Top 10 Walt Disney World Rides

My favorite rides (in my opinion) to get you happy and going.

1.  Expedition Everest

This is the largest and most expensive attraction ever built at a Walt Disney World theme park. Designed to be a miniature version of Mount Everest, the mountain this roller coaster ride is built on and within is nearly 200-feet tall and occupies a 6.2-acre site in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom. The story for the attraction is based on a legend that claims that high in the Himalayan Mountains lives an enormous creature that fiercely guards the route to Mount Everest. Now that legend comes dramatically to life in a new high-speed train adventure that combines coaster-like thrills with the excitement of a close encounter of the hairy kind. You can discover for yourself the fearsome legend of the yeti.

2.  Space Mountain

Space Mountain is an indoor outer space-themed steel roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Opened on January 15, 1975, Space Mountain is the oldest operating roller coaster in the state of Florida, and is the original version of the iconic attraction that has since been replicated at all of The Walt Disney Company's Magic Kingdom-style theme parks worldwide. RCA helped fund Space Mountain's construction and sponsored the ride from 1975 to 1993; FedEx sponsored Space Mountain from 1994 to 2004.

3.   Splash Mountain

The whimsically outfitted Briar Patch store has Splash Mountain logo merchandise along with Tigger and Pooh items.

Splash Mountain opened July 17, 1992, and the Official Dedication was held October 2, 1992.

More than 65 Audio-Animatronics fill the attraction, which also has one of the largest animated props in the finale. The Showboat is 36 feet wide and 22 feet high, and rocks back and forth as a cast of 12 audio-animatronics sing and dance to "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah."

To bring the classic Disney story "Song of the South" to life, Walt Disney Imagineers created a magnificent mountain chock-full of backwoods swamps, bayous and waterfalls.

The concrete flume course is more than 2,600 feet long, or about 1/2 a mile.

Splash Mountain has a 950,000 gallon water reservoir!

4. Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a wonderfully themed roller-coaster with turns and dips through caverns, mountains, avalanches and floods reminiscent of the Old West.

The queue area takes you into the headquarters of the Big Thunder Mining Co. You enter converted ore cars for your journey... but wait, there is NO conductor! Too late, you are off for a 3 1/2-minute ride into the wilderness!

The theming is a Southwestern landscape, reminiscent of the wind swept features found in Arizona's Monument Valley. Caves, grottos, a waterfall, big horned sheep, a spiral butte, dinosaur bones and sulfur pools are just part of the scenery you will encounter on your ride.

Speeds can reach 24-30 miles per hour so the centrifugal force as you round the turns will pull you from one side to the next.

There are no serious drops on this ride (nothing like Splash Mountain) but there are 3 good dips that can put some air between you and your seat.

The main butte is 197.6 feet above sea level and 100 feet above ground.

5. Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Midway Mania is an immersive, interactive experience which takes guests whirling through the attraction, stopping to play classic midway games hosted by their favorite Toy Story characters. Players use spring-action shooters to take aim at 3-D animated targets and score points. Point totals are displayed on the player's screen, and a virtual stuffed animal "prize" is awarded at the end of the ride. Toy Story Midway Mania is located in Pixar Place (formerly Mickey Avenue) in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Queue: Entering the Toy Story Midway Mania building is like walking into a retro child's toy box. The queue is adorned with super-sized board games and playthings:Crayola crayons, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Tinkertoys, Viewmaster reels, A Barrelful of Monkeys, Checkers, Little Golden Books and much more. A large audio-animatronic Mr. Potato Head stands at the end of the main queue room. This very sophisticated audio-animatronic is able to interact with guests, follow them with his eyes, tell corny jokes, sings, and does even more.

The Attraction: After winding your way through the queue, you'll board vehicles that hold four people, in pairs seated back-to-back. There are individual lap bars and each player has his/her own spring-action shooter and scoring screen. The shooters move and up and down and rotate left and right. To shoot, pull the string back and release it. The string must go all the way back before another shot can be fired.

The vehicle spins around as it careens down the track between games, and for this reason there is a precautionary message that those prone to motion sickness should not ride.

The first game is the Pie Throw. This a practice game where guests use their shooters to throw pies at the targets that Buzz and Jessie are holding. No points are awarded in this game.

Each game is 30 seconds long. The characters count down the last five seconds. There are additional "4-D" effects to some of the games, like a puff of air as an object whirls past, or a spray of water after popping a water balloon.

At the end of the games the final point totals are tallied and displayed, and players can see the virtual prize that they have won, as well as compare themselves to the high scores.

Toy Story Midway Mania is an EXTREMELY popular attraction and wait times are frequently in excess of one hour. Use Disney'sFASTPASS, a return voucher offering little or no waiting time at select attractions. Note that this attraction is so popular that FastPasses are frequently gone by noon -- if you want to ride, arrive early.

The ride is about 5 and a half minutes long. Sometimes there are delays at the end of games or between games, so it can take longer than that.

6. Soarin

Soarin' Fast Facts


Location: Epcot, The Land presented by Nestlé USA

Area of attraction: 59,895 square feet (includes ticketing area, Great Hall, skyway, Concourses 1 and 2, gate areas and two flight theaters)

Great Hall: Before boarding, guests pass through the Great Hall where five of Earth's biomes are depicted in 20-foot-wide panoramas, along with interesting facts and quizzes displayed on large flat-screen monitors. The featured environments are: polar ecosystem, mountain ecosystem, desert ecosystem, rain forest ecosystem, temperate (deciduous) forest ecosystem.

Flight experience: A breathtaking glide over the majestic and diverse natural wonders of California

Duration of ride: The Soarin' experience, including pre-flight briefing, is ten minutes. The Soarin' flight lasts approximately five minutes.

Locations featured: San Francisco, Monterey Coast, Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, San Diego, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Los Angeles, Malibu and Disneyland in Anaheim.

Scents experienced: Orange blossoms, pine forests and ocean spray

Music: Orchestral musical score created by renowned film and television composer Jerry Goldsmith ("Mulan," "Air Force One," "Star Trek: First Contact")

Projection system: IMAX projection system, with high-speed (48fps) high definition Omni-max film projectors (twice the speed of normal motion picture film)

Size of projection screen dome: 80-foot diameter

Ride system: Walt Disney Imagineering-developed motion-based technology, the original ride inception was based on an erector set model created by Imagineer Mark Sumner. One million pounds of steel provides the ride structure and 37 tons are lifted during each ride cycle.

Height guests are lifted into screen: 40 feet

Total number of guests per each ride cycle: 87

Queuing options: Standby line, singles line, FASTPASS

Minimum guest height requirement: 40 inches

Accessible: Guests in wheelchairs must transfer from their wheelchairs to experience this attraction.

7. Test Track

Upon entering the attraction, repeat visitors will notice this version is much quieter than the previous version. Gone is the industrial vehicle-testing laboratory filled with the loud clatter and pounding of mechanical testing devices that seemingly measured the structural designs of the cars and the safety of the crash-test dummies who rode in them.

Instead, the redesigned lobby introduces guests to vehicles of the future with full-size concept cars and models. As the queue progresses, guests enter the Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot, where they first virtually design and then “digitally” road-test their SimCars. The futuristic journey takes guests through dark sets illuminated with neon lights that seem to come straight out of the world of “Tron.”

Note: Guests who use FastPasses or the single-rider line will only experience an abbreviated version of the design center. They still are able to create cars but will only customize one performance attribute and choose the virtual profile from a selection of pre-designed vehicles.

Once you step out of the 6-person SimCars, you will be able to view and purchase PhotoPass photos taken during the ride. Then, you get to walk into a high-tech showroom full of hands-on fun. There are games, simulators and photo opportunities galore, which must be accessed with the memory cards issued for the design center. Finally, exit the building through a gift shop that contains some unique souvenirs.

8. Great Goofini

In the new section of Fantasyland that was formerly Mickey's Toontown Fair, you'll find the only roller coaster in Walt Disney World designed specifically for children. Formerly known as The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm, this roller coaster soars high above the Storybook Circus fun below, now featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini.

The Barnstormer featuring Goofy as the Great Goofini:The entrance is marked by a circus-type ticket booth, to go along with the overall theme of the Storybook Circus area.

The coaster itself is designed to look like a 1920s stunt plane, in the tradition of classic air shows, with Goofy starring as the daredevil pilot, The Great Goofini. Along the very long queue are several cute vignettes featuring the antics of Goofini. After soaring high above the circus for just 90 seconds, in typical Goofy fashion, you finish the ride by safely "crashing" through a billboard.

As you exit your aircraft, take a moment and check out some of Goofini's gear, including First (and Second) Aid kits.

Guests in ECVs must transfer to standard wheelchairs, then to the ride vehicle to experience The Barnstormer.

You must be at least 35" (89cm) tall to ride.

Expectant mothers are advised not to ride this attraction.

9. Haunted Mansion

Waiting in line isn't anyone's favorite part of a trip to the Disney parks, but the Haunted Mansion is one of the more enjoyable lines to wait in thanks to the entertaining gravestones beside the queue area. The names on these tombstones are those of Disney Imagineers who helped to create the Haunted Mansion.

The dear, departed patriarch "Grandpa Marc" is Marc Davis, a major figure in the design of Disneyland and the Haunted Mansion. Set designer and sculptor of plaster rocks Fred Joerger became "Good Old Fred," appropriately killed when "a great big rock fell on his head." Yale Gracey created most of the Mansion's special effects and became "Master Gracey," after whom the Mansion -- a.k.a. Gracey Manor -- is named.

The animatronic tombstone of "Dear Sweet Leota" is named for the Imagineer who performs the face of Madame Leota. Her full name? Leota Toombs. Really!

In both Disneyland and Disney World, the actual Haunted Mansion ride is preceded by the famous Stretching Room, where portraits of the Mansion's inhabitants stretch to reveal their unfortunate fates. Is the ceiling going up or does the floor go down? As it turns out, it depends on which park you're in.

In Disneyland, the bulk of the ride is below ground level, so the Stretching Room acts as an elevator lowering guests down to the ride. In Disney World, the ride is housed in a hidden building behind the facade you see from the queue area. Since there's no need for an elevator, the ceiling just goes up.

One of the first rooms you visit in the Haunted Mansion is the library, where marble busts of the world's most famous ghost writers watch the Doom Buggies as they pass by. Like many effects in the Haunted Mansion, this one is surprisingly low tech.

Imagine taking a big slab of clay and smashing your face into it. (We said "imagine!" We are not cleaning that up.) You'd be left with a reverse impression of your face, where the tip of your nose is the deepest point. That's what the ghost writer busts actually look like. When correctly lit, it gives the illusion of a normal statue that seems to turn its head and watch each rider go by.

The semi-transparent ghosts that disappear and reappear throughout the ride are another example of an old and simple visual trick used extremely well. In this case, it's the effect known as "Pepper's Ghost," which uses strong lighting and glass to create a ghostly reflected image of a brightly lit object or person. It's the same principle that results in colored reflections in a glass window or door. So the ghosts are reflected images of the real animatronics, which are hidden out of sight.

Next to the Ghost Host, the mysterious Bride is the most iconic character in the Haunted Mansion. The Mansions in Disneyland, Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland all have their own Brides and she is a central character in the Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris.

Both the Disneyland and Disney World brides started out as an eerie bluish creature with a glowing red heart. They've both been recently updated into a more sinister, hatchet-wielding figure -- named Constance -- uttering grim twists on traditional wedding vows. Portraits around the attic show Constance and her ill-fated husbands, whose heads disappear from the portraits as the Bride gains a new string of pearls.

10. Kali River Rapids

As you wind your way through a very long outdoor queue area, you are can enjoy birds and artifacts brought to Animal Kingdomfrom Asia. The queue area is incredibly themed so pay close attention as you make your way to the rafts.

Once through the turnstiles, you are on a very large rotating disc that moves at the same speed as the rafts. You will get right into a raft, seatbelt yourself in and off you go!

Mist and scents of jasmine greet you at the start of the ride. The raft heads upwards and then down a water fall. The raft sloshs back and forth through a rainforest and temple ruins, but then you smell smoke! The illegal loggers are burning the forest!

Your raft twists and turns through the rapids until you finally are returned to safety.

Fastpass attraction. Get your Fastpass, then take a walk through the nearby Maharajah Jungle Trek while waiting for your Fastpass window to open.

You will get wet! Trust me! If you don't get wet enough going through the actual ride.....guests standing on the bridge as you approach the disembarking station will shoot water at you through the elephants!

There is a plastic-enclosed, zippered *protective area* in which you can place your belongings, however this is not really very protective. As the day goes on, this area gets wetter and wetter. My advice is to bring a small garbage bag or 2 gallon Ziploc bag with you so your items can be placed in there and then put into the protective area in the raft. There is not a lot of time once you enter the raft to store your items, so be prepared!

If you're planning to go on Kali River Rapids, bring a large garbage bag with you and put your things inside before you put them in the holder on the raft. That way everything will stay dry even if there is some water in the holder, and you can easily gather everything when it's time to get off.

As one who hates getting wet when I'm not in a swimsuit, I always avoided this ride like the plague. But my husband and I figured out a great way to ride it... We packed our backpacks with dry clothes (and a towel or two) and stowed them in a locker at the entrance to Animal Kingdom. In nothing but our swimsuits, cover-ups and flip-flops, we made our way to Kali River Rapids. We rode fives times in succession! After we'd had our fill, and as it was starting to get a little chilly, we scampered back to the lockers and changed in the bathrooms right there. (Suzie)

Don't miss the queue area, it is full of unique designs and artifacts from Asia.

The drop is not very steep; similar to the Pirates of the Carribean boat ride in the Magic Kingdom.

Wearing a poncho will help, but your feet will still be exposed!

  Information-I got all of my information from

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