Walt Disney World has a huge variety of rides for everyone!
There are roller coasters, motion simulators, drop rides, and even trackless vehicle rides. But we’re here to talk about another popular kind of Disney attraction: boat rides! From the thrilling to the educational, we think it’s time to separate the good from the bad to just the “meh.” Let’s rank all of the boat rides at Disney World!
We reached out to our entire team and weighed out everyone’s thoughts! Here is how we rank the boat rides in Disney World.
10. Liberty Square Riverboat
Coming in dead last is Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square Riverboat. Are we even surprised? It’s just, you know, not very thrilling! It slowly moves around Tom Sawyer Island and it can be very loud!
But, if you want to step back in time and you admire old boats, you might enjoy this ride! The Liberty Belle is pretty and you get a unique view of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and The Haunted Mansion that you can only otherwise see if you’re out on Tom Sawyer Island.
Be warned though: This ride is almost 20 minutes long, so it can be a real time hog! If you’re trying to maximize what you can do in one day in Magic Kingdom, probably skip the Liberty Square Riverboat!
9. Kali River Rapids
Now, we’re not exactly sure if this counts as a boat, it’s more of a raft, but it’s a water ride so we included it! Located in Animal Kingdom, this ride can be GREAT if you can’t stand how hot it is outside and want to cool off by getting drenched in water!
However, that can definitely be seen as a negative thing! You get SOAKED. Your shoes will be squishing with every step for the rest of the day and you will probably need a change of clothes. We’re good, we’ll just drink a Night Blossom to cool down instead, thanks!
Also, these kinds of raft rides are pretty unoriginal. They can be found in theme parks all around the world, and we know Disney can do better than that!
8. Na’vi River Journey
Now, don’t get us wrong, this ride is gorgeous! But it is so. boring. Nothing happens! There’s not even a teeny tiny drop and you’re moving at a speed that would rival a slug.
The animatronic at the end is incredible, truly a huge technological achievement for Disney, but it’s also kind of freaky how real it looks!
We need a bit more of a story if we’re going to slowly move through a ride like this. A little more entertainment would be much appreciated! It also can have a really long wait, and for what? So, if you are interested in riding, be warned. If you’re looking for a VERY chill boat ride, head over to Pandora in Animal Kingdom to hop on!
7. “it’s a small world”
Did reading that name automatically get the song stuck in your head? Cause it did for us! Which is why we’re ranking this classic Magic Kingdom ride at 7. The song is infuriating! It’s not a *bad* song, it will just be buzzing around your brain for the rest of the day, or maybe even WEEK, after going on “it’s a small world.”
On the other hand, it’s an iconic Disney ride. If you watched The Imagineering Story on Disney+, or are just huge Disney nerds like us, you know that Mary Blair was essential to designing this ride. Her use of color and design is something we definitely admire — it’s made such a huge impact!
The animatronics though…some are cute, some will haunt your nightmares! But, it is a classic, so we think it’s a must-do for first-timers!
6. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Say “hola” to our number 6 pick! This simple but cute ride can be found in the Mexico pavilion in Disney’s EPCOT. This boat journey is INSIDE the pyramid, which definitely gives it points! Plus, it features our favorite dapper duck, Donald!
However, the ride is a bit bare-bones — it could use a little more pizzaz! Donald, Jose, and Panchito were even MISSING from the ride for weeks, with Donald being replaced by a plant at one point. As they’re probably the most exciting thing on the ride, it was a bummer!
While we’re glad to have our Three Caballeros back, the whole ride is basically just one huge tourism advertisement. The music is great though and we do love the pretty fireworks in the sky.
5. Living with the Land
Living with the Land fans UNITE! This EPCOT ride is so underrated, which means it hardly ever has a long line! While it’s not a super thrilling ride in the traditional sense, you do get to learn all about the plant life in the park!
Seeing the actual food being grown for Disney World on this ride is SO COOL! What makes this ride special is that it’s so authentic. The people working among the plants and fish are doing their real jobs, they’re not just there for you to see on the ride!
However, we can understand that an educational ride may not be for everyone, some may even find it boring. But, Living with the Land does get bonus points due to its themed overlay around the holidays!
4. Frozen Ever After
The Frozen craze is still alive and well in Disney! Frozen Ever After often has some of the longest wait times in EPCOT, and for a good reason! The theming is absolutely beautiful. Elsa lighting up the sky with her ice powers is pure magic!
The music is obviously awesome, as it’s from the movie, and Olaf and Sven are soooo cute! But, we can’t really say the same for the human animatronics on Frozen Ever After, especially when they glitch!
If you’re a true EPCOT Norway fan, you know that this ride used to be the legendary Maelstrom (Rest In Peace). In our dream world, they would’ve kept Maelstrom and given Frozen its own original ride! Oh, what could have been.
3. Jungle Cruise
Breaking into our top 3 is Jungle Cruise! This ride is historic, classic Disney at its best. The skippers are absolutely hilarious with their jokes, and one of the best parts of this Adventureland ride!
Do note, Jungle Cruise recently underwent a huuuuge renovation project! So it may be different from the last time you rode the ride. But, don’t worry — the camp and jokes are still there! On top of this, the ride now has its own original movie, like how Pirates of the Caribbean did. And the holiday overlay on this ride is adorable.
BUT, you are looking at fake animals…and there usually is a pretty significant wait. So, if you would rather spend that time waiting to see real animals, maybe get your fix at Kilmanjaro Safaris! Still, we don’t come for the animals, we come for the puns!
2. Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is definitely the most thrilling ride on this list, so we had to put it near the top! The other boat rides don’t even come close when it comes to thrill — You plunge over 50 feet at the end, which makes for some of the best on-ride photos in Disney!
However, the Frontierland ride can be scary for some kids and it goes down during storms since a portion of it is outside. Oh yeah, and you can get majorly wet — it’s called Splash Mountain for a reason! But, if you love thrills, there’s no question that this is the boat ride for you!
This ride is pretty long though, which we see as a plus, because the more time spent on a thrilling ride, the better! The theme of the ride will be changing as Disney shifts to be more inclusive. Disney has announced that Splash will be changing its theming to The Princess and The Frog, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!
1. Pirates of the Caribbean
Of COURSE, Pirates is our number 1 pick! It’s iconic Disney and a ride that almost everyone knows about! The smell of the water and the canons bring you right into the story, and some of our favorite animatronics are on this ride!
Beware that it can be very dark in some parts though, and you can possibly get a little bit wet. But these are minor complaints, because overall this ride is awesome!
And, we get to see the mischievous Jack Sparrow 3 times in the ride! Yo-ho, yo-ho, it’s a pirate’s life for us.
That wraps up our list of the best boat rides in Disney World! We want to give an honorable mention to the Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, which aren’t exactly a ride, but they are kind of fun. So, whether you want thrills or a relaxing journey on the water, there’s a boat ride for everyone at Disney! Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney news, info, and tips.
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Do you agree with our ranking? Let us know in the comments!