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Best Walt Disney World Rides

Don't Miss These Attractions at the Florida Resort

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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 and the Best Disney World Rides for Kids. If you (or someone you know) would rather avoid the thrills, I've prepared a guide, Walt Disney World for Wimps.

10. Turtle Talk with Crush

Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney. Used with permission.
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 0
    This is a charming show with no gotchas or scary moments.
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Location: The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion in Epcot
  • Fastpass: No

Some might find it odd to choose the "Finding Nemo"-themed show above classics such as Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder Mountain for a top-10 list of best Walt Disney World attractions. But Turtle Talk with Crush, in which the surfer dude interacts with audience members via real-time animation, is an astonishing Imagineering breakthrough. Between laughs, adults scratch their heads in bewilderment, while young kids nonchalantly, if delightedly, chat with the witty reptile. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for, dude?

9. Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain
Disney. Used with permission.
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5
    One giant splashdown
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom
  • Fastpass: Yes

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).

8. Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Arthur Levine 2006. Licensed to About.com.
  • 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
  • Fastpass: Yes

It is the combination of the coaster thrills and the attraction's lavish, immersive environment that makes this a Disney E-ticket must-ride.

7. Star Tours - The Adventures Continue

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

Blast off to a Star Wars galaxy far, far away in this spiffy, updated version of the first motion simulator ride. The technology behind the ride, which, among other things, allows multiple possible story lines, is truly astonishing.

6. Mission: SPACE

Mission: SPACE at Epcot
©Arthur Levine, 2003. Licensed to About.com.
  • 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
  • Fastpass: Yes

A groundbreaking attraction that simulates space travel by delivering unique sensations.

5. Fantasmic!

Fantasmic!
Disney. Used with permission.
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
    Percussive explosions, nightmare scenes.
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Fastpass: No
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.

4. Soarin'

Soarin' at Epcot
Disney. Used with permission.
  • 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
  • Fastpass: Yes
An engaging Disney E-ticket ride that uses technology in a new and exciting way, Soarin' is a charming adventure up, over, and through the sights of California.

3. The Haunted Mansion

©Arthur Levine, 2003. Licensed to About.com.
  • 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
  • Fastpass: No
One of the all-time classic, great Disney attractions.

2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
©Arthur Levine, 2004. Licensed to About.com.
  • 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
  • Fastpass: Yes
A modern-day classic Disney theme park attraction. that combines a thrilling freefall ride, dazzling effects, and an inspired storyline.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean
©Arthur Levine, 2003. Licensed to About.com.
  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
    Small splashdowns, mildly frightening images.
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Location: Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom
  • Fastpass: No
A landmark achievement in theme park storytelling, it is a pitch-perfect attraction.

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