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It Ain't Fair, but . . . -- Disney rides sometimes break down or need routine maintenance that can take them out of commission for a few hours, a day, a week, or sometimes months. Test Track at Epcot, for example, occasionally experiences technical difficulties. The Hall of Presidents (2009), Space Mountain (2010), the Haunted Mansion (2010), and Star Tours (2011) have all closed for several weeks at a time (some for several months) in order to complete scheduled renovations. Many, but not all, of the ride rehabs are listed on the Disney website (www.disneyworld.com). Deb's Unofficial Walt Disney World Information Guide (www.allearsnet.com) and A Parent's Guide to Walt Disney World, Orlando, and More (www.mouseearsandmore.com) list most ride rehabs as well. The moral of the story: Err on the side of caution and don't make promises to kids about specific rides just in case something happens (especially given the ongoing construction at the Magic Kingdom, with the Fantasyland expansion affecting existing rides and attractions). Note that refurbishments and technical difficulties are unfortunate but part of the deal -- neither Disney nor Universal will discount or refund any tickets when rehabs occur.

Frommer's Rates the Rides

Because there's so much to do, we're shifting from the star-rating system used for rooms and restaurants to one that has a bit more range. You'll notice most of the grades are As, Bs, and Cs. That's because Disney designers have done a reasonably good job on the attractions front. But occasionally our ratings show Ds for Duds.

Here's what Frommer's Ratings mean:

A+ = Your trip wouldn't be complete without it.

A = Put it at the top of your "to-do" list.

B+ = Make a real effort to see or do it.

B = It's fun but not a "must-see."

C+ = A nice diversion, if you have time.

C = Go if there's no wait and you can walk right in.

D = Don't bother.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.