Disney World's 13 Most Thrilling Rides

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

David Jafra/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Known more for its charm, whimsy, and cuddly characters than for white-knuckle thrill rides, Walt Disney World nonetheless offers some exciting, scream-worthy coasters, and other attractions. And the most thrilling ride (as well as the ninth most thrilling ride) isn't even at one of the four theme parks. Use this guide to determine which rides are best for your thrill level—each one below is ranked on a thrill scale of 0-10, with 0 meaning "wimpy" and 10 meaning "yikes!"

01 of 11

Summit Plummet

Blizzard Beach

 Ivan Curra/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

1534 Blizzard Beach Drive, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA
Phone +1 407-939-1929

At 120 feet and with speeds up to 60 mph, Summit Plummet is one of the world's tallest, fastest water slides. Even though it is not a roller coaster and not even at one of the theme parks, this ride is, arguably, the single most thrilling attraction at Disney World. Even the heartiest thrill-seekers will test their mettle on Blizzard Beach's speed slide. Interestingly, Summitt Plummet may be Disney World's most thrilling ride, but it's not the most thrilling water park attraction in the area.

  • Thrill scale: 9. Insane height and speed for a water slide.
  • Height requirement: 48 inches
  • Location: Blizzard Beach Water Park
02 of 11

Mission: Space

Mission: Space entrance

Michael Gray/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 

200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

The unique, groundbreaking attraction, Mission: Space, delivers sensations you have likely never experienced (unless you've been in training at NASA). Some roller coasters deliver higher positive G-forces, but it is unlikely that any ride at any other theme park or amusement park ​maybe G-forces at this intensity level for such a long duration. Note that if sustained G-forces sound too daunting for you or if you are prone to motion sickness on spinning rides, you can opt for the non-spinning, much less thrilling "Orange Team" Mission: Space experience. (Regardless, both versions include ride vehicles that place passengers in very tight spaces.)

  • Thrill scale: Up to 7.5. The sustained G-forces can be unnerving; the simulated liftoff and flight are very realistic; the capsule is quite confining.
  • Height requirement: 44 inches
  • Location: Future World in Epcot
03 of 11

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The Hollywood Tower Hotel ride

Jack Toczek/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0  

351 S Studio Dr, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

It's tough to say which is more thrilling aboard The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: the random, multiple, faster-than-free fall drops and rises, or the freaky few seconds that passengers endure in the elevator shaft ​anticipating the drops that are about to ensue. In either case: yikes!

  • Thrill scale: 7. Multiple free-fall drops and launches, sensations of weightlessness, psychological thrills.
  • Height requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios
04 of 11

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, entrance

Walt Disney World  

Disney's Hollywood Studios Main Entrance, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

A launched ride, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster screams out of the station going from 0 to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds. That's plenty thrilling. It also is the only Disney world coaster to include any inversions. The classic-rock Aerosmith soundtrack adds to the thrills. Note: This ride will only be open until September 2, 2019, meaning summer 2019 is your last chance to enjoy this ride until it reopens.

  • Thrill scale: 6.5. Fast launch, inversions, darkness.
  • Height requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios
Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The Walt Disney Company

Asia, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA

It is both a roller coaster and a themed dark ride. In both regards, Expedition Everest is thrilling. Passengers spend part of the ride soaring backward through the pitch-black mountain. Now that Animal Kingdom is open later, nighttime rides on the coaster are especially wild.

  • Thrill scale: 6. Fairly intense positive G-forces, backward coaster motion, darkness.
  • Height requirement: 44 inches
  • Location: Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom
06 of 11

Space Mountain

Space mountain Magic Kingdom

Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World

Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park, Orlando, FL 32836, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

It is one of Disney's classic rides and (along with its Disneyland counterpart) probably the world's most famous indoor coaster—and one of the most famous coasters of any kind. You might be surprised to learn that Space Mountain pokes along at a top speed of only 27 mph. But because it operates in the dark, it amps up the fear of the unknown and makes the coaster seem faster and scarier.

  • Thrill scale: 5. More twists and turns than big drops. Darkness factor adds to thrills.
  • Height requirement: 44 inches
  • Location: Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom
07 of 11

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain
Matthew Freeman/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0  
Splash Mountain, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

It's a classic log flume ride (with one heckuva drop). And it's an animatronics-filled dark ride themed to the classic film, "Song of the South." You'll be charmed by the "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" post-drop finale—if you can brave the drop.

  • Thrill scale: 5. One giant splashdown.
  • Height requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom
08 of 11

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Scenery on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride

Walt Disney World  

Orlando, FL 32836, USA

It's actually a bit faster than Space Mountain. Because it is outside, however, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad feels slower and less thrilling. It boasts three separate lift hills, which makes it one of the world's longest coasters in ride duration.

  • Thrill scale: 4.5. More twists and turns than gut-wrenching drops
  • Height requirement: 40 inches
  • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom
Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, and Star Tours- The Adventures Continue

Kylo Ren in Star Wars- Rise of the Resistance

Steven Diaz, Disney

351 S Studio Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

All three of Disney World’s Star Wars-themed attractions are different, but in addition to sharing a common theme, they also share a similar motion simulator ride system. Using projected imagery and ride vehicles that move in sync with the media, they purport to blast passengers to a galaxy far, far away. Star Tours - The Adventures Continue was one of the industry’s first major motion simulator attractions. None of them are overly thrilling; all of them are superb attractions. (In fact, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance just may be the best park attraction in the world, er, galaxy). It’s a little tricky to assign a thrill rating to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, because the epic attraction unfolds in a series of acts over 17 minutes and uses multiple ride systems. Read our detailed breakdown to help determine whether you’d be able to handle the thrills of the Star Wars tour-de-force.

  • Thrill scale: 4.5. Motion simulator thrills.
  • Height requirements
    Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run: 38 inches
    Star Tours- The Adventures Continue: 40 inches
    Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: 40 inches
  • Location: Disney's Hollywood Studios
10 of 11

Crush 'n' Gusher

The Crush 'n' Gusher raft slide

Walt Disney World  

1145 E Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

The lightly themed water coaster uses powerful jets of water to propel two-person rafts uphill. (Gravity sends riders downhill.) Crush 'n' Gusher offers three different ride experiences: the Pineapple Plunger, the Banana Blaster, and the Coconut Crusher. If you only have time to try one, the Banana Blaster offers the most thrills. (Although none of the courses are overly intimidating.)

  • Thrill scale: 4.5. Mild coaster thrills.
  • Height requirement: 48 inches
  • Location: Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
11 of 11

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage Disney World

Walt Disney World

2901 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA
Phone +1 407-939-5277

It is a "flying theater" ride like Disney's Soarin'. But unlike Epcot's fairly gentle travelogue attraction, Flight of Passage is more aggressive. The thrills are largely psychological because riders don't physically move all that much. It may be fair to say that the Avatar ride is more exhilarating than thrilling.

  • Thrill scale: 4. Simulated swooping and diving.
  • Height requirement: 44 inches
  • Location: Pandora the World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Disney World's 13 Most Thrilling Rides