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Top 15 Must-Do Attractions at Walt Disney World

Is there such a thing as a “don’t-do” attraction at Walt Disney World? Nah, we don’t think so either, but since there are only so many park hours in a day, we thought it might be helpful to shed some light on a few of the attractions that you just absolutely have to experience when you visit the most magical place on earth. Here are 15 of them.

15. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Board a swaying mine cart and race across the mountainside on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. Halfway through the experience, the carts slow down and enter the Seven Dwarfs’ Mine “where a million diamonds shine.” Thanks to variable speed ride technology, the mine carts not only sway from side to side, but they speed up on the mountainside and slow down as they enter the mine where the Seven Dwarfs are hard at work. You’ll even see Snow White and the Evil Queen during this experience. FastPass+ is available and highly recommended for this exciting experience!

14. Avatar: Flight of Passage

One of the newest experiences at Walt Disney World, Avatar: Flight of Passage inside the World of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most state-of-the-art simulation attractions in all of the Walt Disney World Resort. It opened in May 2017 and still sees long wait times in the queues during peak seasons in the parks. Climb on the back of a mountain banshee and test your skill as a Na’vi warrior as you show your ability in handling the flying banshee. Do you have what it takes to pass this Na’vi rite of passage? Don’t forget to reserve a FastPass+ time to experience this attraction!

13. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

Set off on an exciting journey at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when you book your flight with Star Tours aboard a StarSpeeder 1000. Take your seat, put on your 3D flight glasses and relax, knowing your pilot is on his way. Wait—C-3PO is in the cockpit, but he has no experience flying the StarSpeeder 1000! What ensues is a thrilling simulation experience in which Guests feel every turn, every dip, every near-miss, every acceleration. FastPass+ service is available for this experience, but you may not need one if you wait until late in the evening to enjoy it.

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12. Expedition Everest

Inside Asia at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests can head for the Himalayas where they’ll find the Expedition Everest attraction. During this experience, Guests board a train and head for the Forbidden Pass on Mount Everest—what an exciting prospect! But there’s one who doesn’t think it’s exciting; in fact, he wants nothing to do with travelers on the mountain. Who is he? He’s the Yeti—and though no one knows for sure, those who’ve traversed the Forbidden Pass say he’s real and that he’s angered by the traffic on the mountain. Are you brave enough to find out for yourself?

11. Toy Story Mania

One of the most popular, can’t-miss experiences at Walt Disney World is Toy Story Mania in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you enjoy one thing at Hollywood Studios, be sure it’s Toy Story Mania. What could be more fun? Guests become honorary toys and test their skill at several different virtual carnival- and midway-style games. Who will have the highest score in your family? You’ll have a better shot at finding out if you reserve a FastPass+ time at which to enjoy this fun experience!

10. Splash Mountain

Help Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear find Br’er Rabbit in this fun family attraction inspired by Disney’s Song of the South. Splash Mountain lies deep inside Frontierland at Magic Kingdom, and if you’re really up for an adventure, this is the attraction for you. This wet ride aboard a log flume plays tricks on you as you float along the Briar Patch. That’s because everyone can see the huge 5-story plunge—at a 45-degree-angle—as they make their way to the queue. But while you’re enjoying the ride, you’ll encounter a series of plunges before you get to the “big one.” This is the perfect family attraction, and it’s great for those warm summer days at Disney World. Just keep in mind that you will get wet—maybe a little, maybe a lot—but you will get wet one way or the other! FastPass+ service is available and Splash Mountain is a good use of a FastPass+ selection, as the queue can see extended wait times, especially in the spring and summer months!

9. Na’vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey is a peaceful slowly-moving ride aboard a reed boat along the Na’vi River inside the World of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s the less intense of the rides at Pandora, but it’s quite the experience, nonetheless. During the journey, Guests embark on a ride through the beautiful Na’vi bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Shaman of Songs. The special effects in the ride are amazing and make Guests feel like they’re truly in a rainforest on Pandora. As with other attractions on this list, FastPass+ service is available for this experience and having one can be helpful during peak seasons at Disney.

8. Frozen Ever After

Board a Norwegian vessel and set off for a tour of Arendelle in this fun “frozen” attraction inside the Norway pavilion on the World Showcase at EPCOT. During this experience, Guests go on an exciting journey and hear songs from the box office smash Frozen, but with slightly different lyrics. Some of the most advanced audio-animatronic robots are used in this attraction. See Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven, Kristoff and even the Snowgies before plummeting down a 28-foot-tall waterfall. Be sure to secure a FastPass+ time for this attraction, as it is one of the most popular experiences at EPCOT.

7. The Hall of Presidents

This attraction in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom isn’t one of the most thrilling experiences the park has to offer, but it’s definitely one of the most interesting. Inside the Hall of Presidents, Guests enjoy a presentation that looks at the history of the office of President of the United States. Toward the end of the show, an audio-animatronic likeness of every President of our country—past and present—is introduced to the audience. The audio-animatronics are perhaps the most inspiring part of the experience, second only to the authentic artifacts on display outside the theater where Guests wait before the show begins. You don’t need a FastPass+ time for this attraction. This service isn’t offered at the Hall of Presidents, but don’t worry—there’s enough room for approximately 400 Guests per presentation, so you won’t miss out!

6. Haunted Mansion

This popular attraction has been a staple of Magic Kingdom for generations of parkgoers. Step into the Portrait Chamber and decide for yourself—is this haunted room stretching, or is it just your imagination? Then board a “doom” buggy and embark on a tour of the old haunted mansion. Pass through 15 different rooms—each one more spooky than the last. Special effects, eerie music and a spooky-sounding narrator work together to make even the bravest of Guests wonder if the old mansion really is haunted. During peak seasons, a FastPass+ for this attraction can be a welcome guest in its own right, so if you’re visiting during holidays or the summer months, be sure you have one, or you may spend longer than an hour in the queue!

5. Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash is one of the newest attractions at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. Inside the all-new Toy Story Land, Guests board a seat inside one of Slinky’s coils and hold on tight for an exciting coaster ride that’s fun for the whole family! This is another attraction for which a FastPass+ time is almost imperative.

4. Test Track

Try your hand in creating a concept car and then testing it against the elements at Test Track in Future World at EPCOT. Guests board a six-passenger test car and come along for the ride as the car is exposed to extreme heat, extreme cold, high speeds, high-banked turns and more. Reach speeds of 65 miles per hour around the Test Track itself and see if your car has what it takes. If the queue is a bit long for your liking, the attraction also offers the choice of the single rider line. Whether you experience the attraction as a group or individually, just don’t miss it!

3. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

If your family loves roller coasters—and the music of Aerosmith—then they’ll love Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. What a premise! You’re about to be late for the concert, so the band has sent their limo to pick you up and deliver you to the concert, but you’ll have to race against the clock—and against downtown Los Angeles traffic—to get there in time. This one isn’t for the faint of heart! Corkscrews, loop-di-loops, high speeds and mostly darkness combine to make this a very thrilling experience indeed.

2. Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth isn’t only the icon for EPCOT; it’s also the first attraction Guests see once inside the park. Inside the giant silver geodesic sphere, Guests can board a time rover and head back 40,000 years in the past to take an interactive look at the development of language and communication from the Ice Age to the Information Age. No thrills or chills here, but Spaceship Earth is surely one of the examples of Disneyana at its best! Don’t miss it!

1. Tower of Terror

Something spooky happened on the night of October 31, 1939 inside the Hollywood Tower Hotel. A freak storm sent lightning crashing around outside the hotel and five people in the hotel’s elevator disappeared and were never heard from again. Today, Guests can board an elevator car (if they dare!) and enjoy a thrilling heart-pounding ride along the elevator shaft that is never the same experience twice!

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.