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 group consists of these Disney Parent Panelists:
@disenchanted.dad & @dismoms,
and yours truly @dadventuredisney.
You can also follow our joint account – @DisneyParentsPanel!
Our topic this week: Top 10 Favorite Disney Parks Lower Wait Attractions
Any Disney trip is usually full of waiting around. It’s just an inescapable part of the visit. However, if you use your FastPass selections well and use some of the tips below, you can have a fun filled day, nonetheless.
Now, let it be known that on very busy weeks, there are going to be long lines and wait times for pretty much every thing in the parks. However, for a lot of the year, there are some rides, shows and attractions that you can get into relatively easily.
That’s what this list is all about. The 12 participating panelists this week came up with over 40 different things you can do in a ‘sort of’ quick way. That’s a LOT in Disney time! We put them all together, ran our DPP points system rankings and compiled our Top 10 listed below, for you.
Take a look at our list and take some notes for your next trip. OR tell us what me missed, or what should be ranked higher/lower. What are you favorites? Hit the comments after the list and let’s get the discussion going.
Tough To Be A Bug
Top 10 Score: 1.67, nominated on 5 ballots.
We miss Bug’s Land in Disney California Adventure, but at least we can still go inside the Tree of Life at Disney World to say hi to Flik and his friends.
Disney: Become an honorary insect as you take your seat in the theater hidden at the base of the Tree of Life and don a pair of “bug eye” glasses. Enjoy a delightful 3D movie and live show hosted by Flik, the loveable ant from A Bug’s Life, and learn how insects survive in the wild.
During the show, dodge flying quills from a tarantula, feel a harmless spray from a soldier termite and sniff the putrid “defense stench” from a stink bug.
When Hopper—the grasshopper villain from A Bug’s Life—unexpectedly shows up, the theater goes bug-wild!
The moral of the story? It really is tough to be a bug. With dazzling 3D movie effects, Audio-Animatronics figures and in-theater 4D surprises, this is one show you’ll be buzzing about for a long time.
This 4-D adventure is great fun, however a word of caution, the 4 part of 4-D indicates there are physical parts of the show – water sprays, air blasts, strong smells, loud noises and even the grand finale of feeling bugs under your bum! For the really littles or skittish older kids (and adults) this can be a bit of a ‘startle’ for them, but overall it’s very fun!
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Top 10 Score: 1.75, nominated on 4 ballots.
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!
This fun ride does have some dark moments, but even the little kids think it’s ok as Figment jumps in and out. This ride drops you off right into some interactive games and a few Character Meets, too. A fun way to spend some valuable A/C time out of the sun.
Disneyland & Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 1.75, nominated on 5 ballots.
Disney World: Listen to the clamor of the engine, the chug of the wheels and the call of the whistle as you travel aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Take your seat on 1 of 4 meticulously restored, vintage narrow-gauge steam trains—originally built between 1916 and 1928—and enjoy a relaxing 20-minute, 1.5-mile scenic round-trip tour.
It’s a convenient—and nostalgic—way to get around Magic Kingdom park!
Disneyland: Steam along the banks of the Rivers of America and behold rugged landscapes inspired by 4 of America’s majestic rivers: the Mississippi, the Columbia, the Missouri and the Rio Grande. Each are carefully recreated, complete with indigenous rock formations, wildlife and picturesque waterfalls.
Between the Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A. stations, a special treat awaits! See Walt Disney’s legendary dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World – Land of the Dinosaurs, where you’ll encounter a thrilling prehistoric land of towering Audio-Animatronics dinosaurs come to life.
There is rarely a wait to get on board and ride the rails. At Disney World there are stops at Main Street USA, Frontierland and Fantasyland. At Disneyland the stops are Main Street, New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toon Town and Tomorrowland.
Be warned, the railroad at Magic Kingdom is currently closed due to the new Tron Coaster coming some time in 2021.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Walt Disney World | Disneyland
Top 10 Score: 2.75, nominated on 6 ballots.
Disney: An extravagant feast for your eyes and ears, this theater-in-the-round show invites you to experience the beauty and magic of the Pacific Islands.
Take your seat in an air-conditioned ceremonial house in the heart of Polynesia. As the lights dim, 4 talking macaws spring to life. Before long, the chorus of crooning birds is joined by an enchanting cast of over 225 choreographed Audio-Animatronics performers.
Sing along and enjoy the magic of this jubilant Disney classic!
This show is classic Disney goodness. Fun to watch and a song that never leaves your ears. Our only warning is the thunder storm that comes during the show. Some smaller kids may have a less than desirable reaction to it. So, let them know before hand and point out how the windows and water and everything else there is fake but looks so cool!
it’s a small world
Disneyland | Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 2.83, nominated on 6 ballots.
Disney: Sing along to the classic anthem of world peace during a delightful musical boat tour. Cruise along the Seven Seaways Waterway on a gentle 10-minute journey through all 7 continents. Pass through vivid, fantastical scenes representing the iconic sights and sounds of dozens of nations.
Behold a cast of dancing darlings from nearly every corner of the globe and watch as the Audio-Animatronics figures achieve universal harmony as they sing one song in many languages.
By journey’s end, Walt Disney’s simple message is clear: it truly is a small world after all!
Talk about a song that never leaves your ears… this is our only warning for this classic ride. You WILL be singing, whistling, humming this song all day long.
That being said, this is a GREAT introduction to your littles for a first time dark ride – not a thing scary about it.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Top 10 Score: 3.17, nominated on 6 ballots.
Disney: Board a “clamobile” and descend slowly below the waves, where Nemo’s friends flit through brightly colored coral reefs and gently swaying anemones. Dodge stinging jellyfish, underwater mines, a toothy anglerfish and an even toothier Bruce the shark.
Catch a ride on the righteous East Australian Current with Crush the sea turtle and his little dude, Squirt. But where’s Nemo?
Just keep swimming til you find him!
This ride through an aquarium in Epcot was fun before Finding Nemo came out.
And it’s got that extra Disney touch now that Nemo and his friends are sprinkled throughout the exhibits too.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Top 10 Score: 3.75, nominated on 6 ballots. 3 first place votes.
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 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.
Ok, I know – you’re tired of us talking about the joys of the PeopleMover, seems to make every one of our lists, but we LOVE it! VERY VERY rarely a line and it’s a nice long ride to just have time to sit.
As always – we warn you of a VERY dark section of the ride as it rolls through Space Mountain. Sometimes, it can be PITCH BLACK in there. Warn the littles in advance.
Living With The Land
Top 10 Score: 3.92, nominated on 6 ballots. 2 first place votes.
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.
This long boat ride in the air conditioning should be on everyone’s must do list at Epcot. Not only do you get to see some of the innovations Disney is making in farming and food production, but you get to have a better respect for what farmers go through around the world. Fun AND educational – best of both worlds.
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Top 10 Score: 4.50, nominated on 7 ballots. 2 first place votes.
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.
Have a bit of a wait to eat at San Angel Inn Restaurante inside the Mexico pyramid? Jump on this ride, which usually has a low wait time – and is FUN! Donald Duck is always a good time – right?
The Little Mermaid Ride
Magic Kingdom | Disneyland
Top 10 Score: 4.67, nominated on 9 ballots. 1 first place vote.
At Disney World it’s Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid and at Disneyland it’s The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Disney: Revisit the classic “tail” of how one lucky little mermaid found true love… and legs.
Your underwater adventure takes you below the waves on a tour of Ariel’s gadget-filled grotto. Immersive special effects and hand-drawn animation sequences recreate each unforgettable scene. Watch Sebastian the crab conduct every singing, dancing fish in the sea. Skulk past a sinister eel-infested lair, and then cheer as Prince Eric kisses the girl.
Spot Ariel’s friends Flounder and Scuttle, her father King Triton—and Ursula the sea witch, who looms 7.5 feet tall and 12 feet wide!
Emerge from the ocean’s depths in time to celebrate Ariel’s happily ever after in a spectacular fairytale finale.
It’s pretty much the same ride in both parks, not sure why they change the names, but both are fun! Families with little kids LOVE this ride and every little princess adores riding through the movie’s iconic songs with fun animatronic figures – even the giant Ursula is fun to sing along with.
There were many more ideas on our list. Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, The Mad Tea Party, The Barnstormer, The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Mission to Space (the green side) and more.
18 votes happened in Magic Kingdom, 10 were in Epcot. 6 at Hollywood Studios while 4 are in Animal Kingdom. Disneyland and California Adventure had a handful too and share in many with the Florida park.
What rides or attractions do you fill in the wait times on your Disney trip? Which rides are you always surprised to get on without much of a wait? Are you over us talking about the PeopleMover?
Keith & the Disney Parents Panel