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You’d Be Crazy to Miss These Top 10 Disney World Rides

Pandemic Update

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Walt Disney World closed its gates in mid-March of 2020. The theme park resort is reopening in phases. Disney has introduced many new policies, guidelines, and changes to accommodate safe operations at its Florida property amid the pandemic.

It is critical for visitors to learn what has changed and the ways that their visit might be different. It is also important to plan accordingly. According to Disney, all of the rides and attractions listed below will be available when the parks reopen. But the resort plans to keep some theater-style presentations closed, at least initially.

To dive into the details and learn more about what to expect, read our comprehensive guide to visiting Disney World during the pandemic.

Disney World’s Best Attractions

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. They include a massive Guardians of the Galaxy indoor coaster, a ride based on the Pixar movie, Ratatouille, 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 one of its newer entries:

01 of 10

Matt Stroshane, Disney

The featured attraction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Rise of the Resistance is not only the best attraction at Disney World, it just may be the best theme park attraction in the world (galaxy?). It is epic in scale and, at about 17 minutes, in length as well. It uses multiple ride systems to convincingly insert guests into a battle between the Resistance and the First Order. Star Wars fans will consider it the Holy Grail of theme park experiences. All others will be blown away.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5
    Relatively mild motion simulator thrills.
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

03 of 10

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

04 of 10

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

Continue to 5 of 10 below.

05 of 10

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.

06 of 10

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!): 4.5
    Relatively mild motion simulator thrills.
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

07 of 10

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

08 of 10

Disney Parks

Imagine boarding a life-size version of the most famous bucket of bolts in moviedom. Imagine no more. Disney, in partnership with Lucasfilm, has built a startlingly lifelike Millennium Falcon—and you get to join its crew! It is the world’s first interactive, E-ticket, motion simulator ride.

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4
    Fairly mild motion simulator thrills
  • Height Requirement: 38 inches
  • Location: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Continue to 9 of 10 below.

09 of 10

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

10 of 10

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

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