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Magic Kingdom Top 10 Rides

Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Bay Lake, Florida offers so many iconic attractions…far more than any of the three other Disney parks in Florida.  Choosing your favorite ride in Walt Disney World is kind of like having to choose your favorite child.  This is a very difficult task!  With that said, I love all of Magic Kingdom’s attractions, though some more than others.  For this tough task, I created a rubric to assist me in grading all of Magic Kingdom’s rides.  Being a former teacher, rubrics give order to chaos and subjectivity.  

The rubric for my grading of these 10 iconic attractions are as follows:

Theming – Just about every attraction in a Disney theme park is heavily-themed, so I am forced to scrutinize the most minute differences.  How good of a job did the Disney Imagineers do in creating an escape from the real world in their theming of each of these rides?

Thrill Factor – Disney rides are tamer than some of the other theme parks out there, but some are still very thrilling.  How intense and thrilling are these rides?

Enjoyment – What is my overall level of enjoyment once I am on this ride?  How is my level of enjoyment after the ride has concluded?

Re-rideability – How much do I want to experience this ride again?

Limitations – Being a father of two younger children, height requirements and other factors can put a slight damper on being able to experience a ride.  Also, how easy is it to get into the ride vehicle and enjoy the ride?

Those 5 categories are the basis for my top 10 countdown of rides in Magic Kingdom.  Some of these categories may not apply to your situation, and I get it.  People with many different situations and backgrounds experience these attractions, it just depends on what factors are the most important to you in determining successful criteria for a ride.  These are my factors for this list, so let’s get the fun started with number 10!

10.​Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Coming in at number 10 on the countdown, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is a fun time for all!  With no height requirement, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin scores higher in my rubric.  This attraction is basically laser tag in competition format.  What I like most about this attraction is that you have control over spinning the ride vehicle!  You spin the ride with a joystick to aim at multiple targets throughout the mission.  The pop of neon color makes the décor really stand out.  My children love this ride!  I do want to ride this one multiple times to try to score that elusive 999,999.


Overall Ride Grade: 3.6


9.  ​Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Coming in at number 9 on our countdown is the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  This is a “dark ride” where the ride tells a story as you journey from beginning to end.  Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh takes me back in time to when I first watched this incredible movie.  From the honey pots to the Heffalumps and Woozels, this journey is great for people of all ages and heights with no height requirement.


Overall Ride Grade: 3.6 (this one gets the slight edge due to enjoyment)


8.​Space Mountain

Number 8 on our list could be in many people’s Top 3.  Space Mountain is a classic attraction where you travel through space in the dark.  Being in the dark for the majority of this ride, gives this attraction more of a thrill factor.  I love Space Mountain, but the track is a little rough and you certainly take a beating.  I love that this attraction gets an overlay for Halloween and Christmas which freshens up the experience every now and then.


Overall Ride Grade: 3.6 (this edges out 9 & 10 due to better thrill factor)


7.​Peter Pan’s Flight

Hop aboard your own flying pirate ship thanks to a little pixie dust!  I love this classic attraction, especially since you are on a hanging track that allows you to feel like you are flying.  Travel from London to the Jolly Roger in this timeless classic.  Wait times do build quickly, and I honestly would not wait longer than 30-45 minutes to ride.  Rope drop this one or get a Genie + reservation to save time.


Overall Ride Grade: 4.2

6.​TRON: Lightcycle/Run

I have only ridden TRON twice – once in the lightcycle vehicle and once in the traditional roller coaster seat.  I absolutely love this ride, especially the explosive takeoff!  Currently, the only way to ride TRON is to have quick fingers (and phone signal) and join the virtual queue.  The other option is to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane which ranges from $20-$25.  Purchasing the Lightning Lane is the only way to guarantee riding this lit-up attraction at night.  If you can afford, I recommend this option.  These limitations plus the 48 inch height requirement brings this score down for me.


Overall Ride Grade: 4.2


5.​Pirates of the Caribbean

Yo ho, Yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!  You will be singing this catchy song for the rest of your trip.  I love this classic ride which created an entire movie franchise.  The theming is what makes this ride so enjoyable.  From the life-size pirate ship to the prison cell where a dog holds the key, Pirates of the Caribbean is a ride for the entire family.


Overall Ride Grade: 4.4


4.​Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Heigh ho!  It’s off to work we go!  Seven Dwarfs Mine Train feels like anything but work (unless you count waiting in a long line as work).  This ride is so much fun, and it is the perfect bridge for kids from the Barnstormer to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the next progression up from the Barnstormer, and it is so much fun for the entire family!


Overall Ride Grade: 4.4


3.​Jungle Cruise

Whether it’s hibiscus, lowbiscus, or seabiscus, these dad jokes are so much fun for the whole family!  Embark on a journey through “De Nile” as you inch closer and closer to the eighth wonder of the world…the backside of water!  Animatronic animals can be found throughout this fun boat ride as your skipper provides the commentary for your journey on the Jungle Cruise!


Overall Ride Grade: 4.4


2.​Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

“It’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!”  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a wild ride, and happens to be one of my favorite roller coasters.  This ride is thrilling, but not too thrilling – in the best way possible.  The experience can change depending on whether you sit in the front row or the back row.  If it’s speed you are after, ask for the back row!  There’s just something special about riding this ride at night – it’s a little bit more fun somehow.


Overall Ride Grade: 4.4


1. Haunted Mansion

Join the Ghost Host as he welcomes you to the Haunted Mansion.  Hop aboard your Doom Buggy as you encounter spirits throughout the duration of the ride.  One ghost might just follow you home!  Theming is the name of the game here at Haunted Mansion and theming you will get.  The ride is a little spooky but in a very fun way.  My kids love this ride, and there is no height requirement to ride.  There are 999 happy haunts, but there is always room for one more!


Overall Ride Grade 4.6

 

There it is – the not-so official A Joel New World Top 10 Countdown of Rides at Magic Kingdom.  I love all of these rides, and will continue to do so.  One big omission is the PeopleMover.  I can ride this throughout Tomorrowland all day and be happy.  Another ride that is currently under re-theming is Splash Mountain/Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.  Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in 2024 and is sure to be in the updated Top 10 list.  For now, this is the Top 10 Rides in Magic Kingdom.  Which rides are in your Top 10?

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