12 Best Magic Kingdom Rides for Adults at Disney World (2022)

12 Best Magic Kingdom Rides for Adults at Disney World (2022)
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Are you planning an adults-only Disney World trip and wondering if you should bother going to the Magic Kingdom?

I get it. After all, it has a reputation for being the most kid-friendly Disney park. Maybe you’re wondering if you’d be bored — or worse, embarrassed.

Well, I’m here to tell you — don’t avoid Magic Kingdom, even if you have kids coming along with you. There are plenty of great rides that you will love.

In this post you’ll learn about 12 of our favorite Magic Kingdom rides & attractions that are adult-friendly — plus one bonus ride that’s due to arrive in Spring of 2023.

(I should add that I think there is only one ride at the Magic Kingdom that adults should skip altogether — The Barnstormer in Storybook Circus. Other than that, I think adults can enjoy all the attractions. But these 12 are the ones I would recommend the most.)

 

 

Splash Mountain

Location: Frontierland
Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Photo courtesy of Laurie at Pics From the World of Disney

If I had to pick our family’s number one ride over the years (and definitely one of my personal favorites), it would be Splash Mountain.

One of the things I like about this ride (other than the fact that it’s a great way to cool off) is that it always feels like two rides in one for me. The first part is just happy and pleasant, riding around while you see animatronic animals singing and frolicking. Then all the end it turns into a thrill ride, when your log flume goes down a 50-foot drop at a 45-degree angle at 40 miles an hour.

The big question with Splash Mountain is always, “Do you get really wet?” (or variations to this, like, “Where can you sit so that you don’t get as wet?”

The answer: “You might, but you might not, and there’s no way to know.” I guess that’s part of what makes the ride fun.

If the idea of getting really wet doesn’t appeal to you for whatever reason, you might want to wear a poncho, or at least pack extra socks. And I wouldn’t recommend riding within the first couple hours in the morning, if for no other reason than you want to get good and hot first.

In June 2020 it was announced that Splash Mountain would be reimagined to a Princess and the Frog theme — which my family was not too happy about, since we’re all pretty nostalgic about the Splash Mountain that we know and love.

I mean, I’m sure the new version of the ride will be nice. (The photos I’ve seen of the model look lovely.) But … well, you know how it is. There’s a small part of me that still misses Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

At the time of this writing, Splash is assumed to go down for renovations in January 2023, and the new ride will be named Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

 

Big Thunder Mountain

Location: Frontierland
Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

Big Thunder Railroad Mountain in Magic Kindgom
Photo courtesy of Brett at Disney Photo Snapper

This ride os a very close second to being our family’s favorite, which is convenient because these two rides are right next to each other.

This runaway mine train themed roller coaster, which travels at 35 miles per hour and boasts itself as being “The Wildest ride in the Wilderness,” is kind of the “Goldilocks” of roller coasters: not too mild, not too hurl-inducing, just right.

There are spirals and tunnels and big drops, but it doesn’t go upside down (like Rock n Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios) or go backwards (like Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom), nor does it cause my extremely-prone-to-motion-sickness-husband any physical distress.

 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Location: Fantasyland
Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Lightning Lane

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom
Photo courtesy of Laurie at Pics from the World of Disney

The first time we rode this, one of my daughters said it was disappointing. I think that was for two reasons: 1) Expectations were high and the line was long; 2) As roller coasters go, it’s not super intense.

This ride has a speed of 34 miles per hour (just a tiny shade slower than Big Thunder Mountain Railroad) and it features what’s called a “tilting vehicle” which is supposed to simulate the swaying and tipping of a mine cart.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a pretty cool interactive queue that includes a gem-sorting game and “musical spigots.”

This might all make it sound like kiddie ride, but I definitely don’t think it’s one that adults should skip. It is a real roller coaster, albeit a fairly mild one (and supposedly there are some adults that prefer those kinds of roller coasters). Plus you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy either the queue or the slow part of the ride where you go inside the mine.

This is definitely a ride where it’s good to have a game plan — for example, arrive before rope drop and make a beeline for it the second you can enter the park.

Another option is to ride it at night while other guests are focusing on the parade and/or fireworks. (This is definitely a ride that is more impressive after dark.) One time we rode this at night and just as we were approaching the crest of a hill, fireworks went off, which was an amazing experience.

 

Haunted Mansion

Location: Liberty Square
Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom
Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Parks Photographer

This is a spooky-in-a-fun-way dark ride where you travel in “Doom Buggies” that move along a conveyor belt. It was one of the Opening Day attraction on October 1, 1971, so if nothing else, that makes it a must-ride.

The attention to detail is fantastic, both inside and outside of the attraction. Oh, and make sure you ask each of the cast members what the name of their bat is.

 

Space Mountain

Location: Tomorrowland
Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Lightning Lane

Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom
Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Photography

I remember when I was a kid, Space Mountain was the big, scary, huge deal ride at Disney World (that my mother did not let me ride, which made it even more appealing and wonderful.) It was a roller coaster in space! A roller coaster in the dark! Whoah!

Now Space Mountain seems more quaint and nostalgic than it does futuristic and daring. But it’s a classic ride, that’s for sure, and a must-ride unless you hate roller coasters.

The thing that’s funny about Space Mountain (and I didn’t even know this until after I finally did get to ride it as an adult) is that it’s basically a fairly slow “Wild Mouse” style roller coaster. It goes only 27 miles an hour, which is slower than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train … which doesn’t seem right, but it is. It’s just the sounds and lights and the fact that you can’t see where the heck you’re going that makes it kind of scary.

 

Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

Location: Tomorrowland
Genie+ or Lightning Lane: No

omorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Parks Photographer

I first rode this as a kid back when it was called the WEDway People Mover. (I still do, and always will, think of it as the WedWay People Mover, both because I think it’s cooler name and because I can’t exactly remember it’s correct current name.)

This is kind of a love-it-or-hate-it ride. Some people probably don’t even know it exists (maybe because it’s got such a convoluted and un-memorable name).

Those that do might think it’s boring, or a ride for older people. After all, it’s a 16-minute elevated tour of Tomorrowland, moving at 7 miles an hour. That doesn’t even sound like a real ride.

However, the people who love it, really love it. (And no, they’re not necessarily “old people.”)

Why People Love the WEDWay People Mover:

  • You get to see the inside of both Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • If you time it right, you can get a good view of the sunset or fireworks
  • You can get some good photos, especially at Christmas time
  • There’s never a line
  • It’s air conditioned
  • If you’re finished riding and ask to ride again, you often, if the ride isn’t completely full. I’ve heard of people riding it for like a half hour straight, just enjoying the chance the relax.
  •  

    Lame Rides at Disney World — The People Mover

    Here’s a clip from one of my favorite YouTubers explaining why the People Mover is awesome:

     

    Pirates of the Caribbean

    Location: Adventureland
    Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

    Pirates of Carribean at Disney World
    Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Parks Photographer

    This is a dark ride (an island cruise, if you will) that takes you on a tour of a pirate raid on an island settlement. It features the song “Yo Ho/A Pirate’s Life for Me.”

    I think this is the only ride that inspired a good movie, and of course Captain Jack Sparrow was added to the ride in 2006.

     

    Jungle Cruise

    Location: Adventureland
    Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

    Jungle Cruise in Disney World Magic Kingdom
    Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Parks Photographer

    Okay, so it turns out that Jungle Cruise also inspired a movie, although a considerably less-memorable one than Pirates of the Caribbean.

    But talk about a classic attraction — the Disneyland version in California dates all the way back to 1955.

    This is an outdoor attraction, with the idea is that you’re taken down the Amazon River by the fictional company The Jungle Navigation Co. You’ll see animatronic animals such as giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles, vultures, and zebras.

    This is another ride that is better if you ride it at night. It’s also better if your tour guide has a lot of personality and interacts with the guests, as opposed to one who just seems to be reciting the corny jokes as part of a script.

     

    Peter Pan’s Flight

    Location: Fantasyland
    Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

    Peter Pans Flight Disney World
    Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Parks Photographer

    I hesitated before including Peter Pan’s Flight on this list, because it is kind of a “kiddie ride,” but it’s a really cool one, and an iconic one. Where else can you sail through the night time sky over London? Plus the “new” indoor queue (updated in 2014) made to look like the Darling’s house, is pretty neat. (Which is good, because the line can be very long.)

    This is another classic ride, dating back to 1971 in the Magic Kingdom and 1955 in the original Disneyland version.

     

    Enchanted Tiki Room

    Location: Adventureland
    Genie+ or Lightning Lane: No

    Enchanted Tiki Room in Magic Kingdom
    Photo courtesy of Brett at Disney Photo Snapper

    My husband and I have somewhat different ride preferences. I like rides that spin me around and go backwards and upside down and make me shriek in terror, while he gravitates toward rides where you sit still and look at interesting stuff. (Which is why two of his favorite rides are Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.)

    So The Enchanted Tiki Room is a ride — well, an attraction, really — that he likes a lot but that I would forget even exists.

    I don’t dislike it. It just doesn’t occur to me to fit it into our itinerary.

    This is another Opening Day attraction, though, so that makes it special. And how could anyone criticize a show that features singing, joking [mechanical] parrots, accompanied by plants and other birds?

     

    Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

    Location: Fantasyland
    Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

    Journey of the Little Mermaid at Disney World
    Photo courtesy of Judd Helms Disney Parks Photography

    This is another one that my husband likes a lot. It has pretty interesting and unique exterior and queue, and the line isn’t typically very long.

    Don’t confuse this with Voyage of the Little Mermaid, which is (but probably is about to become “was”) a live show in Hollywood Studios.

    The Magic Kingdom attraction is a ride on a clamshell vehicle that takes you through scenes retelling the story of the Little Mermaid.

     

    Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

    Location: Tomorrowland
    Genie+ or Lightning Lane: Genie+

    Buzz Lightyear space ranger spin
    Photo courtesy of Brett at Disney Photo Snapper

    This is an indoor attraction where you and Buzz both try to save the universe from the evil Emperor Zurg by spinning your car and shooting simulated laser cannons at Zurg and his minions.

    I’ve only ridden this ride once, and the entire time I was going, “Wait, what … how do I … wait, what ….???” But I do the same thing when I try to play video games with my son, so it’s not the ride’s fault.

    If you want to be more prepared than I was, you can check out some tips for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin here.

    Some people love this ride and go on it again and again, trying to beat their last score.

     

    Coming Soon: Tron Lightcycle Run

    I’m not sure why Disney decided to do a ride based on … Tron, which is a movie hardly anybody saw and fewer people remember, but … okay. I’m never going to complain about a new roller coaster.

    Construction for Tron began in Tomororrowland 2018, was paused for obvious reasons, and at the time of this writing is expected to open in Spring of 2023.

    A Tron ride already exists in Shanghai Disney. This video can give you an idea what to expect in the Magic Kingdom version:

    Tron Coaster — Shanghai Disney

     

    Related FAQs

    What is the Best Disney Park for Adults?

    It depends on what you’re looking for. If you like the idea of walking, drinking, and taking in different cultures, Epcot. If you want great thrill rides, Hollywood Studios.

     

    Is Disney World a good vacation for adults?

    Absolutely! I once went with one of my best friends and we had a blast. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. We enjoyed both the “kid rides” and more “adult” rides, ate great food, visited different resorts, and had a ton of fun meeting characters.

     

    What is the best day of the week to go to Magic Kingdom?

    Tuesday appears to be the day that tends to have the lowest crowds. The people who stayed and took a long weekend are gone, and the crowd for the next weekend hasn’t arrived yet.

     

    Why do adults like Disney World?

    Personally, what I love is:

    • Being in a place where everyone, especially kids, are so happy
    • The detail and theming of the parks & rides
    • The interesting variety of restaurants
    • Having fun and joking around with the characters

     

    What do you call an adult who loves Disney?

    In January 2020, when a Reddit post titled, “Disney adults are worse than any other ‘cringe’ group of people” was published, “Disney adult” became a common term. It often has a negative implication when used to refer to other people, although many adult Disney fans wear the term proudly.

     

    Do adults go to Disney without kids?

    Yes, all the time. In fact, plenty of people go there for their honeymoon. And why not? Adults like to have fun, see shows, watch fireworks and parades, ride roller coasters, eat ice cream, go to the pool, and shop for cool souvenirs as much as anyone else. Not to mention the upscale restaurants and bars.

    12 Disney World Rides for Adults

     

    12 Magic Kingdom Rides for Adults

     

    Magic Kingdom Rides for Adults



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