The Magic Kingdom is the world’s most visited theme park and is the crown jewel of The Walt Disney World Resort. The park is host to more than 20-million visitors each year and features six individually themed lands.
There are more than 50 amazing rides and attractions in the Magic Kingdom ranging from kids rides to thrill rides, character meet and greets, shows and experiences. There are a number of rides suitable for every age group and pretty much all are themed around a Disney movie, show or character.
While every guest has different favorites but after dozens of visits to the Walt Disney World Resort, following is our “Top 15” list of the best rides at the Magic Kingdom.
Top 15 Best Rides at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for 2023
There are a number of rides that did not make the “Top 15” cut that we greatly enjoy and unfortunately we had to make some difficult calls. Part of the basis for our rankings was the individual rides average wait times as well as how difficult get a reservation using the Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes.
Since new rides and attractions are constantly being added (like Tiana’s Bayou Adventure), we will continue to update our list on a regular basis.
15. Mad Tea Party
The Mad Tea Party attraction is based one one of the Disney classic stories, Alice in Wonderland. Riders go round and round in a teacup, spinning and twirling through the Mad Hatter’s party.
This attraction is suitable for all ages and does not have height restrictions. Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes are available and wait times range from around 15 minutes to more than 45 minutes.
14. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Another timeless class Disney attraction is Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Based on the 1941 movie, this attraction takes guests along with Dumbo and Timothy Q for a ride above Fantasyland. While waiting for your ride to begin, guests will make a stop in the big-top tent which is an air-conditioned playground suitable for all ages.
There are no height restrictions on Dumbo so all can enjoy. Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes are available and wait times range from around 30 minutes to more than 60 minutes.
13. The Barnstormer
The Barnstormer Starring the Great Goofini is a family-friendly roller coaster that is perfect for first time coaster riders. Located in the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom, there is a small drop and some twists but otherwise, the ride is fairly mild and not scary for young children.
Wait times for this the Barnstormer are typically less than 30 to 45 minutes. However if you don’t want to wait, Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes are available.
12. it’s a small world
Who doesn’t love the Disney classic ride “it’s a small world”. Located in Fantasyland, riders take a leisurely boat ride to see children from countries throughout the world singing “it’s a small world”.
Originally created for the 1964/65 World’s Fair in New York City, Walt Disney was personally involved in the development of this attraction which remains some of the most popular rides at the Magic Kingdom today.
We have seen wait times vary but are usually less than 30 minutes on a typical summer day.
11. Astro Orbiter
Located above the Lunching Pad and the Tomorrowland Peoplemover is the Astro Orbiter. This attraction is one of the most visible rides in all of the Magic Kingdom.
Riders board one of 12 rockets and fly across the universe, watching as all the planets spin around you. There are amazing views of Cinderella’s Castle, Tron Lightcycle / Run, the Contemporary Hotel and Bay Lake Tower.
Ride wait times on the Astro Orbiter can get lengthy due to the limited capacity of the attraction. We typically see wait times ranging from 30 minutes to 60 minutes on most days.
10. Tomorrowland PeopleMover
There is not a single visit to the Magic Kingdom that goes by without a stop to ride The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Perfect to take a break from the crowds, the PeopleMover is a relaxing 10-minute ride in a four-person ride vehicle above the Tomorrowland section of the park where you will pass through Buzz Lightyear’s Space Range Spin ride, Space Mountain and Mickey’s Star Traders gift show.
Ride wait times on the Tomorrowland PeopleMover are usually less than 20 minutes but you can get pretty much board right away on most days.
9. Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise is a ride where the guests and their guide take a journey along the waters of the Amazon River, Nile River and Mekong River on a classic steam boat. The entire trip last about 10-minutes and you will go about avoiding not only elephants, gorillas and other jungle animals but also headhunters. What really makes the trip are the guides which are some of the funniest cast members across all of Walt Disney World.
And before you ask, a boat on the Jungle Cruise did sink and made the news on a worldwide basis – but it does not change our opinion of this classic Disney ride. There are a number of photos and videos all across the internet so just Google it to find out more.
Wait times for the Jungle Cruise can get lengthy ranging up to 60 minutes on a typical summer day but a Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean
“Dead men tell not tales” on the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride. Themed after another classic Disney movie, this dark ride (completely indoors) will take you on a journey through the Caribbean avoiding a number of pirates as they seek out treasure and loot.
Keep you eyes open for Captain Jack Sparrow as he just might pop up a few times (especially at the end of the ride).
Wait times for Pirates of the Caribbean can also get very lengthy. We have seen wait times around 60 minutes on a typical summer day but a Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
7. Peter Pan’s Flight
Another classic ride based on the 1953 story, Peter Pan’s Flight will take you on a journey from London to Never Land where you will fight Captain Hook (don’t forget to avoid the ticking crocodile).
During your adventure you will meet Wendy, Michael and John as well as Peter Pan himself – flying above Neverland. This fully indoor ride takes about three-minutes and is suitable for all guests ages.
Wait times can get lengthy and exceed 45 minutes on a typical day. If the wait time is less than 20 minutes, we recommended getting in line. Otherwise, a Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
6. The Haunted Mansion
Board your Doom Buggy for one of the most fun and “scary” times of your life. The Haunted Mansion is a fully indoor “dark rid” that takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. You will see Madame Leota’s séance room and a number of other ghosts and ghouls throughout this timeless Disney classic.
The Haunted Mansion has one of the best queues of any attraction in the Magic Kingdom. You will take a stroll through a graveyard and experience a leaky tomb, musical crypt as well as other amazing haunts.
Since this is a very popular ride, wait times range can easily exceed 60 minutes, especially during busy periods like summertime and holidays. A Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
5. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Fight the evil Zurg and become a Junior Space Ranger on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. You board the two-person ride vehicle and file your laser cannon at Zurg’s robot army targets that are marked by a “Z”. The better you shot the more points you get so do your best and try to become a Space Ranger.
Located in the Tomorrowland areas, Space Ranger Spin is one of the most fun rides throughout the perfect and is considered to be perfect to all ages. Wait times at this attraction can easily exceed 30 to 45 minutes on a typical day and a Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
4. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the newest rides at the Magic Kingdom and based on wait times, one of the most popular (if not the most popular) attractions in the entire park. In this family-friendly roller coaster you will board your mine train and go on a easy but thrilling rides into the mine itself. Keep your eyes open for Snow White herself at the end of the ride.
Wait times can get very lengthy and we have seen wait times as long as 180 minutes (three hours) so an Individual Lighting Lane Entrance reservation might just be the best way to ride this attraction. Otherwise, get to the Magic Kingdom at rope drop (opening) and literally run to this attraction.
3. Space Mountain
Space Mountain is the original Disney thrill ride and our top ride at the Magic Kingdom and is limited to guests 44 inches and taller. In this amazing indoor roller coaster ride you will blast off on a rocket ship to outer space flying past stars, planets and meteors.
Originally opened back in 1975, Space Mountain is still one of the most popular rides in the Magic Kingdom to this day. Although not as smooth as the modern day roller coasters, it was refurbished / updated in 2009 and still gives quite an exhilarating ride.
Wait times for Space Mountain are always lengthy but an Individual Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is our favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom and a “must do” when visiting the park. It’s always near the top of aby “best of” list or rides and attractions at the Magic Kingdom or Walt Disney World as a whole.
After boarding an 1800’s era railroad car, guests will go for a three-minute wild ride through canyons, mountains and tunnels. While Big Thunder Mountain a thrill ride, it’s still tame enough for first time roller coaster riders and younger children.
Wait times for are always typically fairly high and can exceed 60 minutes on the average summer day. A Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance is available or guests can get to this ride first thing in the morning.
1. TRON Lightcycle / Run
The newest ride at the Magic Kingdom is by far the best ride. Opened in April 2023, TRON Lightcycle Run is a high speed roller coaster that is themed to the cyber-fi world from TRON. Originally intended to open in 2021 for the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World, TRON is one of most exciting “thrill rides” not only at the Magic Kingdom, but also throughout all the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Guests board the theme motorcycle ride vehicles then after a short trek to the starting point, riders will experience a fast launch that takes you almost immediate outside underneath the canopy. Riders travel on the 3,100+ foot track at speeds approaching 60 miles per hour for a “high-speed launch competition again Team Orange”.
TRON is located in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom just adjacent to Space Mountain. There is a virtual queue similar to the one used for Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot so guests need to be ready to make a reservation as soon as they come available at either 7:00 AM or at 1:00 PM.
Coming in 2024 – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
To a bit of controversy, Disney closed the classic Splash Mountain ride in early 2023 to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This ride will completely retheme and reimaging Splash Mountain to create a musical adventure based on the characters from the hit movie, Princess and the Frog.
The storyline for the ride is that Tiana and her friends travel into the bayou for a Mardi Gras celebration and end up going on an amazing adventure. While we will miss Splash Mountain, we are looking forward to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2023.
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.