The whole Disney experience encompasses shows, parades, food and the immersive, meticulous theming of the parks, but one the most crucial elements of any trip to Disney is of course the rides! Here are twelve key rides that you must do in order to truly have the Disney experience.
12. Expedition Everest
This thrill ride takes you on a runaway train through the Himalayas Mountains and includes an encounter with the mysterious Yeti. This holds a number of Disney records including the most expensive roller coaster in the world at time of building, the first Disney coaster to travel both forwards and backwards and the Yeti holds the title most expensive and complex audio-anamatronic made by Disney to-date.
11. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
This ride is a lot of fun for all the family as you board a space capsule to help Buzz Lightyear protect the Gamma Quadrant from the Evil Emperor Zurg. Each of the capsules is equipped with a pair of blasters so you can rack up points and play against your fellow holiday makers.
10. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
Climb aboard a Starspeeder and blast across the galaxy as you get caught up in a mission to deliver a Rebel spy to safety. This 3D motion simulator has a random ride sequence, making it highly re-ridable with over fifty possible ride experiences! Even if you’re not a fan of Star Wars this is still a fantastic ride experience.
9. Jungle Cruise
Take a relaxing boat trip down several major rivers of Africa, Asia and South America in this classic Disney attraction. Each riverboat is guided by a trusty skipper, whose wit and humorous narration will keep you entertained on your journey.
8. Toy Story Midway Mania
Part video game, part ride – whizz and spin from scene to scene as you compete with your fellow riders in a series of midway games featuring all your favorite Toy Story characters. The queue for this ride is fantastic too, as you feel like you’ve been shrunk down to the size of a toy.
Ever wanted to fly high over California? Well now you can! Take a ride on Soarin’ and get a hang-glider’s point of view of the Golden State where you can even smell the oranges! The icing on the cake here is the gorgeous soundtrack that will set your heart soaring as you fly over the stunning panoramic views.
6. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Go on a safari expedition into the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve and get spectacularly close views of an exciting variety of African animals including lions, elephants and hippos! As all the animals can wander their areas of the reserve as they wish, no two trips are the same!
5. Mission: SPACE
Blast off on a flight to Mars in this simulator, with the choice of ride intensity offering riders the chance to experience the attraction on either the Green Team, which is a simple motion simulator, or the Orange Team, which also simulates the speed and G-forces felt by astronauts on launch and re-entry. Don’t forget to stop by in the Advance Training Lab on your way out to send a virtual postcard to your friends back home!
4. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Take a trip into the Twilight Zone on the Tower of Terror. This thrill ride sends you plummeting down the lift shaft at the Hollywood Tower Hotel faster than the speed of gravity. Even if you’re not a fan of thrill rides, this one is worth suffering the final drop (which is a relatively short part of the ride) in order to experience the lavish theming of the abandoned hotel and the chilling storytelling.
3. Spaceship Earth
Located inside EPCOT’s giant golf ball, Spaceship Earth is a relaxing journey back in time, tracking the development of humankind through the ages. This charming ride, narrated by Dame Judi Dench, showcases the immersive experiences that Disney do best.
2. Haunted Mansion
Spooky fun for all the family now, as your ghost host guides you on your visit to the Haunted Mansion, home to 999 happy haunts. Recent updates have divided fans, but this ride still retains all the charm and the thrills that make it such a favourite. For bonus story points, try to find the bride’s ring on the floor as you queue!
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
Yo ho, yo ho a pirate’s life for me! This timeless classic has inspired both a bestselling video game series and, more obviously, a blockbuster movie franchise. With its catchy soundtrack, memorable characters and captivating scenes, this ride is Disney at its very best.
To narrow down the Disney experience to twelve essential rides is never going to be an easy task as there are so many to choose from, but these are some of the most quintessential experiences Disney has to offer. There are so many more rides out there, so feel free to add your own ‘must do’s in the comments!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!