What Is the Disney Mountain Challenge?
Do you love trying something new at a Disney theme park? Would you prefer something that’s on the simpler side? Good news! I can offer you a quest that will work at either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom. Here’s a guide on how to complete the Disney Mountain Challenge.
What Is the Disney Mountain Challenge?
According to park officials, the Disney Mountain Challenge at Magic Kingdom only involves four attractions. The commonality between these rides is that they’re take place on/inside man-made mountains.
To complete this event, you’d ride each attraction during the same day. So, doing them all during the same Disney trip isn’t even enough. You need to knock them all out between park opening and park closing that day. Should you do so, you may even receive a surprise afterward.
The Disneyland Mountain Challenge is less official. As such, it’s also less finite. You could view as many as five different attractions as qualifying, but most people would agree that the park has four “true” man-made mountains.
Let’s take a look at the specifics of the Disney Mountain Challenge at each park.
How to Complete the Challenge at Magic Kingdom
Four rides at Magic Kingdom complete the Disney Mountain Challenge. They are Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain.
How you approach the challenge is entirely up to you. The idea here is that you’ll try to work these attractions into your park day. However, you may take a more casual approach, deciding to let fate decide whether or not you finish the task.
After all, I’ve just described four of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World. You may not want to spend most of your park day trying to get on these rides. Don’t worry! I’ll offer a few tips about the approach in a later section.
For now, what matters is that you understand the location of the four attractions. Space Mountain is in Tomorrowland and will have the second-longest wait-time since it’s a classic. Those of you who plan to do the Mountain Challenge sequentially should start here. You can take an east-to-west approach within the park and thereby avoid excess walking.
The attraction with the longest wait is the newest man-made mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland. It actually has the one of longest lines anywhere at Walt Disney World. So, you’ll need to plan this one a bit more than the rest.
The other half of the Mountain Challenge is simple. Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad sit side-by-side in Frontierland. They also have shorter waits than the other two. So, you’ll have an easier time with them.
The one thing to keep in mind is that you WILL get wet at Splash Mountain. This fact may impact your park strategy, especially if you plan to dry off before doing anything else.
How to Complete the Challenge at Disneyland
Three of the four attractions are the same at Disneyland. The lone difference is that Matterhorn Bobsleds replaces Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Oh, and the location of the rides is much different.
At Disneyland, Splash Mountain is actually in Critter Country, while Matterhorn Bobsleds is in Fantasyland. Space Mountain is still in Tomorrowland, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is in Frontierland, too.
However, the placement of the four attractions isn’t quite as convenient. At Magic Kingdom, you won’t have to circle back much to finish the challenge. Disneyland is different.
Presuming that you start at Space Mountain again, you’ll go up and west to Matterhorn Bobsleds next and then follow a linear path to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Finally, you’ll take a circuitous path to Splash Mountain, which isn’t that far Southwest of Frontierland. Unfortunately, Rivers of America prevents you from going directly to your location.
Still, Disneyland is smaller than Magic Kingdom. So, the extra movement doesn’t mean a lot of extra walking. I’ve never measured with my Fitbit, but I suspect that you take fewer steps to do the Disney Mountain Challenge at Disneyland.
By the way, some people throw in Indiana Jones Adventure as a fifth part of the challenge. To me, that’s ridiculous, as the whole point of the quest is to visit all of Disney’s man-made mountains. The Temple of the Forbidden Eye is spectacular, but it’s…not a mountain.
Tips to Make the Challenge Easier
At both parks, FastPasses are your best friends. Since that’s a statement of the obvious, I’ll circle back to it. The main pro tip that I can provide involves when you attempt the challenge.
Your best bet is to knock out a couple of the rides right at the start of the day. I’d strongly suggest that you target Space Mountain first unless you have a FastPass for it. In that scenario, head straight to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Rope Drop.
You’ll want to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train before the crowds reach wait-times of 60+ minutes. When the park opens, you have a brief window to get in line ahead of others.
Once you’re done with the Dwarfs, you can use your FastPass at Space Mountain. Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are much easier to plan. So, this strategy removes most of the aggravation of waiting in line.
The other suggestion at Magic Kingdom is to monitor My Disney Experience FastPasses. You’re likely to find them for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain, and you may get lucky with Space Mountain. Having a FastPass for each one reduces the stress of the Disney Mountain Challenge.
At Disneyland, Matterhorn Bobsleds has nowhere near the line of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. You’ll have a much easier time with the Disney Mountain Challenge here because of it.
Of course, the easiest way to do the challenge at Disneyland is via MaxPass. All four rides are available that way, although you will pay a small fee to use it. You’ll find plenty of FastPass availability for the attractions early in the day. So, book the ones that you want. You’ll be able to conquer the Disney Mountain Challenge stress-free!
A Prize? Maybe…
Should you complete the challenge, you may receive a certificate. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this part. Some folks have posted certificates that laud them for being a “Certified Mountain Climber.”
However, these certificates only mention the three attractions with “Mountain” in the name as needed for the challenge. Even the Disney video that I linked above suggests that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a part of the quest.
Your best bet to get a certificate is to get a FastPass for these three rides. It’s likely to register in the system this way. Alternately, mention that you did it to a cast member or someone in your hotel lobby. They may know the magic steps to take to deliver your certificate.
Honestly, I wouldn’t count on this part. Should you receive a certificate, think of it as a special bonus on top of the fun of beating the challenge.
PS: To the best of my knowledge, Disneyland doesn’t offer a similar certificate. It’s more of an unofficial quest there.