It’s difficult to visit the Disney Parks and not ride at least one attraction. Every theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort has a variety of rides, offering something for everyone. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie who is looking for thrills (such as Space Mountain and Expedition Everest), or a younger Guest who is experiencing Disney storytelling in motion for the first time (such as Peter Pan’s Flight or it’s a small world), or someone who prefers the slower and more classic attractions (such as Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion), you’re almost definitely going to find a favorite.
It’s likely that every Walt Disney World Guest will want to experience each of the attractions in the Disney Parks during their Disney vacation. Disney Park Hopper passes make this a little easier, to allow Guests to hop between Disney Parks each day. For Disney Resort hotel Guests, Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours can also help to enjoy the Disney attractions with shorter line times. The option to use the paid Disney Genie+ service during each day of your Disney vacation can help Guests to maximise the number of attractions experienced each day, depending on Lightning Lane availability.
Despite all that there is to offer when it comes to Walt Disney World attractions, we can’t help but confirm that there are some attractions that you most definitely only need to experience once. After that, you can tick it off your list, and never wait in line again for it! Let’s take a look at those attractions…
Kali River Rapids
Located in Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this raft ride takes Guests on a whitewater adventure into the heart of Asia. Sounds great, but Kali River Rapids tells a pretty disturbing story; one that demonstrates just what humans are doing to our planet. Begin your journey by taking a smooth ride through a beautiful jungle. Soon enough though, the waters will get choppy, and before you know it, you’ll be witnessing the devastating effects logging has on animals and their habitats.
Now, you may be thinking, this is a perfect ride given the climate of Florida. Right you are, if you enjoy potentially getting absolutely soaked! Prepare to plummet from a 20-foot slope to end your journey… You’ll be lucky to make it out with just a splash! The chance of being soaked, coupled with the devastating story this attraction tells, and you’ll find us passing up on the chance to ride again. We’d much rather take a ride on Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom anyway; it’s more of a splash than a soak!
Ever wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut? Have you always longed to be a part of a NASA mission team, blasting off into space in a rocket? Mission: SPACE in EPCOT is the ride for you. Board the Orange Mission to experience centrifugal forces that emulate the speed and G-forces experienced during a spacecraft launch. Alternatively, opt for the Green Mission that offers a family-friendly adventure into space.
Sounds ideal if you don’t mind enclosed spaces and simulated rides. Otherwise, this is most definitely an attraction that you can skip if you choose to experience it once. We are most certainly not judging though if you choose to pass on Mission: SPACE without every riding; simulated rides really aren’t for everyone.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Keeping with the simulated rides, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is another attraction that we’d prefer to skip after one ride. The addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Disney’s Hollywood Studios has brought two addition rides inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise – Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. It comes as no surprise that both of these attractions come with long lines, but they provide unique experiences using state-of-the-art technology. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue offers a more traditional simulated experience, and whilst each ride of the attraction will offer a unique experience, it’s one that we prefer to skip, having ridden it once. Do you prefer to ride this over again or are you happy to skip it and ride something else?
You’ll have to venture right to the back of Magic Kingdom Park to find this attraction. Located in Storybook Circus, Guests have the opportunity to take flight in a stunt airplane made by Goofy. Of course, this ride is made for the younger Guests visiting the Disney Park, making it a great attraction to ride if your little ones aren’t yet tall enough for Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Otherwise, one flight on The Barnstormer and you are most definitely done with this attraction. We much prefer to experience Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh over and over again instead.
It’s no secret that attractions that rotate whilst Guests raise and lower their ride vehicle, are a hit in the Disney Parks. With there being a fair few to choose from, we most definitely find that we’d rather take flight on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin or Dumbo the Flying Elephant, than the Astro Orbiter. Do you prefer to take a magic carpet ride, a ride in a flying elephant or take flight in a rocket? Here’s why we’re not choosing to fly in a rocket…
Let’s begin with the fact that you need to use an elevator to reach the launch pad of the Astro Orbiter. This line can be found near the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and you probably already know which line we choose to enter. Once you have made it to the launch pad, Guests board a retro spacecraft that has enough room for 2 Guests. That being said, you’re practically sitting on the floor in your flight, making it a difficult ride vehicle to board and exit.
If you are yet to ride, we recommend experiencing this Tomorrowland attraction once the sun has set. Once you’ve experienced it, you’re done! At least Space Mountain’s ride vehicle is worth the struggle to get in and out, given that you experience a thrilling experience around space!
Alien Swirling Saucers
Don’t get us wrong, we love a spinning ride when visiting Walt Disney World, but it will always be the Mad Tea Party that holds our heart. It’s a classic attraction, and we can’t get enough of the pastel colors, and the stunning lanterns that glow every evening.
So what about the Alien Swirling Saucers? Well, this intergalactic spin with the Toy Story Aliens just doesn’t hit the same way. In fact, we’d argue it’s a rip-off Mad Tea Party. Of course, this attraction may offer a shorter line time than the other two attractions found in Toy Story Land: Slinky Dog Dash; and Toy Story Mania; but it’s just not enough to make us want to ride it more than once. You can’t beat the thrilling experience of dashing around Andy’s backyard on Slinky Dog Dash, and we always welcome some healthy competition in a round of Toy Story Mania!
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
This ride travels through the Imagination Institute, and is guided by Dr Nigel Channing and the mischievous purple dragon known as Figment. Perfect for Guests of all ages, it sets out to demonstrate how each of the 5 senses help to capture the imagination. Prepare to leave with an earwig, as the song that is played as your journey comes to an end is rather catchy!
It’s a fun ride to experience once; after that, you really don’t need to experience the Smell Lab again! For younger Guests it’s likely to be a hit, but for the rest, it’s one to tick off the list of attractions and enjoy the stroll by to World Showcase in EPCOT, rather than venturing into the Imagination Pavilion in the Disney Park. We’ll make time for a ride on Spaceship Earth instead!
Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster
Located at Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this is the only Walt Disney World attraction to feature inversions. Hop into a ‘super stretch’ limousine, organized just for you by Aerosmith, so that you can join them at a gig across town. Prepare for a fast launch before rocking along to samples of Aerosmith’s tracks, as you speed through traffic jams and by iconic Hollywood landmarks.
This attraction often has a long line, and we can see why, due to the nature of this ride. However, it’s most definitely a head banging ride, leaving you exiting feeling like you’ve had your ears boxed in. You’ll only catch us riding this attraction if we’re sitting front row; otherwise we’ll pass and take an extra ride on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!
Avatar Flight of Passage
Ok hear us out! The visuals of this ride are impressive, the line is exquisitely detailed, and everyone needs to experience it. We also really love the smell and the music of your flight on a Banshee over Pandora. That being said, the line for this ride is a long one to have to experience time and time again.
But the thing we dislike the most is the lengthy pre-show. We get why it’s used, but honestly, once you’ve experienced it, it’s REALLY boring to have to experience every single time you ride. For this reason, we prefer to stroll right passed the entrance, with the exception of rope dropping Disney’s Animal Kingdom for Early Theme Park Entry, providing your a Disney Resort Guest. We’ll pass on purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane on this attraction. Instead, you’ll likely find us over the opposite side of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, riding Expedition Everest multiple times instead!
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Enter a rotating theatre and travel through the 20th Century, witnessing the evolution of technology and the transformation to a family’s life. This educational show was a concept developed by Walt Disney for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. You’ll definitely exit the theatre singing the famous Sherman Brothers song, ‘There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow’.
Whilst we appreciate how classic this revolving theatre show is, and it’s link with Walt Disney himself, we find that this is usually a napping spot. Prepare to be sat for 20 minutes in a theatre that you aren’t able to exit without having an effect on other Guests’ experiences. One experience of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is more than enough for us!
Venturing a little out of the Disney Parks, and into the Disney water parks, Summit Plummet offers Guests the chance to plunge down 12 stories on a 360-foot-long drop. The waterslide sits atop of Mount Gushmore in Disney’s Blizzard Beach, and is accessed by foot or by use of the water park’s chairlift.
Whilst it’s quite an achievement to take the plunge on Summit Plummet, and one that every Guest of Disney’s Blizzard Beach should experience providing they are tall enough, this is one painful attraction. The first few seconds are fine, but after that, you begin to feel every single bump in the waterslide, particularly on your shoulder blades and back. Once you start to feel them, it becomes a very long way down, and one that you can’t wait to reach the end of. We’ve most definitely ticked it off our list now that we’ve ridden it once.
Which rides are your once-only attractions in Walt Disney World? Do you agree with our choices or prefer to skip others instead? Maybe there’s some that you will only consider riding again if you are using the Disney Genie Lightning Lane? Next time you’re waiting in a long line for a Disney World ride, this could be a good discussion point to help pass the time during your Disney experience! How many attractions will you and your party agree on? Will the discussion become a little heated as you have different opinions?