Disney World Ratings

Edited: April 16, 2015, 8:04 AM

Of the 4 theme parks at Disney World, how do you rank them? What do you like and dislike about each park? Disney's dominance is being challenged by Universal, but given Universal's limited room, Disney will always have more to offer, and it still has plenty of room to expand. Of course quality is more important quantity, and Universal's recent projects are top notch. But putting Universal aside, how do the parks at DisneyWold compare to each other, and what changes would like like to see at at each park?

Replies (7)

April 16, 2015, 7:57 AM

love magic kingdom as it makes u feel like a kid again. hollywood studios is really good but cant wait for the improvements like star wars.
epcot is ok for a relaxing day in the heat i like the different food and drinks they put on. but my least fav is animal kingdom ive been there about 6 or 7 times and i was bored with it after my 2nd visit but im not sure what they could do to improve it i know aviator is been built maybe that will help

April 16, 2015, 12:52 PM

I like Magic kingdom, DHS & Epcot. I can't really rank them since each has it's special qualities. Animal Kingdom is meh. I'll stop there for each vacation, but I only spend 6 or 7 hours there. Not much to do at AK, though I do like the ambiance & dining at Flame Tree BBQ. Safari is great the first time or two, but it gets old. Same with the walking trail/exhibits. Everest disappointed me more than any major attraction at a theme park. It has a good queue & surroundings but the ride is less than an average coaster, and without the Yeti, doesn't have much immersion. Dinosaur, I enjoy, & will usually ride a couple of times. Kali Rapids is probably the worst raft ride I've ever been on. Amusement parks have better raft rides. Lion's King & Nemo also got old after seeing them a couple of times. I generally like shows a lot and will usually repeat them often but these two just don't have a lot of repeat attraction to me.I'm sure hoping Avatar is awesome, since this park really needs a lot. It's really just a zoo & not much more.

April 17, 2015, 10:08 AM

Personally my favourite is the magic Kingdom, setting aside all of the massive thrills that other theme parks offer, the magic Kingdom is just magical but with some immersive environments especially with the new fantasyland. Also rides like splash mountain and big thunder make it such a good family day out and the be our guest restaurant is amazing.
Next I would say hollywood studios as I love toy story mania, rock and roller coaster and tower of terror just to name a few. However with the closures of american Idol and the tram tour it is slowly getting a bit worse. Also the one of the biggest problems is if it's a really hot day and busy and you want to get away from the crowds or go on a water ride, you can't. Also fantasmic really needs to be improved.
For third, I would have to go with the animal Kingdom as I love the parks setting and also the size of it. I love Everest, dinosaur, finding memo show and the safari and is a really nice park to have a walk around. The bird show is always fun to watch aswell. However the rapids is over really quickly but has a good drop on it, but also if you have a fast pass for dinosaur at 11:30 and the lion king show starts at 12:15 it surprisingly takes quite a while to walk around the park. Also with the opening of avatar and rivers of light in a couple of years I'm sure it's going to become better.
That then leaves Epcot which in I do really like but it only offers soarin and test track as really good rides, also mission space is good but apart from that in my opinion it's not that great. Now don't get me wrong I love walking around world showcase as it is a really nice place to be, and also it offers some really good dining locations and also the fireworks show is great but apart from that epcot for us is only a half day park.
In terms of changes I would love Hollywood studios to completely redesign the streets of America strip including stunt show, muppets show and old tram tour and put in either a cars land and expanded Pixar land or the star wars land. I would also love to see some marvel rides at epcot as it links in with the world of tomorrow with stark industries. On a final note obviously fix the yeti and also even if they don't completely change either the stunt show, indiana jones show or fantasmic at least change a scene or two just to make it feel like there is something new. For fantasmic even change some of the projections in the bubble scene to include newer disney characters.

April 17, 2015, 11:38 AM

Well, it's tough to compare them because they all fill different niches.

EPCOT has kinda turned into an adult's park thanks to the World Showcase, all the great sit down reservation restaurants over there, and the serving of alcohol.

DHS is there for the young adults/teenagers/young teens looking for a thrill. There's a bunch of thrill rides there and it's not really lame. The restaurants there aren't really that great, but kids can't really tell the difference.

MK is obviously for the kids and young at heart. All the rides are toned down for younger audiences and the whole thing is built for kids/young teens. There's also tons of meet-and-greets and most of the places have that sort of 'you're in the Disney movie' sort of vibe, i.e., Be Our Guest and Pirates.

Animal Kingdom is that alternative for people who love animals, have lots of money to spend, but don't know Busch Gardens exists.

So as I said before, it's unfair to compare them because it all boils down to age and personal preference. I'm 29 and I prefer EPCOT myself.

As far as what could be changed, I have no idea. Been so long since I've been to the parks myself that I couldn't say without spending a considerable amount of time there.

April 17, 2015, 8:23 PM

I wouldn't even try to compare the parks... they are like apples, pears, oranges and bananas.

Magic Kingdom is the quintessential image you get when thinking of Disney World. As soon as you enter from under the train station, you feel the magic. It's like you have stepped back into time to a idealistic image of the late 1890's early 1900's. The smells, the sights and the sounds envelope you and make you forget about the outside world and all of your troubles. It does exactly as you would expect. As you look down the street and see the majesty of Cinderella's, Castle, you know you have been transported into a fairytale. There are still some refurbishments going on on either side of Main Street after passing the shops. Those on the left hand side have been completed to reveal manicured gardens and benches on which to sit and enjoy the sights-- Something that had been lacking previously. Adventureland has gone through some minor changes, so if you are looking for Dole Whips, you need to head to Aloha Isle in its new location where Sunshine Terrace was, behind the Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride. Sunshine Terrace is now located in Aloha Isle's previous location. When in Adventureland, you are transported to areas in South America and Africa. The theming is done very well. Next, in Frontierland, you will find 2 of the headliner attractions, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, along with original attractions, Country Bear Jamboree and Tom Sawyer's Island. The area has received a face lift in the way of painting and looks like new. Liberty Square has also undergone some improvements. The new queue for the Haunted Mansion is a lot of fun. There is a new, nicely appointed gift shop outside of the Haunted Mansion. There are some really cute gift ideas for fans. Tomorrowland Astro Orbiter and the area underneath have also gone through some rehab. I haven't been over to that side since it was completed. And now for the area that has gone through the most changed... Fantasyland. It is quite beautiful, and BIG, as it has expanded into the area that was once Toontown. There have been quite a few changes to the area once known as Fantasyland. The Carousel has a new name, the Princesses have taken over the area that once housed Snow Whites Scary Adventures, Dumbo has moved and multiplied, and the play area that used to be across from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is now directly next to it. All of the buildings have new, courtly theming. Heading outside the castle walls, high in the sky, you will see Beast's Castle, which houses "Be Our Guest", the restaurant. If you are planning to eat there, make sure to get your reservations well in advance, and if you are going to going to lunch, there had been a fastpass system. I haven't heard whether it worked, or if they are still using it, but the place is ALWAYS busy. As you continue, on your left, you will see The 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. To me, this is the highlight of the new area. The line is always long, but it is constantly moving, and there are activities along the way to pass the time. The ride isn't by any means a "thriller", but it is a whole lot of fun and good for any age tall enough to ride it. Maurice's cottage is home to The Enchanted Tales of Belle. If you have seen the previous show next to the castle, it is essentially the same, except the queue is inside Maurice's cottage, so you have ample time to take pictures. Little girls will LOVE Ariel's Undersea Adventure. It is a slow boat ride through the story of The Little Mermaid. As you leave this attraction and head to your left, the atmosphere changes and you are in the middle of a circus. Straight ahead is the Dumbo ride. There are 2 rides, one that circles clockwise and the other counterclockwise. If you have a fastpass, you will head to the one on your left, and if you don't, then you will head right. The queue is in a circus tent, and inside there is an elaborate playground. You are given a timer to return when it is time to enter the short line to the ride. We took our 2 year old niece, and when it was time to ride, she didn't want to leave. I saw many parents looking for their older children when the buzzer went off and it took quite a bit of time to find them. Not sure if that is still happening, as that was about 18 months ago. Also in this part of New Fantasyland is the re-themed Goof-tini's Barnstormer and a splash zone water feature... this is Florida, afterall! If you are taking children and have to pick only one park, this is the one. If you can do it over 2 days, you will definitely be better off. I am a theme park junky and this park wears me out. I would suggest getting there at opening, leaving to take a nap or swim in the pool and then return around 6 or 7 pm, if they are open late.

Epcot- home of the "Festival". It seems there is always something going on at Epcot! Since the advent of the new Fastpass plus, it seems that the lines are longer for the healiners than ever. You can pick either a fastpass for Soarin' or Test Track, but at least Test Track does have a single rider line. The lines are always 60 minutes or more. The good news is that it has been announced that Soarin' will be expanding to accommodate more guests, so maybe those hour plus waits will be a thing of the past. The new show replacing the extremely popular Off Kilter in Canada is a huge disappointment. I hope they don't ever replace British Revolution... they are my favorite! Maelstrom closed last October to make way for a Frozen theme. I am hoping that once they have that done, they will have the character meal themed to Frozen as well. Epcot is themed more to an adult audience, but they do have some cute things for kids, too. My favorite is Turtle Talk with Crush in The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends. You can also spend a bit of time in the air condition by riding the ride and looking at the exhibits. If your kids are just a bit older, let them do the Agent P Scavenger Hunt. It keeps them entertained, while you keep yourself entertained... especially around the World Showcase. Remember those festivals? Flower and Garden is going on now through the 2nd week of May with the Flower Power Concerts, Sounds like Summer Concerts will begin sometime in June, and then at the end of September through the 2nd weekend of November is my favorite... Food and Wine... and they have concerts as well. Christmas is always great at Epcot, with the Candlelight Processional, beginning the day after Thanksgiving and ending on Christmas Eve, and of course, Holidays Around the World, where you can meet Santas from all over the globe, do your shopping, sample Christmas goodies and so much more.

Disney's Hollywood Studios, or whatever the new name is going to be. It is SO nice to be able to enter and see Graumann's Chinese Theater again!!!!! I was never a huge fan of the Sorcerer's Hat, not because of what it was, but where it was. It was a really bad idea to put it where they did. I always thought it would have been better off in front of the turnstiles where they place the Christmas tree every year. Again, Fastpass + has made lines for Rock n Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror a nightmare. Yes, Rock n Rollercoaster does have a single rider line, but it takes forever, too. The good news is that they will be adding more tracks in the building next to Toy Story Midway Mania, which may help fix that problem. Again, you can have to choose between Toy Story and Rock n Rollercoaster fastpasses. Speculation continues on what plans will actually come to fruition when they start adding to this park. My hope is that they will increase the Star Wars presence, adding the Cantina, and perhaps another headliner to pull some of the crowd to that side of the park. All 3 headliners are located on the right side of the park as you enter causing one side of the park to be full, and the other not. With the closing of The Backlot Tour, my fervent wish is to expand Pixar Place. This park REALLY needs things for families with small kids. The only offerings as of now include Playhouse Disney, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground, Toy Story Midway Mania and depending on how scared the child is of the dark or Ursula, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid Expanding Pixar Place into the area that once housed The Backlot Tour only makes sense if you think about it. They have put Lightning McQueen and Mater in the Lights, Motors, Action show, which is back in the old section of the Backlot Tour.... it would stand to reason that they would have the area next to that be Cars Land, and perhaps they can also have Radiator Springs, too. This park is, at best, a half day park.... and the only real reason people seem to stay is to see Fantasmic!, which has been able to accommodate more guests with the addition of new seating a few years back.

Disney's Animal Kingdom! Probably my favorite park. Right now everywhere you look there are construction walls. There are construction walls going back into what was Camp Mickey/Minnie, where the entrance to Pandora will be, there are construction walls over in the area where you used to see DeVine (I don't know if she is there anymore... we didn't see her a few weeks ago when we went) and there are construction walls all around the River of Time down by Finding Nemo, the musical and Expedition Everest. When we asked about them, we were told that they are building seating area for the new night time show, which we were assured would not have fireworks to disturb the animals, but would have laser light features. All of the walk ways are being widened and electric lines are being laid for night time lighting. The Kilomanjaro Safari route has been changed somewhat to get ready for night time safaris. I really don't know what to think of all of the changes. I always liked this park because it was laid back and quiet compared to the others..... it remains to be seen as to whether is will keep the same charm.

April 19, 2015, 8:22 PM

Thanks for the replies. The results are what I expected. The Magic Kingdom is clearly the favorite. It's the park that has the most influence from Walt, as its essentially Disneyland with the bugs fixed. The other parks, are all respected, but they don't quite have the fanfare the Magic Kingdom does. Epcot is a more adult park, which I think is unfortunate considering Disney wanted parks everyone could enjoy. It bares little resemblance of what he envisioned with the name EPCOT. It also suffers a lack of new attractions, and ones that are dated. Disney's Hollywood Studios problem is that it's a park that missing something, the studio. It worked well as a mix of working studio and theme park, but after deciding it was to expensive to do so, they needed to add attractions. Animal Kingdom suffered from Euro Disneyland's financial troubles when they scrapped Beastly Kingdom. It's a good park, given it's size there's not really that much there that makes it a must visit, at least for many. Expatiation Everest was a step in the right direction, but given how much money the spent on it it didn't add very much, and the fact the Yeti doesn't even work right means Disney spent that money very poorly. Avatar Land may finally be what makes Animal Kingdom a top Disney park, but they still need perfect the other attractions.

So after over 40 years, the Magic Kingdom still wows visitors, and the other parks are in its shadow. DCA and Disneyland Shanghai have been where Disney has put most of their money and effort over the last 20 years and it shows at DisneyWorld. Epcot and Hollywood Studios have lost some of their luster, and Animal Kingdom is only starting to reach it's potential. But Disney has big plans, and while they may not happen at lightning speed, we will continue to see changes at the parks. People have high expectations from Disney, and I think that after DCA they want to make sure they do things well and not just things quickly. I think what people fail to realize is that Disney has twice as many parks as Universal in the U.S., and as a result has much more to manage. Universal has been able to make drastic improvements because they have enhanced their parks that were far below Disney's standards. Disney has been in this business for 6 decades and has always been growing and evolving. Only the last few years has Universal been serious about being a true rival to Disney. It will be interesting to see what Disney has in store, and if Universal can finally have a spot ahead of Disney and if their momentum will last.

April 20, 2015, 4:32 PM

It is a tough ranking since these are some of Disney Park's best work. I think it depends on what you are feeling at the time. For example, I have a biology background so I like EPCOT and AK the most. I still like my DHS and my MK. I guess here is my rankings:

EPCOT
Animal Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios

As I have been to both Disney and Universal, they are getting to the point where they really do not compete and actually compliment each other. Disney has a big problem with guest between the ages of 12-21. There really isn't a huge amount for them to do at WDW. Universal fills this gap pretty well, but they do not have much for families or young children.

The other big part is that Disney World and Universal, besides DHS and USO, do not have parks that would be similar enough to compete directly. WDW does not have a IOA and Universal does not have a EPCOT or AK

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