The anticipation of a new one is currently great Guardians of the Galaxy-inspired attraction at Epcot, especially with Marvel hits like Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness released this year. However, not every ride created at Disney Parks is inspired by a beloved Disney classic. Most of the time, the original rides that still stand out in the parks are based on the earliest days of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

While some of these famous concepts have been modified in the years since, and some of these famous concepts have now had movies based on them, there’s still something so intriguing about an amusement ride that has a story unlike anything fans have seen on the big screen or small screen in the cinema past. These in particular have never been adjusted.


10 It’s a small world

Disney's "It's a small world"

With the famous repeating song and the sheer detail on all the tiny animatronic dolls, It’s A Small World has definitely become one of Disney’s most famous attractions, and there’s a variation on the little ride at almost every Disney park. The calm nature of the moving boat is definitely a breath of fresh air from some of the faster areas.

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Multiple nations around the world and their incredible cultures are all represented in this ride, and there’s a real sense of authenticity to what Disney represents. While some versions will be refurbished, there’s no sign of this being removed or matched to the screen any time soon.

9 Great Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain is a really impressive structure that is usually seen in the parks. It’s not a roller coaster based on a movie or TV series, but it does have its own narrative that can be witnessed as guests travel through the attraction. The runaway cart is definitely a fun ride to get on.

Much like the other attractions the Imagineers have put together, there’s a certain immersion at Big Thunder Mountain that really takes guests back to the days of the Final Frontiers. It’s a fast-paced rollercoaster ride that still feels accessible to all comers.

8th spaceship earth

Spaceship Earth is an educational ride that takes guests through humanity’s innovations and what the future might look like because of them. It’s an ingenious piece of engineering, and from the outside, the spaceship-Earthsphere defined Epcot.

It is not an exciting attraction, neither fast-paced nor built on a fictional narrative. Instead, this feels like a moving documentary, a real-life exploration of what enabled humanity to evolve the way it did. Attractions like these show the diversity and versatility of Disney Parks and why they rank among the best theme parks in the world.

7 Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room is an animatronic show that includes another immersive area for guests to enter. The play features a number of technological innovations and is where guests can purchase the popular Disney Dole Whip.

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The mechanics required to set up this space, which is full of talking and moving electronic birds as well as a landscape that interacts with the musical number, is definitely a marvel. The parks have come a long way since their inception, but there is something magical about their place in Disney history.

6 Matterhorn bobs

The Matterhorn bob was an instant hit when it was built. It has its own narrative that involves an expedition into the mountains where the bobs race through a remarkably realistic environment. From afar, the Matterhorn area is absolutely stunning and a standout feature of the park.

But the speed at which the bobs are moving is pretty incredible. It’s very simple in its design but definitely stands out from the more traditional style of imagineering seen on the likes of Big Thunder Mountain. There might be a film adaptation of this ride to be had.

5 Rapids of the Kali River

Rapids of the Kali River

There aren’t many water rides in the Disney Parks, but the Kali River Rapids definitely stand out for their originality, colorful design and, once again, simplicity. The rapids take guests on a seemingly perilous journey as they are slung around in something far more exciting than the Jungle Cruise.

This ride has less of a story and allows the audience to immerse themselves in the splash experience and rely on the decoration and design of the surrounding animal kingdom. Thematically, it fits absolutely perfectly into the park.

4 Mystical mansion

The Haunted Mansion is the traditional take on the design that guests around the world will be familiar with. It has its set story that has inspired two film adaptations (the Eddie Murphy adaptation and the Muppet’s Haunted House)and with Disney Parks with the statement that a third is on the way. The Mystic Manor, however, took a very different approach.

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A newer addition to the Disney Parks and one that may be located within Hong Kong Disneyland, Mystic Manor offers its own unique history that chimes with the rest of the surrounding park. It’s beautiful from the outside and the curiosities and mysteries inside make it worth a visit.

3 Fly up

One of Soarin's vehicles

Soarin’ takes guests on a beautiful journey around the world from a hand glider. It’s a brilliant piece of technology used here considering the majority of this spectacle is created using a moving screen and motorized flight system. For this reason, it is considered one of the most captivating attractions in the Disney Parks.

This is a way to experience the natural beauty of the world from a completely different perspective. There are no other rides like these through the parks, and while a movie can never be made of it, it’s the kind of piece that could inspire a documentary series.

2 Journey into fantasy with Figment

Journey into the imagination

Journey Into Imagination With Figment is for kids but can still be enjoyed by all ages. A slower-paced piece, this attraction falls into the educational category, exploring science and invention by Figment, the imaginative and beloved purple dragon created by Imagineers.

It’s a big surprise that there hasn’t been a TV series starring Figment yet. That alone surprises many fans who love this ride for its commitment to the non-fiction genre and the way it treats seemingly complex subjects with great humor and simplicity.

1 space mountain

Space Mountain has been shifted in some parks to evolve into Hyperspace Mountain, thus transporting its audience to the galaxy far, far away. However, the ride’s original intent was to help guests fly into space, with a massive launch for the ages.

It is a great design from the outside and looks very futuristic. It’s also fun to see that some versions of the attraction actually allow guests to see the ride from the outside since it launches at such speeds. There is a little history associated with this project, but clearly it was never enough to inspire an adaptation.

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