10 Best Walt Disney World Rides

Don't Miss These Attractions at the Florida Resort

Expedition Everest Disney World
Disney. Used with permission.

Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Do you want to know which rides and shows are must-sees at the resort's four theme parks? Herewith, a list of the very best attractions.

If you want a more customized ranking of the resort's attractions, check out the best Disney World thrill rides or the best Disney World rides for kids. If you (or someone you know) would rather avoid the thrills, then consider touring touring Walt Disney World as a wimp.

You might be surprised to discover some of the attractions that are missing from the best of Disney World list. Classic attractions such as Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain didn't make the cut, for example. While those rides are great and are undoubtedly E-Ticket attractions, they are really more thrill rides (and mildly thrilling at that) than story-based attractions that transport guests and weave tales as well as the ten attractions listed below. With dozens of other great Disney World rides and shows from which to choose, it can be tough to pare them down.

It is going to get even tougher, as Disney has announced some major, and potentially game-changing rides that are on the way to the resort. Chief among them are two wild-sounding attractions coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the highly anticipated land that is planned to open in late 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In one, guests will get to fly the Millennium Falcon, while in the other they will board a star destroyer and engage in a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

Other new attractions on the way to the resort's four theme parks include a massive Guardians of the Galaxy indoor coaster, a ride based on the Pixar movie, Ratatouille, an attraction called Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway that will be themed to Disney’s classic characters, and Tron Lightcycle Power Run, a coaster that will be a clone of the highly popular ride at Shanghai Disneyland.

OK, let's begin the countdown of Disney's ten best rides with a classic:

01 of 10

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean ride
Disney. Used with permission.

A landmark achievement in theme park storytelling, it is a pitch-perfect attraction with perhaps the coolest theme park ride song ever. By the way, Pirates may be the best ride at Disney World, but there is another Disney ride that surpasses it and just may be the best theme park attraction in the world: Pirates of the Caribbean. Say what? It's the next-generation Pirates attraction at Shanghai Disneyland, Battle for the Sunken Treasure.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
    Small splashdowns, mildly frightening images.
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Location: Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom
02 of 10

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
WireImage/Getty Images

It is a modern-day classic Disney theme park attraction that combines a thrilling freefall ride, dazzling effects, and an inspired storyline. The "fourth dimension" sequence, in which the ride vehicles move horizontally through the ride building is stunning.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7
    Multiple freefall drops and launches, sensations of weightlessness, psychological thrills.
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios
03 of 10

The Haunted Mansion

Disney's Haunted Mansion
Rain0975/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

One of the all-time classic, great Disney attractions. (But you know that, right?) What you might not know are some weird Haunted Mansion facts, secrets, and history​.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 3.5
    More silly than scary, the ride is dark, loud...and haunted! Very young children may find it disconcerting.
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Location: Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom
04 of 10

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage ride
Disney. Used with permission.

Disney takes the flying theater ride system it developed for Soarin' to the next level with this breathtaking attraction. Tethered to an avatar, you'll experience the thrill of riding a banshee high above the moon of Pandora. When it debuted in 2017, it immediately vaulted into top-10 status at Disney World.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue ride
Disney. Uded with permission.

Blast off to a Star Wars galaxy far, far away in this spiffy, updated version of one of the first motion simulator rides. The technology behind the ride, which, among other things, allows multiple possible story lines, is truly astonishing. An expanded Star Wars land, which will bring two new attractions and a reportedly astonishing level of detail and immersion scheduled to open in the Studios park in 2019.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4
    Relatively mild motion simulator thrills.
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Disney's Hollywood Studios
06 of 10

Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ Around the World at Epcot
Disney. Used with permission.

An engaging Disney E-ticket ride that uses pioneering "flying theater" technology, Soarin' is a charming adventure. In 2016, the Imagineers traded in a tour of California for international destinations including China, South America, and Australia.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
    Gentle motion simulation, moderate height, and "soaring" simulation.
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Living with the Land Pavilion in Epcot
07 of 10

Fantasmic!

Fantasmic at Disney World.
Courtesy of Disney

The nightly Fantasmic! show is an incredible Imagineering achievement that combines classic Disney animation (projected on enormous water screens), pyrotechnics, animatronics, live actors, and other wizardry to deliver a storytelling tour-de-force. With Sorcerer Mickey at the helm, Fantasmic! positively oozes "Disney-ness." Be sure to get to the stadium at least an hour before show time for decent seats, especially when the park is crowded.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
    Percussive explosions, nightmare scenes.
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios
08 of 10

Mission: SPACE

Mission: Space at Epcot
Austin Kirk/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The groundbreaking attraction simulates space travel by incorporating a unique ride system and immersing passengers in a highly detailed vehicle. Note that wimpy guests can opt for a non-spinning, mild version of the ride.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 7.5
    The sustained G-forces can be unnerving; the simulated liftoff and flight is very realistic; the capsule is quite confining.
  • Height Requirement: 44 inches
  • Location: Future World in Epcot
Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

It is the combination of the coaster thrills and the attraction's lavish, immersive environment that makes this a Disney E-ticket must-ride. Expedition Everest is one of the top roller coasters in Florida.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 6
    Fairly intense positive G-forces, backwards coaster motion, darkness.
  • Height Requirement: 44 inches
  • Location: Asia land in Disney's Animal Kingdom
10 of 10

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain
Courtesy of Disney

Disney marries the classic log flume ride (with one humdinger of a drop) to an animatronics-filled dark ride themed to the Uncle Remus characters from "Song of the South." You'll be humming "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" (once you regain your composure from the drop).

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5
    One giant splashdown
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom