Top Magic Kingdom Thrill Rides

Looking for Disney World Thrills? Head to the Mountains.

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is known more for its boundless charm, immersive themes, and cuddly characters than for white-knuckle, thrill rides. While no attraction at the Magic Kingdom can match the behemoth coasters and other adrenaline-pumping rides found at parks like Six Flags, it does offer some rides that include thrills. On the mild-to-wild scale, however, riders of nearly all thrill-tolerance levels should be able to handle Disney's legendary mountain range and its classic dark rides.

Then again, some visitors to the park may want to avoid thrills altogether—which is entirely possible. There's great advice for them in The Magic Kingdom for Wimps guide.

There are thrill rides throughout Disney World. The resort's most intense thrill rides are at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You could also get your thrill on at Disney's Animal Kingdom. With no coasters, Epcot is probably the most thrill ride-deficient, but it still has some exciting attractions.

The...MORE Magic Kingdom's thrill rides are arranged in order from most to least intense.

  • 01 of 08

    Space Mountain

    Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom
    ••• Benjamin D. Esham/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
    • 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

    Perhaps the most famous indoor roller coaster (along with its sister rides at other Disney parks), Space Mountain offers more psychological than physical thrills. Riders are generally surprised to learn that the legendary ride reaches a relatively puny top speed of 27 mph. It's the effects, the darkness, and the element of surprise that make it seem faster. A 2009 makeover made the coaster experience even darker (although it did not improve the somewhat bumpy ride).

    When Disneyland rehabbed its Space Mountain, it installed an entirely new track and trains. The California version of the ride is considerably smoother.

  • 02 of 08

    Splash Mountain

    Inside Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World
    ••• Inside Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World. Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 5
      One giant splashdown
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland

    Disney marries the classic log flume ride (with one humdinger of a drop) to an animatronics-filled dark ride themed to the Uncle Remus characters from "Song of the South." Playing off the theory that "what goes up must come down," there are a couple of false drops along the route which add to the thrills. You'll be humming "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" (once you regain your composure from the drop).

  • 03 of 08

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World
    ••• Stuart Rosenthal / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4.5
    More twists and turns than big drops.

    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland

    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—that's a lot of click-clack-clicking—are an unusual feature, as are its Old West theme and effects. With a run time of 3:30 (mostly due to the three lift hills), the Magic Kingdom coaster provides one of the longest rides in the world.

  • 04 of 08
    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    ••• Arthur Levine.
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4
    • Top speed: Not available, but likely around 30 mph.
    • Height requirement: 38 inches (97cm)
    • Location: Fantasyland

    It's faster than a kiddie coaster (like the nearby The Barnstormer), but it's not as fast as medium-grade coasters such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It may be the perfect introductory ride for younger kids eager to try a major-ish coaster. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is as much of a dark ride as it is a coaster.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08
    Haunted Mansion exterior at Disneyland.
    ••• The original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Courtesy of Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 3.5
      More silly than scary, the ride is dark, loud...and haunted! Very young children may find it disconcerting.
    • Height Requirement: None
    • Location: Liberty Square

    There are no coaster-like drops, dips, or twists on Disney's classic dark ride. But with a name like "The Haunted Mansion," you'd have to expect at least a few gotchas 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.

  • 06 of 08

    The Barnstormer

    The Barnstormer
    ••• Matt Dempsey/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 3
      Junior coaster-level thrills.
    • Height Requirement: 35 inches
    • Location: Fantasyland

    It only climbs 30 feet, and the ride lasts a mere 60 seconds. At a top speed of 25 mph, it's only slightly slower than Space Mountain, but it feels a lot slower.

  • 07 of 08

    Astro Orbiter

    Astro Orbiter
    ••• Loren Javier/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 3
      Vehicles rise high into the air.
    • Height Requirement: None
    • Location: Tomorrowland

    It's really just a spinning, carnival-type ride. But the "space capsules" climb much higher than the Dumbo ride.

  • 08 of 08
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    ••• Mttbme/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2.5
      Small splashdowns, mildly frightening images.
    • Height Requirement: None
    • Location: Adventureland

    It's a stretch to classify Pirates of the Caribbean as a thrilling attraction, but the boat ride's small drops, lights-out moments, and somewhat menacing imagery can be unsettling (in a good, theme park kind of way). Regardless of thrills, Pirates is one of Disney's—and all of parkdom's—most beloved attractions.