Weekly Top 10: The Best Disney Attractions

March 23, 2015, 10:01 AM · Disney remains the industry leader in theme parks, with the most-visited parks in the world, led by the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. But what are the top attractions that are inspiring so many people to visit the Disney parks?

Everyone has individual favorites, but here are the top 10 Disney attractions worldwide, as selected collectively by Theme Park Insider readers. It speaks to the depth of Disney's offerings that this list includes attractions from all five of Disney's theme park resorts around the world, from the original in Anaheim, to Orlando, Tokyo, Paris, and Hong Kong.

10. Splash Mountain
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Splash Mountain

Splash recently topped our list of rides that outdid their source material, but everyone's laughing place holds up on its own for delightful characters, music, and just the right amount of thrills.

9. Indiana Jones Adventure

Indiana Jones Adventure

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, Indy revolutionized the theme park industry with its use of motion base ride vehicles.

8. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney's Hollywood Studios

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disney World's top thrill ride has inspired duplicates around the globe, but none of those versions top the original.

7. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disneyland Paris

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Thunder puts the Disneyland Paris Resort on the list, with its unique island setting amplifying the wildest ride in the wilderness.

6. Fantasmic!


Disney's best nighttime show is more than 20 years old at this point, but frequent upgrades have kept it fresh and a must-see for Disneyland visitors.

Disney's California Adventure


Disney's brought Aladdin to Broadway now, but if you're in Southern California for your vacation, instead of New York, Disney's original stage adaptation of this animated hit ought to be one of your top stops.

4. Radiator Springs Racers
Disney's California Adventure

The highlight of California Adventure's impressive Cars Land expansion, RSR is looking as good as ever again thanks to recent refurbishments.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

The ride that perhaps more than any other elevated theme park dark rides above their carnival predecessors, Pirates today endures as the flagship of one of Disney's most lucrative entertainment franchises.

2. Mystic Manor
Hong Kong Disneyland

The newest attraction on our list, Mystic Manor alone changed Disney's Hong Kong park from an afterthought to a bucket list essential for many Disney fans.

1. Journey to the Center of the Earth
Tokyo DisneySea

Perhaps Disney's most stunning theme park experience, Journey demonstrates how amazing, captivating and wonderful attractions can be.

What are your favorite Disney theme park rides and shows? Please tell us, in the comments.

Replies (50)

March 23, 2015 at 10:42 AM · Great list overall, but I gotta ask.... How far out of the running for the top 10 was Haunted Mansion? I understand how all the rides on this list top HM, but two shows as well?? Admittedly, I haven't seen either one of them so I can't really judge but, come on, it's Haunted Mansion!! :-)
March 23, 2015 at 10:46 AM · Melanie,

Mansion would have made the "Spinal Tap" version of this list. ("It goes up to 11!")

March 23, 2015 at 10:56 AM · My top two favorites were 10 and 9, but it's hard to argue with most of the picks. I haven't been to Hong Kong or Japan, but I'd put Pirates from Disneyland and Indy up there for me too. I'm a little surprised to see Fantasmic and Aladdin so high. Both are great shows, but I may have underestimated how much they're liked.
March 23, 2015 at 10:59 AM · I guess my only issue with including RSR and probably Journey to the Center of the Earth (haven't been on it personally but have watched the video for it) so high on this list is the ride times for those rides seems so short. Not to say that they aren't great rides, but for me rides like PoC, HM and Splash Mountain maintain a certain level of immersion simply by having longer ride times. And those would probably be at the top of my list (along with IJA and Fantasmic). And I agree about Mystic Manor - I want to ride that one bad, but not enough to travel to HK. Build it at DLR, please!
March 23, 2015 at 11:12 AM · Its a nice list but I miss the Ratatouille attraction.
Its seems like an amazing ride!
March 23, 2015 at 11:13 AM · Nice list...especially including Aladdin on it. That show truly is wonderful. I remember Disney had plans to replace it with a Toy Story show... That wouldve be a travesty, not because of Toy Story but because of the removal of Aladdin.
March 23, 2015 at 12:07 PM · Not just the order but I have to agree with the park selection too. Some versions are definitely better than other. For example, TOT at WDW is better than at DCA. I have mentioned this in another thread but I rode the original first and was very confused when I rode it in California. I thought wait a minute we didn't move forward!.
Similarly splash mountain at WDW does exceed the DL one by far. And so on for all the picks.
March 23, 2015 at 1:36 PM · What? We're forced to fly to Asia, if we want to experience Disney's two best attractions? No thanks!

Come on Disney executives. Pretend that you're Walt, and you actually care about your American fans.

March 23, 2015 at 1:42 PM · Obviously would've liked to see Mansion up here, but these are 10 great attractions. Really shows how many top attractions there are between the Disney parks.
March 23, 2015 at 1:56 PM · Tower of Terror is my favorite ride anywhere.. so I'd have it higher up.

Other than that I agree, though I have not been on RSR or any of the international rides.

March 23, 2015 at 2:07 PM · This is a pretty good list and really reinforces that every Disney property has at least one or two unique high quality attractions. I've only been to the Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris, so I haven't done about half the attractions listed above, but almost all those that I have deserve their spot (Big Thunder Mountain is the main one I disagree with...it's good but not significantly better than others and not the best ride (or even best roller coaster in my opinion) at Disneyland Paris).

As for me, here's my top ten list based on my visits to the California and Paris parks:

1. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
2. Indiana Jones Adventure
3. Fantasmic
4. Phantom Manor
5. Pirates of the Caribbean (Paris)
6. Radiator Springs Racers
7. Toy Story Midway Mania
8. Aladdin
9. Splash Mountain
10. Soarin' Over California

Honorable mentions to California's Pirates of the Caribbean, which lost mainly because of the tampering that has been done to the ride over the years, as well as CineMagique and Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant at the Paris resort, which are the best movie-based show and walkthrough attraction, respectively, that I've experienced at a Disney park.

March 23, 2015 at 3:02 PM · Wow amazing that Poohs Hunny Hunt and Haunted Mansion didn't make the list. Well just shows the huge variety of attractions that disney offers. Had it been a ride only list those 2 should be on it.
March 23, 2015 at 4:15 PM · Where is Space Mountain? I'm really surprised that it wasn't there, same with Star Tours and Test Track. Space Mountain is a classic ride that I would put in the top 5. My list is (excluding non- US parks)

10- Haunted Mansion
9- Pirates of the Carribean
8- Star Tours
7- Expedition Everest
6- Test Track
5- Splash Mountain
4- Tower of Teror
3- Big Thunder Mountain
2- Space Mountain
1- Radiator Springs Racers

Once again, I cannot believe that Space Mountain is not on this list and there is no mention of Space in the comments.

March 23, 2015 at 5:05 PM · I cannot agree with this list. Mystic Manor way too high and Tower of Terror way too low. Pirates in Disneyland is not that great. Splash Mountain way too low and Aladdin? Really? Fantasmic? WHAT!?! "I can't wait to go to Disney to see Fantasmic." Those words have never come out of my mouth! Anyone else? It's more like, "I can't wait to go to Disney so that I can go on Space Mt, Splash Mt, ToT, Test Track, Everest" so on and so forth. FANTASMIC!?!
March 23, 2015 at 6:28 PM · 10. Journey Into Your Imagination (don't judge)
9. Wonders of life
8. The Living Seas
7. Star tours (original)
6. Matterhorn
5. Journey Into Imagination
4. Mr.toad
3. Haunted Mansion
2. Splash Mountain
1. Soarin' over California
March 23, 2015 at 7:22 PM · Keith, many people, myself included, love Fantasmic more than most rides. It is a 30 minute spectacular show that really is wonderful to see. As opposed to a 2-5 minute ride.

In fact, I am more likely to say I can't wait to see Fantasmic than I am many of the rides you listed. And many people I know would agree.

It is the spectacular end of the day that many people look forward to more than anything else.

March 23, 2015 at 7:43 PM · I have to separate the shows/movies/walkthrus/restaurants from the "rides", so here are my top ten Disney rides (I have only been to the US parks).

10. Dinosaur – WDW
Loud, brash, scary, and a whole lotta fun, Dinosaur is currently the best ride at Animal Kingdom (fix Everest's Yeti and it drops to #2).

9. Haunted Mansion – WDW
A can't miss attraction. The Haunted Mansion is truly a visual treat worthy of its place in the Magic Kingdom.

8. Space Mt – WDW and Disneyland
Many people say the Disneyland version of Space Mountain is better than the Florida version, but both versions are a whole lot of fun, and are different enough that they can mutually coexist. If I was forced to pick one or the other I guess I would give a slight nod to Disneyland's version, but my wife says the opposite. Either way, Space Mountain, in any form, continues to be a fun and invigorating coaster.

7. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – WDW
An exceptional coaster, made even better because it is indoors and in the dark. Sure, the launch and first loop are amazing, but the rest of the ride, especially with all the sights, sounds, and music, is not too shabby either.

6. Mission: Space (Spinning Version) – WDW
One of the most original rides at any theme park, Mission: Space is a thrill seekers treasure trove. From the detailed queuing area, to the engaging intro movie, to the awesome experience itself, this attraction is simply one of the best thrill rides I have ever ridden. The lift off is amazing and the sensation of space travel unmatched. Mission: Space is an extremely impressive and immersive Disney masterpiece - my favorite ride at Epcot.

5. Splash Mountain – WDW
Top notch theming, multiple very fun drops, and great music, all wrapped up in a totally immersive and entertaining package. Splash Mountain is my favorite attraction at the Magic Kingdom and is arguably the best flume ride ever built.

4. Indiana Jones – Disneyland
Wow, what an amazing, wonderful, thrilling, outstanding attraction! From its immersive queue to its intro movie to its action packed race through the darkness, Indy and the Forbidden Eye simply cannot be beat. It is as close to a perfect attraction as I can imagine. Yes, the technology has been around awhile, and yes, the special effects aren't always perfect, but there is probably no better modern day example (except maybe Radiator Springs Racers) of Disney Imagineering just getting everything right.

3. Radiator Springs Racers – DCA
Just amazing. Sometimes you experience an attraction that reminds you why you like theme parks in the first place, and Radiator Springs Racers is that type of ride. It renews your faith in Imagineering and gets you excited for great things to come. Radiator Springs Racers is a poster child for an E-Ticket attraction.

2. Tower of Terror – WDW
The drop ride that rendered all other drop rides obsolete. A perfect attraction.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean – Disneyland
For those who have only experienced the Orlando version of Pirates of the Caribbean, you really are doing yourself a disservice. The Disneyland version is longer, a bit more thrilling, and bigger (in both physical sets and story) than the hacked version at the Magic Kingdom. The difference is like night and day. A ride on Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, for those who have not had the pleasure, is quite simply worth the price of admission to the park. It is a masterpiece of animatronics, story, and song, an attraction that transcends age, gender, nationality, theme park bias, and time. It is one of the few attractions that I believe will still be standing in 2067 (its 100th anniversary). It is the definition of a "classic".

March 23, 2015 at 7:37 PM · Must point this out: Which attraction has the most books and active fan sites dedicated to it? A clue: it was neck and neck two years ago for best overall attraction loosing to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. If you guessed the Haunted Mansion, you would have been correct. We gauge when to visit the parks based on whether it will be up or not. If any of the ten listed are down, we still would consider visiting, but not if HM is down. I even see bumper stickers on random cars that say "My other car is a Doombuggy" and I live over 500 miles away. I like these top ten lists, and everything cannot make it. The fact that they are subjective is great to generate debate, but it is the crown jewel of the parks.
March 23, 2015 at 8:37 PM · 10. Space Mountain - DL
9. Mystic Manor - HKDL
8. Sindbad Storybook Voyage - TDS
7. Indiana Jones - DL
6. Tower of Terror - WDW
5. Pirates of the Carribean - DL
4. Haunted Mansion - WDW
3. Radiator Springs Racers - DCA
2. Journey to the Center of the Earth - TDS
1. Pooh's Hunny Hunt - TDL
As a big dark ride fan I have Pooh's Hunny Hunt at the top because I think it's the best dark ride. The youtube videos do a good job of showing how great the ride is, but in person I was surprised how close you get to the show scenes and how good the animatronics were. It has some good tech with the trackless vehicles, but I think it's the execution that really makes it combining the ride vehicles, the music, and the set pieces.
March 23, 2015 at 11:12 PM · Pirates of the Caribbean not a big deal?! It is the theme park standard since 1967. Along with New Orleans square and haunted mansion, they are Walt Disney's magnus opus, his final addition to the one place in the world that he pured his soul into.
Lets not forget the way it is integrated into the Blue Bayou restaurant as well. A concept that hasn't been replicated as well to date. Pure genious.
March 24, 2015 at 7:26 AM · I could agree with a few of the selections on this list. However, the absence of The Haunted Mansion really does strike a chord. An attraction that is often imitated and never duplicated. About as timeless now as it was when it first opened.
Any theme park worth their salt can do an attractive stage play like Aladdin. But can we truly say the same for The Haunted Mansion?
March 24, 2015 at 7:35 AM · I agree with this list but also wish that the Haunted Mansion was on the list. I'm also a sucker for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland and the old Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, now, sadly, defunct... gone to Yesterland. It's with Jesus now. :(
March 24, 2015 at 8:38 AM · I'm with you James...Mission Space does not get the credit that it deserves because it's simply too realistic (particularly when it opened in it's most intense ride setting). Let's face it, most people don't have what it takes to be an astronaut, and the conditions and forces simulated by the ride system are about as close as you can get to the real thing without strapping yourself into an Atlas V capsule. I do wish they would update the movie or at least give guests some variability in the attraction, because the whole story gets old even 2+ years between rides. However, the ride system is incredible, and so amazingly realistic.

I'm a bit surprised Soarin' didn't make the list.

March 24, 2015 at 8:45 AM · If shows count, Legend of the The Lion King is a must for my list! It's always been an amazing, emotional show. And everyone always sings along because its almost impossible not to! You just walk out of that theater feeling great!
March 24, 2015 at 12:04 PM · BTM Paris is better than the US versions; however the best two rides in Paris are Ratatouille, and Crush's Coaster. I thought the Pooh ride in Japan was great; however Ratatouille is even better. I didn't expect much from Crush but it was great! best coaster in Paris.
March 24, 2015 at 12:35 PM · These are my favorite Orlando rides.
10-Kilimanjaro Safaris. I love animals, so this ride is always a pleasure for me. Screw the Jungle Cruise, this is a safari ride worthy of the Disney name!

9-Test Track. At 65 mph, this is is the fastest ride in WDW. I especially like how the new version adds a little competition to the experience.

8-Pirates of the Carribean. While definetely the weakest version, this one still kicks butt with it's cool queue line, creepy opening, and swashbuckling shenanigans.

7-Haunted Mansion. Do I really need to explain why?

6-Star Tours. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, the new update made me very pleased. The multiple endings also make it more than worth reriding.

5-Expedition Everest. The imagineers really put their blood, sweat and tears into the making this one, and it shows. However, they really do need to do something about "Disco Yetti."

4-Soarin. Epcot is home to 2 great screen attractions that show off beautiful
locations, Impressions de France and this masterpiece. The feeling you get when riding it for the first time is so wonderful, I wish I could erase my memory of it to experience it for the first time all over again.

3-Rock 'n Rollercoaster. While I do give Rip Ride Rockit at Universal props for actually letting you choose the song, Rock 'n Rollercoaster is superior in every other way. Better thrills, better theming, and a very smooth ride.

2 Tower of Terror. I've never seen a single episode of The Twilight Zone and I still love this ride. It has a solid story with great visuals that keeps me coming back every time. My only question is, why can't other drop towers be like this?

1-Splash Mountain. I still remember when I first went on this ride, and how it far exceeded my expectations. I loved it so much, I kept riding it over and over and over. It's a combination of the two rides Disney does best: cute little dark rides featuring Classic Disney characters and high-tech, adrenaline-fueled thrill rides. And, of course, it's always a godsend on hot summer days.

March 24, 2015 at 2:10 PM · James - As for Pirates at DLR and WDW, I did not favor the longer version at the DLR. In all honesty, the Pirates at DLR gives an extra small drop (the 1st drop is not spectacular and not necessary in repeating), an additional scene at the end (Pirates shooting at explosive barrels-pretty good and would be nice to have at WDW), a lift up the waterfall at the end, and the added fluff of Pirate skeletons in the caves at the beginning. The DLR version did not add to my enjoyment or to the story I understood of the ride. WDW has the better setup (the queue), a better/more haunting opening in the caves, the drop that leads directly into the battle at the fort, and ends after the treasure room cutting out the unnecessary lift up the waterfall that adds nothing but more time to the ride. The WDW version is a shorter ride but should not be discredited because of it. The WDW version is a better show condensed without the redundancy at DLR.
March 24, 2015 at 5:53 PM · Keith - I appreciate your willingness to stand alone in the crowd, but in this case I cannot disagree more. I will grant you that the queue for the WDW version is better, but in large part all the queues at WDW are better than their Disneyland counterparts. And the Disneyland version makes up for the queue with a terrific intro scene floating serenely through the Blue Bayou. As for the "unnecessary" first drop, it is almost as long as the drop in Splash Mt (50+ feet), just not nearly as steep. And I am not sure how it is unnecessary, as it provides a mild thrill, but is still accessible to all ages. Is there something wrong with a bit of a thrill to start a ride? But rather than debate the question further, let's just see what the TPI voting public decided back in 2011: Orlando/SoCal Showdown. And, if I can quote one Robert Niles, "MK's Pirates is the sad, abridged Cliffs Notes version of PotC. Accept no substitutes. Get thee to Anaheim, mateys!" So there you have it, Disneyland's PotC wins by leagues and bounds!
March 24, 2015 at 5:46 PM · •_• well...someone defending Florida's version...I thought I would never encounter one...
March 24, 2015 at 6:51 PM · Disneyland's POTC is to Disney World's POTC as WDW's Haunted Mansion is to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.

For me, they balance each other out.

March 24, 2015 at 6:51 PM · Where is Impressions de France?


March 24, 2015 at 6:51 PM · Where is Impressions de France?


March 24, 2015 at 7:41 PM · So what you are telling me is that a 2 hour 45 minute version of a movie is better than a 2 hour version simply because it is longer, with more stuff but really not more story. I'm not buying it. Keeping with the movie analogy, have you every seen a movie, like the 2005 King Kong, that could have been 45 minutes less in length and been better off because of it. That's the way I felt with DLR Pirates and I feel that's the way the Imagineers felt as well when they did WDW Pirates. I understand the building of the WDW Pirates was a rushed project to accommodate guest complaints about the absence of the ride. But in comparing DLR with WDW, everything the Imagineers did at WDW was "plussed" and in turn is better than DLR including the later addition of the WDW Pirates. With the WDW Pirates, what was repetitive and did not advance the story of the ride was not included. The beginning of DLR Pirates is a necessary transition between New Orleans Square and the story of the ride. At WDW the story of the ride is established in Caribbean Plaza and then extended in the queue. The various scenes of skeletons in the caves is repetitive and sometimes silly, like the skeleton drinking an endless bottle of red wine. The harpsichord played by a pirate ghost in the DLR Pirates is used to better effect a WDW in the Haunted Mansion. The second drop in the caves at DLR is necessary to further drop the ride below the train tracks and in the end not that thrilling, which in turn is unnecessary at WDW. The scene of the skeleton steering the shipwreck in the lightning storm is better setup and featured at WDW as is the drop at WDW, strategically placed to thrust guests into the middle of the cannonball siege at the fort. The incline up the waterfall at the end of DLR Pirates is unnecessary to the story and excluded from the WDW version. The WDW Pirates is a better version because the sequence and setup of the scenes tells a more compelling story compared to the repetitiveness and unnecessary features of the DLR Pirates.
March 24, 2015 at 7:24 PM ·
March 24, 2015 at 9:22 PM · I am glad you have a strong opinion, Keith, and that you back it up with an impassioned response.

I rode Disneyland's PotC when I was much younger. It was my absolute favorite attraction anywhere. Then in 2003, when I was much older, I visited the Magic Kingdom for the very first time. More than anything else I could not wait to show off PotC to my kids. Upon entering the park we made a beeline for the attraction and with great anticipation (thanks to the expansive queue that is better than the ride itself) we boarded the boat. And then.... MAJOR antisappointment. I couldn't believe how lame the attraction was in comparison to the memories of my Disneyland youth. It almost ruined my visit (Splash Mountain and Epcot saved it!). I felt robbed and vowed then and there I would take my kids to Disneyland someday to ride the REAL version (which we did in 2013 - thank goodness).

IMHO, all that "repetitive and unnecessary" stuff in the Disneyland version fleshes out the mood and enhances the intentionally vague narrative the ride has to offer. Even the location of the attraction in New Orleans Square adds to the mystery and intrigue, and provides an ambiance lacking around the Magic Kingdom's stellar show building. To me, the real comparison is not between a 2 hour and 45 minute epic and a 2 hour movie, but between a full blown rock concert and a music video, or a novel and a short story. The Magic Kingdom version isn't just missing scenes and additional thrills, it is missing immersion and that je ne sais quoi that makes Disney Disney.

Keith, each to his own for sure (whatever floats your boat might be a more appropriate expression). I appreciate both your opinion and your passion for it. That we disagree is irrelevant but that we are equally passionate about an ancient Pirates of the Caribbean attraction speaks volumes about its continued relevance and the timeless nature of Walt's Grand Finale.

March 24, 2015 at 7:57 PM · Personally, I like Disneyland's better, but not nearly to the degree that Mr. Rao does.

I don't know, I remember riding it a couple of years ago with my family (who are primarily WDW goers) and we all left feeling... "eh". Not because it wasn't better than the WDW version, but because of all the hype that people made about it (like on this site), did not stand up when we road it. There wasn't anything about it that made me think it was vastly superior to WDW's version. Just a few extra tidbits that made it a little more interesting.

Perhaps it is a little like comparing the Harry Potter books to the movies, if you read the books first, the movies were a let down. If you saw the movies first, the books weren't much better.

Similarly if you went to Disneyland first, the WDW pirates is a let down, but if you went to WDW first, the Disneyland version is just an extended version of the same thing.

Either way, I want Magic Kingdom to have a "New Adventureland" to accompany New Fantasyland. With an extended pirates, a Jungle Book themed Jungle Cruise, and a Cave of Wonders E-Ticket.

March 24, 2015 at 8:00 PM · ^I'll take a whole redo of Adventureland into Pirates Land if you don't mind!!! And perhaps they can sell various shades of Jack Sparrow guyliner for the real men! ;)
March 24, 2015 at 8:13 PM · I like it James. I like it a lot. Throw in a complementary Sparrow facial-hair stylist and it would be perfection.
March 24, 2015 at 9:28 PM · And, Jack, I read the Harry Potter books before I saw the movies, and the films weren't just a let down, I HATED them - intensely. Still do. I have a hard time understanding how JK Rowling can be so concerned about the theme park representation of her Potterverse, but so nonchalant about the dismantling of her novels on the silver screen.

But, I digress. Again.

March 24, 2015 at 11:25 PM · Excellent list. As for the top two rides, unfortunately Disney can't clone them in the U.S. because the asian parks have an a guarantee of exclusivity for a number of years. I don't know when that guarantee expires, so we can still hope.
March 25, 2015 at 1:43 AM · I can't really join the California vs. Florida Pirates of the Caribbean debate as I have yet to ride the Florida version of the ride, but no debate is complete without including the Paris version. I rode that version when I visited Disneyland Paris in 2012 and I honestly think it is superior to even the California original. The ride is only 10 minutes long (unlike California's 15, which I honestly feel is borderline too long), but features almost all the same scenes and flows better. In addition, the Paris version is unmodified, meaning that none of the film characters appear and the pirates still chase the women in the town. Since the scenes occur in a completely different order, here's a run-through of this version (from my memory):

The façade of the attraction looks like a fort and is located at the back of Adventureland. The queue begins outside, with a cattle pen in the fort's courtyard, then heads inside and passes through the dungeons of the fort. Skeletal pirates can be seen in some of the cells and the illumination comes from torches mounted to the walls. After crossing a bridge, riders descend to a dock on a lagoon, which forms the boarding area of the ride.

The ride begins by floating through the lagoon past the Blue Lagoon Restaurant. Once out of sight of diners, boats approach a cargo lift, which pulls riders to the upper level of the fortress. The sounds of a battle outside are heard as riders pass the pirates in jail, tempting the dog just as in the other versions. As riders turn a corner, they pass through a room on fire and then pass through a hole in the wall caused by a cannonball, plunging down the first drop into the middle of the battle scene. From this point, guests pass through the town, which is more or less identical to that found in the Disneyland version of the ride (with the exception of major dialogue dubbed in French). After leaving the burning town, boats descend the second drop (which has an on-ride photo, as Disneyland Paris lacks Splash Mountain) into the underground caverns, where riders pass most of the cave scenes in the Disneyland version. At the end of the caves, the boats pass under the queue bridge (which holds the talking skull issuing a safety warning) before returning to the dock, where riders disembark and exit through a gift shop.

Lastly, James, I have to correct an earlier statement you made. The first drop on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland is not nearly as big as Splash Mountain's drop as the 52 foot length is the length of the actual flume, not the elevation change. If you sit in the back of the boat and look backward, you can see that the drop is no more than 20 feet tall. If it was indeed a five story drop, you would get soaked at the bottom.

March 25, 2015 at 6:52 PM · AJ - I wrote "[PotC's first drop] is almost as long as the drop in Splash Mt (50+ feet), just not nearly as steep." In fact, Disneyland PotC's first drop is 52 feet long @ 21 degrees (incidentally the second PotC drop is 37 feet @ 21 degrees), while the main drop on Splash Mountain is 52.5 feet tall @ 47 degrees. I believe you and I are saying the same thing just in different ways - after a few corrections! ;)

Here are the stats on PotC from the Disney wiki:

Opening day - March 18, 1967 (Happy Belated Birthday, PotC!)
Ride time - 14.5 minutes
Capacity - 3400 guests per hour
AA figures - 66 pirates; 57 animals and birds
Total amount of water - 750,000 gallons
Main lift pumps - Pump number one is rated at a maximum of 20,000 gallons per minute while Pump Number Two is rated at a maximum of 18,000 gallons per minute
First drop length - 52'
First drop angle - 21 degrees
Second drop length - 37'
Second drop angle - 21 degrees
Length of final lift back to Lafitte's Landing - 90'
Angle of final lift back to Lafitte's Landing - 16 degrees
Number of buildings - 2
Number of levels - 3 (Blue Bayou, upper caverns, and main show in basement).

March 25, 2015 at 4:03 AM · Ok. My say on Pirates. I had grown up on the WDW version. And I first rode DLR's before I discovered this website, so I didn't know what to expect. I got a lot more than I bargained for and was happy about it. The additional scenes made the story make more sense to me. And of course, I'm all for an extra drop. I still really love WDW's, but DLR's is so much better. That also kinda reflects my opinion on Harry Potter. I saw the movies first, which are now some of my most favorite movies ever, and then I read the books which I thought were better. It was like reading the movies but with more detail and extra plots. So good!
March 25, 2015 at 7:35 AM · Jack- Great point about the order in which you experience it. In being a WDW veteran for over 40 years now, I just felt underwhelmed about DLR. The DLR Pirates was probably the catalyst for my reaction because it did not live up to the hype. In all, not much of Disneyland did. Standouts of my first every visit to DLR were Radiator Springs, Pinnochio (very charming and fun!), Space Mountain (the ride went on and on and on and on), and the Subs (this ride brought back VERY strong memories of 20,000 Leagues at WDW!). Everything else...eh. As for the Harry Potter movies, I did not read the books but really enjoyed the movies. So, like you said, the order of the experience plays an integral role in your reaction to it.
March 25, 2015 at 7:47 AM · After visiting DLR and coming back underwhelmed, I start to get concerned that if I every do get to make it to Paris or better yet Tokyo that I will feel the same reaction to those parks because of the hype placed on them. Is DisneySea really that good? In all honesty I would prefer to hear that it sucks and come back completely surprised. I don't want to tear down the high expectations I have of these parks as I had for DLR. Coming out of it, though, I now have a greater respect and admiration for WDW.
March 25, 2015 at 11:45 AM · You're right, James, I misinterpreted what you wrote. However, the physical drops are still not the same length, as 52.5 feet refers to the height of Splash Mountain's drop, not the flume length (which, from basic trigonometry, would be about 72 ft long...slightly more to allow for curvature). If the flume was indeed 52.5 ft long, the drop would be less than four stories, which completely goes against everything Disney advertises about the ride (it's often referred to as a five story plunge). I think that is why I was confused by your original statement.

Keith, while I'm surprised Indiana Jones Adventure didn't make your top Disneyland attractions list, your reaction is actually not that surprising as I know a lot of WDW veterans who don't care for DLR or vice versa. Having never been to Florida, it's difficult for me to compare them, but I think just the difference in feel of the various parks can put some people off. When I visited Disneyland Paris I had a good time there, but I also knew pretty quickly that it was going to be a bit underwhelming compared to Disneyland California. In the end, it doesn't really matter if one park is better than another as long as you still have a good time at whatever park you visit. If you don't, then just don't visit again. Based on what I experienced at Paris, I've got a feeling you'll be underwhelmed even more by that park than you were by California, and I've never read a review of someone who found Tokyo disappointing so you're probably safe there.

March 25, 2015 at 6:53 PM · AJ, I guess it is neither here nor there at this point, but perhaps a correction or two is in order after all [done!]. Let's just say that Disneyland's PotC's first drop is as long as Splash's last drop is tall.

I too was quite impressed with the Indy ride at DLR. Easily one of the best experiences we had when we visited. But like Keith, overall I prefer WDW to DLR, just because WDW has so much more room and feels more like a world unto itself. Something DLR really cannot compete with due to space restrictions.

March 25, 2015 at 3:26 PM · AJ-just wanted to let you know that I'm a WDW fan and I loved Indianna Jones Adventure! In fact, it's my favorite Disney ride that's not here in Florida! (At least that I've ridden)
March 28, 2015 at 3:59 AM · wait, Space Mountain is not on the list?!
March 28, 2015 at 11:18 AM · Although I am sure no one is still viewing this thread, just for grins I went ahead and put together my top ten list of non-ride attractions at Disney.

10. One Man’s Dream
A wonderful memorial to the man without whom none of this would be possible, One Man's Dream is an outstanding attraction. Sadly, the frantic pace and short attention span of the average theme park visitor generally causes most folks to skip this attraction entirely. What a shame.

9. Illuminations
Brilliant show, with a wonderful mixture of lights, music, and pyrotechnics. If you have the patience, try to find an unobstructed view at the front of World Showcase so you can see the show the way the Imagineers intended you to see it. A great way to end your visit to Epcot.

8. American Adventure
An excellent animatronic show in an amazing pavilion. Currently the best attraction (besides the food) in the World Showcase.

7. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
I regard Great Moments as an E-ticket caliber treat, and find it to be far superior to (and less polarizing than) Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents, and at least on par with Epcot's The American Adventure, if not better. When you visit Disneyland, do NOT miss the one of a kind experience that is Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

6. Mickey’s Philharmagic
Still the best attraction in Fantasyland and one of the best interactive movies at any theme park.

5. Finding Nemo The Musical
I loved the show, the puppets, the sets, and the music. Definitely a must see at DAK.

4. Festival of the Lion King
An acrobatic delight! One of my favorite live shows at any Disney theme park.

3. Aladdin
Disney's Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular is a Broadway caliber, lavish, 60-minute tour de force of delightful songs, spectacular dancing, amazing props and special effects, sweeping romance, and tremendous fun. A breezy, truncated live version of the Aladdin animated film, this show features all your favorite songs from the film, plus one new ballad, and yes, a "real" flying carpet. What a wonderful show, one of the, if not the most elaborately staged shows at any theme park.

2. Fantasmic – DLR and WDW
While Disneyland's version of Fantasmic is better in every way (except seating) than the version in Orlando, both shows are still, uh, fantastic. In DLR, I was especially impressed at how the Sailing Ship Columbia was used during the Peter Pan sequence, and with Murphy the Dragon, whose fire breathing antics were amazing. In Orlando, you can’t beat the location as it is a huge improvement over sitting on the ground.

1. World of Color
World of Color is an awesome spectacle, unlike anything I have ever seen before. It is majestic, inspiring, thrilling, and quite simply the best way I can think of to end a day at a park. While Disney may have a crowd control nightmare on its hands, and while fans may get irritated at the completely unorganized mess that is the viewing area, the show certainly does not disappoint. And as you watch, all your frustration and irritation will fade as you realize World of Color is exactly what we expect from Disney: pure magic. Do not miss World of Color when you visit DCA, no matter how much of a pain it is to navigate to a good spot in the viewing area. It is worth the frustration, I promise.

Some amazing stuff – all definitely worth a visitor’s time during a vacation.

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