Every Attraction at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Ranked

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Methodology from Every attraction at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, ranked

Every Attraction at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Ranked

As determined by a childless millennial who’s spent too much time and money at the park
Every Attraction at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Ranked

© Michael Gordon | Dreamstime.com

You know it is a thrill when you go downhill on Splash Mountain.

The second you step into Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Not only will the sights and sounds (and crowds) on Main Street U.S.A. wow you, but also the second you glance down at that park guide map, you’ll find dozens of things to do and see. Trying to figure out which attractions are some of the best and which are OK to skip can be a hassle. Luckily, we’ve ranked every attraction at the Magic Kingdom.

Methodology

Methodology

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Steven Diaz, photographer

To determine what the best and worst attractions at the Magic Kingdom are, first we had to determine what constituted an attraction. Rides (such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain) are clearly attractions. We also included shows encased in buildings, such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the Country Bear Jamboree and Enchanted Tales With Belle. Immersive games and walk-through attractions also made the cut. We excluded meet-and-greets, play areas, firework shows and stage shows because they are ever-changing.

Then we took into account the things that make a Disney ride great: theme, attention to detail, compelling narrative and level of just plain fun. On our many trips to Walt Disney World, we also experienced each of these attractions at least once. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.

#33 Swiss Family Treehouse

#33 Swiss Family Treehouse

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Vernon Wentz, photographer

The Swiss Family Treehouse was probably the perfect place to explore when it opened with the rest of the Magic Kingdom on Oct. 1, 1971, but these days, this towering walk-through is basically just … a giant line with tons of stairs. Some of the queues at Magic Kingdom (such as Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) have better interaction and theming than this entire attraction.

#32 Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

#32 Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

A trip to a carousel with his daughters is what originally inspired Walt Disney to open his first theme park, Disneyland. And while that makes a carousel a must-have at any Disney theme park, that doesn’t make it a must-do attraction. It’s pretty to look at and the organ versions of Disney songs are enchanting, but you can find hundreds of carousels across the country at both known and obscure theme parks that give you a feeling very similar to this one.

#31 Tomorrowland Speedway

#31 Tomorrowland Speedway

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

While there is an element of excitement to the Tomorrowland Speedway for kids who get to sit in the driver’s seat for the first time ever, the average guest ages out of this attraction very quickly. Why fight traffic on vacation when you can do that every day on your daily commute?

#30 The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

#30 The Magic Carpets of Aladd

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

Disney sure does love its hub-and-spoke rides, such as The Magic Carpets of Aladdin in Adventureland. Based on the same concept as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, this attraction features two rows of riders; one row makes the carpet move up and down and the other tilts the carpet backward and forward. While other similar rides have nostalgia and beautiful views on their side, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin just kind of … exists.

#29 Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

#29 Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

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Interactive screen-based shows like Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland cater to a younger audience or an audience who really likes corny jokes. While the visual effects in this show are pretty stellar, if you’re not a huge “Monsters, Inc.” fan, this is an easy attraction to skip.

#28 The Hall of Presidents

#28 The Hall of Presidents

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Kent Phillips, photographer

The Hall of Presidents is an attraction you will find only at the Magic Kingdom, and for American history buffs, it’s a riveting and interesting showcase. But for most people, this 25-minute show is just a space for a much-needed nap in the air conditioning.

#27 Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

#27 Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

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On this Tomorrowland attraction, you use a laser gun to defeat Buzz Lightyear’s archenemy, the evil Emperor Zurg. While it is fun to compete against the other person in your buggy and every other guest, it’s nearly impossible to tell which laser is yours. If you’re looking for a great Toy Story-themed attraction with a game element, head over to Hollywood Studios and ride the far superior Toy Story Mania.

#26 Tom Sawyer Island

#26 Tom Sawyer Island

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Like the Swiss Family Treehouse, Tom Sawyer Island is an area where you can wander around and explore. Unlike Swiss Family Treehouse, this attraction is in its own area, accessible only by raft. As you wander through caves, across bridges and down hills, take in the small things. The best use for this area is to allow children to run around and burn off some energy, and adults without children may find this boring.

#25 Walt Disney World Railroad

#25 Walt Disney World Railroad

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While the railroad at Disneyland is a must-see attraction, the Magic Kingdom version is primarily known as an easy mode of transportation between Main Street, Frontierland and Fantasyland. There are some great views into rides like Splash Mountain and some cool animatronic animals, but this attraction is mostly a way to take a relaxing break in your day.

#24 A Pirate’s Adventure — Treasures of the Seven Seas

#24 A Pirate’s Adventure — Treasures of the Seven Seas

Louisa M./Yelp

The interactive games at Walt Disney World are some of the most underrated things to do while you’re at the theme parks. A Pirate’s Adventure — Treasures of the Seven Seas puts guests on a scavenger hunt through Adventureland to find lost treasure. The game has some cool props and effects and allows you to explore this area of the Magic Kingdom in a whole new way.

#23 Liberty Square Riverboat

#23 Liberty Square Riverboat

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A day at Magic Kingdom can become overwhelming and exhausting very easily, and if you’re looking for a way to see some sights and relax for a bit, it’s hard to beat the Liberty Square Riverboat. This paddlewheel riverboat is a beautiful structure in and of itself, but it also offers some lovely views of Frontierland and Liberty Square in addition to a much-needed 15-minute reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the park.

#22 Dumbo the Flying Elephant

#22 Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

Like we said, Disney loves a hub-and-spoke ride, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant is the original. There’s something cute and magical about this attraction, even if it’s very simple at its core. Sitting in a little flying elephant and going up and down is the definition of classic Disney. The only thing making Dumbo a mid-ranked attraction is the fact that there are few sights to see, as this is tucked into a corner of Fantasyland.

#21 Astro Orbiter

#21 Astro Orbiter

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What Dumbo lacks in views, Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland makes up for in spades. This hub-and-spoke ride is on an elevated platform, so as you soar through the air, you get some stunning views of the park. Get on here at night during the fireworks for a truly spectacular sight. The biggest downside of this ride is the load time. Be prepared to wait a loooong time to get in your rocket.

#20 Mad Tea Party

#20 Mad Tea Party

Courtesy of Steven Diaz, Disney

The Mad Tea Party opened up alongside the rest of the Magic Kingdom on Oct. 1, 1971, and it’s been making park guests mildly ill ever since. Yes, these teacups spin and they’ll spin fast if you want them too. This ride is colorful and amusingly themed to “Alice in Wonderland.” If you want a more subdued ride experience, refrain from spinning the wheel in the middle of your teacup.

#19 Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

#19 Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

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If you’re a Disney history fan, then Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland is a must-visit. This rotating theater show explains how technology developed throughout the 20th century. It first opened at the 1964 World’s Fair, then was in Disneyland until it found its home at the Magic Kingdom in 1975. Ever since its debut over 50 years ago, the song "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" has been getting stuck in heads.

#18 Mickey’s PhilharMagic

#18 Mickey’s PhilharMagic

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If you want to see all of your favorite Disney characters in one place — and we mean all of your favorite Disney characters — then look no further than Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This 3D movie’s plot involves Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck directing an orchestra full of Disney characters and moving between the different worlds of animation. At this point, some of the 3D effects are outdated, but it’s nothing that will take you out of the show.

#17 Enchanted Tales With Belle

#17 Enchanted Tales With Belle

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Kent Phillips, photographer

There are a lot of ways to meet and interact with characters at Walt Disney World, but none quite like Enchanted Tales With Belle. This Fantasyland show has guests interacting with the “Beauty and the Beast” princess as she tells the tale of the night she met Beast. This isn’t for everyone — there’s a lot of interaction, so if you’re shy, maybe stay away. But if you love Belle or have kids, this is a great way to see her.

#16 The Barnstormer

#16 The Barnstormer

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

It shouldn’t be difficult to make a kiddie coaster that’s enjoyable for adults too, but for a lot of theme parks, it is. Not at Disney. The Barnstormer features Goofy as a pilot, and it’s delightfully zippy. It’s short — only about 50 seconds — but it has a few fun dips and thrills. If you don’t have kids, you don’t need to hit this ride up, but don’t rule it out either. It’s shockingly enjoyable.

#15 Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

#15 Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

Louisa M./Yelp

If you feel like the Disney villains are missing from Disney theme parks, then you have to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. To play this game, you go to the Fire Station on Main Street to get a pack of five baseball-type cards that feature famous and obscure Disney characters with their special spells. The spells can help you defeat Hades and his evil friends, who have taken the theme park over from Merlin. Then, you travel to different lands in search of symbols and magic portals, which will give you a storyline and make you cast your spells. This game is interactive and prompts you to explore the small details and different areas of the Magic Kingdom you may not normally go to. Best of all, it’s free and the cards can be a great souvenir. Playing this is one of the many ways you can save money at Walt Disney World.

#14 Country Bear Jamboree

#14 Country Bear Jamboree

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If you had to describe the Country Bear Jamboree with one word, it’d have to be charming. This audio-animatronics display features a Grand Ole Opry-inspired show starring — you guessed it — bears. While the animatronics and the theater itself may be a little dated, this Frontierland attraction is a much-needed break in the action. Plus, it’s hilarious. Kids will love the silly bears and some of the jokes have a surprisingly adult slant to them.

#13 Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid

#13 Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/David Roark, photographer

A dark ride (an attraction where you travel by car in a dim atmosphere) based on an animated film is the classic Disney attraction. So why is Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid in the middle of our list? Well, this dark ride is just a little underwhelming. While it’s a lovely retelling of this beloved film, it lacks a lot of the details that make a ride like Peter Pan’s Flight so much better. It feels shortened, and it is. It only tells about half of the film's story. But fans of “The Little Mermaid” will find this ride engaging and gorgeous.

#12 Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

#12 Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

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This enchanting Adventureland show is a bit of an acquired taste. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room features magical birds, flora, fauna and tiki statues that come to life and sing one of the greatest earworms of all time. Seriously. If you think “It’s a Small World” will get stuck in your head, you haven’t heard “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.” Like the other Disney audio-animatronic shows, this attraction is pure charm and a great way to dodge the masses.

#11 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

#11 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a redressed version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (which still exists in Disneyland’s Fantasyland). And like that original ride, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh features bumps and quick turns as you travel through various classic Pooh scenes in your "hunny" pot. This dark ride is pure joy, from the adorable Winnie the Pooh animatronics to the spooky heffalumps and woozles.

#10 Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

#10 Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

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The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover may not be a guest favorite, but it should be on everyone’s Disney bucket list. This surprisingly speedy tram gives you a full tour and stunning views of Tomorrowland, and if you time your ride right, you’ll have a stellar (albeit quick) view of the nighttime fireworks. The PeopleMover also contains an important piece of Walt Disney World history — the original model of Epcot is on display at the beginning of the ride.

#9 Peter Pan’s Flight

#9 Peter Pan’s Flight

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Be prepared to wait in line for Peter Pan’s Flight. This classic Disney dark ride has a notoriously low loading rate and it isn’t unusual to see a wait time of 60 minutes or more. But once you get on your soaring boat and take off, you’ll see London, Neverland and Skull Rock, complete with beautiful views and special effects from above. It’s the crème de la crème of movie-themed dark rides, but the long wait times aren’t always worth the payoff.

#8 It’s a Small World

#8 It’s a Small World

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Gene Duncan, photographer

Whether you love the Sherman Brothers-penned song “It’s a Small World” or you think it’s the most irritating jingle of all time, you can’t deny that it’s truly iconic. This ride is iconic too. The “happiest cruise that ever sailed” is pure, wonderful and whimsical. What could be more wholesome than little animatronic dolls representing countries and cultures from all over the world singing about living in peace and harmony? It’s maybe a little too wholesome for some, but It’s a Small World is a classic Disney ride everyone needs to experience at least once.

#7 Jungle Cruise

#7 Jungle Cruise

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If you love a good corny joke and animal audio-animatronics, then look no further than the world-famous Jungle Cruise. As you travel through various rivers of Africa and Asia, your skipper guide will deliver some of the driest, cheesiest jokes imaginable. The boat ride itself is also quite beautiful and heavily detailed, full of lush vegetation and waterfalls.

#6 Space Mountain

#6 Space Mountain

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

Compared to the Space Mountain at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom’s version is a little wilder, but that’s why we love it. This indoor roller coaster is actually pretty tame when you look at the stats. Its top speed is 38 mph and the biggest drop is just 26 feet. But practical effects and strategic lighting make you feel like you’re zipping through space much faster than that, and each hill and bump is a surprise. No matter how many times you go on it, this little steel coaster gives you the perfect thrill.

#5 Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

#5 Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Courtesy of Walt Disney World/Matt Stroshane, photographer

Magic Kingdom’s newest roller coaster is also one of its best attractions of all time. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland puts you in your own rocking mine train cart as you head off to work with the dwarves, complete with state-of-the-art animatronics and one of the first classic Disney songs, “Heigh-Ho.” This ride is remarkable, full of sparkling gems and gorgeous scenes, and the zippy turns and swinging carts make it thrilling for adults and kids. The only bummer about Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is that waits are regularly close to two hours and the ride itself feels very short. But if the biggest complaint about a ride is that you just want more, that’s a sign of a job well done.

#4 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

#4 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Courtesy of Disney

If Seven Dwarfs Mine Train doesn’t have the thrills you’re looking for, head to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, also known as “the wildest ride in the wilderness.” This runaway mine train coaster goes through a cursed mountain and zips up and down numerous hills while ducking underneath explosions, waterfalls and even T. rex bones. For the best experience, make sure you’re sitting in the back — that’s where the best airtime is. If you can, ride BTMRR at night, too. The final scene turns into a lit-up party, creating an all-new experience.

#3 Haunted Mansion

#3 Haunted Mansion

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Equally spooky and silly, the Haunted Mansion is an all-time Disney classic. It’s more whimsical than truly terrifying as you board your “doom buggy” and travel through a haunted house with no windows and no doors — just 999 happy haunts and plenty of surprises. Like It’s a Small World, this Liberty Square omnimover has a killer soundtrack that will have you humming happily the rest of the day.

#2 Pirates of the Caribbean

#2 Pirates of the Caribbean

Courtesy of Disney

Speaking of songs that stand the test of time, perhaps no Disney tune is as well-known and well-loved as "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" from Pirates of the Caribbean. While an attraction based on pirates pillaging a village doesn’t sound like a joy, that’s what this ride is. This log flume ride has a little bit of everything: one thrilling hill, dozens of expressive animatronics and a storyline that is concise yet imaginative. Though Pirates of the Caribbean has been at the Magic Kingdom since 1973, it’s been refreshed for the current era. Notably, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow was added in the mid-2000s, and the replacement of certain scenes (such as the wives auction) has kept this boat ride aligned with today’s audiences.

#1 Splash Mountain

#1 Splash Mountain

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Splash Mountain isn’t for everyone. You are going to get wet, and the 50-foot drop is the biggest thrill you’re going to get at Walt Disney World. But, the theming of this ride is worth wet shoes. As you travel down the river, you’ll notice how Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear inch closer and closer to catching Br’er Rabbit, until he’s finally in their grasp and you zip-a-dee-doo-dah right down a massive hill. Splash Mountain has it all: a catchy song, jovial audio-animatronics, adventure and a storyline that is engaging and advances along with the ride itself. There’s a good reason why it’s the best ride at Magic Kingdom and one of the best Disney park attractions of all time.

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