Disney World

Ranking every ride at Walt Disney World (Intro)

Planning a trip to any Disney property is no small feat. It is not like it was 20 years ago where you just got in the car and went the parks.  Now you must make dinning reservations and fast pass plans months in advance, not to mention decide which park to go to and what day to visit it.  What is a park hopper?  What is a Photo Pass or Memory Maker?  The stress of planning a Disney trip compounds by the anxiety from the financial cost associated with the trip, pressure from wanting to make a great vacation, and the fear of the falling prey to rookie mistakes and the numerous pitfalls that take multiple trips to learn avoid.  I have mentioned before that friends, neighbors, and relatives often invite us over to share our thought on how to successfully plan their trips, meals, and fast passes.  In earlier posts I have discussed why we love Disney as well as some common complaints that I try to give a counterpoint to (here and here).


I am often asked what rides are the best rides and what rides are worth the fast pass.  These questions difficult to simply answer and include numerous factors about the nature of the ride and what you are looking for in an attraction.  The tiered Fast Pass system Walt Disney World uses which limits how many E-Ticket (old slang for very popular and super awesome attractions) you can use.  You will often have to choose  only one of the top rides and fill your other two fast passes with the less popular rides.


While some rides may be more thrilling they may sometimes lack that classic Disney feeling, such is the case with Avatar: Flights of Passage.  Other rides are not super exciting but have a classic “must do” nature about them like Peter Pan’s Flight or Dumbo.  Some rides may last less than a few minutes but have a wait time of multiple hours.  Some of those may be totally worth it and others might be better to skip. There is no set scientific formula of all the elements that make up a good attraction…until now.


Any list is invariably full of personal opinion, because of that I like to try and incorporate hard, quantifiable data as much as a I can to lesson that bias factor.  I used the same technique when we create our Disney March Magic brackets.  I decided to rank each attraction on the following categories:

  • Attraction duration
  • Attraction wait times
  • Perceived thrillingness of the attraction
  • The classic Disney-ness of the attraction

This will be an ongoing project that will take place over many posts and cover each park individually.   I will give an overview of each ride.  I will then show the rankings of each ride in each of the above categories.  I will rank and sort them in those categories and then combine all of them into one large ranking.  Items like duration of the attraction and wait times are just facts.  To get the rankings of thrillingness and Disney-ness it involved a survey of various ages of fans and their subjective rankings.

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Until next time…


The Imagine Ears features the DIY projects, adventures, and thoughts of a father and daughter who use a shared love of all things Disney to create memories together through encouraging her interests in architecture, design, Imagineering, while exploring history and science.



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