DADventure Disney Top 10 Tuesday – Top 10 Underrated Disney Parks Attractions

Welcome back to DADventure Disney’s round table of some of my favorite Disney Fan Parents on Instagram.

Every week, I work alongside this merry band of Disney fan parents to find our Top 10 favorites in all things Disney. See ALL our lists by clicking HERE!

This week, the Disney Parent Panelists are: @dad_at_disney, @daddingatdisney, @disneybaby4life, @disneyblogmomma, @dismoms, @disenchanted.dad, @disneymagicmam, @disneymommingsohard, @milehighdisneymom, @that_disneyworld_dad, @thediaryofadisneydad, @the_pixie_mom, and yours truly @dadventuredisney.

Our topic this week: Top 10 Underrated Disney Parks Attractions!

With SO much to love about Walt Disney World and Disneyland, there’s going to be things that get overlooked. Rides or shows that people deem not worthy of their precious time. But as true Disney fans, we are here this week to tell you to slow down and check out some great experiences you may be missing!

A few of these are classics from earlier days in the parks. Some are ones that ‘fans’ like to look down on as out-dated or boring. Too all of them we say “HA”! Not to us!

We have 13 of us this week and together we came up with 60 different attractions we believe don’t get enough love.

So, while there is a lot of under the radar fun to be had in the Disney Parks, let’s see what our Disney Parents Panel came up with as our favorites. Remember to hit the comments below to share your thoughts and chime in on the discussion.


Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Epcot
Top 10 Score: 1.46, nominated on 4 of 13 ballots.

Photo: Disney

The Institute’s beleaguered chairman Dr. Nigel Channing (played by Eric Idle) sets out to prove how the 5 senses capture the imagination—but he’s upstaged by the mischievous Figment!

Prepare for surprises galore as you travel through a series of vivid, whimsical sensory labs. Learn about all 5 senses as Figment turns the lab upside down and causes quite a stink in the Smell Lab.

Let your imagination run wild on this marvelous, madcap musical adventure!

The Stats:
Opened June 2002. Dark ride. 7 riders per vehicle. About a 6 minute ride. FastPass eligible. No height restriction. Did you know… Dave Goelz is the voice of Figment. He’s also the voice of Gonzo and Bunsen Honeydew from The Muppets

Why We Love It:
It’s a fun ride! Usually not a long wait. And that song is actually quite catchy. Besides, Figment is still really cute.


Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Animal Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 1.54, nominated on 4 of 13 ballots.

Photo: Disney

Encounter exotic animals as you trek through dense forests and sprawling savannas. Embark on a self-guided tour of the Pangani Forest and experience amazing creatures in their natural habitats—up-close and personal!

Meander along winding paths amid a lush forest trail of African flora and fauna. Spot an adorable meerkat on a rocky perch or an impressive Grevy’s zebra on the savanna—before coming face to face with a gentle troop of western lowland gorillas on a grassy hillside—who are just as curious to see you as you are to see them!

During your hike, snap pictures from convenient observation stations and learn more about the animals you see and Disney’s global conservation efforts to protect them and their habitats.

The Stats:
Starts next to the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Opened in April 1998.

Why We Love It:
You don’t normally get to be THIS close to a HIPPO!


Country Bears Jamboree
Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 1.69, nominated on 3 of 13 ballots. 2 first place votes.

Photo: Disney

Step inside the rustic theater known as Grizzly Hall and take your seat before the lights dim. Clap along as 18 Audio-Animatronics hillbilly bears play and sing during this 16-minute, foot-stompin’ cele-bear-tion. You’ll hear a medley of original and classic tunes—all performed by the zaniest critters in the woods.

Overflowing with humor, heart and a few surprises, this crowd-pleasing show features a down-home, southern sensibility you and your cubs will love.

Country Bear Jamboree is one of the very last attractions that Walt Disney personally helped develop. Originally planned for a never-built Disney ski resort in Mineral King, California, the show with the singing bears happily moved out to Florida in 1971 and has been performing daily at Magic Kingdom park ever since.

The Stats:
Frontierland in Magic Kingdom since it opened in 1971. It was open From March 4, 1972 until September 9, 2001 in Disneyland. It was replaced in Disneyland with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (which also killed off Mr. Toads in Florida). The show runs about 15:55.

Why We Love It:
It’s classic. It was created by Walt himself. The songs are fun and it’s pure Disney. Besides, a lot of times the place is empty.


Muppet Vision 3D
Hollywood Studios
Top 10 Score: 2.00, nominated on 5 of 13 ballots.

Photo: Disney

Take your seat in a perfect replica of the Muppet Theater from the classic television series, The Muppet Show. As the curtain rises, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the whole Muppets menagerie appear in eye-popping 3D. They’re taking you on a zany tour of their lab and showing off their new movie-making invention: Muppet*Vision 3D.

Things go haywire when Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker set a disastrous string of events in motion!

With onscreen musical numbers and live in-theater special effects, it’s a show kids of all ages will love—and guaranteed to bring down the house.
Based on the Original TV Show

Created by the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, The Muppet Show aired from 1976 to 1981 and was an instant hit.

This attraction was a unique collaboration between Jim Henson Productions and Walt Disney Imagineering, including the final released film that was directed by Jim Henson and the last to feature his voice as Kermit the Frog.

The Stats:
3-D Film. 15 minutes show. Theater holds 564 people. FastPass eligible. Debuted in Florida on May 16, 1991. It was at California Adventure from 2001 into 2014 where it was replaced by Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.

Why We Love It:
It’s the Muppets! And Disney is quickly losing all its touches with The Muppets. So, we hold on to this one dearly!


The Barnstormer Starring The Great Goofini
Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 2.00, nominated on 5 of 13 ballots.

Photo: Disney

Make your way to an open-air barn where Goofy—known as The Great Goofini—performs his world-famous aerial stunt show.

Climb aboard a wacky stunt plane and hold on tight as you take to the skies above Fantasyland.

A Staggering Series of Stupendous Stunts
Ascend to the top of a wooden observation tower. Then, brace yourself as you swoop through the busy barnyard, darting and soaring before “landing” safely during the grand finale.

It’s a goofy good time for kids—and aspiring pilots of all ages!

The Stats:
Height Restriction is 35″. Can reach 25 mph. Ride lasts about a minute. FastPass eligible. Debuted as The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm from 1996 – 2011 when it was renamed as it stands today. It was built on the spot of Grandma Duck’s Petting Farm.

Why We Love It:
It’s a fantastic ‘baby step’ for your little ones to get into roller coasters.


Swiss Family Treehouse/Tarzan’s Treehouse
Magic Kingdom & Disneyland
Top 10 Score: 2.62, nominated on 5 of 13 ballots. 1 first place vote.

Photo: Disney

Tour the island abode the Swiss Family Robinson built after they were shipwrecked on a deserted island. Cross a bridge at the foot of a large leafy tree and climb handcrafted wooden stairs. Explore the living quarters of the famous adventurers and discover open-air rooms brimming with a bevy of 19th-century articles salvaged from the wreck.

At the base of the tree, a large wooden wheel gathers water from a stream and a series of ingenious contraptions carry it up to the rooms inside the treehouse.

Those who reach the 6-story-high summit of the treehouse will enjoy 360-degree views of Adventureland and Magic Kingdom park, particularly Jungle Cruise river.

The Stats:
6 Stories of Stairs. The littles may not get to the top. It’s been standing in Orlando since the park opened on Oct. 1, 1971. It opened at Disneyland on November 18, 1962 until it was transformed into Tarzan’s Treehouse on June 23, 1999.

Why We Love It:
Swiss Family Robinson is an favorite old-time Disney classic movie. The tree house in the movie is one kids’ dreams are made of – and they duplicated it here beautifully!


Tommorowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 3.15, nominated on 6 of 13 ballots. 1 first place vote.

Photo: Disney

Board an elevated tram for a leisurely voyage through Tomorrowland. During your narrated tour, go behind the scenes of attractions like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain and Mickey’s Star Traders retail shop. See architectural models of Progress City, the prototype for Epcot.

You’ll enjoy amazing up-close views of the park from a unique vantage point.

Always ahead of its time, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover accelerates magnetically using linear induction motors.

The Stats:
SLOW mover – tops out at 6.84mph. Takes about 10 minutes to make the full track and sits 20 riders per vehicle. It’s been in operation since July 1, 1975.

Why We Love It:
It’s a nice calm ride around Tomorrowland. A perfect way to sit for a bit, not usually with a long line. Riding through Space Mountain is a cool plus.


Living With The Land
Epcot
Top 10 Score: 3.23, nominated on 7 of 13 ballots. 1 first place vote

Photo: Disney

See firsthand how Walt Disney World horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops to help feed a growing planet.

Discover a cornucopia of fruits and veggies from around the world—some modified to jaw-dropping effect. Feast your eyes on edible food crops from around the world. Glimpse hybrid striped bass, tilapia, catfish and freshwater shrimp in our fish farm.

On this eye-opening tour, you’ll be inspired by a hopeful vision of farming’s future.

Enjoy a meal at Sunshine Seasons or the Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land Pavilion, both of which serve fresh produce and seafood grown right here.

The Stats:
Debuted on October 1, 1982. Dark ride with Greenhouse Tour. 1600 riders an hour in 40 person ‘boat’. This is a nice long ride at almost 20 minutes. FastPass eligible.

Why We Love It:
20 minutes in the air conditioning! Also, it’s cool to see the innovations used in farming and food production. Getting to eat the food at Garden Grill after going on the ride is a cool story for the kids to “get” where food really comes from.


Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Epcot (Mexico Pavilion)
Top 10 Score: 5.78, nominated on 8 of 10 ballots. 2 first place votes.

Photo: Disney

Donald’s disappeared south of the border, and it’s up to the other 2 cabarellos from the musical trio—Panchito, the Mexican charro rooster, and José Carioca, the Brazilian parrot—to find him.

Cruise down the Rio Grande on a dark boat ride past some of the most famous sights and cities in Mexico. Is that the missing mallard climbing a Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza?

Hilarity and hijinks ensue as the birds go in hot pursuit of their wayward friend throughout this fun-filled ride for all ages.

Inspired by the 1944 Disney film The Three Caballeros, your adventure comes to life against a backdrop of live-action footage, hand-drawn animation and the jaunty musical score from the movie.

The Stats:
Opened April 6, 2007 after taking over from El Rio del Tiempo. 16 riders in a boat. 1656 riders possible an hour. The ride lasts about 7 minutes. All ages/heights.

Why We Love It:
Not enough Donald-centric stuff in the parks. A fun kids ride in the middle of all the international education of World Showcase. It’s the ride we loved as kids (when it was El Rio del Tiempo) long before Frozen showed up. And, you get to ride through the Cantina – that’s always cool.

[KP note: If you ever want a really funny story from this ride, email me or private message me!]


Tom Sawyer Island
Magic Kingdom & Disneyland
Top 10 Score: 4.62, nominated on 7 of 13 ballots. 3 first place votes.

Photo: Disney

Wander dusty dirt roads lined with tall trees, explore whirling mills and amble across creaky suspension bridges. Navigate narrow passages amid secret mined caves and uncover a frontier fort.

Along the way, follow in the pioneering footsteps of early settlers, during an era when Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer reflected a new nation coming into its own.

To reach the Island, head over to Tom’s Landing and cross the Rivers of America aboard a piloted log raft.

It’s an unforgettable expedition into the heart of the American frontier!

As you explore the island, you’ll find adventure aplenty around every corner. Easy-to-read maps ensure you always know where you are during your island visit.

The Stats:
Debuted in Disneyland on June 16, 1956 and in Orlando on May 20, 1973.

Why We Love It:
It’s self-guided and the littles get to run around some. Add in a lot of pirate feel to the original Tom Sawyer lore and it’s a fun little place.


What else should you find a way to enjoy? Here’s the rest of the list that scored 1.00 or better!

Disney Railroad 1.46
Journey of the Little Mermaid 1.38
Storybook Canals 1.31
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor 1.31
Turtle Talk with Crush 1.23
Carousel of Progress 1.15
Casey Jr. Splash Station 1.08
Tomorrowland Speedway/Autopia 1.00


What did you think of our list? What do you think doesn’t get enough love in the park? Which on our list are you going to try next time? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Thanks for reading and always remember – DADventure is out there!

Cheers,
Keith

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