Disneyland calls itself “the happiest place on earth” and that is a hell of a moniker to live up to. I have been to Disneyland and Disney World several times and I have to admit that I don’t think that this motto is too far from the truth. With that being said, this is an expensive theme park and people who travel here understandably want to get the most for their money. Most travel sites have an article that features advice about Disney but most of this advice is just ways to get into the actual park as quickly and easily as possible. What many of these articles ignore is that you might have no idea what to do in the park once you arrive.
There are dozens of rides at Disney and most likely you will not have time to ride all of them. You will need to treat your time wisely and this means being selective about which rides you wait in line for. That’s where this article comes in.
We will countdown the 13 most overrated Disney rides and 12 worth waiting in line for. Following the advice in this article won’t solve all of your Disney problems but it should at least ensure that you don’t waste your time at the less than stellar attractions that Disney offers.
25 Overrated- The Old Tower of Terror
At any amusement park that you go to, the "scary" attractions are usually some of the worst in the park. Most parks attach some cheesy horror gimmick to their worst rides, so that they can get people to actually ride them. Disney World has superior special effects compared to almost any park in the world but even they fall into this trap from time to time.
A perfect example of this was the Tower of Terror before it underwent its recent renovation. All that this ride does is take you up several stories and then drop you. I can get this cheap thrill at just about any carnival I go to.
24 Worth Waiting For-The New Tower of Terror
With the introduction of Marvel into the Disney Universe, Disney World is in for a massive overhaul. Some of these changes have already been implemented and they are spectacular. One of my favorite Avengers rides is a Disney classic that they totally revamped. They took the boring old Tower of a Terror and turned it into a ride based on the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
The best thing about this ride is that there is a different version for each of the films major characters. You now have to ride it multiple times to get the full experience.
23 Overrated- The Lecture Hall of Presidents
I am a history buff, so I actually like this attraction. But for the purposes of our readers, I have to admit that the Hall of Presidents might not be the most tantalizing exhibit at Disney World. This attraction uses state of the art animatronics to create a show that showcases all 45 leaders of the United States.
If you are with younger children, it is best to skip this exhibit altogether, as it can get very tedious. If not, maybe give it a shot to see if it’s your cup of tea.
22 Worth Waiting For- Rock N Roller Coaster
Insane dips, a high-intensity coaster, awesome rock music - what more could you ask for in a ride? This is widely considered to be the most extreme coaster at Disney World and I think that it matches up with any coaster that I have ever been on. Even better, this ride is accompanied by some great rock ballads and the speed and direction of the coaster actually coincides with the music in the background.
This is such a simple idea but it is so representative of Disney’s genius. I am surprised that other parks haven’t tried to copy it.
21 Overrated- A Bug’s Ride
I think that A Bug’s Life is one of the most underrated movies in Disney’s arsenal. The only ride at Disney World that represents this great movie, however, is highly overrated. The Bug’s Life ride is shoved into a lonely corner of the park and you can just tell that the Disney engineers never gave it the attention that it properly deserved. The storyline is disjointed and you don’t get a taste of any of the magic that accompanied the film. This is just another reason why younger generations will never know how good A Bug’s Life really was.
20 Worth Waiting For- The Iconic Space Mountain
"Oldest ride, longest line." This is not only the trademark of "the Nature Boy" Ric Flair, it is also the famous saying associated with Space Mountain. There is some dispute, but Space Mountain is widely considered to be the oldest ride at Disney World. But this certainly doesn't mean that it is outdated.
Space Mountain continues to be one of the most popular rides at Disney because it is so entertaining. Space Mountain is fun no matter how many times you have ridden it. As Disney continues to renovate its park, the legacy of Space Mountain will continue to grow.
19 Overrated- The Age of Railroads Has Ended
This next entry was a personal favorite of Walt Disney, which might explain why it is still around despite a noticeable down-slope in popularity. Wait Disney World Railroad is exactly how it sounds, it is a train on a miniature track that takes you through Disney World so you can see the park and all of its attractions. But we can get most of this experience by walking and now that the park is fully accessible, the purpose of this ride is unclear. It certainly isn't exciting or fun enough to stand on its own as an attraction.
18 Worth Waiting For- The Giant Golf Ball
Have you ever seen a picture of Disney World and seen the giant golf ball in the background, that is Spaceship Earth. Not only is Spaceship Earth part of the iconic scenery at Disney World, but it is also one of its best rides.
Inside the giant white sphere is a ride that takes you on a time-traveling adventure. A lot has changed at Disney World since the Epcot center was built in 1982 but at the time it, and Spaceship Earth, was one of the most exciting attractions in the world.
17 Overrated- Welcome to 1950: the Swiss Family Tree House
I am all for their being a few rides at a theme park that don't make your stomach want to jump up into your throat. But if you're going to have attractions that are tamer, you also have to make them somewhat interesting. For years, the Swiss Family Treehouse has been one of the most boring attractions at Disney World.
Disney has so many iconic and popular movies but they refuse to take down this relic from a movie that almost none of their younger guests have ever actually seen.
16 Worth Waiting For - Expedition Everest Bucks Trends
You may have noticed that the best rides at Disney World tend to come from popular Disney movies. Usually, Disney puts more time and effort into these rides because they know that it will turn into additional revenue for them down the road.
Expedition Everest is one of the rides that bucks this trend. This rollercoaster ride isn’t based on a box office hit but it is still one of the best rides at Disney. It is also one of the few true roller coasters in the entire theme park.
15 Overrated - The Much-Maligned Stitch’s Great Escape
Disney World prides itself upon keeping its park almost completely operational throughout the year. Therefore, it speaks volumes that Stitch's Great Escape, spends a good chunk of the year closed downs. This ride is so unpopular that there often isn't enough demand to justify keeping it open.
The problem isn't our furry blue friend, however, before the debut of Lilo and Stitch, this was an alien-based ride that was also extremely unpopular. Therefore, I’m willing to bet that the branding isn’t the problem with this ride, that it’s the ride itself.
14 Worth Waiting For - Soarin' Around the World
I have a strange affinity for Epcot. The sci-fi section of the park has changed a lot over the years but the parks engineers have done a good job of keeping the attractions updated. This is absolutely necessary in a world where people can set up virtual reality headsets in their living room.
This particular ride takes you on a virtual tour of some of the most popular attractions around the world. You get to see, hear, and even smell what it’s like to be in places like Sydney, Australia and at the Great Pyramids.
13 Overrated- Deliverance or Country Bear Jamboree
Most of the entries on this side of the article are boring but this next entry is downright creepy. Country Bear Jamboree is a musical attraction that includes a group of animatronic bears playing country music. Ever been to Chuck E Cheese and seen Chuck E and the band? Same thing.
I will admit that the Western show that they do isn't bad, but besides that, this once popular attraction has not aged very well. It also doesn’t help that the movie that inspired this attraction was never very popular.
12 Worth Waiting For- Toy Story Mania Running Wild
As someone who was born in the early 90s, my friends who are around my age absolutely love the Toy Story franchise. The team of Woody and Buzz can do no wrong in their eyes and anything sporting the Toy Story trademark instantly gets them excited. I don’t have the same affinity for Andy’s toys but I do have to admit that the Toy Story Mania ride at Disney is pretty cool.
Basically, it’s a 4D shoot-em-up game that features all of your favorite characters from the movies. Disney was wise to take advantage of one of their most popular franchises.
11 Overrated- The Familiar Triceratops Spin
Because there are so many rides at Disney, the park designers are guilty of putting the same ride in the park multiple times and only changing the outside appearance. As a perfect example, I give you the Triceratops Spin. For this ride, you sit within a giant green triceratops and the ride spins you around. If you think that this sounds a lot like the Dumbo Ride that's because that is exactly what it is. But instead of sitting within everyone's favorite elephant, you get a weird looking dinosaur from god knows what movie.
10 Worth Waiting For- Have a Blast at Splash Mountain
Water parks are a crucial component of any successful amusement park. No matter how cool the rest of your rides are, there will be a point in the middle of summer where all that people want to do is cool off on a hot day. Most water park rides are pretty lame but Disney has found a way to make even water slides ultra cool. Splash Mountain is easily the best ride in the Disney water park.
It’s basically a log ride with a steep drop but Disney uses enough animatronic magic to give this ride its own unique appeal.
9 Overrated- How Do You Mess up the Magic Carpets of Aladdin?
I loved watching Aladdin as a kid and I think that being able to ride on a magic carpet through the desert would be an incredible experience. Disney has the smarts and technology to make this dream a reality but instead, they gave us this waste of a ride.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is a glorified kiddie ride that takes you in a circle while you sit in a car that looks like Aladdin’s carpet. This ride is no different from the rides you can find at any fair that spin you around in a circle.
8 Worth Waiting For- The Avatar Ride Better Than the Movie
One reason why I know that the Avatar ride at Disney is great is because I absolutely deplore that movie and I still find the ride highly enjoyable. I bought into the hype of Avatar when it debuted (I even went out and bought a Blu-ray player) and managed to fall asleep twice while watching it before I finally gave up.
The ride at Disney World, officially named Avatar Flight of Passage, is based on the flying sequence, the only part of that movie that was actually cool.
7 Overrated- I Won’t Be Living With the Land
Kudos to Disney for maintaining some rides at their park that are actually informational but c’mon, do I really want to spend my limited time at Disney World on a ride like Living With the Land. This guided tour takes you through the Disney greenhouses and shows you how the food at the Disney Land resort ends up on your plate.
This tour is very informative and I have one foodie friend who absolutely loves it. For me, I would rather take for granted how my food is prepared and spend my time on one of the other fabulous rides in the Disneyland park.
6 Worth Waiting For- Quick Lines at the Seven Dwarves Mine
Some entries on this list are worth waiting for no matter how long the line gets or how slowly it moves. There is something to be said, however, for rides that are able to make the line move quickly.
The Seven Dwarves Mine, a fairly new addition to the Magic Kingdom, is one such ride. Disney execs felt like they needed an updated Snow White ride, so they commissioned this short, family-friendly roller coaster. The ride itself is pretty sweet but the best part is that it’s pretty short. This means that the line is constantly moving and you don’t have to roast in the sun all day.
5 Overrated- Muppet Vision 3D
The engineers at Disney have a near obsession with making sure that the rides at Disney stay up to date. Disney is constantly revamping their rides and a lot of attention is paid to making sure that all the rides and attractions look cutting edge. The problem is that the engineers often revamp the technical aspects of these rides without updating their more nuanced aspects.
Muppet Vision 3D suffers from this issue, as the storyline that accompanies the attraction feels like it is a few decades out of date.
4 Worth Waiting For- Kilimanjaro Safaris
If you have ever been to Disney World you have probably noticed that the park relies heavily on animatronics. I would argue, however, that some of the best attractions in the park use real-life actors. While the animals that live in Kilimanjaro Safaris might not consider themselves actors, they are some of the most popular attractions at Disney World.
This safari is cool because you have a good chance of getting up close and personal with the wildlife. On a trip that I took, a giraffe literally straddled our cab on its way across the plain.
3 Overrated- Is This Tomorrowland Speedway?
A good way to describe Disney Land to a first timer would be that they take regular theme park rides and make them 1000x more entertaining. But you should first admit that they don’t live up to this reputation for every ride in the park. Take Tomorrowland Speedway for instance.
Pretty much any amusement park that you go to will have a track with go-karts. Tomorrowland Speedway is a track with go-karts but they have ramped it up by... oh wait, they haven’t ramped it up. This is basically just a go-kart ride that you shouldn’t waste your time with when there are so many other fun things to do at Disney.
2 Worth Waiting For- Which Pirates of the Caribbean Came First?
Some of the most popular rides at Disney Land were based on popular Disney movies. Our next entry might be the only ride in the park that worked the other way, it proved to be the inspiration for a popular film franchise. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride has been one of the most popular attractions at Disney World for decades. It was so popular, in fact, that Disney commissioned a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. This movie became hugely popular in its own right and has breathed life into this classic ride.
1 Overrated- Don’t Let the Name Fool You, It’s No Barnstormer
I understand that rides designed for small children can never meet the expectations of adult customers but engineers should at least act like they aren’t creating a ride just so that it will be acceptable to five-year-olds. Barnstormer is the name of a kiddie roller coaster at Disney World that you can tell was just thrown together at the last minute. The purpose of this ride is to get your kid to stop screaming when they weren’t tall enough to get on the coaster with their older brother. There aren't even the bright colors and playful music that usually accompany a kiddie ride.