Walt Disney World has amazing attractions. Thrill rides, dark rides, boat rides, simulators, etc., most are at or near the top of their type to be found anywhere. But no place is perfect and that includes Walt Disney World. There are many attractions that some consider boring, simplistic or just plain bad. And often, I agree. But I think some get a bad rap. Some attractions that are widely considered to be bad, I think there pretty decent. And many decent attractions are very good in my book. (Also, a few great attractions I think are pretty meh, but that’s a different article).

So here I present my countdown (up?) of the 5 Most Underrated Rides at Walt Disney World. Please – let me know where you agree or disagree.

5: Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover (Magic Kingdom)

What it’s rated as it is:

  • It’s a simple ride with no thrills or story
  • It’s boring

Why I think it’s underrated:

  • It’s one of the few rides to offer an aerial view of a park
  • The line is usually short and the ride is long. You gotta take a break sometime
  • It’s the only way to see the model of Walt’s Progress City. That alone is reason enough to make this a must-ride.

Bottom Line
It’s the PeopleMover! Even though the Magic Kingdom version pales in comparison to Disneyland’s now defunct version, it’s still a nostalgic reminder of what Tomorrowland once was – a peek at a future envisioned by Walt Disney

4: Alien Swirling Saucers (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

What it’s rated as it is:

  • It’s just a spinner. Not much different that at any amusement park.

Why I think it’s underrated

  • This is unlike any spinner I’ve done (except at Disney California Adventure) – the switching tracks and the whip around make this ride huge fun
  • The visuals and soundtrack also add to the fun

Bottom Line

Alien Swirling Saucers is much better ride than it looks like it will be. It’s not a great ride, but it is a lot of fun – more than the sum of its parts.

3: Swiss Family Treehouse (Magic Kingdom)

Why it’s rated as it is:

  • It’s just a walk-through. No ride. No film
  • It’s based on a movie that most guests probably haven’t seen
  • None of the props are interactive. Everything can be seen but not touched.

Why I think it’s underrated:

  • While it is a walkthrough, you’re walking through a treehouse that’s over 50 feet tall, making it a completely unique attraction (other than Disneyland’s Tarzan Treehouse)
  • Nearly every film based attraction at Disney Parks is based on an animated film or a modern franchise like Marvel. The Swiss Family Robinson harkens back to a long-gone era of Disney filmmaking – simple, happy, family live-action adventures. Walt Disney himself greenlit the movie and as you see the rooms and props, you can kind of sense a different era of filmmaking by Walt himself

Bottom Line

If you can handle the stairs and handle the heights, I guarantee you won’t regret taking 20 minutes out of our day to experience this tiny but humongous gem.

2: Journey Into Imagination with Figment (Epcot)

What it’s rated as it is:

  • The original version with Dreamfinder was SO much better
  • It’s a dark ride with very few animatronic
  • The original version with Dreamfinder was SO much better

Why I think it’s underrated:

  • Even though it has a lot of screens and few animatronics, there are many practical sets. It’s definitely not a screen-based attraction.
  • The song One Little Spark is great! I’m sure it just reminds some of what once was, but taken on its own, it’s one of Disney’s best ever theme park songs.
  • Being educational, entertaining and inspiring, it embodies what Epcot was meant to be and what it’s quickly moving away from

Bottom Line
Journey Into Imagination with Figment is a quality mid-level attraction that suffers greatly because it’s a shadow of the original version of the ride. But putting that aside, it’s very good.

1: RELAUNCHED: Mission: SPACE – Orange (Epcot)

What it’s rated as it is:

  • For some, this ride is intense, not in a roller coaster fun way but in a “I’m going to be sick” way.
  • The interactivity was overhyped and pretty unnecessary
  • The all-CGI visuals get more dated every year

Why I think it’s underrated:

  • This ride is one-of-a-kind. The combination of a simulator and a centrifuge creates real Gs unlike most simulators.
  • IF you can handle the intensity, there’s nothing like it.

Bottom Line

I’ll admit it, I can’t handle the intensity. I’ve ridden it twice and came off both times feeling like I was lucky to be alive. But for those who can, it’s a unique, exhilarating experience that really deserves much more recognition than it receives as one of Disney’s unique, great thrill rides.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter or on Facebook.

 

Doobie is the co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a “hardcore” Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he’s visited them literally thousands of times.

 

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