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Ultimate Guide to Disney Dark Rides: Add These To Your Must-Do List

One of the things that make Walt Disney World so special and unique is the dark rides. Although this might sound scary, dark ride refers to rides that are ride-through attractions with scenes that use black lights; therefore, traditional lightning isn’t present. Disney uses dark rides to put Guests right into the storyline. These rides are what we love about Walt Disney World.

So what are the top dark rides at Walt Disney World? We are going to give you the ultimate list of dark rides. When you arrive at Walt Disney World, you will want to ensure you have these rides on your must-do list.

Peter Pan's Flight, Fantasyland
Credit: Disney

Peter Pan’s Flight- Magic Kingdom

The most iconic dark ride is found at Magic Kingdom. Peter Pan’s Flight continues to be one of the most popular dark rides in Walt Disney World. Guests join Peter Pan, Tink, and their friends as they fly from London to Neverland.

Enjoy scenes from the classic movie, including Captain Hook, Mermaid Lagoon, and The Lost Boys. This is a fun ride for the whole family as they soar above the scenes.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean- Magic Kingdom

Over in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom, Guests can experience one of the best dark rides in all of Walt Disney World. Pirates of the Caribbean takes Guests on a slow-moving boat ride through entertaining scenes.

This ride has excellent music, fantastic scenes, and even some thrills. This dark ride is one of the best that Disney has to offer.

Na’vi River Journey- Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Another dark ride that features a ride on a boat is the Na’vi River Journey. This newer dark ride takes Guests through the bioluminescent rainforest of Pandora. Guests can enjoy the fantastic colors and sights that wrap up with one of Disney’s best animatronics.

living with the land
Credit: Disney

Living with the Land- EPCOT

A genuinely unique dark ride is Living with the Land in EPCOT. On this ride, Guests are taken into EPCOT’s active greenhouse. Here they learn about how EPCOT uses these throughout the Parks and how they are working to improve farming and agriculture in EPCOT.

The ride allows Guests to see fruits and vegetables being grown that are used throughout the World Showcase and other dining locations in EPCOT.

The Haunted Mansion- Magic Kingdom

It wouldn’t be a trip to Walt Disney World without riding the iconic dark ride- The Haunted Mansion. Here Guests board their doom buggy and then take a haunted tour of the mansion. Each room includes fantastic special effects that show the incredible talent of Disney’s Imagineers.

The Haunted Mansion is a classic Disney dark ride that shouldn’t be missed while visiting the Parks.

its a small world
Credit: Disney

It’s a small world- Magic Kingdom

A classic Disney attraction is it’s a small world. Here Guests board a boat and are taken on a slow-moving boat ride through different countries. In each area, Guests can see different aspects that make that country unique. Ultimately, we see all the different countries come together as one.

Even though this ride gets mixed reviews, it is a classic attraction that should be experienced at least once during a Disney trip. Little ones love the music and the bright colors. As a longer ride, it is also a great way to get off your feet and out of the sun for a while.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh- Magic Kingdom

An excellent dark ride, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh take Guests on a ride through the stories of Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, and Eeyore. They ride around on a honey pot that can bounce, float, and more.

This is a great example of what a dark ride is all about. It brings the stories to ride to the Guests in a fun, exciting way.

Ariel's Undersea Adventure
Photo Credit: Disney

Under the Sea- Voyage of the Little Mermaid- Magic Kingdom

Like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Voyage of the Little Mermaid takes Guests under the sea with Ariel and her friends. Instead of a honey pot, Guests are on their very own clamshells.

Beloved scenes from the movie are brought to life throughout the ride. Guests can enjoy Kiss the Girl, Poor Unfortunate Souls, and more. The bright colors and over-the-top animatronics make this a fun, joyful ride.

Spaceship Earth- EPCOT

Don’t miss out on riding Spaceship Earth during your vacation. Most Guests are well aware of Spaceship Earth, but they might not know you can go inside. This ride takes Guests on a trip through time, focusing on communication. We see how our communication and technology have improved and changed over time. Although some information might be outdated, the overall ride is exciting and educational at the same time- classic EPCOT.

anna elsa and olaf

Frozen Ever After- EPCOT

Finally, don’t miss a trip to Arendelle with Elsa and Anna. Frozen Ever After is a great boat rides through the story of Frozen. Here Guests get to experience some of the best of this beloved movie. This ride is fantastic, from seeing Olaf and Sven to singing with Elsa.

Dark rides are what Disney does so well. There are so many unique and exciting dark rides in the four Walt Disney World Parks. Make sure you add these rides to your must-do list when you prepare for your vacation. These rides make Walt Disney World so unique and magical for Guests.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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