We’ve been on every Magic Kingdom ride LOTS of times, so we can tell you exactly which ones are worth the wait!
Best Rides to Rope Drop
What Is Rope Drop?
Rope Drop means being at the theme park well before it opens (we usually recommend about a half hour before the official opening time) and getting in line so that you’re ready to go inside as soon as Magic Kingdom opens.
It gets its name from the rope that Cast Members hold up before the park opens and then drop once it’s time to let everyone in. (Sometimes there’s not a physical rope, but the idea is the same.)
There are a few rides that everyone runs to (sorry, WALKS to — no running!) as soon as the parks open. Which one YOU should go to first depends on whether you have access to Early Theme Park Entry or not.
Early Theme Park Entry is a perk for guests staying at Disney World hotels. See a list of all the qualifying hotels here. If you’re staying at one of those hotels, you can get inside every Disney World theme park a full half hour before the official opening time.
But here’s a word of WARNING: Only PART of the parks open with Early Entry. Some rides and areas don’t open until the official opening time! If you have Early Entry and you head straight for part of the park that’s NOT open yet, you’ve wasted that time.
If You Have Early Entry
In Magic Kingdom, the sections that ARE open with Early Entry are Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Storybook Circus.
You’ll want to head to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train first thing if you’re hoping to get on that coaster! It’s super popular, and most people go straight there. Even if the line looks long, it’s probably shorter at this time than any other time of day.
If you’ve got little ones who aren’t interested in the roller coaster, go to Peter Pan’s Flight first. This attraction gets very busy later on in the day, so getting on it first thing will help you avoid an hour+ wait time in the afternoon.
If neither of those is your thing, we’d recommend going to Space Mountain first!
This is another coaster that gets busy later on, so it’s great to get on it early.
If You DON’T Have Early Entry
If you don’t have access to Early Entry, you should head to part of the park that’s NOT open early so that you avoid those Early Entry crowds. That means Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland will be the best places first thing.
Jungle Cruise gets long lines later on in the day, so head here first for fantastic puns and hilarious skipper guides.
For the thrill junkies, you’ll want to visit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This roller coaster is very popular — it’s the wildest ride in the wilderness, after all!
And finally, for those of you who just love those classic Disney attractions, Haunted Mansion is always a good pick.
Although this ride doesn’t usually have wait times as long as the roller coasters, it has a tendency to break down periodically, which means sometimes the Lightning Lane gets backed up, meaning standby guests have to wait even longer. If this one is a priority for you, it’s safer to get on it earlier rather than later.
Now, we’re getting into the BEST overall Magic Kingdom rides. Some of these are repeats from the Rope Drop section, but we had to mention them again because they’re just that good.
Best Thrill Rides
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder is an iconic Magic Kingdom ride for good reason. The wildest ride in the wilderness is located in Frontierland, and with Splash Mountain currently closed (as it gets its Tiana’s Bayou Adventure re-theme!), it’s definitely the most popular ride in that land.
The ride is a fast-paced coaster that takes you through old mine scenes (watch out — rumor has it, this abandoned mine shaft is HAUNTED!).
It’s fast and exciting, and the backstory is super fun. If you’re in the standby queue, make sure to check out the decor so that you get a full picture of that backstory.
Space Mountain is actually something of a controversial pick for this list. Some people LOVE it — others…not so much.
The people who love it find it exciting to race past comets and stars in a mostly pitch-black atmosphere.
The people who hate it are worried that their hands (or heads) are going to get cut off by the coaster’s track that just seems a little too close for comfort.
Either way, Space Mountain is a classic, so even if it’s mildly terrifying, we had to include it in this list.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the newest coasters in Magic Kingdom and definitely still a fan-favorite.
The coaster is pretty fast, but it’s also not as scary as Space Mountain. Since the vehicle tracks are on the ground for pretty much the whole time (and not up in the air like they are for coasters like Slinky Dog Dash), even little kids tend to like this ride.
It’s one that people tend to race to first thing, so make sure to get to this coaster early to avoid a long wait.
TRON Lightcycle / Run
TRON Lightcycle / Run is the newest roller coaster in Magic Kingdom, boasting motorcycle-style ride vehicles and a thrilling track that runs both inside and outside.
The ride takes you onto the Grid from TRON, and even though it’s a short ride, it’s super exciting. The initial launch is one of the best out of any Disney World coaster!
Best Rides for Kids
Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is a popular ride for kids and adults alike. It’s classic and fun, with flying pirate ships that take you through scenes of Disney’s Peter Pan.
This ride gets REALLY long wait times in the afternoon, so we recommend heading here first if it’s a top priority for your group.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Does it get more classic than Dumbo the Flying Elephant?
This ride got so popular that Disney installed a second ride system! Yep — Disney World actually has TWO Dumbo rides. Both are located (side by side) at Storybook Circus. If you’re looking for an iconic photo of your kiddo in Disney World, grab one of them sitting in a Dumbo ride vehicle.
This ride doesn’t usually have a super long wait time, especially since there are two ride systems now.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
If you’ve got a competitive streak, this is the Magic Kingdom ride for you. You’ll face off against Zurg (and against your group) by shooting targets with your laser gun.
The pros know exactly which targets to hit in order to max out the vehicle and earn the coveted status of Galactic Hero. If you do get the amazing 999,999 high score (hats off to you!), make sure to ask the Cast Members in the gift shop at the end of the ride for a Galactic Hero sticker!
Here’s a hint to score some big points: the claw that extends over the ride vehicle on your way from the first room into the second is worth big points, and so is the target at the very bottom, middle part of Zurg’s machine — pictured here under the “pitiful” sign:
Both of those targets are easiest to hit on your way in and out of the rooms. Good luck!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Kids will love seeing their pals from Winnie the Pooh in this ride, and the room where you get to bounce with Tigger is especially fun!
Watch out for the Heffalumps and Woozles! But don’t worry — everyone lives happily ever after in the end.
Best Classic Rides
There are some rides that have been around and beloved by fans for what feels like forever. These are definitely the can’t-miss attractions in Magic Kingdom!
Haunted Mansion is one of the most popular rides in this park. It’s located in Liberty Square and, while the exterior isn’t quite as grand as the Disneyland version, still looks impressive from the outside.
The spooky stretching room in the queue is one of our favorite pre-shows anywhere in Disney World.
You’ll be led through the mansion by the iconic Ghost Host, and along the way, you’ll meet some of the most beloved (and feared) Disney parks characters, like the Hitchhiking Ghosts and Constance Hatchaway.
Don’t forget that the Hatbox Ghost is coming to Disney World soon!
“it’s a small world”
“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hope and a world of fears. There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all!”
Yep, that song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. But just in case that wasn’t enough to get it stuck, just hop on the ride and listen to it over and over for several minutes. Then you’ll be singing it for a week!
Even though that song might get just a little bit annoying after it’s played for a while, we still love to sail through the rooms and see the beautiful scenes depicting countries from all around the world.
The beautiful work of Disney Imagineer Mary Blair is timeless!
Pirates of the Caribbean
We’re heading to Adventureland for the next two rides on this list. Pirates of the Caribbean is the classic ride that inspired the film series, and we have to say that — as much as we love the movies — the ride is even better.
You’ll sail through scenes of pirate attacks, raids, and plunders, with one thrilling (albeit short) drop early on in the ride.
Many Disney fans love the way this ride smells — specifically, the smell of the “burning village” scene is very popular. It’s a niche thing, but there’s definitely a distinct aroma there!
If you’re a fan of dad jokes (or if you love to hate them), then Jungle Cruise is the ride for you.
You’ll sail through the rivers of the world (through Niles and Niles of them), dodging snakes and crocodiles (watch out for Ginger the crocodile — Ginger snaps.) and trusting in your reliable skipper guide.
OK, we won’t ruin any more of the jokes. But we do have to tell you about one more exciting part of the cruise: You’ll get to see the incredible, the amazing, the showstopping eighth wonder of the world, the backside of water!
We can go on this ride again and again, because every skipper has a few unique jokes.
Walt Disney World Railroad
Walt Disney was famously a big fan of trains, so it’s only right that you take a quick ride around Magic Kingdom on the Walt Disney World Railroad.
There are several stops throughout the park, so you can hop on in one land and hop off in another, or stay on for a complete loop.
Best Napping Attractions
Sometimes you just need a little midday snooze to get you through an entire park day. These are the best rides to visit if you’re looking to catch some z’s! (And just a quick disclaimer: The fact that these rides are great for naps does NOT mean that we don’t still love them when we’re awake — they just happen to be relaxing and comfortable.)
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
The PeopleMover is always on our list of must-ride attractions in Magic Kingdom. We love riding through Tomorrowland, getting a quick tour of the area and hearing from the friendly narrator, ORAC.
The ride is fairly long and very smooth, making it great for naps. Part of it is even in pitch-black darkness, and we’d challenge anyone not to catch a quick nap there!
The Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents is wonderfully patriotic but also happens to have air conditioning and pretty comfy seats. All wins, in our opinion.
If you’re looking for a 25-minute cat nap, there’s no better place.
The Carousel of Progress
Finally, you should stop by the Carousel of Progress for a quick snooze! It’s a great show to watch, but that rotating motion and the fact that it’s pretty dark inside make it also a good napping spot.
And that’s it for our list of the best rides in Magic Kingdom! Did your favorite ride make the list?
Stay tuned to DFB for more of the latest news and vacation tips for Disney World!
What’s your favorite ride in Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!
The post We’ve Ridden EVERY Magic Kingdom Ride. These Are the BEST. first appeared on the disney food blog.