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Best Rides At Magic Kingdom Disney World Ranked: 2024 Guide

BOTTOM LINE: After experiencing all the attractions, I found the top 10 best rides at Magic Kingdom Disney World to be the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Carousel of Progress, PeopleMover, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Walt Disney World Railroad and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. To make the most out of your visit, consider the best times to ride and follow the additional tips shared in this article.

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Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle

Looking for what the best rides at Magic Kingdom are?

As a theme park junkie with years of experience visiting Disney parks and a consequent understanding of what makes a ride truly stand out, I’m here to help you navigate Magic Kingdom’s plethora of attractions.

With this experience over the years coupled with an objective analysis of each ride’s distinct features, theming, and historical significance–I can direct you to the top experiences at Magic Kingdom.

Here’s a quick list of best rides at Magic Kingdom:

  • Haunted Mansion
  • It’s A Small World
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Carousel of Progress
  • PeopleMover
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Read on as we explore each ride in detail, noting the pros and cons that make each one unique.

Related Reading: All Walt Disney World Ride Lengths

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Mad Tea Party

Features & Product Aspects to Look For

When evaluating the best Magic Kingdom rides, the following key aspects were considered:

Theming

  • The overall look and feel of the ride.
  • The storytelling elements incorporated in the ride.
  • How immersive the experience is for riders.

Ride Sensations

  • The thrill element – whether mild or intense – the ride provides.
  • The uniqueness of the ride vehicle and path.
  • Any special effects that make the journey more exciting.

Historical Significance

  • The ride’s place in Disney history or the history of theme park attractions in general.
  • Any connections to Walt Disney himself or significant Disney films and franchises.
  • How the ride reflects or has shaped advances in theme park technology or storytelling.

Best Rides at Magic Kingdom

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Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

Overview

The Haunted Mansion is a standout ride for several reasons. This fan-favorite attraction wonderfully blends classic theming with a balance between spooky and humor, transporting you into a supernatural realm that’s more fun than frightening.

Pros

  • Top-notch special effects make for an engaging ride experience.
  • The immersive storyline keeps guest interest piqued from start to finish.
  • It’s a good all-ages attraction with just the right amount of spooky factor.

Cons

  • The ride might be a bit too intense for younger children or those easily scared.
  • During peak park hours, wait times can be long, so you might need a Lightning Lane to beat the crowd.
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It’s A Small World

It’s A Small World

Overview

It’s A Small World is not just a ride; it’s an iconic Disney experience that emphasizes its historic Disney origins and presents a childlike perspective of the world. This charming boat ride takes guests past hundreds of animated children and animals dressed in traditional attire from around the globe, all singing the catchy and unforgettable theme song.

Pros

  • The ride is a gentle journey, perfect for all ages and guest types, including those who prefer milder attractions.
  • It carries an endearing message of global unity.
  • The colorful and bright animatronics keep the attention of both kids and adults.

Cons

  • The tune, while catchy, has been known to stick in guest’s heads long after the ride is over.
  • It may be a bit tame for thrill-seekers, but its charm makes it a must-do for first-time visitors.
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Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

Overview

It’s a pirate’s life! Welcome to the Pirates of the Caribbean. This ride’s scallywag spirit and immersive adventure transport you right into the midst of a lively pirate world with Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew. The highly detailed sets, audio-animatronic figures, and infectious pirate shanty make this ride an enduring attraction.

Pros

  • It offers rich, immersive storytelling through impressive audio-animatronics and sets.
  • Perfect for all ages.
  • A great ride to cool down in, thanks to the indoor, air-conditioned environment.

Cons

  • The sudden drops may surprise some guests, although they’re quite mild.
  • Certain darker and louder scenes may be intense for young children.
  • During busy times, there can be long lines, so consider Lightning Lane options.
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Carousel of Progress

Overview

Time travel through the 20th century with Carousel of Progress! This charming exploration of progress features a revolving theatre showing the advances of technology over the years. Created by Walt Disney himself, it’s a nostalgic view of the past and an optimistic glimpse into the future.

Pros

  • Unique theater-style ride showcasing advancements in daily life comforts.
  • The catchy and memorable theme song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”.
  • Provides a sit-down rest opportunity in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Good for all ages and part of Walt Disney’s original vision for Disneyland.

Cons

  • The slow-paced nature and vintage-style may not appeal to everyone, especially younger visitors or thrill-seekers.
  • Some may find the theme song repetitive.
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PeopleMover

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

Overview

Your feet need a break? Hop on the PeopleMover. This relaxing tour of Tomorrowland provides a chilled-out way to enjoy some great views of the park from above. A calming contrast to the thrill rides, this is a smooth, elevated ride that cruises through Tomorrowland’s main attractions.

Pros

  • Offers a unique, bird’s-eye view of Tomorrowland.
  • Comfortable and relaxing, a welcomed break from walking.
  • Typically has a quick line, making it an easy choice for alleviating tired feet.
  • Delightfully retro in a way that adds to its charm.

Cons

  • It’s not a thrill ride, so it may be boring for guests seeking adrenaline-rushing experiences.
  • Not an experience likely to be a highlight, but makes for a pleasant interlude between more intense rides.
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Jungle Cruise

Jungle Cruise

Overview

Get ready for a whimsical voyage! The Jungle Cruise takes you on a delightful boat ride inspired by the world’s most exotic rivers. Cruise around with a witty guide who will keep you entertained with fun facts and a good dose of campy humor amidst the stunning animatronic wildlife.

Pros

  • The animatronic animals and rainforest setting provide fascinating sights.
  • Engaging live commentary from the captain adds a humorous touch.
  • The ride’s pun-filled humor provides a good laugh for all age groups.

Cons

  • The script can be a bit cheesy, but it’s all in good fun.
  • Guests seeking intense thrills may find this ride a bit tame.
  • During peak hours, the wait time can be longer.
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Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Overview

Hold on to your hats, because Big Thunder Mountain is a wild ride through the wild west! This theme park classic is a roller coaster ride through a highly themed mining landscape in the Frontierland. It’s wild, bumpy, and a lot of fun amidst a picturesque western gold mining town.

Pros

  • It’s a fast-paced roller coaster with unexpected turns and drops.
  • Intriguing storyline and immersive frontier theming.
  • Offers great views of the park from the highs of the ride.

Cons

  • Not suitable for guests with back or neck problems because of the rough ride.
  • Might be intense for young children.
  • The wait times can be long during peak hours, so plan any Lightning Lanes accordingly.
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Space Mountain

Space Mountain

Overview

Blast off into the exciting journey of Space Mountain! It’s a high-speed roller coaster through the stars, offering all the thrill you could ask for in an indoor coaster with a fun space theme. This iconic ride takes you through a swirling galaxy for an adrenaline-soaked experience.

Pros

  • The indoor setting and astronomical theme add to the exhilarating experience.
  • Fast and unforeseen turns make for an exciting ride.
  • A thrill-seeker’s favorite.

Cons

  • Space Mountain is not suitable for those who are faint-hearted or uncomfortable with the dark.
  • May scare young children due to the speed and darkness.
  • Lightning Lane might be necessary as lines can be exceptionally long.
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Walt Disney World Railroad

Walt Disney World Railroad

Overview

Looking for a laid-back journey around the park with pleasant views? Jump aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad. This train ride offers both a nostalgic journey and practical transportation around the park, providing an enjoyable respite from the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom.

Pros

  • It’s a relaxing and comfortable ride with great views of Magic Kingdom.
  • Convenient way to navigate around the park, stopping at Main Street, Frontierland, and Fantasyland.
  • Perfect for families and train enthusiasts.

Cons

  • For adventure seekers, it may be a bit tame.
  • It’s not a quick way to get around due to its leisurely speed.
  • The train may be temporarily closed for refurbishment or during certain special events. Always check the daily operating schedule.
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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Overview

For a unique, fairytale-themed coaster experience, don’t miss the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Part roller coaster and part dark ride, you will be taken through the diamond mines from Snow White, all while your cart realistically rocks back and forth.

Pros

  • It combines thrills and classic Disney storytelling perfectly.
  • The innovative, swinging ride vehicles provide a fun, unique coaster experience.
  • Animatronics in the mine scenes are excellently done and add to the overall immersive experience.

Cons

  • The wait times can be extremely long. You might need to use a Lightning Lane for this popular attraction.
  • Some guests may find the ride to be shorter than expected.
  • It isn’t as fast or thrilling as some of the park’s other roller coasters.
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Pirates of the Caribbean Exit Plaza

Riding Guide

When planning your Magic Kingdom visit to make the most of these rides, consider the following points:

Best Times to Ride

Avoid peak hours: Try to hit popular rides early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid long queues.

Weekdays: Visiting the park on a weekday can give you a less crowded experience.

Off-season: Months like January and September are typically less crowded compared to the holiday times like Christmas or Spring break.

Additional Tips

Use FastPass: This system allows you to reserve access to select attractions, entertainment and more. Use it wisely to maximize your time in the park.

Stay hydrated and well-fed: There are plenty of water fountains and food stalls throughout the park. Remember it’s going to be a long day so keep your energy levels up.

Take breaks: Don’t forget to take rest periods in between to sit, relax and soak up the Magic Kingdom atmosphere.

Dress wisely: Comfortable clothes and shoes can make your experience a lot more enjoyable as there’s a lot of walking involved.

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Liberty Belle Riverboat

Other Fun Magic Kingdom Rides

While the aforementioned rides are our top picks, Magic Kingdom offers plenty of other attractions that might appeal to specific interests or age groups. Here are some you might want to consider:

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

If interactive rides are your thing, don’t miss out on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. It’s an engaging target shooting game set in the world of Toy Story, which adds a competitive edge to your fun.

Peter Pan’s Flight

A journey over London and through scenes from the classic Peter Pan story, this slow-moving ride is especially loved by younger children and fans of the movie.

Under The Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid

Plunge into the magical world of Ariel in this musical undersea adventure. With a combination of stunning animatronics, digital projections, and music, it’s a delight for Little Mermaid enthusiasts.

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

Catered to the young and the young at heart, this gentle journey takes you through scenes from the popular children’s book making it an ideal experience for young families.

Remember, while it’s great to have a list of top attractions, always consider the tastes and preferences of your own group to create an unforgettable memory.

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The Upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for experiencing the best rides at Magic Kingdom?

Planning is key. If you find the cost to be worth it, consider using Disney’s Lightning Lane service to reserve access to select shows and attractions. But ideally, aim to visit during off-peak times to minimize waiting times.

Are all these rides suitable for young children?

While many rides are family-friendly, some may have height restrictions or may be too intense for young children. Check the ride information before queueing to ensure it’s suitable for your child.

How long are typical wait times for these Magic Kingdom attractions?

Wait times can vary significantly based on factors such as time of day, time of year, and weather conditions. However, peak times often see wait times of over an hour for the most popular attractions.

Is there a best order in which to ride these attractions at the Magic Kingdom?

There’s no definitive answer as it largely depends on personal preference, crowd levels, and the time of your visit. Exploring the park in a counter-clockwise path, starting with Tomorrowland, can be a good strategy.

How many of these attractions can I realistically do in one day at Magic Kingdom?

With good planning, it’s possible to experience all of these attractions in a single day, especially during long summer days or on days when Magic Kingdom has extended opening hours.

What should be your first ride at Magic Kingdom?

This also falls under personal preference, but Haunted Mansion, PeopleMover, or the Walt Disney World Railroad are good choices for a first ride at Magic Kingdom.

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Small World Loungefly On PeopleMover

Summary

After exploring each standout feature, it’s clear that the best rides at Magic Kingdom Disney World cater to a variety of park goers, offering something for everyone – from classic theming and historical legacy to thrilling adventures and humorous escapades.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The Haunted Mansion stands out for its classic theming and balance between spooky and humor.
  • It’s A Small World is noted for its historic Disney origins and charming childlike perspective of the world.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean offers an immersive adventure filled with scallywag spirit.
  • The Carousel of Progress delights with its wink to the progress made throughout the 20th Century.
  • The tranquil PeopleMover ride gives a unique view of Tomorrowland from above.
  • Jungle Cruise is packed with campy humor and an engaging boat ride.
  • Experience a wild ride through a fantastically themed landscape on Big Thunder Mountain.
  • Space Mountain provides a thrilling classic indoor coaster experience accompanied by exciting space theming.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad presents a scenic tour and handy transportation around the park.
  • And finally, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a fairytale-themed ride with a unique rocking cart coaster.

As you can tell, some of the best attractions at Walt Disney World Resort are at Magic Kingdom park. So, have a magical trip and eat a Dole whip!

What’s your list of best Magic Kingdom rides?

For more Disney World aboard the Carousel, you can also check out:

Thanks for reading!

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