The are more than 50 individual rides at four theme parks within The Walt Disney World Resort. These are truly rides in nature (that move) and do include the other 50+ attractions, experiences and shows that make up everything Disney World has to offer.
As multi-year annual passholders and frequent visitors to the parks, we are always asked which are the best rides in each park. So in this post we are going to share with you our absolute top ride in each of the four Disney parks. This list only includes rides and not any of the other attractions including the parades and nighttime spectaculars.
While our list is completely subjective and fits what we like best, it’s backed up by the significant wait times which make these rides so popular. And since there are some new rides on the horizon, our list may change soon.
The Best Ride at the Magic Kingdom
Out of each of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World, picking what we think is the best ride at the Magic Kingdom was the most difficult. There are so many classic Disney rides at this park which we jump on every time that we visit which include the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Astro Orbiter. But while we enjoy these rides immensely, we don’t consider either of them to be the best on our list.
For the top spot, we struggled between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain. The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train came close but it lacks some of the thrills of the other two. In the end, we chose Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for our top ride as we love the thrills, the theming and the overall ride experience.
Space Mountain is a close second but lost out as we feel the ride is very jerky and in need of refurbishment. But in a few months it all may be a moot point as Tron Lightcycle Power Run should be open. Click here to learn more about the upcoming TRON ride.
The Best Ride at the EPCOT
Deciding which is our favorite ride at EPCOT was fairly easy – at least for now. This is due to the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster opening on May 27, 2022. There is no doubt that the Guardians roller coaster ride will shake up everyone’s list of top rides at EPCOT.
But for the time being, Test Track is the ride we consider the best at EPCOT. No doubt the wait time can get a little insane, but it’s completely worth it. From the initial entrance to the Queue to Chevrolet’s Design Studio (where you can create your concept car) as well as the actual ride itself, this ride as the perfect amount of theming, interaction and thrills where riders go for a high speed pass of up to 65 miles per hour.
The Best Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Another easy decision for our top ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This ride is typically at the top of most lists including those that rank every single ride at Walt Disney World.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is more than a ride – it’s a complete 18-minute immersive experience where you are part of the action. Riders become resistance fighters and take on the evil First Order; unfortunately, they get captured midway through and have to attempt a daring escape. Make sure you watch the entire video (don’t skip to the ride part at the end) to get the full experience of this amazing ride.
Wait times for this attraction can often exceed two hours so the cost of an Individual Light Lane Entrance is worth it. Click here to to see what at the hype is about in our Complete Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The Best Ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Choosing our favorite ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was another fairly easy decision. Since we consider the Kilimanjaro Safaris more of an attraction / experience than a ride, our top ride at Animal Kingdom is Expedition Everest and we also consider it among our favorite rides throughout Walt Disney World as a whole.
When first opened in 2006, Expedition Everest was the most expensive ride at $100,000,000 (now it is Hagrid’s roller coaster at the Universal Orlando Resort). This amazing coaster takes riders up to 200 feet and speeds near 50 miles per hour – both forwards and backwards.
Important note: Expedition Everest is undergoing an extensive refurbishment with a planned reopening date of April 30, 2022.
Learn More about the Walt Disney World Resort with our Theme Park Guides
- The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
- EPCOT at Walt Disney World
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney Springs
Where Should We Stay When Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort?
The Walt Disney World Resort has a number of great on-site hotels and each and every one of them have their own benefits, characteristics and price points.
There are multiple “categories” of hotels which are as follows:
- Deluxe Resort Hotels
- Deluxe Resort Villas
- Moderate Resort Hotels
- Disney’s Campgrounds
- Value Resort Hotels
Deluxe resort hotels include the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. These resort hotels are all located adjacent to a Walt Disney World theme park (Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) and offer easy access to that park as well as superior amenities and accommodations.
In addition Disney’s hotels and resorts, there are a number of other on-site hotels options. Click here to learn more about hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort.