The Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida offers Guests endless ways to experience the magic of Disney—no matter how old they are. You may know about Disney’s Broadway-style stage shows, thrilling rides and engaging and interactive attractions—but that’s just the beginning! You might not know about the views from every vantage point in the parks. The four theme parks at Disney World were designed in part to afford amazing views to Guests. And perhaps those great views are part of the design of several of Disney World’s rides and attractions. Which attractions allow Guests the best views of the parks? There are many, but here are eight of our favorites in no particular order.
8. Aerophile – Disney Springs
On your day away from the parks at Disney Springs, spend at least part of your time aboard a huge balloon high in the sky. (Don’t worry—it’s tethered!) You’ll ascend to a final height of 400 feet in the air. Once the balloon is 40 stories up, it floats at that height for about 10 minutes as Guests take in all the sights around them. The Aerophile balloon allows Guests some of the best views at the Disney World Resort. You’ll be able to take in the sights of Disney Springs beneath you, and as you look out further, you’ll see parts of the four Disney World theme parks. About 30 people can board the balloon at one time, making it perfect if you’re traveling with a big family!
7. Expedition Everest – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest is one of the most thrilling rides at Disney World—and probably the most thrilling at Animal Kingdom. Board an outfitter’s train and traverse the Forbidden Pass—if you dare. The locals believe that the Yeti lives in the Himalayas, but no one knows for sure. You’ll experience thrilling drops, high speeds and something that’s very unique to this attraction—a backward drop that sends you racing through the mountains, just after you’ve been taken up a steep incline. The track has been destroyed—maybe by the Yeti—and the train can’t keep going. Just before it drops Guests backward, they have the opportunity to look out over the horizon and see various other parts of the Walt Disney World Resort—especially if they are seated closer to the front of the train. Only those brave enough to board a train and head out on the expedition will ever know whether the Yeti exists. FastPass+ times are available and recommended for this one!
6. Splash Mountain – Magic Kingdom
We know—every theme park has a log flume ride, but not like this one! In this attraction, more than 100 audio-animatronic animals sing and dance along the way, telling the story of Disney’s Song of the South. Brer Rabbit takes Guests through the bayou in search of his “laughing place,” and Brer Fox and Brer Bear are hot on his trail! Several small drops have Guests thinking the next one is the big one—the 5-story drop down Splash Mountain. Yes, a 50-foot drop! It’s from the top of that 50-foot drop that Guests can get a quick view of Frontierland before plunging down at a 45-degree angle. Which one is the “big one?” Well if you’ve never ridden the ride before, we won’t spoil it for you now!
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5. Slinky Dog Dash – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Andy has constructed a toy-sized roller coaster in his backyard with a new coaster kit. And who better to play the role of ride vehicle than Woody’s beloved Slinky? Guests board a seat inside one of Slinky’s coils and hang on tight as they blast off on a thrilling ride around Andy’s backyard. About halfway through the ride, Guests experience a big drop, and it’s just before the drop that they enjoy a unique vantage point from high above Toy Story Land! Don’t skip this one!
4. Tower of Terror – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
As you make your way through the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel—which doubles as the ride queue—you start to realize that something’s not quite right. And then you remember what you’ve heard about that terrible night in 1939 when five people on an elevator in the hotel disappeared during a freak storm—never to be seen again. Then you walk through a huge machine room before boarding an elevator, and you begin to hear the screams. We can’t tell you what will happen once you board that elevator—it’s different every time. But we can tell you that if you can manage to hold your eyes open while aboard the rogue elevator car, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios from high in the sky!
3. Liberty Belle Riverboat – Magic Kingdom
Board a gorgeous 3-tiered, Colonial America-inspired steam-powered paddler wheeler at Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom. Sit back and relax as you enjoy a slow-paced ½-mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island along Disney’s Rivers of America. Disney’s “Liberty Belle” stands 47 majestic feet tall, and once you’re on board, you’ll hear narration by American author Mark Twain. Along the tour, you’ll have a vantage point you can’t get from anywhere else in the park. You’ll also see an early American settlement, a Native American village, deer and even some very unique views of Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion. It’s worth the views to slow down and spend about 20 minutes aboard the Liberty Belle—you’ll be glad you did!
2. Astro Orbiter – Magic Kingdom
Board an elevator at Tomorrowland and ascend to a loading platform where you’ll wait your turn to board a two-passenger spaceship. Inside this attraction, you are the newest star pilot. Once you have clearance, you’ll board the spaceship and prepare to take off on your newest mission. Enjoy a high-flying adventure as you soar around a galaxy of planets with all the sights and sounds of Tomorrowland below. This attraction stands out from other spinning attractions at Magic Kingdom because the platform upon which the ride is set is much higher off the ground. It’s a popular ride—and for good reason! Don’t abort your mission!
1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Magic Kingdom
Grab your best pal and soar over Storybook Circus in your very own gondola, inspired by Disney’s 1941 Dumbo. You’re at the controls—fly high or fly low, but know that the higher you fly, the better the view! There are two separate queues—one for each set of Dumbo gondolas. You’ll revel in a fun day at the circus aboard this ride. Yeah, yeah, we know—it’s a kiddie ride—but it’s fun and at Disney World, we’re all kids again anyway!