What to Do When Your Favorite Disney Ride Is Down
This business practice exemplifies the company’s dedication to customers.
Alas, sometimes, it can cause problems for you when you’re at the park, and the attraction you love isn’t open.
Today, I’m going to suggest a back-up plan for several rides, a kind of Disney Substitutes list.
Here’s what to do when your favorite Disney ride is down.
Alien Swirling Saucers <=> Mad Tea Party
The idea here is that several Walt Disney World attractions share similar ride mechanics.
No, you won’t duplicate the experience that you’re expecting, but you can approximate it.
For instance, when Mad Tea Party closes down for the day, you can no longer spin yourself dizzy at Magic Kingdom.
What you can do instead is travel to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There, you can ride Alien Swirling Saucers, an attraction that gives you no control.
However, your “driver” is one of the Little Green Men from Toy Story. They will whip your ride cart into a frenzy, the next best thing.
The reverse applies to all these attractions as well. Should Alien Swirling Saucers go down for the day, Mad Tea Party provides a viable substitute.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad <=> Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Many Disney attractions share surface similarities that you rarely think about.
This willful ignorance occurs as a basic Imagineering trick. Disney cast members hide ride mechanics underneath detailed theming.
So, when you board Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you’re not mentally comparing it to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Why would you? Your mine train has lost control, and you’re on a one-way trip through the mountains.
When you take the time to think about the two rides, you’ll appreciate the shared traits, though.
They’re both rickety roller coaster rides into the unknown. Also, each one slows down at a set point to build suspense.
If Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Fantasyland is down, your next stop should be Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Frontierland instead. And vice versa.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant <=> The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Okay, some of these substitutes are obvious. Aerial carousel coasters have entertained Disneyland and Walt Disney World guests since the beginning.
At Magic Kingdom, you’ll find two of them. Aside from theming, they’re nearly identical.
This ride structure sneakily includes a third option at Walt Disney World, too.
TriceraTop Spin at Disney’s Animal Kingdom employs a dinosaur theme for the same aerial carousel design.
Expedition Everest <=> Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Here’s a situation where no direct comparison exists. Yes, you’ll find plenty of roller coasters at Walt Disney World.
I wouldn’t describe them as similar, switchable rides, though. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is much rougher and more adult in tone.
Slinky Dog Dash counts more as a thrilling but family-friendly coaster.
To find the closest analog to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, you must switch to Animal Kingdom.
Expedition Everest delivers a similar adrenaline junkie’s rush and is much more grown-up with its vibe.
When you cannot have one of the legit breakneck speed Disney coasters, switch parks and ride the other instead.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends <=> Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
I could list several suggestions for Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid.
After all, we’re talking about a dark ride that tells the story of a beloved Disney movie.
Over the years, you’ve experienced countless variations of this premise during your Disney park trips.
However, I still think of it as a water ride, even though the ocean isn’t real.
When Journey of the Little Mermaid breaks down at Magic Kingdom, I try to substitute it with The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
After all, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid are kindred spirits in the ream of Disney animation.
Yes, The Seas with Nemo & Friends includes actual aquatic life, but most of the ride is artificial.
Importantly, both attractions do a marvelous job bringing their stories into life, which matters to me. Oh, and they have the best music, too!
Kali River Rapids <=> Splash Mountain
Okay, this one’s pretty obvious.
While Walt Disney World operates plenty of boat rides, most of them come with only a modest chance of wetness.
Even Pirates of the Caribbean teases a splash rather than douses you with one.
However, two Disney attractions may lead to soggy clothes and waterlogged shoes.
The ride styles and length vary greatly, as one’s an environmentally friendly message set outdoors. The other emphasizes singalong music and is mostly indoors.
Both rides will drench you, though. Ergo, when you want to cool off during a hot Florida day, these two rides remain your best bet.
When one is down, the other’s the only reasonable choice.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover <=> Monorail
Yes, I know that the PeopleMover has frustrated many of you during the past calendar year.
The ride closed along with the rest of Walt Disney World last March and hasn’t reopened yet.
Frankly, nothing else at Walt Disney World can match it in terms of the ride experience.
However, I know that some of you have asked about what to do with the PeopleMover offline.
Well, I thought about it, and I decided that the closest comparison to that ride is the Monorail.
I mean, both are Tomorrowland attractions, although the Monorail one resides at Disneyland, not Walt Disney World.
Each attraction hearkens back to a beloved piece of Disney history, the planned Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
The Monorail would have transported guests into town, while the PeopleMover would have covered short distances.
So, these two attractions represent the Tomorrowland that will never come. With one on hiatus, please take this opportunity to appreciate the other.
Toy Story Mania <=> Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
I know that you love your family and friends and wish the best for them.
Still, sometimes, you want to remind them who’s the boss. In other words, you need to dispense a fair amount of humiliation.
At Walt Disney World, three attractions come with a bit of competition. Test Track allows guests to build their own vehicles, and it scores the attempt.
I wouldn’t consider this ride a challenge, though. After all, you can see how your choices impact the score while you’re participating.
Two other Disney attractions legitimately pit riders against one another.
I think Toy Story Mania! qualifies as the people’s choice, as it historically came with longer lines, forcing Disney to expand it.
Don’t underrate Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, though. You can save the universe from the evil menace of Emperor Zurg, Buzz Lightyear’s mortal enemy.
Speaking as someone who is always on the losing end of Space Ranger Spin, I know how meek I feel after a solid beating.
Speaking as someone who is usually on the winning side of Toy Story Mania!, I love the sense of satisfaction when I put a loved one in their place.
As such, when Space Ranger Spin goes down, I’m happy.
When Toy Story Mania! Goes down, I fake an injury or act as if a force field keeps me out of Tomorrowland.
Don’t judge me! The point is that when you seek to challenge your friends during a ride, these two attractions are interchangeable.