Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror tops my list, by far, of my favorite rides at Disney World. Located at Hollywood Studios, this ride is based on the black-and-white television show, The Twilight Zone. The premise of this ride is based on the story that, many years before, a group of people boarded the hotel elevator in the middle of a bad storm. While in the elevator, lightning struck the building, the elevator shorted out, and all aboard plummeted to their demise. After making your way to the basement of this old hotel in the middle of a “storm”, you board that same elevator shaft. The ride brings you throughout the building before reaching the top floor where the elevator drops you, only to bring your car up to the top in order to drop you back down again; it is one of the most popular rides at Disney World.
Second on my list is Expedition Everest. Located in Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest is a roller coaster ride that takes you on a journey throughout Mount Everest in search of the infamous Yeti. This fast-paced roller coaster takes you winding in and out of the mountain searching for the Yeti until you finally come face-to-face with him. A unique aspect of the ride is that, at one point, the tracks seemed to be destroyed by the Yeti, allowing no more progression forward. Don’t be alarmed, you are still able to get out of the mountain: only you have to go backward.
Ever imagine riding through space? Well, look no further: Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom is the place for you! Coming in at number three on my list, Space Mountain blasts you off into space on this indoor roller coaster. On the ride, all you can see is stars, which is makes this ride so fun for many guests at the park: you cannot see when you are turning, dropping, etc. This thrill-ride through space keeps you guessing what is going to happen next on your path, but provides an “out-of-this-world” experience nonetheless.
Rockin’ Roller Coaster
The ranking was incredibly close between numbers three and four but, coming in at number four is the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. If you are a fan of Aerosmith, this is definitely a ride for you. Based on the story line of trying to make it to Aerosmith’s concert (with Aerosmith and their manager), this ride takes you zooming through the streets of LA in this indoor roller coaster that is full of corkscrews and upside down loops. The ride starts off by blaring various Aerosmith songs in your headrest, then shoots you off in a super-stretch limo, going from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds; this is definitely the best part of the ride. Similarly to most rides on the list, it is quite popular; it’s even my seven-year-old cousin’s favorite ride!
Can you think of a better way to beat the Florida heat than riding a water ride with a 50-foot drop? Number five on my list, Splash Mountain, is exactly this ride. This seemingly peaceful and relaxing ride takes you on a journey following Brer Rabbit who is trying to be caught by Brer Fox and Brer Bear. The high point of this ride (literally and figuratively) comes at the end when you plummet in your log down a 50-foot drop towards a briar patch. As expected, Brer Rabbit escapes and the ride finishes with high spirits. You will probably be saying “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” all day after riding Splash Mountain!
Disney is no stranger to innovative rides, which is why number six on my list, Test Track, is a ride like no other. Based on the idea of the testing stages cars go through before they are allowed to be sold, Test Track allows you to be a “test dummy” (in a safe way) for a car you are able to virtually build. This aspect of the ride was introduced in 2012, but is incredibly cool, to say the least. Highlights of the ride include getting to “drive” down different road types, hot and cold testing, and, my personal favorite, speed testing.
Ever wished to visit California? Number seven on my list, Soarin’, lets you do just that. This simulation ride makes it appear as if you are riding in a hang glider all throughout California. You get to see beaches, orange orchards, mountains, forests, you name it! Along with the sights comes the smells like fresh oranges and evergreen trees. At the end, you get to watch fireworks over Disneyland in Anaheim, which is quite a magical experience. Being this is a tame ride, it is incredibly popular with older generations; it’s even my grandma AND grandpa’s favorite ride!
Next at number eight is the Haunted Mansion. I’ll admit, this ride scared me a bit as a child. One of the staples of the Magic Kingdom, the Haunted Mansion takes guests on a ride through an old mansion in “doom buggies”. The premise of the ride lies on the fact that this “mansion” is home to 999 ghosts. However, the ghosts are looking for lucky number 1,000. Will that be you?
Ninth on my list is Kilimanjaro Safaris: by far one of the most unique rides at Disney World. Upon arrival to the ride at Animal Kingdom, you board a safari truck and travel through the African plains. You have the opportunity to see different animals like zebra, lions, giraffes, and more! Many of these animals are allowed to freely roam (within reason of course) so, if you’re lucky, you may get the chance to come within a few feet of these amazing animals. I was able to experience this first-hand when I got within a few feet of a white rhino!
Great Movie Ride
Finally at number ten is the Great Movie Ride. As an avid movie-lover, it is pretty obvious why this ride at Hollywood Studios makes my top ten list. The Great Movie Ride takes you on a slow-moving adventure through popular movies such as Alien, The Wizard of Oz, Singin’ in the Rain, and more. Not only does this 20-minute ride give you a cool break from the Florida heat, it also provides you with the opportunity to experience, first-hand, popular movies from over the years. My favorite part? While waiting in line you have the opportunity to look at different props from various movies! Disney World is always bringing in new props, so there is always something new to see.