Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Favorite Rides: Harder than It Looks

So today I tweeted a call for help ("I have no idea what to blog about. =(") at 1 am fully expecting no one even be awake, let alone help me out.  But one of my lovely tweeps, @mfeige, came through in the clutch with a fabulous list of blog ideas.  Thank you!

One of these ideas was to tell about my favorite rides, but this proved harder than I had expected.  For some parks it was easy, but for others I wasn't really sure.  So I decided I'd talk about my favorite rides from easiest-to-determine to hardest, and maybe give a runner-up or two (or four) along the way.  Here goes nothing!

Epcot: Right away, I knew my favorite ride at Epcot:  Soarin'.  Believe it or not, I never rode Soarin' until last August.  You see, I was in Walt Disney World in 2005 just a few days before the ride opened, and we heard so many good things about it that we knew we had to come back and see it soon.  On our return trip in '06, our flight got snowed out, and our trip got cancelled.  Then in '07, we went back to Walt Disney World, but only for one day, and without hoppers.  We decided to do Magic Kingdom instead of Epcot and once again lost a chance to ride Soarin'.  So finally, when we returned in August 2009, I got to ride it.  We were right up at the front of the crowd at rope drop, did the group walk to the Land Pavilion, and were on the first ride of the day in the front row.  It was absolutely amazing, more than I ever expected, and being in the front row the first time made it even better.  I genuinely love Soarin'.  Runner-up: Test Track because it's totally a blast even though I've driven faster in my own car.


Disney's Hollywood Studios: There was yet another ride that I tried for the first time in August that also quickly became my favorite:  Toy Story Midway Mania.  To me, this ride is like Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin plus technology on steroids.  And I loooove me some Buzz Lightyear, so Toy Story Midway Mania was like the natural progression of this love.  Again, I had no idea what to expect when I got on this ride, and I was extremely pleasantly surprised.  I love that instead of slowly moving through the scenes like you do in Buzz Lightyear, you spin around to the next screen.  I love the 4D effects even though I'm not crazy about the 3D ones.  And I love the competitive nature of the game that makes it even more fun, even if I always lose.  This is yet another ride that I absolutely love.  Good job, Disney.  (By the way, I also have the Toy Story Mania game for Wii.  I may or may not have asked for it for Christmas.)  Runner-up: Muppet Vision 3D because, come on, it's the Muppets.

Disney's Animal Kingdom: It didn't take much thought to determine my favorite ride in this park either; it has to be Kilimanjaro Safari.  This attraction really is the centerpiece of the park to me.  You ride around in your cool little jeep thing, you learn a little bit about poachers, and, of course, you get to see the animals.  I especially love this ride because I get to see my two favorite animals: giraffes and elephants.  And how can you beat that?  Runner-up: Kali River Rapids because it's a little wild but not too scary for a ride wimp like me.

And finally... Magic Kingdom: This one's really, really hard for me.  It might be because there are so many rides, and I really love them all.  It's so hard for me to just pick one, but if I had to, it would probably be the Haunted Mansion.  It was really, really difficult for me to choose this one, but the Haunted Mansion is just special.  I can't remember ever going to Walt Disney World and not going on this ride.  For some reason, I don't remember ever being afraid of it, even as a little kid.  It's such a classic Disney attraction, and I think it's absolutely fantastic.  Plus it always used to (and still always does) crack me up when the ghost rides with you at the end.  Runner-up: Pirates of the Caribbean because it's another amazing, classic Disney attraction that epitomizes Walt Disney World for me.

So that's that.  Those are my favorite rides, per park, in Walt Disney World.  And now I absolutely want to hear from you.  I would love to hear your favorite rides in each park, and if it was hard or easy for you to choose.  Let me know in a comment, a tweet (@discollegeblog), or a Facebook comment.  I can't wait to see if you agree or disagree with me!

(Another shoutout to @Disney_Alli who also gave me some great blog suggestions that you will be seeing in future posts.  Thanks Allison!)

All images in this post are from, an amazing website with an amazingly large amount of info.


  1. I love Toy Story Midway Mania as much as the next guy, but I humbly have to standby the Tower of Terror as the best ride, not just at Hollywood Studios but Walt Disney World as a whole. It has everything, a great ride, great back story, and great theme. It's the total package.

    I have to admit, hard to beat a good game of TSMM so can't fault you with your choice!

    P.S. Coming to Reunion 2010 yet?

  2. I am far too wimpy to ride ToT, so I wouldn't know if it was the best ride. =/

    And no, I really can't come to Reunion. =( But in August, I'm planning to go to the Studios on a Sunday, so maybe we can meet up then.

  3. Okay, let's see. I'm going to divide it like Amanda,

    Epcot: Well obviously my favorite ride of all time is Horizons, but that's closed so probably the Hydrolators and the Seas. Oh wait that's closed, well I always found El Rio De TIempo, oh that's the Three Caballeros. Yeh nevermind which park is next.

    Disney's Hollywood Studios: Well this is easy, Tower of Terror or The Great Movie Ride, without question.

    Disney's Animal Kingdom: I've always had a soft spot and always will have a soft spot for Countdown to Extinction or as it is known now, Dinosaur. Expedition Everest is great too and of course the Killimanjaro Safari is must do.

    And the Magic Kingdom. Well I could never pick a ride here but I've narrowed it down to the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Peter Pan's Flight and The Wedway Peoplemover.

    Thanks for the great entry :)

  4. I love the Great Movie Ride, and it was a close third for my DHS choice. I am, again, too wimpy to try out Dinosaur, but I agree with your MK choices (at least the ones that I'm not too afraid to ride). Also, I don't remember much about Horizons, but I remember loving it, and I wish it wasn't gone.

    Thanks for reading! =)

  5. By park:

    MK - this is a tough one, but I think Splash Mountain wins out.
    EPCOT - Spaceship Earth, even with the current version of the script and the sub-par descent
    DHS - Tower of Terror. Both Tower and Splash, IMO, are worth trying once to take in all the theming
    AK - I'm going to give it to Everest, but Kilimanjaro Safaris is a very close second

  6. I love Spaceship Earth too. Another classic... sort of.

  7. So many choices.

    Magic kingdom: splash mountain, then big thunder mountain at night. Space mountain at night just doesn't have the same effect. ;) actually, after riding space mountain at Disneyland in California, the wdw version just pales in comparison. Mickey's philharmagic comes in third for me.

    Epcot: soarin' then test track.

    Studios: toy story midway mania, then the tower. I was deathly afraid of the tower initially, but the unofficial guide said that the big thing about the tower was the effects, not so much the drop. I figured I could do it once, and I'd be good. Now I have to do it over and over. For good measure, the wdw version is better than the dca version.

    Animal kingdom: kilimanjaro safaris hands down. I like everest, especially at night, but it's the safaris that make this park special.

  8. Why do I have the feeling I'm going to be riding Tower of Terror against my will on my next trip...?


  9. Since I gave you my least favorites, I figured I should come over and give you my faves as well.

    AK: It's a toss up between Everest and Dinosaur. But I'll go with Dinosaur because we have a few family memories that happened there that would take too long to explain here. Suffice it to say, we never leave Dinosaur without a few good laughs.

    DHS: No contest here - Tower of Terror. This is what makes Disney special. The theming, the costumes, the pre-show, the decorations, standing in the basement waiting for the freight elevators. Then you get to top it off with a thrilling ride that gives you a chance to look out over the part ever so briefly. We rode this one about a half dozen times one morning on our last trip.

    Epcot: Again, no contest - Soarin'. The wait can be excruciating at times but the ride never fails to amaze me with it's ability to evoke an emotional response. Yes. I applaud every time. On our last trip, two German tourist gave us their FPs because they weren't going to be able to use them. We scored three rides in an afternoon. danke!

    MK: The toughest to pick from - PotC, HM, Philharmagic, Peter Pan, It's a Small World. I even love the TTA. But I have to go with Space Mountain. Granted, I was a little disappointed that they didn't upgrade it more during the last refurb. But it's still awesome to pretend you're trekking through space. I especially love the ride cars.


  10. I'm too wimpy to have ever ridden most of your favorites, but I love Soarin' too! And I also love all of your runner ups for MK.