5 Criminally Underrated Magic Kingdom Rides

We’re beating the drum for these Magic Kingdom classics!

Cinderella Castle

The Magic Kingdom is one of the biggest and best known theme parks in the world, with a slew of classic attractions, rides, and shows. However, we believe the following five have been somewhat overlooked in recent years. Whether due to living in the shadow of a Disneyland original or simply seeming outdated, these Magic Kingdom rides are criminally underrated. 

“it’s a small world”

So, hear us out. “it’s a small world” is overall acknowledged as a classic Disney ride. However, it often feels like the Magic Kingdom version is a bit underrated and in the shadow of the Disneyland version. Now, there are two understandable reasons for this — the first being that the Disneyland version is the original from the 1964 World’s Fair, and the second being the Disneyland version’s (admittedly far superior) facade. 

“it’s a small world”

However, despite not being the original ride, the Magic Kingdom’s “it’s a small world” ironically holds the distinct advantage of being closer to the ride’s original vision as it doesn’t feature Disney characters. While we actually do like the Mary Blair-ified versions of Disney characters in Anaheim, we love being able to experience the ride without them in Orlando. 

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

We understand the issues that some have with the Magic Kingdom’s Little Mermaid dark ride — that it’s too much of a book report, that the animatronics and ride system aren’t technologically advanced, etc. – – we think the ride gets a bit of a bad rap. While the ride definitely isn’t a modern E-Ticket-level ride, it’s a very solid spin on the traditional Fantasyland dark ride concept that brings a classic Disney story to life.

“Kiss the Girl”

Astro Orbiter

Much like in real estate, the Astro Oribiter is all about location, location, location. On paper, it’s a simple spinner ride – – one of 4 in the Magic Kingdom – – and arguably easy to overlook when choosing rides to prioritize at the park. But in practice, its location high above Tomorrowland makes it an incredibly memorable experience, and one that any Magic Kingdom visitor should try at least once. 

Astro Orbiter in Magic Kingdom

Carousel of Progress

There’s a very strong argument to be made that Walt Disney Imagineers’ classic animatronic stage show – – also from the 1964 World’s Fair – – is a bit dated. However, for the first three sections at least, it’s essentially a living testament to the futurism-based ideals of technological progress that Walt had come to identify with so strongly during the early 1960s. As far as the 1990s section that ends the show? 

Carousel of Progress

Yeah, we’ve got no defense there. We’d love to see Disney either refurbish the attraction with something current (seriously, that 1990s section is as old now as the original 1960s scenes were back in the 1990s) OR replace it with the original 1964 ending, and turn the whole attraction into a tribute to Walt.

Sorry Granny, but we think your days as a flying ace should be numbered.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mickey’s PhilharMagic is another attraction that may seem a bit dated now, but seeing so many of the classic films of the Disney Renaissance Era represented on screen and interacting with Donald is still a lot of fun for us. 

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

We hope that these Magic Kingdom rides and attractions start getting their due, as while they might not be the park’s headline attractions, a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth is incomplete without them. 

12 Disney World Rides That Are One and Done

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Which of these underrated Magic Kingdom rides is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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