What’s the most contentious conversation at Walt Disney World? Well, there are certainly a lot of them, but one subject is most likely to turn friends against one another. It’s the question of which Disney attraction is the best. I have my opinions, of course, and long-time readers of Theme Park Tourist have a good idea what they are. The real question is what the consensus opinion is, though.
I’ve accumulated a list of five different rankings to identify the attractions that virtually everyone agrees tower above the rest. I’ve used major media sites such as Travel & Leisure, Thrillist, and Trip Savvy as a baseline, and I’ve included Business Insider since it’s nice to have an outside opinion, too. Finally, I included Disney Tourist Blog because I like the couple that runs it and respect their opinions. Using these five sources, I’ve built a ballot of sorts wherein Disney experts and casual fans alike on voted on the finest attractions at Disney’s four Orlando gates. Here are the best reviewed rides at Walt Disney World.
11. Star Tours – 11 points
I’ll begin with a couple of general comments. The first is that I’m mortified at some of the results. I used the most current articles I could find, but there was little love for Toy Story Land and a fairly shocking oversight at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…arguably two.
Even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the line with the longest wait at any of the four parks, didn’t receive enough support to finish in the top 11, which is maddening to me. Also, my favorite ride at any of the parks, Spaceship Earth, failed to qualify. It did get enough support that I was largely mollified, though. I understand it’s not for everyone.
I say all of these things before announcing that Star Tours is effectively tied for 10th place. It makes me wonder what year this is. While I certainly admire the attraction, it isn’t the freshest of ride concepts. Star Tours has been around since the hair band area and is roughly the same age as Def Leppard’s Hysteria. Yes, Disney revamped the ride in 2011 and has introduced several new scenes since then. I’m just surprised that Star Wars fans have elevated this one to such heights, although it does indicate that Star Wars Land is going to be a blockbuster.
10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 11 points
The pride of Frontierland is technically tied with Star Tours, but it deserves a higher ranking since it’s listed on more ballots. In other words, more people deem it one of the best attractions at Walt Disney World. It’s an understandable opinion since this roller coaster is one of the most entertaining attractions at Magic Kingdom. You board a runaway train and then rumble into the unknown. Subtle Imagineering tricks cause you to believe that your ride is rickety enough that it may not survive the challenging landscape. It does feel like a trip on haphazard transportation during the final days of the Old West gold rush.