Disney World has a variety of rides. While it is hard to pick a favorite, in this post, we cover our 5 favorite rides at Walt Disney World. For us, these are the rides that are not to be missed on a Disney World vacation.
What Type Of Rides Do We Like?
For us, a great ride has amazing theming. There is a story and with Disney it sucks you right in. Our list consists of both new rides and classics. We also feel that most adults would be able to do these rides (the exception may be Space Mountain).
Are there bigger thrill rides at Disney World? Yes, we would argue there are several more thrilling ride at Disney World. But for us, it takes more than thrills to be the best. If you want even more rides, we have a YouTube Vlog where we rank rides by the top 3 rides in each Disney World theme park.
Rise of the Resistance is amazing. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will love it. We have a few friends that were in tears walking off of it. We know, we are setting the bar high. But we are confident this ride will meet your expectations. Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, we would wager you will love this ride.
Without giving away spoilers, the reason this ride is so great comes down to two things. First, the theming and story. Disney did an incredible job making this ride an experience. Guests are put right in the Star Wars world. Secondly, the scale of this ride is impressive. There is so much going on that you want to ride it several times.
For things to be aware of, we would say that there is a very short portion of this ride at the end that may get some people with motion sickness. That being said, Jeff gets motion sick on Star Tours. He felt completely fine after riding Rise of the Resistance. If you get the chance, go on this ride!
Flight of Passage opened in May 2017. While the ride is not as new as some of the other rides at Disney World, it consistently has one of the longest queues. Why? Because it is an incredible ride.
The Disney Imagineers got everything right when creating the land of Pandora and with making Flight of Passage. The theming transports guests to Pandora. We also appreciate the subtle lessons about conservation that are associated with the Flight of Passage ride.
The ride is screen-based. The story is great and the scenes are beautiful. One possible downside is that if you get motion sick, there is a chance that this may impact you on this ride. As we mentioned above, Jeff gets motion sick on Star Tours. This ride does not bother him. Disney does give a lot of warnings while entering the ride. If you have someone that is nervous about riding, be prepared to help them not freak out during the warnings. For us, we feel that Disney builds it up to be more intense than it is.
The ride seats are definitely a factor for making this ride great. You sit as if you are on a bicycle or motorcycle. However, when you are on the ride, you truly believe you are flying a banshee.
For the seat, the safety restraints push against your back and legs. This can make some feel claustrophobic. Sadly, the seat size also prevents some guests from riding. If you are very tall or large, the restraints may not close. If you are concerned about this, check with a cast member prior to getting into line.
Space Mountain is Jeff’s favorite Disney ride. It is a classic, thrilling, and a ton of fun. Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland also all have a Space Mountain. But, they are not the same. One unique aspect about the one at Disney World is that you sit by yourself with guests in front or behind you.
Space Mountain is a thrill ride. However, it does not go upside down. The ride is in the dark and you do get whipped around pretty good. If you are looking for a comparison for the intensity, the closest at Disney World is probably Thunder Mountain. But this one is in the dark. If you have heath problems or easily get motion sick (from movement, not 3-D screens like with Star Tours), you may want to pass.
Whenever we ride Space Mountain, it usually consists of a fair amount of laughter. For us, it is one of those rides that is genuinely fun. We both strongly recommend riding Space Mountain if you visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
One other benefit about Space Mountain is that it is indoors. Given the frequent storms in Orlando, this helps the ride be open more often. Also, it means air conditioning in the summer, which can be a very welcomed relief.
Splash Mountain is Sara’s favorite Disney ride. This ride is the perfect combination of Disney storytelling, catchy songs, and thrills. Splash Mountain tells the adventure of Brer Rabbit. The theming is amazing and the ride ends with an impressive scene and the characters singing Zip A Dee Doo Dah.
As a disclaimer, Jeff is not as big of a fan of Splash Mountain as Sara. The main reason is because he does not like getting wet. Also, the seats can get a bit dirty from people stepping on them. Typically, you do not get soaked on Splash Mountain. If you want a good chance of being dry, request the 3rd row. If you want to get even more specific, take the left seat. This lets you avoid a small waterfall at the end (if it is turned on).
Splash Mountain has one large drop which you can see from the front of the ride. There are a few small drops as well throughout. However, overall, we would say the ride is not very intense. If you are okay with the one drop (which is pretty smooth and looks more intimidating than it is), then we highly recommend this ride!
The Kilimanjaro Safari is one of the most unique rides in any Disney park. You board a vehicle and drive through various animal habitats. For many guests, probably including us, this is the closest they will ever come to a real-life safari.
For us, Kilimanjaro Safaris is a great ride for several reasons. First, every time you go on the safari, your experience is different. Sure, the cast members will say some of the same facts, but the safari consists of real animals. No ride is the same because the animals move and interact differently.
Whereas some people may not be able to ride the other rides on our list, the Safari is a slow ride designed for all ages. Guests get to experience a variety of settings and animals. The cast member also shares a lot of facts along the way. The ability to have any guest enjoy this ride is a huge perk of the safari.
Another reason that we love this ride is that it is long. Disney lists the safari as lasting for 18 minutes. When it comes to Disney rides, this is a really long ride and gives you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to waiting in line. Even though it is 18 minutes, the ride goes by quickly when you are on it.
Have we had a bad safari? Not really. Sure there are some times where we have only seen a couple of animals. One nice thing is that the animals are free to roam where they want. They can also choose not to come out to the safari area if they want. This means that we have been on some amazing safaris and see a ton of animals, but we have also had safaris with just a couple of animals. Disney does their best to put food and water locations in spots where guests get the best chance of seeing the animals.
Our Overall Recommendation
Disney World has a huge variety of rides. While these rides are our favorites, there is a good chance that you may have a different favorite ride. But if someone asks what rides we would not miss, these are the ones we say. If you have a favorite Disney ride, please let us know what it is in a comment below!
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