Young girl dressed as a princess and riding on her father's shoulders with the castle in the background at Walt Disney World

Must-See Attractions at Walt Disney World Resort

Between four theme parks, two water parks and the expansive Disney Springs dining, shopping and entertainment complex, it’s a given that you’ll want to make Walt Disney World® Resort a part of your Orlando travel plans. It should also come as no surprise that all of their parks have attractions you’ll want to ride time and again.

Top 5 Attractions at Magic Kingdom® Park

  1. it’s a small world®
  2. The Haunted Mansion®
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean®
  4. Space Mountain®
  5. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Guests riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Without a doubt, Disney’s original Orlando theme park is also the world’s most famous. What’s more, several of its attractions have been thrilling guests for more than four decades, including iconic rides that have been there since the park opened in 1971. These include it’s a small world, The Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise.

Although it’s “only” been around since 1973, Pirates of the Caribbean — most recently updated in 2018 — is another one you won’t want to miss, particularly if you’re a fan of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. And dating back to 1975, Space Mountain is still one of Orlando’s most exciting experiences.

Of course, the Magic Kingdom Park also has plenty of new tricks up its sleeve. For instance, after four years of operation, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train continues to have one of the longest waits of any Disney ride.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Magic Kingdom Park

Top 5 Attractions at Epcot®

  1. Spaceship Earth
  2. Soarin’ Around the World
  3. Mission: SPACE®
  4. Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®
  5. Frozen Ever After
View of Epcot from Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

The enormous geodesic dome at Epcot isn’t just for show. It’s actually one of the forward-thinking theme park’s original rides, Spaceship Earth, which sends you on a tranquil journey through the history of communication. (Pro tip: It’s also a great place to beat the heat if you’re visiting during summer!)

Other indispensable Epcot attractions include Test Track, in which you create and test drive a virtual concept vehicle, and Mission: SPACE, which simulates a shuttle mission to Mars.

For many, Epcot’s biggest draw is the World Showcase, which features authentic recreations of Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. This area is also where you’ll find most of the food kiosks at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and similar events.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Epcot

Top 5 Attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

  1. Star Tours® - The Adventures Continue
  2. Slinky Dog Dash
  3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith
  5. Muppet*Vision 3D
Guests riding the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios
©Disney ©Disney/Pixar ©Poof-Slinky, LLC

When Star Tours: The Adventures Continue joined this park six months after opening day in 1989, few would have guessed that Disney would one day own the entire Star Wars franchise. It turned out to be the first of many Hollywood Studios attractions based on that galaxy far, far away, with the biggest yet — a massive new land called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge — opening August 29, 2019.

There are countless other reasons to visit this park, starting with white-knuckle thrills at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. For a classic that’s a little more mild, grab a seat at the newly renovated Muppet*Vision 3D.

Some animated new attractions joined the lineup as part of Toy Story Land, an eagerly anticipated area based on the hit Disney-Pixar movies.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Top 5 Attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage
  2. Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
  4. Kilimanjaro Safaris®
  5. Kali River Rapids®
Expedition Everest ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park at sunset

In 2017, Disney’s zoological theme park opened an otherworldly new land that’s still packing in crowds with no signs of slowing down: Pandora — The World of Avatar. Rides here include Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage, which are complemented with themed shopping and dining.

The success of its sci-fi offerings aside, Animal Kingdom’s first name continues to be its raison d'être. This focus is particularly evident in one of its original attractions, Kilimanjaro Safaris, which provides an 18-minute journey to Africa right here in Orlando. For a wilder ride, check out Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Just look out for the Yeti!

Fans of dinosaurs will find much to love at this park too, beginning with the aptly named DINOSAUR attraction. Younger admirers of these prehistoric beasts will also have a blast on TriceraTop Spin.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Summitt Plummet at Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

This Disney property answers the age-old question of what would happen if a snowed-in ski resort was built in Florida. The answer is a “melting” water park featuring a chairlift, bobsled- and toboggan-themed water slides, and other fun features designed to trick your eyes into thinking you’re freezing while you luxuriate in warm water and sunshine.

For aquatic thrills, check out fast rides like Toboggan Racers, Summit Plummet and Snow Stormers. Then, relax your cares away with a dip in Melt-Away Bay or a tranquil journey along the Cross Country Creek lazy river.

There are adventures for kids too, including Ski Patrol Training Camp and Tike’s Peak. And the whole family can drift away together on a tube ride at Teamboat Springs.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Wave Pool at Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Miss Adventure Falls is the newest reason to visit this Disney water park, which is set in a recently storm-tossed tropical lagoon. This family-style attraction — the longest at any Disney water park — invites you to climb into a four-person raft for a white-water adventure you won’t soon forget.

If pure relaxation is what you’re after, take a dip in Castaway Creek, a 2,000-foot-long lazy river with misty waterfalls, overhead rope bridges and a cavern-esque tunnel. Then, dive into the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool for everything from gentle ripples to massive waves.

Speaking of massive, watch the drop on Keelhaul Falls and Homunga Kowabunga. More thrills can be enjoyed on the Crush ‘n’ Gusher, Gangplank Falls and the intense Mayday Falls.

Learn more: Discount Tickets to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park