5 Most Underrated Attractions at Walt Disney World - Real Mom Recs

5 Most Underrated Attractions at Walt Disney World

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, chances are you’re planning on riding the biggest, fastest, newest, and most popular attractions. While some of these are spectacular, there are also some underrated attractions you probably overlooked in your guide book. Whether not as new or not as thrilling, these are still fantastic Disney attractions you don’t want to miss!

5 Most Underrated Disney attractions

Bonus: these attractions will have shorter lines!

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover (Magic Kingdom)

Disney attractions
Photo Credit: wdwinfo.com

Where to find it: Walk down Main Street USA and take a right when you get to the hub. This is the entrance to Tomorrowland. Continue straight and go just past Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, but not as far as Space Mountain. You will see escalators going up, and this is the entrance to the Peoplemover.

Why we love it: Walt created this to the be mass transit system of the future, hence the name “Peoplemover”. In reality it isn’t used to get anywhere because it just goes around in a loop. But the Peoplemover is one of my favorite rides in all of Disney World, and here’s why:

  • The whole family can ride together. We can fit all 5 of us in one section comfortably. Considering most rides we needed to break up into 2 and 3 (and with 3 people being squished), it was really nice to all be together.
  • It is 10 minutes long. Perfect for when you have a little extra time to kill before a FastPass or dining reservation.
  • You can rest comfortably. Everyone lets out a nice “Ahhh” when sitting down in the comfortable seat. It’s totally relaxing with the breeze hitting you as you spin around Tomorrowland. Your feet will appreciate a break from all the walking too.
  • It has some cool history. This ride has been around since 1975 and was the brainchild of Walt Disney himself.
  • The views of Tomorrowland are really cool! You can usually see characters like Buzz Lightyear signing autographs below, you ride right over the cars of the Tomorrowland Speedway, and best of all: riding through the building that houses Space Mountain.
  • No wait! The Peoplemover runs continuously and people just get on and off. I have never seen a line here at all, which is pretty huge for Magic Kingdom! They will even let you stay on and ride again after the loop is complete. My two year old and I once rode 3 loops back to back without getting off while my husband and 2 older kids went on Space Mountain.
  • Toddlers will love it. My 2 year old absolutely adored this ride. With a short stretch in the dark and a couple gentle turns, it was just fun enough for her. She loved looking at all the sites going by. Just look at her joy in this shot I got:

Disney attractions

Don’t miss this post with more tips on surviving Disney World with a toddler!

Kali River Rapids (Animal Kingdom)

Disney attractions
Photo credit: disneydaybyday.com

Where to find it: Enter Animal Kingdom and go straight. Veer right at the Tree of Life and follow signs for Asia. When you get to Asia you will hit Yak and Yeti and Kali River Rapids is tucked around the corner. (Sidenote: am I the only one who finds Animal Kingdom confusing to navigate even with the plethora of signage???)

Why we love it: This ride gets NO love on popular Disney forums and I can not figure out why! It has been the highlight of Animal Kingdom for me on each of my trips there. A great hybrid of thrilling and family-friendly, this attraction has a 38 inch height restriction, so an average sized 4 year old can ride.

In addition to the excitement of bobbing down the “river” (which does have one pretty thrilling drop), there is also a thrill in how wet you might get. It is a bit like Russian roulette because of the 12 riders in each boat, ten will get a little bit splashed and two will come out completely soaked like they showered with their clothes on. As the sign says upon entering: “You will get wet. You might get soaked.”

If getting wet is a great concern for you, just pack a change of clothes in a backpack and enjoy this ride!

The Great Goofini’s Barnstormer (Magic Kingdom)

Disney attractions
Photo credit: disneyworld.disney.go.com

Where to find it: In the New Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom. It’s tucked in the back corner of the Storybook Circus area where you’d never see it unless you were looking for it. Look for a small roller coaster where the car looks like a little airplane. Casey Junior Splash n Soak station is directly across from it which is great for toddlers who are overheating or just need to hop out of the stroller and burn some energy.

Why we love it: Known as a “junior roller coaster”, this short and sweet coaster is great for many reasons. The height restriction is only 35 inches, meaning a typical 3 year old and even some tall 2 year olds can ride. This makes it a great consolation prize for the little ones who can’t ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40 inch height restriction) or 7 Dwarfs Mine Train (38 inch height restriction).

Barnstormer is also great because it can be a “test coaster” to see how small children react to thrill rides. While it is a kiddie coaster, it does have some speed. If your child has never been on a roller coaster before, this is a great one to start them out on and see if they will be able to handle the bigger, faster rides. It’s also super short, about 1 minute long, so if your child panics at least it will be over with soon.

My son who was too afraid to go on Mine Train absolutely loved Barnstormer! And with the short line, he was able to ride it several times with only a few minutes of waiting in between.

Living with the Land (Epcot)

Disney attractions
Photo credit: allears.net

Where to find it: Go straight through the entrance and veer right at Spaceship Earth (the giant silver golfball looking thing, or as my kids call it “The Epcot Ball”). Take a right into Future World West and follow signs for “The Land”. Once inside the land pavilion, don’t follow the herd that’s running to Soarin’. Instead head to the right and you’ll see the entrance to Living with the Land.

Why we love it: This gentle, 14-minute long boat ride is both educational and fun. A nice break from the hustle-and-bustle, this attraction focuses on farming and sustainability rather than characters and movies. Glide along through four greenhouses and an aquacell. Don’t worry, the voiceover isn’t too dry! Disney is even able to make crops interesting for kids. Mine loved seeing pumpkins and tomatoes grown in the shape of Mickey’s head and inspecting the huge tanks of strange-looking fish. The adults marveled over the “Creative House” section which shows how to grow crops in different ways including hanging in the air and with no soil.

Living with the land Epcot Disney world
Photo credit: bestoforlando.com

Overall, just one those really neat, engaging, underrated Disney attractions.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic (Magic Kingdom)

Disney attractions
Photo credit: disneyphotoblog.wordpress.com

Where to find it: Go straight down Main Street and through the castle. When you hit the carousel, turn to your left and you’ll be looking at Mickey’s PhilharMagic.

Why we love it: When you hear “animated 3-D movie”, you might think this attraction is skippable. Don’t make that mistake! It is a delight for the whole family (and yes, I even enjoyed it during my adults-only Disney trips). My kids always want to see it several times each trip and I’m happy to oblige.

The show is funny, fast-paced, and incorporates sights, sounds, and smells. With your 3-D glasses you really feel like you’re in the center of the action. You might even get water spritzed on you as part of the show.

Similar to the Peoplemover, Philharmagic is a fantastic way to escape the heat and rest your legs. You also shouldn’t have much of a wait. At 15 minutes long, even if you enter the waiting area when a show has just started, you won’t have to wait too long for the next one.

Disney attractions
Photo credit: disneyworld.disney.go.com

Make sure to add these 5 Disney attractions to your touring plan, and come back here and tell us what you think!


For more help with planning your Disney vacation, check out my 7 most useful websites for planning.


Adoptive mom, biological mom, slacker mom, Disney mom, and above all things a REAL mom. Fan of blogging, sleeping, and pretending not to hear my kids fight.


  1. My family just returned from a Disney vacation a couple weeks ago, and some of our favorites totally made the list! My 3 year old son totally loved the Brainstormer, while the whole family loves the People Mover and the break and relaxation it provides. This was also our first time doing PhilharMagic, and I tell you what, we will not skip it in future trips! Awesome read!

  2. We actually loved Living the land. We went last December when my son was three and he really enjoyed that part learning about the fruit, vegetables, land and water aspect of the hotel.

  3. Love your list and am in total agreement. We have yet to do the water ride at Animal Kingdom, cause kiddies are a little young, but I think we will check it out next time we go! Thanks!

  4. Great tips! I wish I would have read this before we went to Disney World last month. I’ll have to remember for next time <3

  5. I agree with every single one of these, especially Living With the Land. Next trip we are going to do a “Behind the Seeds” tour. Can’t wait!

  6. Thank you. Great ideas & you’re right…sometimes it’s good to check out the not so main attractions. Disney is an awesome family experience but wait times/lines can be tiring. Great post 🙂

  7. For my family and even my 4 year old, we were extremely disappointed with the barnstormer. Only reason is because it isn’t a long ride whatsoever. It says it’s a minute long but other people besides us were saying we couldn’t believe that was it. It felt like maybe 30 seconds after waiting in the line. Like you said, it’s a good “test ride” for new riders but it sadly wasn’t one we wanted to do again.

  8. I could not agree with this list more!! The Peoplemover is probably one of my favorites things to do in Magic Kingdom even if everyone thinks I am crazy! I am hoping they are going to keep it (or move it to Epcot, GREAT IDEA) with the updates to Tomorrowland! And we also take long ponchos for River Rapids and it works great. Also convenient for if it rains!

  9. I totally agree with this list! We go on Kali River Rapids every time we are in Animal Kingdom. Love to search for hidden Mickeys on Living with the Land. Plus, Barnstormer holds a special place in my 19 year old’s heart. It is a tradition for Dad and him to ride it together. Wonderful list!

  10. Another one of our favorites is Carousel of Progress- never full and always cool! (Dark and relaxing too!) We’ve all been singing the song since we went back in February!

  11. My daughter (who was 4 at the time) LOVED Kali River Rapids! We rode it 4 times in a row and out of 5 people I think only one of us ended up not getting soaked. Luckily I had a change of clothes for her. We will definitely wear ponchos next time. We even saw some people putting plastic bags over their shoes.

  12. Loving all of your tips on here! In late September, my boyfriend and I, after going to a business retreat in Mexico for 3 days, are going to spend 2 or 3 days and go to DW! Both being 1st timers! I am creating my own list of things and just created a “New a walking break” ride list, and some of these have been added!

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