Discover the Best Disney World Rides
Walt Disney World features four fantastic theme parks and two thrilling and imaginative waterparks. The four theme parks of Disney World are Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom and they are the home of 49 different Disney rides. The Disney rides and attractions include some of the world's most thrilling roller coasters, ghostly adventures, visits to enchanted and imaginary lands, encounters with beloved characters, and visits to the past and the future. The average Disney park visitor enjoys nine rides in an entire day, so if you think that you can do it all in one visit, surprise! Accept that you can't. Do your homework, and pick your top attractions, and then book your next trip now. This is why people return to Disney again and again.
The Walt Disney World rides offer something for everyone with varying levels of thrills and chills. What is the best ride at Disney? That depends. Are you looking for the most thrilling, the best ride for the little ones, best adult rides, or the most iconic? Here we will cover some of the most popular rides and not cover any shows or theater experiences.
Thrill Seekers Only
If you have a “need for speed” or love the thrill of twists and turns and vertical drops, we've got the top rides for you.These are the most thrilling Disney rides.
- Space Mountain - Space Mountain is located in Tomorrowland within Magic Kingdom Park and is the park's most thrilling ride. You'll blast off in a rocket through the galaxy into the darkness with a futuristic soundtrack blaring on this high-speed roller coaster. You'll pass shooting stars and satellites, comets and meteors, and feel the pull of gravity. There are plenty of twists and turns but no inversions. Rating: Height:44 inch, Big Drops, Thrill Ride, Dark. Great for kids, tweens, teens, and adults.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - This one is lots of thrills and a little bit scary! Located in Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, you'll be stepping into the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel, where the lobby is frozen in time. Belt yourself into the rickety elevator lift and prepare for some thrills as you are propelled up and down the abandoned shaft with big drops and climbing, as the sound of cables snapping and metal clanking sets the scene. Rating: Height: 40 inches, Thrill Ride, Big Drops, Scary, Dark. Suitable for Kids, Teens, and Adults.
- Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain - This attraction is located in Asia at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Board a fast roller coaster train at the base of Mount Everest and speed through the Himalayas for the "top of the world" in a steep ascent and then race into the darkness as you flee the Yeti and the Abominable Snowman. The track disappears, and you'll plummet into darkness. This ride can be scary for children. It features loud noises, fast drops, high speeds, dark places, and frightening creatures. Rating: Height: 44", Kids, Teens, Adults, Thrill Ride, Big Drops, Dark
- Test Track - Test Track is located in Future World at Epcot. You'll design a virtual concept car and test it on a thrilling ride as you buckle into a 6-passenger "SIM Car" and go for a spin. You'll reach up to 65 mph and accelerate through straightaways, switchbacks, inclement weather, and banked curves as you climb up to 3 stories. After your test drive, you can make and share a commercial for your car or race it again on a virtual track. There is a shorter single rider queue, but you will miss the design stage, which lets you decide on power, efficiency, or responsiveness, so save that shorter queue for a second ride. Rating: Height: 40", Thrill Ride, Small Drops. Appropriate for Kids, Teens, and Adults.
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - This attraction is located in Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You'll race around the streets of Los Angeles in a stretch limo to the sounds of Aerosmith on this roller coaster-style attraction. You'll spy Hollywood landmarks, encounter traffic jams, and do three inversions, including two rollover loops and one corkscrew. Rating: Height: 48", Thrill Ride, Big Drops, Loud. Suitable for Kids, Teens, and Adults.
- Avatar Flight of Passage - This thrilling ride is located in Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This is the most popular ride in the park and is a unique experience. Expect a queue, but it is worth the wait. Hop onto the back of a mountain banshee and take an expedition to the moon's landscape on this exciting 3D flight simulator ride. You'll feel the banshee breathe below you as you soar through forests, by waterfalls and over the ocean. The Na'vi hunter must bond with a banshee, and you'll join in this rite of passage. Rating: Height: 44", Thrill Ride. Good for Kids, Teens, and Adults.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park. This is a classic Disney World ride. You'll take a wild ride through a haunted gold mine aboard a speeding train on this roller-coaster style ride. Descend into the mine shaft to board, then take a speedy ride into the cavern, and try to avoid falling boulders and exploding dynamite with plenty of drops and turns as you go through a ghost town. Some parts of this ride are bumpy and take place in the dark, so it could be scary for kids. Rating: Height: 40", Thrill Ride, Small Drops. Suitable for Kids, Teens, and Adults.
- Mission: SPACE - This attraction is located in Future World at Epcot. Find out what it's like to be an astronaut. Train for your mission on the Space Shuttle at the International Space Training Center and liftoff in a mission through space. You'll flee meteorites and fly around the moon with great views of our planet. There are two different missions. The Orange Mission takes you to Mars and is the most intense, with realistic g-forces, unlike anything you have experienced. The Green Mission is a less intense orbit of Earth without spinning. You must be in good health and have no back or neck issues to take the Orange Mission. Expectant mothers should not ride. Rating: Height: 40", Thrill Ride, Spinning, Dark. Suitable for Kids, Teens, and Adults.
Big Fun for the Little Ones
If you're traveling with the little ones or just prefer a milder ride, here are some classic Disney rides that every kid and first-time visitor should experience. These include some of the most epic Disney rides like Dumbo, the Mad Tea Party, and Frozen Ever After.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant - This classic attraction is located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. Based on the animated classic, Dumbo, this is a slow cruise atop Dumbo as he discovers that he can fly. His friend Timothy Q. Mouse helps you soar with his magic feather. The organ music and graceful cruise around Storybook Circus make for a kids’ favorite. You can adjust your altitude during your flight to soar high or swoop low. Hang out in the air-conditioned big-top tent and frolic in the play area as you wait for your flight. Rating: Any Height, All Ages, Slow Ride, Spinning.
- Mad Tea Party - This classic is located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. You'll hop into an oversized teacup and twirl around the towering teapot as music fills the air. For a wilder ride, turn the wheel fast and hold on, or turn slowly or not at all if you get dizzy. You control your spin. Rating: Any Height, All Ages, Spinning.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris - This very popular attraction is located in Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. You'll head out in an open-air vehicle to tour the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, which covers 110 acres and is home to 34 species of animals. You'll enjoy unusual animal encounters with a hippopotamus, regal lions, and grazing giraffes. For a unique experience, head out to the savanna at night for an entirely different view of the animals. The animals are most active in the morning, and the lines are shorter. Rating: Height: Any, All Ages, Slow Rides.
- Frozen Ever After - This charming musical attraction is located in World Showcase at Epcot. This is a kid pleaser and one of the most popular Disney World rides. You'll board an ancient Nordic vessel and cruise through lapping waters and a frozen willow forest. Frozen fans will enjoy the visit to Queen Elsa's enchanting ice palace and their favorite Frozen tunes. It is a slow-moving boat ride, but it does plunge down short falls, and you may get wet. The animatronics of Elsa and her friends are excellent. Rating: Height: Any, All Ages, Slow Ride, Small Drops, Dark.
- Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway - The newest attraction at Hollywood's Studios is located in Hollywood Boulevard. This is a trackless dark ride that takes you into the world of cartoons with Mickey and Minnie in their sporty roadster. You'll join them in the adventure on a runaway train and take a trip of twists and turns, gags, and more surprises. This is the first ride to feature Mickey and Minnie. Rating: Any Height, Preschoolers, Kids, Teens, and Adults.
- Na'vi River Journey - This attraction is located in Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom. You'll take a peaceful river ride in the dark through a bioluminescent rainforest. It is visually stunning as you glide through a series of caves and enjoy the Na'vi Shaman of Songs with his life-like animatronic character. This is a stunning visual and audio experience. Rating: All Ages, Slow Rides,
- Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy - This attraction is located in Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Aspiring racers will learn from Lightning McQueen as he demos his state-of-the-art racing simulator. You'll be right in the middle of the Disney and Pixar Cars world. Rating: Any Height, All ages.
The Disney site and the signage in the parks post essential information about the Disney rides, helping you choose the suitable rides for you and avoid waiting in line for a ride your kids can't ride. Many of the rides have height requirements, information on the thrill level, and suggestions for who the ride is most appropriate for.
For example, Space Mountain is identified as a “Thrill Ride, with Big Drops, Dark,” and has a minimum height requirement of 44 inches, while Dumbo the Flying Elephant is categorized as “Slow Ride, Spinning” and appropriate for any height. Be sure to check the signage for any health warnings or safety information and always follow the directions of the cast members.
Suppose you are planning your trip to visit Disney World's parks. In that case, they are usually the least crowded from January 2 to just prior to President's Day in February, the week after Labor Day to just before Thanksgiving, and the week after Thanksgiving until just before Christmas. Tuesday is often the best day to visit.
You'll find the rates at hotels to be lower during those periods as well. And remember that Sunday through Thursday rates are usually lower than weekend rates.
The Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are the smallest parks and so will fill up the fastest and seem the most crowded. Click here for More Information on the Magic Kingdom Rides. Click here for a Guide To Epcot Rides.
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