While Magic Kingdom® Park remains my personal favorite in the way of attractions, and more specifically rides, each park presents its own unique host of experiences that cannot be denied.
Ranking attractions also does not get any easier once leaving Florida’s first Disney theme park, especially when concerning Epcot®. The way the park manages to mix culture with innovation in ride technology is second to none, and it presents some of the most unique attractions in all of the world’s many different theme parks.
My list is bound to differ significantly from yours due to the memories attached to each of these experiences. Without further ado, here are my top five rides in Epcot®, in reverse order:
5. Frozen Ever After
Replacing the long-beloved Maelstrom, the new Frozen attraction still managed to win my heart the first time I rode it, and it started with the queue. I’m a big sucker for when Disney begins its storytelling while waiting in line and walking through Kristoff’s cottage and the nearby village ranks high on the list.
I’m also an enormous fan of originality in the parks, especially in this one due to its history. That said, I have been known for preaching Disney’s necessity to change, and this ride ultimately understands a little of both. It keeps the same thrills and fun as the attraction that came before it, a welcome detail that adds quite a bit of life into the riding experience.
The animatronics here also amaze me, finding a way to digitize the characters’ faces and make them feel truly animated. It is a super creative way to bring the characters to life, and while it has been done in the past (see the Buzz Lightyear at the end of the queue of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin® Attraction), it has never been so perfectly realized before.
4. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
I warned you, my list might be different than yours. I often come to points of contention when debating with my friends what I love most about Epcot® with many of my friends, and I think my choices here are going to reflect that. The way the park still hangs to some of Walt’s original ideas of teaching and learning is so admirable and inspiring to me, and thus any opportunity I’m given to experience even the smallest sliver of another country’s culture or atmosphere is a huge win in my book.
Rumors are flying off the wall that this attraction’s days are numbered, soon to be themed with Pixar’s recent film Coco, and while I adore Donald, Panchito and Jose, such a change would only further my love for this attraction. Coco ranks as one of my favorite Pixar films, and layering something more authentic over the slow-moving, atmospheric boat ride is music to my ears.
As it stands, the introduction to the current ride remains as one of my favorites in all of Walt Disney World® Resort. Similar to the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean atDisneyland® Resort, it creates an atmosphere like few other attractions can.
3. Living with the Land
And this is where my biases start to show. Fully incorporating a ride with one of Disney’s most creative learning experiences has made this one of my favorite rides in the park, as well as my favorite ride in this pavilion (sorry, Soarin® fans, while I love your attraction, I don’t love it THIS much).
My first time riding this attraction was a game-changer for me as a child. I can still remember my jaw dropping the first time the boat exits its opening scenes and pulls into the light of the greenhouse, showing the innovations Disney was pushing for its developments in agriculture.
I have lived most of my life harboring my fandom for this attraction, but it is with ease and pride that I continue to proclaim myself as one of its biggest fans.
2. Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®
I will forever boast my excitement over the changes to the beginning of the ride. As one of the biggest Tron fans (okay, I realize this is twice now in one post that I have called myself the “biggest fan” of something. Do with that information what you will) this side of the Mississippi, and until the new coaster was announced for Florida, this was the closest thing I had. Combine that with the awesome burst of speed on the outdoor track, and this car-based thriller remains at the top of my must-do list on every single trip.
Add that with the competitiveness (see: I consider myself to be too competitive for my own good) and the gamification of creating your own car, and you’ve got a combination that is far too sweet for me to resist.
The current iteration of this ride has just enough of everything I love to create something new that I cannot resist, making it one of my favorite thrill rides in all of Walt Disney World® Resort.
1. Spaceship Earth
I am sure there is a post brewing in my head about my overabundant enthusiasm for the upcoming renovations to this one. As it stands, the current version we all know remains as one of my uncontestable favorites. As I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for when learning opportunities meet ride experiences, and this one does it better than any I have ever seen.
From the unforgettable smells of Rome burning to the awe-filled glimpse of space from the very top of the park’s iconic “ball,” this attraction runs through all the emotions across the span of its near 10-minute journey through time.
Forever a fan of learning about history, this ride presents one of my favorite lessons of the development of human communications. I have grown to love its soundtrack almost as much as the ride itself, and I cannot wait to see how all of its elements continue to develop as time moves on.