These Are the 14 Worst Rides at Disney World, Ranked

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A video popped up on my Facebook memory feed yesterday. It was my son John Paul at age 3 listing all the things he wanted to do on our upcoming trip to Disney. 

Atop the list? Ride the choo-choo. However, as our date approached, the choo-choo went down for maintenance. Ultimately, it reopened two days after we left. 

Small World was under maintenance when we took our now oldest daughter. And also on our most recent trip, our youngest had to miss Frozen Ever After when it went down while she was in line. 

So what do you do when a ride breaks down? Like anything else, you make the best out of it as you can. 

You ride the other rides more and get on the best of what Disney has to offer. Maybe you spend a little bit of extra time with the worst and see if you can build an appreciation for them. 

What ride in Disney World breaks down the most?

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is great but that greatness comes at a cost. This ride – which I believe to be the greatest theme park attraction ever built – has a lot of moving parts and a lot of advanced ride technology. Which means, it goes down fairly frequently.

Other rides that can shut down include Frozen Ever After, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the PeopleMover and Expedition Everest. Maybe the Yeti is out there causing guests to miss their favorite rides.

the haunted mansion at disney
The Haunted Mansion at Disney World (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Are some Disney World rides scary?

Kind of, but not on the level of something like Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando. 

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is creepy in theming and scary in the ride itself. Being dropped vertically like that will get the heart pumping. 

The Haunted Mansion ride itself isn’t overly scary. But they do a good job in the queue of putting you in the mindset to be scared. That’s what got my son. He was freaked out before we ever got on the ride. And it was not the ghosts that got him, it was the music and the voices. 

DINOSAUR in Animal Kingdom won’t frighten many adults but could be considered too scary for children. 

Some people find Space Mountain scary due to the claustrophobic feeling of being in the dark. 

And of course, some people find roller coasters in general scary. But if you’re asking in terms of horror? Disney doesn’t really do a lot of that.

Read Also: 19 Scariest Rides at Disney World Ranked by a Scaredy Cat

What rides should you avoid at Disney?

I don’t think you should necessarily “avoid” any of these if you haven’t ridden them at least once. Even the worst ride at Disney has some positives to offer.

However, vacation time is limited and if you’re looking for rides you can skip or rides that are less essential than others, here’s your list:

Space Mountain Cars Interior
Space Mountain is a classic that is showing its age (photo by James Overholt/

14. Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)

It might seem strange to lead off with this iconic Disney ride. However, we can’t let reputation stand in the way of reality.

Space Mountain was a technological wonder when it opened. But 50 years later? It’s showing its age.

Forget the uncomfortable and socially awkward ride vehicle. Forget the claustrophobic darkness.

Do not forget the nausea-inducing streaks of light that are troublesome for anyone who suffers from motion sickness.

Aladdins Magic Carpet Ride Magic Kingdom
Magic Carpets is like a carnival ride with different theming (photo by James Overholt/

13. Magic Carpets of Aladdin (Magic Kingdom)

I like the Aladdin ride. We ride it every trip. But, if I’m being honest, it’s a placeholder ride. It’s one of several Disney rides that are essentially various versions of the Dumbo ride but with different theming. 

Because it’s shoved into a busy section of Adventureland, it feels in the way of everything else and the queue is tight. 

The views? Not fantastic or iconic. My recommendation? Go over to the Aloha Isle, get a Dole Whip and find a shady spot to people-watch while your family makes their way through the queue. 

Astro Orbiter Ride Disney World
Astro Orbiter features rocket ship vehicles that may not be comfortable for everyone (photo by James Overholt/

12. Astro Orbiter (Magic Kingdom)

This ride has an awkward ride vehicle, which is a real deterrent to what should be a fantastic experience.

If you can endure the rocketship, then you’re rewarded with cool views from up high, but that’s a big if. 

Jungle Cruise Entrance Magic Kingdom
The Jungle Cruise is sometimes bogged down with a long loading and unloading process (photo by James Overholt/

11. Jungle Cruise (Magic Kingdom)

This ride is always saddled with long wait times – though I think sometimes Disney inflates those to manage expectations. The loading and unloading process tends to gum things up.

The captain’s pun-filled jokes are probably the best part of the experience, but gliding past the various vignettes offers little entertainment.

If the wait time were under 10 minutes, I’d consider riding this again. Otherwise? I can spend my precious hour or so of Disney time doing something else.

Alien Swirling Saucers Ride Vehicles
Swirling Saucers is a short wait, carnival-style ride for the young ones (photo by James Overholt/

10. Alien Swirling Saucers (Hollywood Studios)

Hollywood Studios definitely needs more of these quick, short wait time, carnival-style flat rides to give families more options to ride while dispersing crowds and wait times.

That being said, the Alien Swirling is fun but forgettable. If you have to choose between this and just about any other Hollywood Studios ride, choose the other.

Prince Charming Carousel Ride
The Prince Charming Regal Carousel is a first-visit ride (photo by Morgan Overholt/

9. Prince Charming Regal Carousel (Magic Kingdom)

The views? Iconic. The ride? It’s a carousel.

You can see the exact same views standing 12 feet to the left and you don’t have to spend any time in the queue. After your first visit, this is a ride only if it’s a walk-on situation. 

Single Driver in a Green Car Tomorrowland Speedway
Tomorrowland is a fun, but perhaps not exciting ride (photo by James Overholt/

8. Tomorrowland Speedway (Magic Kingdom)

We were riding the Speedway several years ago when one of the cars jumped the track. I have no idea how the driver managed to get one of these slow-moving cars off the rail, but they did.

Cast members were running everywhere to stop traffic, make sure no one was hurt and try to get everything fixed. In truth, that’s the most excitement seen on that ride before or since. 

Kids Ride the Triceratop Spin Animal Kingdom
Dinosaurs do fly on the TriceraTop Spin ride (photo by Morgan Overholt/

7. TriceraTop Spin: Dinoland U.S.A. (Animal Kingdom)

Another variation of the Dumbo ride, this time with dinosaurs that do not fly.

Why did they pick the lumbering, Earthbound triceratops for this ride? The world may never know. 

rock n roller coaster at Hollywood Studios
The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios is the only coaster with inversions at Disney World (photo by Morgan Overholt/

6. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Hollywood Studios)

This ride, in my opinion, is janky.

It bangs and bumps you along the track. The Aerosmith soundtrack is dated but not in a good way. It’s currently going under refurbishment but really needs just a complete overhaul of everything. 

Carousel of Progress Interior Magic Kingdom
The Carousel of Progress is a rotating theater attraction (photo by James Overholt/

5. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom)

I’ve always found Disney’s Carousel of Progress – a rotating theater audio-animatronic stage show attraction in Tomorrowland – a bit creepy.

Specifically, it feels like an alien attempting to recreate a human’s vision of the future. 

The Seven Drawfs Mine Train is a smooth coaster but it also features a 39' drop (photo by Morgan Overholt/
The Seven Drawfs Mine Train is a smooth coaster but it often has long wait times and is not comfortable for some (photo by Morgan Overholt/

4. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)

This new roller coaster was supposed to be a new day in the Magic Kingdom.

And while it’s a popular ride, for me, it never struck gold. It has long wait times, a short ride time and an uncomfortable ride vehicle. 

spaceship earth line entrance
The EPCOT ball’s name is actually Spaceship Earth (photo by Morgan Overholt/

3. Spaceship Earth: World Celebration (EPCOT)

I think, ultimately, trying to put a ride inside the iconic Spaceship Earth was too limiting.

The ride rises and falls at strange angles. It moves slowly and sometimes stops while you’re in an uncomfortable position. The dioramas can be a little creepy in the same way as the Carousel of Progress is. 

EPCOT's Journey Into Imagination
Journey into the Imagination is an edutainment ride that is somewhat outdated (photo by James Overholt/

2. Journey into the Imagination with Figment (EPCOT)

I love Eric Idle. The man’s a genius. This strange little ride – which is supposed to be some form of edutainment – is not his best work.

The ride frequently glitches and is just out of place from an experience and technology standpoint in a modern Disney theme park. 

Also, Disney went through a phase where it used celebrities a lot. After a while it gets weird. Hello, Eric Idle from 25 years ago. You look great! For another example? See the ride below.

DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom
DINOSAUR is a dark ride at Animal Kingdom about animal extinction (photo by James Overholt/

1. DINOSAUR (Animal Kingdom)

In theory, this ride should work. With a time-travel theme that appears “inspired” by Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder,” you’ve got something to work with.

But the animatronics aren’t great. The in-ride acting is suboptimal though in fairness it doesn’t seem like it’s much of a script.

We should note that a young Phylicia Rashad – still looking like a classic Claire Huxtable – shines in the pre-ride production. But it also leaves you wondering if they used the time machine to bring her in from 1991.

The fact of the matter is that compared to Disney’s other rides, it doesn’t have enough of a nostalgia factor to make us overlook its flaws. It’s not technologically advanced enough to hang with Disney’s newer rides. 

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride Magic Kingdom
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is worth riding at least one time (photo by James Overholt/

Honorable mentions 

The following rides aren’t amazing, but they are worth riding at least once.

So if you’ve never been to Disney before, you’ve got to do the Magic Kingdom classics like Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Peter Pan’s Flight just because you have to experience Disney the way it was years ago – or close to it.

And yes, it can be awkward riding something like the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh or Journey of the Little Mermaid if you don’t have kids, but you’ve got to suck it up and get in there. 

Rise of the Resistance Storm Troopers Hollywood Studios Orlando
Rise of the Resistance is a ride you definitely don’t want to miss (photo by James Overholt/

What are the must-do rides in Walt Disney World’s theme parks?

In general terms, Avatar Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT are considered the three best rides in the parks. 

Other rides that should be included on your Disney vacation’s must-do list include Expedition Everest, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the new Tron ride. Disney does simulator rides well.

As a sci-fi and fantasy fan, I also recommend Star Tours, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and the Na’vi River Journey.

What Disney rides are the most underrated?

I think the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover tops that list. It’s smooth and comfortable, and you get a nice breeze and cool views of the park as you tool around up high. Wait times are usually low. It’s a great ride. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad gets a little forgotten back in the far corner of Frontierland. I think it would get more love if there was a way to walk around behind the Haunted Mansion and connect to Fantasyland.

It’s a good thrill ride even if it does jostle you. It’s still a better experience than Seven Dwarfs or some of Disney’s other thrill rides. 

What do you think is the worst ride at the Walt Disney World Resort? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments!

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for LLC – the parent company of and

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