The Nine Most Underrated Attractions at Magic Kingdom
Sure, you’ve coasted through Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. You’ve sailed through the air during Peter Pan’s Flight and the waters at It’s a Small World. But many of the Most Magical Place on Earth’s best rides have slipped beneath the radar. Here are nine of the most underrated attractions at Magic Kingdom.
Storybook Circus is a dream location for parents to take their children. And Barnstormer is the junior roller coaster that rises above it, giving kids a joyous view of the surrounding area.
The best part is the ride’s theming. These old-school airplanes are part of a pilot training school. And Goofy is the teacher! Kids will feel like they’ve mastered the skies while The Great Goofini shows them all the tricks of the trade. It’s the best kind of Disney escapism, the kind that causes kids to fall in love with Magic Kingdom forever.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Don’t you love to destroy your friends in fair competition? Admittedly, a Disney park visit doesn’t come with many ways to humiliate those that you love. Tomorrowland is one of the few places where you can engage in combat with your favorite people, and then show them that you’re superior to them in every way.
I…may have a problem.
Seriously, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin exemplifies everything wonderful about Magic Kingdom. It’s got impeccable Toy Story-based theming, a hypnotic dark-lit setting, and an immersive element that is impossible to beat.
You collect batteries by “shooting” them with your blaster. Two players participate in the ride, and Disney has cleverly added a spin controller. You can confuse your opponent by delivering the Mad Tea Party treatment right as they take aim at a battery. This ride is SO much fun, but the lines are usually short.
Country Bear Jamboree
Several of the most underrated attractions at Magic Kingdom are shows, and I think there’s a reason for that. Parents want to entertain their kids, causing them to place a laser focus on rides. That’s a bit of an unforced error, though.
Parents need to entertain themselves as well, and Country Bear Jamboree exudes raucous laughter. The jokes here are all from songs from before you were born, yet they’re still funny to this day.
Personally, I find it hard to believe that Disney chose existing songs rather than wrote their end, but it’s absolutely true. The corny, bawdy humor that you hear during the show is 100 percent authentic country music! And it’s hysterical. Don’t you just deserve to laugh during your vacation?
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The most novel attraction on this list is the one themed to Beauty and the Beast. On Enchanted Tales with Belle, guests enter an interactive storybook adventure wherein they get to recreate their favorite moments from the movie.
Cast members dressed as Belle and other characters walk guests through several areas, each of which is stunningly detailed. You get to stare into a magic mirror that looks like an interactive monitor, only to watch in awe as it transforms into a door leading into an illuminated hallway.
The next segment is the most memorable part of Enchanted Tales with Belle. An Audio-Animatronic anthropomorphic closet springs to life and needs some assistance. Cast members select some children and their parents to play roles in the story. It’s an endearing way for everyone in the room to come together and tell the tale of Belle.
Some of the most unforgettable moments that parents have at Walt Disney World occur during this attraction. Plus, you’ll get to interact with Belle as the story goes along, making it the most advanced, detailed character meeting in park history!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Sometimes, we all want a little hunny. Nobody understands this more than the obsessive, possibly addicted teddy bear named Winnie the Pooh. When guests head over to Fantasyland to ride his attraction, they receive a four-minute tour of the Hundred Acre Wood, the home to Winnie and friends.
Fittingly, guests enter a Hunny Pot that’s overflowing with the good stuff that Winnie the Pooh loves. Then, the ride takes them a standard day of hijinks among the friends. Winnie accidentally flies with a balloon, Tigger bounces up and down happily, and Eeyore acts grumpy.
The visit displays everything that Disney fans adore about the Hundred Acre Wood plus some spooky stuff. Yes, the Heffalumps and Woozles appear in the fever dream of an otherwise happy teddy bear. This little thrill will amaze children, who won’t expect the dark elements of the otherwise euphoric ride experience.
Disney animated films deliver the kind of family entertainment that no other movie studio has ever matched. As children, we develop a strong emotional connection to these flicks and never let go.
Mickey’s PhilHarMagic celebrates these cinematic treasures by interweaving them together into a touching tale. The moment that the lights go down in the auditorium, Sorcerer Mickey will appear and warn his friend, Donald Duck, not to touch anything. You know how well Donald will heed that advice…
After the cranky duck ignores Mickey, he triggers a chain of events that transports guests into some of Disney’s greatest animated scenes. On display are singalongs like A Part of Your World, I Just Can’t Wait to Be King, and Be Our Guest. But each one is a bit different since Donald butts into the proceedings.
I wholeheartedly adore this attraction and don’t understand why it’s not more popular. For me, a visit to Magic Kingdom isn’t complete without a visit here.
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
I’m a huge fan of Omnimover attractions due to their utility. You hop on board a vehicle, and it drives you at a slow pace all around the attraction building. Omnimovers and dark rides represent the best possible theme park marriage of convenience and comfort.
I especially love the one at Fantasyland, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. Sure, it helps that this movie is my favorite of the modern era. But I’d like the attraction anyway due to its kawaii style. You head underwater on this ride, and Imagineers have knocked the theming out of the park. Spinning starfish are just one of the many schools of fish that you’ll drive past during the story. And Disney truly captures Ursula’s malevolent spirit during her scenes.
I feel like some Disney fans have gotten a bit blasé about quality dark rides. The perception of Journey of the Little Mermaid is that it’s a cheap attraction with little to offer, a premise I passionately reject. After Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s my favorite dark at Magic Kingdom. I ride it whenever I can, and it rarely requires a FastPass!
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
This “ride” is really a series of four shows that tell the entire story of Disney, yet it’s somehow about Disney. Let me explain. The Carousel of Progress demonstrated the skills of WED Enterprises at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Disney wanted to do something special, and so they invented a ride that worked like a hidden carousel. It would spin guests through four different stages, all of which told a story about a special slice of Americana.
Guests would learn about turn-of-the-century living, the age when Walt Disney was a boy. Then, they’d fast forward a few years later to the era when he was a teen, learning how far technology had advanced in a short time. Afterward, another scene would depict modern living for the era, followed by a prediction of the near future.
This attraction has mirrored the concept long after Walt Disney died. In fact, it’s the same ride structure from the World’s Fair. Park officials first transported it to Disneyland but then later gave it to Magic Kingdom. While the future scene has changed, the stories are mostly the same as what you’d have found in 1964.
For this reason, Carousel of Progress stands as a tribute to not only Uncle Walt but also the hard-working team that put together one of the unforgettable attractions of the era. And the comfortable story of humanity’s progress is quite inspirational.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
While the Enchanted Tiki Room never held court at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the brilliant innovation that drives the attraction has its basis there. Disney built the first Audio-Animatronic (AA) for that exhibition. Then, they translated the idea to a show at Disneyland called The Enchanted Tiki Room.
The story of this attraction is that a group of birds put on a show for guests! Due to the animatronic technology, these fowl creatures can talk, sing, and even dance. It’s an impossibly charming tale that delights guests of all ages, which explains why it’s still going strong after roughly half a century.