You’ve booked the dates, packed your bags and are finally off for the trip of a lifetime: a visit to the Magic Kingdom! No matter what you do there, you’re sure to come back smiling with that nostalgic Disney glow. There is no shortage of fun things to do and see at the park. The list of attractions available at the Magic Kingdom is simply staggering. So which are the best rides in Magic Kingdom?
But the truth is, with those notoriously long wait times and a plethora of options, which rides are actually worth your time?
Let us guide your way with this list of the 18 best rides in the Magic Kingdom. There’s a wide range of rides here to suit all ages and types. Read on to make sure your trip is everything you’d hoped it would be!
- Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is another iconic, original and must-see attraction of the Magic Kingdom. This ride has been operating since 1955 and continues to delight fans to this day. The lines for this one are long all day so jump on the queue early. There are a lot of interactive games and sights to see in an indoor queue, so hopefully, your wait isn’t too stressful.
The ride itself is an on-rails dark one that is suitable for all ages. You begin inside Wendy’s home on a flying pirate ship and soon after taking to the skies! Witness scenes from the movie filled with recreated characters, and charming miniatures of London. The experience is overlaid with soothing background music from the original film.
- Liberty Square Riverboat
The Liberty Square Riverboat puts you aboard a colonial-era steamboat and takes you along a 17-minute long leisurely boat ride. You can take in historically recreated vistas such as an early American town, a native American campground, a mill, a fort and you might catch sight of various woodland creatures too.
This is a nice breather from the long waits or more thrilling rides. History buffs might enjoy the boat itself, which has been faithfully replicated in an old-world fashion. This is a fully functional steam vessel just like those that would have operated along the Mississippi River in the 17th century.
- Walt Disney World Railroad
For another relaxing way to take in the sights of the park, climb aboard this restored steam engine train. It takes a 20-minute route along the outskirts of the Magic Kingdom. The ride is also a convenient way to get around the park.
This train engine was originally constructed between 1916 and 1928. That makes it another treat for history or train lovers everywhere! This ride is one of the original hallmarks of Disney theme parks. Walt Disney himself was a noted train buff making this one a must-see for nostalgia’s sake.
- Under the Sea
This is an animatronic based ride perfect for fans of the classic Disney film. Your party hops aboard a personal clamshell that whisks you through sets from the Little Mermaid. Each area uses animatronics, 3D effects, and video magic to bring your memories to life.
The ride progresses through the story and features some impressive depictions of all the iconic characters. Ursula is particularly well done. While this isn’t the best of these nostalgia trips that the Magic Kingdom has the offer, it has enough charm and fun to be worth a try.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This is another slow style carriage ride taking you through the Winnie the Pooh universe. You’ll get to see all the characters you know and love presented in quaint scenes that tell a simple story. The colors, models, and scenery are vibrantly colored and will surely delight children. Note that there is a short dream sequence that is dark and could be spooky to very young ones.
The dream sequence gets a bit trippy and is probably the biggest draw for adults. The ride has some interactive features in the queue to make the wait a bit more bearable too.
- It’s a Small World
This is a classic slow ride that is quintessential Disney. In case you’ve somehow never heard of this one, it’s a 10-minute personal boat ride that takes riders through all 7 continents of the world. It features dancing animatronic dolls, dressed in garb representative of each respective culture. The dolls are set on scenes depicting various landmarks from around the world.
Though this is an old ride dating back to the 1960s, the message is as relevant as ever: though we are spread far and wide, we are all the same. One race of humans together. It’s still a heartwarming sentiment that the whole family can enjoy.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo is another Disney classic that has been the source material for a few attractions over the years. This is essentially a classic carnival ride done in Dumbo fashion. Choose and board your own flying Dumbo carriages which gently spin about like a carousel. It goes fairly slowly and has controls inside the carriage that lets you or your child control the height of the carriage.
This is perfect for young kids who might be afraid of the more intense rides at Disney. The queue is painless thanks to a large play area where parents can take a break while they wait for their turn to board.
- Country Bear Jamboree
The Country Bear Jamboree is one more classic, kid-friendly attraction for your whole family. This is more of a show than a “ride” perse. The stage decoration itself hasn’t aged so well, but the hokeyness of the whole affair is part of its charm. The show oozes nostalgia from a bygone era. The tunes are as catchy as ever and will surely delight your young ones. The presentation of the cabin-like front of the attraction is also a nice backdrop for a photo-op.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
While it isn’t particularly scary, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is packed with thematic flavor that makes this a must-see. Board a runaway mine cart barrelling through twists and turns around a mountain landscape. There are sections in the mine that take place in total darkness. But otherwise, there are no loops and no big drops to fear.
This ride has a lot of character and a wide appeal so it tends to draw long lines. Try to get on this one early in the day. If you do get stuck in a long queue, there are some pretty fun interactive features. The best of them involves blowing up some dynamite that you can time to erupt next to some riding passengers.
- Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain goes a couple of steps above a typical log flume ride. Of course, a 5 story drop at the end is the big payoff. But before that, there is a miniature story delivered through animatronic animals from Disney’s “Song Of the South.” The entire ride clocks in at just about 18 minutes! That makes this a lot more than just a big drop flume ride.
You don’t need to have seen the film to enjoy this one. The story is simple and is interspersed with little drops that gradually set you up for “the big one.” Do expect to leave soaked.
- The Haunted Mansion
Talking too much about this attraction might ruin the fun. The greatest part of this attraction is the buildup before getting on the ride itself.
Disney plays a lot of anxiety-building tricks to ramp up the anticipation. The ride itself happens via an on rails “dune buggy” trail through the mansion. There is a variety of special visual effects that run the gamut from jump scares to downright goofy. So don’t worry about taking younger kids along for the ride.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is comparable to Big Thunder Mountain but toned down a bit in intensity. There are no loops or steep drops. This ride seemed to be geared even more towards children or those who prefer milder rides. The only difference in the coaster’s mechanics is in the carriages. They sway freely from side to side with each curvy turn.
Those who brave the mines here will be rewarded with an elaborately designed set of the seven dwarfs inside. The outside design is a pretty sight too: a lush forested environment.
- Space Mountain
Space Mountain is perhaps the most thrilling of the classic indoor Disney coasters. This ride features sharp turns, steep dips and takes place entirely in the dark. The lights surrounding the track give the feeling of ripping through space and being sucked into a wormhole. There are no loops here but it still might get intense for the squeamish or young children.
The cavernous entrance queue doesn’t have any interactive segments but the hall itself is atmospheric and interesting. Windows along the walls peer out into space and highlight stars and constellations. This is a very popular attraction so expect to wait a while.
- Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirate of the Caribbean is another dark, slow ride suitable for all ages. The ride was actually originally created in 1967, long before the movie most associated it with. This attraction tells a story as you follow along in your own pirate boat. The scenes really come alive with dialogue, music and some classic set design.
The ride was eventually redesigned after the popularity of the movie and added some likenesses of Jack Sparrow and other beloved characters from the film.
- Tomorrowland Speedway
Let your child experience the thrill of a race track with this safe, kid-friendly course! The cars are really gas-powered but the speed is capped at 6 MPH. Each track is separated from all others. So while you can steer the car around turns, your child will always be safe from collisions and guided into their own lane.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, there’s not much fun to be had here for adults. But giving your son or daughter the chance to have their first “drive” could be a nice memory. This ride is best enjoyed by kids 9 years old and under.
- Mad Tea Party
The spinning cups of the Mad Tea Party ride is another iconic Disney classic. There’s not much to explain here. This is simple and plain carnival fun. Sit in one of the human-sized cups taken from the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland, complete with a silver wheel in the center. Spin the wheel as the carousels below you create a mad whirlwind of chaos. Plenty of laughs and silliness to be had here.
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
Enjoy Disney’s version of a virtual comedy club with the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. This is a small theatre with virtual characters that poke fun at the audience members. The jokes are all-ages friendly. Most of the “stock” material is aimed at kids of course. But the audience interaction can be a lot of fun for the adults in the crowd too.
Good for a nice break after a long day of rides.
18. Happily Ever After
Not a ride at all, but this latest fireworks display from Disney is the perfect dessert to finish off your trip to the Magic Kingdom. The iconic castle backdrop of the Disney logo comes alive with projectors and lights as the sky is illuminated with a stunning fireworks show.
Don’t you dare miss out on one of the best shows the Magic Kingdom has to offer!
Ultimately, the decision about what to spend time is up to you, your party’s tastes, and most of all the ride’s line length when you arrive! But we hope this primer has given you and your family some ideas about what might make your trip truly magical.