Planning a Walt Disney World vacation today can be overwhelming with the ability to schedule nearly everything in advance – including FastPasses for popular rides. This is amazing when you are able to cut your wait from an hour or more down to 15 minutes or less. But what if you can’t get a FastPass? Are there rides worth waiting in line for? We say yes!
So, what makes it worth waiting? The ride experience? The length of the ride? The queue? It’s a combination of all three. Here is our list of the top five rides worth waiting in line for, broken down by experience, length, and queue.
Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom
- Experience: Splash Mountain is a classic Disney attraction that combines over 100 animatronics, immersive theming, surprise mini drops, great music, and an ultimate splash down that takes your breath away. We give this ride an A+ for experience!
- Length: Splash is also one of the longest rides at WDW – 11 minutes long! A great payoff for your wait.
- Queue: There is nice detailing throughout. Plus, you’re in the shade which is a bonus in the hot Florida weather. It’s not interactive like some of the newer queues, but it works.
Bottom line: This is one of our favorite attractions in all of Disney World. It’s worth the wait!
Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom
- Experience: Another classic Disney attraction. Where else can you ride in a Doombuggy through haunted rooms, watch ghosts dance in a ballroom, and sing along to Grim Grinning Ghosts?
- Length: Coming in at around 7 minutes long, this ride offers an excellent length for your wait.
- Queue: The Haunted Mansion queue has amazing theming, fun interactive elements, and is constantly moving. You may even forget you are waiting in line!
Bottom line: Definitely worth the wait, but be careful, a ghost may follow you home!
Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom
- Experience: Such a fun theme and ride experience as you travel through the mountain – but watch out for the yeti! One of our favorite parts is when you go backwards, uphill, in the dark. Such an intense part of the ride!
- Length: 3 minutes is a bit short, but it’s still exciting.
- Queue: The queue has great props along the way, so you always have something to look at. So that helps pass the time.
Bottom line: This is one of our favorite rides, and can be worth the wait. Better yet, if you don’t mind sitting with a stranger, use the single rider line to cut your wait in half!
Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom
- Experience: In one word – amazing! This simulator takes you on the back of a flying Banshee over the landscape of Pandora. Deep dives and quick turns feel incredibly real, and you almost forgot you are sitting on a ride.
- Length: 4 1/2 minutes – a solid ride length.
- Queue: The queue for FOP is incredibly detailed and brings you deep into the Avatar storyline. Visitors are mesmerized by the Na’vi avatar that appears to float in a fluid-filled chamber.
Bottom line: Lines for Flight of Passage can be crazy, reaching two hours or more. If you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World, don’t miss this ride. Try heading straight to Pandora as soon as Animal Kingdom opens to reduce your wait.
Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios
- Experience: You never know what you are going to get in the Tower of Terror! This exceptional ride has an intelligent system that varies the number and length of drops you experience in the tower. Each ride is different, and not knowing what your elevator will do next is exciting!
- Length: 5 minutes – of terror! But in a good way.
- Queue: No boring back and forth metal barriers here! The queue for Tower of Terror takes you through the forgotten rooms of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, complete with perfectly placed dust, cobwebs, and rust. The theming is perfect and the queue keeps you moving, helping you forget you are waiting in line.
Bottom line: Tower of Terror is a must-do at WDW. If you can’t get a FastPass, it’s worth the wait. If you can get a FastPass, use it, then ride again in the regular line!
Honorable mention: Test Track (the original crash test version would have made our list), Soarin’ (may have made the list if the queue wasn’t so long and boring), and Toy Story Mania.
Which rides would you wait in line for? Let us know in the comments!