8 Best Disney Rides to Rest Your Weary Feet
Everyone gets tired, and that’s doubly true during a day at a theme park. Sure, you’re having the time of your life, but your weary feet need a break from time to time. Otherwise, you’ll experience fatigue and possibly even get blisters. Fortunately, you can jump on plenty of attractions that double as lengthy breaks from walking. Here are the eight best Disney rides to rest your weary feet.
8. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
When we debate which Disney rides are best for tired people, a couple of aspects are most important. One is comfort during the ride experience. You want to rest easily rather than feel stressed. This reason explains why something like Na’Vi River Journey isn’t listed. The predator scenes are intense to some, while the overall tone of the ride demands your full attention.
The other aspect is that you need the ride to have some length to it, thereby providing you with a well-needed respite. So, a short line isn’t necessarily your friend here. You’ll jump onboard a ride quickly, sure, but then it’ll be over soon, forcing you to move along to the next thing. Short lines are only good when the ride experience takes enough time that you can catch your breath.
Keeping these criteria in mind, the first two attractions listed here are kindred spirits. Gran Fiesta Tour at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot was modeled after the ride we’ll mention next. It shares many similarities in ride structure. It’s a boat ride through many imaginative sets. Donald Duck and his fellow Caballeros provide the entertainment thanks to their slapstick cartoon shenanigans, and the dimly lit backdrop is a welcome dose of tranquility.
For about eight minutes, you’ll get to calm down and forget about your problem. Pro tip: when you’re feeling particularly stressed, ride it twice if the line’s short. You’ll feel better. Plus, it’s a VERY Disney attraction since Donald Duck is so intrinsic to the proceedings. I think this aspect of Gran Fiesta Tour isn’t appreciated enough.
7. It’s a Small World
At the time of publication, Weezer’s cover of Africa is played on XM Radio more than any song I can ever recall. No matter which of my preset channels I pick, it somehow winds up in heavy rotation on the playlist. I think of this cover as the XM Radio equivalent of It’s a Small World, the most often played song in the world. One of the reasons that the Sherman Brothers ditty holds this title is that it’s on constant repeat in every room of the ride attraction.
When you board It’s a Small World, you’ll be inundated with repetition, listening to the song o’er and o’er again. Admittedly, that’s not for everybody, but we’re Disney purists here. We love the innate optimism and hope in the song lyrics, and we are in awe of Mary Blair’s puppets, which populate the entirety of the attraction.
It’s a Small World is a mood-altering 12-minute ride that will cause you to feel better about humanity and your place in the universe. The fact that it’s an extended stress reliever is just a happy bonus.
6. Jungle Cruise
My fondness for this attraction goes back to my first visit at Walt Disney World, back when I was a wide-eyed child. The realism of the animals on display mystified me, so much so that I have no recollection about the Skipper’s prattle.
In later years, I’ve come to appreciate the patience required to act as a Skipper. These cast members tell variations of the same jokes all day. Since each journey on the Jungle Cruise takes 12 minutes, that’s four times an hour for however many hours their shift lasts. It’s a thankless job that they perform admirably.
As an attraction, Jungle Cruise is somewhat like a 10-minute standup comedy routine. Some shows are better than others, and I must admit that we’ve had the infrequent Skipper who wasn’t entertaining. Most of the jokers are tremendous, though, and Disney’s perfected the ride script by this point. When you’re onboard, you’re smiling throughout. It’s a relaxing reboot when your feet need a break.
5. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Disney’s Animal Kingdom stands apart as THE greatest achievement in theme park history. Only Disney’s incredible Imagineers could construct several themed lands around dozens of animal habitats. Kilimanjaro Safaris is the ride that tethers the two disparate concepts together. It’s an attraction, but it’s also an exploration of those habitats. Like I always say, to the animals at the park, YOU are the visitor. They live there.
When you board Kilimanjaro Safaris, you’ll experience something wholly inimitable in the entire theme park industry. You watch animals interact as if humans don’t matter. They’re used to our jeeps driving by their homes during the day. It’s like white noise to them. So, they frolic and fight. It’s business as usual to these animals.
To you, it’s the longest ride at Walt Disney World. Your safari will last for more than 20 minutes, giving you plenty of time to catch your breath. And you’ll need it, too. Animal Kingdom is by far the largest theme park in Orlando. A 20-minute break from walking is the magic elixir that will give you a second wind.
4. Living with the Land
This ride is the most educational one remaining at Epcot, a theme park intended as infotainment. While that concept has fallen by the wayside in recent years, Living with the Land continues to inform with its two-part structure. The dark ride portion features a history of agricultural development. It’s admittedly not for everyone, although I happen to love it. The second half of the ride is the part that’s so fascinating, though.
About five minutes into the ride, you’ll enter an area where Disney scientists develop and test new agricultural methods. You’ll see foods that you didn’t even know existed, and they’re all healthier and smarter than ones you’ve eaten in the past.
During Epcot festivals, you’ll even notice signs that indicate the dishes you can sample that use these specific ingredients. Once your 13-minute ride/break is over, you can go grab a snack that uses some of the foods you just saw Disney growing! It personalizes the dining experience.
3. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Everyone knows about the PeopleMover, so this one doesn’t require as much explanation. Back in the day, Uncle Walt envisioned a future wherein residents of the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow would travel by PeopleMover to exact locations. It would join the monorail system as the primary forms of travel within the city.
When E.P.C.O.T. turned into EPCOT Center and then Epcot, the PeopleMover was missing. Its permanent place is at Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, where it hints at an alternate future we’ll never get, one where Walt Disney lived long enough to build his proverbial city of tomorrow.
Near the start of the PeopleMover, however, you can still see the original model of E.P.C.O.T. Then, you can savor 10 more minutes of total comfort on the most relaxing ride at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
2. Spaceship Earth
At roughly 16 minutes, the Spaceship Earth ride is the second-longest one at Walt Disney World. I’m of the (admittedly unpopular) opinion that it’s also the best ride overall. Look, everyone has a favorite Disney attraction, and this one is mine. I love the extravagant sets that meticulously detail the origins of society.
Disney’s selected seminal moments that advanced humankind’s ability to communicate. It’s brilliant and inspirational and everything that’s great about civilization. Even if you’re not as enamored with it, Spaceship Earth is more than 15 minutes when you don’t have to do any walking. That’s good, too.
1. Splash Mountain
Okay, this is the only entrant that comes with a downside. In exchange for getting off your tired feet for a time, you get splashed in the face…possibly multiple times. Anyone who minds this should skip Splash Mountain. Please be aware that you’re missing one of the best theme park attractions of all-time, though.
It’s a masterpiece in every way, and it’s almost 11 minutes of recuperation time, too. Plus, on humid Floridian days, it doubles as a great way to cool down thanks to all the face-splashing! Enjoy all these Disney rides the next time your feet are tired!