Disney rides and attractions are meant to transport you into your favorite Disney film, to a different place in time, or to the African Savanna or even under the sea! But how do they take you from the long, snaking lines and actually into these stories and experiences? By their ride vehicles of course! But not all ride vehicles are created equal, and some play a huge part in the story the Imagineers are trying to tell, or even become icons of the rides themselves! Ride Vehicles range from bouncing honey pots and spinning tea cups to hang gliders and falling elevators! That’s why today I’m sharing with you my Top 10 Favorite Ride Vehicles!
10. Dumbo-This attraction is a Disney icon and childhood rite of passage! Dumbo, of course, has to make my list because where else would you get to ride an elephant, especially one that flies?
9. Soarin’ Hang Gliders-So when you first hear that Soarin’ is about hang gliding over California, you naturally begin to wonder just how are the Imagineers gonna pull this one off. The answer is the Soarin’ Hang Gliders consisting of rows of long bench seats with awnings overhead which are lifted up towards a massive bowl screen to let you experience what it’s like to soar! (while sitting down, that is!) These vehicles gently tilt and tip, making you feel as if you really are flying! It’s exhilarating, but yet calm and soothing. No wonder it’s so popular!
8. Pirates of the Caribbean Boats-I really like the spacious, roomy boats on Pirates of the Caribbean. Although, to be honest, there are very few things that I don’t like about this ride! I like how the boats set you close to the water, and how easy it is to see the scenery, and I especially like having a whole boat to myself when I ride near closing time! There has been a lot of news about the refurbished boats, as they have been getting guests wet; but despite that, there’s no better way to enjoy this classic ride than in a roomy boat floating past those classic pirate scenes!
7. Splash Mountain Log-For this Southern style ride, you hop aboard a log to float in and out of Chickapin Hill before being sent sliding down into the Briar Patch! Also, be sure to look at the front of the log to see a small Brer Rabbit too, the hero of this tale!
6. Rock n’ Roller Coaster Limo-A super-stretch limo is what it really is! Yes, the ride vehicle for this adrenaline-packed, rockin’ ride is a limousine; and if that wasn’t cool enough, each seat has high-tech speakers! So yeah, it definitely makes this list.
5. Kilimanjaro Safaris Vehicle-Once you hop aboard this safari truck, you may forget that you’re in Central Florida! Disney really did an amazing job with this attraction. It’s about as realistic as a safari can get without actually being in Africa. The safari vehicles themselves are detailed, with gear packed onto the side, and they even have wildlife guides displayed inside to help you name and identify the animals you find all around you! No need to strategize about which side of the vehicle to sit as both sides offer close-up views of the animals!
4. Spinning Tea Cups-One of the most original ride vehicles ever, Fantasyland’s Mad Tea Party lets you board giant teacups that spin! This ride is simple, silly fun, a classic Disney attraction, and somewhat of an icon!
3. Jungle Cruise Boats-These vintage, detailed boats are unique in that they offer seating all the way around and feature a Cast Member/Jungle Cruise Captain at the helm. These captains are there to safely navigate you through the world’s waterways, as well as to crack some corny, classic jokes that are as much of a part of this ride as the audio-animatronic wildlife! The Jungle Cruise boats also sport some chuckle-worth names too, such as Senegal Sal, Nile Nellie, and Congo Connie!
2. Tower of Terror Elevators-The Tower of Terror elevators are the centerpiece of this attraction’s story and they are pretty high-tech too! I mean, these elevators not only move up and down, but also horizontal, and are dropped in random sequences that you can’t predict all while keeping you safe!
1. Peter Pan’s Flight Pirate Ships-I’ve always had a soft spot for Peter Pan’s Flight. It was, after all, my favorite Disney World attraction as a kid; and you can’t deny its impressive history as an opening day attraction. What sets Peter Pan’s Flight apart from the rest is its pirate ship ride vehicle. Unlike boats or vehicles on ground tracks, Peter Pan’s Flight’s pirate ships run on a track hanging from the ceiling which dip and tilt and gently swing you through the Darling children’s nursery, over London, and then over and around Neverland! The flight over a tiny, realistic London still gets me excited even today. I guess this is why this attraction still fills the lines, it’s simply timeless!
So what’s your favorite Disney World rive vehicle? Did I leave any out?