I typically have cabin fever even after a few days home, so this extended travel stoppage has definitely affected me. I especially miss going to theme parks. I’m so grateful for the trip I took to Disneyland in late February.
I had purchased a Disney World annual pass late last year in the hopes of visiting at least one or two times this spring. I had also hoped to visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay again this April – to enjoy the rides and the Food and Wine Festival.
Of course, I certainly understand why the parks are currently closed and know that it’s the right thing. One day, hopefully soon, we’ll all be able to ride our favorite attractions.
Luckily, the internet can help us stay connected to our very favorite rides, and let us experience some rides we’ve never been on. Guests from all over have created virtual ride tours/POV tours (Point of View).
I’ve always had some mixed feelings about virtual ride tours/POV tours. I love experiencing the rides I’ve been on, but I like to keep the element of surprise for new ones. However, I do love to do virtual ride throughs of attractions that I may never experience.
Curated by my teen son, here are 20 different theme park ride tours/POV tours that you can watch from home. These include rides from Disney parks, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Knotts Berry Farms, and the list is in no particular order.
If we’ve missed your favorite POV video, leave us a comment and we’ll include it!
Disclosure: I’ve visited several of these parks in the past at no/low cost.
20 Virtual Theme Park Ride Tours
I had heard so many great things about this attraction, which is the Hong Kong Disneyland version of the Haunted Mansion. It focuses on magic rather than ghosts and the afterlife, so it’s very different than the Haunted Mansions in the US. I would love to see it in person one day, but for now, this is a suitable substitute.
This ride recently opened in Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Running approximately 15 minutes, it’s unlike any ride I’ve ever experienced. Beware of spoilers on this full-ride POV, however – if you haven’t been on it yet, you may want to wait.
I love thrill rides, and one of my favorite thrill rides at Walt Disney World is Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While it doesn’t go upside down, the backward motion is so much fun. Admittedly, the POV tour does lose a bit in the darkness, but it’s still nostalgic to watch.
I hadn’t yet experienced this ride, which was recently refurbished at Universal Studios Hollywood. This POV video does get dark at the end but is still a good overview of the ride (including that famous Jurassic Park film score).
I’m one of the few people who isn’t a Harry Potter fan, so I haven’t been overeager to get to the Wizard World of Harry Potter. This ride, however, may have converted me. It looks like so much fun!
This is one of my favorite thrill rides. Since it’s completely outdoors, this front row POV video is really clear and shows the ride entirely.
This is one of my kids’ favorite thrill rides. By the time we reach this point in the park, I’m usually done for the day. It features a lift and some backward elements.
We missed the opening of this ride by a few weeks last year. It’ll definitely be on our list for next year. It looks like so much fun!
We loved this ride when we visited SeaWorld San Antonio a few years ago during spring break. The swinging motion of the ride doesn’t quite come through in the video, but it’s still exciting to watch.
We enjoyed riding this Morgan Coaster during our trip to SeaWorld. It’s a long “hyper” coaster and is one of only eight in the country.
Wave Breaker – SeaWorld San Antonio
This over-water coaster was being built during our last visit to SeaWorld San Antonio. It looks like a really exciting attraction – and you don’t get wet!
This gentle boat tour was built during the Pandora: The World of Avatar expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The bioluminescent forest and the shaman of songs are a bit tough to capture on video, but this does a good job.
We loved our trip to Disneyland Paris in 2018 but were disappointed that Phantom Manor was closed. Phantom Manor, which is the Disneyland Paris version of the Haunted Mansion, is even scarier and spookier.
I believe that the Disneyland version of this classic ride is superior to the Walt Disney World version. This POV video is a great substitute for being there in person.
No matter how many times I go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, I always have to go on it’s a small world. You’ll be singing the song all day after watching this virtual ride.
This fun water ride, located in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot, has always been one of my family’s favorites. It’s a gentle ride, but the music is so nostalgic for us.
The only ride at Disneyland that goes upside down is the Incredicoaster at Disney’s California Adventure. Join in the search for Jack Jack as you enter tunnels and race around Pixar Pier. It’s a fun, thrilling ride.
I remember the first time I rode on this after it was built. It’s a relatively mild coaster, and it is lots of fun. Because of the train engine in the front, this POV video isn’t a direct view of the track, but it’s still a great way to experience the attraction from home.
Like Mystic Manor, this is an attraction that I would love to experience. Luckily, a TRON coaster based on this one is being built in Epcot. In the meantime, watching this is a great way to build anticipation for that opening.
This thrill ride at Knott’s Berry Farm is short, but it has some big drops and sharp turns. The video quality is great – despite the short length of the ride experience.