10 Great Walt Disney World Park Experiences

Enchanted Tales With Belle Experience

10 Great Experiences in Walt Disney World Parks

Walt Disney World has so many amazing experiences inside its parks, that it’s nearly impossible to try to rank them or say that one is better than another. After all, we’re all very different and like different things. Still, I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway.

This list is based on what I believe to be 10 of the greatest experiences that you can have across the full spectrum of Walt Disney World Parks.

So here we go, In no particular order…

The 10 Greatest Experiences in Walt Disney World Parks

Flight of Passage Boarding area, Pandora

Flight of Passage boarding area, Pandora, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park)

Not every shiny new ride makes it to the list, but the technology behind this experience in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is so thrilling and immersive that everyone who likes an adrenaline rush should make a point of experiencing Flight of Passage at least once. It’s about as close as you can get to climbing onto the back of an actual (mythical) banshee on Pandora. There’s a reason why the wait times can get ridiculously long (five hours is the longest one I’ve seen so far). So be sure to use a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage and try it out for yourself. Knowledge of the film Pandora is not required to enjoy the thrills, but it will be that much more enriching if you have seen the movie.

Princess Aurora at Cinderella's Royal Table

Meeting Princess Aurora at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.

Dining inside Cinderella Castle (Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park)

There is a strong aura of magic surrounding Cinderella Castle in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. It is the subject of countless photos and attention and always evokes “oohs and ahhs” from guests the first time that they see it in person…awaiting their arrival beyond the end of Main Street U.S.A. As magical as the castle is on its own, there’s nothing more magical than actually entering the castle and ascending the stairs inside to a Royal Dining Chamber inside. The fact that Cinderella and other Disney Princesses are part of the experience only adds extra Pixie Dust to the Disney Magic. Don’t listen to any haters, experience it for yourself. Being inside Cinderella Castle is the pinnacle of the Disney Princess experience at Walt Disney World.

Happily Ever After Fireworks. Disney

Happily Ever After Fireworks. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.

Happily Ever After fireworks (Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park)

Even though I fondly miss past nighttime spectaculars (fans of Wishes! will feel my pain), the Happily Ever After fireworks show in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is pretty spectacular in terms of straight up, over-the-top wow factor. It’s pretty clear that Disney Imagineers went full bore pedal-to-the-metal with this one, throwing just about every kind of technology that they have into one sensory-awaking show. It plays every single night of the year, so you have plenty of opportunity to see it live and in person inside the park.

Enchanted Tales with Belle, Princess Belle

Meeting Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast at Enchanted Tales with Belle in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.

Enchanted Tales with Belle (Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park)

This intimate and interactive storytelling experience is pretty special. It has all of the elements that you’d expect from Disney Magic — especially because it actively involves Cast Members and audience members in every performance. This means that every performance it unique and one-of-a-kind. Even before you enter the storytelling chamber for the live show, you are treated to a very magical entrance and back story. Then, parts are assigned to lucky participants with the remainder of guests forming the audience. If you are even mildly enamoured by Beauty and the Beast and Princess Belle in particular, this is a must-see experience. That goes double if you have kids under 10 who might enjoy their turn in the spotlight with Belle.

Soarin' Around the World, Epcot.

Soarin’ Around the World, Epcot.

Soarin’ Around the World (Epcot)

The sensation of floating through the air on a global hang glider journey is still very memorizing and comforting, even after all these years. Soarin’ is a Disney classic and has been refreshed with a new film not too long ago. It is another must-do experience for kids of all ages at Walt Disney World.

Expedition Everest, Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Expedition Everest, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Expect the unexpected.

Expedition Everest (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park)

If you’re a fan of roller coasters — especially roller coasters with a twist — then Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is a must-do for you. The back story of Expedition Everest is pretty interesting as well, even though a lot of guests probably don’t take the time to follow along the very detailed artifacts and messages in the ride queue. Either way, Expedition Everest delivers thrills and unexpected turns, making it a worthy member of a Walt Disney World list of great experiences. Plus, the view of the surrounding park as you ascend the first big hill is awesome. Be sure to look around before you descend into the mountain.

Summit Plummet, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Summit Plummet (Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park)

If you’re at all considering going to a Disney Water Park — and you love stomach-dropping thrills — then Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park should be on your list. I often call this the scariest ride at Walt Disney World. And for good reason. It remains one of the steepest and fastest water slides in the world. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if thrills and water slides are your thing, you cannot miss this one. As a bonus, the view from the top of Summit Plummet is also pretty awesome as well. It’s the last thing you’ll see before you plummet back to the ground at speeds approaching 60 mph (or 100 kmh).

Rock'n'Roller Coaster, Walt Disney World.

Rock’n’Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World.

Rock’n’Roller Coaster (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Rock’n’Roller Coaster is more of a traditional inverted steel rail coaster. It has a fun back story featuring Aerosmith, but the two elements that really take this one to the top are the fact that it’s in the dark and that it starts with a chest-crushing g-force charge (you’ll notice the cheeky name of the record company as G-Force records). This is a super fun ride that any coaster fan will want to immediately ride again. Keep your head firmly against the head rest at the start and then enjoy the ride (and the music).

France Pavilion at World Showcase, Epcot.

France Pavilion at World Showcase, Epcot.

World Showcase: Walt Around the World (Epcot)

I’ll never forget the first time that I walked the “streets” of World Showcase when it first opened in 1982. It was so very cool to see the scale model replica of the Eiffel Tower, the stunning Japanese pogodas and everything else that created a very realistic and authentic feel to this global community micro community. Part of the fun is taking photos here that can fool you friends into thinking that you really are in Morocco, the UK, China, Germany or Mexico (you get the idea). If you can get just the right shot without crowds, it’s very doable. All in all, however, there is really nothing else like this opportunity to visit countries from around the work in well-crafted surroundings and speak to actual citizens of these respective places. In a world that is in need of more human global contact, World Showcase at Epcot is an excellent experience for kids of all ages.

Tower of Terror Reception Chamber

Inside the Hollywood Tower Hotel, Disney’s Tower of Terror.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

When Disney’s Tower of Terror first opened in July 1994, the experience was pretty fun for those who like to lose their stomach on a ride. Over the years, however, the random nature of the dropping effect in the Hollywood Tower Hotel has improved the ride dramatically, as you never really know how the sequence will go each time you ride. It’s always a new, unexpected and terrifying surprise! Couple that with the Twilight Zone theming, the amazing Imagineering, a creepy backstory and the fact that it’s all in the dark, and you have an experience that you simply cannot miss if you like thrill rides of a different kind.

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As a Luxury Travel Blogger and author of The Very Best of Walt Disney World Resort, I blog regularly about Walt Disney World vacations and other Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
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