Ever since our lives were taken over by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have found more and more things to do at home. Visiting theme parks is no exception.
While some theme parks are reopening, others are closing down again and even delaying reopening until we can get a better grasp on how to deal with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) safely.
Needless to say, visiting a theme park right now isn’t necessarily the safest thing to do in the world. Fortunately, many of our favorite rides can be experienced (to an extent) virtually!
That means that from the comfort and safety of your couch, or wherever you are reading this right now, you can experience some of the most sought-after Disney rides from 12 parks around the world — no FastPass+ required!
Grab your virtual passport, strap in, and let’s go park hopping!
Disneyland Paris (Paris, France)
Disneyland Paris (formerly known as Euro Disney Resort) is located in Chessy, France — just 20 miles (32 km) east of Paris — and is home to 2 theme parks, multiple resorts, and plenty of shopping and dining.
With plenty of thrill rides, guests are sure to get their adrenaline fix while at the parks. But since many of us will not be visiting anytime soon, here are some of the best options to experiences the thrill from home.
All aboard one of Disney’s most popular rides, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!
Plummet through the darkness along a dynamite-littered track as you take the train deep into the heart of a legendary gold mine.
The big dips and sharp turns don’t get lost in the virtual version… hold on!
Strap into your rickety rail cart and start exploring the remnants of a previous expedition gone wrong.
Meandering through lush undergrowth and mysterious statues, your cart’s spiraling out of control through the cursed ruins.
Soon the thought of finding that missing expedition is gone as your most important task now is getting out safely — enjoy the ride!
The It’s a Small World ride is a classic no matter which park you experience it in. Set sail and sing along while you float down the Seven Seaways Waterway and explore all 7 continents in less than 10 minutes.
The intricate details of the hand-crafted dolls telling stories of cultures all around the globe are just as impressive via YouTube as they are in person… well, almost!
One thing is the same as the actual ride, the fact that you will likely have the song stuck in your head for hours after you are done!
If you want to experience It’s a Small World in all of the parks at once, check out this neat compilation via the Disney Parks YouTube Channel.
Fans of the original Space Mountain will recognize many parts of this roller coaster as it was previously known as Space Mountain: Mission 2.
In 2015, the indoor/outdoor roller coaster received a refresh and was rethemed as Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the park.
Although many parts of the ride are quite dark, you can still experience the thrill as the stars blow past you on this awesome steel coaster.
Walt Disney Studios Park
Fans of EPCOT at Walt Disney World in Orlando are counting the days until they can ride the upcoming Ratatouille ride, but guests at Disneyland Paris have been enjoying it for years.
In this fun ride, you will shrink down to the size of Remy and scurry through the famous Gusteau’s restaurant kitchen as you are being chased by angry Chef Skinner.
This 4K video will need to hold you over until the 4D version is ready to go live.
Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, California)
Dating back to its opening in 1955, Disneyland has long been the premier destination for theme park lovers on the west coast of the U.S. and across the world as it continues to grow.
Consisting of 2 parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland is just 26 miles from Los Angeles and offers some of the most innovative and exciting rides in the world.
Here are some of the best Disneyland attractions that you can experience from home.
If you are looking for a nice, informative, and pun-filled cruise, look no further than Jungle Cruise.
Head off on an adventure where you will explore the Mekong River, African Congo, Nile River, and the Amazon with your trusty skipper who is never short on jokes.
Bundle up and slide into your bobsled as you hurtle down a snow-capped mountain.
Not only will you be making your way through narrow passageways, caves, and jagged cliffs, but you will also need to avoid the Abominable Snowman!
This is a great thrill ride in person, but the 4K video does a pretty good job of passing along the excitement!
With a little bit of pixie dust, you will find yourself flying over London on an enchanted ship on your way to Neverland with Peter Pan.
This classic story will have you soaring past Big Ben and then swooping into Pirate’s Cove while Peter battles Captain Hook.
Will you and the children make it back to London? Watch and find out!
You don’t need to worry about getting a FASTPASS to experience the world-famous Space Mountain — the thrill is just a click away.
While watching the video isn’t quite the same as plummeting through the darkness on this classic roller coaster, it will certainly help scratch the itch until you can ride again.
If you want some behind the scenes action, be sure to check out what it is like to ride Space Mountain at Disney World with the lights on, here!
One of the most anticipated rides in this history of theme parks is just a click away.
Join the Resistance as your battle against the First Order in this impressive “Star Wars” ride. This video will take you on a front-row POV on this trackless ride at Disneyland as you get help from Rey and BB-8 as you battle your way past legions of stormtroopers.
Disney California Adventure Park
Strap in as you and your 7 friends board a whitewater raft and start drifting down what seems like a lazy river.
But hold on — this California river is full of drops, waterfalls, and geysers. If you were on this ride in person, you would be prepared to get wet, but you don’t have to worry about that here.
You will still want to keep your head on a swivel to watch out of waterfalls, so be sure to strap on your VR headset and enjoy this ride in 360-degrees!
This tower may look terrifyingly familiar to some, but it is now the home to Rocket and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Help save Star-Lord, Groot, and the rest of the crew who are held captive in electrified glass cases that dangle perilously over an abyss.
If you are a fan of the classic rock from the movies, you will be sure to enjoy the ride’s playlist, courtesy of Star-Lord’s awesome mixtapes.
Head over to the Pixar Pier and help the Incredibles as they try to catch Jack-Jack as he causes trouble throughout the neighborhood.
This fun roller coaster is full of big drops and tunnels that are easy to enjoy thanks to this 360-degree video. If you have VR goggles, strap them on and get ready for a wild ride!
Buckle up as you race through Cars Land and arrive in charming Radiator Springs.
This fun ride makes you the star and all of your favorite characters, including Lightning McQueen, come out to help you prepare for the big race.
You will be zooming around high-banked turns and cruising down straightaways past spectacular red rock formations before crossing the finish line. This one will be fun for the whole family!
Conquer your fear of heights as your glide over the beautiful state of California.
As the clouds part over San Francisco, you’ll find yourself with a thrilling perspective of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The IMAX tour continues as your fly over Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, and San Diego Bay, returning at dusk over Malibu before coming back home to Disneyland Park.
Be sure to turn up the volume and really embrace the ride!
Hot Tip: Disneyland is trying to open its 2 California parks back up safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but have had to delay the reopening date. Here’s all the details about the reopening of Disneyland.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (Lantau Island, Hong Kong)
Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay in Hong Kong. The park only has capacity for 34,000 visitors per day, the smallest amount of any Disney park, but offers plenty of entertainment.
Shrink down and fight alongside Ant-Man and The Wasp as they try to help Iron Man defend against thousands of Swarmbots.
Guests ride along shooting the bots hoping to protect S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret research.
This style of ride may be familiar to Disney fans, so it should be a fun ride whether you are in person or watching from home.
The Iron Man Experience is 1 ride that we don’t have stateside.
Guests are welcomed to take a tour of Stark Industries and get an all-access look at the groundbreaking technologies that will help shape the future.
Put on some 3D glasses and board an Expo Edition Iron Wing for a wild flight over Hong Kong. While the virtual experience may not be as thrilling, it does give you a great look at one of the few rides that is more difficult to experience in person.
Mystic Manor is a trackless ride that takes you through a very eclectic art collection in an old manor house and museum.
As you make your way through the labyrinth of rooms, a curious little monkey opens a mysterious box and some mystical music dust starts bringing objects to life. You must make your way out before it is too late!
Fans of “Toy Story” are sure to love this ride. Climb aboard your favorite RC Racer as you zoom up and down the track.
Ride up and down the 88-foot (27 m) half-pipe and feel like you are one of Andy’s toys playing in the backyard!
Winnie the Pooh is a lovable character no matter where you are in the world.
Hop into a honey pot and get lost in the pages of one of your favorite childhood books. Bounce along with Tigger in the Hundred Acre Wood and stay out of the rain with the help of Eeyore, Roo, Kanga, Rabbit, and Owl.
This is a fun and cute ride for all ages, online or in-person!
This is another must-watch for “Toy Story” fans.
Guests become new recruits for the toy soldier army as you hear the familiar voice of Sarge yelling out orders.
You will find yourself high above Toy Story Land as you practice parachute drills. Strap in and hold on, soldier!
Shanghai Disneyland (Shanghai, China)
Shanghai Disneyland has long been considered one of Disney’s most well-balanced parks from the day it opened. With a great mix of shows, rides, and family attractions, it is a park that has something for everyone.
There are some great, unique experiences that you will only find at this park. Let’s take a look at some of the best virtual rides on the internet.
Set sail with Captain Jack Sparrow as you search the seas for Davy Jones’ sunken treasure.
This ride is fun, but beware of pirates, mermaids, and even the savage Kraken!
One of the most popular rides at the park for good reason, take a look at this virtual cruise in 4K to see if it is enough to get you to start planning your next trip to China!
Board your raft with fellow volunteers as you head up Roaring Mountain in search of the source of the mysterious sounds that come billowing out.
Hold on as the water turns into rapids as you are heading straight towards the dark caves. The sounds get louder as your approach and you soon realize an enraged monster is what is causing the roars of the mountain.
Guests normally get wet on this ride, but you can avoid that and still get the thrill thanks to this YouTube video.
Fans of adrenaline-pumping music, lights, and 3D graphics don’t have to wait until 2021 for TRON to open at Magic Kingdom in Orlando to experience the digital thrill. The TRON Lightcycle Power Run is already up and running (and very popular) over in Shanghai.
Race for survival as you are other riders are “digitized” and enter the high-tech universe. Dip and dive in on your motorcycle through incredible this digital universe as you try to beat other opponents in your quest to capture the 8 Energy Gates.
Board this charming little ship as you journey into a cavern full of Disney magic.
Music, light, and wonder will encompass you as your sail through incredible sculpture gardens honoring timeless Disney films like “Tangled,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan,” and more.
After your cruise, you will surely be full of that special Disney awe.
Although it is certainly not the wildest ride, a trip (even a virtual one) to Shanghai Disneyland wouldn’t be complete for a “Toy Story” fan without a ride on Woody’s Roundup.
It’s time to have a party in the old Western town that Andy set up in his backyard. You will join Woody and Jessie for a good old fashioned square dance as you spin back and forth on this fun family ride.
Even if you prefer the adrenaline of some of the other rides, you will certainly be impressed with the details that really make you feel like you are part of Andy’s toy collection.
Tokyo Disney Resort (Tokyo, Japan)
Tokyo Disney Resort was the first Disney property built outside of the U.S. back in 1983 and it has proven to be quite popular, being the third most visited park only behind Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in California.
There are actually 2 parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, and both are just a short drive or train ride from downtown Tokyo. While Disneyland has the iconic look and feel of Magic Kingdom (and many of the famous attractions Disney fans love), DisneySea is just as popular.
One of Disney’s most popular rides worldwide is Splash Mountain, and that holds true in Tokyo as well.
While quite similar to the version at Walt Disney World, the Tokyo Disneyland version has some subtle differences — can you spot them?
Get on one of the most popular rides at the park as you play hide and seek with flashlights, tagging alongside Boo, Mike, and Sulley.
Make your way through Monstropolis on a smooth tram and try to find as many monsters as possible.
This a really fun ride for the family, even virtually, as you get to interact with your favorite characters from the film.
Are you afraid of the dark? What about 999 ghosts, goblins, and ghouls desperately looking for someone to make it an even 1,000?
This fun and spooky ride is a must-visit for many Disney fans and now you can enjoy it from the safety of your own home — in 4K!
Sit down, dim the lights, and try not to scream!
Soaring has finally touched down in Tokyo. Debuting in July 2019, this version of Soarin’ (from EPCOT) is proving to be just as popular.
Strap in and feel what it is like to fly above our beautiful Earth as you are transported all around the world from a perspective like never before.
This video puts your right into the clouds so you can start flying immediately.
Just as terrifying as the other Towers of Terror rides around the world, the Tokyo DisneySea version is a fan favorite.
Transport back to 1912 New York as the Preservation Society is finishing up the restoration of this famous hotel and giving tours to the public. But the mysterious disappearance of the hotel’s owner back in 1899 seems to be causing some trouble… especially when the elevator reaches the top floor!
What do you think? Is this as scary as the original? Better?
Unique to DisneySea and one of the most exciting rides at the park, Journey to the Center of the Earth is certainly worth checking out — even online.
Head deep into an active volcano on an exploration, but hold on as things go awry and you find yourself plunging even deeper.
This thrill ride is certainly entertaining — enjoy it now without the long waits!
If you love thrilling roller coasters, this ride is for you.
This outdoor thrill ride is happy to take you upside down and 360-degrees around. Don’t worry about themes on this one, it’s all about speed and drops.
Raging Spirits is known for its long queues, so take advantage of the fact that you can see it from the comfort and safety of your own home — without the motion sickness!
Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida)
Walt Disney World in Orlando is the crown jewel of the Disney Parks family.
The massive property, which covers 25,000 acres, is home to 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 27 resort hotels, multiple golf courses, and more shopping and dining options than you can pack into a single vacation.
Welcoming an average of 58 million guests per year (yes, you read that correctly), Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the rides that make it so popular.
Hot Tip: Planning a family vacation to Walt Disney World can be stressful! We offer tips to help make your next trip to see Mickey stress-free!
If you like getting dizzy, this is the ride for you!
One of the most classic Magic Kingdom rides is the Mad Tea Party and it is a must-do for many guests. Inspired by “Alice in Wonderland,” it is loved by many, but this spinning ride is certainly not for everyone.
Ready to go for a twirl? Click play!
One of the most popular rides in the park, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is known for its hairpin turns… and long waits. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about the latter part when riding virtually.
Strap into this rustic mine train and make your way through the creaking tracks as you come across your favorite dwarfs as they are whistling and singing while they work.
This is a great family ride and almost as fun when watching from home!
It doesn’t get more iconic than Splash Mountain. The winding river, the small drops, the music… all getting you ready for the big splash at the end in front of all the passers-by.
Splash Mountain will be reimagined as a “Princess and the Frog” ride in the coming years, so if you can’t visit before the renovation, this 4K video is the next best thing.
Fortunately, in this version, you don’t have to wear a poncho!
EPCOT isn’t necessarily known for its rides, but one of the most popular rides in all of the parks is Frozen Ever After, based on the super-popular film.
This boat ride will take you towards Arendelle through a frozen willow forest and eventually to the North Mountain where Queen Elsa’s enchanting ice palace awaits.
Fans of the movies will be happy to know that there are appearances from all your favorite characters, including Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and more.
This video is filmed with a 360-degree camera, so you can really immerse yourself in the Frozen experience!
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut? Well, now you can get a feel for it thanks to this NASA-inspired simulation.
Chose your mission: either to travel to Mars or just a gentle orbit around Earth. Both will require you to go through cadet training, so prepare for an epic blastoff into space.
Strap in and enjoy some of the most spectacular views of our planet.
This is a fun ride for the car lover — or anyone who likes a fun ride.
Head to the Chevrolet Design Center and create a virtual concept car that you’ll then get to take out for a spin on the test track. You will experience big curves, inclement weather, and high speeds.
Hopefully, your creation is up to the challenge!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The most anticipated ride opening of 2020 just may have been Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway.
The newest of all of the Hollywood Studios rides, this trackless ride replaced The Great Movie Ride in the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the center of Hollywood Studios, and the reviews have been good.
Zip away with Mickey and Minnie as you are transported into the cartoon short with them on a wild train ride. This is the first-ever ride that actually features Mickey Mouse and his friends — enjoy!
Talking about popular rides, new “Star Wars” rides are probably the most anticipated attractions of the past decade, if not ever at Walt Disney World.
Make your way through Galaxy’s Edge before boarding the Millenium Falcon as you embark on a thrilling, interactive journey into hyperspace.
There is danger at every turn as you battle your way through the galaxy… get ready to punch it!
Fast roller coasters and loud music? Sign us up!
This awesome thrill ride shoots you through the streets of Los Angeles and into the music studio where Aerosmith is working on a recording session.
Jump in their limo and explore the city at break-neck speeds!
“Toy Story” fans rejoice! The ride of your dreams is here and you don’t have to worry about securing a FastPass+ months in advance!
Head into Andy’s backyard where he has assembled his Mega Coaster Play Kit and Slinky Dog is ready to take you on a wild ride.
This incredibly fun ride is perfect for the entire family, whether in person or online.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
One of the most visually stunning and exciting rides in the world can be found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Avatar Flight of Passage consistently generates hours-long lines with guests coming off the ride saying that it was worth every minute. Impressive, no?
On this 3D ride, you climb on the back of a mountain banshee and fly through Pandora as if you were a Na’vi hunter.
While it would be impossible to truly experience how incredible this ride is from your computer, you can get a pretty good idea at how special it is without a FastPass+.
If you are looking for a good old fashioned roller coaster, but with that special Disney touch, look no further than Expedition Everest.
Hold on as you careen through the Himalayan peaks on old train tracks as mystic Yeti chases after you.
Big drops, darkness, drops in reverse… this ride has it all.
One of the really special parts of Animal Kingdom is the fact that there are — wait for it — a lot of animals on the property!
You can actually go on an open-air safari which covers over 100 acres of land, home to 34 species of animals. With everything from open plains to rocky wetlands, you will be amazed at how many beautiful animals are living in the park — and how close you can get to them.
Whether it is a stunning giraffe, a regal lion, or one of the rhinos or elephants, there is plenty to see on this 18-minute tour.
Hot Tip: Looking on reopening information of Walt Disney World? Head over to our dedicated article to get the latest information and what is changing.
Although some parks are reopening, and guests feel safe visiting, the safest option for many people is to stay home — or at least away from large crowds.
Fortunately, thanks to technology, we can experience some of the world’s most incredible rides and scratch that ever-present “Disney itch” from home.
With options in 4K and even with 360-degree cameras, you can start planning exactly which rides you want to get your FastPasses for when things get back to normal.
Until then, make sure your phone is fully charged so that you don’t run out of battery at the end of Splash Mountain!