Ten Attractions You Usually Skip But Shouldn’t

Walt Disney World is overflowing with marvelous attractions. Fans used to make a game of trying to experience everything in a single day.

Due to some recent expansions, that idea is nearly impossible now. So, guests tend to pick and choose the rides that garner the most hype.

Disney World sign

In the process, you miss out on plenty of fun, though. Here are ten Walt Disney World attractions you usually skip…but shouldn’t!

MagicKingdom

Jungle Cruise

Judging from its wait times, Jungle Cruise maintains tremendous popularity to this day.

Still, other Magic Kingdom attractions possess more buzz. Meanwhile, people today continue to do the same thing that bothered Walt Disney 65 years ago.

They scoff at Jungle Cruise and think, “We already did that once.” That’s a logic flaw for the ages.

Jungle Cruise

Literally every Jungle Cruise ride works differently. Cruise skippers recite a script each time, but there’s no way to control random passengers.

A single bit of improvisation here or there can turn an average Jungle Cruise ride into an unforgettable one. As such, you should do this one each park visit!

Jungle River Cruise

Photo: Disney

The Little Mermaid ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

Disney has long since mastered the art of the dark ride. I’d argue they did when Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride debuted, and that was 1955!

At worst, Disney had perfected the dark ride when Haunted Mansion arrived in 1969.

Since then, each new iteration of the concept has come with its own unique subtleties. Overall, they all ride the same, though.

Disney retells a classic story through a series of classic set pieces, each of which will grab your attention for a time.

Little Mermiad photo op

Photo: Disney

Among the 21St century dark rides, I prefer Journey of the Little Mermaid, as that’s my favorite Disney Renaissance film.

This attraction shows why Ariel’s story remains so poignant roughly more than 30 years later. Plus, the music is terrific!

Mermaid School

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

You visit a theme park to have a good time. But, while you’re there, you tend to skip the shows in favor of the rides. I know this from following the wait times over the years.

Sadly, guests miss out on plenty of excellent entertainment options by focusing on the rides.

After all, Disney puts on these shows for a reason. It’s a different form of attraction, one with ancillary benefits.

You can sit down and rest for a while, usually in a climate-controlled setting.

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor

I particularly recommend Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor for a similar reason to what I just said about Jungle Cruise.

Each version of the show plays out slightly differently. When you call on random park guests, you never know what they’ll say.

Monster's Inc Laugh Floor

That bit of random chaos often proves wildly enjoyable.

EPCOT

Mission: SPACE

I’m not someone who champions this ride as a rule. In truth, I often criticize its repeat value.

Friends and family members have challenged me on this assertion, though. Some of them feel strongly that Mission: SPACE is always worth the time.

Mission Space

After all, lines rarely grow long for this attraction, particularly the Green version. So, the ride itself only lasts a few minutes.

As such, you’re only spending about 30-40 minutes out of your park day to live out the sensations of escape velocity and interstellar orbit.

Mission Space

Unless you’re applying to NASA anytime soon, the Mission: SPACE experience is unlike any other you’re likely to have. Well, it’s worth your time.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

This attraction gets such a bad rap for the most ridiculous reasons. Some critics dismiss it as a generic dark ride, while others say it skews too young.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

As a Disney park fan, I focus on the Imagineering brilliance on display toward the end of the ride.

The simulation of the East Australian Current represents a hallmark achievement in theme park design.

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On top of that, Disney has somehow reported the ride with the underlying saltwater tank.

You can watch the story of Nemo, a fictional fish, and then watch real submarine life toward the end. Who else could do that but Disney?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

This park requires some brutal choices. The time crunch here is real.

Out of all four Disney theme parks, it’s the one where I encourage people to purchase Disney Genie+. Otherwise, you could have a rough time trying to do everything.

Lighting McQueen's Racing Academy

Presuming you don’t buy Disney Genie+, you must skip some stuff due to the time crunch.

For many people, that means passing on Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. You shouldn’t, though.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

This show is terrific! In fact, it’s probably the best visual display Disney has ever created for a show attraction.

Many of the characters from the Cars franchise appear. One of them, Lightning McQueen, shows the people in the audience how to win a race.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

Then, a foe of Lightning McQueen appears and challenges him. At this point, the story turns into a whizbang CGI action flick…and a great one at that!

Also, like with Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, you escape the Florida heat and sit down for a while.

Photo credit: Dewayne Bevil / Orlando Sentinel

You absolutely should schedule this attraction for strategic purposes!

Star Tours—The Adventures Continue

When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened, attendance at Star Tours briefly increased…and understandably so!

Star Tours Skywalker

Many of those early guests were Star Wars superfans. So, they wanted to do everything Star Wars that they could at the park.

Since then, Star Tours has lost some of its appeal. Casual Star Wars fans want to do the new stuff instead. They figure they’ve done Star Tours enough by now.

Disneyland secrets

That’s a mistake. Disney spent the past decade updating Star Tours to the point that every ride is different now.

Seriously, you’d have to ride Star Tours (MUCH) more than 1,000 times consecutively to gain duplicate experiences. Plus, it’s still enormous fun every ride!

Starwars

Toy story mania!

Not that long ago, your choices at Hollywood Studios were to stand in line for 90 minutes at Toy Story Mania! or skip the most popular ride at the park.

People waited since there wasn’t enough to do at Hollywood Studios anyway.

Disney Early Morning Magic Toy Story Land

Now, guests find themselves blessed with far too many terrible options at the park. So, they pick and choose what to do.

As is the norm in society, crowds trend toward the new stuff, leaving some of the old stuff to suffer mightily. It’s what I just referenced with Star Tours.

Toy story mania

Well, the same thing has happened to a lesser degree at Toy Story Mania!, which is less popular than Slinky Dog Dash. In fact, it’s that much more crowded than Alien Swirling Saucers.

The tide has definitely turned on this one, which is ridiculous. But, in terms of pure entertainment value, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than Toy Story Mania!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Conservation Station

The whole point of Animal Kingdom is that it’s a zoo combined with a theme park.

Far too many guests focus on the rides and overlook the animals.

Animal Kingdom Earth Day

Sure, people ride Kilimanjaro Safaris and watch these creatures interact within the comfy confines of their natural habitats.

However, Conservation Station allows for more personal interaction. You can even visit a petting zoo here!

Conservation Station

You should always spend an hour or two of your Animal Kingdom visit at Conservation Station, appreciating the remarkable achievement on display.

DINOSAUR

I will never understand the disconnect on this one. Disney has built three nearly identical versions of the same ride concept.

dinosaur

Photo: Disney

Tokyo DisneySea hosts Journey to the Center of the Earth while Disneyland Park operates Indiana Jones Adventure.

Those two rides are wildly populardemanding long lines and satisfying countless customers daily.

Disney attractions open

Image Credit: Disney

For whatever reason, DINOSAUR lacks the same widespread appeal, which is maddening to me.

This attraction involves time travel, dinosaurs, and a comet strike! What more could you possibly want?

Dinosaur in Animal KingdomAlways take the time to ride DINOSAUR! And everything else on this list!

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