The Top 12 Disney Rides of All Time

Expedition Everest

It’s not easy to do every single thing at Walt Disney World. From stage shows to snacks to fireworks, you’ve got your plate full! As you begin planning your vacation and prioritizing your activities, take a look at this list of rides that cannot and should not be missed for a Disney World vacation.

12) The Haunted Mansion. In case the name is not a big enough tip for you, here’s a heads-up: this ride involves a lot of ghosts. When you find yourself sitting next to a ghost and traveling through a dimly lit mansion, the urge to close your eyes might feel pretty strong, so take a moment to determine if your children are old enough to really enjoy this one. If they can handle the movie, they can handle the ride, and it can actually be a surprisingly fun time!

11) The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. As indicated by this ride’s name, you should keep your courage levels in mind while you’re on board, especially if you’re afraid of heights. However, scared or not, this ride is definitely worth a trip to Hollywood Studios. Try to go on more than once, if you can; after the initial (literally) hair-raising experience, you will be able to relax a bit more and absorb the fantastic birds-eye view!

10) Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. You can’t get more classic than an attraction that was made for the World’s Fair! Help your children learn about Disney’s significance by showing them this historic ride. The ride may be old, but its charming characters and authentic setting make for a wonderful experience. The song will be stuck in your head for a lot longer than you expect–in a good way!

9) Ellen’s Energy Adventure. There are many Disney rides that can give you a fright, but this is one ride that can really give you a laugh. With Ellen DeGeneres, dinosaurs, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, there’s really no way to dislike this unique blend of film, animatronics, and good old humor.

8) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. As the neighbor of Splash Mountain, this ride should definitely be on your list. Once again, Disney provides its visitors with a superb setting—in this case, an arid landscape of caverns—and a set of thrills that never become boring. Look out for the bats!

7) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Many visitors make a beeline to this ride when they enter Hollywood Studios, and this is not necessarily a bad decision. Most of the waiting is indoors, and once you get onto Aerosmith’s “limousine”, you’re in for a completely exhilarating ride, speeding through a dark—and spellbinding—highway landscape with a rock n’ roll soundtrack.

6) Soarin’. This ride often requires long waits—but it’s worth it. For the average person, flying may only seem possible in an airplane, and this ride provides you with that supposedly unattainable flight experience, complete with smells pertaining to each environment as you are “soarin’” over it! Patrick Warburton (aka Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove) makes an excellent host for this multi-sensory journey.

5) Kali River Rapids. On a hot day in the Animal Kingdom, you won’t want to spend your time traveling to another park for a refreshing break on Splash Mountain. This ride combines the cool revitalization of a water ride with the excitement of a roller coaster! Pack plastic bags for your valuables; you will be getting wet.

4) DINOSAUR. This ride is definitely not one to miss—as long as you’re not the fainting type. With fast-paced, jerky movements and extremely convincing animatronics, this ride is definitely a keeper, and it gets more fun every time you ride it!

3) It’s A Small World. Not every Disney ride needs thrills to be memorable for visitors. With an iconic song and incredibly colorful scenery, this ride is anything but boring.

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2) Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. This ride’s scenery is a must-see, from the signature mountain peak to the intricate setting in the visitors’ waiting lines, and the actual ride is even more memorable! This is the one time in your life where being backwards is not a bad thing. Keep an eye out for the yeti!

1) Splash Mountain. With the amount of Disney tradition behind this ride, you might expect a tedious experience; yet, something about this ride’s colorful characters, happy setting, and catchy tunes makes it enjoyable every time you go on it. The drop never gets any less thrilling either; for some extra variety, try switching your location inside the “log” to experience different levels of the splashes that give this classic ride its name!

These rides are a very big part of Disney World’s identity—and its magical charm. With this simplified list of must-sees—and securely fastened seat buckles—you can safely enjoy every major ride and roller coaster that Disney World offers!

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 price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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