Home » The Ride Count Countdown: How Disney & Universal Parks Stack Up

The Ride Count Countdown: How Disney & Universal Parks Stack Up

Theme parks are living creatures. Sure, they grow and change and “will never be complete…” But even more, they’re made of complex systems and elements all working together so effortlessly, you may not even realize they’re working at all. Berms act as skin, protecting parks from the outside world; intuitive layouts are a skeleton, giving the park structure; pathways act as veins and arteries, pulsing guests instead of blood; restrooms are… Well… 

The point is, when it comes to the heart, lungs, and brain of theme parks, the analogy is simple: rides! And don’t misunderstand: the best theme parks are all about balance, featuring meet-and-greets, restaurants, shows, walkthroughs, scenery, and interactive exhibits that make a day feel complete and worthwhile… But if you were about to take a first-time visitor to your favorite theme park, chances are that the rides would be your first priority and theirs…

So today – just for fun! – we want to take a look at Disney and Universal’s parks to do the numbers. Exactly how many rides does each of their parks really have? For our purposes, we’ll define a ride as a specific type of attraction wherein the rider moves – so that’s excluding most shows, walkthroughs, and other “attractions.” During our countdown, be sure to watch for links to Lost Legends and Disaster Files – in-depth features telling the full, unabridged stories of forgotten favorites and disastrous missteps – along the way. But before we start, ask yourself: which parks do you suspect have the fewest rides? Which parks would you think have the most? What about resorts? Think you can’t be surprised by any of the statistics here? Read on…

17. Walt Disney Studios Paris

Image: David Jafra, Flickr (license)

Ride Count: 8

When Walt Disney Studios Park opened in 2002, it was meant to be the second gate that would save Disneyland Paris from financial disaster. Instead, guests encountered Disney’s most pathetic and pointless theme park ever. We chronicled the in-depth experience of the starved park in its own must-read feature, Disaster Files: Walt Disney Studios Park, but in short, the itty-bitty park contained only three rides: a clone of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, an Aladdin-themed Dumbo spinner, and a Studio Backlot Tour even more pointless than Florida’s.

A few additions since have added a handful of off-the-shelf family flat rides in a Toy Story Land, the indoor Crush’s Coaster, a spinning Cars flat ride, and a version of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The piece de resistance arrived in 2014 when the Modern Marvel: Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy opened in a custom-built Parisian mini-land.

What’s next? It’s long been known that Walt Disney Studios Park needed more than just new rides, but a fundamental reinvention. In February 2018, one was announced. Now in the midst of a €2 billion investment, when the “studio” park will finally expand past its itty bitty footprint, adding lands themed to The Avengers, Frozen, and Star Wars alongside the newer Toy Story and Ratatouille lands. In 2020, expect two Marvel attractions plus yet another rebirth of the insipid Studio Tour, albeit now shortened to its smallest footprint yet and with a Cars overlay.

16. Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Image: Disney

Ride Count: 9

When Michael Eisner commissioned the opening of the Disney-MGM Studios in 1989, the entire park revolved around the tram-led, multi-hour Backlot Studio Tour that promised to whisk guests through the park’s actual production facilities. Only problem is that, despite Eisner’s intentions, film production never came to Florida, leaving the itty-bitty “studio” park with just two rides.

Smartly, Disney set out to plus the park with can’t-miss E-Tickets like the Lost Legend: Star Tours, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster so that even when the Studio Tour finally folded in 2014, the park still had a purpose. That year, CEO Bob Iger let it slip that Hollywood Studios would soon kick off a California-Adventure-sized rebuild of its own, debuting a new identity that downplays the tired “studio” theme in favor of immersive, cinematic lands.

Since then, the opening of Toy Story Land in 2018 at least added two (highly-decorated, but off-the-shelf) family rides. Then, the park’s once-starring Lost Legend: The Great Movie Ride was replaced with the equally ambitious Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. But the park’s true rebirth came with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Imagineering’s modern take on the Wizarding World formula. The land represents both an original world designed by Imagineers and a massive, interconnected mythology. But its two standouts are certainly Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and the modern magnum opus, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. 

In its relatively short life, Hollywood Studios has had a number of identities and directions. In Disney’s long pursuit of plussing the park, they’re created a unique situation. While it may have the fewest rides of any Disney World park today, most of its rides would be classified as “E-Ticket” headliners! Maybe that’s why Disney Parks fans have invented a clever moniker for the Studios park: “the worst Disney park, with the best rides.”

What’s next? Unknown.

15. Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Image: Disney

Ride Count: 9

When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, it represented a new ideology of Imagineering. The hyper-realistic park was truly wild, inviting exploration into exotic, photorealistic African villages; entire collapsed Asian ruins, and archaeological digs worth digging into. Animal Kingdom was a creative triumph, with almost 600 acres of stunning detail.

What it didn’t have was rides. The park opened with only four. Sure, animal encounters, exotic dining, and exploration are really the bread-and-butter here, but the park Disney pushed heavily as being “Nahtazū” sure didn’t offer many rides – just the horrifying Lost Legend: Countdown to Extinction and the inspiring Kilimanjaro Safaris). Since then, Kali River Rapids, the Modern Marvel: Expedition Everest, and two carnival ride additions in Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama upped the ride count to seven.

When Animal Kingdom’s newest land, Pandora – The World of Avatar opened in summer 2017, the park at last gained two new substantial rides. Avatar Flight of Passage is the park’s new headliner, while the tranquil Na’vi River Journey is a peaceful tour through the bioluminscent jungles of Pandora.

What’s next? Unknown.

14. Universal Studios Hollywood

Image: gio.april, Flickr (license)

Ride Count: 10

Universal Studios’ original park in Hollywood traces its theme park roots to the 1960s. But for the bulk of its history, the Los Angeles park has been unique among “studio” themed parks for, y’know, actually being a real studio. Universal’s Californian campus is, first and foremost, a real working movie studio that, over the years, began to add shows, demonstrations, and rides to augment the world-famous Studio Tour.

Even with additions like Jurassic Park: The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride, and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, the hour-long Studio Tour remained the reason to visit. On-board trams, guests glide past real, historic and modern movie sets, may see actual live productions, and interact with increasingly-technological staged encounters with earthquakes, floods, King Kong, Jaws, and more.

The only thing that could’ve dethroned the Studio Tour as the park’s draw was the 2016 opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a near-identical duplicate of the Hogsmeade Village that debuted in Florida years before. Its Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff upped the park’s ride count by 2 to a reasonable 10, and it’s worth noting that most of the 10 are grand, big-budget spectaculars with only one family spinner.

What’s next? Fresh from the opening of Hogsmeade, the park isn’t slowing much. The Walking Dead Attraction opened in 2016 (though it’s not a ride and thus doesn’t count here), Shrek 4D made an even swap for the Dreamworks Theater in 2018, and Jurassic Park: The Ride is becoming Jurassic World in 2019 (another even swap), but a leveling of some of the studio facilities signals that Universal is ready to continue this studio’s transformation into a theme park proper, with Super Nintendo World taking shape on the lower lot. When it opens, it’s expected to have two rides: a Mario Kart thrill ride, and a slow-moving Yoshi family ride.

13. Epcot

Image: Disney

Ride Count: 11

Epcot is unique among the theme parks on this list for the grand (and not-so-grand) transformative periods it’s undergone. Disney’s hopes of running an interactive, educational, immersive, permanent World’s Fair sponsored by corporations and highlighting areas of science and industry has seen its ups and downs.

In the park’s early years, lengthy, educational, Animatronic-heavy dark rides told the story of the park’s themed pavilions, but most have closed one-by-one to populate our series, Lost Legends: Body Wars, The Living SeasWorld of Motion (and then the original Test Track), Journey into Imagination, Soarin’, Maelstrom, Universe of Energy, and the father of all closed classics, Horizons. Each has closed to make way for more modern rides altogether disconnected from the park’s original purpose.

In 2017, Disney took the unusual step of addressing the lowered gravity on the park’s Mission: SPACE, effectively creating two distinct attractions to our way of thinking, which nullified the ride count lost by the continuing closures of classics – this time, the Lost Legend: Universe of Energy. The latest addition? The Modern Marvel: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opening in the France pavilion.

What’s next? At the semi-annual D23 Expo in 2019, Disney at last showed (part of) its hand when it comes to the future of Epcot… in this case, it means removing the future entirely. In fact, Future World will be subdivided into World Nature, World Celebration, and World Discovery. Over the next several years, the park will be reinvigorated by way of (you guessed it) Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters, with Guardians of the Galaxy, Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and Ratatouille moving into pavilions across the park, with more announcements forthcoming likely to cover the Imagination pavilion and Coco replacing the Three Caballeros into Mexico.

12. Universal Studios Florida

Image: Sam Howzit, Flickr (license)

Ride Count: 14

When Universal announced plans to bring a copy of their world-famous Studio Tour to Florida, Disney stepped in and committed to opening their own movie-themed park as a pre-emptive strike. Disney’s Hollywood Studios even stole Universal’s bread-and-butter Studio Tram Tour! Ultimately, Universal decided to let Disney take the concept and instead split the components of the Hollywood Studio Tour into separate, standalone attractions, creating Lost Legends: Kongfrontation, JAWS, T2 3-D, and Back to the Future: The Ride.

Universal Studios Florida may be one of the fastest-growing theme parks in the world right now, ambitiously and aggressively updating and replacing its original lineup of attractions with barely a nod to nostalgia. The moment a ride’s source material becomes outdated or a bigger box office hit becomes known, the park will cannibalize even classics to make room for the hottest current stars.

Still fresh from the opening of themed lands dedicated to The Simpsons (2013) and Harry Potter (2014), and the lukewarm opening of the forgettable Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon (2016), the park opened the admittedly abysmal Fast & Furious: Supercharged – yet another screen-based simulator – seemingly cementing a downhill trajectory…

What’s next? Insiders assure fans that the park’s two latest openings are merely the tail end of an era that’s mercifully over, and that all of the rest of the projects on Universal’s docket are industry-changing, high-quality, and (phew) not reliant on screens. That sounds good to us. As for what’s next for the park specifically? Plans for a Super Nintendo World are indeed possible (though we know the bulk of Nintendo plans were shifted to Universal’s announced third Orlando park) with Pokemon or Dreamworks replacing the dated Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone instead… 

11. Universal Studios Singapore

Image: Universal

Ride count: 16

The most easily overlooked of Universal’s parks is also one of its most unique. Universal Studios Singapore opened in 2010, skillfully blending the “Universal Studios” concept with the “Islands of Adventure” layout, creating an unusual park that features movie-set style lands dedicated to New York and Hollywood and immersive themed fantasy lands, all situated around a lagoon.

So while your adventure begins on the streets of a photo-realistic Hollywood, circumnavigating the lagoon, you’ll pass through Sci-Fi City (themed to Battlestar Galactica and Transformers), Ancient Egypt (an entire themed land dedicated to The Mummy and featuring one of our Seven Ancient Wonders of the Theme Park World), The Lost World (Jurassic Park), Far Far Away (modeled after the fairytale kingdom from Shrek) and Madagascar. While the unusual collection of intellectual properties doesn’t initially seem to have as much appeal or longevity as the original Islands of Adventure, it’s a unique twist on Universal’s design concepts.

What’s next? In a surprise announcement in 2019, Universal and Resorts World Sentosa agreed to an unexpected expansion of the landlocked park that will provide it with a Super Nintendo World of its own, plus replacing the Madagascar-themed land with a Despicable Me one. (Evidence that the Islands of Adventure layout really relies on tried-and-true timeless stories, and that plugging in flavor-of-the-week movies will make this park costly to keep relevant.)

10. Shanghai Disneyland

Image: Disney

Ride Count: 16

Disney’s sixth Magic-Kingdom-style park on Earth opened in 2016. What frenzied fans most eagerly studied was the park’s seeming reinvention of the expected Disney Parks standards, as Shanghai Disneyland did away with tropes like Adventureland, Frontierland, and Main Street entirely, shuffled the park’s tried-and-true layout, and dispensed with many standard rides as we explored in our In-Depth: Shanghai Disneyland walkthrough.

So even if the park features only opened with 13 rides, it’s worth noting that each was unique, if not in concept than in execution. A stylistically-boosted Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, an epic-sized Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure, and the long-rumored Soaring Over the Horizon all premiered at the park.

Then, Space Mountain was entirely replaced with TRON: Light Cycle Power Run; the enormous Storybook Castle became home to a dark ride called Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, and the Adventureland replacement (with its own S.E.A. style mythology), features a rapids ride through the towering Mount Apu Taku, including a finale encounter with a massive, menacing reptile guardian we listed in our must-read countdown of the best animatronics on Earth.

What’s next? The recently-opened Toy Story Land added a net three rides to the park’s count (but, like all Toy Story Lands, the rides are “cheap and cheerful,” adding simple family flat ride capacity rather than anything revolutionary or headlining). That leaves Zootopia the next big project in the pipeline. Like Disney’s other IP-influenced lands, Zootopia will likely contain one E-Ticket anchor supported by shops, restaurants, meet-and-greets, and other accessory family elements.

9. Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Image: Universal

Ride Count: 17

Universal’s gutsy attempt to take on Disney produced Universal’s Islands of Adventure, a fantasy wonderland conceived by, designed by, and built by a team of Imagineers fed up with Disney’s cost-cutting ways. (You can read that incredible, almost-unbelievable story in its own feature, Lost Legends: The Lost Continent.) The result is a no-corners-cut theme park meeting and even exceeding Disney’s standards, with immersive themed lands constructed around a great lagoon.

Set among its lushly-themed lands, Islands of Adventure is home to some of the most sought after rides on Earth, from the Incredible Hulk Coaster to Jurassic Park River Adventure, Cat in the Hat, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, and the king of all Modern Marvels: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

Naturally, the opening of the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter (featuring Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, and a repurposed Dragon Challenge) really put the park on most vacationers’ maps, but even aside from Potter’s dominance, the park is a must-see.

In 2016, the park opened the would-be follow-up to next door Universal Studios’ Lost Legend: Kongfrontation, and while Skull Island: Reign of Kong may have been met with lukewarm reception, at least it showed Comcast’s continued commitment to investing big in the resort.

What’s next? While Kong’s arrival wrapped up the ongoing projects we’d already known about, Universal announced another in summer 2017: the intertwined B&M coasters that make up Dragon Challenge would close to be replaced with a new, immersive Harry Potter family coaster. The loss of the Hungarian Horntail and Chinese Fireball lowered the park’s lineup by two, though the opening of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at least recoupoed one. It’ll be made up for by the addition of a second coaster (details still under wraps) coming to Jurassic Park.

There’s at least one other place in the park fans predict (and hope) we’ll see movement: Illumination Entertainment’s in-production animated family films of The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat movies may serve as the perfect impetus to add a long-delayed Grinch family ride and redesign the Cat in the Hat dark ride in Seuss Landing.

8. Hong Kong Disneyland

Image: Disney

Ride Count: 17

When Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005, it was the last of Eisner’s under-built parks, and unfortunately instantly became the smallest Magic-Kingdom-style park on Earth in terms of both size and lineup. For example, its Fantasyland featured only one dark ride compared to Disneyland’s six or Magic Kingdom’s four.

A massive growth spurt opened three brand new mini-lands at once, creating an outer ring around the park’s berm featuring two original E-Tickets (including the unfathomable Modern Marvel: Mystic Manor) and a Toy Story Land. “It’s a small world” and Autopia joined, too. But the first indication that Disney was not giving up on the tiny park came with the 2016 opening of The Iron Man Experience, borrowing the technology from STAR TOURS, which also served as Disney’s first ever Marvel attraction.

What’s next? While Iron Man Experience was a step in the right direction, Hong Kong’s government financiers demanded that Disney do more to make the still-small park competitive against the much newer and much larger Shanghai Disneyland. Disney’s answer is a $1.4 billion rebuild that’s due to include three new components:

  • Frozen themed expansion of the park’s miniscule Fantasyland
  • The annexing of Iron Man Experience’s corner of Tomorrowland into a new Marvel land, which will also absorb the existing Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters to create an Ant-Man dark ride.
  • Most unbelievably, an expansion of the castle, replacing the copy of Disneyland’s tiny Sleeping Beauty Castle that the park opened with.

We’ll stay tuned to how this once-underbuilt underdog evolves and grows, but count on some exciting developments as the park grows into its own to become a truly unique destination.

7. Disney California Adventure

Image: Disney

Ride count: 19

When Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2001, it was supposed to be a fitting compliment to the original Disneyland just steps away, turning the once-solo park into a 21st century Disneyland Resort. The problem is, the park was flawed at its foundation, determined to spoof modern California with off-the-shelf carnival rides, modern pop music, cheap sets, and an “irreverent, MTV” attitude. At its opening, the park advertised parked tractors and tortilla tours as full-fledged attractions, offering only two real standout experiences. Disneyland’s intensely-loyal, generations-long visitors wasted no time before outright boycotting the park. We chronicled the in-depth story of the park’s flawed concept design and a woeful walkthrough in a standalone feature, Disaster Files: Disney’s California Adventure.

In any case, Disney righted the ship in 2007 by announcing an unprecedented $1.2 billion reconstruction that would shutter and re-theme each of the park’s districts and redesign them in the style of Disneyland’s: historic, reverent, immersive lands taking guests back in time to see idealized locales. Now, its lands were transformed into a 1920s Los Angeles, a 1950s High Sierras National Park, a 1910s seaside Victorian boardwalk. The “new” California Adventure included new lands, new rides, new shows, and a new identity.

Weirdly, just a few years after spending a billion dollars to create a new, Californian narrative for the park, Disney began slowly dismantling their own hard work in favor of making California Adventure the quintessential catch-all. In 2017, Disney closed the 1920s art deco Hollywood Tower Hotel (the Lost Legends: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror) to replace it with a futuristic sci-fi warehouse prison to house a new Marvel thrill ride. We chronicled the unbelievable story in its own in-depth feature. In 2018, the historic, Victorian Paradise Pier was transformed into Pixar Pier, oddly settling The Incredibles‘ 1960s architecture along the turn-of-the-century boardwalk. 

What’s next? In yet another unexpected twist, in 2018 Disney closed “a bug’s land” entirely, squashing its five family flat rides and instantly dropping California Adventure from number 4 to number 8 on this list. While the new Marvel super hero-themed land replacing it will include only a web-slinging “Spider-Man” themed ride first, a larger E-Ticket Avengers attraction to follow in a second phase.


6. Tokyo DisneySea

Image: Disney

Ride Count: 20

Tokyo DisneySea is a Mecca for Disney Parks fans… the sort of Bucket List locale that Imagineering fans feel they absolutely must see. That’s because the park is easily, far and away, the most beautiful theme park on Earth. Costing over $4 billion upon its opening in 2001, the park has to be seen to be believed. And tellingly, you could spend days there, ride nothing, and still feel your time was well spent.

But when it comes to rides, DisneySea has some of the best. Many of the park’s rides are originals, like Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The park’s shining headliner earned its own in-depth entry here, Modern Marvels: Journey to the Center of the Earth. The ride is often called Disney’s best ride ever and the height of what Imagineering can do, featuring an unforgettable animatronic encounter that tops our must-read countdown of the best animatronics on Earth.

But here’s the best part… When DisneySea does borrow from American rides, it improves them. Indeed, Imagineers assigned to Tokyo must be in bliss, as there they overwhelmingly get to build the “Blue Sky” versions of their concepts with seemingly no budgetary restraints. In Tokyo, you’ll find the fully-funded, no-corners-cut, big-budget, definitive versions of Indiana Jones Adventure, Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin’, and Tower of Terror (which dropped the Twilight Zone theme all together in favor of being the first ride to involve the mysterious, cross-continental continuity of the secret Society of Explorers and Adventurers).

What’s next? After the opening of their S.E.A.-influenced Soarin’, the park’s next expansion is on track to be its most ambitious ever: Fantasy Springs, a (vaguely-aquatic) storybook land themed to Disney animated films (an odd fit for the otherwise grounded park) that will feature attractions based on Peter Pan, Tangled, and Frozen. Each is expected to be represented by a one-of-a-kind dark ride, which will doubtlessly make DisneySea even more of a must-visit for Imagineering fans.

5. Universal Studios Japan

Image: Universal

Ride Count: 20

Exploring the park map for Universal’s Japanese park is like a looking into some alternate reality version of Universal Studios Florida. The park’s first three lands – Production Central, New York, and San Francisco – are exact, identical carbon-copies of the Orlando parks… except for what they contain. Where American fans would expect Race Through New York, they’ll instead find Terminator 2: 3-D. The Revenge of the Mummy facade in Japan houses The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man; where Florida’s park houses Terminator is instead the entrance to Hollywood Dream: The Ride, a B&M coaster that sails over the park’s glassed-in entry.

In this unique Universal park, JAWS is still around and neighbors with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey; a Jurassic Park land (complete with a B&M flying roller coaster) stands where Diagon Alley is in Florida; the original concept Space Fantasy – The Ride stands as one of Universal’s best rides ever; and Woody Woodpecker’s kids’ area is replaced with Sesame Street, Hello Kitty, and the Peanuts! It’s in that oversized children’s area that this park runs up its ride count (making it all the more peculiar that Universal Studios Florida doesn’t have much in the way of a family area).

Universal Studios Japan just closed their Back to the Future: The Ride (the final version of the cult classic left), but instead of becoming home to The Simpsons Ride as the ones in California and Florida did, the Japanese version instead became Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and a themed mini-land dedicated to the hit franchise.

What’s next? Unknown.

4. Disneyland Paris

Image: Disney

Ride count: 21

When Disneyland Paris opened in 1992, it was instantly recognized as the most beautiful and detailed Disneyland-style park on Earth. The park was carefully crafted to give the American concept a European spin that the French would accept, and carefully blends style and substance in a skillful mix. Put in simple terms, Disneyland Paris somehow has the charm and coziness of Disneyland, the size and grandeur of Magic Kingdom, and the storytelling and detail of DisneySea.

When the Parisian park borrowed from American classics, it did something unusual… it reinvented them! From Pirates of the Caribbean to the Haunted Mansion, the stories you think you know were given an entirely unique European spin to fit into the beautiful and storied park. That makes almost all of Disneyland Paris’ rides – even the ones you think you know – fresh experiences.

What’s next? Despite its glowing international acclaim, Disneyland Paris is in a constant state of catch-up as it tries to recoup the finances that continue to bleed from the undervalued and overbuilt park. The 2002 opening of Walt Disney Studios only strained the resort more. Thankfully, a multi-year effort to beautify the park and restore it to its grand origin is in effect, and in the meantime, the park finally swapped its Lost Legend: STAR TOURS for the upgraded version other parks debuted years earlier. Of course, not all progress is the kind fans admire, and the park’s ambitious and entirely reimagined, custom-built Lost Legend: Space Mountain is currently overtaken with its own Star Wars overlay that’s left Imagineering fans weeping.

3. Tokyo Disneyland

Image: Disney

Ride count: 24

Disney’s first international expansion may still be its most successful. That’s in part because the Tokyo Disney Resort is fully owned and operated not by Disney, but by the Oriental Land company who pays big licensing fees to Disney to use its names, characters, and brand almost like a franchisee. The OLC requested that Disney build them an exact duplicate of Magic Kingdom, simply widening pathways for the massive crowds that would descend on this urban mega-park.

It’s a win-win for Disney, since the OLC spends big to secure their park the best versions of Disney’s best rides, which is why Disney fans the world over migrate to Tokyo to ride the one-of-a-kind Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, or the exceptional Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek.

In return, Tokyo Disneyland is swarmed with Japanese citizens of all ages day and night, as the Japanese culture has wildly embraced Disney and merged with their “community first” culture. Arrive at the park’s gates two hours before it opens and you’ll find neatly-ordered lines stretching the length of several football fields; everyone collectively organizes themselves and sits unobtrusively for parade; there’s not one single piece of litter anywhere. In this alternate-reality Magic Kingdom, guests queue for hours to meet obscure Disney characters and guests literally empty out gift shop shelves every night. It’s a truly remarkable place custom-built for a one-of-a-kind culture.

Tokyo Disneyland welcomes a New Fantasyland in 2020, bringing a cinematic-stylized mini-land based on Beauty and the Beast and a new starring trackless dark ride (while also carving out space for a new Big Hero 6 flat ride in Tomorrowland). However, the impending expansion saw the closure of the park’s Star Jets and the Grand Circuit Raceway, meaning that the massive undertaking technically keeps the park’s ride count flat. 

What’s next? Unknown.

2. Magic Kingdom

Image: Disney

Ride count: 25

The most visited theme park on Earth needs a collection of rides to match, and Magic Kingdom’s headlining lineup features all the favorites fans know and love with enough adventures to fill a day or two. Imagineers designed Disneyland’s little sister to grow, and it has. Also worth noting: Walt Disney World’s first theme park has more rides than the other three parks there combined.

Magic Kingdom just finished up a New Fantasyland, revitalizing the 1971 original by flattening more than half of the land to create immersive environments based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Little Mermaid, Dumbo, and Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately for the park’s ride count, the creatively ambitious expansion – “the largest in Magic Kingdom’s history” – added a new one ride, since one (a Lost Legend: Snow White’s Scary Adventures) closed to make way for it.

What’s next? First and foremost, a surprise announcement at 2017’s D23 confirmed fans’ long-standing wishes that a copy of Shanghai’s TRON Light Cycle Power Run would come to Magic Kingdom. Rumored to takeover the park’s aging Tomorrowland Speedway, TRON will instead be built on a plot of land behind Space Mountain, saving the opening day classic. The only other potential project on the radar is that the most despised Disney attraction on Earth – as told in its own Declassified Disaster: Stitch’s Great Escape – has been gutted. What will come in its place has been hotly debated, with insiders expecting a virtual-reality attraction themed to Wreck-It Ralph (which doesn’t really fit in Tomorrowland, but neither do Monsters Inc., Lilo and Stitch, or Toy Story, so…)

1. Disneyland Park

Image: Disney

Ride count: 36

In the eternal battle between fans of Disneyland and Disney World, those who stand behind California’s resort are often quick to proclaim their superiority by saying that Disneyland is “quality over quantity.” We won’t say who wins in the former, but believe it or not, Disneyland has a LOT more rides than Magic Kingdom does.

It makes some deal of sense, though. After all, Disneyland Park has almost all of Magic Kingdom’s starring attractions (Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, etc.) plus a cavalcade of its own (Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Indiana Jones Adventure, Star Tours, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Submarine Voyage, etc.) which is to say nothing of Disneyland exclusives like the Storybookland Canal Boats, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and Alice in Wonderland. And while Magic Kingdom has axed them both, Disneyland still has Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Adventures, plus The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh!

With the completion of the West Coast edition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2020, Disneyland’s ride count was boosted by two. It’s astounding to think that, though both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios house identical Star Wars lands, the area’s two E-Tickets are 2 of 36 rides at Disneyland, and 2 of 9 at Hollywood Studios! 

The end result is that Disneyland is much, much smaller than Magic Kingdom, but actually has 9 more rides! You can chalk that up to quite a few variables, like Disneyland’s need to grow to accommodate increasing tourism (whereas Disney World’s executives are more like to see their parks as “mature,” able to coast with minimal investment thanks to pop culture and a steady role in the American dream).

What’s next? Though many fans expected Disneyland’s somewhat tired Toontown land to be razed for a seemingly inevitable New Tomorrowland of Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, and Tangled, that doesn’t seem to be the plan at all. Instead, Disney announced that a clone of Hollywood Studios’ highly sought after Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will make its way to California’s Toontown, seemingly ensuring the land’s survival! It’s not expected till 2022, though, leaving the classic park a few years to savor the new Star Wars attractions as its headliners.

Resort Face-Off 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t take a final tally of the ride counts at each resort as they exist today:

  • Walt Disney World: 54 rides
  • Disneyland Resort: 55 rides
  • Disneyland Paris: 30 rides
  • Tokyo Disney Resort: 44 rides
  • Universal Orlando Resort: 31 rides

The numbers don’t lie. It’s true that the Disneyland Resort (including its two parks, three hotels, and Downtown Disney) could comfortably fit inside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, yet the Californian resort’s two parks contain more rides than all four of Disney World’s combined… And sure, like we said, that’s only rides (not counting walkthrough, shows, character experiences, or other “attractions”) but the side-by-side is astounding, and maybe just a little telling.

Image: Disney

Tokyo Disney Resort’s two parks are right on Disney World’s heels, too.

And while Disneyland Paris and Universal Orlando feature nearly the same number of rides, we know, for example, that Universal’s parks are more evenly balanced, whereas Paris’ Studio park drags the average down.

In any case, there’s another story this raw ride count doesn’t quite tell: the number of E-Ticket anchor attractions each park features, totally scrambling this list! Make the jump to that feature to get a new perspective of how these ride counts really settle out.

And listen… We know that rides alone don’t make for a great park. We know that all those things we’ve excluded here – shows and entertainment and streetmosphere and walkthrough and restaurants – are essential elements of a theme park visit. But when you think of your favorite thing to do at Disney World, it’s probably a ride. So in terms of measuring the stuff that brings people to parks, the number of rides can show us something about a park’s investment.

If you’re interested, the final page features an alphabetical listing of the rides we’ve counted for each park.

Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom

  1. Astro Orbitor
  2. The Barnstormer
  3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  4. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  5. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  6. Haunted Mansion
  7. “it’s a small world”
  8. Jungle Cruise
  9. Liberty Belle Riverboat
  10. Mad Tea Party
  11. Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  12. Main Street Vehicles
  13. Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh 
  14. Peter Pan’s Flight
  15. Pirates of the Caribbean
  16. Prince Charming Regal Carousel
  17. Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
  18. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  19. Space Mountain
  20. Splash Mountain
  21. Tomorrowland Speedway
  22. Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
  23. Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
  24. Walt Disney World Railroad
  25. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress 

Not yet counted: TRON Lightcycle Run (2021) 


  1. Frozen Ever After
  2. Gran Fiesta Tour
  3. Journey into Imagination with Figment
  4. Living With The Land
  5. Mission: SPACE – Green Mission
  6. Mission: SPACE – Orange Mission
  7. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  8. The Seas With Nemo & Friends
  9. Soarin’
  10. Spaceship Earth
  11. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

Not yet counted: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (2021)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  1. Alien Swirling Saucers
  2. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  3. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  5. Slinky Dog Fash
  6. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  7. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  8. Toy Story Midway Mania
  9. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage
  2. Dinosaur
  3. Expedition Everest
  4. Kali River Rapids
  5. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  6. Na’vi River Journey
  7. Primeval Whirl
  8. TriceraTop Spin
  9. Wildlife Express Train

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Park

  1. Alice in Wonderland
  2. Astro Orbitor
  3. Autopia
  4. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  5. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  6. Casey Jr. Circus Train
  7. Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  8. Disneyland Monorail
  9. Disneyland Railroad
  10. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  11. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  12. Gadget’s Go Coaster
  13. Haunted Mansion
  14. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
  15. “it’s a small world”
  16. Jungle Cruise
  17. King Arthur Carousel
  18. Mad Tea Party
  19. Main Street Vehicles
  20. Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  21. Mark Twain Riverboat
  22. Matterhorn Bobsleds
  23. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  24. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  25. Peter Pan’s Flight
  26. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  27. Pirates of the Caribbean
  28. Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
  29. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  30. Sailing Ship Columbia
  31. Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  32. Space Mountain
  33. Splash Mountain
  34. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  35. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  36. Storybook Land Canal Boats

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

Disney California Adventure

  1. Golden Zephyr
  2. Goofy’s Sky School
  3. Grizzly River Run
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  5. Incredicoaster
  6. Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  7. Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  8. Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  9. The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  10. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  11. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  12. Monsters Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue
  13. Pixar Pal-a-Round
  14. Radiator Springs Racers
  15. Red Car Trolley
  16. Silly Symphony Swings
  17. Soarin’ Around the World
  18. Toy Story Midway Mania
  19. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

 Not yet counted: Unknown Avengers attraction (2021)

Disneyland Paris

Parc Disneyland

  1. Autopia
  2. Big Thunder Mountain
  3. Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains
  4. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
  5. Casey Jr. – Le Petit Train du Cirque
  6. Disneyland Railroad
  7. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  8. Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril
  9. “it’s a small world”
  10. Le Carrousel de Lancelot
  11. Le Pays de Contes de Fees
  12. Les Voyages de Pinocchio
  13. Mad Tea Party
  14. Main Street Vehicles
  15. Orbitron – Machines Volantes
  16. Peter Pan’s Flight
  17. Phantom Manor
  18. Pirates of the Caribbean
  19. Star Tours
  20. Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain: Rebel Mission
  21. Thunder Mesa Riverboat

Walt Disney Studios Park

  1. Cars Quatre Roues Rallye
  2. Cars Route 66 Road Trip
  3. Crush’s Coaster
  4. Flying Carpets Over Agrabah
  5. Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy
  6. RC Racer
  7. Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin
  8. Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
  9. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Not yet counted: Unnamed Spider-Man attraction, unnamed Frozen attraction, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Unnamed Iron Man overlay of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.


Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disneyland

  1. Alice’s Tea Party
  2. Beaver Brothers Explorer Canoes
  3. Big Thunder Mountain
  4. Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
  5. Castle Carousel
  6. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  7. Gadget’s Go Coaster
  8. Haunted Mansion
  9. “it’s a small world”
  10. Jungle Cruise: Wildlife Expeditions
  11. Main Street Vehicles
  12. Mark Twain Riverboat
  13. Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek
  14. Peter Pan’s Flight
  15. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  16. Pirates of the Caribbean
  17. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
  18. Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
  19. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  20. Snow White’s Adventures
  21. Space Mountain
  22. Splash Mountain
  23. Tom Sawyer Island Rafts
  24. Western River Railroad

 Not yet counted: The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast (2020), The Happy Ride with Baymax (2020)

Tokyo DisneySea

  1. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  2. Aquatopia
  3. Blowfish Balloon Race
  4. Caravan Carousel
  5. DisneySea Electric Railway
  6. DisneySea Transit Steamer Line
  7. Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster
  8. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
  9. Jasmine’s Flying Carpets
  10. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  11. Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  12. Nemo & Friends SeaRider
  13. Raging Spirits
  14. Scuttle’s Scooters
  15. Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage
  16. Soaring: Fantastic Flight
  17. The Whirlpool
  18. Tower of Terror
  19. Toy Story Midway Mania
  20. Venetian Gondolas
Not yet counted: Unnamed Tangled attraction, Unnamed Peter Pan attraction, Unnamed Frozen attraction


Hong Kong Disneyland

  1. Ant Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle
  2. Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
  3. Cinderella Carousel
  4. Disneyland Railroad
  5. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  6. Iron Man Experience
  7. “it’s a small world”
  8. Jungle River Cruise
  9. Mad Hatter Tea Cups
  10. Mystic Manor
  11. Orbitron
  12. Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse
  13. RC Racer
  14. Slinky Dog Spin
  15. Space Mountain
  16. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  17. Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop
 Not yet counted: Unnamed Frozen attraction

Shanghai Disneyland

  1. Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue
  2. Dumbo The Flying Elephant
  3. Explorer Canoes
  4. Fantasia Carousel
  5. Jet Packs
  6. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  7. Peter Pan Flight
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure
  9. Rex’s Racers
  10. Roaring Rapids
  11. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  12. Slinky Dog Spin
  13. Soaring Over The Horizons
  14. TRON: Light Cycle Power Run
  15. Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
  16. Woody’s Round-Up
Not yet counted: Unnamed Zootopia attraction


Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Studios Florida

  1. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  2. E.T. Adventure
  3. Fast and Furious – Supercharged
  4. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  5. Hogwarts Express
  6. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  7. Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  8. MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
  9. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  10. Revenge of the Mummy
  11. Shrek 4-D
  12. The Simpson’s Ride
  13. TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D
  14. Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  2. Caro-Seuss-el
  3. The Cat in the Hat
  4. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  5. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  6. Flight of the Hippogriff
  7. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  8. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  9. The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
  10. Hogwarts Express
  11. The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  12. Jurassic Park River Adventure
  13. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  14. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
  15. Pteranodon Flyers
  16. Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  17. Storm Force Acceleration

Not yet counted: Unannounced Jurassic Park roller coaster


Universal Studios Hollywood

  1. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  2. Dreamworks Theater
  3. Flight of the Hippogriff
  4. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  5. Jurassic World: The Ride
  6. Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride
  7. Silly Swirly Fun Ride
  8. Studio Tour
  9. The Simpsons Ride
  10. TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D

Universal Studios Japan

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

  2. Big Bird’s Big Top Circus
  3. Cinema 4-D Theater
  4. Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
  5. Elmo’s Bubble Bubble
  6. Elmo’s Go-Go Skateboard
  7. Elmo’s Little Drive
  8. Flight of the Hippogriff
  9. Flying Dinosaur
  10. The Flying Snoopy
  11. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  12. Hello Kitty’s Cupcake Dream
  13. Hollywood Dream: The Ride
  14. JAWS
  15. Jurassic Park – The Ride
  16. Moppy’s Balloon Trip
  17. Sesame’s Big Drive
  18. Snoopy’s Great Race
  19. Space Fantasy – The Ride
  20. Terminator 2: 3-D

Universal Studios Singapore

  1. Accelerator
  2. Battlestar Galactica: CYLON
  3. Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN
  4. Canopy Flyer
  5. Dino-Soarin’
  6. Enchanted Airways
  7. Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure
  8. King Julien’s Beach Party-Go-Round
  9. Madagascar: A Crate Adventure
  10. Magic Potion Spin
  11. Puss in Boots’ Giant Journey
  12. Revenge of the Mummy
  13. Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase
  14. Shrek 4-D Adventure
  15. Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle
  16. Treasure Hunters