We’ve all got our favorite attractions at each Disney park, but I wanted to list out my absolute favorites, figuring it would be an easy task. I was WRONG.
When I started working on this list, my top 3 attractions came almost instantly, and no matter what other attractions I thought of, nothing was going to unseat them. Filling those last two spots was absolute torture.
I’m a big roller coaster gal. At an amusement park with more intense rides, I’m all about the one that pins you to your seat, flips you seven times in a row, and leaves your stomach back at the start. Because of that, things like Expedition Everest, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Big Thunder quickly popped into my mind, but they were unseated.
I’m also a very sentimental person. I like things that may not be objectively “good” because of what they make me feel or what they remind me of. I objectively know they’re really not all that and a bag of chips, but I stubbornly don’t care. I’m proud of what I like even when the reason for liking it is kind of nuts. Rides like PhilharMagic and Splash Mountain fall into this category — two more you won’t see on my list. Leaving Splash Mountain off might have actually broken my heart.
In making this list, I had to set clear guidelines for myself, or I’d literally be arguing with myself (probably out loud) in my room for hours. To make this list, I asked “If I walked into the parks and could only ride five rides my whole trip, which would I have to do?”
Enough stalling — here goes nothing.
5. Dumbo – This one really can’t be a surprise to anybody who knows anything about me. I know I’ve already called Dumbo “my buddy” in two blog posts, but I can’t show enough love for this sweet, flying elephant. I have vivid memories of tiny Kim running right up to Dumbo and giving him a loving hug before and after each ride. I also expressly remember this being one of the rides my Mom was willing to ride with me. She has a horrible fear of heights, but this was one she would brave because of how happy it made me. I will wait a stupidly long time to ride Dumbo.
4. Test Track – Right after Ben proposed last December, we obviously called our families to spread the good news. I was so dazed and thrilled that I immediately fell down the stairs in Wilderness Lodge (I literally just walked off the earth. Did not even notice there was no more floor under my foot. I was fine. Ben grabbed my arm before I threw myself through the glass doors at the bottom…), and I’ll never forget Ben’s text to his sister, “Can’t dilly dally. We’ve got a FastPass for Test Track to get to!” It was just such a “Ben” thing to do. And he wasn’t wrong! We did have to get a move on to make our window! Though, something tells me we might have gotten some leeway if we were late. “Sorry, we were getting engaged and it took longer than expected.”
3. Soarin’ – Yes, even the new one. Yes, even though everything is very obviously terribly curved toward the center in a way that makes the structural integrity of the Eiffel Tower look deeply questionable. There’s something about Soarin’ that gives me that deep breath of peace. I literally lost it when that baby polar bear made his little baby polar bear cry. I was not ready. Every single time we rush over Niagara Falls, I get goosebumps (even with the little screen glitch off to the right. Have you seen it?)
2. Space Mountain – There’s no way this list would be appropriately complete without mention to at least one of Disney
World’s mountains. I’ve heard complaints that WDW’s Space Mountain is in desperate need of updates and modifications, but even with its sometimes rickety track, I love it. Something about the sound track and the music gets me every time. I just have an absolute BLAST on this ride. I’ve also been on PeopleMover when the lights in Space Mountain were turned on, and seeing the careful Tetris-like fitting of the track inside fascinated me. Call me impressed.
1. Flight of Passage – There honestly are no words, but I will try to articulate how special this attraction is to me. With an intro sentence like that, I feel like it’s probably unnecessary to say that I fully buy in to the Flight of Passage fiction. I’m absolutely mesmerized from start to finish, convinced I’m riding a banshee, and leave with goosebumps prickling up and down my arms. It’s such a small thing in the grand scheme of Flight of Passage, but I always focus on the breathing. You can feel your banshee actually breathing beneath you. When I ride Flight of Passage, I can really feel the love the Imagineers put into creating the attraction. You can feel the care and attention to detail and I could not be more appreciative.
I know I’ve left a TON of beloved attractions off of this list, but these are the five attractions I’d have to hit for my trip to Disney to feel complete. I imagine that with time, this list will evolve as my Disney experiences change, and I’m excited to see what the future will bring! I’d love to hear about your favorites and why. Tell me which absence offends you the most!
Special thanks to @mickeys_photographer, @magicalshannonmarie, and @thezipadeedoocrew for the use of their photos in this post!