One could make a pretty good case for the Magic Kingdom being the most popular park at Disney World. With plenty of nostalgia for your favorite Disney characters and a mixture of rides both for thrill-seekers and more timid little kids, Magic Kingdom has a little something for everyone. That said, the almost universal adoration of the Magic Kingdom brings some of the longest wait times. While some rides are so awesome that the long line is totally justified, others end up being a little underwhelming.
Here are five rides at the Magic Kingdom you can afford to pass up, and five you absolutely can't miss that are worth the wait.
10 Not Worth It: The Magic Carpets Of Aladdin
There's nothing wrong with this ride per se, but the experience can be topped by other rides that pretty much do the same thing. On this ride, you board a magic carpet that lifts in the air and spins in a circle. Other rides that do the same thing in the Magic Kingdom include Astro Orbiter, which lifts over 25 feet, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, one of the oldest attractions featured at Disney parks and a nostalgic favorite.
Not to mention, Dumbo has a playground area for kids to play in while they wait. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin just doesn't seem to measure up in comparison to the other two spinning rides.
9 Totally Worth It: Space Mountain
Space Mountain has some of the longest wait times in the entire park, but for good reason: this indoor roller coaster shoots you past glowing planets, stars, comets, meteors, and asteroids before you plunge into darkness and finish up the ride by getting sucked into a wormhole. This coaster is fun enough to thrill you but not insane enough to make you lose your lunch. The futuristic decorations can serve as a distraction while you wait in line.
Space Mountain is one of the rides with a corresponding section in the Play Disney Parks app, so you can play interactive, space-themed games on your phone while you wait.
8 Not Worth It: Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
While Little Mermaid fans may be tempted to wait out the seemingly never-ending wait time, there's a good chance that they'll leave the ride unsatisfied. The ride is cute enough: you sit down in a giant clamshell and travel around as you see the story of Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian and Prince Eric retold in front of you.
The ride is pretty darn similar to others in the park though, and there is disappointingly nothing too groundbreaking about it despite it being one of the newer rides in the Magic Kingdom. You might just step out of your clamshell wondering why you waited so long for a ride with such little payoff.
7 Totally Worth It: Splash Mountain
Even for those who don't know much about Disney World or have never even visited, this iconic listing should come as no surprise. As you float through water and observe an animatronic story about Br’er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear, you'll experience three thrilling, fake-out drops before finally hitting the climatic, fifty-foot plunge that'll leave you soaking wet.
This log-flume ride is a classic for a reason and, like Space Mountain, has corresponding games in the Play Disney Parks app to try while you wait. The five-story, 40 mph drop is one of the highlights of the entire park.
6 Not Worth It: Peter Pan's Flight
Like the Under the Sea ride, this ride has you board a cart and drift across scenes from the movie Peter Pan. Another thing it has in common with the Little Mermaid-themed ride? The cool scenes on the attraction don't quite justify the insanely long wait time.
If you're going to opt for one of the "dark rides" in the Magic Kingdom park, many will recommend the very similar Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction, as it has faster, more abrupt movements and a playground in the waiting area to take up time. When you have that as an option, Peter Pan's Flight just seems like kind of a time-suck.
5 Totally Worth It: Haunted Mansion
Both innovative and delightful, the Haunted Mansion features some really cool special effects as well as a couple of fun frights. You'll board a "doom buggy" and tour the haunted mansion, and unlike other "dark rides," the scenes and storyline played out in front of you will make you glad you stuck the wait out.
Not only are there tons of surprises and a few laughs as well, it's not too scary for kids to ride, either. The waiting area is super detailed too, so you'll see some gags and illusions before you even get on the attraction. This is a ride you absolutely cannot miss!
4 Not Worth It: Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
This animatronic show is certainly unique as it seems to revolve the audience members from scene to scene, but it's so outdated that it's ultimately worth a skip. We see the progression of technology over four generations, starting in the earlier 1900's and taking the audience all the way to futuristic... 1993.
With the latest "technology" of the show being clunky, 90's era video games, the kids of today will likely be a little confused as to what the big fuss is about. It's cute and a Disney classic, but it's definitely not worth a long wait time.
3 Totally Worth It: Pirates of the Caribbean
Tied only with Haunted Mansion, this ride has some of the coolest visuals in the park. You'll float along vivid scenes of animatronic pirates that look entirely human if you squint, and the catchy pirate song "Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)" only adds to the fun environment. This ride is indoors, so the sun won't be beating down too hard on you while you wait, and there's also some enchanting details to peek in at during certain parts of the queue too.
It's a Disney classic that even inspired a successful movie series, so try your best to wait this one out.
2 Not Worth It: Tomorrowland Speedway
This is essentially a go-kart attraction, and while that's all well and good, it isn't really an original concept. It might win over your young children if they're racecar fans, but it seems kind of like a waste of time when you could be experiencing more creative and original rides.
A cute little racing ride is fine, but it's definitely not exclusive to Disney and not deserving of you putting any kind of effort into experiencing it. Maybe this was perceived as more revolutionary back in Disney's early days, but as of today, it's just kind of boring.
1 Totally Worth It: Jungle Cruise
This ride might not be as exhilarating as others, but it's certainly entertaining. It's a full 10 minutes, and not one of those minutes will leave you bored. You'll travel on a boat through Asia, Africa, and South America and observe their animatronic wildlife. Your comedic tour guide will delight the children aboard and may even get a chuckle or two out of the adults, and the fun storyline accompanying the ride keeps you guessing (assuming you haven't ridden it before.)
In addition, the waiting area has cool details and props that'll help you immerse you in the setting as well as give you a sneak peek as to what you'll encounter on your journey.