Any contested Disney fanatic knows firsthand that there is no shortage of iconic must-do attractions to be found throughout both Disneyland Resort in California as well as within Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Some rides and attractions have grown to become cult-classic Disney rites of passage throughout the ages, while others aren’t necessarily antiquated endeavors per se, but have otherwise fostered a prominent fan following since their various inceptions. When looking at the scene at Walt Disney World, in particular, you can see many examples of shiny new must-do endeavors that have popped up through the years. Some have remained hot-ticket items that continue to prevail in popularity while others only initially sparked interest and intrigue for Guests seeking them out but have otherwise left an underwhelming impression once the novelty faded away.
Everyone has their own personal interests about what appeals to them individually regarding Disney attractions. I too have drawn my own conclusions about various rides and attractions I only ever needed to experience once before deciding they weren’t worth repeating. So, which ones made my list? Here they are, Disney World attractions you only ever need to do once, according to me.
This scaled-down racetrack ride, on location at Tomorrowland within Magic Kingdom Park, is not for everyone. While I can understand smaller children being in awe over an experience that makes them feel like grownup drivers manning a gas-powered hotrod, a true car enthusiast with a real need for speed is bound to find it a little disappointing. You want to go faster, but this is essentially a kid-friendly ride with understandable limitations on what you can do. It may be an intriguing pursuit to try out initially but once you’ve completed the experience that should be more than enough.
The Hall of Presidents
Not to offend anyone who has a truly authentic interest in American Presidents, but this has to be my absolute least favorite attraction in all of Magic Kingdom Park. While I understand why it is where it is, on location at Liberty Square, it just doesn’t seem to fit into the whole magical aspect of Disney Parks. To put it bluntly, this attraction is far too boring for a theme park like the Magic Kingdom. And let’s face it, this one is pretty much never counted as a popular pursuit for children. It’s just one of those experiences you feel might be essential to do, just so you can say you did it, but it’s not really something most people yearn to go back to for more.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
For the sake of antiquity, and the appeal it holds as a Disney Park historical icon, you may decide to ride along on this otherwise conventional carousel attraction at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. But truth be told, there really isn’t anything about this ride to call you back for more, unless at some point in the future you decide to get some updated photo ops while saddling a beloved horse in the ensemble.
The Mad Tea Party
Maybe there are some people, more likely children with strong stomachs, who can succeed in the impressive endeavor of making this spinning tea cup ride a tradition to uphold on each and every Walt Disney World visit. But for the rest of us, this headache-triggering, nausea-inducing experience really never needs an encore. Once was plenty enough for me, and I know that I am not alone in my sentiments.
Alien Swirling Saucers
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate this newer addition to the ride lineup introduced at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the opening of Toy Story Land. It’s only that it did not meet my expectations for being a unique Disney standout attraction. In short, it’s far too similar to common carnival staples, like Tilt-A-Whirl and The Scrambler—both of which I do enjoy, by the way. As I was riding, I couldn’t ignore that underwhelming feeling and hoped-for desire that Disney would somehow work in a unique niche to call it out in some way, esteeming it higher than the mundane standards already set in place before the ride’s conclusion. Perhaps a great, unexpected climax would come about, I thought. But no, that didn’t happen. Again, I repeat that I did not dislike the ride, I just don’t believe it is unique enough to do again when there are so many other rides that are worth waiting in line for.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
For fans of Cars, this interactive show featuring the one and only Lightning McQueen can be an amusing and interesting experience. It’s also a great way to take a break while making the rounds in Hollywood Studios or to escape a sudden rain shower. Still, the seats aren’t as comfortable as they could be, if relaxation is your main reason for stopping in. And in my opinion, the show carried on a little longer than I personally would have liked. Still, even though this show was not my cup of tea, I have nothing against it. Would I go back again? Probably not. It’s just another experience to add to the list of have-done pursuits that do not merit revisiting in the future.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not entirely turned off by Disney World showcase entertainment. In fact, there are so many I absolutely adore, like the beloved traditional animatronic entertainment of the Country Bear Jamboree attraction and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. On a more interactive, level I also love Turtle Talk with Crush, given the fact that it is all done in real time and no two experiences are ever the same. So as far as Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor goes, I’ve got to say that I do feel it is head and shoulders above the aforementioned experience presented by Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. And I wouldn’t swear off going back again once in a blue moon. But given its location in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park, I have to say it’s just not on the top of my list, as there are so many other attractions here that I would much rather prioritize.
Here is another Tomorrowland attraction I would skip in favor of better pursuits. In truth, the only elevated standard that this ride can boast about is its literal elevation. That’s because you have to take an elevator up to its zenith position, overlooking the Park. From there you’re just riding a pale imitation of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, themed with spaceships rather than elephants.
Again, you have another Dumbo the Flying Elephant wannabe attraction. This one is based in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and trades in flying elephant cars for those of a triceratops likeness. Unlike Astro Orbiter, this rotational ride is grounded and has no distinguishing features. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a classic staple, and it works perfectly just as it is. When other rides try to mimic it, they just can’t succeed. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is perhaps the only exception, owing to the fact that it exudes a fun theme that works well in Adventureland and even features interactive spitting camel components. So, when all is said and done, TriceraTop Spin really isn’t an attraction worth revisiting, unless every line to every other attraction is way too long and you have nothing better to do.
One time may be all that some folks would ever be able to stomach anyway, even if they did not altogether hate the experience. Both the intensity and impact of this attraction have been known to induce motion sickness and even trigger severe risks for those with underlying health conditions. But for many years, this attraction based in EPCOT offered up two versions of the same experience, with the Orange Team being the more intense one and the Green Team omitting some of the more rigorous components. By 2017 the Green Team experience was changed from being a less-intense reflection of the Mars Mission to what is now the Earth Mission. Truth be told, I wasn’t all that impressed with the new Earth Mission. I want the Mars Mission back via Green Team style. Sorry Disney but unless you deliver, I won’t be returning for either experience, Green Team for its disappointing revamping and Orange Team for its intensity.
This list provides a personal reflection of my own thoughts and feelings, taken from my own past experiences. I acknowledge that not all readers will necessarily agree with all of my choices for what constitutes a one-and-done attraction or ride at Disney World. Don’t let my beliefs influence your decisions when choosing what to pursue on your own, though. Everyone must create their own magical experiences, and Disney is the optimal place for doing just that.