DO or DON’T: Disney’s Least Popular Attractions

in Walt Disney World

Alien Swirling Saucers with a red "X" over it and Mission: SPACE with a green check over it

Credit: Disney

Several rides, shows, and attractions at Walt Disney World are considered the pinnacle of Theme Park entertainment. From beloved classics like Space Mountain to new technological marvels like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Guests run to these attractions at rope drop to experience the best of what Disney has to offer, and as they’re strapped in to their ride vehicle, their heart flutters, and they know they’re about to make cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

And then… there’s attractions like TriceraTop Spin.

A family riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant at the Magic Kingdom.
Credit: Disney

It’s no secret that not every Disney attraction is a hit. Some attractions, for a multitude of reasons, just don’t resonate with Guests like others do. Additionally, with so much to do at Walt Disney World, there isn’t time for everything in one trip, and nothing can be more disappointing than missing out on a favorite ride because you were stuck on line for something that didn’t end up being worth it. But if you’re going for the first time, how do you know which ones to hit and which to skip? What do you spend your Genie+ and Lightning Lane on? And are these attractions hidden gems or simply lackluster?

Let’s look at some of the most unpopular and controversial attractions at each Disney Park and decide if your party should rope drop it or save it for another trip.

The Magic Kingdom

Astro Orbiter at the Magic Kingdom at night
Credit: Disney

Astro Orbiter

This Tomorrowland staple looks impressive when you first enter the land, soaring above everything else, but often has a hefty wait time due to the ride’s low capacity and slow loading process. The experience is a tall spinner ride that takes Guests on a rocket ship tour of Tomorrowland, offering pretty views but not a super unique experience.

DO this attraction if:

  • You want a unique view of the fireworks at nighttime. Riding this during the show gives a great view, but you can also get the same view on the People Mover.
  • You love spinner rides. This one offers a slightly different experience than the other two in the Park due to its height.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re okay with riding just one spinner ride. Save that for a more classic attraction like Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
  • You’re afraid of heights. This is a very tall ride, and the cars tilt slightly inward, giving a less-than-secure sensation.
  • You want to get on and off quickly. You will almost always wait at least 30 minutes for this two-minute attraction.
Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square
Credit: Disney

The Hall of Presidents

This is another Magic Kingdom opening day attraction. Located in Liberty Square, it’s another great piece of Disney history, but many Theme Park-goers prefer to use it for a nice nap.

DO this attraction if:

  • You’re interested in Disney & American history. This attraction features a copy of the Abraham Lincoln animatronic from the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Those interested in American history or politics will also surely enjoy this show.
  • You want to take a long rest. The 25 minute show is in a dark, air conditioned theater and is an excellent place to “rest your eyes.”

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You have small children in your party. Your little ones will likely have difficulty sitting through this long, historically dense show.
  • You’re not interested in history. If you didn’t come to the Magic Kingdom to learn, you won’t find much to enjoy here.
The Swiss Family Treehouse at the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Swiss Family Treehouse

Another opening day attraction, this walk-through sits at the front of Adventureland and pays tribute to the 1960 film of the same name. Many Guests pass by it without even knowing it’s there.

DO this attraction if:

  • You have restless kiddos who want to climb. If you don’t want them getting wet at Casey Jr’s Splash and Soak or take the time to travel all the way to Tom Sawyer’s Island, this is a good alternative.
  • You want a unique view of the Magic Kingdom. The treehouse takes you six stories up and gives you a 360 view of the Park.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re not ready to climb. Like we said, the attraction is six stories tall and requires climbing 116 stairs. No strollers, ECVs, or wheelchairs can be brought on.
  • You’re unfamiliar with the movie. If you don’t enjoy the movie, besides the view, there’s not much to be offered here.

EPCOT

The Canada Pavilion Carved Totem Poles at Twilight
Credit: D23

Canada Far and Wide, Impressions de France, and Reflections of China

Several pavilions in The World Showcase offer short films as a brief tour of the country’s scenery and culture, namely Canada, France, and China. The shows in Canada and China are presented in “Circle-vision,” meaning the screen completely surrounds the theater.

DO these attractions if:

  • You’re interested in learning about the countries. These are some of the most educational experiences in EPCOT.
  • You want a break from the heat. Any film or show can offer a nice indoor break from the Florida sun.

SKIP these attractions if:

  • You have small children. These are more grown-up films that many children will find boring and hard to sit still during.
  • You want to sit. While Impressions de France is seated, both Reflections of China and Canda Far and wide are standing room only, and that might not feel great on tired feet.
  • You’re easily prone to motion sickness. Some Guests who experience motion sickness find the Circle-vision of Canada and China’s films a little dizzying.
Topiaries of Cogsworth and Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast in EPCOT
Credit: Disney

The Other Movies: Awesome Planet & Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Two other film attractions are offered: Awesome Planet in The Land pavilion and the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in the France pavilion.

DO these attractions if:

  • You love nature. Awesome Planet offers stunning footage of global ecosystems and the wonders of nature.
  • You or your children love Beauty and the Beast (1991). Children will enjoy singing along to songs from one of their favorite Disney movies. The attraction also features a walkthrough exhibit featuring the costumes from the live action film.

SKIP these attractions if:

  • You want a unique experience. Awesome Planet is similar to anything you’d see on the Discovery Channel, and the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along is straight out of the movie. For a more dazzling Beauty and the Beast show, try Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
living with the land
Credit: Disney

Living With the Land

This boat ride inside The Land pavilion teaches Guests about the wonders of agriculture and ecosystems, and Gives them a unique backstage tour of EPCOT’s greenhouse.

DO this attraction if:

  • You want a backstage tour. The greenhouse portion of Living With the Land is its shining star, offering Guests a look at the actual gardening and farming done to grow food for Disney’s restaurants.
  • You want a peaceful break. The ride’s run time is around 15 minutes, and offers a very peaceful, quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the Park.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re looking for familiar characters and IPs. You won’t find them on Living With the Land, making the experience potentially a bit boring for young children.
The interior of Mission: SPACE
Credit: Disney

Mission: SPACE

This simulator attraction gives Guests a taste of real astronaut training and provides two options; a thrilling mission to Mars or a gentler orbit around Earth.

DO this attraction if:

  • You’re a thrillseeker with an iron stomach. This ride is one of the few non-coaster thrill rides in Walt Disney World, and the experience is truly unique.
  • You enjoy the Gravitron or other similar carnival rides. The Orange Team – More Intense mission offers the same kind of ride motion. The Green Team – Less Intense mission does not spin.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re prone to any motion sickness. This ride has a reputation for making Guests sick. Like, really sick. So sick that they had to tone it down a few years ago. Always err on the side of caution for this one.
  • You’re bothered by enclosed spaces. The simulator vehicles are EXTREMELY tight, with overhead restraints and a control panel mere inches from your face.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

children riding alien swirling saucers at disney world's toy story land
Credit: Disney

Alien Swirling Saucers

This Toy Story Land attraction is the least popular of the three, but with climbing wait times for Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania!, Guests are often more willing to wait for this whip-style attraction.

DO this attraction if:

  • You couldn’t get on Toy Story Mania! or Slinky Dog Dash. This ride’s wait is usually much more reasonable and can offer a nice taste of the land as an alternative.
  • You have children too short for Slinky Dog Dash. This is a great ride to entertain your younger children while you wait for the rest of your party to ride the roller coaster.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re looking for a unique experience. This spinning ride is short and very similar to “Whip” attractions that you can ride at a carnival.
Lightning McQueen on stage at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy, a Disney attraction located in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

This show, tucked in the back of the Park, features an impressive animatronic of racing star Lightning McQueen, but not much else to offer adults or non-Cars (2006) fans.

DO this attraction if:

  • You have Cars fans in your group. This is one of the few places left in Disney World to feature the characters from the film, and any child who loves the movie will surely love this show.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re not a Cars fan. The show offers little else and is a bit out of the way.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

A family watching "It's Tough to be a Bug" with 3D glasses on.
Credit: D23

It’s Tough to be a Bug!

This 3D show is uniquely inside the Tree of Life, and stars Flik, who makes the audience honorary bugs and teaches them about all the different things bugs do for the environment – until Hopper takes over and things go horribly wrong.

DO this attraction if:

  • You’re a fan of A Bug’s Life (1998). This is the only place in Walt Disney World to see characters from the film.
  • You’re looking for a quick experience. The show is only about eight minutes long, and is a good way to pass the time while waiting for a Lightning Lane or dining reservation.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You have easily frightened children in your party. This show has a reputation for being one of the scariest attractions at Walt Disney World. It’s not ‘It’s Tough to be a Bug!’ without hearing a chorus of crying children about five minutes in.
  • You don’t like bugs. Seriously. If you have a bug phobia, steer clear of this show. Black widow spiders, hornets stinging your back, roaches crawling under your seat and feet… it puts the “creepy” in creepy crawlies.

Maharajah Jungle Trek & Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

A gorilla sitting amongst grass and rocks.
Credit: Disney

These two walking trails are in the Asia and Africa sections of the Park, respectively, and offer a closer look at the Park’s animals than you might get on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

DO these attractions if:

  • You’re looking for a more zoo-like experience. The self-guided trails allow you to walk at your own pace and spend as much time as you’d like looking at the animals.
  • You want to see unique animals. You can see many animals on the trails that you can’t see on the Safari ride, like tigers, gorillas, birds, bats, and reptiles.

SKIP these attractions if:

  • You’re on a time crunch. If you’re not spending your entire day at Animal Kingdom, then prioritize the more noteworthy attractions like Expedition Everest and Flight of Passage first. These trails can take a while to walk through.

TriceraTop Spin

The exterior of TriceraTop-spin
Credit: Disney

Located in the carnival-themed Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama, this is a simple, Dinosaur-themed spinner ride.

DO this attraction if:

  • You or your kids love spinner rides. It’s the only one offered in Animal Kingdom.
  • You have small children too short for thrill rides. This ride is located right between Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR, so it’s an excellent alternative for little ones who are too short for either.

SKIP this attraction if:

  • You’re looking for a unique experience. This is a run-of-the-mill spinner ride without any additional bells and whistles. Save it for a Disney classic like Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Remember, don’t let this guide stop you from visiting your favorite attractions. If you want to spend from rope drop to Park close on Living With the Land, DO IT! The best way to do a Disney vacation is doing what you and your party want to do, and what works for one party may not work for yours. Try new things and have fun!

Do you agree with our picks? Let us know!

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