Best Rides at Magic Kingdom

Tron zooming by after launch during day time at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

If you’re looking for rides at Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom is where you want to go. But with so many options, what should you prioritize when you’re there? Let’s take a look at some of the best rides at Magic Kingdom!

Why You Should Trust Me

Christian McIlwain on PeopleMover with Space Mountain behind him at night at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

I’ve studied the theme park industry for over 20 years, including spending some time working rides themselves. I’ve ridden over 200 roller coasters at the time of this post being written, and visited over 40 theme parks, zoos, and fairgrounds (including Magic Kingdom), riding as many rides as possible at each.

While I myself do not have children, I base ratings for children and families on what I enjoyed as a child as well as what I’ve seen other children in my life enjoy. If you see a child smiling during a ride, that’s usually a pretty good sign.

Best Ride for Thrill Seekers and Teens

Tron Lightcycle / Run

Tron Lightcycle Run zooming by lit up at night at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

While the rest of the ride isn’t as high-thrill as the launch, the seating style provides some unique thrills, and the drops and speeds on this are bigger than Space Mountain next door.

Best Ride for Families

Pirates of the Caribbean

Outdoor sign designed to look like a ship mast for Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

It took a while for this ride to grow on me, but I’ve had some really good rides on it lately. The reason this is good for families is it provides a little bit of everything – a relaxing boat ride in the dark, some mild thrills, fun animatronics, and some spooky set pieces (though not as spooky as other rides on this list).

Many people consider this their favorite Disney ride, so it makes sense to include it on the list of best rides at Magic Kingdom.

Best Ride for Small Children

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Confession time: I’ve actually never ridden this. But come on, it’s Dumbo. This is one of the most iconic Disney attractions of all time – you get to control the famous elephant himself and control how high up he flies. Plus, anyone of any height can ride it!

The queue also provides some indoor games and shade as you wait, as well!

Best Ride for Older Adults and Adults Who Want To Relax

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

I absolutely adore this ride the older I get. It’s a nice way to take a leisurely ride around and through Tomorrowland, including being able to go inside and in-between the tracks of Space Mountain!

This ride also doesn’t usually have a very long line either, so it’s a great way to fill some time while you’re waiting for your next big ride. Don’t miss this underrated ride – it’s definitely one of the best rides at Magic Kingdom.

Best Roller Coaster

Space Mountain

Outdoor facade of Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

No list of the best rides at Magic Kingdom is complete without the iconic Space Mountain. This was the world’s first Space Mountain ride. Some people may find it a bit bumpy due to its age, but that’s part of its charm in my opinion.

While this roller coaster in the dark isn’t one of the biggest roller coasters in Florida, it still packs plenty of thrills. Being in the dark really helps to amp up the feeling that you’re traveling faster than you are through space, and it’s easy to see why this ride has been duplicated by Disney parks and theme parks all around the world.

Best Roller Coaster for Beginners

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train going over hill at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

While it may get frustratingly long lines for how short it is, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train provides some small thrills with some fun theming to go along with it, which is why I placed it above the even smaller Magic Kingdom roller coaster, The Barnstormer, for this list of best rides at Magic Kingdom.

It’s fun to be going down some small drops in your mine train-themed car and then enter a dark ride portion that features the Seven Dwarfs from sleeping beauty singing their iconic song. The line is long (be sure to wear comfortable, supportive shoes), but the little kids will love it!

Best Indoor Ride at Animal Kingdom

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion facade behind hearse at night at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

If you want iconic rides, Haunted Mansion definitely ranks among the best. This slow-moving ride is a Halloween-lover’s dream, featuring 999 haunts along its path. It’s hard to imagine not including it in a list of the best rides at Magic Kingdom.

There’s so many iconic moments in this ride, and I don’t want to spoil them all for you if you haven’t ridden, but if you’re looking for an iconic indoor attraction to beat the heat, this is definitely worth the wait.

Best Water Ride

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Though it hasn’t officially opened at the time of this post, this is the only water ride at Magic Kingdom, so it wins by default as one of the best rides at Magic Kingdom.

Formerly known as Splash Mountain, the ride layout itself remains the same, so it will feature the same thrilling drops and chilling splashes with an updated, more appropriate theme.

Best Ride for Short Lines

Carousel of Progress

Carousel of Progress sign at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

I did this for the first time recently and actually really enjoyed it. You sit in a theater that shows a scene with animatronics and then rotates around to the next one, all with a super catchy song written by the same people who wrote “it’s a small world”.

Best Ride for Historians

Space Mountain

Space Mountain outdoor facade at night at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

As I mentioned earlier, this is the original Space Mountain roller coaster. While many other Space Mountains and indoor roller coasters have come after it, this is really the indoor roller coaster that started it all.

Riding on it feels a bit like riding a bit of history as a theme park fan, so if you want to ride the ride that helped make indoor roller coasters what they are today, you have to check out Space Mountain. It’s really a ride every one should try at least once and definitely one of the best rides at Magic Kingdom.

Christian McIlwain

Christian has been a fan of theme parks since he was a child. He has over twenty years of experience both researching and working in the industry. He grew up visiting Kennywood Park throughout his childhood. Currently, he lives in Atlanta, GA where he frequently visits Six Flags Over Georgia and Orlando area theme parks.


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