Coming up with a top 10 list is hard for anyone, but a top 10 list about something you love, well that is extremely hard. Walt Disney World is the happiest place on earth, also expensive, but that’s the price of happiness right? Anyways, it can be hard to narrow down your favorite rides but I will attempt to do that. There is a caveat, I have not ridden Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. So I will leave those off of the list since this is my top 10.
I also suspect this list will change dramatically in the next two years as we see rides like Remy’s Ratatoullie Adventure, Tron Lightcycle Power Run, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind added to Walt Disney World. I will also leave those off since we have not ridden them at the parks they are currently at, even though they look amazing. If you’re ready, lets get into it!
10. Disney’s Monorail
Ok this isn’t technically a ride in the traditional sense of it being in the parks, and I understand that. But this classic did start out as a novelty ride when it was introduced at Disneyland. You can’t call it a complete trip to Walt Disney World without taking a ride on the Monorail, so I am putting it as number 10 on my list of top rides at Walt Disney World.
9. Test Track
Test Track has evolved since it was introduced on St. Patrick’s Day 1999 (March 17, 1999) as Test Track Presented by General Motors. After the 2012 refurbishment it reopened as Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. This is one of my all time favorites because I’ve always been fascinated by cars. It is probably the Michigan in me shining bright. The thoughts of building your own car and putting it through the test cycle of capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power is awesome. Imagineers nailed this ride in 2012. It was closed for a second refurbishment when we visited in February 2020 so it will be interesting to see what changes this time around!
8. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 with 16 attractions, one of them was Kilimanjaro Safaris. This transports you to a realistic imitation of an African Safari through the Savannah. You see, up close, live elephants, giraffes, antelopes, gazelles, crocodiles, monkeys, hippopotamuses, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, African wild dogs, warthogs, ostriches, rhinoceroses, wildebeests, okapis, and addax. The draw to this ride is that you can see these animals up close and personal without having to travel to Africa. Animal rights activists likely disagree with me, but I think Disney does an exceptional job of caring for the animals and giving their guests a great experience.
7. Toy Story Mania
Toy Story Mania is one of my favorites not just because of the ride. One of the best parts about this ride is the wait to get on it. When entering the main line area, you are transported into Andy’s toy chest where you see some of your favorite classic board games and toys. About halfway through the queue, you’re introduced to a talking animatronic Mr. Potato Head. As you get closer to the front of the line and the loading station, you emerge in Andy’s bedroom. As a kid who grew up on Toy Story, this was one of the coolest things I had ever experienced when I first rode it. The classic shooting style of the actual ride is fun for all and there is little thrill involved with the ride.
6. Space Mountain
An all time classic is Space Mountain and I don’t consider it a successful trip to the Magic Kingdom if I don’t get to ride it. Megan disagrees with me on this one because she hates indoor roller coasters (something about it being dark and getting your arm chopped off or something like that). The old style ride queue could use an upgrade so you feel less bored, but overall one of my favorites.
5. Expedition: Everest
In February 2020 we somehow ended up going to Animal Kingdom on one of the most unexpected busy days. With it being Presidents’ Day Weekend we should’ve guessed but that is a debate for another day. Being that I love Expedition: Everest, we ended up waiting about 3 hours to get on, which in hindsight was a bad move, but you live and you learn. The thrill of the ride ended up being fun anyways. If you love roller coasters, this one isn’t a record breaker, but it is very fun and the theming adds to the thrill part of the ride.
4. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
“You’ve just crossed over to… The Twilight Zone.” This line never fails to send a shiver of anxiety up my spine. One of my favorite time periods to dream about living in is the golden age of Hollywood, so it is only fitting that Hollywood Studios and more specifically this ride is one of my favorites. Tower of Terror always lives up to the hype because you get a little bit of a different experience every time!
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3. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is one of the newest rides at Walt Disney World and located in the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge section at Hollywood Studios. If you haven’t had a chance to visit since it opened in 2019, it is one of the coolest immersive experiences out there. You really do feel like you’re in the Star Wars universe. One of two rides currently is Smuggle’s Run, where you board the Millennium Falcon and attempt to smuggle a cargo load of stolen goods. It is highly interactive with buttons and levers to pull so be aware of that! An awesome experience all around.
Soarin’ debuted at Epcot in 2005 as a duplication of the same attraction in Disney’s California adventure. The films were originally different, but now feature the same Soarin’ Around the World film. The best part about this ride is actually feeling like you are hang gliding in all of the films destinations. The wind in your face and even some added smells transport you all over the world in a fun mildly thrilling ride.
1. Rise of the Resistance
The granddaddy of them all.. It’s not the Rose Bowl, but as a Michigan fan it might be the closest I get to experiencing something like a Rose Bowl (if you’re not a college football fan just move on from my misery). Rise of the Resistance is the single greatest attraction I have ridden in my entire life. Growing up as a Star Wars nerd this is probably the closest I will get to interacting with Star Wars. You get to board a star-cruiser, escape from the First Order, and land in a Rebel base. Is there anything that is actually cooler than this? And it’s not like Star Tours where its just a simulator and screens. It is all happening around you! A must ride in my opinion.
Obviously when it comes to top 10’s and rankings everyone will have a disagreement. In the comments let me know what your top 10 is and you can even argue mine if you feel like it. If you’ve never been, check out our Walt Disney World first time visitor guide to plan your trip!