8 Favorite Boat Rides At Walt Disney World

Splash Mountain
Credit: Disney

There’s something utterly relaxing and enjoyable about boat rides at Walt Disney World. Some of our favorite classic WDW rides are boat rides, as are some of Disney’s most popular new attractions! When you’re ready to hit the water, start with these favorite boat rides at Walt Disney World.


8. Na’vi River Journey

We admit it, we’re enthralled by Na’vi River Journey! Not only is it a relaxing boat ride through the bio-luminescent rainforests of Pandora (keep your eyes peeled, because you’ll see practically every creature that appeared in the movie here!), but it also concludes with the most advanced audio-animatronic that Disney’s ever created: the Shaman of Songs. She’s completely life-like, and we promise, you’ll be mesmerized! This ride immediately became one of our favorite boat rides on Walt Disney World property.

7. Splash Mountain

This Magic Kingdom attraction is a guest favorite, especially on hot days, and for good reason. It’s the best place in the Magic Kingdom to get wet! Sure, there are also more than 100 audio-animatronics to enjoy throughout the ride, but let’s face it, the 5-story waterfall drop is why most guests ride. How wet you get depends on where you sit, the weight distribution in the boat, and whether any guests decide to target your boat with water cannons! This classic boat ride is one of our favorite on property.

6. Gran Fiesta Tour Staring the Three Caballeros

There’s a lot to love about this ride in the Mexico pavilion of Walt Disney World’s Epcot. It’s indoors, and air-conditioned, for one thing! The attraction celebrates ancient and contemporary Mexico, and features animated characters from The Three Cabelleros, a Disney film from the 1940s. Kids will love searching for Donald Duck throughout the ride, while adults will enjoy the huge, illuminated Mayan pyramid that you’ll drift past at the start of the ride. Plus, this attraction virtually never has a ride (although who knows if the popularity of Coco will change that?), so it takes all of 5 minutes to enjoy!

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5. Jungle Cruise

Anyone who gets a kick out of dad jokes shouldn’t miss the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise! It’s a leisurely boat ride through the “jungle”, where guests can spot a variety of animatronic animals while being treated to some groan-worthy jokes by your captain. We especially enjoy this attraction around the holidays, when it transforms into “Jingle Cruise”; not only is the whole ride outfitted with seasonal decorations and theming, but the jokes are holiday-ified, too!

4. Water Ferries

Ok, this isn’t a ride, per se, but we enjoy Walt Disney World’s water transportation so much, we had to include it on this list. There are several WDW resorts that have complimentary water ferries to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Disney Springs (check with your resort or go online for details), and this is a great alternative to Disney’s bus service, where available! Whether you’re cruising around Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake, Crescent Lake or Lake Hollywood, you’ll enjoy a relaxing ride that gives you rare glimpses not only of nature, but some out-of-the-way resorts. Plus, there’s just something about a boat ride that screams “vacation”, in our books!

3. Living With the Land

This is a very different sort of boat ride than what you’d expect at Walt Disney World. Living With the Land in takes you on a cruise through Epcot’s living laboratories to show you where and how Disney grows food, using some pretty impressive techniques. You’ll be able to see your favorite foods, including chocolate and coffee, and how they’re grown in various environments. This is a slow-moving, relaxing attraction, and it gives guests a whole new appreciation of the global and environmental work Disney does! Plus, you can then dine at Sunshine Seasons, which serves produce grown on site.

2. Frozen Ever After

This long-awaited boat ride in the Norway pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot follows the same basic route as Maelstrom, the Viking ride it replaced. But you won’t recognize anything else about this new Frozen attraction! Featuring everyone’s favorite characters from the hit movie, Frozen Ever After is a musical ride through Arendelle, and the animatronics technology is, in a word, impressive. Do try to get a FastPass+ for this one, though, as lines won’t be diminishing anytime soon!

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

No list of favorite boat rides in Walt Disney World would be complete without this iconic attraction! Pirates of the Caribbean, in the Magic Kingdom, inspired the hit films by the same name, and now elements of the movie have made it back into the ride (how many times can you spot Captain Jack Sparrow?). We love the campy fun of this attraction – and that unforgettable smell of gunpowder and Disney water!

About Jason Dick

Jason is a Disney addict. Walt Disney World trips are an annual occurrence that his partner has had to come to terms with. In between Disney trips, he spends his time running the theatre company he started in 2007. As Artistic Director, he picks musicals to bring to his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario Canada that have never been produced in the area. Traveling is definitely a passion and in addition to his trips to the happiest place on earth, he and his partner also travel the world, most recently to India and Nepal. A carnivore by nature, Jason loves the incredible amount of steakhouses Walt Disney World has to offer - they are always at the top of his list for each and every visit.