These Are Disney World's 10 Most Thrilling Rides

Get Set to Scream

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.

The top ten list for all of Disney World follows. You can also check out more thrills at each of the parks:

If you (or someone you know) is more of a thrill-ride wimp than a warrior, you'll want to check out the great advice in my guide, Walt Disney World for Wimps.

  • 01 of 10

    Test Track

    Test Track Epcot ride
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!  10=Yikes!): 4
      Acceleration, banked turns, and high-speed as the vehicles make their test lap for the ride's finale.
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location:  Epcot

    Epcot's first thrill ride, Test Track doesn't get really deliver many thrills until it's nearly over. It revs up to 60 mph for the big finish. An average car on a typical highway would hit that with ease, of course. But the acceleration on the Epcot ride fairly quick, and the track is highly banked. The unique ride system, which actually incorporates a coaster-like track that is hidden from view, looks like giant slot cars.

  • 02 of 10

    Crush 'n' Gusher

    Crush 'n' Gusher Disney World water park ride
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! 10=Yikes!): 4.5
      Mild coaster thrills.
    • Height Requirement: 48 inches
    • Location: Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

    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.)

  • 03 of 10

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! ​10=Yikes!): 4.5
      More twists and turns than gut-wrenching drops
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom

    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 duration.

  • 04 of 10

    Splash Mountain

    Splash Mountain at Disney World
    ••• Garth Vaughan/Disney
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! 10=Yikes!): 5
      One giant splashdown
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Space Mountain

    Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.
    • 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

    It is one of Disney's classic rides and 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 it pokes along at a top speed of only 27 mph. But its darkness and the fear of the unknown that its darkness creates make it seem faster and scarier.

  • 06 of 10
    Expedition Everest Disney World
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.
    • 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
    • Fastpass: Yes

    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 backwards through the pitch-black mountain. Now that Animal Kingdom is open later, nighttime rides on the coaster are especially wild. 

  • 07 of 10

    Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

    Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney World
    ••• Disney. Used with permission.
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! 10=Yikes!): 6.5
      Fast launch, inversions, darkness.
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios

    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.

  • 08 of 10
    The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    ••• Disney.
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! ​10=Yikes!): 7
      Multiple freefall drops and launches, sensations of weightlessness, psychological thrills.
    • Height Requirement: 40 inches
    • Location: Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios

    It's tough to say which is more thrilling: the random, multiple, faster-than-freefall 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!

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    ••• Disney.
    • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy! 10=Yikes!): 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

    The unique, groundbreaking attraction delivers sensations you have likely never experienced (unless you've been in training at NASA). Some roller coasters deliver higher positive G-forces, but no ride (or at least none of which I am aware) delivers 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.

  • 10 of 10
    summit-plummet-Blizzard Beach water park
    ••• Disney

    At 120 feet and up to 60 mph, Summit Plummet is one of the world's tallest, fastest water slides. And, in my opinion, it's the single most thrilling attraction at the Florida resort. Even the heartiest thrill-seekers will test their mettle on Blizzard Beach's speed slide.