Well well well what better way to start off a WDW blog then letting everyone know my top 10 favorite attractions at Disney World. There is so much to do at Walt Disney World that narrowing a list down to 10 and ranking them in order is going to be a difficult task to do but here we go.
To start of the list I am going to cheat a little because I just couldn’t leave either one of these off of my list.
10a) Spaceship Earth, Epcot
One of the first things people think about when thinking of Disney World is the GeoSphere at Epcot, but it seems to me that the ride inside of the park icon is often over looked. Maybe it is the History major in me that has me bias, but I LOVE this ride. How can you not love the smokey smell of Rome burning, looking back at Earth at the top of the Sphere, and of course thanking the Phoenicians, heck I even like the goofy create your world portion during the decent! Want a good laugh? Make a really funny face at the beginning of the ride and let the laughs ensue when you get off (see picture to the right and try not to smile).
10b) Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom
One of the most iconic attractions in the Magic Kingdom. The Haunted Mansion is the quintessential omni-mover dark ride. It is filled with creepy but fun filled gags and special effects that leave “Foolish Mortals” like myself in amazement every time. There is something new to see on this ride every time (I cant tell you how long it took me to see the spirits come out of the paintings and duel each other during the ball room scene). Taking a ride with your “Ghost Host” to meet 999 happy haunts is a must do at the Magic Kingdom and be sure to remember your Death Certificate when you go!!
9) Star Tours, Hollywood Studios
The queue for this attraction does it for me more than the ride itself. Just walking up anywhere near the life size AT-AT (or at least thats how big I would picture them) gets me in Star Wars mode before I step foot in the actual queue. Walking inside and seeing R2D2 and C3PO takes me back to my childhood like very else can. I can’t tell you how many times I watched my VHS collection of the Star Wars trilogy and this attraction simply brings all of that to life. Oh and don’t forget the ride itself is different every time you go on it!
8) Big Thunder Mountain, Magic Kingdom
The first of the Disney Mountain Range to make it on the list is Big Thunder. Big Thunder is a classic that can’t be missed. How can you not love the clacking of the train climbing the lift hill and make sure you say hi to the Disney goat while your riding. P.S. make sure you ride this at night, the views are incredible, I might say that this ride has the greatest transformation between day and night ride experiences. Now I’ll leave you with this, Howdy folks, please keep your hands and arms inside the train, and remain seated at all times. Now hang on to them hats and glasses. Cause this here is the wildest ride in the Wilderness!!!
7) Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Kingdom
One of the few rides in Walt Disney World that Walt himself helped create and it is still one of my favorites all these years later. A true classic in every sense of the word. Love riding through the caverns hearing Blackbeard’s voice echoing through the saying “dead men tell no tales” and seeing our skeleton friend still captaining his ship into the storm ahead (such a cool effect!) Once you drop into the battle scene chaos ensues for the rest of the ride, from close calls with cannon balls to seeing a spitting image of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow popping out of barrels and hiding around corners. Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates life for me!!!
6) Space Mountain, Magic Kingdom
This is the first attraction I run to get a fastpass for every time I go to the Magic Kingdom (I guess with Fastpass+ the running days are over). The music and sound effects in this ride are second to none. Even through I know this ride is pretty tame and slow moving I still think the ride goes 60 miles an hour because the effects are that good. I have a love/hate relationship with Space Mountain, I have to duck my head the whole ride because I feel like for sure I’m going to get nailed by the track above even though I know I will not every single time. When you first come out of the big lift and go onto the main track I think were going over the edge out into space (but for real). But every time I get off the ride I am dying to ride again and again.
5) Splash Mountain, Magic Kingdom
My favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom and depending on what day it is maybe my favorite in all of Walt Disney World. Splash Mountain gives me everything I want in a ride, it has not just one but a few catchy songs, great views, wild thrills, and most importantly a great story. Following Brer Rabbit as he leaves home and gets himself into trouble with Brer Fox and Brer Bear is one of the best attraction story lines in Disney World. Not much can beat being taunted by vultures as you either cower in fear or plan what funny face you are going to make on the way down in to the Briar Patch. Just thinking about the ride has me questioning its position at 5. There is a reason this attraction is always among everyones favorites and always has me singing Zip-a-dee-do-da and checking the wait time so I can get back on again.
4) Rock N’ Roller Coaster, Hollywood Studios
We finally get out of the Magic Kingdom and head back to Hollywood Studios. If you would have asked me this 6 months ago it wouldn’t have even been on my list, because I had been to chicken to ride it for the longest time (So Roller Coaster Chickens direct your questions to me I feel your pain). I am so glad I finally rode this attraction because it is a heart pounding adrenaline rush that is just pure fun. Blasting off into a dark tunnel with Aerosmith pumping through your body is even more exhilarating than it sounds (and it sounds REALLY exhilarating). Hearing Stephen Tyler yell “3-2-1!!!” gives me white knuckles I grip the handle bars and scream like a 6 year old girl every time but now it is out of pure enjoyment and not fear! The only knock I have on this ride is that a majority of the queue is very bland and boring compared to many others. Enjoy your Super stretch limo and good luck making it though LA traffic!
3) Test Track
Lets start with the queue. I am a very competitive guy so competing with Victoria to see who can design a better car may be the best part of the attraction (especially after making our way through World Showcase). Bouncing around through the different tests is a blast but it is all a steady build up to a grand finish. Bursting through the doors out onto the speed track is probably the best 20-30 seconds of any attraction, whipping around the huge banked turn is even fun to watch/hear from the ground below. The fastest ride in all of Disney World…need I say more?
2) Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom
We finally make our way over to Animal Kingdom for the best Roller Coaster on property, Expedition Everest. As you make your way from the Tree of Life sign of the Yeti are everywhere as you are drawn in to the mountain ahead. The details as you approach the attraction are unbelievable and the fact that Disney Imaganeers traveled to Nepal to get an accurate experience shows big time. Going through the queue is an attraction to itself, I would recommend going through the stand-by line if you haven’t before because you might find yourself questioning if this yeti really does exist. Last time Victoria and I went she actually turned and asked, “Do you think that footprint is real?” And I couldn’t say it wasn’t because the queue really is that convincing. Now lets get to the ride itself, ever gone on a roller coaster and seen the tracks ripped up in front of you with nowhere to go but free fall down? Well you will on Expedition Everest but instead of going down you go BACKWARDS! After you go backwards you are on a mad dash to escape the Yeti and get back to base camp in one of the wildest rides around.
1) Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios
Finally, my favorite ride in all the World, Tower of Terror. The experience begins as you approach the entrance to Hollywood Studios. Seeing the giant abandoned Hollywood Tower Hotel from the parking lot you can’t help think but think about getting on it. As you walk down Hollywood blvd and turn down Sunset blvd you catch your first real look at what has happened to the Tower. A huge gash is in the front where it was struck by lightning and you are drawn in to find out what went wrong. When you make your way to the entrance be sure to wander through the hotel gardens, the gardens are overgrown and beginning to take over parts of the building. As you enter into the lobby take your time and look around for amazing details like, newspapers, half empty coffee cups, a half played game of Mahjong (did you know that Disney brought in two expert Mahjong players and simply told them to stop half way through their game…talk about detail!). Finally just as you think you are about to board the elevator you actually enter the library to find out what happened to the people who stayed at the Hollywood Tower Hotel one dark stormy night long ago. Finally its your turn to enter into the elevator, meet the spirits from long ago and take a trip to “The Twilight Zone”. The Tower of Terror drop shaft is the most thrilling experience in Disney not just because you drop 13 stories faster than gravity can pull you but its different everytime! A computer randomly generates how many, how far, and when you drop. So do yourself a favor head on over to Hollywood Studios and take a trip to…The Twilight Zone!
Please share your top 10’s with us as well!
By: Kyle Newton
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All pictures courtesy of the Walt Disney Company.