Top 10 Walt Disney World and Disneyland Water Rides

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splash mountain

If you’ve ever been to a Disney park then you know it can get really hot during the day. What better way to cool off than on a refreshing (sometimes drenching) water ride? I’ve put together a list of the top 10 water rides at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Check it out:

1. Splash Mountain

There is a version of this ride at both theme parks. Though they are slightly different, both end with a thrilling 5-story drop! Not every seat in the boat will get soaked but prepare to get wet as you accompany Br’er Rabbit on a search for his laughing place. Be sure to sing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” along with the backwoods critters as you begin to dry out. The height requirement for both rides is 40 inches.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean

This is another ride that has a different version in both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. Both have small drops and similar atmosphere. The ride at Disneyland is a few minutes longer than the one at Magic Kingdom and you get to float by the guests dining at the Blue Bayou restaurant as you head out on your adventure. View boisterous buccaneers relish in their plunders and sing along as they serenade you with “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”. You’ll also catch glimpses of famous faces like Captain Jack Sparrow or Davy Jones. You might get splashed some on this ride, but don’t expect to get drenched.

kali pic

3. Kali River Rapids

This thrilling whitewater adventure is located in Animal Kingdom. Board a large, circular 12-person raft and gently glide up a 90-foot knoll. Don’t be fooled by the gentle start to this ride! Prepare to bob, spin, and bounce your way down this fast-moving river in the heart of Asia and then plummet down a 20-foot slope. If you’re not soaking wet by then, watch out for non-rafters using the elephant squirters to spray riders as they drift by. This is definitely a ride to hit up on a hot day! Height requirement for this attraction is 38 inches.

4. Grizzly River Run

Similar to Kali River Rapids is Grizzly River Run located in Disney’s California Adventure. This whitewater raft ride seats 8 guests to a raft and takes you roaring down a California river in the Sierra Nevada mountains. You’ll bob, spin, and bounce along this river as well as plummet down what looks like a perilous bedrock slope. Height requirement for this attraction is 42 inches.

5. Matterhorn Bobsleds

Unique to Disneyland, the Matterhorn Bobsleds will send you careening down the icy slopes of Switzerland’s most famous peak. You’ll swoop in and out of caves and along jagged edges, but watch out for the mythic Abominable Snowman! There are 2 almost identical tracks, one in Fantasyland and the other on the outskirts of Tomorrowland. Both are equally fun, but the one in Fantasyland is slightly longer and has some sharper curves. While the majority of this ride is dry, towards the end your bobsled splashes down into a shallow alpine lake. There’s a small chance of getting wet.

small world

6. “it’s a Small World”

“The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed” is also at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  You’ll travel to all 7 continents and see for yourself that it truly is a small world after all. While both rides take you on a musical boat tour hosted by the children of the world, the attraction at Disneyland is a few minutes longer and has different outdoor décor. You’ll also get to see familiar characters such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, Pinocchio and Ariel on the version at Disneyland. There is a very minimal chance that you’ll get wet on this ride.

7. Jungle Cruise

A classic attraction that is also at both Disney parks is the Jungle Cruise. Board a boat with other guests and your skipper and take a tour across the rivers of Asia, Africa and South America. Both rides take you on a thrilling expedition where you’ll see tigers, elephants, gorillas and maybe even a headhunter! Encounter awesome wonders of nature and enjoy your skipper’s clever jokes. Seeing the backside of water never gets old! Each ride provides different scenery and the version at Magic Kingdom is a few minutes longer than the one at Disneyland. There’s a chance you’ll get slightly wet on this attraction.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

8. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

While this is considered a water ride at Disneyland, there is no way to get wet. Climb down inside a research submarine and take a seat in front of a porthole. “Dive” down into the depths and explore a newly discovered volcano and follow along with Marlin and Dory on their quest to find Nemo. You’ll be immersed in your own underwater adventure with your favorite Finding Nemo friends.

9. Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes

Paddle along the Rivers of America in a 20-passenger vessel for a sightseeing tour around Tom Sawyer’s Island at Disneyland. You’ll get a unique perspective of the Rivers of America as well as take in sights and sounds from Frontierland, New Orleans Square and Critter Country. The canoes are powered entirely by paddles and follow the same route as the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia. This attraction operates seasonally and is only open during certain times of the day. There’s a very good chance you’ll stay dry on this attraction.

10. Storybook Land Canal Boats

Hop aboard a 12-person boat for a gentle “mini” tour of fairytale destinations from classic Disney animated movies. As you cruise through Storybook Land, be on the lookout for famous sites such as Prince Eric’s palace from The Little Mermaid, the dwarf’s cottage from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the royal city of Agrabah from Aladdin. Your tour guide will tell you the story of each miniature scene. This gentle cruise ride can be found in Fantasyland at Disneyland and there is very little chance of getting wet.

Did your favorite Disney water ride make my list? If not, let me know your favorite in the comments!

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