Any guesses for the top 10? For a while now, we've been tracking our readers' favorite rides and attractions thanks to our live-updating TPT100 countdown. Whenever our readers rate an attraction in one of our free-to-download Park Guides, the TPT100 page updates in real time, re-adjusting ride rankings according to YOUR votes!
We've already used the TPT100 to post YOUR list of the 15 Best Dark Rides and the 15 Best Roller Coasters. We've got a few more "awards" to give out, though, so today we're highlighting the 20 Best Disney Rides as determined by your votes!
A few reminders and rules before you read the list:
- If your favorite attraction is missing, it may be that it doesn’t have enough votes. Rides have a set minimum number of ratings needed before they can appear on the TPT100 (and thus, this list).
- We’ve eliminated extraneous duplicates. For our purposes, there is no reason to list separately each Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Instead, we'll feature the highest-ranking, and note any sister rides therein. If each got its own entry, the top 15 would be almost entirely Towers of Terror, Haunted Mansions, and Pirates. As it is, you can click each park name under the ride's image to rate each individual park's version of the ride.
- If you disagree with a ride's standing, don't blame us! This list is not determined by the staff of Theme Park Tourist, or exclusively by Disney fans. It's determined by the live rankings on our TPT100, which come entirely from readers who rate the rides on that page or in our Park Guides. That means: Disney fans, parents, grandparents, roller coaster fans, dark ride fans, even children.
So if you disagree with a ranking, visit the TPT100 and rate accordingly! It won't update the listing here, but we think that this is a good representation of the best Disney rides in the world as of the publication date! Tell us what you think by rating rides and updating the TPT100!
20. World of Color
Location: Disney California Adventure (TPT#57)
It’s fairly uncommon for a show to crack the top 100 attractions in the world, but guests who have seen World of Color at Disney California Adventure will understand why. The magnificent show is presented nightly on the still waters of Paradise Bay (with the picture-perfect backdrop of Paradise Pier’s 1910s Victorian boardwalk as its backdrop) under the watchful, pie eyes of Mickey Mouse. The 160-foot tall Fun Wheel is equipped with its own LED lighting package that blends seamlessly into the show.
There, guests stand in the tiered gardens of Paradise Park and watch as 1,200 water fountains equipped with LED light rings combine with flames, mist, lasers, and a single, continuous, 380-foot long water screen to bring Disney moments to life in stunning color. The show has received its share of criticism for the non-linear storytelling that serves mostly as a “best of” collection of classic animated moments, but the larger-than-life show absolutely surrounds you and has been known to earn at least a few tears in its emotional 27-minute runtime.
World of Color’s next-generation storytelling (with no costly fireworks to reset daily or smoke-billow pyrotechnics) will be the technological basis for the new Rivers of Light show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, too.
19. Toy Story Midway Mania
Sometimes, small (or large) tweaks in Disney rides divide fans on either coast. That’s not the case with Toy Story Midway Mania, apparently, since the Disney California Adventure version and Disney’s Hollywood Studios version come in at numbers 54 and 55 on our TPT100, respectively, making them both firmly the 19th best-rated Disney ride on the countdown.
The technological ride sends guests into a toy-sized board game where the Toy Story characters put their own twist on midway classics like Break-a-Plate and Pop-The-Balloon. The twisting ride pulls up to virtual screens where guests armed with pop cannons earn points and trigger events. It’s a lot of fun, and one of Disney’s most unique attraction designs. It’s no wonder that, even years later, it earns multi-hour waits, particularly at Hollywood Studios.
18. Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet
Location: Epcot (TPT#52)
Test Track had been a headlining attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot since its opening in 1999. The ride – much delayed due to its technical complexity – is basically a giant slot-car ride, wherein guests in six-person cars are put through the paces, ending in a 65-mile-per-hour speed blast out of the dark ride’s showbuilding and around a curving outdoor circuit. Its original incarnation was designed to resemble an automotive testing facility, filled with orange cones, cutouts, spotlights, and traffic signs.
Even though the ride was still one of the resort’s most popular, Disney “plussed” it in 2012. After a closure of nearly a year, it re-opened as Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet. In the new ride (which has almost nothing in common with its predecessor), queuing guests use interactive consoles and their MagicBand to create their own custom vehicle, then test the car they’ve made in the stunning TRON-style simulated world of 21st century dark ride style. The cars undergo tests in capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power, with guests getting live feedback after each test for how their specific creation fared compared to their fellow riders’.
17. Journey to the Center of Earth
Location: Tokyo DisneySea (TPT#49)
Exclusive to the unbelievable Tokyo DisneySea park in Japan, Journey to the Center of the Earth is considered by many to represent the pinnacle of Disney storytelling and design. Contained entirely within the park’s 180-foot tall volcanic icon, Mount Prometheus, the headlining ride actually uses a second generation of Test Track technology to send guests into the dark and mysterious core of the planet as depicted in Jules Verne’s novel of the same name.
With stunning settings, indescribably brilliant use of space, and one particularly awe-inspiring Audio Animatronic (easily the most elaborate and impressive animatronic in the world), Journey to the Center of the Earth is a marvel. Like Test Track, it ends with a rapid and unexpected acceleration, blasting guests out of the side of Prometheus in a moment of dizzying airtime.
16. Mickey’s Philharmagic
Location: Magic Kingdom (TPT#48), Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland
There’s some good, old-fashioned fun happening at Mickey’s Philharmagic, an astounding 3D show presented in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland. The show uses one of the world’s largest 3D screens to follow the misadventures of Donald Duck, who “borrows” Mickey’s magical sorcerer hat and is sucked into the animated worlds of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and more. The attraction includes incredible 3D audio as well as in-theatre smell and lighting effects that make it one of the best 3D amusement park films in the world.
15. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
Location: Tokyo Disneyland (TPT#47)
Not to be confused with the classic dark-ride style attractions in Orlando, Anaheim, and Hong Kong, Tokyo’s version of a Winnie the Pooh ride diverted from the norm and was created to be an E-ticket attraction. It succeeded. The ride was the first to use Disney’s ingenious LPS-guided ride system, so guests ride in “hunny pots” with no track in the showbuilding.
Instead, four pots at a time enter into a storybook and through fully constructed scenes with complete Audio Animatronics. Because there’s no track, the vehicles can line up, fan out, split away from each other, spin, back up, and dance in choreographed patterns coming within inches of each other. Though it may be hard to believe based on the American alternatives, Tokyo’s Pooh ride is one of the park’s main draws and a true victory for Imagineering.