Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the first of four Walt Disney World parks in Florida, opened in 1971 as a modeled version of the original Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California.
In these Orlando parks’ opening order, EPCOT (1982), Hollywood Studios, formerly known as Disney MGM Studios (1982), and Animal Kingdom (1998) would follow.
Are you curious about what the best rides and attractions Magic Kingdom has to offer? Look no further! Magic Kingdom is everyone’s favorite for meeting princesses, villains, Aladdin, Buzz, Mary Poppins, and, of course, Mickey and Minnie. As you wander through the park, designated meet-and-greet areas are scattered throughout, where you can use Genie+ and a Lightning Lane to decrease waiting time and snap a photo or get autographs.
All Animal Kingdom Rides and Attractions
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- “it’s a small world”
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- The Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (Coming 2024)
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Haunted Mansion
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- The Hall of Presidents
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Carousel of Progress
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Space Mountain
- TRON Lightcycle Run (NEW!)
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority
Discover the top five insider recommended rides and attractions at Magic Kingdom.
Planning a visit? We recommend you read this list ahead of time to avoid missing out on the fun!
1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
One of Magic Kingdom’s most iconic rides, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad takes you on a ride through the legend of a haunted 1800’s railroad. Suited for adults and kids over 40″, this rollercoaster ride twists, turns and drops through the mountainous terrain.
Though lines can get long, there are ways to optimize your wait. Try to hop in the queue during the parade or Extra Magic Hours if you’re staying at a Disney resort. For those who take their chances with the standby line, don’t fret – it’s covered overhead to protect you on hotter days.
While you wait, take in the stunning exteriors and decorations that make the queue feel like you’re in an old mining office. Feast your eyes on the mountain’s grandeur as you wind your way around. And then prepare for the thrill of your life as you blast off on a journey of twists and turns!
2. TRON Lightcycle Run
Step into the thrilling world of the Grid at TRON Lightcycle Run, where you’ll zoom through a world without limits in a high-stakes race inspired by the Disney sci-fi film TRON: Legacy. Get ready to leave reality behind and join Team Blue on a daring quest across the computerized universe of TRON.
Climb aboard your very own Lightcycle and brace yourself for a high-speed adventure as you battle against the Grid’s most ruthless Programs. Take on your fierce opponents and test your skills by crossing through 8 Energy Gates to secure your team’s victory. And with TRON Lightcycle Run, you’ll be riding one of the fastest coasters in any Disney theme park in the world!
Back in 1982, Disney made history with TRON, the first-ever production to blend live action with computer-generated visuals and backlit animation. This iconic film went on to inspire video games, comic books, an animated series, and the 2010 sequel TRON: Legacy — and now, it’s the inspiration behind one of Disney’s most exciting theme park attractions yet.
3. Space Mountain
Located in Tomorrowland, Space Mountain boasts one of the longest wait times in the park, but trust us – the payoff is worth it. As you snake your way through the line, you’ll feel like you’re traveling deep into space. Once you’re strapped into one of the little rockets, you’ll blast off into an almost complete darkness, traveling at 28 miles per hour.
This double track ride is thrilling, with steep drops and sudden turns that will have you screaming (in a good way). Keep an eye out for the other rockets zipping around beside you. Oh, and before we forget – the height restriction is 44”.
Our advice? Use your Lightning Lane on this ride. Peak wait times can climb to a whopping 2+ hours. And when you’re finally back on solid ground, be sure to pop into the Space Mountain themed gift shop. You’ll find all sorts of fun stuff, like astronaut snacks (hello, dehydrated ice cream sandwich), Disney themed phone covers, candy, and t-shirts.
4. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Fantasyland’s latest and greatest coaster, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, is a Disney fan favorite built for anyone above 38″. Board actual mine carts that rock side-to-side while the dwarfs croon “Heigh Ho” through the beautiful gem mines. Its Disney magic even extends to their animatronics.
But with the ride’s buzz, the lines can stretch for eternal hours without a Lightning Lane. If you’re planning on hopping on the Dwarfs’ creation, definitely snag a Lightning Lane. Once you disembark, go to The Friar’s Nook in Fantasyland for a tasty snack. Trust us, the loaded buffalo chicken tots are like Disney magic in your mouth.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean
Welcome to Adventureland, where the famous Pirates of the Caribbean ride awaits! If you’re worried about the Florida heat, don’t worry! The queue is completely indoors, providing a refreshing break from the sun.
Once you’re on the ride, you’ll be transported into scenes of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and the animatronics are so lifelike that you might forget they’re not real! You’ll even get to meet Captain Jack Sparrow, who was added in one of the ride’s impressive updates. Another exciting update was made to a scene in the town square, where you’ll now see a woman chasing her husband around with a broom!
This 16-minute ride is both relaxing and enjoyable, making it the perfect choice for a family outing. And did you know that it actually inspired the famous Pirates of the Caribbean movie series? It’s not every day that a ride creates a movie franchise, but this one did!
After you take on the high seas with Captain Jack and his crew, be sure to check out Aloha Isle, located just around the corner from the ride. You won’t regret trying their Dole Whip, a creamy pineapple flavored soft-serve that can also be swirled with soft-serve vanilla. Trust us, it’s worth it!
Lastly, did you know that the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was the very last one that Walt Disney oversaw before his passing in 1966? Keep that in mind while you’re enjoying this classic ride.
6. Character Meet and Greets
To save time waiting to see your favorite Disney characters, make use of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes for character meet and greets. Trust us, you don’t want to be stuck in line with a fussy young child for up to 2 hours!
The good news is, Lightning Lanes are available for meet and greets with some of the most beloved Disney Princesses – Cinderella, Tiana, Rapunzel – at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. Plus, you can use Lightning Lane encounters with Ariel in her Grotto or Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbelle at Town Square Theater right in the front of the park. Don’t miss out!
Top 3 Underrated Magic Kingdom Attractions
Though these rides might not be as popular as others, they are still absolutely worth checking out. In fact, I’d argue that their lesser-known status makes them even more intriguing choices to explore. Give them a go and treat yourself to an exciting adventure!
1. The Peoplemover (Tomorrowland Transit Authority)
Discover Tomorrowland’s hidden gem, the Peoplemover boarding area, located beneath the Astro Orbiter. Hop on the moving ramp that takes you to the loading section, which backs up against the cars moving at the same speed.
The track is sheltered with a ceiling for a cool, shady ride outside, and you’ll enjoy a wonderful breeze as the carriages move at a pleasant speed.
The 10-minute ride takes you through Space Mountain’s indoor area and Tomorrowland, with an exceptional view of Cinderella’s castle. You can get on the Peoplemover in between Lightning Lanes or even when you just want to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Tomorrowland.
Don’t be too quick to rush through Magic Kingdom, as there’s so much to do and see! Take your time exploring the rides and shows, meet and greet experiences, and yummy snacks. With all these amazing choices, you might want to spend two fun-filled days here – and even then, you’ll still want to come back for more!
2. Carousel of Progress
Have you ever experienced the Carousel of Progress, one of the oldest and iconic attractions at Walt Disney World? This 21-minute ride, which debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair, takes us through the 20th century with an audio-animatronic “host” showcasing new inventions and family life.
But wait, there’s more! Unlike other attractions where you queue for hours, the ride has a short wait time of a few minutes as the theater rotates around the center scenes. So, no need to worry about missing out on the fun, as it pauses between the scenes. And the best part? You get to chill in the large, cool, dark theater – perfect for catching up on some sleep or enjoying the show.
3. It’s a Small World
Experience another ride that has been captivating visitors since it premiered at the 1964 world’s fair in New York. With 300 dolls donning native dresses, representing countries from all over the world and a constantly moving boat ride, you won’t find long lines here.
The majority of the waiting area is thankfully covered so you can effortlessly fit this into your day while waiting for a Lighting Lane window to open. This attraction is a quintessential “must do” for any Disney World visit and the perfect quick break on a hot day.
What is Genie+ and Lightning Lane?
Disney Genie+ offers Lightning Lane entrances to help you save time standing in line. On average, guests can experience 2-3 attractions per day with Lightning Lane, if the first selection is made early. Read more with our Genie+ & Lightning Lane Guide.