The Complete Guide to Disney World's Roller Coasters

Mild to thrilling: There's a Ride for You

As the most visited theme park resort on the planet, Walt Disney World has some of the world's most popular rides. From Space Mountain to Expedition Everest to the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Disney's roller coasters are among parkdom's most celebrated. Get ready for your next trip to Florida's Mouse House and gauge the thrills that await you.

Disney World's coasters are arranged from the least to most thrilling (although, truth be told, even the most intense ride isn't all that thrilling compared to some of the crazy coasters at parks like Six Flags.)

  • 01 of 07

    The Barnstormer

    The Barnstormer coaster at Disney World
    ••• Matt Stroshane / Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
      Mild drops, twists, and turns.
    • Height Requirement: 35 inches
    • Location: New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom

    For younger guests who don't meet the height requirements of the Magic Kingdom's bigger coasters and for more timid visitors who aren't quite ready to tackle the bigger thrills those coasters deliver, the Barnstormer makes a great entry-level ride. Even thrill warriors enjoy Disney's fun, if brief, junior coaster. If you want to overcome your coaster fears, you could give the Barnstormer a whirl as the first step of an immersion program.

  • 02 of 07

    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Disney World
    ••• Matt Stroshane / Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4
    • Top speed: 34 mph
    • Location: New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
    • Height requirement: 38 inches (97cm)
    • Top Magic Kingdom Thrill Rides

    It features a prototype pivoting coaster car design that allows the cars to swing to and fro. It also features some startling animated characters in the show portion of the attraction. It's fast and thrilling, but not too fast. It's a great step up from The Barnstormer and a good gateway ride for young kids eager to experience coaster thrills.

  • 03 of 07

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    Thunder Mountain
    ••• Garth Vaughan / Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5
      More twists and turns than big drops.
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom

    One of Disney World's famed "mountain range rides," Big Thunder Mountain Railroad goes 9 mph faster than its Tomorrowland counterpart, Space Mountain. Because it is outdoors and not shrouded in darkness, however, Thunder Mountain feels slower. It features three separate lift hills—that's a lot of click-clack-clicking—and offers one of the longest rides of any coaster (in terms of duration). An instant classic, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad remains a perennial Magic Kingdom favorite.

  • 04 of 07

    Primeval Whirl

    Primeval Whirl
    ••• Courtesy of Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5
      Free spinning can be disconcerting.
    • Height Requirement: 48 inches
    • Location: Dinoland U.S.A in Disney's Animal Kingdom

    A typical spinning coaster, similar to many found at amusement parks and fairs, the ride does not offer much in the way of storytelling. It offers a few dips and spins, but the ride's 29-mph top speed and 43-foot height places it firmly in the "family" coaster category. In other words: not a lot of thrills. With two separate tracks, each with its own set of trains, Primeval Whirl is technically two roller coasters.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Space Mountain

    Space Mountain
    ••• Christian Lambert / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 5
      More twists and turns than big drops. Darkness factor adds to thrills.
    • Height Requirement: 44 inches
    • Location: Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom

    Along with its the other Space Mountain rides at sister Disney parks, it is among the most famous of all coasters and certainly the most famous indoor roller coaster. Space Mountain is also one of the most enduring and popular of all Disney World attractions. Passengers (like you?) are often surprised to learn that the iconic ride hits a relatively wimpy top speed of 27 mph. The darkness and the effects (which are getting a bit long in the tooth and cheesy by today's standards) make it seem more thrilling, however.

  • 06 of 07

    Expedition Everest

    Expedition Everest Disney World
    ••• Courtesy of Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 6
      Fairly intense positive G-forces, backwards coaster motion, darkness.
    • Height Requirement: 44 inches
    • Location: Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom

    Along with Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest is among the 10 most thrilling rides at Disney World. For a portion of the ride, passengers race backwards through the mountain—in the dark. Unfortunately, the huge animatronic Yeti that lives inside the mountain and used to swipe at passing riders broke down soon after the attraction opened and has not been repaired.

  • 07 of 07

    Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

    Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney World
    ••• Courtesy of Disney

    There are no huge drops, soaring airtime moments, or nosebleed heights. But Rock 'n' Roller Coaster does feature an eeeeeahhhhh! 0-to-57-mph launch in 2.8 seconds. It includes inversions, but it's hard to tell right-side-up from upside-down in the darkened show building. The pulsating onboard audio from Boston's Aerosmith contributes to the thrills.