When it comes to Disney World rides, not all seats are created equal.
The attraction vehicles are designed to give guests a good experience from any seat. That doesn’t mean that every seat is the best seat. Some seats offer a better view and others offer a smoother ride. You might notice that the back row of Pirates of the Caribbean is cozier and feels a bit more private than the crowded middle seat! And, thrill-seekers love to sit in the front row of Space Mountain to get the total illusion of bolting through space. It takes a few rides on each attraction before you can determine which seat has the coolest experience. Most of the time, you only have one chance to ride Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train during your vacation so you gotta make it count! To help you out, we’re breaking down the BEST and WORST places to be seated at each attraction in the Magic Kingdom!
Pro-Tip! Feel free to tell a Cast Member about your seating preference when you get to the front of the line. They might be able to accommodate your preference. Some rides, like roller coasters, will even have a separate line for front row seating. You may have to wait a little longer to board the attraction, but they might be able to grant your wish if you’re patient!
Best Seat: The big reason many love the Jungle Cruise is the hilarious Skippers. The person giving you a tour of the exotic jungle will keep you entertained with punny jokes and passenger interaction. A great Skipper can really elevate the ride experience. The best seat in the house is closer to the front of the boat. This will help you hear the jokes better and you can interact with your Skipper! If you’re lucky (or unlucky!) they might make you the butt of a few jokes as well! This is especially fun for kids to be close to the Skipper. Since the boats load both sides, you have two shots to get close to your Skipper!
Worst Seat: Sitting in the back will make you feel distanced from the Skipper and you might miss out on some of the interactive moments. However, this might be a better choice if you would rather see the entire view of the cruise! This is a great spot if you want unobstructed views to snap pictures of the scenery.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Best Seat: At Pirates of the Caribbean, guests board a boat and are transferred through the scenes by floating along the water. Animatronic scenes will happen to the right and left of the boat throughout the ride. Each side offers a view of iconic scenes and they are best enjoyed if you’re sitting towards the sides of the boat. (Have kiddos sit on the outside so they’re not blocked by taller people!) Also, the front row is fun because you don’t have to strain over people’s heads to see what’s coming next!
Worst Seat: Sitting in the middle of the row might make you strain around other members of your row while you try to take in the scenes. Your view won’t be totally blocked because the scenes are placed a little higher than the boat. You just won’t get a completely obstacle-free view! We should let you know that you might get a little wet during the cannon battle scene and the small drop if you’re sitting on the outsides. You won’t get drenched, but you might experience a splash or two.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Best Seat: The Tiki Room is where the birds sing words and the flowers croon! This show is one of the first of its kind. Walt Disney wanted it to be as immersive as possible with singing birds, flowers, and tiki gods coming to life all around you. Folks in the back row get a view of most elements happening at once. The tiki gods are placed towards the back of the room and some of the singing flowers are overheard in the middle of the room. Plus, you can dance to the groovy theme song without feeling like you’re being judged.
Worst Seat: The front row is closer to the action and where you’ll get a good look at the lovely lady birds who float down to serenade the guests. However, you’ll have a harder time seeing the tiki drummers and wall ornaments on the back wall when sitting in the front. We wouldn’t say this is a bad seat though! Like we said, Disney designed the room for guests to have a good view no matter where you sit and this is truly an attraction where you’ll see everything clearly wherever you sit.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Best Seat: Thrill rides offer different experiences in the front and back rows. Thrill-seekers will LOVE the backseat because it offers you a faster ride while you plummet down the hills and turns. Kids who are weary of roller coasters might like near the front row because it’s a little more relaxed.
Worst Seat: Hold on to your hats and glasses! This here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness! So the opposite advice above will hold true depending on the guest. HATE butterflies in your stomach? It’s EXTRA wild when you’re sitting in the back row. Some guests like the added thrill of being thrown around from side to side. Others would rather feel a smoother roller coaster ride in the front. Also, we should note that people sitting on the right side (in any row) get just a bit more squished on this roller coaster, as it favors left-hand turns just a bit. We’d recommend sitting kiddos on the left side of the car so bigger adults don’t squish them into the side of the car as much!
Country Bear Jamboree
Best Seat: The Country Bear Jamboree has a huge stage with standard raked theater seating. Your idea of the “best” seat will most likely depend on your preference when seeing a movie. For the jamboree, we think the best seat is in one of the middle rows. You can see all of the animatronics at once and it feels more like a party in the center! You’ll enjoy laughing at the corny jokes and bopping along to the cheesy tunes when you’re in the middle.
Worst Seat: You might like being close in the front row seating to see the animatronic details. You might also have a hard time seeing the whole stage here though. It’s like sitting too close to a movie screen and not being able to take in the whole scene at once! You might find yourself craning your neck a lot trying to take it all in!
Best Seat: This is another ride where the “best” seat is relative to your preferences. Take heed of the warning sign that says, “You will get wet. You might get soaked!” The brave guests who want to get wet should sit in the front row. This will increase your chance of getting really wet when you plummet down the big drop at the end. Sitting towards the middle and back of the boat will lessen your chance of getting totally drenched.
Worst Seat: Basically, take our suggestions before and reverse them! One more thing, there’s a “bonus” splash that happens after the big drop. This occurs if you happen to be floating by the drop when another boat is heading down the hill. The splash affects the right side of the boat the most. Just after that, the secret way to soak your friends or family (or you, if you choose!) is a waterfall the logs typically back up to on your right. Expect a lot of splashes in your log if you’re near it! Sit on the right side if you want more water and the left side to avoid it!
The Hall of Presidents
Best: The animatronics are the main spectacle at The Hall of Presidents. There are a ton of animatronics in the show too. The stage is fairly big so they can fit every President in one place. To see all the animatronics at once, sit towards the middle of the theater seating. If you really want to take it all in, sit towards the front! You’ll get to really see the wonderful detail put into these animatronics.
Worst: You’ll have a harder time seeing the details of the show if you sit in the back row or to the far sides.
Liberty Square Riverboat
Best Experience: The riverboat transports guests on a ride around the Rivers of America. Guests are free to walk around the boat and find the best view possible. Our personal favorite spot is the very front of the boat. You can see the full sweeping view of Frontierland and Liberty Square as you make your way around Tom Sawyer Island. If you pick a side, you’ll see more of Magic Kingdom to the left. More of Tom Sawyer Island will obviously be on the righthand side.
Worst Experience: This is another experience where all views are pretty good! BUT, the worst experience, in our opinion, is with guests who board the riverboat and stay in one spot the whole time. Head to the upper deck and walk to either side of the ferry boat to take everything in! It’s such a relaxing ride and you’ll want to take in every viewpoint!
The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini
Best Seat: Barnstormer is a tiny roller coaster made for children. (We’ve definitely taken a ride on this as adults though!) The best experience for kids who are scared of coasters is to sit in the front row. The front row is a little less speedy and they can see what’s ahead of them a bit more. Kids who are ready for thrills might like the back row. They will feel like they’re on a real, “grown-up” coaster as they race around the twists and turns.
Worst Seat: The middle seats might be considered the “worst” because you’ll have a hard time seeing the scenery elements from this vantage point. It’s such a short ride that everything seems to whiz by super fast. That said, kids who are a little scared of the roller coaster might feel more comfortable in the middle. The back seat might be a little too thrilling for them! Keep in mind if you’re taking a frightened first-time coaster rider with you try to avoid riding in the dark. They won’t be able to get their bearings and it can make this rather gentle coaster seem more intense and frightening.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Best Seat: Sitting in the front row of the two-row hunny pots will give you an unobstructed view of the scenes in front of you. Place little ones in the front so they don’t have to be blocked by tall adults! The front row also gets a fun interactive element in the Heffalumps and Woozles scene (we’re not going to spoil it if you haven’t been yet, but we promise it’s not frightening!).
Worst Seat: The backseat will be blocked by the people in front of you. However, the scenes are happening to the left and right of you. You will still see the scenes while you go through the ride pretty clearly. This ride doesn’t have a particularly bad seat, but the front is definitely more unobstructed.
“it’s a small world”
Best Seat: The “small world” dolls, animals, and props are placed on all sides of the room. Be sure to look to your left, right, and towards the ceiling to see everything! Much like Pirates of the Caribbean, the exterior sides of the bench will offer you a better look at the elements of the ride without straining around other passengers. It’s more fun to ride in the front too! You can take in the whole room at once so you don’t miss a thing. We’ve had our best experiences showing the ride to little kiddos sticking them in the front row so they have it all right in front of them!
Worst Seat: The middle seats will offer a more obstructed view of each scene and will protect you from the overly sweet essence of the attraction (if the dolls happen to creep you out 😉). Either way, you can’t avoid hearing the theme song anywhere you sit so prepare to be humming it in your head the rest of the day!
Best Seat: 4-D technology has come a long way since Mickey’s Philhar Magic opened in 2003. Newer attractions like Flight of Passage offer awesome 3-D effects at almost any vantage point. The technology in this show, however, is a little outdated. You’ll have a better experience if you sit towards the middle-back of the theatre. Your eyes will adjust to the older 3-D screen better and you can see the whole screen at once. This will help you see the scenes in their entirety, rather than scanning the screen back and forth.
Worst Seat: Guests sitting close to the front row will have a hard time seeing the whole picture and might make you go a little cross-eyed. It’s tough making out the 3-D elements when you sit this close and the strain may hurt your head a little. We’ve even found being too close can break the parallax of the 3-D, making it all just look like a blurry flat film.
Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train
Best Seat: The Mine Train is the newest attraction at the Magic Kingdom and is a really smooth roller coaster. You glide through the tracks much easier than Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain with surprisingly little of that “butterflies in your stomach” feeling. Much like Big Thunder Mountain, the back row of the train will give you a more thrilling ride. Sit here if you want to experience more speed and drops. The front row is less intense and good for those hesitant about coasters.
Worst Seat: There isn’t a bad row on Mine Train. It mostly depends on your preference for thrills! Even the middle row is good because it gives you a great view of Snow White’s house at the end!
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Best Seat: There are two types of Disney World guests. The guests who love this attraction and the nostalgic history behind its development. And, the kind who treat this show as a comfortable resting place. We won’t judge you if you choose either side. But, if you want to enjoy the show, we suggest sitting towards the front center or middle center seats. This will allow you to see the details of each scene clearly. This ride is so jam-packed with fun details, so we love sitting front row center and taking it all in.
The ride is continually loading new theaters full of guests, so there’s rarely a need to stress about getting the seat you want here.
Worst Seat: The back row is both good and bad. It’s good because you can rest comfortably in the dark without anyone judging you. It’s not great because you can’t see the details of each scene. You will be able to see the whole stage including the mini-scenes on the sides at once though!
Best Seat: This coaster allows you to venture through deep space on your very own rocketship. The cars travel in twos with three riders per car. The most thrilling ride is found by guests sitting in the back seat of the back car. The back car in general will feel slightly faster when you’re racing through the stars. The front seat in the front car is another favorite, offering an unobstructed view of the start and finish lighting effects. The front seat also can feel like you’re flying through dark space even more since the air blows right in your face unobstructed!
Worst Seat: The attraction is a little older so it can feel a little jolting. The back car might whip you around more, which some guests might enjoy or hate, depending on preference. If you don’t love the feeling of being jerked around, it’s a little less jarring if you sit in the front car.
Omnimover Rides in the Magic Kingdom
You may have noticed we missed a few rides! There a few attractions that offer a very similar experience no matter where you sit. This includes “omnimover” vehicles like the Haunted Mansion Doom Buggies. The buggies are designed to rotate from left to right so both sides get a good view. The ride will adapt to each scene by rotating guests towards the main action. These attractions include:
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- The Haunted Mansion
Once in a while, a scene might be focused on the left or right side, giving the passenger on that side a better view. For instance, if you want to take a (non-flash) picture of the Bride in the Haunted Mansion attic, sit on the left side! You might want to watch a point of view video on YouTube if there’s a certain scene you want to see up-close. We generally think the view is great in either seat on these rides!
Flying Rides in the Magic Kingdom
The “flying” rides are in the style of Dumbo – The Flying Elephant. This is the type of ride vehicle that seats two to three people and rotates you around. Each vehicle will give you the same experience and there’s no elephant, rocketship, or magic carpet that’s better than another.
- Astro Orbiter
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Peter Pan’s Flight (You don’t spin in a circle but you do fly! This could technically fall closer to an omnimover since it’s a continually loading ride.)
We do suggest sitting on the outside seat, when possible, if you want to take pictures while you’re flying!
Remaining Magic Kingdom Rides
The remaining attractions are totally up to your preference. Again, no vehicle will be better than another. Unless, of course, you have a preference for a certain color of car on Tomorrowland Speedway or a special carousel horse. (FYI: the horse with the golden ribbon on its tail on the carrousel is Cinderella’s horse!) We should note that you’ll focus on slightly different elements when riding on the PeopleMover too, depending on which direction you face!
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Mad Tea Party
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Disney Imagineers have done their best to design rides that offer good experiences no matter where you’re sitting. You might enjoy a roller coaster from the back because you like the extra thrills. Or, maybe you’re a middle row kinda person! Either way, you should get a pretty g. So, we wanna hear from you! What’s your favorite spot to sit on roller coasters and shows? Let us know in the comments below!