Favorite Boat Rides at Walt Disney World

Grand One boatSummer is just around the corner and I thought I’d take a look at some of the boat and water rides at Walt Disney World. These may help cool you down by splashing you or even just with a cool breeze on the water. To borrow a phrase from my friends over at Wedway Radio, everything is better on a boat.

Resort Boats

In the Magic Kingdom Resort area, each of the resorts features boat transportation to the Magic Kingdom and to the neighboring resorts. From Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge as well as the Contemporary on Bay Lake to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian on the Seven Seas Lagoon, boats are constantly crisscrossing the waters around the Magic Kingdom. Also on the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Transportation and Ticket Center, guests can take the Ferry Boats to the Magic Kingdom. Different sizes of boats and launches are found at these resorts for transportation purposes, but guests are also able to rent personal watercrafts, larger pontoon boats and can even rent (with a captain) the Grand One Yacht.

Between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Friendship Boats run back and forth, making stops at the Swan and Dolphin, Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club. There are also pontoons and some smaller boats available for rent at the Yacht Club.

Downtown Disney also offers boats along the Sassagoula River to and from Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter.

 

Attraction Water Rides

Magic Kingdom

My favorite boat or water based attraction at Walt Disney World is Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland. It is true that I love the Disneyland version even more, but I still appreciate this one as it was my first.

Also in Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise takes guests on several rivers including the Nile and the Congo. The campy jokes from the skippers make or break this attraction. If you’ve got a good skipper, it completely makes the ride fantastic.

Frontierland has one of the most thrilling water attractions in Splash Mountain with its five story drop. This classic is also one of the best themed rides with a lot of different elements including tons of audio animatronics.

The Liberty Belle in Liberty Square is another great boat ride. This turn of the century paddle wheeler takes guests on a nice slow ride around Tom Sawyer Island on the Rivers of America.

Just around the corner in Fantasyland is one of the quintessential boat rides of all time, It’s A Small World. This journey through the world just celebrated its 50th Anniversary from when it was first created for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

Epcot

In Future World’s the Land Pavilion, Livin’ With The Land (previously Listen to the Land) is my favorite boat ride. This slow moving boat ride takes guests through different ecosystems and talks about aquaculture, farming and fishing. This is one of my ways to cool off from the warm days we have here in Florida and there hardly ever seems to be a wait of more than a few minutes.

As guests make their way into World Showcase, they have a few more options for rides on the water. On World Showcase Lagoon, Friendship Boats traverse the waterway to transport guests between Mexico and Germany, and Canada and Morocco.

Mexico is host to the Grand Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros. Previously called El Rio de Tiempo, this slow moving boat ride takes a trip through Mexico and some of its cultural offerings. It is fun seeing the Jose and Panchito on a search for the missing Donald across different Mexican locales.

Right next door in Norway, the Maelstrom is a bit more thrilling. There are some lifts and drops, as well as a surprise or two before you go back, back, over the falls. It is still pretty tame as I’ve ridden it with infants without any trouble or fear for their safety without lap bars or any restraints.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The only current water ride at Animal Kingdom is the Kali River Rapids. Granted, I’ve only done this attraction once, but it wasn’t my favorite. I don’t know if it was the feeling of the message of clear cutting being pushed a bit too much or that I simply didn’t find it as fun as Grizzly River Rapids at Disney California Adventure. At least it has a water attraction, which is more than Disney’s Hollywood Studios can say.

 

To be honest, I could spend hours just riding the resort boats to relax. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pirates and Splash and Livin’ With The Land, but there’s something to be said just chilling on a boat. It’s been said before and I will continue to say it, it’s better on a boat. What’s your favorite way to spend time on the water at Walt Disney World?

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Author: Betsy

Scorpio. Passionate about movies, music, sports, Disney and my friends who are more like my family. Fiercely loyal and competitive. My thoughts are my own.

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