1. Slinky Dog Dash – Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
With Toy Story 4 scheduled for 2019, Toy Story Land couldn’t have come at a better time. Among its impressive features are two signature rides, which honor characters that are no less lovable than Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
Hold on as Slinky takes you “dashing” along the only double-launch roller coaster in the resort. The second launch is slightly faster, so be sure to take in the color-soaked land while you can. But if you miss it, don’t worry, because “you’ve got a friend” in the form of a singing Wheezy at the end!
2. Na’vi River Journey – Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
Toy Story Land isn’t the only must-visit themed land for your bucket list this summer. Pandora – The World of Avatar is a place that has to be seen to be believed. And to delve further into the already-immersive world of James Cameron’s sci-fi masterpiece Avatar, behold the Na’vi River Journey.
You won’t know where to look as an alien environment bursts with life all around, teeming with extraordinary creatures from the movie. Along this spellbinding river you’ll also discover the Na’vi Shaman of Songs – a truly mesmerizing and startlingly-realistic audio-animatronic.
3. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Echo Lake, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Even when there isn’t a Star Wars movie out in theaters, you can still relive all your favorite ones here at Walt Disney World Resort. There’s really no shortage of Star Wars, from Character Greetings and shows to a VR experience and of course the 3D simulator Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.
You’ll be thrust into space aboard a Starspeeder, where you’ll evade TIE Fighters, visit iconic worlds and meet classic characters. This ride won’t just satisfy your nostalgic needs – it will also keep your impatience from leading you “to the Dark Side” until Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands in 2019.
4. Alien Swirling Saucers – Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The whimsical, spinning, track-based ride that is Alien Swirling Saucers will have you going “ooh”, while its upbeat galactic soundtrack will make you “reach for the sky!” Songs include instrumental renditions of Toy Story classics like “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “When She Loved Me”.
However, it is a ride worth experiencing after sundown. By night, its lights are so vibrant and the whole attraction so neon-lit (not unlike Toy Story’s Pizza Planet), you’ll be “eternally grateful” for a close encounter with these Little Green Men!
5. Jungle Cruise – Adventureland, Magic Kingdom Park
Much like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, Adventureland classic Jungle Cruise is the latest ride to be given the Hollywood treatment. Set for release in 2019, Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt (who you'll also see in the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns).
This scenic boat tour – along with narration from a friendly captain - will see you drift along a river whose banks are bustling with animals from around the world. So sit back, relax and “forget about your worries and your strife”. But do watch out for those lions and tigers and hippos (“oh my!”).
6. Haunted Mansion – Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom Park
Speaking of the Haunted Mansion, as the old saying goes, “a true classic never goes out of style”. Liberty Square’s chillingly-charming and ethereally-attuned estate is one of the resort’s earliest and most classic attractions, ranking it one of the most popular.
After an eerie introduction, you’ll hop into a Doom Buggy and crawl through creepy crypts, lurk through lowly-lit libraries and chug through chilling chambers. You’ll never forget the unsettling audio-animatronics and projection effects and the web-choked set pieces. Besides, your nightmares won’t let you…
7. Avatar Flight of Passage – Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
You might be wondering whether all the rides at the resort are Toy Story and Avatar-themed, but a ride like Avatar Flight of Passage simply can’t go unmentioned. But the pulse-pounding 3D simulator that sees you take to the skies of Pandora is the total opposite of the serene Na’vi River Journey.
On the back of a mountain banshee you’ll swoop past booming waterfalls, tear through deep rainforests, skirt along shimmering lakes, weave through rolling waves and wind through the floating mountains. This journey gives a whole new meaning to “Animal Kingdom”.
Given both the time of year and their relevance, these rides are now super-busy. Remember – “you’ve got a friend” in FastPass+, PhotoPass and Memory Maker, and “the Force is strong” with the My Disney Experience app – with which you can keep up to date with wait times for attractions.