by Brittany DiCologero
Walt Disney World does thrill rides best because of the immense attention to detail that is placed into each attraction. Even while speeding down drops and turns, each thrill ride immerses guests into a story. Here are my top 10 picks for the best thrilling experiences in Walt Disney World:
Dinosaur, located in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland U.S.A. transports guests back to the times of the Dinosaurs in an innovative vehicle called the time rover. This experience is hosted by Dr. Seeker, a paleontologist intent on sending guests back in time to bring back an Iguanodon to the present with them. The problem is that the Iguanodon is located dangerously close to the meteor impact that destroyed many of the life forms on Earth. This is a great thrill ride for thrill seekers who are not huge rollercoaster fans, as it is in the dark with lots of twists and turns, but no heights or fast, sudden drops.
- Space Mountain
Space Mountain, a classic Magic Kingdom attraction located in Tomorrowland, is a rollercoaster ride in the dark where guests are seated in rockets. Compared to other rollercoasters, Space Mountain is fairly tame. The thrill here is that the entire ride takes place in the dark, so you never know when you are going to drop or turn.
- Star Tours
Star Tours is a 3D motion simulator attraction based on Star Wars, located in Hollywood Studios. Due to the motion simulation used in this ride, it is not recommended for those who are easily overcome with motion sickness. In addition to the thrill of flying to different locations from Star Wars, the experience can be different each time you ride, as there are many different places and scenarios you are able to experience in this one attraction.
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Thunder Mountain, located in Frontierland of the Magic Kingdom is the “wildest ride in the wilderness!” This runaway mine train rollercoaster offers some of the best thrills in the park, and fits in perfectly with the theme of Frontierland. While the drops on this ride are not all that tall in terms of rollercoasters, the sudden jerky motions and turns are enough to make this ride one of the most thrilling in Walt Disney World.
- Test Track
Test Track, located in Epcot’s Future World, has the reputation of being the longest and fastest ride on Disney property. At speeds of 60 MPH, Test Track is perfect for thrill seekers who have a need for speed. The ride’s interior offers some thrills as well, as cars designed by guests are put through a number of tests before heading out to the road outside.
- Mission Space
Mission Space, also located in Epcot’s Future World, is great for guests who have always been fascinated by space travel but will likely never partake in it themselves. This attraction is the closest most people will ever get to actually being launched into space, and it also scores points for theming and interactivity, as guests are given different roles and must pilot the flight themselves. Due to the extremely thrilling nature of Mission Space, it has also become the first ride in Disney history where a less intense version of the same experience is offered.
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- Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain, of the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, is one of the most thrilling ways to experience drops on your Disney vacation. The center point of this attraction is the 52 foot plunge into the Briar Patch at the end of the ride. In addition to the big drop, the rest of the ride is dotted with smaller drops, as well as detailed scenes with audio animatronics from Song of the South.
- Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest, located Animal Kingdom’s Asia, is one of the most thrilling rollercoasters at Walt Disney World. This attraction has all the elements that an intense rollercoaster experience needs: a lift hill so high you can see Tower of Terror, encounters with the Yeti, and backwards and forwards drops (and rides uphill). Even if riding Expedition Everest does not seem like your cup of tea, it is worth spending some time outside the ride’s gift shop people watching as the coaster goes down the big drop.
- Rock n’ Rollercoaster
As the only rollercoaster at Walt Disney World that goes upside down, it is no surprise that Rock n’ Rollercoaster, located in Hollywood Studios, is towards the top of this list. This attraction allows guests to board a super-stretch limo to beat the traffic and make it to an Aerosmith concert. The most thrilling part of this attraction is the launch, which sends guests from 0 to 60 MPH in 2.8 seconds.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror is my top pick for the most thrilling experience in Walt Disney World. This ride, located in Hollywood Studios, builds suspense from the moment guests see it walking down Sunset Blvd. From outside the attraction, you can view the elevator dropping, and hear the screams of the guests riding inside. Throughout the queue, bell hops apologize that the regular elevator is out of service, so you’ll be riding in the maintenance service elevator. The Twilight Zone preshow and music right before the drop adds to the suspense even more, before you drop according to a random sequence, and are pulled down faster than gravity. The elements of attention to detail, combined with thrilling ride sequences move this attraction to the top of my list.