Make no mistake—Disney World truly is the epitome of enchantment! Each corner of the park shimmers with magic and a dash of pixie dust, with every attraction promising its own unique spellbinding experience. Yet, if you’re aiming to optimize your vacation, there are certain attractions that serve up an extra dose of excitement and others you can miss.
In this article:
We Will Share the Disney World Rides You Can Skip and Rides You Can’t Miss
We will distinguish between the must-see Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom rides and the optional extras, helping you navigate your next Disney vacation with confidence and no regrets. Ready to make your next Magic Kingdom journey truly unforgettable? Let’s check out which Magic Kingdom rides you can confidently skip and which are absolute must-experiences during your visit.
Rides to Skip—Liberty Square Riverboat
The Liberty Square Riverboat provides a serene mid-day respite from Magic Kingdom’s whirlwind of excitement, especially for boat enthusiasts. This scenic voyage offers a unique perspective on the park, revealing hidden angles of Thunder Mountain and the Haunted Mansion as it meanders its half-mile circuit around Tom Sawyer Island.
However, keep in mind this steam-powered river journey on the Rivers of America does require a chunk of your day—17 minutes to be precise—which could disrupt your carefully curated itinerary if efficiency is your gameplan. So, if you’re looking to fast-track your adventure, you might want to chart a course around this one.
Rides to Skip—Tom Sawyer Island
Like classic Disney films, some of the older attractions retain their charm but might not captivate everyone, particularly the young ones in your crew. Tom Sawyer’s iconic island in Magic Kingdom offers an adventurous journey, but reaching it requires a log raft voyage across the Rivers of America.
For infrequent visitors with a vast Magic Kingdom terrain to explore, this attraction might not rank high on the priority list given the limited amount of time in the day. Upon arrival, the island’s meandering dirt roads, mysterious caves, suspension bridges, and frontier forts can provide an exploratory playground for your kids to let off some steam, but it may not be the most magical experience you’re seeking at the park. Thus, if you’re more interested in saving time than whiling it away, this is another attraction you can comfortably sidestep.
Rides to Skip—Tomorrowland Speedway
The Tomorrowland Speedway, a twist on the well-trodden antique car ride, is an attraction familiar to most theme park aficionados. Unlike the standard rides, Magic Kingdom amps up the experience with gas-powered hot rods. While this attraction might elicit joy from the youngsters in your group, its lengthy queues and predictability could dampen the thrill.
It’s noisy, the cars are more snail-paced than speedy, and it doesn’t quite gel with the futuristic Tomorrowland vibe. Perhaps the biggest faux pas is the potent exhaust fumes, which could trigger a headache. Feel no remorse if you decide to cruise past this one.
Rides to Skip—Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Though not topping the thrill charts in Magic Kingdom, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin does offer “a fantastic point of view” of Adventureland. This old-school spinner, a nod to its Fantasyland cousin, the classic Dumbo ride, provides an agreeable distraction for the tots in your group and seats four instead of just two.
However, it lacks that sentimental tug that’s often craved by Magic Kingdom explorers. Hence, should you bypass this ride, rest assured you’ve not missed out on anything spectacular!
Rides to Skip—Astro Orbiter
Joining our list is another classic whirler, the Astro Orbiter. It distinguishes itself with an elevator ride to a launch pad perched high atop the much-loved PeopleMover, towering over Tomorrowland.
However, the sluggish loading time may test your patience, turning the wait into an ordeal. Additionally, this lofty ride may trigger unease for those with a fear of heights or motion sickness, detracting from its enchantment. If you’re keen on a spinning ride and willing to brave the queues, we suggest you set your sights on Fantasyland’s iconic Dumbo ride instead. If you’re going to invest time in any spinner, let it be that one.
Rides You Can’t Miss at Magic Kingdom
While you could experience every ride at Magic Kingdom in an ideal world, there are only so many hours in the day, and certain experiences might not be appealing to every member of your group. Now that we’ve made our way through rides to skip at Magic Kingdom, let’s break down some must-rides.
This park is home to some of the most iconic rides at Disney World, and there are certain experiences that your trip would not be complete without!
Rides You Can’t Miss—Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Don’t be misled by its rather prosaic name—this isn’t your average railroad. It’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!
This exhilarating rollercoaster, nestled in Frontierland, is a family-friendly romp that dashes through a haunted gold mine and the ghostly remains of Tumbleweed, a Gold Rush town from the 1850s. It may not break any speed records, but with its blend of exhilarating twists, tunnel dashes, and spooky sights, it’s a thrilling journey the whole family is sure to love.
Rides You Can’t Miss—Haunted Mansion
Eerie, spooky, and oh-so-quirky—the exterior of the Haunted Mansion might seem less “welcome mat” and more “keep out,” but we assure you that it’s a must-visit for a hauntingly good time.
Hop onto a Doom Buggy and glide through the spine-chilling scenes of this seemingly abandoned haunted estate. You’ll soon realize, though, that it’s far from empty! You’ll be hosted by a gregarious ghost and befriend a bevy of friendly phantom residents just dying to meet you. So, don’t ghost this delightfully chilling experience!
Rides You Can’t Miss—Pirates of the Caribbean
Ahoy, mateys! Pirates of the Caribbean is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting dark rides in the park, giving even the Haunted Mansion a run for its ghostly money. Board your vessel and embark on a chilling journey through the spectral Dead Man’s Cove and the looted seaport towns of the Caribbean.
Brace yourself as you navigate through thunderous cannon fire on the treacherous open seas. Keep your eyes peeled and you might just catch a glimpse of the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. This iconic Adventureland voyage is a treasure you wouldn’t want to miss!
Rides You Can’t Miss—Jungle Cruise
Dare to navigate the adventurous Nile waters aboard a tramp steamer, guided by your trusty skipper, on a mission to find a vanished Jungle Cruise vessel and its missing passengers. Be on high alert for the jungle’s many fierce creatures, the unexpected view of the “backside of water,” and (naturally) an onslaught of delightfully cheesy jokes from your skipper to lighten the mood. Don’t bypass this rollicking escapade—it’s one for the Disney travel logs!
Rides You Can’t Miss—Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a sparkling gem of a roller coaster in Fantasyland that’s too precious to pass up. Its unique feature? Rocking coaster vehicles fashioned to resemble mining carts, swooping and soaring through the Seven Dwarfs’ radiant diamond mine—a harmonious symphony of “whistle-while-you-work” in action. Plus, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the wicked witch lurking outside Snow White’s cottage, which is a chilling cherry on top of this enchanting adventure.
Rides You Can’t Miss—Space Mountain
Don’t be fooled: the thrill of Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain isn’t solely powered by speed. This interstellar Disney roller coaster ups the adrenaline ante by plunging you into utter darkness. Its cosmic antics will have you clutching the safety bar, instinctively ducking at every unexpected turn and loving every exhilarating second! If you’re in search of a thrill that promises a universe of excitement, Space Mountain is a stellar choice you’d regret skipping.
Rides You Can’t Miss—Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Don’t underestimate this tranquil aerial tram. While it might seem like just a leisurely 10-minute glide through Tomorrowland, this gentle journey offers a unique peek behind the scenes of attractions like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, and the Star Traders retail shop.
More than that, it serves as a welcome oasis for weary park-goers seeking respite from the hot Florida sun. Consider it an alluring sky-side tour with the bonus of a cool breeze! Plus, it offers up beautiful views of Cinderella’s Castle.
Rides You Can’t Miss—TRON Lightcycle / Run
Zooming along at nearly 60 mph, TRON Lightcycle Run ranks as one of Disney’s speediest rollercoasters worldwide. But the thrill factor isn’t solely about its speed—this rollercoaster entices you with a captivating experience of straddling your very own Lightcycle. Get sucked into the grid for a pulse-pounding, high-speed chase against a rival racer.
Your mission? Dart through eight energy gates to claim victory for your team. Brace yourself for a cybernetic sprint that’s as electrifying as it is exhilarating.
Rides You Can’t Miss—Peter Pan’s Flight
Prepare to set sail to Neverland on Peter Pan’s Flight, located in the heart of Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. Universally acclaimed as one of Disney World’s best dark rides, it charms many, perhaps through its pure nostalgia. This isn’t your average dark ride—it adds a pinch of pixie dust by having pirate ships float above the ground, offering a bird’s eye view of treasured scenes from the animated 1953 classic.
Plus, don’t overlook the magical queue, which takes you on an enchanting walk through the Darling abode, complete with captivating interactive scenes. Watch out for Peter Pan’s shadow on the wall and Tinkerbell!
While Magic Kingdom is a treasure trove of attractions, it’s undeniable that some sprinkle a touch more pixie dust or serve a dollop more thrill than others. Prioritize these unmissable experiences first, then circle back to the rest if time permits. Magic awaits, so strategize wisely!
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