Monday, September 29, 2014

Walt Disney World Rides and Attractions: Musts, Maybes, and Passes

By Nick

A few months ago, my friend Lisa Green posted an article on her terrific Living a Disney Life Blog about breaking down rides into Must Do, Will Do, and Once and Done categories. She gave me her blessing to use (steal) the topic.

My wife and I are extremely fortunate to be able to visit Walt Disney World each year, sometimes multiple times.

For this reason, we don't feel the need to tour the parks "Commando Style," getting to the parks at opening and staying all day hitting every ride, attraction, parade and show. Don't get me wrong, we usually do get to parks for rope drop, but we usually leave mid-day, sometimes going to a different park in the evening, sometimes opting to not return to a park at all.

Still, there are a few rides we MUST do on each visit to a particular park.


Magic Kingdom

  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Dumbo
  • Carousel of Progress 

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Soarin'
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Rock’n’ Roller Coaster
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
Animal Kingdom

  • Expedition Everest (For my wife. Sadly, this gives me severe motion sickness.)
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Dinosaur
This next group consists of rides we enjoy, but if time is a consideration, we don't need to experience on each and every visit.


Magic Kingdom
  • It’s a Small World
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Space Mountain
  • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • The Barnstormer
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Maelstrom (Closing very soon. Makes me wish we'd ridden it on our last trip.)
  • O Canada
  • Reflections of China
  • Impressions de France
  • Living with the Land
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure
  • The American Adventure
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Innoventions attractions
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • The Magic of Disney Animation
  • The Great Movie Ride
  • Star Tours (This used to be a must, but because of motion sickness, it's a maybe now.)
Animal Kingdom
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Primeval Whirl (Barbie likes it, I cannot ride it however. Yep, motion sickness!)
  • Flights of Wonder
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Pangani Forrest Exploration Trail
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Affection Section
  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
The following rides are those I won't do again, or perhaps will only do under duress. A couple, shocking as it may seem, I've never done! These I feel deserve a bit of an explanation.


Magic Kingdom
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin (Never been on it.)
  • Mad Tea Party (motion sickness)
  • Tomorrowland Speedway (Too long a line. Always!)
  • Stitch’s Great Escape ( I can't say we'll NEVER do this again. Here's the thing, this was the first ever attraction Barbie and I experienced together at Walt Disney World, so it has a special place in my heart. We just haven't been on it since that first visit in September of 2006)
  • Astro Orbiter (motion sickness)
  • Country Bear Jamboree (Barbie hates this attraction. See this article for the reason why)
  • Swiss Family Tree House
  • Mission: Space (motion sickness)
  • Test Track (I don't like the redo but would ride this with friends.)
  • Captain EO (Another one I'd do with friends.)
  • The Circle of Life
  • Studio Backlot Tour (Just closed. It was a very sad shadow of it's former self that we only did once on our first trip.)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Lights, Motors, Action – Extreme Stunt Show (Barbie literally fell asleep at this show.)
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast- Live on Stage (Every trip I say we are going to see this, and then it's too hot out, or something else comes up. We'll get there eventually.)
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (Would probably go again, but have only seen once. And I was one of the audience members chosen to be in it!)
Animal Kingdom
  • TriceraTop Spin (motion sickness)
  • Kali River Rapids (Only ever rode it once, but would go on with friends)
That's my list. What would your list look like?


  1. my must do for magic kingdom would be the same except for adding its a small world!

  2. My list has some differences from yours. I do not like Carousel of Progress but I do like Small World. Dumbo is one of those I will go on if there is no line-up.
    Gran Fiesta Tour, I only go on if I need a quick break because there is never a line.
    Rock 'N Roller Coaster and Expedition Everest are out for me, unless I want to see the return of lunch.
    Turtle Talk with Crush is a total must-do. I love it. One of my trips I went to see it 5 times!
    I also love Kali River Rapids, if I have a rain poncho on and it is a hot day!
    I was sad when I went on the refurbished Test Track, it feels like they took all the personality out of it and added Tron.
    I 100% agree with Barbie on Country Bears Jamboriee - oh the horror.
    It's Tough to be a Bug, Nemo the Musical and The Lion King are all must-do's for me as well.


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