Best Magic Kingdom Rides

Magic Kingdom is the most iconic park at Walt Disney World with its massive Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street. The park is so large that there is absolutely no way you can do everything just in one day. Here are my recommendation for the best Magic Kingdom rides that you cannot miss.

Please note that these are some of my favorite rides based on years of visiting the parks as a kid and now as an adult with kids. For a complete up-to-date list of all the best Magic Kingdom rides, get yourself the Unofficial Guide to Disney.

With the parks always changing, these guide books are updated each year with information on the most recent rides and restaurants. I always buy one of these books anytime I am planning my next trip to Disney.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides (Jump to Ride Description)

Hot Tip: If you are considering a Disney trip and your child is close to 40 inches tall, I recommend waiting until after they reach that minimum height requirement. Many of the “big kid” rides require you to be 40 inches tall, so the world of rides opens up for them after that and it is worth waiting for them to grow that extra inch.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides – Do Not Miss!

Space Mountain

Space Mountain is a dark, indoor roller coaster where you sit one in front of the other. It isn’t your smoothest ride as you zip around in the dark and nearly miss the other cars on the track.

Space Mountain is an absolute classic and one of my must-do best Magic Kingdom rides. This is one my family will often rope drop or get Genie+ because the line can often back up and be very slow moving.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Space Mountain
Space Mountain

Thrill level: If your kids enjoy roller coasters, then they should love Space Mountain. Being in the dark isn’t necessarily scary; it just makes it harder to anticipate the turns, which makes for a more thrilling ride.

Minimum height requirement: 44 inches

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (aka Splash Mountain)

Splash Mountain used to be one of my all-time favorite rides at Magic Kingdom, especially on a hot day. This ride is currently closed and is being revamped into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure based on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.

This water log flume ride will take you on a short journey through the bayou seeing Tiana and all of her friends. Eventually, it will make its way up to a huge drop.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain

Thrill level: Assuming the ride track remains the same from Splash Mountain, this ride is relatively tame aside from two drops. There is a shorter one about halfway through that used to be in the dark. Then, there is the giant drop towards the end of the ride.

If you or your child does not like that stomach drop feeling, then it would probably be best to avoid this ride. Additionally, you will get wet so don’t ride it if you are looking to stay dry (or just use ponchos like we do!).

Minimum height requirement: 40 inches

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This is a favorite for my Dad who otherwise absolutely hates roller coasters. It is a tame enough ride, but with a fun gold mine type theming, which is what makes it unique.

Get a Genie+ for this one if you can as the line can be fairly slow to move. Last time I went, the queue itself had a few things to fidget with, but otherwise doesn’t have a lot to look at.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Thrill level: This is a step up from a basic kiddie coaster that goes around in circles, but it is not anything too thrilling or with overly steep drops. This is a perfect first “big kid” roller coaster or for those who are generally more timid about fast coasters.

Minimum height requirement: 40 inches

Buzz Lightyear Spin

Buzz Lightyear Spin is a dark ride where you sit in buggies that can spin to face different directions. Simultaneously, you are shooting at targets with a laser to rack up your points towards becoming a Galactic Hero.

My family absolutely loves this ride, even more so than the similar Midway Mania arcade game at Hollywood Studios. It brings out your competitive nature with each other and gives Mom & Dad a chance to show the kids who is boss.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Buzz Lightyear Spin
Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Buzz Lightyear Spin

Thrill level: Don’t let the word “spin” scare you off if you are one to get motion sickness. The buggies just turn to face the targets and you can “spin” as much as you want. This is a great ride for the whole family.

Minimum height requirement: Any height

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

This Snow White themed roller coaster is another great “big kid” coaster. The theming is great, but it remains a relatively tame roller coaster similar to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

This is one of the longest lines of all the best Magic Kingdom rides, which fills up quickly. I strongly recommend getting a lightning pass or rope dropping it first thing in the morning.

Fortunately, this queue has a lot of things to play with and keep everyone entertained while standing in line.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
My daughter and I rope-dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – first ones on!

Thrill level: This roller coaster is fast, but doesn’t have anything too surprising. It is a great roller coaster for beginners. It is the theming that really makes this roller coaster special.

Minimum height requirement: 38 inches

Haunted Mansion

This is truly a classic and one of the rides that Walt Disney himself was working on before he passed away. It is the perfect blend of spooky and fun.

You sit in continuously moving doom buggies, which slowly take you through a scary, haunted mansion. Along the way you will see dancing ghosts and statues who stare at you while you pass.

About halfway through the ride, the mood shifts as you enter the graveyard filled with singing ghosts. There you find the highly addicting song “Happy Haunts,” which will surely be stuck in your head the rest of the day.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion

Thrill level: This one starts out scary from the moment you walk into the expanding room with paintings on the wall. There is a loud scream and a “body” hanging from the ceiling, which can be unsettling to many little ones.

If you or you child are easily frightened, then I recommend skipping this ride. There are no particular jump scares; it just has eery music playing, which could possibly frighten younger children.

Minimum height requirement: Any height

Hot Tip: The Haunted Mansion is one of the rides featured on Behind the Attraction streaming on Disney+. You can learn all about the history of this spooky ride.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Cinderella Castle
Cinderella’s Castle

Pirates of the Caribbean

This is one of the last rides that Walt Disney himself had a hand in designing. It is, therefore, a classic with another catchy song that will stick with you.

Guests gather on a large boat and slowly make their way through various pirate scenes. Following the movie based on the ride itself, animatronics of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow were scattered throughout the ride.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean

Thrill level: This ride is great for all ages and a cannot miss attraction! It is extremely tame and very nostalgic for the biggest of Disney fans.

There are a lot of elaborate sets and lively animatronics to look at while moving at a slow pace. There is a simulated “battle” with a pirate ship and parts of the town looks like it is burning while attacked by pirates.

Minimum height requirement: Any height

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Main Street
Main Street

Jungle Cruise

This is another Disney classic that Walt Disney helped imagine and design. You will board onto a cruise boat led by your own personal skipper.

The boat slowly goes down the river where you will see wild animals (aka animatronics) along the way. Hands down, the best part of this ride are the corny dad jokes the boat skipper makes throughout.

Jungle Cruise surprisingly can get very long, slow-moving lines. I recommend riding it at least once if you have never been because of its personal connection to Walt Disney.

However, I do not recommend waiting more than thirty minutes for this ride. Instead, utilize Genie+ or continually check the My Disney Experience app for low wait times.

Thrill level: This ride is another one that is great for all ages. Younger kids especially like to look at all the animals, while the adults enjoy the cheesy jokes.

Minimum height requirement: Any height

Tron Lightcycle

This high-speed roller coaster is based off of the Tron movies, where you ride a lightcycle off the grid. It is unique because of how you sit in a motorcycle shaped vehicle.

Many people note that the launch is the absolute best part of this ride. However, many complain that it is far too short.

Right now, you can get on the Tron ride via virtual queue or purchasing a lightning lane pass. Since this is a new ride, I recommend trying to get on at least once. I would not personally pay for it though due to how quickly it is over.

I have not had the honor of riding this yet; but, as Tron is my husband’s favorite movie of all time, it is top of our list to ride as soon as we return.

Thrill level: This roller coaster is a top thrill ride simply due to its launch and speed. The rest of the ride is an indoor coaster. If you enjoy fast roller coasters, then this one is for you.

Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

Explained: How to Use Disney Genie+

Best Magic Kingdom Rides for Little Kids

These rides are all perfect for younger kids (and of course those young at heart!). They are relatively slow moving and don’t have a minimum height requirement.

These types of rides are also generally safe for pregnant women and babies on your lap, though ride at your own risk.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Dumbo


When I think of my childhood at Disney, I think of Dumbo as it is a classic kid ride. The ride itself spins around and kids can make their Dumbo “fly” by going up and down. Of course, those kids afraid of heights could simply spin closer to the ground.

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan’s Flight is unique by riding in a ship that takes flight and sails over various scenes from Peter Pan. It feels magical and is personally one of my favorites.

People, however, have a love/hate relationship with this ride. It is a memorable ride, especially for kids, but some argue it is not worth the wait, which often is over an hour.

Either try to ride it first thing in the morning or get a Genie+ pass to skip the line.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Peter Pan's Flight

It’s a Small World

This is another one of Walt Disney’s original rides that first opened at Disneyland in 1966. It is a boat ride that slowly moves through scenes of singing dolls from all over the country.

I love this ride because it spreads the message of kindness and that we are all the same no matter where we come from. It brings the joy that Disney embodies and is a can’t miss for my family.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: It's a Small World
It’s a Small World

Mad Tea Party

I don’t love this one, but my family is obsessed. With an Alice in Wonderland theme, you sit in a teacup and spin to your heart’s content.

Those who are prone to motion sickness (like me) either skip this one or ride it without kids who want to spin as fast as they can. The best parts, however, are the little kid giggles you hear even if your eyes are closed from spinning too fast.

Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

This is a ride perfect for little kids that takes them into the storybook adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Kids will love to spot their favorite characters throughout.

My personal favorite part is when you meet Tigger and the car you are riding in slowly bounces up and down.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Winnie. the Pooh
Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

This is a family-friendly ride where guests travel in a clam shell along a slow moving track. Along the way, you will see familiar characters as it tells the story of The Little Mermaid.

Under the Sea continuously loads guests and therefore the line can move pretty quickly. It is all inside so it is a great ride for the middle of the afternoon when it is hot.

Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island is a great area for kids to explore and for parents to get a mini break. You have to board a log raft, which will take you across the way to Tom’s Landing.

Once there, kids can run around at their own pace through dirt paths and across bridges. There are also a number of shady spots for parents to relax.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Tom Sawyer Island

Best Magic Kingdom Rides to Escape the Heat

When you are visiting the parks in the hot Florida sun, these Magic Kingdom rides are perfect for beating the heat. They offer air conditioning or shade and a place to sit, perfect for recharging in the middle of the day.

Hot Tip: Bring small portable fans to the park to keep yourself cool! Check out my post for other Walt Disney World essentials.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor is an air conditioned theater that features stand-up comedy led by my favorite, Mike Wazowski. It builds off the idea from the first movie that the monsters need to collect energy through laughter.

I love a comedy club and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a perfect kids edition. It has corny jokes that will completely crack you and your family up.

It is about a ten minute show, which offers a great spot for a midday break out of the sun.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: PhilarMagic


PhilharMagic is a precious gem that many people forget about. It is a 3D movie, which highlights the amazing musical soundtracks of Disney movies.

Donald Duck serves as your guide and offers much comedic humor that appeals to all ages. The best part is this show lasts twelve minutes and typically has less than a ten minute wait.

The Carousel of Progress is a show filled with animatronics that highlight the passage of time and how technology has changed throughout the years. Typically, it only has a wait time of five minutes or less.

You sit in a theater that rotates through the decades learning about times before electricity. It then shows how inventions like the light bulb, radio, and other efficient appliances changed the world we live in today.

The show was one of Walt Disney’s original concepts and has a lot to teach young minds. Or, if you are like my husband, it is a great place to take a twenty-minute nap.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: People Mover

People Mover

A personal favorite of many, the people mover takes an overhead and behind the scenes look at Magic Kingdom. It is a relaxing way to get off your feet and see different areas without the walking. I personally love getting to see Space Mountain from a unique vantage point.

Unfortunately, this well-kept secret got out and the people mover boasts some of the longest lines in the park. Try to ride in the morning or later in the evening to avoid massive crowds.

Country Bear Jamboree

This has always seemed an oddball show for me and yet I still love it. It has animatronic bears and other animals, ala Chuck E. Cheese, that sing country songs.

It is a great way to sit and cool down in the middle of the day. The performance overall is about fifteen minutes.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents is an animatronic show that teaches the history of the United States of America. It lasts about twenty-five minutes, making it a great place to relax out of the sun.

While it is extremely educational, some kids might find it boring. My kids and husband all tend to nap during this show, but I throughly enjoy the peace and quiet while learning something.

Enchanted Tiki Room

“In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room…”. It’s the song that will get stuck in your head all day. This is a classic show filled with animatronic birds that sing songs.

It is humorous and a great place to relax your legs for about ten minutes.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Balloons

Parades & Fireworks

Parades are cannot miss events while at Magic Kingdom. Parades allow you to see all of your favorite characters at one time. They are often themed for holidays offering something unique each time you go.

If you want prime seating, then you can certainly stake out your seating spot early as many people do. However, I find it easy enough to just wiggle in where we can as there are plenty spots along the parade route.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Parades

Hot Tip: For the extreme Disney rider, parades are the ideal time to take advantage of low wait times on some of the best Magic Kingdom rides. I love to go to Fantasyland to ride the kiddie rides when most young ones are busy watching the parade.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Fireworks

Fireworks at Magic Kingdom are my favorite way to end our trips at Disney. I never miss them! There is something truly magical watching the fireworks at the castle.

The best seating, of course, is right in front of the castle, but you have to get there pretty early. My family prefers to watch from the back, which still gives great views and allows you to escape the crowds easily when the fireworks are over.

Hot Tip: Another way to experience the fireworks is with a Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom. It is an extra cost, but worth it for the views and the food.

21 Ways to Create Disney Magic at Home

Explore More: Looking to keep the Disney magic alive at home? Check out my post for 21 Ways to Overcome Disney Withdrawal.

Sample Plan

This is a sample plan from my family’s vacation a few years ago. Head over to my post on How to Make a Disney Day Itinerary for a FREE TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD and advice on how to create the best plan for you.

Best Magic Kingdom Rides: Sample Plan

Genie+ or Lightning Lane Recommendations: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (when it opens).

Dining Recommendations: Cinderella’s Royal Table, The Crystal Palace, & Liberty Square Market

Explore More: For more dining recommendations, check out my post on How to Make Disney Dining Reservations.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

Verified by MonsterInsights