My Top 10 Favorite Attractions: They're the Top at Walt Disney World!

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 09-14-2010

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - magic

It was on a recent PassPorter podcast that I heard the "PassPorter Moms" Jennifer Marx and Sara Varney discussing their top ten attractions in Walt Disney World. It's something you may have heard as well and it got me to thinking about what would be in my list and why.

Epcot - Illuminations photo
Epcot - Illuminations

Illuminations fireworks.

The first thing I'll say is that it's not as easy as it sounds. I probably instantly knew the top four or five, but once I got beyond that, there was a lot of agonising involved to fill the rest of the spaces. As for putting them into some form of order, that was probably the toughest challenge going. It's something worth trying for yourself, as it certainly makes you think!

Without further ado, let's start on the list itself.

Just making it into the top ten is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, partially because it's the only attraction to feature my beloved donkey Eeyore, but also because it's just so much fun. Who could resist bouncing around with Tigger?! For me, it was lovely to see that silly little old bear and his friends finally enjoying some much deserved recognition with their own fun ride at the Magic Kingdom.

Next it's off to Disney's Animal Kingdom for number nine, where you find the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia. I've always loved tigers, partially because they're my mother's favorite creatures, and I love being able to watch them sleeping or interacting with each other. The way they pace in the same circuits always fascinates me, as do the colours on their coats. I love the way you can linger here and take as much time as you want.

My top ten wouldn't be complete without the best tribute to Walt Disney himself anywhere and that's One Man';s Dream at number eight. When this arrived at the then-Disney-MGM Studios, I was delighted to finally see the architect behind everything we love at Disney being honoured. Again, it's a pleasure to be able to linger in this attraction, taking your time and seeing every aspect of his life.

We've visited all but one of the parks so far and we head to the final one for number seven, which is Spaceship Earth, a perennial favorite from childhood visits to Walt Disney World. Despite the update a few years ago, which I know divided opinion, I still love this attraction and, for me, the Dame Judi Dench narration, added to it, nicely updating the ride with new scenes. I still never fail to marvel at the wonder of the creation of this giant golf ball, particularly when you get to the top of the ride and you look down on Planet Earth below.

A newer addition at Epcot makes it into number six position and that's Soarin';. Ever since I first went on this ride, I've loved the feeling of, well soaring really above the scenes below! I've gained more appreciation for this ride, having now visited some of the places featured in California. There’s nothing more fun for us than seeing somewhere we’ve been to personally.

The Magic Kingdom is host to a variety of classic Disney rides and the Haunted Mansion definitely falls into that category and it's my number five. I don't think I'll ever get tired of going on this ride and meeting the 999 friendly spooks inside. Although we've been on this so many times before, we still see new things and look at other scenes and wonder if they've changed since our last visit. That's the sign of a true Disney classic.

I’m no thrill rider and that's why there are no coasters in my top ten, as they tend to terrify me, rather than thrill me! However, at number four, is something that can be considered something of a thrill ride, even if doesn't turn you upside down and that's Test Track. Ever since I first went on, very apprehensive about what awaited us, I loved this ride, with the circuit around the outside literally blowing me away! To this day, I always get a thrill from going on this and that's what thrill rides are all about really.

At number three is another Disney classic, Pirates of the Caribbean. I’ve always loved this ride and even more so, since it inspired the movies and elements of those were added into it. The Davy Jones effect still fills me with wonder, each time I see it and the detail in some of the pillaging and destruction scenes are just like the Haunted Mansion, with me spotting new things every time we do this ride.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is my number two and is another one that I’ve always loved from the first time we rode it on our honeymoon. Where else in the world can you head out on an African safari, apart from Africa of course! I've never had any desire to go to Africa, as the injections needed put me off, but I've always wanted to go on safari, so for me, this ride gave me the chance to enjoy my dream with no sign of needles! Like any good ride, every single time you go on this, it changes completely, down to the wonderful array of animals you see. And, without exception, we always see so many animals and get so many great photos and make even more wonderful memories.

My number one can perhaps be regarded as a bit of a cheat, as it's not even listed in my trusty PassPorter as an attraction, but it's one that I love and adore and make sure to catch as many times as possible during any visit to Walt Disney World. It's also the one that reduces me to tears and, once I see it, I really know that I'm back home again, so how could it not be my top placed attraction? It's back to Epcot for their nightly spectacular, IllumiNations. I just love everything about this, from the fireworks, to the story, to the music, which is wonderfully uplifting. It's just a perfect way to end a day at Disney and a show that I could happily enjoy every single night and never tire of.

So that's my top ten from around Walt Disney World. What's yours? It's worth thinking about, because compiling this list may not be as easy as you think, but one thing's for sure, it will get you thinking about everything you love about the resort.

Magic Kingdom - on Pirates of the Caribbean ride photo
Magic Kingdom - on Pirates of the Caribbean ride

The famous scene in Pirates of the Caribbean with the dog and the keys that eventually made it into the film!

About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

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Reader Comments:

I have my own list: Tower of Terror, Expedition Everest, Animation Academy, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Mickey's Philharmagic, Soarin', Peter Pan, Beauty & the Beast show, Little Mermaid show, Rock N Roller Coaster.

     ShirleyK on September 17, 2010 @ 9:20 am
Great top ten picks! smiley for :waytogo: Mine would be similar, but RnRC would have to find a way in...:p

PS- no shots needed to go to South Africa...just sayin'.smiley for ;)

     Ashli on September 17, 2010 @ 10:54 am
My top 10 Orlando area rides:
Forbidden Journey
Dr. Doom's Fearfall
Incredible Hulk Coaster

     jimmymac on September 17, 2010 @ 11:38 am
Great list Cheryl!smiley for :D

I totally agree with your about Illuminations. It is amazing!!!

Our 5 year old Aiden will watch the last 4 or 5 mins of Illuminations on Youtube and when they start singing he bursts into tears almost every time. It's also his favoritesmiley for :D

     home4us123 on September 17, 2010 @ 3:04 pm
Thanks for your take! I think this list would be different for every person... Infinite combinations! I especially appreciated your review of test track- quite timely for us. My " no coaster" daughter was just arguing with her dad who insisted to her, she could do this... It's not as scary as it's made out to be! She was sure she'd hate it. Thanks for settling the argument!

     Familygoboston on September 17, 2010 @ 8:37 pm
I just wanted to thank you Cheryl for your Top 10 Favorites. Most of yours are also mine smiley for :). I am currently writing my top 10 and you are correct, it is harder than it

     rotten1172 on September 21, 2010 @ 1:26 pm
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Updated 09-14-2010 - Article #522 

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