Orlando is home to some of the most celebrated theme parks in the world. From Disney, there is Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studio, and from Universal, there is Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. All of these places are full of rides and attractions that are based on popular movies, shows, and characters, as they provide entertainment for all.
Whether someone is looking for a slow, chill ride or a big, fast coaster, they can find it in Orlando, and many of the rides at these parks use animatronics in order to create thrills. These life-like robots can talk, sing, sit and stand, in order to truly immerse visitors into these magical worlds… and here are 10 of the most legendary ones.
10 It's a Small World’s Children
One of the most classic Disney rides is It's a Small World, which takes visitors on a boat and on a ride all about world peace. As everyone knows, there are children from across the planet featured on this ride.
They're all wearing traditional costumes from their cultures, they are all standing next to landmarks from their countries, and they are all singing the theme song over and over. In all, there are more than 300 of these little audio-animatronics on this ride, which come together to create an icon.
9 Skull Island: Reign of Kong’s King Kong
One of the newer rides at Islands of Adventure is Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This ride makes people feel like they are in an expedition truck and entering a temple, where they come across bat-like creatures, big bugs, dinosaurs and King Kong himself.
The action is presented in a few different ways, but the end is the main attraction: The truck goes around a corner, and there is a larger-than-life animatronic Kong who sniffs the truck, stares, roars and sends everyone driving away quickly.
8 Spaceship Earth’s Monk
The most iconic building at Epcot houses Spaceship Earth, a dark ride that gives everyone a history lesson and that shows off the developments that have been made over time.
From early humans in a cave to people during the European Renaissance and on to more modern sights, like a computer engineer, this ride is full of notable animatronics that have been enjoyed for years and years. Perhaps the most well-known one, though, is also a sort of humorous one: this sleeping monk.
7 Expedition Everest’s Yeti
At Disney's Animal Kingdom, there is Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, and its story focuses on the Yeti protecting the Forbidden Mountain. This is the most expensive roller coaster on the planet and the tallest fake mountain out of all the ones at Disney parks.
The Yeti is the biggest and most complex animatronic that this brand has ever created, standing 25 feet tall and being able to move 5 feet horizontally and 18 inches vertically. This ride is super thrilling, and coming across this creature is an unforgettable experience!
6 Men in Black: Alien Attack’s Bug
Many people enjoy the ride that is based on the Men in Black movies, Men in Black: Alien Attack; it makes riders feel like they are entering a training facility, where they must shoot at aliens with laser guns.
This spinning ride at Universal Studios features more than 125 animatronic aliens, including one iconic and large one… Just like in the first movie, there is a cockroach-like alien, and this version of it is 30 feet tall and 50 feet wide, with 8-foot-long teeth, and 20-foot-long claws.
5 Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts’ Goblins
Of course, a big part of Universal is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and in the Diagon Alley portion of this themed land, guests can enter Gringotts Wizarding Bank and enjoy Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
This coaster uses a lot of special effects and 3-D projections, but the queue is almost as exciting as the actual ride; the bank looks just like it does in the films, and there are animatronic goblins that are busy working yet that also take the time to look up and eye people who are in line!
4 Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’s Magic
The other portion of the Wizarding World is at Islands of Adventure, and it takes guests into Hogwarts Castle and onto Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Within this ride, there are sets, projection screens and animatronics, such as a dragon that breathes fire and the famous Whomping Willow that knocks riders down into the Quidditch pitch.
Fans of these books and films love putting put into these scenes and situations, and the animatronics help make this ride a super cool one.
3 Jurassic Park: The Ride’s T-Rex
One of the most popular rides at Islands of Adventure is Jurassic Park: The Ride. Like the movie that it is based on, it starts as a pretty calm and truly exhilarating experience… but then things go wrong. The boat enters a bad area, and everyone can tell that something crazy is about to happen.
As those who have been on this ride know, there is an 85-foot drop (yes, that is right), and it must be taken, as it is the only way to escape past a huge and very realistic-looking tyrannosaurus rex.
2 Pirates of the Caribbean's Pirates
Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic ride at Magic Kingdom, which even spurred on a film series, which means that characters from these films were added onto this ride! The story, the scenes and the song are known by many, and the animatronics on this journey are some of the most memorable ones out there.
In all, there are 75 audio-animatronic pirates and villagers, as well as 53 animatronic animals and birds. When people think of these life-like robots, they usually picture the whistling cheeks, hairy legs and Captain Jack Sparrow himself, which are all parts of this ride.
1 Kilimanjaro Safaris’ Elephant
This list will end with a sad tale from Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safaris… This ride mimics an actual African safari, and it once featured a storyline that involved hunting down poachers that had taken a mother elephant and her baby (Big Red and Little Red), not being quick enough and coming up on the Big Red’s body.
Even though it was a fake elephant, this was not very Disney-friendly, so that plot was changed! Then, though, in 2012, Little Red’s complete involvement was replaced with zebras. RIP, Big Red, and Little Red.