Top Ten Walt Disney World Thrill Rides
Tron Lightcycle Power Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will debut at Walt Disney World over the next 18 months.
When they do, the Orlando landscape will change, as everyone recalculates the most exciting rides in town.
However, Disney already operates several spectacular adrenaline rushes. Here are the top ten thrill rides at Walt Disney World.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Cast members happily describe this attraction as “Soarin’ on Steroids.”
That identification tells the story about this ride, which allows guests to soar the skies of Pandora.
Along the way, you tame a Banshee enough that you develop a permanent bond with it.
Avatar Flight of Passage doesn’t have any conflict per se.
Instead, it’s all about the exploration of a fictional world brought to life via augmented reality. And it’s glorious!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
I’m never quite sure how to define a thrill ride, as I suspect that everyone’s interpretations differ.
However, any attraction that can expel a kidney stone definitely qualifies!
On Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you board a rickety mine train through a ghost town…although there’s still a dude taking a bath for some reason.
This roller coaster’s proof that you don’t need to go fast – max speed of 35 miles per hour – to create tension.
Of course, roller coasters come in all shapes in sizes.
At Walt Disney World, two of them stand above the rest, at least in terms of pure adrenaline rush.
You’ll find the first one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Expedition Everest threatens the safety of all guests.
Like the best coasters, this one follows a simple premise. First, you go up. And as everyone knows, what goes up must come down. Fast.
In this case, you’re also going backwards. And there’s an angry yeti.
Yeah, that’s certainly a rush.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Of course, you’ll get a different kind of energy burst from this one.
Lifelong Star Wars fans finally get to live out their ultimate fantasy. You can fly the Millennium Falcon, just like Chewie!
This ride comes with a secondary portion that’ll get your pulse racing. You also compete to score points and thereby acquire more Coaxium.
Yes, you gotta waste hyperfuel to snag more hyperfuel. This way, you get to blow stuff up, though.
My current record’s two Coaxium rods. I’m throwing down the gauntlet and daring you to beat that. Spoiler: It’s not hard. I’m not great at this.
Do you follow NASA and/or rocket launches any? Have you ever wondered what it feels like to achieve escape velocity?
Mission: SPACE is legitimately the only theme park attraction on the planet that allows you to experience such sensations.
You sit in a claustrophobic cockpit along with three other guests, and you hit buttons that theoretically launch you into orbit.
Now, these buttons require so little attention that anyone who meets the height requirement can do them.
So, you’re not going to feel like Neil Armstrong at the controls or anything. But you WILL believe that you’re floating above Earth.
What could possibly be better than that?
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Okay, here’s the other supercharged roller coaster at Walt Disney World. Yes, Disney operates several others, one of which will yet make this list.
However, nothing can match Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster coming out of the gates.
This ride hits its max speed of 57 miles per hour in a couple of seconds.
Folks, there’s a reason why all the signs warn you to put your head back at the start of the experience.
People who forget wind up clunking their heads against the back of the chair. I’m the kind of moron who has done this more than once.
The one knock on this roller coaster comes down to its length, as the whole thing’s over in 75 seconds.
Nobody cares, though. It’s the ultimate in whirlwind thrill rides.
What is it about sensory deprivation that messes with our brains?
I often wonder this as I bounce through the brutally rough Space Mountain tracks.
This roller coaster somehow triggered the theme park thrill ride arms race AND maxes out at 28 miles per hour.
The disconnect will blow your mind if you let it. Space Mountain deludes you into thinking that you’re flying down the tracks at breakneck speed.
In reality, you’re going at a pace that Usain Bolt can reach on foot…but who cares?
The immersion forces you to buy into the illusion, which makes it a classic Disney thrill ride.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Storytellers innately understand the importance of upping the stakes. Without potential conflict, you cannot create excitement.
Friends, what would raise the stakes on an attraction more than getting taken prisoner?
That’s the underlying premise that drives Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Early in the ride experience, you get captured by members of The First Order, who plan to interrogate you.
Later, you manage to break free and attempt an escape. During the chase scenes, Kylo Ren (!) uses The Force to try to stop you.
As far as thrill rides go, it’s hard to top an encounter with one of the worst villains in the history of modern cinema.
This one’s like two thrill rides in one. First, you pretend like you’re driving a car through a series of high-speed tests.
Should you fail any of them, you could drive headfirst into an 18-wheeler or face similarly disastrous outcomes.
You’ll never feel happier that your brakes work. That’s for sure.
Once you pass all these tests, you kick into high gear, as the doors fly open, allowing you to enter open air for the first time.
As you hit daylight, your speed escalates up to 65 miles per hour, making this the fastest ride at Walt Disney World.
Even if Test Track weren’t so fast, it’d still thrill you with its sudden starts and stops. It’s arguably the most aggressive ride in Orlando.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Drop tower attractions have always delighted theme park fans, but they all share the same core problem. They’re over in a matter of seconds!
Leave it to Imagineers to turn a negative into a positive!
With Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney understood that the elevator shaft concept was only operating at half-capacity on conventional drop towers.
The rides would either hurdle guests up in the air or drop them at zero-gravity straight to the ground.
Disney built something that combined both premises. They took an elevator and removed all safety regulations! That’s a real thing that happened!
The elevator manufacturer expressed alarm at the idea, but Imagineers had safeguards in place. What they wanted was a controlled freefall.
When you enter the elevator of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, you’ll bounce up and down, traveling through countless floors without ever stopping.
The whole thing’s such a rush that you can hear the euphoric streams of guests from the street below the ride.