Attraction Action – Water Rides at Disney

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Attractions throughout Walt Disney World take many forms.  Today’s Dis Savvy article focuses on WATER RIDES!  I’ll be putting these rides into categories and helping you learn the stories and the differences between these attractions throughout the parks.

I’ll begin with the most gentle water rides.

  • It’s a Small World
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Living With the Land
  • Gran Fiesta Tour

The best part about riding these attractions is that they have no height requirement.  The entire family can ride and the boats can accommodate everyone – sometimes in the same row.  These rides are all slow moving and stay on the same level during the entire ride.

It’s a Small World is found in Fantasyland of the Magic Kingdom.  This ride can drive a person a little crazy with the repetition of the theme song.  It is a Disney classic that children will love.

The Jungle Cruise offers a live skipper who “drives” your boat on a tour of famous world rivers.  It’s still slow moving, but your skipper provides a humorous commentary as you glide along.

On the Liberty Square Riverboat, you can stand and even walk around on this huge boat.  Liberty Square Riverboat is an authentic 3-tiered paddle wheel steamship journey that circles the Rivers of America for a scenic, half-mile tour of Frontierland, Liberty Square and Tom Sawyer Island.

While visiting EPCOT, visitors to The Land pavilion can board the slow-moving boat ride: Living With the Land.  When I talk to people about this attraction, it never sounds interesting.  As a boat ride exploring man’s relationship with agriculture, it does sound dull.  Trust me, this is an interesting attraction!  You will visit some creative greenhouses and see some creative planting techniques.  While I’m no gourmet cook or huge conservationist, I do find it cool that the produce grown in the greenhouses are prepared and served in EPCOT restaurants.

In World Showcase of EPCOT, our border country Mexico provides the last gentle ride on our list – The Gran Fiesta Tour is a cute boat ride based on Donald Duck’s film “The Three Caballeros.”  These 3 feathered friends are reuniting for a grand musical performance in Mexico City. Distracted by the sights of the city, Donald has disappeared. His friends go looking for him, but will they find him in time for the big show?  The attraction combines traditional animation superimposed over live-action film clips shot in such stunning locales as Acapulco, Chichen Itza, Manzanillo and Mexico City. These vibrant sights, accompanied by lively music, showcase the people, culture, history and arts of Mexico.

The next category only has two rides.

  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Maelstrom

The only reason I put these attractions here is due to a change in level.  There is still no height requirement for these attractions.  Neither ride has a safety bar of any kind.  Both of these rides have a hill of some kind.  Not a huge hill, but enough of an incline to make you say “Wheee!”

Pirates of the Caribbean is so much like It’s a Small World in structure except the small hill near the beginning that plunges you into the action!  Once past the hill, the boat ride continues smoothly on the same level so you can concentrate on the Pirate action all around you!

Maelstrom is the water ride located in the Norway pavilion in EPCOT.  Once you board your Viking ship, you begin your climb into Norway’s history with the sea!  This attraction has two drops and focuses on the sea’s impact on Norwegian lifestyles.  This attraction also has my favorite spoken line “You are not the first to pass this way.  Nor shall you be the last.”

On to the WILD WATER RIDES of Disney. . .

On this list we only have two attractions.

  • Splash Mountain
  • Kali River Rapids

Splash Mountain is located in the Magic Kingdom.  You board logs that hold two people per row and enter the world of Brer Rabbit.  There are multiple hills on this attraction.  The last hill is the highest and most thrilling!  You will more than likely get wet on this ride.  If the big hill doesn’t get you, the little waterfalls along the ride AFTER the drop will!  (Get in FIRST if you want to avoid this).

Kali River Rapids is in Animal Kingdom.  I saved this attraction for last.  On the gentle boat rides, you won’t get wet at all.  On the middle of the road rides you might get a drop of water on your jeans.  On Splash Mountain, you might have some wet spots on you for a couple of hours post ride.  On Kali River Rapids you will get SOAKED.  I say this from experience.  If riding in a raft along rapids doesn’t make you wet during the course of the ride, Disney will shoot a 4 foot wall of water up and over the top of you near the end to make sure you are properly drenched!

The boys of our group that braved the rapids!

There you have it my friends – the Attraction Action on Water Rides at Walt Disney World!



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