What Attractions Do You Avoid At Walt Disney World?

tiki roomI was recently reading on twitter about someone riding Universe of Energy at Epcot. It caused me to stop and realize that it’s probably been about 10 years since I’ve ridden that ride. Then I wondered how many other rides I personally avoid or just don’t bother wanting to ride, and how many others had a list too.

Now, I may be a bit biased on some things, because as I’ve mentioned before (many times), I first fell in love with Walt Disney World when visiting EPCOT Center in 1983. So as a rainbows & unicorn-lovin’ girl of 8 or 9, there were some rides that just plain scared me. Universe of Energy was one of them. I rode it, but was always scared during the dinosaur parts and then bored during the 40 minutes of fossil fuel movies (was anyone *not* bored then? Sorry fossil fuels!). Same with Haunted Mansion and even Pirates of the Caribbean…there were times when I had to be dragged on those rides because I was easily scared (the hallway and graveyard scenes in Haunted Mansion and the skeletons in Pirates). I’ve since outgrown those fears, but I’m just not a fan of dinosaurs, unless they are dispensing frozen ice cream treats of course.

Other rides, I’d just never been on because I thought I’d get sick or something. I didn’t ride the Mad Tea Party until I was about 22. Space Mountain? My first time was on my 33rd birthday. Shocking, I know. I’d actually ridden Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster before that! I just visited Tom Sawyer Island for the first time this past April! I *still* haven’t been on Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, or Mission: Space. Not sure I’ll ever go on DINOSAUR or Mission:Space‘s green team, but I do want to conquer Expedition Everest at some point!

Anyway, back to my original point. There are some attractions that we just tend to avoid for whatever reason. I realize this may be more pronounced with our family, since we are Florida residents and can visit the parks any day just by driving for an hour. Sometimes we just take things, or attractions for granted either for time issues or wanting to visit our favorites all the time.

So here is my list of Top 5 Avoided Attractions in my family:

  1. Universe of Energy As mentioned above, I just never liked this as a child and with two kids not particularly fond of dinosaurs, we just haven’t been back. I do want to bring them on again though, now that they’re older and will remember it, and let them decide for themselves.
  2. The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management I actually sat through this recently with my family when visiting with some friends. I know it is a much maligned attraction, and I really think that is for a reason. I don’t like to speak ill of my favorite place on earth, but the ‘updated’ show was already dated when it re-opened and now even moreso. It was such a classic attraction, full of corny but timeless jokes. A lot of that original magic is just gone now and it’s almost embarrassing to sit through. Sorry Michael, Pierre, Fritz and José – I still love you guys!
  3. The Jungle Cruise I know I’m going to take some flak for this one! Apologies to die-hard fans of the backside of water…but I’ve just never been fan enough to make this a regular stop. This is another of those that I will go on again soon and let the big kids form their own opinions.
  4. Stitch’s Great Escape Another much maligned attraction. I remember disctinctly when Alien Encounter opened. I was petrified and actually did not go on the Cast Member preview like my then fiance and mom, also Cast Members did. I wanted to know exactly what happened before I’d go on. I don’t do horror movies or scary things at all so I was worried this would freak me out. Once I got the okay from them, it became one of our favorite attractions in Magic Kingdom. Now, I really don’t mind the Stitch redux of the ride…I think it’s great for kids that might’ve been too scared to go on Alien Encounter. But it is a little lacking in the show department. I miss Skippy and Tim Curry voicing S.I.R. The story made much more sense when it was Alien Encounter but I don’t think the Stitch tie-in is too terrible. Still, we tend to avoid it since it’s not ever something we are dying to see.
  5. rocketeer bulldog cafe
    Remember this?

    Studio Backlot Tour This is another case of something that used to be a favorite that we just tend to pass over now. This attraction was so exciting when it first opened – you could see in working wardrobe warehouses, studios and sound stages, along with the super fun Residential Street and Catastrophe Canyon. Over the years, this morphed into a dated, unused, “pretend” backstage area. When the Water Effects Tank and Production Tour (where my husband used to work!) was combined with the Backlot Tour, it made it difficult to bring small children on with the amount of standing and walking needed. We used to love this attraction but it’s changed so much and a lot of its charm and “backstage” excitement is gone. I’d love to see this ride completely redone with current special effects technology and a whole new backlot area.

Okay, I confessed my most-avoided attractions – now what are yours? Don’t worry, I’ll post a most-loved attractions post soon!

  • I have to admit Universe of Energy is one of mine too, and I was too chicken to do Space Mountain until I was 24 (I did it three times to make up for it) or Splash Mountain until I was 29! I’ve done Mission:SPACE’s scary team twice – the first time I went there was no unscary option – and it was totally worth it, but I don’t think I could physically hack doing it again. Expedition Everest is downright amazing – somehow I can hack that drop much more easily than Splash Mountain’s, probably cos it’s faster.

    I did a lot on the last trip I probably wouldn’t have bothered with if I hadn’t been with my WDW newbie husband (I’ve been known to leave out DHS altogether), but these days the list probably includes the Studio Backlot Tour, the Gran Fiesta Tour, the Enchanted Tiki Room and It’s A Small World (do I get WDW excommunicated for that?!).

    Oh, and when I was a kid I handled Haunted Mansion no problem but Snow White scared the daylights out of me. I hid under the front of the car! In my defence I was only four…

    • If you get excommunicated for that, I surely will for Jungle Cruise! 😉 We can hang out together! I do remember being PETRIFIED of Snow White too…I was so glad when they redid it, but it still creeps me out in parts!

  • When we went to Disney World for our honeymoon (nearly 10 years ago), B wanted me to go on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster and the Tower of Terror. I have this fear of falling though. (Not heights, falling. I can be on the 20th floor behind a window and I’m ok, but a 2nd story balcony scares me.) This fear makes rollercoasters and iffy prospect at best. And a ride whose sole purpose is to drop you from up high? No thank you!

    Then, in 2009, we went to Disney World with our kids and my in-laws. My son, 5, proudly announced that he was going to ride on the Tower of Terror. I couldn’t let my 5 year old show me up so my macho pride temporarily overrode my fear and I went on the ride… But my macho pride quickly exited the ride leaving me alone on it with my fear. *shakes fist* Curse you, macho pride!!! The only way my legs consented to carrying me off the ride was the knowledge that not getting off meant I was going to ride it again.

    I might ride Tower of Terror again if someone was paying me, but it’d have to be a lot of money!

    • I still distinctly remember the first time I rode Tower of Terror when it opened…I was thinking to myself “I’m going to DIE.” and then it was over. I seriously think if it was a second longer I might have passed out or something haha. I feel bad that my daughter hasn’t been and wants to…guess I have to do the good mom thing and go on again at some point!!

      Glad you survived! Crazy how the kids are fine with these things and we have panic attacks!

      • PageInABook

        I’m with ya’ll on this one….Tower of Terror is truly the only attraction that I just can’t handle at the any of the Disney Parks. And the odd thing is…the 2 times that I’ve actually been dragged onto it by my 7 year old….it wasn’t THAT bad. And the pure adranaline rush afterward makes me feel like I’m about 20 years younger. I think it’s all that fear and anticipation beforehand that scares the beejeebers out of me. And well…I guess that’s the point.

  • Melanie Clatfelter

    I avoid those dreaded tea cups at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Mission Space. Both induce nausea, and I can’t enjoy my ADRs. I’d also avoid Stitch if the kids would let me, alas, they enjoy the Chili Cheese Fries smell.

    • I’ve only gotten nauseous after one tea cups ride…someone I was with went a leeetle crazy with the turny thing! I’m so scared of getting sick on Mission: Space tho!! Even the orange side, I’m worried about!

      And yes, chili cheese smell HAS to go! 😛

  • Oh, yeah, and Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror? Forget it! Way. Too. Chicken.

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  • Though I have ridden Tower of Terror – I totally avoid it now. I rode it many times as a kid with my mom and younger brother (both love it). I began to have nightmares about it breaking and the elevator not stopping when we fell..so now, I avoid it like the plague. It is a neat ride though and I looove the Twilight Zone theme.

    I also avoid Universe of Energy. I haven’t avoided it, but the revised Tiki Room is indeed embarrassing for Disney. It’s plain awful. I also send my condolences to Jose,Pierre, Fritz, and Micheal.

    • THAT is definitely a reason to stop riding Tower of Terror!! My oldest developed a slight fear of elevators and will take the stairs of escalator if possible (and he’s never even been ON ToT!)

  • I have an intense phobia of thrill rides, so I never go on any of the coasters, Splash Mountain, Test Track, or Tower of Terror. It goes without saying that The Tiki Room Starring Gilbert Gottfried is an abomination, so we always skip that one. I really don’t like the Country Bears. I know it’s a Disney Classic and all that, but I’ve just never enjoyed it, not even when I was a kid. I also stay away from the CircleVision films, because they’re just so uncomfortable to watch.

    • I agree with the Country Bears and CircleVision, and if I’d done a top 10, they’d both be on there. It’s a shame because the CircleVision movies are usually so cool but I get dizzy trying to see everything! 😛 That’s why I love the France movie so much, only 180 and you can SIT! 😀

  • Okay, here is the list of the rides and attractions I’ve never done at Disney for one reason or another:
    Mission Space (because I’m claustrophobic and too many people I know have felt sick coming off of it); Tower of Terror (again, claustrophobic, don’t like elevators, and then you want to pull me down faster than gravity an unspecified number of times, I think not); Dinosaur (not sure I want to do it); Primeval Whirl (don’t know about the whole spinning roller coaster thing); Expedition Everest (not a big fan of going backwards, even if it is only for 10 seconds) and Kali River Rapids (I don’t like being wet in a theme park). Other than that, I’ve done them all other than the Sum of All Thrills in Epcot, which I’m not sure of due to the enclosed capsule thing.

    I don’t care if I ever do Stitch’s Great Escape again. The walkthrough Prince Caspian thing was a waste of my time. I have only done Space Mountain two or three times, and not until I was about 26. I don’t like how herky jerky it is. As much as I love Jeopardy, and Ellen makes me laugh, 45 minutes is way too long for an attraction, so I don’t need to do Universe of Energy again either.

    • We sound a lot alike! I’m so worried about feeling sick and being enclosed on Mission: Space! Dinosaur, I just don’t want to get scared at things that jump out at me, especially dinos! I try to reason with myself that it’s DISNEY and obviously not a REAL dinosaur, but my brain doesn’t like being logical too often!

      I LOVED Kali River Rapids, but yeah, walking around soaked is not fun. I wish it were longer too. Last time I went on Space Mountain, I actually felt stressed out when it ended! So herky jerky is right. I don’t think I could do Sum of All Thrills (if I could even fit?!) because of the closed-in thing and the upside-down stuff. Sigh!

  • Stephanie M

    I agree with you on Stitch. I did it once and that was enough. I haven’t done the Tiki Rook, Universe of Energy or the Backlot tour but I’m not opposed to them.

    One we will be avoiding from now on is Rock N Rollercoaster. I love every other thrill ride at WDW but I just really don’t like RnR. I don’t know if it’s the speed or the fact that the ride itself isn’t very exciting (other than speed) but we gave it a second chance last trip and I really didn’t like it.

    Another one I’m all set with is Country Bear Jamboree. I did not find it cute or endearing and in fact, I am quite disturbed by “Blood on the Saddle” and the bears themselves are scary looking!

    I am also all set with It’s Tough to be a Bug. I hate bugs and I know it’s not real but the thought of the feeling of bugs crawling on me gives me the heebie jeebies!

    • Like I said above, I’ve done Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster…but only once. And my eyes were closed. haha. I felt a little woozy afterward, but I’d ride any of these thrill rides again if I was in a group…just don’t go out of my way with just the family. 😛

      Agree on Country Bear Jamboree! I guess it was funny in the 70s?! Haha

      When I see It’s Tough to be a Bug, I have to sit forward so I don’t get stung by the wasps…I hate that part!! 😛

  • We seem to always make a Universe of Energy trip. For some reason, Ellen and Bill Nye make us giggle, and it’s a great napping ride!
    Your other 4 I totally agree with, however. Just thinking about Stitch’s smelly breath makes me gag.
    I will never go on Kali River Rapids again. The chance of being soaked the rest of the day just is too great.
    Other avoidances for me include Primeval Whirl, Dumbo (although that may change now that I have a kid :), Country Bears, Sounds Dangerous (it’s always been closed anyway) and Astro Orbiter.

    • Ooh, I forgot to mention I’d never been on Astro Orbiter. Never wanted to because it was soooo high! Skeery!

      I actually liked Primeval Whirl but have only been on it once! Sounds Dangerous needs to be redone!! I miss the Monster Sound Show that was there…:P

  • Jodi

    I hate the chili cheese smell on Stitch’s Great Escape and I miss Alien Encounter (esp. the mother in law joke). Until they update The Carousel of Tomorrow, I have no interest in riding it (it’s just so 80s!). I never feel up to an eighty minute wait to ride Peter Pan but I do like the ride.
    Expedition Everest is an amazing ride, very well done and not too intense.

    • Sigh…I do so love Carousel of Progress…the last scene I have mixed feelings over. On one hand, it’s funny to see what was technologically advanced back then, but on the other, I’d LOVE to see how they updated it. But really, could they do it justice? I think no matter what they do it’ll be hard not to seem dated as soon as its done. It has a great sort of ‘what the future used to be’ kind of potential to it, a la Horizons…so for that I’ll always love it.

      I agree on Peter Pan, love that silly little ride but the wait is SOOO long!

      I definitely need to cross Expedition Everest off my list!

  • Most avoided attractions-
    1. Stitch’s Great Escape-stupid waste of space in Tomorrowland (I have done it 2x though)
    2. Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups-make me sick
    3. The CircleVision movies make me queasy
    The rides I’ve never ridden and probably never will…
    4. Mission Space
    5. Tower of Terror

  • Mike Ellis


    I have some rides that I don’t like also, so here you go:

    1) Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom. We rode it once — my wife loves it, my daughter and I hated it!
    2) I can take or leave the Jungle Cruise — once every few years I’ll ride it, but not if it conflicts with some other ride we want to do.
    3) Bugs Life — just don’t like it, and it never have.
    4) Stitch’s Great Escape
    5) I’m finding it hard to pick one, it would be one of either the tea cups, or pick’em between Alladin’s Magic Carpet or Dumbo.



  • Cook Family

    1. Universe of Energy
    2. Carousel of Progress
    3. Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
    4. Country Bear Jamboree
    5. Hall of Presidents

    So far! I have too many favorites though!

  • I think I’ve “done” all the attractions in all the parks. I avoid the following:
    1. I never ride the tea cups- it’ll make me vomit!
    2. Almost anything that goes in circles: Astro Orbiter, Dumbo, Aladdin’s flying carpets, triceratops spin, etc. I’ll ride them, but aren’t my favorite.
    3. Journey into imagination- since the redo. I LOVED the original!
    4. Enchanted Tiki Room.
    5. Mission Space- again with the vomit.
    6. sounds dangerous. hate it.
    7. Stitches Great Escape
    8. Tomorrowland Speedway
    9. Tom Sawyer’s Island
    10. Primeval whirl- again… vomit.

    That’s about it!

    • ChefBigFatPanda

      I agree Beth 🙂

  • For fear of heights/falling reasons I won’t ever do Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, or Everest (again I made the mistake thinking it was like Big Thunder and it’s not.)

    For blah factor, we almost never do any of the ones you mentioned (including Jungle Cruise; I’ll hide behind you when they throw stones)

    I can’t stand Country Bear Jamboree. In fact, I find it creepy and disturbing. “Blood on the saddle” really? *shivers* It’s like it channels clowns or something.

    After being there so many times, there’s really a lot we just don’t bother doing. *laughs* It’d probably be a shorter list to tell you the things we DO ride regularly but…hee hee

    • Just got your wristlet! 🙂

      • Whoo hoo!! I’ve been so excited. Yay!

  • Aw I’m a DORK but I love the Universe of Energy.. not sure why. Now I think it’s because I loved the dinos as a kid.. I pretty much skip all of Adventureland other than Pirates unless that has a wait, then I bypass it all. I once was stranded on Tom Sawyer Island and see no need to ever go back.. and definitely Mission: Space. I’ll never forget that first ride.. ugh.

  • Barbi_calusdian

    I like the Universe of Energy! Ellen is funny and it’s a great place to go if you are hot and tired. Definately feel rested and refreshed after that and I like the dinosaurs!

    I never do the tea cups. Not a big fan, they make my husband sick and the line is long. I can go on tea cup rides anywhere, so why wait in a line when there are so many other great rides to do?

    We have never done the Astro Orbiter either because of the line, but may do it someday. I just did the tomorowland speedway for the first time. We usually avoid this because the lines are ridiculous.

    We did stitch this time, but won’t bother in the future. I miss Alien Encounter.

    We never do the movies in Epcot where you have to stand up – we are tired and want to sit down! We did do the Canadian one this time and it was funny.

    We also never do Test track or Mission Space. I did them once – eh. no big deal and again, I’d rather wait in line for a ride I love!

  • The five attractions that I avoid:

    Mission Space : Epcot
    This is the only Disney attraction I’ve ever avoided due to my own inhibitions. I can’t take enclosed spaces or spinning rides; and this is the grand daddy of both enclosed spaces and spinning rides. I’ve never been on it and I don’t ever plan on going on it, though Disney has all my due respected for turning an centrifuge into a mission to Mars themed attraction. I just can’t take the risk of something ruining the rest of my Disney Vacation Day.

    The Teacups : The Magic Kingdom
    On the same, albeit lesser, note of my disdain for spinning rides; I also avoid the Teacups due to the nauseating effects they have on me.

    Stitches Great Escape : The Magic Kingdom
    Stitch is one of my favorite Disney characters so I really wanted to like this attraction. However, I can’t get past the chili dog burp that’s blow directly into your face while on this attraction. It’s disgusting, unnecessary, and ruins my appetite the whole rest of the day.

    The Beauty and the Beast Stage Show : Disney Hollywood Studios
    I love Beauty and the Beast, but this stage show adaptation of the film has run it’s course. It’s been running daily since November of 1991 with only one significant update taking place in 2001, it’s ten year anniversary. The show is outdated and boring at it’s best. Unlike most of Disney’s other stage shows, it doesn’t get the benefit of being in the air conditioned indoors. Outdated and boring is tolerable if you’re given a break from the Florida sun.

    The American Idol Experience : Disney Hollywood Studios
    To be fair, I can appreciate what they were trying to do with this attraction. Trying to recreate the heart of an international television phenomenon and distill it down to a 20 minute interactive stage show is ambitious. I’ve done this attraction once and, technically speaking, the stage show has it’s television counter part nailed down. The stage, lights, and sounds are all reminiscent of the actual show; however a huge component to the show was missing — the people.

    My wife and I saw this show when it was relatively new to the park and were surprised by the lack of people in the audience. In a auditorium built for hundreds, we help make up the couple dozen in attendance. When the songs were sung, we all capped, when it was time to vote, we all voted, but that was the extent of the audience participation. Nobody heckled the judges when they gave a bad review, nobody cheered when a judge gave a great review; people just didn’t seem to care.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this attractions finds it’s way to an early retirement.

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  • Cmsink71

    Things we skip because of the YAWN factor:

    1. Carousel of Progress
    2. Enchanted Tiki Room
    3. Hall of Presidents
    4. Universe of Energy
    5. Voyage of the Little Mermaid

    If the kids need a cool, quiet place to nap we will take in one of these…