The World Disney World Resort is the most visited vacation destination not only in Florida but also throughout the entire world. Consisting of four world renowned theme parks, two water parks, dozens of resort hotels and a massive shopping / dining / entertainment venue (Disney Springs), the resort hosts more than 50-million visitors each year.
There are more than 160 rides and attractions in the four theme parks which range from highly themed kiddie rides to thrill rides, character meet and greets, shows and experiences. With all that is offered at Walt Disney World, guests can be sure that there are rides & attractions suitable for every age group and thrill level.
While everyone has different favorites for their rides & attractions, following is our “Top 25” list the best rides & attractions at The Walt Disney World theme parks.
The Top 25 Best Rides & Attractions at Walt Disney World
Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, DINOSAUR is a fun adventure type attraction where riders board a “Time Rover” to travel back to the prehistoric area in an effort to save a Iguanodon dinosaur from deadly meteor strikes. One of the challenges during the adventure is not getting eaten alive by other dinosaurs.
This “dark ride” is loud and a bit scary but we do consider this to be a family-friendly ride and suitable for most kids.
Riders must be a minimum of 40 inches to ride the DINOSAUR. Individual Lightning Lanes are available as wait times can exceed 30 to 45 minutes on a typical summer day.
24. Kali River Rapids
Also located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Kali River Rapids is a great attraction to visit during a hot summer day. Guests board a 12-person raft and sail through white-water rapids, waterfalls and a fast-moving current.
One of the most exciting parts of the ride is the 20-foot drop where water is bound to get into your boat. Plan on getting wet during this ride.
Riders must be 38 inches or taller to ride the Kali River Rapids. Individual Lightning Lanes are available and wait times can exceed 60 minutes on a typical summer day.
23. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Located in the France Pavilion of the World Showcase of EPCOT, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a fun ride and is one of the newer attractions at the park. The ride is a 4D motion-simulator attractions where guests ride along with Remy as he scurry’s through the kitchen and dining room of Gusteau’s restaurant in Paris, France.
There are no height restriction for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and the attraction is a good fit for guests of all ages. Wait times typically exceed 60 minutes on a typical summer day but individual Lightning Lakes are available.
22. 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.
21. Mission: Space
Guests will blast off into space on Mission: Space at EPCOT, choosing from one of two exciting missions into space. The Green mission is an orbit of earth (and is a mild ride) and the Orange mission is a more intense mission on a journey to Mars.
The attraction is a motion-simulator where riders get the sensation of actually flying a rocket ship into space. The ride vehicle is a little tight so those who are sensitive to closed in spaces or a high degree of motion may want to pass.
There is a 44-inch minimum height restriction for the Orange mission and a 40-inch minimum height restriction for the Green mission. The wait times Mission: Space can easily exceed 30 to 45 minutes on a typical day.
20. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the parks icon and can be seen from miles away. Guests enjoy a terrifying ride, plummeting from the 13+ story tower, then speeding upward, then back downward (again and again).
The Hollywood Tower Hotel is also the backdrop for “Beacons of Magic” projection show which was part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Walt Disney World.
Wait times for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror can also get very lengthy. We have seen wait times exceed 60 minutes on a busy day but an Individual Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
19. Frozen: Ever After
Located in the Norway pavilion in the World Showcase of EPCOT, Frozen Ever After is arguably the one of the most in demand attractions at the park due to the popularity of the movie franchise. This attraction will take you on a ride through Arendelle along with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and even Sven.
Riders will enjoying hearing “Let it Go” and “For the First Time in Forever” original Frozen movie.
Due to limited ride capacity and the popularity of this ride, wait times can get extraordinarily lengthy, exceeding 120 minutes (two hours). Individual Lightning Lanes are available for purchase.
18. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, rider battle the evil Zurg to become a Junior Space Ranger on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Guests board the two-person ride vehicle and file a laser cannon at Zurg’s robot army targets that are marked by a “Z”.
The more accurate your shot, the more points you get so do your best and try to become a “Space Ranger” like Buzz.
This attraction is one of the most fun rides throughout the perfect and is considered to be a good fit for guests of all ages. Wait times at this attraction can easily exceed 30 to 45 minutes on a typical day and an Individual Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
17. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
One of our favorite live action shows at Walt Disney World is The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests watch Indy and Marion steal precious artifacts and fight off bad guys in this 25-minute show.
This exciting stunt show takes place multiple times per day so check the Disney Genie app when visiting the park. If you are not using an Individual Lightning Lane, be sure to get on line early as the good seats near the center of the theater fill up quickly.
16. Festival of the Lion King
Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Festival of the Lion King is one of the best shows in all of Walt Disney World and is not to be missed with visiting this park. Guests will enjoy music and theming from the movie The Lion King, with a number of the songs including “Circle of Life”, “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”
Similar to a true show, The Festival of the Lion King features dancers, puppets, acrobatics and stilt-walkers. It is similar to what would you expect to see if you were watching it on Broadway.
Since it’s one of the more popular shows at Animal Kingdom, it fills up quickly so make sure you check the daily times guide to get in line at least 30 minutes prior to the show opening. Individual Lightning Lanes are also available for purchase.
15. Toy Story Mania!
One of the most fun rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Mania!. Located in Toy Story Land, this 4D ride is a midway-style shooting attraction where guests play along with all the characters from the Toy Story movie franchise.
There is an extensive queue so when you are in line, make sure you say hello to Mr. Potato Head.
Wait times can get lengthy and exceed 60 minutes on a typical day. If the wait time is less than 30 minutes, we recommended getting in line but otherwise, an Individual Lightning Lane Entrance is available.
14. Slinky Dog Dash
Another popular ride Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Slinky Dog Dash. Also located in Toy Story Land, this family-friendly roller coaster provides just the right amount of “thrill” to go along excellent theming.
Wait times for are always typically fairly high and will easily exceed 60 minutes on the typically summer day. An Individual Lightning Lane Entrance is available or guests can get to this ride first thing in the morning.
13. Kilimanjaro Safaris
If you are visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the first time then Kilimanjaro Safaris then be the first ride of the day. Guests enjoy a ride through the 100-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve where they will encounter more than 30 living animal species including lions, rhino, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebras and exotic birds.
Each 18-minute tour is unique as there is no telling what animals will be active on that particular day (or at that particular time).
There are no height restrictions to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris and wait times vary depending on the time of year but are typically more than 30 minutes. An Individual Lightning Lane is available for this attraction.
12. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Located in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and based on wait times, one of the most popular attractions in the entire park. Riders enjoy this attraction which is a family-friendly roller coaster where your mine train goes on a easy but thrilling rides into the mine itself.
Guests should keep your eyes open for Snow White herself along with several of the Seven Dwarfs (near the end of the ride).
Wait times can get very lengthy and we have seen wait times exceeding 180 minutes 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.
11. Soarin’ Around the World
Located at The Land Pavilion in EPCOT, Soarin‘ Around the World is a motion-simulation the gives its riders the feeling of hang gliding over some of the most scenic places around the World. Riders will soar over the Swiss Alps, Greenland, Sydney Harbor in Australia, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and even over Spaceship Earth at Epcot.
Soarin’ is the original “screen ride” where guests enjoy a smooth and easy ride in front of a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX screen. This attraction is suitable for guests that enjoy all thrill levels but is limited to those 40 inches and taller.
Wait times for Soarin‘ Around the World are always lengthy and can easily exceed 60 minutes on a typical summer day. If you can’t get a Lightning Lane through the Disney Genie app for the day of your visit, try to hit this ride as early in the morning as possible.
10. Space Mountain
Space Mountain is the original Disney “thrill” ride and one of our top rides at the Magic Kingdom. This fully indoor “dark ride” roller coaster ride you will blast off on a rocket ship to outer space flying past stars, planets and meteors.
First opened back in 1975, Space Mountain is still one of the most popular rides in the Magic Kingdom to this day. The attraction was refurbished and updated back in 2009 – it still give quite an exhilarating ride.
Wait times for Space Mountain are always lengthy and exceed 60 minutes on a busy day. An Individual Lightning Lane Entrance is available for purchase on the Disney Genie+ App.
9. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
One of the more interactive rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Six riders take the helm of the Millennium Falcon and work as a team to steal coaxium from the evil First Order.
This attraction has a fairly extensive queue and has a full size replica of the Millennium Falcon right outside the front entrance.
Since the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run a very popular ride, wait times range can easily exceed 60 minutes. Guests should try and get to this attraction early or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane.
8. Big Thunder Mountain
Big Thunder Mountain is a classic Disney ride and one our favorite attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Guests board an 1800’s era railroad car you will go for a three-minute wild ride through canyons, mountains and tunnels.
Along with Space Mountain, Big Thunder mountain was one of the original thrill rides at Walt Disney World.
Wait times for Big Thunder Mountain are always fairly high and can exceed 60 minutes on the typical summer day. Unless you can get to this ride early in the morning, a Lightning Lane Entrance is available for purchase.
7. Avatar: Flight of Passage
One of the newest and most popular attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Avatar: Flight of Passage. Guests get the experiencing of riding a banshee just like the Na’vi hunters in the Avatar movies (as part of 3D motion simulator).
Flight of Passage is not only one of our favorites at Animal Kingdom but also throughout Walt Disney World. There is a fair degree of movement that occurs during the ride but we consider it to be moderate enough to enjoy the entire experience without motion sickness.
Guests must a minimum of 44 inches to ride the Flight of Passage. Individual Lightning Lanes are available as wait times can exceed 60 minutes on a typical summer day.
6. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Get your rock and roll on with the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you love roller coaster than this should be one of the must do’s at Walt Disney World as riders will experience up to 5 G’s and travel through three inversions – all while listening to one of the best Aerosmith songs.
At this time there is some controversy going on with the theming of the ride with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith so it’s quite possible that a reimagination of this attraction will be coming soon.
Wait times can get very lengthy (over an hour) so either ride first thing in the morning or get an Individual Lightning Lane.
5. Expedition Everest
Fresh off a renovation from 2022, Expedition Everest which is our 5th best ride at Walt Disney World and our top ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At an initial cost of $100 million, this attraction is one of the most expensive theme park rides that has ever been built.
Located in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this amazing roller coaster takes riders up to a height of 200 feet and speeds near 50 miles per hour. This attraction does not have inversions but there’s a 80 foot drop which provides plenty of thrills.
Guests must be a minimum of 44 inches in height to ride Expedition Everest. Wait times vary depending on the time of year but are typically more than 45 to 60 minutes. An Individual Lightning Lane is available for this attraction if wait times get lengthy.
4. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
As we have said in some of our other posts, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is not just a ride, it is a complete experience. Guests are fully immersed into the story as they become captured resistance fighters that are now prisoners of the evil First Order.
This is a multi-phase ride that takes more than 15 minutes to enjoy from initial boarding to the final conclusion. It is not only the best ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios but it could be argued that this is one of the best attractions in any Walt Disney World theme park.
Wait times are quite lengthy and an a hour would be considered a short wait. We have seen wait times exceeding 180 minutes on busy days. Lightning Lanes are available and it is highly recommended or you may spend a large portion of your day in line.
3. TRON Lightcycle / Run
The newest ride for 2023 is located at the Magic Kingdom and was opened to great anticipated by Disney’s enthusiasts. TRON Lightcycle Run is a high speed motorcycle style roller coaster that is themed to the TRON movies. This attraction 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. Roller coaster speeds approach 60 miles per hour as riders are part of a “high-speed launch competition again Team Orange”.
At this time only a virtual queue is offered through the Disney Genie app.
2. Test Track
We feel that Test Track is one of the most thrilling rides at Walt Disney World and in addition to being second on this list, it is also our #2 ride at EPCOT. The attraction starts out with the guests being able to design their own concept cars in the “Design Studio” using the latest in auto building technology.
The best part of the ride is the “Performance Test” which is where the fun really begins. Riders head outside on a race track for a high speed pass of up to 65 miles per hour.
Wait times for Test Track typically exceed 60 minutes on the normal summer day so if you can’t get a Lightning Lane through the Disney Genie app for the day of your visit, try to hit this ride early thing in the morning
1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Our top ride in all of Walt Disney World is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Recently opened at EPCOT in May 2022 at a rumored cost $500 million, this attraction is the longest indoor roller coasters at Walt Disney World and is themed after the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Guests ride along with Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot and the rest of the Guardians to help the Xandarians recapture the “cosmic generator” from the Celestial Eson.
The minimum height requirement to ride the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is 42 inches and the ride travels at speeds of up to 39 miles per hour.
Access to ride is only provided through a Virtual Queue on the Disney Genie app. Boarding groups start being offered at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit and an individual Lightning Lane reservation is also offered for purchase.
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.