You’ve heard of the headliners – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Expedition Everest, Soarin’. But don’t overlook the hidden gems of The World. Here’s what I believe are the most underrated attractions of each park in Walt Disney World.
Magic Kingdom: Carousel of Progress
I’m such a huge fan of this attraction – it was originally conceived of by Walt Disney himself for the 1964 World’s Fair. Though it has seen some updates throughout the years, it still carries on an old feeling of timelessness, nostalgia, hope and excitement for the future…even though this attraction in unarguably outdated. That’s the charm of it. This is a 21-minute show that takes place in a rotating theater in Tomorrowland, and is a celebration of progress and the prospect of “a great big beautiful tomorrow.”
Runner up: Peoplemover
Peoplemover is a fun and relaxing elevated transit system that weaves in, out, and around the attractions of Tomorrowland. This is a great 10-minute break off your feet, and it gives you a beautiful view of the park and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of attractions like Space Mountain. Even if the line LOOKS long, don’t be deceived and hop in line anyway…you’ll be feeling the breeze on your face in no time!
Epcot: Spaceship Earth
While it’s the first attraction everyone comes upon when entering the parks, there are certain parts of the day when you are able to walk right onto Spaceship Earth. This Omnimover attraction takes you up into the Epcot ball, and you’ll travel through time as you consider the advancements in technology, information, and communication throughout history. I love the old-school feeling of this ride – this attraction has existed since opening day at Epcot in 1982! The animatronics, the theming, and even the scents experienced throughout the attraction give me an appreciation for the spirit of Epcot. Don’t forget to send a “souvenir email” to a friend at home (or yourself!) at the end of the ride!
Runner up: Living With the Land
Take a boat ride through the greenhouses of The Land in Epcot! You’ll see and learn about various horticultural and sustainable practices that Disney takes part in while producing much of the food that you’ll enjoy throughout the parks! Even if science, gardening, or sustainability isn’t your thing, you’re sure to enjoy this relaxing behind-the-scenes look at The Land pavilion. Be sure to keep your eye out for plenty of Hidden Mickeys!
Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur
I’ve never waited more than 5-10 minutes for this attraction in my life, and frankly I’m not really sure why that is…it’s a great ride! Dinosaur starts off with a short pre-show film to give story background and safety instructions. After this the crowd meanders down to the ride vehicles to prepare to be transported back in time to the time of the dinosaurs. While a little bumpy, I think this ride is exciting and enjoyable…I always scream when the T-rex is looming over the vehicle because that’s the fun of it all!
Hollywood Studios: Walt Disney Presents
Had I written this blog a year ago, this answer may have been different (probably the now-shuttered Great Movie Ride). But there are currently very few rides and attractions in Hollywood Studios while the park gets a pretty extensive makeover, and therefore there’s really not too much to overlook. That said, I think Walt Disney Presents (previously known as One Man’s Dream) is a great little diversion from running from ride to ride, and not many people even bother to venture inside to see what it’s all about. This gallery allows you to go on a self-guided tour of Disney artifacts, props, pictures, and more. As a lover of history AND Disney, this gets my blood pumping. And even if you’re not interested in reading every detail of every display, it’s a great and interesting little break from the midday crowds and heat.
With so many great attractions throughout Walt Disney World, it’s impossible to hit each one during one trip. These are some of the less popular (read: less crowded) but very magical attractions that are always on my must-do list when I make my way to The World.