What are the first Rides You Need to Do in Each Disney World Park?

We all know that Disney is the king of storytelling, and this fact offers us a unique opportunity to experience the best Disney World Rides.

What should be your first ride in each of the Disney World Parks? Top rides to visit for your first experience in each of the Disney Parks are as follows:

  • The Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom

  • The Hollywood Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios


  • Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom Park

Each of these rides is a unique Disney experience offering you total immersion and storytelling that you can't find in any other theme park location around the World. With this in mind, let's take a closer look at the rides and the reasons as to why they fit the ticket to be that go-to ride to start your park-day off on the correct foot.

The Haunted Mansion, The Magic Kingdom Park

To me, this classic dark ride offers you all the scary fun that you demand from a dark ride with a Disney twist. After jumping in your Doom Buggy, you take a tour through the Gracy Mansion. On the way, you see many versions of spectral beings, from a gathering in the dining hall to a musical extravaganza in the cemetery. All this action is set to the iconic song, "Grim Grinning Ghosts."

This tour takes you through many areas of the mansion, from the music room, the stairwell, the dining hall, the attic, and the cemetery. Each of these areas has its own unique story that helps to amuse and immerse you in the story of The Haunted Mansion and its master, Mr. Gracy.

You are introduced to the mansion characters, from the Hitch Hiking Ghosts to the Bride in the Attic to Madam Lolita. You are also offered to join their group as they only have 999 ghosts, and there is always room for one more.

This dark ride was one of the original rides opening with the park back in 1971. The Ride exterior is a fully themed creepy mansion that offers you a glimpse into the ride and its intentions. Even the queue line for this attraction is designed to focus your attention on the ride while helping the time pass quickly until you are seated in your Doom Buggy.

The Hollywood Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios Park

This ride is my all-time favorite Disney Ride. The theming in this ride is to a level that is hard to compare to in any other park. The thrill of this free-fall drop is enough to stop and start anyone's heart.

Here, At the Hollywood Tower Hotel, you will be boarding an express service elevator still in operation to this day. This elevator takes you to a new dimension set in the Twilight Zone Cannon.

The whole experience starts as you enter the ride through the lobby of this now-defunct hotel. The interior is in disrepair and looks the part.

Next, you travel through the library, where you learn the origin story of this once iconic hotel and its reason for ruin. You have an opportunity to meet the inhabitants or victims of the hotel, whatever your point of view.

Finally, you walk through the belly of the beast. Here you meander through the hotel's boiler room, complete with industrial tanks and boilers to put you into the plot of the experience. Here is where you board your ride vehicle with 20 to 30 of your closest friends.

Once in the vehicle, you are then transported to the top of the hotel and then repeatedly dropped, sometimes in a free-fall or sometimes a controlled drop. These drops are all randomly picked by the operating system so that no two rides are the same.

After your ride experience is complete, you exit into the hotel's gift store to purchase ride-themed gifts and clothing based on the ride.


This ride is a hang-gliding experience that will take you to the wonders of the World. This experience was designed by an Imagineer who thought to use his Erector Set to create the ride vehicles. These units are three hang-gliding vehicles that are hosted into the air. Once in the air, you are placed in front of a huge parabolic movie screen.

This specially designed screen increases your level of immersion to a level you have never experienced. This screen then puts you into a glider of your own to traverse the World. You visit terrific locations like the Great Wall Of China, The Pyramids of Egypt, Sydney Australia Harbor, The Taj Mahal, and even the Matterhorn.

This ride shows you the locations in typical Disney fashion and allows you to smell and feel like you see these incredible locations from your glider. You can smell the differences in the air and see the changes in places with your eyes.

This ride will offer you many different views and levels of experience. Overall, the best location that I have found for this ride is the front row of the glider's three rows, which will put you on the screen's top. You will also need to be located in the center column of the three, so you will be in the screen center.

However, almost any location will give you a fantastic view and overall experience. This ride is truly one of the best rides that EPCOT and Disney World Have to offer. While it did originate in the Disney Land Park, this version has set roots in the Land Pavilion above Living With The Land. This ride is not only a must-do in EPCOT, but it is a must-do in Disney World overall.

Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom Park

This ride is at the top of the list because it has done something that no other ride has done within Disney's footprint. Here you will not only be transported to the Africa Serengeti, but you will meet the animals of this location face to face.

Initially, when this ride opened, you were part of the adventure to protect the park from elephant poachers. The narrative of the experience centered around this story and gave you a reason to race through Africa's wilds.

However, today that story has virtually been erased. Now you simply board your ride vehicle and enjoy the view of the assorted animals that are residents of this fantastic venue. You will have an opportunity to see lions, tigers, giraffes, hippos, cheetahs, gators, and even elephants. Not to mention you will see a great list of birds and other ground animals to make this a truly unique experience. Keep in mind, this ride is like no other animal exhibit you will ever see. To make this a Disney experience, you can't even see the fences and barriers that keep the wildlife separated within this park.

These rides top our list of first rides that you must do when in each of the Disney World Parks. Keep in mind that there are many other noteworthy rides that you may also want to experience. These top rides include Pirates of the Caribbean, Rise of the Resistance, Test Track and Everest. These rides could be considered top contenders for each of their respective parks.

One last thought is what each of these rides has in common. They all provide you with a level of immersion that is difficult to find in any theme park around the World. While you may find more advanced rides or rides that provide more incredible thrills, you will most likely not find a ride that puts all of these items together. This fact, in my opinion, is what sets Disney apart from the competition.

We are Theme Park Fantasy, and we hope that these tips will help you plan your next Walt Disney World Vacation. Also, we have more information on our website at www.themeparkfantasy.com. This information includes travel and park tips in addition to restaurant and food reviews that will help you to make the best choices for you and your family