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Every Disney World thrill ride ranked

Homethrill rides
Every Disney World thrill ride ranked

We are all for soothing boat rides through villages of frightening adorable dolls singing songs of world peace, but sometimes we just want something a bit more…thrilling.

Disney World may be a family destination, but in each park you’ll also find things that are guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping.

Sound like something you might be interested in?

Here’s where you’ll find the Disney World thrill rides in each of the parks.

First things first

  • All of the rides listed below have height restrictions which are strictly enforced, so don’t try to fudge your child’s height. Disney knows all the tricks.
  • Some attractions below may make you motion sick, so if you love the thrills, but the thrills don’t love you, you’ll want to do some advance planning before you get queasy.
  • If you are traveling with somebody who is too small to ride, make sure you take advantage of Rider Switch. Rider Switch makes it easy for everybody who is tall enough to enjoy the Disney World thrill rides.
  • Even though these are thrill rides, in nearly every case you’ll be able to take your bag with you on the attraction, so no need to worry about that.

Ranking every Disney World thrill ride

Ranking these attractions in order of intensity was downright tough.

What makes an attraction a “thrill” ride?

Is it the drops? The darkness? The g-forces? The horrifically loud dinosaur roaring inches from your face while you clench your eyes shut?

Suffice it to say, there are many elements that might make an attraction thrilling. And, what one person considers thrilling, another might consider just “meh”.

So to help come up with the final list, we polled over 200 hardcore Disney World fans to see how *THEY* would rank the thrill rides at Walt Disney World.

Here’s what they came up, from most to least thrilling:

Thrill Rides ranked infographic
  1. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (most thrilling)
  2. Expedition Everest
  3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  4. Space Mountain
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  6. Avatar Flight of Passage
  7. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  8. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  9. Test Track
  10. DINOSAUR
  11. Splash Mountain
  12. Slinky Dog Dash
  13. Mission: SPACE
  14. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  15. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  16. Kali River Rapids (least thrilling)

What about TRON Lightcycle Power Run?

We’ll get it added to the mix as soon as it opens and we can test it out!

Magic Kingdom

Total number of thrill rides: 4 (soon to be 5 when TRON – Lightcycle Power Run opens up)

Mountains are the theme for the thrills in this park: Big Thunder, Space, Splash, and whatever the name of the mountain where the Dwarfs are mining is called.

Plus, sometime soon, there will be a new thrill ride – TRON – Lightcycle Power Run.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (roller coaster)

Min. height required: 40″ (102 cm) or taller

They don’t call this one “the wildest ride in the wilderness” for nothing.

big thunder mountain railroad

Expect some sharp turns, but no super high drops on this coaster. It’s a bit bumpy at times, but not as bad as its super rough mountain cousin, Space Mountain.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Space Mountain (roller coaster)

Min. height required: 44″ (113 cm) or taller

Get ready to blast off into space on this classic indoor coaster.

space mountain ride vehicle

Adding to the thrills of this nearly totally in-the-dark ride are the glimpses of the tracks you’ll catch as you whiz by. Seriously – it would probably be less scary if you couldn’t see the track at all.

This coaster is known to be a bit rough. So, make sure the fillings in your teeth are secure before climbing aboard.

space mountain at night

Splash Mountain (water ride)

Min. height required: 40″ (102 cm) or taller

99.8% of this attraction is a peaceful, floating journey through scenes speckled with animal animatronics.

splash mountain

Don’t let your guard down, though, because 0.2% of the ride is a couple smaller drops and then one heart stopping “OH MY GOODNESS I AM GOING TO DIE” drop followed by a dousing of water.

But don’t worry; you get just enough time after the final drop to clean off your glasses and quiet your nerves while you listen to one last song before unloading.

splash mountain

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (roller coaster)

Min. height required: 38″ (97 cm) or taller

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is as smooth of a ride as Space Mountain is rough.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sign

And, like Splash Mountain, this is another thriller that tries to calm your fears with animatronics.

Again, no super-high drops here, just some mild drops, tight turns, and classic Disney character fun.

Plus, if you have a hesitant rider, this attraction is very, very short.

seven dwarfs mine train

Tron Lightcycle Power Run (roller coaster)

Min. height required: TBD

Although the construction on this new ride isn’t done yet, we already know quite a bit because it is modeled after the attraction with the same name located in Shanghai Disneyland.

Tron

This new coaster will be semi-enclosed, and kind of like the ride vehicles used for Flight of Passage, guests will ride the cycle instead of sitting like on a traditional coaster.

This definitely looks to have the potential of being even more thrilling than Space Mountain.

(Fingers crossed that it is also more smooth!).

Tron Lightcycle Power Run

Epcot

Currently home to 2 moderately thrilling attractions and 1 soon-to-be thrill ride, adrenaline junkies have a couple of choices to make them happy.

Mission: SPACE

Min. height required: 44″ (113 cm) or taller for the more intense Orange Mission and 40″ (102 cm) or taller for the less intense Green Mission

Original versions of this attraction made enough people ill that a milder version was installed. That should tell you all you need to know about this ride.

Mission SPACE

Those looking for excitement will want to check out the “Orange Mission” (not the “Green Mission”). And, if you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to sit this one out.

You have been warned.

mission space

Test Track

Min height required: 40″ (102 cm) or taller

There is a lot to love about Test Track and you don’t have to be a car junkie to enjoy this attraction.

Test Track Lightning Lane

The thrills here come primarily from the outside loop where you accelerate up to about 65 mph quickly on banked curves, but even some of the stuff inside might make you go “Wheeee!”

test track photopass

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (roller coaster)

Min height required: 42″ (107 cm) or taller

Epcot is home to the brand-new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which is an indoor roller coaster themed after Marvel’s popular Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

cosmic rewind nova corps starblastr ship

The roller coaster features the first-ever reverse launch for a Disney coaster and is one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world.

If that isn’t enough, the ride vehicles rotate 360 degrees!

Doesn’t that sound thrilling?

guardians of the galaxy cosmic rewind loading stations

Hollywood Studios

Total number of thrill rides: 5

The 5 thrillers here all provide vastly different experiences, making Hollywood Studios a great place to go if “danger” is your middle name.

Rise of the Resistance

Min. height required: 40″ (102 cm) or taller

You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to love this ride, but you do have to be a fan of excitement (is that even a thing? Guess it is now).

Rise of the Resistance ride vehicle

And, while this attraction may not have loops or inversions, it is definitely thrilling. 

One of the newest attractions at Walt Disney World, this fan-favorite combines live-action storytelling with multiple ride vehicles, one short drop, and lots and lots of blasters.

Even though the height requirement is only 40″, younger kids may be frightened by the very realistic Cast Members. So, keep that in mind if you’re traveling with any small Padawans.

Rise of the Resistance

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (roller coaster)

Min. height required: 48″ (122 cm) or taller

Picture Steven Tyler and Aerosmith singing loudly into your ears.

Now, picture Steven Tyler and Aerosmith singing loudly into your ears while you are upside down.

rock n roller coaster hollywood studios

If that sounds like an awesome time to you then this is something you’ll definitely want to check out.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is totally indoors, has a killer launch, and pairs the loud rock sounds of Aerosmith with a silky smooth coaster-ride.

rock n roller coaster ride photo

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Min. height required: 40″ (102 cm) or taller

Basements. Boilers. Breakaway elevators.

Put all that together and you have one of the most intense attractions on Walt Disney World property.

Tower of Terror

From the creepy basement boiler room to the elevator with a life of its own to being dropped – and then shot back up again – over and over, this ride has it all.

Not for the faint of heart, but a definite “must-do” if thrills are what you are after.

Tower of Terror

Slinky Dog Dash (roller coaster)

Min. height required: 38″ (97 cm) or taller

It feels almost silly to follow-up a section on an attraction as intense as Tower of Terror with something like Slinky Dog Dash, yet here we are.

slinky dog dash coaster

This adorable coaster is as fun as it looks.

With a couple of launches milder than those of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and dips a bit more intense than those of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, this coaster is a good “in-between” option for people working their way up to the bigger thrills.

slinky dog dash

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Min. height required: 38″ (97 cm) or taller

Smugglers Run is what happens if Mission: SPACE and Star Tours have a baby.

smugglers run

It isn’t a *bad* ride, and there are some sort-of-thrilling elements, but it probably isn’t going to get your heart pumping like the others. 

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Galaxy's Edge

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom may seem cozy and organic with all those plants and furry animals, but it has several attractions that are anything but “mild.”

Avatar Flight of Passage

Min. height required: 44″ (113 cm) or taller

Flight of Passage is like a freaky cross between an amped-up version of Soarin’ and Mission: SPACE (if Mission: SPACE had banshees).

flight of passage

Like the other 2, it’s a simulator attraction, and while it is known for making people motion sick, its breathtaking beauty, unique ride “seat,” and hyper-realistic optics make it a must-do for any thrill seeker.

flight of passage

DINOSAUR

Min. height required: 40″ (102 cm) or taller

If I had to describe DINOSAUR in 1 word it would be loud. If I had to pick 2 words, it would be terrifyingly loud.

dinosaur

Disney’s mastery of realistic animatronics take you back into time where your survival depends upon avoiding becoming dinner.

This one can be a bit rough, and did I mention it was loud?

dinosaur

Expedition Everest (roller coaster)

Min. height required: 44″ (113 cm) or taller

This coaster is insanely unique and even though there are no inversions, the portions where you go backward almost feel as if you’re upside down.

Expedition Everest

Everything about this attraction screams THRILL.

Well, everything except for the Disco Yeti (but rumors are always swirling that he’s going to be fixed soon).

If adrenaline is what you run on, you can definitely fuel up here.

Expedition Everest

Kali River Rapids (water ride)

Min. height required: 38″ (97 cm) or taller

“Surprisingly short but not lacking a punch of fun” is a good description for Kali River Rapids.

Prepare to get soaked. This is the one thrill ride where you’ll want to store your stuff in the lockers found just outside the entrance.

kali river rapids

Which park is the best for thrill seekers?

Although each park has something “thrilling”, we think Hollywood Studios is the best for adrenaline junkies. Not only does it have the most thrill rides overall, the ones it does have are some of the most intense of any in the parks.

  • Hollywood Studios: 5 thrill rides, with a combined average intensity of 7.57/10
  • Animal Kingdom: 4 thrill rides, with a combined average intensity of 7.01/10
  • Magic Kingdom: 4 thrill rides (soon to be 5), with a combined average intensity of 6.98/10
  • Epcot: 2 thrill rides (soon to be 3) with a combined average intensity of 6.54/10
average thrill intensity of all parks

Roller coaster & thrill ride data

When it came time to rank Disney World’s thrill rides and roller coasters, we preferred not to make all the decisions ourselves.

Instead, we asked members of our WDW Prep School Patreon private Facebook group to help us out.

Ranked choice voting (probably) would have been the best/most accurate method to determine the order.

However, we wanted to keep things as simple as possible.

So instead of rank choice, we asked each participant to assign all the thrill rides an intensity level individually from 1 (least intense) to 10 (most intense).

From there, we took the averages and compared those to the most common responses to make sure things remained consistent.

Here is how the data looked:

thrill ride data

Note: We are curious to see how Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewinds ranks with our readers. We plan to repeat this process after it has been open for a while. And, we’ll do the same thing once TRON opens, too.

Kids and thrill rides

If you have a child who is new to being tall enough to experience the thrill rides listed below, here are a few tips that might help.

  • Prepare kids ahead of time by watching ride videos. YouTube is a fantastic resource. You’ll find point-of-view videos for every or nearly every attraction at Walt Disney World. Watching the attractions ahead of time can help ease some anxiety first-time riders might feel.
  • Don’t start with the most intense thing first. Ease into the world of thrill rides by trying some less intense attractions first.
  • Encourage kids to try something new, but don’t force it. Yes, you know your child best, and you may know all the way to the tips of your toes that they would “love” something if they just tried it, but forcing a crying child to ride something is often not a good idea and it likely won’t make happy memories.
  • Be prepared to revisit a ride. Even adults may find that for some attractions it sounds like a good idea up to the point you actually have to walk inside. If you get close, but your child decides at the last minute they changed their mind, have a plan in place for that. Oftentimes, though, a person that “almost” walked inside summons the courage later in the day (or trip) so if your plans allow it, if that time comes when somebody says “I’m ready” give it another try!

Think we got the ranking of the Disney World thrill rides wrong? Tell us how you’d rank them in the comments. Who knows, if your argument is good enough, maybe you’ll change our minds!

Change my mind
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Heather Thomas

Megan Reed

Thursday 14th of February 2019

I was surprised at how mild Big Thunder was. It brakes when you think there's going to be a drop. It's bumpier than Mine Train, but less intense, I think.

Flight of Passage made me so sick, though not bad as the GREEN version of Mission Space. So that to me makes them more intense.

Flex

Saturday 24th of November 2018

Why is everything so uncomfortable?

David Fitzsimons

Sunday 14th of October 2018

I agree with most of your list but is Mission Space a thrill ride? I just find it a very odd non-thrilling experience. Never felt sick on it just felt odd but certainly walked off every time feeling anything but thrilled. An awful ride in my opinion and the worse in Disney World I suspect I might be alone on that

Maria C

Monday 10th of September 2018

I literally thought I was going to die on Mission Space before they added a mild version. NEVER AGAIN.

Kathy M

Sunday 9th of September 2018

My stomach cannot handle sudden drops like Tower of Terror, so that is the most thrilling to me and you won't catch me on it ever. That being said, my 'must-do, absolute favorite' ride is Rockin Roller Coaster!! I am feeling pretty proud of myself since I have become a wimp on most 'thrill rides' and roller coasters in my 'later years'. Thanks for the run-down! Can't wait to ride Slinky Dog Dash soon!!