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11 Unforgettable Icons You Can't Miss at Walt Disney World

7. Splash Mountain

Image: DisneyI’m unabashedly passionate about Splash Mountain as an attraction. I believe that it’s one of the funniest rides of all-time, and it’s got the best music, too. As a weenie, it’s also great. From across the park, you can tell that water streams down the mountain, which is all you need to know to be drawn to it. I love the efficiency of the exterior design for this reason, but I just can’t rank it above the other entries still to come.

6. Tree of Life

Image: DisneyHere’s where the rankings grow difficult. Three of the remaining entries are THE primary weenies at their parks, and a fourth is the de facto landmark at the final one. So, something’s gotta give.

To me, the Tree of Life is the second-most significant weenie in terms of what it represents to its theme park. It’s kind of a cheat since it’s an artificial tree rather than a real one, but it’s symbolic of Disney’s undying commitment to the planet and all of its inhabitants: human, animal, and plant.

I love the Tree of Life and have taken so many pictures in front of it over the years. But the competition is brutal. I just can’t rank it ahead of anything else on this list, even though it’s the heart of Animal Kingdom.

5. The Forbidden Mountain

Image: DisneyYes, I’m ranking a different Animal Kingdom weenie ahead of the one that symbolizes its spirit and theme. I do this because the Tree of Life is at a natural disadvantage. It simply isn’t as showy as everything in the top five, starting with The Forbidden Mountain.

When Disney committed to a thrill ride at the park, they faced unique competition. It was internal. Imagineers had to at least match and preferably surpass existing man-made mountains at Walt Disney World. It’s largely mission accomplished in that regard.

I’d only rank one other artificial mountain above it, and that’s because The Forbidden Mountain can’t compete with its legacy. The weenie for Expedition Everest is my personal favorite man-made mountain at Walt Disney World, though.

4. Space Mountain

Image: DisneyEven so, I must acknowledge the history, heritage, and lasting impact of Space Mountain. It was the first great ride that debuted at Walt Disney World before Disneyland. Orlando officials felt competitive and had a bit of a chip on their shoulders about this situation. They wanted to build something unforgettable, something that could anchor Tomorrowland for decades to come. And that cone-shaped building has consistently drawn audiences to the shiniest part of Magic Kingdom since 1975.

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