My Favorite Disney Parks Attractions

I consider myself blessed and privileged to have been able to travel to all 5 Disney resorts and all 11 parks around the world.  So, I thought I'd share my favorite attraction at each of the Disney Parks.  The order is organized by resort rather than some hierarchical order of preference.  Also, please note that this list does not include shows and character locations.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
1) "it's a small world"
Disneyland (Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA)
My favorite attraction at Disneyland also happens to be my favorite attraction of all time - "it's a small world."  Now, this attraction exists at every one of the "Magic Kingdom" parks, but the one at Disneyland, to me, is the best and nobody will ever convince me otherwise. Like Disneyland is the only park where you can actually feel the presence of Walt Disney, Disneyland's "it's a small world," to me, is the only one where you can feel Mary Blair who's art work inspired the scenes within the attraction.  To me, riding this attraction is like experiencing a living piece of art.  And, while many people find the Sherman Brother's musical tribute to all nations (but mostly America...LOL...just kidding) is annoying, it is actually one of my favorite Disney tunes and I do not tire listening to it on the ride.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
2) Radiator Springs Racers
Disney California Adventure (Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA)
I struggled with this one as I thought it sounded too obvious, but, truth be told, Radiator Springs Racers truly is my favorite attraction at Disney California Adventure mainly because of the ride through the gorgeous Ornament Valley...and, interestingly enough, watching Mater talk.  I don't know why, but I cannot stop staring at Mater's mouth when he talks.  I think it's utterly amazing and so expressive.  I wish they had animated the mouths of all the Cars in that way.  But, getting back to the Ornament Valley, it is just breathtakingly stunning.  I remember the first time I saw it and my jaw dropping.  And, to this day, I still feel that way.  The combination of dark ride and thrill ride just makes this number one in my book!

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
3) Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL)
Yes...it is true.  The PeopleMover is absolutely my FAVORITE attraction at the Magic Kingdom.  It may be a simple choice, but it's an attraction that I truly miss at Disneyland and, every time I go to the Magic Kingdom, I must ride it.  I love it because it's so relaxing and you great fantastic views of Tomorrowland.  And, you get to see early architectural models for Epcot and Space Mountain.  I just love it.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
4) Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Epcot (Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL)
If I was visiting 1980s Epcot (or should I say EPCOT Center), my favorite attraction would have most likely been either Journey Into Imagination or Horizons.  But, it's not the 1980s and things have changed.  So, my favorite attraction is now Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros at the Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase.  Truth be told, I also loved the previous attraction El Rio del Tiempo.  But, for me, adding The Three Caballeros, who are three of my favorite Disney characters, just adds a level of whimsical quality to it.  I just enjoy riding it and can do it multiple times on one visit.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
5) The Great Movie Ride
Disney's Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL)
While this attraction could definitely use an upgrade in audio-animatronics as well as updates to the film montage at the end, I just love this attraction.  And, to me, it is what Disney's Hollywood Studios is supposed to be about - the movies.  It's also a unique attraction that not only includes audio-animatronics, but a live show of sorts involving cast members and actors. I like the fact that there are different interactive scenes so you can sometimes see something a little different when you ride.  I think it's fun and it's a must ride for me every time I go.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
6) Maharajah Jungle Trek
Disney's Animal Kingdom (Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL)
While the Kilamanjaro Safaris might be the jewel of the park and Expedition Everest might be one of the biggest thrill rides at Walt Disney World, my absolutely favorite attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom is the Maharajah Jungle Trek.  It has to also be one of my favorite places at any of the Disney Resorts.  I just love the theming along the Trek.  I feel as if you're just walking along some ancient ruin in Asia, spotting live animals from afar.  And, I love the fact that you can do this at your leisure and enjoy the animals...something I feel you can't always get on the Kilamanjaro Safaris.  And, the other big reason this is one of my favorites.  I have this love of bats and the Malayan Flying Foxes are just fantastic to look at.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
7) Pooh's Hunny Hunt
Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan)
I had always heard that Pooh's Hunny Hunt was an E-Ticket attraction at Tokyo Disneyland, but just couldn't wrap my head around it.  My only knowledge of the ride was "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom and Hong Kong Disneyland.  But, Pooh's Hunny Hunt really is an E-Ticket attraction with its trackless vehicle system taking you on a ride through the Hundred Acre Wood in a way you never had before.  You whirl around on a blustery day, hop with tigger and twist and turn in Pooh's nightmare of Heffalumps and Woozles.  It's just a joy to ride!

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
8) Sinbad's Storybook Voyage
Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan)
While Tokyo DisneySea is an absolute wonder in theming and attractions, my favorite is a simple dark ride in the Arabian Coast section called Sinbad's Storybook Voyage.  Some people have described it as a cross between "it's a small world" and Pirates of the Caribbean.  I just think it's an enjoyable ride in which you can take in and enjoy all the scenes.  The song, which was composed by Disney Legend Alan Menken, is also very catchy.  And, I absolutely fell in love with Chandu, Sinbad's baby tiger.  I wish I had picked up more Chandu merchandise while I was there!

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
9) Phantom Manor
Disneyland Parc (Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France)
When I first went to Disneyland Paris, I fully expected to hate Phantom Manor.  I knew that Europeans don't necessarily identify with the whimsical nature of the Haunted Mansion and that they had changed many of the scenes.  So, imagine my surprise when I rode it and absolutely loved it.  First, I'm glad that since they did change it so much that they gave it its own name of Phantom Manor rather than just sticking the Haunted Mansion name on it.  I love the fact that it isn't just in Frontierland just to put it there, but is an integral part of the land's story.  And, I love the fact that the Bride (Melanie Ravenswood in this version) appears throughout the ride.  Just a wonderful attraction that I must ride several times while I'm at Disneyland Paris!

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
10) Crush's Coaster
Walt Disney Studios (Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée, France)
My favorite attraction at Walt Disney Studios is also the one that makes me the most dizzy.  But, I absolutely love Crush's Coaster because you really do feel like you're riding along the East Australian Current.  Like Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure, it's part dark ride and part thrill ride.  But. unlike Radiator Springs Racers, it does both the dark ride and thrill ride at the same time.  The coaster not only twists and turns, but spins to dizzying affect.

Photo: © Loren R. Javier
11) Mystic Manor
Hong Kong Disneyland (Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China)
When I was last in Hong Kong, I was lucky enough to attend a special sneak peek of Mystic Point, the new land at Hong Kong Disneyland.  As part of this, we got a chance to ride Mystic Manor and I fell in love with this attraction.  I've only rode it once, but it is definitely one of my favorite attractions at any of the Disney Parks around the world.  To call it Hong Kong Disneyland's version of the Haunted Mansion really does it a disservice because, first of all, it's not a haunted mansion.  The story revolves around Albert, Lord Henry Mystic's pet monkey, opening up a magical music box that turns Lord Mystic's artwork and other collected artifacts to life.  Like Pooh's Hunny Hunt, Mystic Manor uses a trackless vehicle system and you move around the manor in such a fun and magical way.  It's absolutely incredible!

Comments

  1. Oh, interesting! Hmm... Wonder what mine would be... I'd have to really put a lot of thought into it as some things are really hard to decide between!

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    Replies
    1. I know! It was for me. Disneyland was easy because, as you know, "it's a small world" there is my favorite attraction, but some of the other parks were really hard.

      Tokyo DisneySea, the Tower of Terror would have probably beat Sinbad if it weren't for the shoulder belts on the ride. The shoulder belts unfortunately detract from what I otherwise think is the coolest of the Tower of Terrors in terms of pre-show and theming.

      At Disney California Adventure, I also really love the Tower of Terror which is one of my favorite attractions, but, when I sat down and thought about it, Radiator Springs Racers really scored as my favorite.

      Disneyland Paris was really hard because there are so many attractions I love there. But, when I think about the one attraction that pops in my head as the one I hope to go on that day, it's always Phantom Manor.

      So, I really went by gut instinct in most cases.

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