• The Top 10 RIDES at Walt Disney World!

    The Top 10 RIDES at Walt Disney World!

    Luiz Alberto H.

    Created: Dec 05, 2023

    Last Updated: Apr 04, 2024

    The Top 10 RIDES at Walt Disney World!

    It's time, friends. 

    Another top 10 list is on the way, fresh from the oven! We all know what that means, right? It's time for everyone on the internet to agree with our top choices and never complain if we forgot to include ride X in the top three, or if ride Y is way too low on the list, or say that ride W actually sucks

    It's fine, we are all here to have fun and these lists are always subjective, anyway. Unless it's Famvia, of course. Then the top 10 lists are always right 90% of the time.

    You may have seen our personal choices for the Top 10 rides at Universal Orlando, where we included blockbusters like the VelociCoaster and Revenge of the Mummy. Universal only has two theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, which are pretty good, by the way. Disney World has four: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. This means that there are dozens and dozens of rides to choose from, which might make compiling a list harder than usual.

    Thankfully, we have lived and breathed Disney for at least three decades now and are best friends with Mickey, so let's say that we have a lot of experience when it comes to rides, from the Magic Carpets of Aladdin at Magic Kingdom to Spaceship Earth at Epcot. 

    We have also attended every show and parade in Disney World but, just to make things easier, live shows will not be included in this list. So do not expect to find Fantasmic or Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. You should definitely watch them next time you are in Hollywood Studios, though, they are both great.

    Okay, let's start. Are you ready? 

    Disney Hollywood Studios Toy Story Mania.jpeg

    10 - Toy Story Mania

    Where: Hollywood Studios

    Number ten was already a very tough choice and a big battle between two Toy Story Land favorites: Toy Story Mania and Slinky Dog Dash. In the end, I opted to go with Toy Story Mania. No, no, no, I don't hate Slinky Dog Dash! In fact, I love that beautiful dachshund. It's a great family coaster, but we already have lots of coasters in our list (spoilers!) and the usual long queues for Slinky Dog don't do him any favors. So, Toy Story Mania it is!

    Not that Toy Story Mania has short queues, by the way. It's very common to wait in line for about forty minutes before it's your turn to play alongside Buzz and Woody. We are happy to say that this is a really fun ride, and one of the most original ones in all Disney World. It's part interactive shooting gallery, part videogame, so much so that even the Nintendo Wii got a game based on it. 

    Toy Story Mania takes ideas from Men In Black: Alien Assault at Universal Studios and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom to create a brand new ride. One where you will be participating in several carnival style minigames and competing for the high score. You board a small vehicle for only two people, put on 3D glasses and then it's time to stretch your arm and get those fingers ready - you will be using them a lot. 

    You will participate in four or five minigames, with your vehicle moving and then stopping in front of a 3D screen where the games take place. Sometimes you will be firing darts to pop up balloons, and sometimes you will be throwing rings to hit different targets. Smaller targets that are far away are usually worth more points, and larger, closer targets will net you fewer points.

    You will be shooting a lot during this ride. Seriously, it's pretty normal to feel your arm super tired right after you leave this place. Another great reason why we should hit the gym, folks, so we can all try to get the highest score at Toy Story Mania. 

    9 - Rock N' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith

    Where: Hollywood Studios

    Are you ready to rock n' roll with Steven Tyler and the rest of the gang?

    Rock N' Roller Coaster was a huge event when it launched in 1999 at Disney's MGM Studios, now known as Hollywood Studios. A brand new indoor roller coaster featuring an amazing band from the 70s, with a sick launch, awesome sharp turns and Aerosmith's Greatest Hits playing while you are enjoying the ride? Sign me up! There's no way that this ride could be a disappointment.

    The Aerosmith ride is stylish and one of the best at Hollywood Studios. Vehicles were built to resemble limousines, and the storyline is all about guests being put into really stretchy cars to join Aersomith during one of their live concerts. The pre-show even features Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the band talking to the audience and inviting us to the party. Of course that we couldn't just turn down an opportunity like that.

    If this roller coaster is known for one thing, is the initial launch which ranks amongst the best ever. This might be one of the first ever roller coasters with a launch system like that, going from 0 to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds, then leading you through sharp turns and three inversions. It doesn't last long at around 80-90 seconds, but it's fun nonetheless. Even more so since you have the opportunity to listen to a classic Aerosmith song, from Walk this Way to Love in an Elevator

    8 - Tron Lightcycle Run

    Where: Magic Kingdom

    One of the more recent additions to Walt Disney World Parks, Tron is a breath of fresh air in Magic Kingdom. This ride shares a few similarities with Rock N' Roller Coaster and Space Mountain, which is another absolute Disney classic. 

    Tron is described as a semi-enclosed launched roller coaster, which means that there is a part that is outdoor where you can even see guests standing in the queue, and also an enclosed section which is mostly compared to Space Mountain. Oh, you also noticed that this is a launched coaster, right? Much like in Aerosmith, guests start their adventure at almost 60 mph! Tron manages to hit 59 mph, making it the fastest roller coaster in any Disney Park in the world. 

    Unlike Aerosmith, however, you will be boarding a vehicle that resembles a futuristic, cyberpunk motorbike, which makes it feel like you are going even faster! The initial launch is by far the most fun part of the whole attraction. You are led through the track and zap around the outside queue before entering a tunnel and the indoor portion of the ride. From there, you are mostly in the dark, with a few neon signs and visual effects making it feel like you are in a dystopian future and creating the immersive atmosphere that the Tron movies are known for.

    This is a very fun ride that you should definitely go, at least once. I just wish it was longer. The official Disney website says that this ride clocks in at two minutes, but that's from the moment you enter the vehicle until you leave. Most guests agree that Tron only lasts for about 70 seconds, which is pretty low for roller coaster standards. If it was just a little bit longer this would easily earn a place amongst the top five best rides in the list.

    7 - Test Track

    Where: Epcot

    Do you enjoy beautiful cars? Do you feel the need for speed? Do you enjoy good and fun rides above all else? If you said yes to at least one of those questions, then there is a very good chance that you will love Test Track.

    Test Track is a... car simulator? A testing procedure car simulator? Well, Disney calls it a slot car thrill ride, but the idea here is pretty simple: six guests enter a Chevrolet and go through numerous testing procedures which simulate real trials that every car needs to go through before they are ready and available to the general public. This means that you will go through several experiments, from hill climbing to suspension checks and even face heat chambers. Every new section is a fun excuse for your car to slide or suddenly turn to the side after a burst of acceleration. 

    The final test is the real star of the show, when your vehicle leaves the interior of the building for a full lap around Test Track. That's the famous speed test, where your vehicle reaches a maximum speed of 64.9 mph. Move over, Tron Lightcycle Run. Test Track holds, up to this day, the record for fastest attraction ever in any Disney Park. The sense of speed is amazing and the atmosphere is great, making this one of the best rides in Epcot.

    You can even have fun after you are done with the ride. Test Track leads guests to a gift shop which also has a showroom with several awesome supercars like brand new Corvettes and Camaros. Yeah, you can take pictures and even explore their designs and enter the driver's seat if you wish. 

    Do it while Chevrolet is still a sponsor, by the way! Disney announced on September 9, 2023, that they are working on Test Track 3.0, which is a new retheming that will bring a bunch of surprises to this fan favorite. 

    Disney Epcot Test Track.jpeg
    Disney World©

    6 - Space Mountain

    Where: Magic Kingdom

    Here we have it, folks. What might be the most classic ride in any theme park, ever. I mean, when you talk about amusement parks and Disney, you probably think about three things: Splash Mountain (rest in peace), Space Mountain and the "crazy train roller coaster" in Frontierland. 

    Space Mountain is probably older than most of us. It debuted way back in 1975, which means that this awesome ride is almost fifty years old! I am glad to say, however, that it has aged like fine wine. Space Mountain is, much like the name implies, a space-themed indoor roller coaster, where you board a vehicle and get ready to explore the mystery of outer space. Who would have thought that outer space was actually a small building in Magic Kingdom where your train travels in the dark at 28 mph. 

    Yeah, this is basically half of Tron's maximum speed, but Space Mountain doesn't exist to just go crazy fast. This is a ride that transcends roller coasters, a Magic Kingdom icon that still manages to surprise us. Space Mountain is all about having fun, and laughing without knowing when your vehicle is going to suddenly make a sharp turn and when it's going to drop. Oh, there is also a good chance that you will get a tiny bit scared when another vehicle runs above you so fast that it feels like you can reach out and touch it. 

    Space Mountain is still a huge success nowadays, with queue times easily reaching 60 minutes during peak times. There have been numerous changes throughout the years, especially when it comes to sound effects and music, while the track layout basically remained the same. Not that it needs change. Space Mountain lasts for about 2:30 minutes, and it's a delight every second. Make this ride one of your top priorities when you visit Magic Kingdom.

    5 - Expedition Everest

    Where: Animal Kingdom

    Hey, yet another roller coaster! Who would have imagined that they are extremely popular? 

    Expedition Everest is the first Animal Kingdom ride on this list, and it's a pretty good one. This is a giant roller coaster which cost Disney around $100 million dollars, and was the most expensive roller coaster in the world until Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure debuted in Islands of Adventure in 2019. 

    That was money well spent, by the way. Good job, Disney! Expedition Everest is massive, and you can spot it from various different areas when you are in Animal Kingdom. A good reason for that is because Disney decided to build a huge artificial mountain to simulate Mount Everest, and that's where your adventure takes place. Yeah, you board a vehicle and then it's time to explore the Himalayas in search of the mysterious Abominable Snowman, a.k.a. the Yeti.

    Spoiler alert: you find him. From that moment onwards it's time to experience the thrill of a very good roller coaster. Expedition Everest doesn't do anything revolutionary, but it does everything well. It starts with a fun backwards section, as your train moves back at 30 mph when our Yeti friend decides to mess with the tracks. Then it's time for the main drop at 50 mph, where you will probably spot a lot of guests with their cameras out ready to take pictures of you yelling. 

    There are a lot of animatronics and sound effects during the ride, creating a fun atmosphere to make it look like the Yeti is always after you, like a scary and powerful menace. This ride lasts for about 3 minutes, but I'd say that at least one minute is spent with your vehicle going up the hill and then reaching the spot where the Yeti makes your train move backwards. Still, it's a very, very fun roller coaster, and you should definitely come here at least once.

    Disney Magic Kingdom Space Mountain.jpg
    Disney World©

    4 - Avatar Flight of Passage

    Where: Animal Kingdom

    Another Animal Kingdom attraction, oh yeah! It's hard to choose a favorite between Expedition Everest and Avatar Flight of Passage, but I went with the latter. Flight of Passage is, after all, the star of the show when it comes to the World of Pandora, which is the biggest Animal Kingdom expansion to this day. 

    So, what is Flight of Passage? Disney calls it a 3D flying simulator. They aren't wrong, even if you sit down on a vehicle that looks like a motorcycle, made for a single guest. Then you put on 3D glasses, get in position and it's time to travel all over Pandora and experience some of the most beautiful views any ride out there can offer you.

    Avatar Flight of Passage seems like the next step for motion simulators, especially when you consider similar rides like The Simpsons at Universal Studios and Star Tours at Hollywood Studios. Much like these two, your vehicle won't be moving around or flying, just twitching to the sides and responding to whatever is happening on the screen in front of you. It's the screen, by the way, that really makes the entire ride come alive. The visuals are perfect, with high resolution images, beautiful colors and 3D effects that are miles ahead of what we are used to.

    I wish these visuals and high resolution textures were used in every single ride out there, from Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to something like Skull Island: Reign of Kong, both at Universal's Islands of Adventure. You need to ride Flight of Passage to understand what I'm talking about. Just imagine something like this used for a brand new Star Wars ride, where you ride a X-Wing across different planets and vistas. Well, we can dream.

    I do suspect that these visuals won't look as good a few years from now but, being a motion simulator where your vehicle is always standing in place, I imagine an update isn't something that should take a lot of time or even be hard to implement. Disney could very well add a new screen or even a whole new movie to make the experience new and fresh for guests that want more of Pandora. I'd be all for it.

    3 - Rise of the Resistance

    Where: Hollywood Studios

    Welcome, rebel scum, to what many consider to be the best dark ride in the entire world. Rise of the Resistance is the main star of Galaxy's Edge, the Star Wars themed area which launched in Hollywood Studios back in 2019. 

    Wait, did I say that Rise of the Resistance is a dark ride? It's much more than that. It's a walkthrough, it's a story driven tour, it's a motion simulator and even a drop tower, all mixed into a single, amazing ride.

    There is a lot going on with Rise of the Resistance, and it's easy to notice that from the moment you make it inside the queue. Many consider the queue itself part of the attraction, and I can see why, even more so with the amazing pre-shows. You get to see and listen to Daisy Ridley's Rey, Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron and also BB-8 way before the main ride actually starts. In fact, the pre-show has one of the most mind blowing surprises when it comes to a Disney attraction, right after you board a Resistance transport. I won't spoil anything, of course.

    I'm still not done talking about the queue and the pre-show. Get your cameras ready to take a picture of Poe Dameron's X-Wing and make sure to pose next to dozens of Stormtroopers. Seriously, sometimes it's cool that this ride has a 60 minute waiting time. Sometimes.

    What about the ride itself? It's also pretty fun! This is a trackless ride much like Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, but with excitement levels turned to eleven. Everything here was made to be big and look more imposing. Environments are huge. So big, in fact, that you come face to face with Imperial AT-ATs, and those things are pretty huge. You also escape from Stormtroopers as they fire at you but, being Stormtroopers, of course that they miss. Oh, there is also an encounter with a little guy called Kylo Ren, who wishes to just cut your vehicle in half with his lightsaber.

    Rise of the Resistance is massive. It was also made to be a story-driven ride, which explains why Disney says that this ride lasts a mind-blowing 18 minutes. They take all the pre-show speeches and story bits, putting it towards the overall time, which is fair. You should definitely come here, even more so if you are a fan of motion simulators like The Amazing Spider Man at Islands of Adventure and Transformers 3D at Universal Studios. 

    Disney Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest.jpeg
    Disney World©

    2 - Tower of Terror

    Where: Hollywood Studios

    You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... The Twilight Zone.

    Well, into the Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror, thanks Rod Serling. Tower of Terror is another Disney classic, up there with Splash Mountain and Space Mountain. Even if you have never been here, you probably know what this one is all about. 

    Guests are led into an abandoned hotel, traversing an amazing queue that truly makes it feel like you are inside a haunted place forgotten in time. During the pre-show, you learn that a family got zapped by a lightning bolt while riding one of the many service elevators. Mark Silverman, a truly talented voice actor, does a great impression of Rod Serling, getting the tone just right for the initial monologue that precedes every Twilight Zone episode.

    From there, guests are led to their vehicle, which is one of the service elevators that met a not-so-fun fate. Why are we riding this old elevator in an abandoned hotel? I have no idea, but it's fun, so who cares! Before the main drop, your elevator will be going up and up, stopping at different floors and working in a similar way to a dark ride. You will see ghosts and also see a bunch of weird visual effects that make sense when we take into account that we have just entered...

    The Twilight Zone.

    This drop Tower has received many updates during the years. The most important one happened in 2003, where a computer randomly selects between four drop sequences for your ride. Yeah, drops are now random! Sometimes your elevator will go up before dropping, and sometimes it will drop then ride back up. This element of surprise is always very exciting and a welcome addition. More than that, you now have multiple drops, extending the ride duration and just making the overall ride way better. Previously, when Tower of Terror debuted in 1994, you had only one main drop and that was it. Now you go up, down, up, down, up, down... love it. 

    So, should you come here and enter the Fifth Dimension? Of course you should. Multiple times.

    1 - Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

    Where: Epcot

    Chris Pratt did it, guys. Not only does he take part in the best attraction in all Disney World, but he is also in VelociCoaster, which many consider as the best ride in all Universal Orlando. This guy is truly blessed!

    So, what makes Cosmic Rewind so good, and the best ride in all Walt Disney World? I could stay here and write five articles about it, but let’s just say that this indoor roller coaster manages to be extremely comfortable, stylish, funny, present you with awesome visual effects, has a good ride duration, a great soundtrack, awesome sense of speed, amazing new technology and--- okay, let me pump the brakes and breathe a little bit.

    Cosmic Rewind seems like the next evolution of indoor roller coasters. Almost like when you jumped from the Playstation 3 straight to the PS5. It manages to have awesome visual effects like the ones you’d find at Universal Studios’ Revenge of the Mummy, a great backwards section like the one from Expedition Everest and the same sense of speed and excitement from Rock N’ Roller Coaster. All of that now even better, mind you.

    The real star of the show here is what Disney calls the OmniCoaster technology, which is a real game changer. This lets your seat freely turn around in a 360 degree, and it doesn’t matter if your vehicle is moving in a straight line or not. This makes it possible for your train to enter a bank turn, for example, while your seat is slightly turned to the side, giving you a better angle and almost a side-experience when you are doing a sharp turn.

    The OmniCoaster technology needs to be used everywhere from now on, seriously. Even in rides that have nothing to do with roller coasters. It does feel like the next step in thrill rides to be able to move around like that, and it helps in a number of ways, from the g-forces you experience to story bits that the attraction wants you to focus on. 

    What more can be said? Oh, Terry Crews is also part of the attraction, if you wanted more reasons to know why Guardians of the Galaxy rocks. 

    Well, make sure to save a spot in the Virtual Queue and visit Cosmic Rewind as soon as possible. In fact, buy a Lightning Lane pass for it so you can go twice. It’s that good.

    Disney Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror.jpeg
    Disney World©

    Closing thoughts

    Phew, we are finally done. There we have it, my good friends. The top ten best rides at Walt Disney World!

    There are still a bunch of honorable mentions and amazing rides that could definitely be part of a list like that. Examples out of the top of my head are Slinky Dog Dash, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin’, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and many more. 

    We here at Famvia hope you had fun reading a list like that. You can always send us a message to say that you absolutely, 100% agree with that list, or if you think that Slinky Dog Dash got robbed. I am sure many people out there will agree with that. 

    For now, though, keep safe and until next time!

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