The Scariest Rides at Disney's Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is known more for its twee charm, immersive lands, and cuddly characters than for white-knuckle thrill rides. However, while no attraction at the park can match the behemoth coasters and other adrenaline-pumping rides found at parks like Six Flags, there are some rides that include a few thrills. That said, most riders (including children) should be able to handle Disney's legendary mountain range and its classic dark rides.

  • 01 of 08

    Splash Mountain

    Inside Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World
    ••• Inside Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World.

    The Walt Disney Company

    Splash Mountain marries the classic log flume ride with an animatronics-filled dark ride. Themed with characters from the controversial 1946 film "Song of the South," most of the ride is tame.

    However, there are a couple of false drops along the route which add to the thrills, and the final drop is quite a humdinger at 50 feet. If you have very young children you might want to sit this one out.

    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! 10=Yikes!): 7
    • One giant 50-foot drop
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland
  • 02 of 08

    Space Mountain

    Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom
    •••

    Benjamin D. Esham/Wikimedia Commons

    Perhaps the most famous indoor roller coaster, Space Mountain offers more psychological than physical thrills. This legendary ride reaches a puny top speed of 27 mph, but, the effects, darkness, and the element of surprise that make it seem much faster. 

    • Thrill Scale: 5
    • More twists and turns than big drops; darkness adds to thrills
    • Height Requirement: 44 inches
    • Location: Tomorrowland
  • 03 of 08
    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    •••

    Arthur Levine

    The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is as much of a dark ride as it is a coaster and offers a smooth and visually stunning experience.

    However, there is a big drop at the end that is just a few feet short of Splash Mountain's thrilling drop, so it may not be suitable for very young children. 

    • Thrill Scale: 5
    • One big drop
    • Height requirement: 38 inches
    • Location: New Fantasyland
  • 04 of 08

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World
    •••

    Stuart Rosenthal/EyeEm/Getty Images

    With a top speed of 36 mph, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is 9 mph faster than Space Mountain. Without the indoor coaster's canopy of darkness, however, Thunder Mountain somehow feels slower.

    The mine train coaster's three separate lift hills are an unusual feature, and the runtime is 3 minutes and 30 seconds. This is considerably long for a coaster, making it one of the longest rides in the world.

    • Thrill Scale: 4
    • More twists and turns than big drops
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08
    Haunted Mansion exterior at Disneyland.
    ••• The original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

    Disney

    More silly than scary, the ride is dark, loud, and full of haunted delights! There are no coaster-like drops, dips, or twists on this ride, but with a name like "The Haunted Mansion," you'd have to expect at least a few jump scares from the attraction's 999 ghosts.

    The beating heart of the ghostly bride, the pop-up ghouls in the cemetery, and the unseen victims pounding on the doors are among the more frightening scenes that may be disconcerting for very young children.

    • Thrill Scale: 3
    • Height Requirement: None
    • Location: Liberty Square
  • 06 of 08
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    •••

    Mttbme/Wikimedia Commons

    Pirates of the Caribbean's buccaneer boat ride has a few small drops, moments of total darkness, and somewhat menacing imagery that can be unsettling. However, this ride is one of Disney's most beloved attractions, and one many children enjoy, despite the thrills.

    • Thrill Scale: 3
    • Small splashdowns, mildly frightening images
    • Height Requirement: None
    • Location: Adventureland
  • 07 of 08

    The Barnstormer

    The Barnstormer
    •••

    Matt Dempsey/Flickr

    The Barnstormer only climbs 30 feet in the air and is just under 60 seconds, so children of all ages should be fine riding this attraction. 

    Surprisingly, it reaches a top speed of 25 mph; that is only slightly slower than Space Mountain, but with the absence of darkness, it feels a lot more sluggish.

    • Thrill Scale: 3
    • Junior coaster-level thrills
    • Height Requirement: 35 inches
    • Location: Fantasyland
  • 08 of 08

    Astro Orbiter

    Astro Orbiter
    •••

    Loren Javier/Flickr

    The Astro Orbiter is really just a spinning, carnival-type ride. However, since the "space capsules" climb much higher than the Dumbo ride, children with a fear of heights might want to sit this one out.

    • Thrill Scale: 3
    • Vehicles rise high into the air
    • Height Requirement: None
    • Location: Tomorrowland