FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Unsurprisingly, the most E-Tickets belong at the three most-visited theme parks on Earth: Disney's first three "castle" parks. As for their order?

3. Magic Kingdom

Image: Disney
  1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  2. Haunted Mansion
  3. Jungle Cruise
  4. Peter Pan's Flight
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean
  6. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  7. Space Mountain
  8. Splash Mountain

Not yet counted: TRON Lightcycle Run (2021) 

Considering that Magic Kingdom has about as many rides at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom combined, it’s surprising that its E-Ticket count is… well… relatively low. Because the park was imagined as a near-copy of Disneyland (and since its evolution and expansion has been slower than its older sister), Magic Kingdom’s E-Tickets are nearly all shared by Disneyland, except the newer Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the upcoming TRON Lightcycle Power Run… It’s the latter that should hopefully make Magic Kingdom a must-visit for Disneyland loyalists who, otherwise, don’t see much worth in visiting the Florida park.

Image: Disney

E-TICKET AWARD: None of the park’s E-Tickets are truly exclusive to the park, and several are generally understood to exist in better forms either in Anaheim, Tokyo, or Paris. However, we’ll go ahead and give this park’s E-Ticket anchor award to Haunted Mansion. Because Magic Kingdom’s version was essentially in co-development and installation alongside Disneyland’s, the two are very similar… except that the “blessing of size” allowed Magic Kingdom a longer version, which has also been refurbished more regularly… even if it’s missing something big. Look for TRON to take this spot in 2021. 

THE WEAK LINK: It's nearly impossible to pick an E-Ticket off this list that Magic Kingdom could do without! However, we'll call the Weak Link here the first of Disney’s stellar peaks. We explored the birth of the concept in its own Modern Marvels: Space Mountain feature. The trouble is that every “copy” of the ride outside Florida isn’t a copy of Florida’s at all. While other Space Mountains include updated effects, on-ride audio, seasonal overlays, and smooth layouts, Magic Kingdom’s fairly rudimentary steel coasters skate by on our E-Ticket list thanks to its retro nostalgia and the cleverness of its original concept. 

2. Tokyo Disneyland

Image: Disney
  1. Big Thunder Mountain
  2. Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast
  3. Haunted Mansion
  4. Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions
  5. Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek
  6. Peter Pan's Flight
  7. Pirates of the Caribbean
  8. Pooh's Hunny Hunt
  9. Space Mountain
  10. Splash Mountain
  11. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

When Tokyo Disneyland opened in 1983, it was exactly what the Japanese Oriental Land Company (who owns and operates the resort) asked for: a pretty direct copy of Disneyland and Magic Kingdom with very few modifications to match the Japanese culture. And even in the decades since, its evolution has closely aligned with its American siblings, albeit with big-budget, blue-sky versions of stateside classics. In other words, Tokyo Disneyland offers every E-Ticket in Magic Kingdom... plus three epic originals and Star Tours.

Image: Disney

E-TICKET AWARD: Tokyo Disneyland offers three next generation E-Ticket dark rides that are unique to the resort. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt was the first trackless, LPS-powered dark ride in Disney’s catalogue and remains a standout, while the Tomorrowland set Monsters Inc.: Ride & Go Seek invites guests into a game of flashlight tag that’s easily among the best Pixar attractions on Earth. The resort’s new headliner, though, is the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, yet another ambitious trackless dark ride that’s the talk of the Imagineering community.

THE WEAK LINK: Again we’ll need to place Space Mountain here if only because it’s the easiest to compare to its American siblings. Like Hong Kong’s, it’s a direct clone of Disneyland’s. Unlike its two identical sisters, however, Tokyo’s lacks 21st century show elements, projection effects, and on-ride audio. Since Tokyo Disneyland was the first castle-park built with a Space Mountain baked in, it does give the ride a photogenic location at the end of Tomorrowland’s still-’70s-stylized entry corridor, but it’s just not unique enough to be a sought-after experience for Disney Parks fans.

1. Disneyland Park

Image: Disney
  1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  2. Fantasmic!
  3. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  4. Haunted Mansion
  5. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  6. Jungle Cruise
  7. Matterhorn Bobsleds
  8. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  9. Peter Pan's Flight
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean
  11. Space Mountain
  12. Splash Mountain
  13. Star Tours - The Adventures Continue
  14. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Not yet counted: Minnie and Mickey's Runaway Railway (2022)

Ah, Disneyland. Just as Walt’s little storybook park somehow manages to squeeze in more than rides any other Disney or Universal park on Earth, this miniscule little theme park – the smallest “castle” park in Disney’s arsenal – somehow packs in more certifiable E-Tickets than any other, as well. Again, that’s partly because of its 16-year head start over its next-closest sibling. But it’s also that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure share between two parks what Walt Disney World’s split between four, meaning that Disneyland offers almost all the E-Tickets of Magic Kingdom, plus most of Hollywood Studios’, and several all its own.

Image: Disney

E-TICKET AWARD: It goes without saying that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance would have to be the single-most ambitious ride at Disneyland, maintaining its “U-Ticket” status. But that aside, two rides really makes Disneyland unlike any other “castle” park on Earth:

  • The Modern Marvel: Indiana Jones Adventure - Temple of the Forbidden Eye, a wild, off-roading E-Ticket that not only introduced the EMV technology, but is presented on a scale not seen again until Galaxy’s Edge... a highlight of Disney's "Ride the Movies" era;
  • The definitive and unparalelled original Pirates of the Caribbean, presented in its epic, unabrigded, 16-minute format. It's no accident that Disneyland's version is often celebrated as the best classic dark ride on Earth, and known as Walt's magnum opus.

THE WEAK LINK: Looking across the list, it might be either the historic Matterhorn Bobsleds (one of the three original E-Tickets, but now quite rough to modern audiences) or even Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run if only for its lukewarm reception, made all the worse by being the solo star of Galaxy's Edge at the time of its opening.

Resort Report

Image: Disney

Walt Disney World: 25 E-Tickets – 8 (MK) + 4 (EP) + 7 (DHS) + 6 (DAK) [Average: 6.25]

Disneyland Resort: 19 E-Tickets – 14 (DL) + 5 (DCA) [Average: 9.5]

Tokyo Disneyland: 19 E-Tickets – 11 (TDL) + 8 (TDS) [Average: 9.5]

Disneyland Paris: 9 E-Tickets – 7 (DLP) + 2 (WDS) [Average: 4.5]

Hong Kong Disneyland: 4 E-Tickets

Shanghai Disneyland: 6 E-Tickets

While Disneyland Park tops both our Ride Count Countdown and these per-park E-Ticket Awards, Walt Disney World sneaks away with the most certifiable E-Tickets in one resort – albeit, with one of the lower per-park E-Ticket averages. The loser-by-the-numbers continues to be Disneyland Paris, whose Walt Disney Studios park continues to drag the resort’s finances, ride count, and E-Ticket lineup… at least until it gains three or more from the expansion underway now.

Image: Disney

Of course, we know that a park needs more than E-Tickets… a lot more! This list doesn't account for unmissable, essential shows like Enchanted Tiki Room or Country Bear Jamboree; must-see entertainment; the kinds of meet-and-greets, and dining opportunities, and tucked-away walkthrough that give a park its heart and soul. In fact, by design this omits the "hidden gems" and mid-level family rides we know a park absolutely has to have!

But the numbers here tell an interesting story. Without a double, the sheer quantity of headlining anchor attractions does matter, and the pure numbers displayed here might just reveal the data behind the pride (and sometimes, embarrassment) Disney Parks fans feel about their favorite and least favorite properties.

Did we miss an obvious E-Ticket? Want to argue for or against one that we included? Let us know in the comments below if you find our E-Ticket Awards accurate. The addition or removal of even a few attractions by your request could shift this list entirely!

FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Comments

You can't omit Grizzley River Run from DCA, but include Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom. Grizzley is a much better attraction, it is longer and has an extra drop.

I didn't count either of those raft rides! I *did* include Roaring Rapids at Shanghai Disneyland (which is a clone of Grizzly River Run), but only because it feels like a more full experience due to the finale encounter with the animatronic. None really feel like "headliners" to me, and I don't think Disney has figured out how a spinning rapids ride "meshes" with their storytelling yet. But great point.

Love your posts, especially lists like these and the Possibilityland series.

I'm a tad skeptical of Peter Pan's Flight's inclusion as an E ticket though. I don't think it qualifies on scale; was it ever considered an E ticket back in the days when Disneyland still used to issue those single-ride coupons?

Good point! As far as I know, it was only ever a D-Ticket in the actual ticket book days, so maybe it should be removed... I counted it because, in my arbitrary definition, it meets two of my three made-up criteria: "A novel and extraordinary ride system" and "An exceptionally renowned, historic, or sought-after experience." I can see subtracting it from each "castle park" though depending on your definition!

Indiana Jones epic stunt spectacular
Buzz light year space ranger spin

Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...