April 06, 2021

Latest Survey Ranks the Most Popular Rides at Walt Disney World, Across Every State

A recent study from Upgraded Points was conducted in March 2021 of mixed ages and genders, 18 years and older, residing in the U.S. to determine which rides were the most popular.

Those surveyed were asked to name their favorite ride overall (of all four parks - the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom) as well as their favorite ride in each specific park.

Additionally, the survey data was broken down by state of residence and also gender to reveal any gender-based preferences.

Overall Winner: The Magic Kingdom Brand

Survey results clearly show that, when asked to rate their most favorite Walt Disney World ride regardless of specific park location, that the Magic Kingdom, the oldest and most-recognized area within Disney World, was the clear leader. In fact, of the top 10 most-popular rides overall, all but one was located in the Magic Kingdom.

POPULARITY OVERALL # States Where #1 % of Resp.
Space Mountain 13 11.20%
Haunted Mansion 12 10.40%
Big Thunder Mountain 5 5.30%
It's A Small World 5 4.90%
Pirates of the Caribbean 3 5.50%

Top 10 Favorite Rides at Disney World

Disney's Magic Kingdom: Classic Rides Dominate

When survey data for the Magic Kingdom was examined in more detail, the results clearly indicate that, over time, theme park rides can build popularity with a compound-interest effect: In the Magic Kingdom, the only ride in the top 10 ranked by popularity, that was built in the last 30 years was "Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin," which opened in 1998. All the other top-favorite rides at this venue are older --

MAGIC KINGDOM - TOP 2 # States Where #1 % of Resp.
Space Mountain 14 16%
Haunted Mansion 14 14.40%

Disney's EPCOT Center - a Clear Winner

Over at EPCOT, those visiting clearly have chosen their favorite: Mission SPACE. It was the leader by far, with it being the favorite ride for this venue in 19 different states (nearly 40% of the total), almost double that of the runner-up.

EPCOT # States Where #1 % of Resp.
Mission: SPACE 19 22.30%
Spaceship Earth 19 15.80%
Soarin' 9 16.50%
Test Track 4 13.30%
Frozen Ever After 4 7.60%

Disney's Hollywood Studios: Thrill Rides and Space Movies Have Their Day

Disney opened this venue due to the perennial fascination with everything Hollywood in the public mind. At this venue, "thrill rides" were the league-leader (Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror). Speaking of Hollywood, the Star Wars ™ franchise influence was unmistakable, with Millennium Falcon: Smuggler Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance were also highly-favored.

DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS # States Where #1 % of Resp.
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster 19 15.90%
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 12 17.80%
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run 6 9.10%
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance 5 10.40%

Disney's Animal Kingdom: Animals Can Be Exciting

The genius-which-is-Disney is on full display at the Animal Kingdom. It was developed as a way of tying in to the love that all humans have for their animal friends. Leading the pack in the popularity contest was Avatar Flight of Passage (the most liked in 17 states) and the highly-rated roller-coaster ride Expedition Everest (a winner in 13 states).

DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM # States Where #1 % of Resp.
Avatar Flight of Passage 17 17.40%
Expedition Everest 13 19.70%
DINOSAUR 10 14.60%
Kilimanjaro Safaris 7 15.20%
Kali River Rapids 3 9.90%

Marketing Implications For Theme Parks and Resort Areas

According to Upgraded Points CEO, Alex Miller, travel and leisure industry expert, these survey results demonstrate the critical importance of customer/visitor loyalty to these businesses.

"Our data clearly show that when people develop a liking or loyalty to some aspect of their theme park experience, that becomes a strong trigger to send them back again-and-again. Kids who come to love a certain theme park ride will, in time, return with their children and experience it again through the joy and delight of their own children."

Speaking further, Miller noted that, "The marketing implementations are crucial: If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Don't retire a popular ride unless it is absolutely necessary. Over time, popular rides at theme parks become more and more popular, not less. People build up a personal history with them, and are sorry to see them go. Keeping them going year after year is a crucial aspect of keeping people loyal as repeat customers."

Copyright 2021 Upgraded Points LLC. All rights reserved. From https://upgradedpoints.com.

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