so low is because there are too many character models. They look good, but they don’t move and that is a problem. The cool thing about Swiss Family Treehouse is the fact it feels lived in. This feels like another boring recap like The Little Mermaid and Mike & Sully to the Rescue.
89. MISSION: SPACE (Epcot)
I used to like Mission: Space a lot. I recently rode it again and found it not only boring, but just plain bad. The mission depends on all four people on the team pressing two buttons each. There are dozens of buttons and switches on the consel, that I guess are fun to play with, but that is a time waster waiting for your turn to “complete the mission.” You can’t lose by the way, you always succeed, no matter what.
88. DUMBO THE FLYING ELEPHANT (Magic Kingdom)
This would be much lower if not for the queue at Magic Kingdom. I like the whole circus area. The classic spinner is still a snooze, but at least there’s two of them. I don’t really care about that. Next.
87. KING ARTHUR CARROUSEL (Disneyland)
The castle park carousels are all classic rides. They are also very boring. The Disneyland one fits best in Fantasyland.
86. ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS (Hollywood Studios)
This ride is crazy. It is super simple, just getting flopped around by the toy alien. It has value by being kind of fun, but it takes up so much space that I can’t help but rank it low.
85. BLOWFISH BALLOON RACE (DisneySea)
The most fun you can have at Mermaid Lagoon. It is still not that fun. In vain of the Golden Zelpher, which I’be never been on. You are a little high up and are spun around and around.
84. TOY STORY MIDWAY MANIA (Hollywood Studios)
A controversial choice to have it so low, but I do not see the value or even the fun in it. I am not very competitive so this just doesn’t appeal to me at all. This is however the best Disney Park attraction that you can purchase on the Wii. As a lover of Nintendo this is the worst kind of game that the console produced, point and shoot a bunch with no cohesive story.
83. LUIGI’S ROLLCKIN’ ROADSTERS (California Adventure)
This is way more fun to watch than to be on. A sort of twist on the Tea Cups, cars are dancing around as Tony Shalhoub (Editor’s Note: That can’t possibly be correct) sings in an Italian accent. Again watching is awesome, but being on it is kind of lame until you spin a lot at the end.
82. CARAVAN CAROUSEL (DisneySea)
Easily the best carousel on the list for the mere fact that it is a two story one. Then you get on it and it feels like a normal carousel. Except with a better view. Also Genie from Aladdin is an option, so that is cool.
81. MAIN STREET VEHICLES (Magic Kingdom)
I don’t hate these. They are low though. It’s cool to ride them. Apparently, I rode in a red Jitney. I would prefer a horse drawn carriage or, even better, the omnibus. Maybe I’ll rerank it once I do.
80. BUZZ LIGHTYEAR’S ASTRO BLASTERS (Disneyland)
Another controversial one. I could just blame the fact that I am terrible at this game. I can’t see my laser. I am decent enough at Toy Story Mania that I feel like these ‘video game’ rides just don’t do anything for me. It is more visually interesting than Mania because it is set pieces and not just a screen.
79. FLOUNDER’S FLYING FISH COASTER (DisneySea)
This kid coaster is fun, and also is a short kids ride. The cars look kind of stupid though.
78. MAD TEA PARTY (Disneyland)
I am not sure if the Disneyland Tea Cups go “AAHHHHH!!!!” when the ride is over, but because I know the Magic Kingdom ones do, so I am picking these ones. Shout out to Melissa for always talking about them and the inside joke with me and your fearless leader when riding the ride. That is why they are this high, but this ride makes me dizzy and is pretty lame.
77. RAGING SPIRITS (DisneySea)
One of the best looking roller coasters of all time. And based after one of Disney’s silliest films, The Emperor’s New Groove (Editor’s note: That’s a lie). However, the coaster goes so slow that you will wonder if it is even possible to make the loop on this well disguised kiddie ride. The more I think about it the more I love it, but I suspect if I ride it again it will go down in my estimation.
76. MATER’S JUNKYARD JAMBOREE (California Adventure)
Lightyears (ha Buzz) ahead of Swirling Saucers for the mere fact that Mater is singing the most silly songs to you. Also, it looks like it doesn’t take up half of the land.
75. THE BARNSTORMER (Magic Kingdom)
The second best Goofy coaster by a long shot. Get ready for a controversial pick in a few dozen choices. This is a fun ride, but is still a kid ride.
74. ASTRO ORBITER (Magic Kingdom)
The clear winner for best spinner and happens to be the only version I have been on. The heights this spinner goes makes it the clear best for it’s ride system. It’s a pretty nice view and thrilling at the same time. Near the end the ride goes really fast, which is pretty exciting.
73. THE HALL OF PRESIDENTS (Magic Kingdom)
I don’t mind this attraction and am keeping personal political views aside. The reason this is so low is the fact they list every single president that has been in office. I like that all the free leaders get their own animatronic. The true trouble comes from the very dim light that highlights who is who when they are being named. Also, one of the early presidents was always lit so it seems he is the mentioned president several times. Very confusing.
72. THE BONEYARD (Animal Kingdom)
This is me cheating so I could get to 100. I do enjoy being able to find fake fossils and also going down slides. This is an awesome place to let your child run around.
71. THE MAGIC LAMP THEATER (DisneySea)
The Magic Lamp Theater is a strange 3D stage show, that does have actors. It barely counts for my rules, but the show is so weird and frankly in a different language that I don’t really know what happened. It is nice though.
70. PRIMEVAL WHIRL (Animal Kingdom)
A strange coaster (that will probably be dead soon) that flings you about because you are time traveling, I don’t understand the story. It flings you around like crazy and that is fun. No one else likes it but me. Strange color palette though.
69. KALI RIVER RAPIDS (Animal Kingdom)
The rapids at Animal Kingdom are strange. It is a fun ride on its own, the other rapid ride is way higher for many reasons. The queue is really nice, the rapids are solid and the drop is fun. The story though is that the forest is being destroyed. I understand what Animal Kingdom stands for, but there is a time and place for this. It just feels like a bummer of a ride at that point.
68. NA’VI RIVER JOURNEY (Animal Kingdom)
I think I like this ride. It is hard to tell. It’s short, but how long I spend on an attraction has never been a problem for me. The story, as my friends try to figure out, is the second act of the movie Avatar where we see the world and are taken to the clan of the Na’vi. It is not that interesting, but I like the effects here and the big animatronic.
67. DISNEYSEA ELECTRIC RAILWAY (DisneySea)
This is like the Railroad, but you can’t go all the way around, because then they would have to charge you, a law in Japan. The real catch here is that it is up high so you get to look down at DisneySea and that is not a bad thing.
66. The Seas Aquarium (Epcot)
This is the true cheat. I never made it to Turtle Talk with Crush, the true number 100 to rank. I avoided it like the plague until it was too late (what a weird sentence.) This is the aquarium located in Future World at Epcot. I enjoy being here. There is a manatee, a bunch of sharks and a ton of fish. Aquariums rule dude!
65. SLINKY DOG DASH (Hollywood Studios)
I rode on Slinky Dog Dash once, sat in the front and was pretty excited about that. Then I saw Slink’s giant head in our way. The view was terrible and we were basically drifting behind his big head so I didn’t feel any of the wind, never being able to gauge how fast I was going. The second launch is an interesting concept, but really I thought it was lame and took away from the momentum.
64. GORILLA FALLS EXPLORATION TRAIL (Animal Kingdom)
I love aquariums. I also love zoos. So I really enjoy walking this trail. The gorilla setup looks similar to the one in Seattle, where I reside, so it was just like being back home. Which is oddly why I am ranking it so low.
63. TEST TRACK (Epcot)
Test Track is pretty exhilarating. I mean it goes really fast, the fastest ride at Disney World if I understand right. The concept of being a durability test is kind of lame. I do like the rain section where it veers off the lit up track, but the aesthetic is so lame to look at.
62. JOURNEY INTO IMAGINATION WITH FIGMENT (Epcot)
Context is everything. There was a far superior version of this attraction leaving past guest furious when this was built over it. Without context, which is what I had when I went on this ride, makes this an oddly enjoyable experience. The anti-learning message from a crazed imagination obsessed cartoon dragon was something to behold. It’s not very high but what a strange ride.
61. MONSTERS, INC LAUGH FLOOR (Magic Kingdom)
The Laugh Floor is a weird attraction. You go watch a comedy show, put on by the Monsters, a good continuation of the story from the original film. It has a video of the characters who are being performed live by some unseen actors. They cut to audience members and make fun of them. It’s kind of funny. The bad is when they talk to the audience which leads to awkwardness. Not stupendous, but worth a visit.
60. REFLECTIONS OF CHINA (Epcot)
CircleVision 360 is a great idea when showing off the beauty of a place like China. I loved watching this. This is the first of the list where I really do start to enjoy everything. It’s odd to rank a video against roller coasters or dark rides, but it still should be experienced.
59. LIVING WITH THE LAND (Epcot)
Slow boat rides are usually underrated. This one is underrated but ranks closer to the bottom because of the silly fact that I spend my work day dealing with produce. I got there and saw it and thought about work. It left a sour taste in my mouth. The message is great and seeing the veggies grown in the unique way will probably be worth your time.
58. FROZEN EVER AFTER (Epcot)
The fact that this used to be another ride makes total sense. The story is minimal. You are going to meet Elsa. That’s it. There are some enjoyable parts like going backwards during the “Let It Go” song and the fact that Olaf is in the beginning, teasing us about seeing other people while he sings the classics. It certainly doesn’t belong in World Showcase.
57. ANIMATION ACADEMY (California Adventure)
Drawing is hard. Most people enter this attraction not confident in their skills. The cast members instructions make it seem like you are a good artist. It’s a great group activity because after you can compliment or make fun of each others drawings.
56. SWISS FAMILY TREEHOUSE (Tokyo Disneyland)
This treehouse is kind of great. It has many little gadgets that the Swiss family invented while being trapped on the island. You visit their bedroom, kitchen, etc. It is like you are visiting their home while they are out.
55. PINOCCHIO’S DARING JOURNEY (Tokyo Disneyland)
This may be the worst of the Fantasyland dark rides, but still is scary and fun to go through. They nail the Pleasure Island scene where Pinocchio’s friend turns into a donkey.
54. 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (DisneySea)
I love the trickery of this ride. You think you are underwater, but you’re not. The view is slightly blocked to leave the mystical creatures a mystery still.
53. INCREDICOASTER (California Adventure)
This next section here is tough to rank. I like them all, but really have no idea where to put them. Incredicoaster on the surface (meaning when it was California Screamin’) is a good coaster. Now, it is a good coaster with some forced Disney theming on it. The beginning is smart where Dash is pushing you and I like the final set piece with the huge Jack-Jack, but the rest seems like an afterthought.
52. AQUATOPIA (DisneySea)
A very simple ride. It is a ride that looks like bumper boats, but you are on a trackless system. It makes it look like you will run into the side, or water, but at the last moment it turns. A fun time to be had by all.
51. STAR TOURS (Hollywood Studios)
Never know if I love or dislike this ride. I have fun on it and then when I think about it later, I’ve gone sour on it. The weirdest part is that I can never really put it into words. Never a to do item for me on my trips, but when I go on it I have a good time.
50. ENCHANTED TIKI ROOM (Tokyo Disneyland)
This is weird, because I have only seen the one in Japan. This one was mostly in Japanese, but even more distracting, it is interrupted by Stitch. It’s actually a lot of fun to go see and feels very old school Disney.
49. STORYBOOK LAND CANAL BOATS (Disneyland)
Another underrated slow boat ride where you are given a tour of miniatures to your favorite Disney animated worlds. I love looking at miniatures. The beginning where you enter Monsteros mouth is a nice touch.
48. GRAN FIESTA TOUR STARRING THE THREE CABALLEROS (Epcot)
The Three Caballeros is a crazy movie, that shows off the beauty of Mexico. The attraction tries that and nearly succeeds in a way that makes for an interesting ride. It’s a slow boat ride showing two of the gentleman looking for Donald in Mexico. It is cartoon over realistic background. Some parts are pretty funny and others are very strange.
47. TOM SAWYER’S ISLAND (Magic Kingdom)
This is like Swiss Family Treehouse as in it seems you are visiting Tom Sawyer’s hangout while he is away. This has many fun places to walk around like the barrell bridges, a playground area and an escape cave leading to another part of the island. It is also a place you can go to relax from the crowds with chairs and several checker boards set up around the island.
46. LIBERTY SQUARE RIVERBOAT (Magic Kingdom)
The riverboat is super relaxing. There is an announcer telling you the sights you are passing as you ride or you can just sit and stare at the water for 20 minutes. It is a pretty great place to be in the park.
45. THE AMERICAN ADVENTURE (Epcot)
Nicer than The Hall of Presidents by having just as many animatronics, but using them way better. I was glad to see they were critical on America’s history and optimistic for its future.
44. DISNEYLAND RAILROAD (Disneyland)
This whole section has been relaxing, very chill rides and the railroad is the pinnacle of that. You see way more than the Wildlife Express and I love every view. The little animals sitting on rocks, Splash and the dinosaurs are some of my favorite views to see.
43. MICKEY’S PHILHARMAGIC (Magic Kingdom)
Am I the only one who likes this attraction? I love the trick from the title that makes you think Mickey will have anything to do with this. I like the story that Donald can’t control the magical hat and gets sucked into classic Disney tales and the Donald animatronic at the end is hilarious every time.
42. SEVEN DWARFS MINE TRAIN (Magic Kingdom)
A Snow White coaster that stops and becomes a dark ride for a second, and then a coaster again is an interesting idea. They do well with the concept, but the only reason it’s here is because there are better roller coasters.
41. ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Disneyland)
An underrated dark ride that does well at keeping the weird tone of the animated classic. It’s in a strange part of Fantasyland, so I didn’t go on it at first, but now it is a must do. It might find its way higher on the list with repeat rides.
40. ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER COASTER STARRING AEROSMITH (Hollywood Studios)
This is a dumb idea, that is executed so, amazingly well. Aerosmith it taking you in fast limo to make it to their concert. This includes loops and inversions and loudspeakers blaring Steven Tyler and crew. It is so strange and dumb, that it works so well.
39. SPACESHIP EARTH (Epcot)
The ride is pretty great. You learn about the history of communication with wonderful animatronics. The big screen video of the cavemen surrounding the mammoth looks amazing. The message works. It all works, then for 4 minutes and 30 seconds you will head downhill in the dark. There is a survey and powerpoint video that plays on the way down. It’s very bad and the reason why it is this low.
38. NEMO & FRIENDS SEARIDER (DisneySea)
The premise for this ride is super weird. You enter a giant fish shaped boat that is shrunken down so you can study marine life. There you run into all the Finding Nemo characters. It has the same ride system of Star Tours, but is a way bigger sitting area. Clearly the best Nemo ride by a long shot.
37. “It’s a small world” (Disneyland)
The song is not annoying. It’s actually pretty good. The message is great as well. The addition of Disney characters brings it down, but I have to pick the Disneyland one because the outside of it is some of Imagineering’s best work.
36. MILLENNIUM FALCON: SMUGGLER’S RUN (Hollywood Studios)
I’m not totally sure where to put this ride yet. I went twice, once as a pilot and once as an engineer. The pilot role is a blast, the gunner seems fun on principle, but the engineer gets the short straw. Their role is so minimal. I wish they thought of something better. The queue makes this as high as it is. A clear top five walkthrough before the ride.
35. DINOSAUR (Animal Kingdom)
An Indiana Jones ride system with a time travel plot from a movie about dinosaurs (which does not have time travel.) It’s just strange enough to be right up my alley.
34. VENETIAN GONDOLAS (DisneySea)
It seems like this is another relaxing trip on the water. It is at parts but is fun with the rowers singing songs and interacting with guests. It’s a blast.
33. ROGER RABBIT’S CAR TOON SPIN (Tokyo Disneyland)
Underrated dark ride that successfully makes a could-be normal ride a living cartoon.
32. PETER PAN’S FLIGHT (Disneyland)
Overrated for sure, yet gives off a sense of flying. I love the small miniatures as you float over London.
31. HAUNTED MANSION (Magic Kingdom)
A ride I desperately try and love, but only find myself merely liking. The ballroom is stunning and the stretching painting room is an awesome place. Other than that, I usually just feel fine.
30. SOARIN’ (California Adventure)
I still really love this ride that makes you feel like you’re hang gliding. Disney has done it better, but that doesn’t take away from this ride which constantly gets applause and gasps from riders.
29. MATTERHORN BOBSLEDS (Disneyland)
BOOM! POW! SLIP! BAM! That is how I feel riding the bobsleds. Visually it’s amazing though. The ride design is brilliant. I still get scared at the abominable snowman.
28. SNOW WHITE’S SCARY ADVENTURE (Disneyland)
A dark ride that takes the scariest parts of Snow White and crams them all together. Then forces a happy ending upon you. It’s awesome.
27. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – MISSION: BREAKOUT! (California Adventure)
Takes an old ride system and goes with a new approach entirely. Works a little better if you’re used to the slower start of the Tower of Terror rides. The collector’s queue is awesome and the Rocky animatronic is great.
26. JUNGLE CRUISE (Disneyland)
A classic. The jokes are hit or miss after hearing them over and over, but still has wonderful animatronics. The more uninterested the Skipper the more entertainment I get from this ride. I don’t know why.
25. MAHARAJAH JUNGLE TREK (Animal Kingdom)
This trek lets you see tigers on a big bridge with amazing paintings that have started to show decay. All created on purpose, it a trek that immerses you like you are in a whole new part of the Earth.
24. BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN (Disneyland)
This has shot up my list over the years. It’s a solid coaster, always was. The little details like the goat or the dynamite tunnel are all what makes this higher with each visit.
23. MONSTERS, INC. RIDE & GO SEEK! (Tokyo Disneyland)
This is a great dark ride with a fun interactive quality. It has hard-to-catch jokes and a rare wonderful use of an existing property from recent memory.
22. GOOFY’S SKY SCHOOL (California Adventure)
The old goofy shorts are some of the most crazy cartoon violence and stress inducing moments of all time. Goofy’s Sky School is the perfect encapsulation of those shorts. It makes you so incredibly nervous at the top. Then you fly through billboards and wizz past danger. It is a lot of fun.
21. WALT DISNEY’S CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS (Magic Kingdom)
Certainly cheesy, but that is what makes it great for me. A tour through the history of technology like the invention of the fridge, light bulbs and a very falsely predicted future. All of this is told with great animatronics of four different families (Editor’s note: It’s the same family!).
20. IT’S TOUGH TO BE A BUG! (Animal Kingdom)
The show here is okay. The story is just fine. What makes this so high is the 4D elements. The smells, acid being dropped and bees stinging you with tricks in the seats all lead to people screaming and eventually laughing. It’s an insane thing to witness. The final joke of the beetles leaving the theater is a great punchline to the whole thing.
19. SPACE MOUNTAIN (Magic Kingdom)
Used to be just a casual fan of this and now I can’t get enough of it. I got the front on the most recent trip and it is truly terrifying. You can see a little more of the track but just enough to still wonder when the next turn it. It’s such a good idea for a coaster, I love it.
18. THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH (Disneyland)
I realize that I am the only human in the world that absolutely loves this ride. I love the silly hijinks that the Hundred Acre Wood gang get into. The true star of the show is the fever dream about Heffalumps and Woozles. A super charming, silly ride.
17. GRIZZLY RIVER RUN (California Adventure)
They made a whitewater raft ride the best it could be, totally nailed it. The drops are scary, the setting is beautiful. This is the only attraction that lends itself to having a conversation while going on it. By the last drop you are scared you will get soaked, but also are fearful for your fellow comrades.
16. FORTRESS EXPLORATION (DisneySea)
DisneySea is gorgeous, and keeping with that theme, it has the most gorgeous walkthrough. There’s a pirate ship, a pendulum, a planetary room and walkthroughs. Seems enjoyable, but fairly normal, but all of it looks kind of fantastical. It is one of my favorite places to be. If you visit DisneySea, do not pass this up.
15. MUPPET*VISION 3D (Hollywood Studios)
I love The Muppets and I’m sure this 3D show will be gone sooner rather than later. Until then though, I will enjoy it every chance I get. It’s the last Muppet related thing Jim Henson worked on so that sarcastic, silly humor is ever present. From Stalter and Waldorf’s perfectly written insults to the always welcome, live appearance by Sweetums.
14. TOMORROWLAND TRANSIT AUTHORITY PEOPLEMOVER (Magic Kingdom)
I think we rode the Peoplemover almost half a dozen times on our last trip. I love the old Disney Park specials where they would show you around the park, selling you on the idea that this is your next vacation. That is basically the ride. It shows you all around Tomorrowland, saying what wonderful things can be done here. All while giving you a peaceful and relaxing ride. I love it.
13. TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR (Hollywood Studios)
This might be cheating because this is one of two Tower of Terrors on the list, but they are pretty different so I decided to rank them separately. The track system that leads to the drop usually lends itself to many screams and loudly concerned passengers and it is always funny. The story is wonderful and spooky, you just hope you don’t end up with the same fate as the ghosts.
12. INDIANA JONES ADVENTURE (Disneyland)
A great use of Indiana Jones and an even better ride system. Every set piece is exciting, the boulder is an easy pick for best moment. The others include the bridge and the encounter with the giant snake.
11. AVATAR FLIGHT OF PASSAGE (Animal Kingdom)
One of the greatest achievements that Disney has done in a long while. The new-ish ride system is as groundbreaking as the movie was visually ten years ago. It does really make you feel like you are flying and the places you go are all paced wonderfully.
10. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (DisneySea)
A great ride that lets you travel to the center of the Earth until you upset a giant monster and escape from a volcano. It is an amazingly themed ride. The detail on every rock, monster and loud thunder sound effect are amazing and the fact you come out of the volcano is a touch so obvious, you’ll be mad you didn’t think of it yourself.
9. TOWER OF TERROR (DisneySea)
Higher for the queue telling the story of Harrison Hightower. The waiting room that informs you of the story has a disappearing trick that still amazes me when I think of it. Also, the ride system is great.
8. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (Disneyland)
There are so many great moments here. The skeletons at the beginning. The drop without any safety bar and a huge amount of incredible animatronics. The dog with the jail key as the frightened prisoners beg for safety is an all time Disney Parks moment.
7. COUNTRY BEAR JAMBOREE (Magic Kingdom)
This crazy show is hilarious. Every time. Big Al is an all-timer. Without a doubt, no matter how many people are in the show, everyone will start laughing when the three girl bears start their song. I mean every song is wonderful. Not a bad one in the bunch.
6. SINBAD’S STORYBOOK VOYAGE (DisneySea)
One of the greatest stories ever told on a ride. The set pieces are some of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. The bandit hitting the egg, the room full of monkeys, the whale saving Sinbad and his tiger friend Chandu are forever engraved in my memory. The song, which is in another language, will get stuck in your head and become your favorite song. This ride will most likely climb the list over time.
5. KILIMANJARO SAFARIS (Animal Kingdom)
I really do love zoos. I would probably love a genuine safari. This ride is a great representation of that idea. Every barrier blends well like you are seamlessly going to each animal without knowing they are not really near each other. One of my favorite kinds of Cast Members is this one that tell you tons of animal facts. Getting stuck on the ride is a joy because you were probably stopped because a Rhino or Giraffe got near your vehicle.
4. RADIATOR SPRING RACERS (California Adventure)
One of the most perfectly timed rides of all time. It has every genre of attraction that someone could love on it. It is part dark ride, slow moving visual admiring ride and thrill ride. I do not like the movie Cars, but I feel the need to watch it after this. It totally succeeds at giving off the themes of the love of the country and friendship that the movie did not do well.
3. SPLASH MOUNTAIN (Disneyland)
This ride is amazing. It takes a problematic movie and makes it not that. It takes a classic ride, log flume, and makes it their own. The two fake outs to the big drop are funny, then even funnier the wall of water that hits you after the dark, wavy drop. Then after the huge drop, you are nearly mocked at how scared and wet you are with a boat full of random animals singing the heavily catchy “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da.”
2. EXPEDITION EVEREST (Magic Kingdom)
One of Disney’s most intense coasters. That is not why it is so near the top. The ride is in a giant mountain that looks like Everest. The first section of the ride is some of the most pretty looking parts in a park that is prone to pretiness. The intensity and freaking plot twist on the second half is amazing. We rode it several times in a row and every other time I found myself still scared near the end.
1. MR. TOAD’S WILD RIDE (Disneyland)
Honestly, my clear favorite ride. A dark ride of a film that few have really seen, including me. That helps it in a way. You go on it, not really expecting much and it gives way more than you ever thought possible. You are viewing the ride through the eyes of Mr. Toad, an adrenaline junkie who just discovered the speed demon known as a motercarrige. He has many close calls crashing his vehicle. That is fairly normal for a dark ride. The “oh no, watch out” aspect is what makes it fun. It gets oddly real when a judge sentences him to jail and on his way there he is hit by a train. That is not the end though, he is sent to Hell. He sees some creepy stuff and then the ride is over. I think it is supposed to be a lesson to kids, but is way too real. I enjoy that stuff a lot in my rides. Not really found in another Disney Park. You escape Everest, Big Thunder even Snow White’s Scary Adventure tells you everything is okay after a downer ending. Here it ends on a downer and I can’t love it enough.
What are your favorite rides? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoy what you’re reading on Wandering in Disney then please subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email and like our social media pages. You can find all of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading!