Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s crowning jewel. It’s the quintessential theme park featuring memorable rides. If you are a returning guest, I bet you still remember your first visit!
Designed with six lands extending from a central hub, families spend their time traversing between Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Adventureland. Part of the immense appeal of Magic Kingdom is the detailed theming of each area. Many attractions have multi-generational appeal, and most rides are absolutely well-suited to adults.
Still, we have our favorite rides and want to share them with you. Breaking our recommendations into four categories, let’s take a look at the attractions that grown-ups should not miss when touring Magic Kingdom. Get your comfy walking shoes on as we’ll be traversing the park… let’s go!
Best Nostalgia Rides
It’s easy to get lost in childhood memories when exploring one of these attractions.
Peter Pan’s Flight
In Fantasyland, you’ll find long lines at this attraction as guests queue up to board a sailing ship. You won’t be the only one singing “You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!” as your journey takes you above London and onto Neverland. The updated queue that takes guests through the Darlings’ home, adds to the magic of this experience.
You’ll fly through this beloved story viewing beloved characters and charming scenes. It’s like revisiting your childhood friends!
Secrets of Peter Pan Flight’s Standby Queue
Nestled in Adventureland, this outdoor riverboat ride features hilarious skippers delivering puns that are fun for everyone. Adults in the know seek out this attraction at nighttime when the river is extra enchanting. During the holiday season, don’t miss the Jingle Cruise with holiday jokes and festive decorations.
Keeping things fresh, Disney introduced a new storyline with brand-new characters in 2021. Climb aboard and follow this motley crew’s misadventures through the jungle! The cast of characters includes Felix Pechman XIII (that’s the skipper!), an acclaimed Canadian botanist (Dr. Leonard Moss), a celebrated Mexican artist (Rosa Soto Dominguez), Japan’s preeminent entomologist Dr. Kon Chunosuke, and the puffin-obsessed Siobhan “Puffin” Murphy.
Learn More About the Jungle Cruise’s New Backstory!
“it’s a small world”
Whether your first Walt Disney World visit was at the age of 2 or 20, you’ve likely sailed this iconic and whimsical voyage in Fantasyland. The young and young-at-heart may joke about the song that tends to stick in their minds, yet many guests return to this attraction again and again. Besides being a gentle ride out of the hot Florida sun, this simplistic attraction does inspire cheerful smiles!
Boats sail around the world visiting dancing animatronic dolls and animals in colorful costumes. Since opening day, October 1, 1971, this Mary Blair-designed attraction is also beloved due to it being a part of Walt Disney’s legacy. Love it or hate it, it’s clearly an attraction that is sentimental to many visitors when recalling their first Magic Kingdom visits.
Look at the refurbishments made to “it’s a small world”
Carousel of Progress
Rest your feet and take a nostalgic time-out from the Tomorrowland crowds by adding Carousel of Progress to your itinerary. Seated inside a revolving theater, you’ll view four different stage scenes with amazing audio-animatronics.
In 2022, grown-ups who fancy themselves Disney experts noticed some BIG changes to the finale scene. And those with a keen eye, also pointed out some more subtle changes at this attraction. Of course, we love that John (the father) now wears an apron saying “My Food Rocks” in the final scene. If you are a fan of Walt Disney, this is a must-see attraction.
Best “Kid Again” Rides
When you feel like being a kid again, head to one of these Magic Kingdom attractions.
Mad Tea Party
An outdoor attraction in Fantasyland, Mad Tea Party is a whimsical ride that can also turn your stomach upside down. If you want to be giddy and spin yourself silly, this is the place for you. Adults prone to motion sickness may want to skip this or ride prior to their next meal or Disney snack.
The colorful teacups will spin when guests turn the wheel in the middle of the teacup ride vehicle. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland’s Unbirthday Party scene, this attraction is a kid-magnet, but adults may also want to revisit this familiar ride. Watch the teapot for a peek of the dormouse.
Is Disney Planning an Update to Mad Tea Party?
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Are you prepared to save the galaxy? Then, it’s time to battle Emperor Zurg by aiming your infrared laser at glowing, “Z” targets during a galactic exploration at this Tomorrowland attraction.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is an interactive ride. You’ll need to navigate your XP-37 Space Cruiser with a joystick while collecting points to defeat the evil Zurg and the little green men. Based on the total points collected, riders receive a Star Command Rank ranging from Space Cadet (lowest) to Galactic Hero (highest).
Joining Buzz on this adventure is a whole lot of fun for space rangers of all ages!
Opened in 1998, adults return here time and time again. It’s too irresistible to skip feeling like a kid inside an arcade or video game!
Find out how to become a galactic hero on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Popular with the young and young-at-heart, part of Dumbo’s appeal is the ability to help the pachyderm fly high or low. As of 2012, there are now two side-by-side rides each featuring sixteen Dumbo elephants.
Board one of the 32 elephants and enjoy the views of Storybook Circus in Fantasyland!
Adults with kids in tow: Don’t miss the play area!
Country Bear Jamboree
Wander to Grizzly Hall in Frontierland, then sit for a spell while watching the Country Bear Jamboree. This rollicking show features singing audio-animatronic animals that adults and kids alike find absolutely endearing. The corny jokes and cheesy tunes add to this delightful attraction.
Except for downtime during refurbishments, this country show has been playing since opening day, October 1, 1971! Adults appreciate that Walt Disney helped create the original concept design.
Places to escape in Magic Kingdom when your anxiety is through the roof!
Pirates of the Caribbean
Ahoy — get ready for a fun time on the high seas at Pirates of the Caribbean! Starting from the exterior of the building through the entire boat ride, adults love this immersive attraction in Adventureland. Some of the scenes include a damp pirates’ cave, an enormous galleon ship exchanging cannonball blasts with a nearby fortress, and a village with marauding pirates. There’s even a 14-foot drop!
With elaborate scenes and a catchy theme song, Pirates of the Caribbean is an iconic Disney attraction. After the ride, check out the Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar gift shop for some pirate-themed merchandise.
Everything You Need to Know About Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Ride!
Best Mellow Experiences
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Paging adults in need of a break! When the crowds in Walt Disney World feel crushing, head to Tomorrowland for a leisurely ride on Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. Along the way, you’ll view Cinderella’s Castle as well as overlooks into Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We recommend a ride at night when Tomorrowland is spectacularly lit up.
If you close your eyes for a short siesta during this one mile and ten-minute journey, we won’t tell.
Watch fireworks from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!
Liberty Square Riverboat
The riverboat, Liberty Belle, transports guests on a ride around the Rivers of America during the colonial era. This half-mile ride sails around Tom Sawyer Island with guests free to walk around the boat to admire the various views.
This steamship ride will give you approximately 13 minutes to escape the crowds onshore.
The Ultimate Guide to the Best and Worst Seats on Every Magic Kingdom Ride
The Hall of Presidents
Located in the Liberty Square area of Magic Kingdom, The Hall of Presidents is a classic Disney attraction. And for good reason! It comes from an idea created by Walt Disney himself — “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” which premiered at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.
After watching a film, the show stage features incredibly lifelike Audio-Animatronic versions of each of the presidents throughout American history. Once inside the air-conditioned theater, snag a comfortable seat and take some time to chill.
What long-standing tradition happens at The Hall of Presidents?
Some Magic Kingdom attractions combine amazing themeing with thrilling adventures. And of course, there are mountains. Yep, Disney World’s pretty famous for its mountains!
TRON (well, it will be)
TRON Lightcycle / Run will zoom into Fantasyland when it opens on APRIL 4th, 2023! Magic Kingdom’s newest ride could be one of its most thrilling, with a super-fast launch, a race through the Grid, and fun TRON details that make you feel immersed in the world of the Tron movies!
How fast are those Lightcycles? Well, they go up to 59 miles per hour!
WE RODE TRON in Disney World — Here’s Everything You Need to Know!
Every morning, thrill-seekers rope-drop to Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. You’ll plunge into the simulated darkness of outer space, while your rocketship navigates high-speed turns and small drops. Introduced in 1975, this indoor rollercoaster does not loop upside down, however it’s a daring adventure on a track that reaches 180 feet high.
Okay, friends — we want to remind you that Disney announced new rules for Space Mountain riders.
See What’s CHANGED at a Popular Magic Kingdom Ride
Big Thunder Mountain
One of the most popular attractions in Magic Kingdom, it’s time to mosey on over to Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland. After all, it’s known in these parts as “The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!” You’ll climb aboard a mine train that races through a haunted gold mine town during the gold rush days. Look for over 20 audio-animatronic animals!
Thrill-seekers recommend the backseat because it offers you a faster ride while you plummet down the hills and turns. You’ll hoot ‘n holler on this coaster!
Best Magic Kingdom Lightning Lanes
Welcome, foolish mortals. Set on an eerie estate in Liberty Square, Haunted Mansion is home to 999 happy haunts. Brilliantly executed, this attraction is known for good humor and amazing effects. It’s frightfully funny and impossible to take in all the rich details. So, you must ride it over and over!
After you meet your Ghost Host in the Stretching Room, you’ll board a Doom Buggy that takes you on a spooky tour of various rooms throughout the mansion.
The iconic Hatbox Ghost will materialize at Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion in 2023!
Indeed, we’re all technically Disney adults here at DFB! And when you are in search of like-minded Disney fans in the parks, there are a few specific rides that you should not miss! Whether you are seeking nostalgia, thrills, or a place to mellow out, we hope you’ll have a memorable time on your next trip to Magic Kingdom.
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