1. Space Mountain
This is probably one of my all-time favorite roller coasters. This ride is a perfect example of the Disney smoke and mirrors. First off, it's in the dark. This fact alone creates suspense because you can't see the track ahead of you. You have no way of knowing if you are going to go left, right, up, or down. Second, it has tight turns and changes direction rapidly. Add that in with going down random drops and you have a great ride. This is a great family ride, and kids only need to be 3'8" to ride!
The premise of the ride is simple. Guests board rocket ships, each train consisting of two cars and holding up to six guests at once. These rocket ships are then blasted off, spending the guests into space. After a nearly two-and-a-half-minute ride guests land safely back at the Magic Kingdom.
Space Mountain has gone through several renovations. The cars themselves have been completely replaced twice in the ride's history. And the queue area has had to have cosmetic changes as the ride's sponsors changed throughout the years. The ride is just as rough as it used to be, but it is still an amazing ride.
2. Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
I love everything about this attraction. If you, or your kids, are a fan of the Monsters Inc. movie you will love this show. As you wait in the queue area you are encouraged to submit your favorite jokes to the monster world. When it is time to enter the theatre the red lights above the doors turn on and the doors open. You are now in the monster world.
The show itself is really cool. The monsters appear, animated of course, on the screen at the front. You'll see familiar faces as well as new ones. As the monster world now runs off of laughter, human laughter that is, they need to make their audience laugh. One of the best parts of the show is that it is interactive. The monsters will talk with various members of the audience. Sure, there are some parts that might only be funny to little children, but overall it is hilarious. If you were to see the show twice on the same trip you wouldn't see the same show.
My boyfriend and my little brother were not too excited when I chose to do this show. But, by the time we were seated and the show started they were laughing right along with me. My boyfriend was even selected to buy everyone churros after the show.
3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This ride has a great theme. Guests are boarded aboard an old mining train and taken on a wild ride through the abandoned mines. Much like Space Mountain, this ride is great fun for families. The seats are designed to allow two guests per seat, this allows families to stay together better. Most kids, even the nervous ones, get excited when they see that the train is really a train.
The ride itself is pretty bumpy and rough. But, what more would you expect from a ride themed to be a runaway train ride? The only thing that I don't like about this ride is the wait. It can get just as long as the wait for Space Mountain. But, I would rather wait in line for Space Mountain. Why? Space Mountain inside. During the summer waiting for this ride can be brutal, all those people packed into a small area. But, overall I would say the ride is more than worth the wait.
4. The Haunted Mansion
This is a classic Disney park ride. The Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom is different from the one out at Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom is home to a Victorian-style house that is elegant but has a slightly creepy feel to it. As guests get closer to the mansion they start to hear the telltale signs that something is not quite right. Is that a howling dog? Where is this sudden thunder coming from? And, if that music in a minor key? Yes to all three.
As you make your way to the entrance you walk past the family graveyard, as well as the pet graveyard. Make sure to read the tombstones, especially if you have little ones that are a little nervous. The chamber you are corralled into is notorious. Many guests have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out if the floor drops down or if the ceiling raises. You'll have to figure that one out for yourself. (Note, if you have young children you might not want them to look up at the ceiling after the lights go out.)
Once you are boarded into your doombuggy you are taken on a tour of the mansion grounds. It is not uncommon for the ride to stop for a few moments. Chances are there is nothing wrong with the ride, most often they are just making sure that guests with disabilities or that are a little older are getting on and off the ride safely.
Make sure that you pay attention to all the details. You can tell that the imagineers had a lot of fun when they designed this ride. Even the cast members working at this attraction have fun with their job.
5. The Jungle Cruise
I'll start off by saying that not everyone likes this ride. Personally, I like it. The jokes are cheesy, the animals look fake, and the premise is just plain silly. When you board the ship you are told that you will be going on a tour of all the major rivers of the world. On this tour, you will see all the wildlife these exotic places have to offer. When this ride first opened the animatronics were state of the art, and even know they are still really cool.
I think one of the reasons I like this ride so much is the ride operator. This is one of the few rides where you actually ride with the person operating the ride. They act as your tour guide, and it's so funny because they are allowed to be snarky and almost rude. Why? Because its funny. This is a ride where you will see things like the backside of water and be welcomed by headhunters. I think most people that don't like this ride don't like it because they take it too seriously.
6. Cinderella Castle
I don't think a trip to the Magic Kingdom is complete without checking out the castle itself. Inside the castle tells the story of Cinderella. The mosaics are beautiful. If you have a little girl that wants the princess treatment stop by the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. They can even make a prince out of your little boy, or a pirate if that is more his speed.
Cinderella's Royal Table is a restaurant inside the castle. The princesses themselves even make appearances to mingle with the guests during breakfast and dinner.
In the afternoon the castle is a backdrop to a show that features many classic Disney characters.
7. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
This ride is pure fun. As a result, it often has a long line, but thankfully the line is continuously moving so it isn't that bad. When you board your car you have been made an honorary space ranger. Your job is to shoot all the 'Z' stickers to stop the Evil Emperor Zurg. Your car can turn side to side, and will even rotate.
This is one of the best family rides. Competing against the rest of your group is half of the fun. When you get off the ride you're either exhausted or wish it hadn't ended so soon. This is definitely a ride the kids will be talking about long after the trip.
8. Mickey's PhillarMagic
This show takes you on a 3-D tour of some of the best Disney movies. Like everything Disney, this show has a story. Donald has lost Mickey's magic hat and has to get it back in time for the show. As Donald searches for the hat he goes through different Disney movies.
What I really like about this show is it's not just 3-D. When you are in the dining room scene in Beauty and the Beast you can smell the food. When you go beneath the waves in the Little Mermaid you get splashed with water.
This show can have a long wait during peak seasons, but thankfully the show itself isn't very long so that helps to keep wait times uniform. Some people experience headaches when they watch 3-D movies, so this might not be a good idea if you or your kids are one of these people.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean
This is a classic Disney ride. What is really cool is a few years ago this ride was updated to include elements of the movies. You can now see Captain Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, and Captain Barbosa. The ride starts off with one big drop and then takes you around Port Royal as pirates take over.
This song will be stuck in your head almost as long as It's a Small World. Since it is a boat ride there is a small chance that you will get wet, but I have never heard of someone being soaked on this ride. I love it because the entire family can sit together.
10. The Night Shows
No list of top attractions at the Magic Kingdom is complete without the night shows. Spectromagic and Wishes are possibly my favorite things about the Magic Kingdom. Spectromagic is the Walt Disney World version of the Main Street Electrical Light Parade. it is breathtaking and more than worth staking a spot an hour in advanced. Wishes is in a world of its own. I can honestly say that no other fireworks will ever be able to compete with Wishes. The show itself is around thirty minutes long and pairs fireworks with music.
The best place to see both shows is along the main street. After the parade is over guests fill the street. Fair warning, once the parade is over and the streets are full it is best not to move until Wishes is over. It will be very difficult to get around all the people, especially since its dark. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
I just couldn't leave it off the list, but I couldn't take any of the others off the top ten. This last trip I was finally able to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It is shorter than Big Thunder Mountain and much smoother. It is a great fun ride with a bunch of movie references. Wait times for this ride are often long, sometimes longer than those for Space Mountain or Test Track (two rides known for having the longest wait times at Disney) and I strongly recommend getting a fast pass for this ride.
Questions & Answers
Question: Which rides should I use my FASTPASS on?
Answer: It really depends on what you like. I'm not a sudden-drop kind of girl so I wouldn't go on Splash Mountain. I'm a big fan of Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, and both rides can have long wait times. I wouldn't recommend any of the attractions that have continuous rides like Peter Pan unless you have a young child with their heart set on a certain ride. These rides typically have lines that move continuously as well. Except for the Haunted Mansion, the sun in that queue line can be brutal. Ideally, I'd use FASTPASS on Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Haunted Mansion and wait in line for Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear. If you don't care too much about the shows, parades, or fireworks, then you can get some short wait times for some of the most popular attractions.
T on February 11, 2019:
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