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The Week 10 AP Poll Decided the Rankings for D1 Women's Basketball, So We Decided What They Would Be As Disney Rides

On January 8, 2024, Week 10 of the Associated Press (AP) Weekly Poll for the Top 25 teams in Women’s Division I College Basketball was released. In typical fashion, some teams dropped in ranking, while some were able to move up into higher spots. Three teams, University of South Carolina, University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), and Baylor University are the only ones who remain undefeated. 

After finishing up an internship with the Walt Disney World Company, it has frequently been on my mind and I thought, as I looked at the AP Poll for Week 10, that it would be interesting to compare the teams to the rides that I frequented while working to put together the two things that I have been greatly following. 

  1. University of South Carolina

South Carolina has been doing exceptionally well over the past few weeks of the NCAA basketball season and that showed when they easily secured the number one spot in this week’s AP Poll. Even if you are not a fan of South Carolina, it is hard to disagree that they should be at number one this week. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the ride that South Carolina is most similar to! This ride is thrilling and can be commonly agreed as one of the top rides at Walt Disney World. Even people who don't like rollercoasters for various reasons, such as motion sickness, can still agree that this ride has many strengths to it, similar to South Carolina!

Courtesy of @gamecockwbb via Instagram

2. University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA remains to be one of three schools left without a loss. This is an impressive statistic to have going into Week 10, which definitely puts a target on their back. UCLA has had a bumpy ride, having years of high success, like the one fans are seeing now, but also years where they were just getting over a 50% win margin. This school’s program is most similar to Expedition Everest. This ride has had some issues over the years, such as the big Yeti at the end having some technical issues that Disney has “fixed” with some flashing lights so that people don’t truly notice the issues. Regardless, this thrilling ride is loved by many. UCLA has had some bumps along the way, but they seem to have figured things out as they continue into conference play. 

3. Iowa State University

Iowa is performing extremely well this season. They have a strong team, which is highlighted by star Caitlin Clark. Clark is a strong player who makes impressive shots, breaks records, and has helped put Iowa on the map. The ride that this team is most like is Test Track in EPCOT. Test Track has many parts to it, from building your own car to testing it in various areas. The most anticipated part of the ride is where park goers can go up to almost 65 miles per hour. Iowa has so many strong areas of their team, as a team cannot be solely based on one person. Despite this, Clark is highlighted by the media for all that she has done over this season, similar to Test Track, highlighted only by the fast part. 

Courtesy of Iowa Women’s Basketball

4. Baylor University

Since the turn of the century, Baylor has been a renowned name within women’s college basketball. Having won three NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships since 2004, they are known for their dominance. This season is no different. Baylor remains as one of three schools with an undefeated record thus far in the season. The ride that Baylor is most similar to is a classic, something that has been around for a long time and loved by many, The Jungle Cruise. The Jungle Cruise has been around since opening day in 1971 at Walt Disney World, where it has had plenty of time to gain this love and support. The Bears of Baylor University have gained these feelings as well, along with respect for the program they have put together.

5. University of Colorado

Colorado has an interesting history in women’s college basketball. For many years, they were in the middle of the pack, never a true standout team. This changed within the past three years as they have qualified for March Madness and made an impressive run. They are doing better than they ever have so far this season. They are most similar to Stitch’s Great Escape. While Stitch’s Great Escape is no longer an operating ride, he is still a meetable character. I remember when I was younger, that ride was seen as scary and his character was not as liked by Disney goers, however, his cuteness level has extremely increased his fandom among the younger crowd in Disney. There is more merchandise made around him and his meet and greet lines have gone up dramatically in recent years. Colorado is making a name for themselves, just as Stitch is gaining popularity within the parks. 

6. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State came out strong this season with some wins over teams ranked in the Top 25, but this past week, the team lost by just a single point to the Hokies of Virginia Tech. This was a tough loss considering NC State was favored to win the matchup, along with the fact that the winning basket was scored in the final few seconds, sending the Hokies to victory. Their ride would be the Tower of Terror. This is a fantastic ride with lots of drops and some spookiness involved, but guests can often find that there can be some annoying technical issues that can increase wait times, leaving guests frustrated. NC State is certainly still able to bounce back from this loss, but it isn’t going to be easy after a one-point defeat. They can be successful, just like Tower of Terror, regardless of their bumps along the way! 

7. Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University (LSU), is the defending National Champion of women’s college basketball and they are performing well so far this season, with only one loss. However, they had some early setbacks with one of their top players, Angel Reese, missing some games due to unspecified “locker room issues”. However, they remain strong and within the Top 10. Tron, a ride in Magic Kingdom, is the copy of a ride in Disney’s Shanghai Park. This is a newer ride that had a lot of hype around its opening, Unfortunately, according to many, it fell flat to some expectations. People believe that this is still an amazing ride, yet it felt too short or there was not a clear storyline to follow. LSU is still a great team who is standing strong, but they are not coming out as strong as people believed the National Champions would. 

Courtesy of LSU Athletics

8. Stanford University

Similar to Baylor, Stanford is a successful women's basketball program that has been dominant for many years. This year, that remains the same, as they have only suffered one loss. Stanford is similar to Small World. It’s a classic ride, it has been in Walt Disney World since opening day, and it is absolutely beloved by almost all people who go to Disney. Stanford is also a classic women’s basketball team. They are well known and are respected because of their success over the years. 

9. University of Southern California

In recent history, Southern California has been able to hold their own with a winning record each year. However, they had a very limited time playing in the NCAA March Madness Tournament, being eliminated in just the first round. Nevertheless, this year, they have come out with a bang, holding a 12-1 record. The ride that Southern California would be most like is the Figment ride. This is a cute ride that has for many years been seen as one for kids, however Figment has recently gained a lot of popularity, seen in the up to three-hour wait time to get a Figment popcorn bucket. Wait times for the ride have gone up, and it is now seen more as a ride for people of all ages. Southern California is gaining momentum, but their real test will be meeting their in-state rival UCLA on January 14th on the Trojans’ home court. 

10. University of Texas - Austin

UT Austin is a school that has a huge fan base throughout all of their sports, and it’s definitely a school that all fans either love or hate. In recent years, Texas has had a better record and has made some noise in the NCAA. Texas is similar to the ride named Dinosaur, located in Animal Kingdom. This is a bumpy and jerky ride that brings you back to the age of dinosaurs right before extinction. People either love this ride (like me LOL) for the nostalgia and the silly-looking dinos or really hate this ride and dislike the darkness and the scary-looking dinosaurs. Everything is bigger in Texas and opinions about this school are bigger than ever. Regardless of any and all opinions, Texas is currently thriving and hoping to keep their momentum. 

Edited by Emilia Morello

Social Media Content by Saydatou Cisse

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