What Are the Newest Rides at Walt Disney World?
Walt Disney World has undergone massive changes over the past decade.
You might not have noticed because of Disney’s phased approach to park improvements, though.
Once you read the list, the quality of updates will blow your mind, though.
Here are the newest rides at Walt Disney World, all of which are less than ten years old!
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 2014
Magic Kingdom underwent dramatic changes during the early 2010s. Disney reinvented Fantasyland for the next generation of fans.
Attractions that didn’t make this list include Enchanted Tales with Belle and Under the Sea ~ Voyage of the Little Mermaid, both of which debuted in 2012.
Storybook Circus also gained an overhaul, but the most dramatic change involved the creation of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
This tilting roller coaster proved wildly successful from day one, and it remains the most popular attraction at Magic Kingdom, the most trafficked theme park on the planet.
Frozen Ever After – 2016
EPCOT loyalists still evaluate Frozen Ever After in bittersweet terms. The equally wonderful Maelstrom had to die for this one to live.
Still, the results speak for themselves. For more than five years, Frozen Ever After claimed the title of most popular EPCOT attraction.
Even the arrival of another title on this list couldn’t keep Frozen Ever After out of the top slot for long.
Obviously, the debut of a new roller coaster changes the calculus a bit, but Frozen Ever After exemplifies Disney re-theming done right.
Avatar Flight of Passage – 2017
The next two selections embody the brilliance of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s most recent expansion.
Disney made the quite controversial decision to add fictional intellectual property to the park, which infuriated purists.
Meanwhile, critics disliked the move because they failed to anticipate any value in a themed land based on Avatar.
Those complaints appear foolish now, as Pandora – The World of Avatar has proven wildly successful. It’s also a creative triumph.
Avatar Flight of Passage qualifies as the E-ticket attraction here, and it has taken its rightful place as the most popular ride here for the past five years.
Na’vi River Journey – 2017
Na’vi River Journey signifies the other half of the matched set at Pandora.
This ride lacks the hype of its augmented reality counterpart. However, Imagineers didn’t code this version of Avatar.
Instead, park planners constructed a working version of the movie’s visuals. It’s a breathtaking achievement that wows me every time I ride it.
As I’ve stated before, I happily cede Avatar Flight of Passage to others. Give me Na’vi River Journey, and I’m a happy boy.
Alien Swirling Saucers – 2018
The new two enhancements occurred at Toy Story Land in 2018.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios underwent a modification of sorts to connect different parts of the park.
Before these changes, Toy Story Mania! had stood off on its own. Now, it’s one of the three entertaining attractions in one themed land.
Alien Swirling Saucers is undoubtedly the least successful of the bunch. It’s a variation on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney California Adventure.
So, the idea is niche and skews quite young. I find the experience joyous, though. It’s a near-perfect children’s ride.
Also, here’s a pro tip for parents. Talk your kids out of riding Mad Tea Party by promising that you’ll do Alien Swirling Saucers at Hollywood Studios.
Your stomach will thank you for this move.
Slinky Dog Dash – 2018
Nobody can make learning fun the way that Disney can.
On Slinky Dog Dash, people learn about the physics of the Slinky by experiencing it for themselves. It’s one thing to push a Slinky down the stairs.
However, you’ll evaluate the process in an entirely new light when you ARE the Slinky, twisting and turning over various bumps in the track.
Slinky Dog Dash isn’t just an E-ticket attraction that’s hugely in demand. It’s also the most entertaining educational lesson in Orlando.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – 2019
I hold the minority opinion that Pandora represents a more impressive Imagineering achievement than Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The latter themed land features, you know, better theming. However, the technology here is nowhere near as challenging as that of bioluminescence.
Even so, as a non-Star Wars fan – I’m usually the heckler in the crowd at these movies – I deeply admire the storytelling on display at Star Wars Land.
Also, Disney wisely connected everything, a fact that we’re only now learning. For example, you earn Intergalactic Credits on Smugglers Run.
The conceit here is that you work with Hondo Ohnaka to steal retrieve Coaxium, a rare resource.
In practice, the ride works like a modified, gamified version of Star Tours – The Adventures Continue! It comes in a MUCH nicer package, though.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – 2019
Still, the alpha at Black Spire Outpost is obviously Rise of the Resistance.
Imagineers kinda went nuts on this one, and I mean that in the best possible way. They married several popular ride designs on one attraction.
The outcome is a sweeping thematic experience with a gripping narrative and more than a little bit of hostage-taking.
You’ll need to stay on your toes throughout this attraction. You never know when some punk cast member/First Order lackey might talk smack.
As a member of The Resistance, you have to put those jerks in their place. And if you are First Order, don’t @ me. It’s not my fault you picked the losing team.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – 2020
Disney had a perfect plan for the first half of 2020. Hollywood Studios would introduce the first-ever Mickey Mouse-based theme park ride.
Then, a few months later, EPCOT would open its version of the most popular attraction at Disneyland Paris.
On March 4th, 2020, Runaway Railway debuted to instant acclaim, and Walt Disney World appeared poised for a record shattering year.
Exactly one week later, the world lost its collective mind as COVID-19 entered the collective consciousness.
To a certain extent, Disney is still recovering from this setback. Still, that does nothing to take away the accomplishment of those two rides.
Runaway Railway is a joyous celebration of cartoon animation wherein you live out the story. And you should be wary, as cartoon violence is a thing.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – 2021
Then, there’s the delayed Ratatouille ride. Disney had intended it to open during June of 2020, possibly even May.
We’ll never know for sure, as the parks closed in mid-March and wouldn’t reopen until July.
For that reason, Disney wasn’t about to open an E-ticket attraction afterward.
Disney fans had to wait more than a calendar year after that for the arrival of Ratatouille, which is every bit as good as its French counterpart.
Of course, the most remarkable part of this story is that Ratatouille’s not even the newest attraction at EPCOT. That honor belongs to…
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – 2022
Friends, I want to be clear on this point. Even the most stringent evaluation of this list paints a remarkable picture.
At a minimum, Walt Disney World has added seven (!!!) E-ticket attractions since 2014.
The latest of them also happens to be the third roller coaster of the bunch, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
We’ve talked about this one ad nauseam, as it just opened. The anchor of the new otherworld Wonders of Xandar pavilion holds a second honor.
This ride also represents the first storytelling roller coaster in Disney history!
By the way, there’s a fourth coaster coming to Magic Kingdom soon!
When that ride, Tron Lightcycle Power Run, debuts, Walt Disney World will have averaged one E-ticket attraction per year since 2014!
We live in the golden age of the Most Magical Place on Earth. If you haven’t visited lately, you might not even recognize the Walt Disney World of today!
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! Want to go to Disney? For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below and one of the agents from MickeyTravels, a Platinum level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, will be in touch soon!
Feature Photo: Disney