The Best Rides at Walt Disney World A Quick Guide

The Best Rides at Walt Disney World A Quick Guide

Are you taking a Disney Vacation and wondering how to possibly fit it all in? With tons of rides, restaurants, shows, and resorts to visit, it sometimes helps to just narrow it all down to the BEST. So if you’re ready for our Favorite Disney Rides then settle in and take notes! Here are the Best Rides at Walt Disney World we find ourselves riding every time we visit the parks! Mind you they may not all be the most popular, but we think they are the most fun and well worth the time

rise of the resistance

Rides and Attractions at Walt Disney World are EVERYWHERE! And of course, everyone will have their own preferences. Know that this list is completely biased! There are rides we know we “should have” liked and didn’t, and other less popular rides we absolutely adore! That said, it’s important for us to disclose a few things; we’re three girls who don’t like waiting in lines and often just need a break. This means we’re not necessarily always thrilled about that giant line at Epcot’s Test Track, but that doesn’t mean that taking time to design and drive our own “car” isn’t fun. It also means you may find us on the PeopleMover at Magic Kingdom more often than normal because running this blog, and our shop is a lot of work.

Choosing Your Favorite Rides

Of course, you will have your own rides in each park that you discover and love. If you want to check out all the rides and experiences, be sure to check out our Disney Checklists for each park to get you started. But if you’re ready to check out the Best Rides at Walt Disney World then read on! We’ve broken this down by Walt Disney World park, and given a short description for each. We’ve also added the Category of Ride ( slow, fast, scary, thrill, dark etc.), Height Requirements, Who it’s good for ( adults, teens, kids), and if the ride is FastPass Priority. The FastPass 

Living with the Land at EPCOT Hidden Mickey

Best Epcot Rides

EPCOT Park has been undergoing a major transformation over the last couple of years in anticipation of its upcoming Anniversary in 2022 and Walt Disney World’s very own 50th Anniversary Celebration. As one of our favorite places to be, you may find that rides come second to both the festivals and the Disney snacks to be had. For us, we love it all. Epcot Park is split into two main areas; FutureWorld and World Showcase. Both areas have rides themed accordingly. Overall, Epcot is a 2-day park, and if you’re visiting for a festival, then we’d recommend closer to three days. There is just so much to do here! Check out the Top 10 Things to do at EPCOT. And if you’re looking for the very best rides at EPCOT Park, these are our favorites.

Soarin’

This ride is a simulated hang-glider tour that takes you around the world. Complete with sights, sounds, and smells. Shown on a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX digital projection dome. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: 40″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 1, High Priority

Frozen Ever After

Previously Maelstrom, this boat ride is best known for its fun scenes featuring Olaf, Elsa, and Anna. Ride through the lands of Frozen and spot awesome details along the way. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 1, High Priority

Living with the Land

One of our favorite rides this narrated boat ride takes you through Disney’s greenhouse spaces sharing the story of agriculture and conservation. This ride is also decorated seasonally!

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, Low Priority

Gran Fiesta Boat Tour with the Three Caballeros

 If you need a break from the weather, this indoor boat ride is dark, features cartoons with the Three Caballeros and scenes of Mexico.

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, Low Priority

Spaceship Earth

This journey through life gives a better history lesson than you’ll find in school. As one of our favorite rides, this is a great ride for when you need a break and want to be told a story. Sit back and relax. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, Moderate Priority

New Rides Coming to EPCOT

  • Guardians of the Galaxy will be the newest roller coaster in EPCOT come 2022 or 2023 when it opens. This coaster offers a 360-degree view that allows the guest to spin the car while in flight through outer space. 
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens October 1st in EPCOT’s France pavilion. This dark, trackless ride will surely be a family favorite as guests are shrunk down to the size of a rat in a busy kitchen. 

Be sure to check out our EPCOT Park Checklist to make sure you don’t miss a thing, and all the Best Disney Snacks at EPCOT to help keep you going throughout the day! 

jungle boat ride disney

Best Magic Kingdom Rides

Magic Kingdom Park is home to Cinderella’s Castle and definitely Walt Disney World’s most magical park. It’s true we’re usually mesmerized by the smells of cinnamon rolls on Main Street and the gorgeous lands in this park. Chances are you will be too. And of course, once you’re ready to ride all the rides, Magic Kingdom has some of the Best Rides in Walt Disney World! Note that Magic Kingdom does not have FastPass tiers, which means you just pick your top 3 rides in the FastPass system for the day and be done with it. We definitely recommended at least 2 days in Magic Kingdom. And truthfully, there is nothing better than walking into Magic Kingdom on the first day of your vacation. To get a handle on the very best things to do in this park, check out our Top 10 Things to do in Magic Kingdom.

Pirates of the Caribbean

This is one of our favorite rides ever and one we ride over and over on every Disney Vacation. This is an original ride created by Walt Disney himself back in 1967 and shows familiar scenes immortalized in the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies. another storytelling ride, take note of the smells and sights, and see if you can spot Captain Jack Sparrow.  

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Moderate Priority

Peter Pans Flight

One of the most popular rides in Magic Kingdom, this ride always has a long wait, so grab a fastpass if this one gets on your list. This is a dark ride that brings sailing across the skies of London in your very own ship, off to Neverland. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? High Priority

Haunted Mansion

A must-do ride, even if you don’t do spooky, the Haunted Mansion is a slow-moving ride that takes you through the mansion of 999 haunts. With stories for every space, it’s the ballroom scene and the graveyard song, sung by Julie Andrews, that put this ride in the not-to-be-missed category. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? High Priority

Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train

This mine ride is a roller coaster that brings you through the diamond mines with the seven dwarfs. This ride is a little fast and always shorter than expected. The line, however, is always a long one, so be sure to have a fast pass for this one.

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 38″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? High Priority

Jungle Cruise

The punniest ride in Disney World, this exotic cruise brings you down the amazon river to famous landmarks like the “backside of water” and Trader Sams. We love the Jungle Cruise jokes and the Christmas overlay- Jingle Cruise- is a must-do.

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? High Priority

It’s a Small World

This classic Disney Ride may have you humming this song for the rest of the day, but it’s worth the journey! Seeing all the countries and animatronics is a marvel and a reminder of the good old days. This slow boat ride is a great way to take a break and usually has a pretty low wait time! 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Low Priority

New Rides Coming to Magic Kingdom

  • Tron Lightcycle Run: This light cycle ride is set to open sometime during Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. And will be the newest thrill ride to arrive in Magic Kingdom, weaving you in and out of spaces within Tomorrowland, this one will be iconic!
  • Princess and the Frog Ride: Previously Splash Mountain, this ride is a log ride that brings you through a story and splashes you down underground. We don’t know how this one will be re-imagined but it will no doubt be fun and gorgeous. 

Other Magic Kingdom Rides

With so many rides in Magic Kingdom, it’s hard to narrow it down to just the top ones we love. So, if you have time we’d also recommend the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, allowing views of Tomorrowland as you sit back and relax in your car on a track high above the ground. Or Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin if you’re up for a shooting adventure for some classic state fair-like gameplay. And the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has a major following for its rollercoaster fun and amazing theming. We also love Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid which often has lines low enough that you don’t need a fastpass. 

Grab the Magic Kingdom Checklist for all the rides and attractions in this park, and be sure to check out the Best Snacks at Magic Kingdom to make sure you don’t miss the good stuff! 

walt disney world in 2020

Best Hollywood Studio Rides

Hollywood Studios Park is filled with new rides and experiences since the arrival of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land.  Typically a 1-day park, Hollywood Studios is a small park, but if you have a Star Wars fan in your group, it could easily be a day a half. From rollercoasters to shows this park features an array of experiences. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Hollywood Studios personalities that pop up throughout the day in the park. And don’t miss our Top 10 Things to Do at Hollywood Studios if you’re looking for a checklist. 

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the newest ride to take over Chinese Theater in Hollywood Studios. Featuring a trackless experience, this one brings you in and out of various stories with Mickey and Minnie as they navigate the perfect picnic day with train conductor Goofy. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Category: Trackless Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 1, High Priority

rise of the resistance

Rise of the Resistance

The struggles of getting a Boarding Pass for Rise of the Resistance are well worth it! This larger-than-life ride is massive in scale. A trackless dark ride, you’ll see familiar scenes from the Star Wars films and characters you know and love. An absolute must for any star wars fan. 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 40″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Boarding Pass System

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

There are over 50 different storylines to experience in this flight simulated, digital 3-D ride. As you sit in the cockpit with your fellow pilots you are taken to, and crash on different planets, see familiar places, and are guided with the help of C3P0. Definitely a fun ride for the whole family. 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 40″ or taller
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, Moderate Priority

Slinky Dog Dash

This outdoor rollercoaster in Toy Story Land is by far one of the best rollercoasters in Walt Disney World. Be prepared for a long wait in line if you don’t have a Fastpass. 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 38″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 1, High Priority

Toy Story Midway Mania

For kids and grown-ups alike this is a classic shoot and score game that brings you through Toy Story Land. More like a classic state fair ride, we like this one, because everyone can get involved and score. It makes for a fun interactive ride. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, High Priority

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

This ride is an “elevator” that drops at random intervals. While this is one of those rides we find rather scary, the magic is in the storytelling. If you’re not thrilled about a ride that drops you for fun, you can actually take the entire pre-ride experience to hear the story and then take a back exit before you get on the ride. 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 40″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, High Priority

Other Hollywood Studios Rides

If you’re visiting Hollywood Studios and have the time we’d also highly recommend taking a break and heading to MuppetVision3D. This Muppets show is a great way to relax indoors and perfect for all ages. While we also enjoy Millenium Falcon Smugglers Run, it did not make our list simply because as a ride it involves cooperation between the people “flying the ship” in order to succeed. If you have 6 people in your travel group who can all work together, then great, this may be a successful ride for you. If you are traveling with fewer people however you’ll be paired with the next guests in line who may or may not know what they’re doing. It could prove as a frustrating, rather than fun, experience as you have to shout out the orders to other members of your crew depending on your ride role. But, to each his own! 

Hollywood Studios has a lot to do, especially with everything new that has arrived over the last few years so be sure to check out our Hollywood Studios Checklist. And if you’re looking for the Num Num Cookie, you’ll find it on our Best Snacks at Hollywood Studios list. 

 

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

Best Animal Kingdom Rides

Animal Kingdom Park is Walt Disney World’s largest park and includes trails, animal habitats, rides, and shows. This park includes the land of Pandora World of Avatar and specialty tours like the Wild Africa Trek. Most recently Animal Kingdom is also featuring Disney Character Flotillas that include Disney characters sailing on the Discovery River as part of the distanced character experience.If you’re looking for all the Best Rides at Animal Kingdom, check out our favorites, and be sure to read up on the Top 10 Things to do in Animal Kingdom so you know before you go! 

Kilimanjaro Safari

This classic safari ride at Animal Kingdom lets you ride across the savanna to see the animals and enjoy the sights. The fun of this ride is in learning about the animals and rough riding through the savanna. About 18 minutes long we get a FastPass for this ride when we can. 

  • Category: Slow Ride
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, High Priority

Expedition Everest

While the Yeti in this ride may be perpetually broken, it doesn’t make it any less fun. As THE rollercoaster in Animal Kingdom, this one brings you up to the mountain tops of Everest, and then hurls backward back down them! Scary, fun, and thrilling, if you like coasters, try this one! 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 44″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, High Priority

Avatar Flight of Passage

Considered one of the Best Rides at Walt Disney World, this simulated ride lets you ride on the back of a banshee with dips and weaves through the trees, bringing you into the World of Avatar. But we love it most for its breezes, smells, and the whole 4D experience. The absolute MOST POPULAR ride in Animal kingdom, we always recommend you rope drop this one if you can’t score a Fastpass, as wait times can be hours. 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 44″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 1, High Priority

Festival of the Lion King

Not a ride, but by far one of the best performances in Walt Disney World, this amazing performance includes floats, characters, acrobats, and vocalists that know what they’re doing. Half broadway show, half circus we can’t get enough of this one. It gives you all the feels, so get ready to sit back and enjoy! 

  • Category: Stage Show
  • Height Requirement: Any
  • Good for: All
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, Low Priority

Dinosaur

You don’t even have to like dinosaurs to like this ride. This dark ride has high-tech visuals, bumps, and some speed as you race around in your jeep trying to outrun the dinosaur on your tail. If you’ve been on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, this ride features the same ride track system. It’s just a fun ride, though will sometimes have a wait! 

  • Category: Thrill Ride
  • Height Requirement: 40″ or taller
  • Good for: Kids, Tweens, Teens, Adults
  • FastPass Priority? Tier 2, Moderate Priority

Other Animal Kingdom Rides

In this park, we also love Kali River Rapids, and the Na’vi River Journey, and both are definitely worth the wait, or FastPass if you can score them. Be sure to check out our Animal Kingdom Checklist for all the rides and shows to see and take a look at our favorite Animal Kingdom Snacks, both savory and sweet! 

walt disney world changes for the 50th anniversary 2021

Best Rides at Walt Disney World

There you have it! All our favorite Disney World rides in each park! From slow boat rides to fast coasters there is something for everyone! Hopefully, this has helped you narrow down your ride list, especially if you’re on a time crunch with shorter days or a shorter vacation. And if you’re traveling with small children be sure to check out the Height Requirements for all the Walt Disney World rides. What are your favorite rides in Walt Disney World? 

Walt Disney World Parks are filled with rides, attractions, shows and more! So how can you possible choose what is worth your valuable Disney time? Check out the post for our TOP Rides in each Disney Park and why we recommend them! Plus height requirements, ride category and whether it's worth your fast pass! #disneyvacation #disneytips #polkadotpixies

 

 



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