Like its films, Disney’s theme parks provide fun for all ages; the rides found at Disneyland and at Disney World allow fans to see their favorite stories in a whole new way and allow for glimpses into new territories, with educational adventures, too.
There are slow-moving journeys centered around lovable characters, thrilling coasters for those who dare to ride and attractions that feature lifelike scenes, creatures and moments from around the world (which may or may not be from popular Disney flicks).
But which rides are the best? Well, it is time to rank them right here and right now…
While on Frozen Ever After at Epcot, park guests take a boat ride past recognizable characters like Anna, Olaf and, of course, Queen Elsa in her ice palace. This is a slow and relaxing ride that is suitable for all ages, and it makes this list due to its theme; Frozen has been one of Disney’s most successful movies, so it makes sense that an attraction centered around it and its characters would be a highlight, even when compared to all else that these parks offer. It may not be the most thrilling thing to do at Disney, but it is worth a stop!
Located at Magic Kingdom, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin is another one the entire family can enjoy together. In it, everyone is going up against Zurg, from Toy Story 2, by shooting at targets while in star cruisers; these ride vehicles can even spin all the way around (hence the name), in order to make sure each and every target is being hit and to ensure that the good guys win. Lots of glowing elements help make this attraction look really cool, and it is fun to imagine teaming up with Buzz, who is another notable character from Disney.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which can be found at Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland, is a classic. Its story is centered around the Gold Rush, so it puts people in an old mine shaft that is filled with boulders, canyons, a ghost town and other possibly frightening moments! This is definitely a step up from the first two rides on this list - Frozen’s and Buzz Lightyear’s - since it is a roller coaster with some good drops and some speed. But it is nothing compared to some of the others found within this ranking of Disney rides...
Yes, it is time to begin our transition into some of the more thrilling rides at these parks… This next ride, Splash Mountain, starts off with a nice little ride through the bayou, where animatronic animals like Br’er Rabbit are singing classics like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.
But Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox are along for this journey, as well, and it all ends with a five-story drop into the Briar Patch! This is another high-quality and well-known attraction that can be enjoyed at both Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, and at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
Perhaps the most popular ride at Disneyland is the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Modeled after a mountain in the Alps, this coaster takes people 80 feet up into a cave and then around ledges, across bridges, and into a lake. Oh, and everyone gets to sled right up to the Abominable Snowman himself, since he dwells within this place. Yes, this exciting ride truly deserves a top spot here, and it is a good one for those who want some thrills while visiting the park but who are not ready to get on the really big, fast, steep ones yet!
If people can’t make it to the other side of the world, they can at least somewhat experience other countries while visiting Epcot. This park has international areas full of foods and landmarks, but it also has Soarin' Around the World. On this ride, feet dangle during a flight above breathtaking views - everything from mountains and the ocean to natural wonders of the world. The Great Wall of China, the Pyramids in Egypt and the Eiffel Tower are just a few of the sights to behold, and it really does feel like these extraordinary spots are right there.
While Disneyland has the Matterhorn, Disney's Animal Kingdom has Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. The general idea is similar: Visit Mount Everest in order to experience a steep climb, an encounter with a broken track, a backwards rush into pure darkness and - the main attraction - the Yeti. But it provides so much more than that!
This is a real roller coaster, with unique surprises that make this a must-ride. Furthermore, according to Disney, Expedition Everest is the most expensive coaster that has ever been made, which is another cool reason to try it out again and again.
Arguably the best ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This combines old Hollywood, the black-and-white sci-fi TV series The Twilight Zone, and a unique ride experience, making this one of the most iconic Disney attractions. The way it looks when walking up to it, the designs inside and then that infamous drop… This is another one that is highly recommended and highly ranked (but which may be too much for some)! Let’s all just ignore the fact that we had to say rest in peace to the one at Disney California Adventure Park.
It was tough to decide which of these last two attractions would take the number-one spot, but here they both are… In second to last place is the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which is at Disneyland and at Magic Kingdom. Based on the popular movies, it takes people deeper into this story; hear the songs, see the locations, get caught in between ships involved in a cannon fight, and even encounter the Captain Jack Sparrow! The details seen on this ride are incredible, and it is always entertaining to take it all in, no matter how young or old.
And last but not least, there is the Haunted Mansion. There is also a film version of this ride, which is not Disney’s most popular movie of all time, but this ride is definitely popular and known and loved. It, too, can be found at both Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland, and though the two attractions vary a bit, the gist is the same: Ride through a haunted house full of 999 ghosts and ghouls. The way this house is set up and how the haunts are presented is just so awesome. It has been providing entertainment for years and will hopefully continue to do so for many more!