For the most part people do not think of the Disney parks as “thrill-seeker” parks. That right tends to be reserved for parks boasting quite a few colorful steel coasters that rise high into the sky (Six Flags comes to mind). Despite this the Disney parks do offer numerous rides for thrill-seekers young and old. What sets these coasters apart from your average Six Flags coaster is the detail that goes into not only the construction of the ride and the queues but also the back story presented before each coaster. I have been to numerous theme parks that boast the tallest and the fastest, but when I think about my favorite coasters I always come back to the Disney parks. Here’s a list of the roller coasters you can find at the Disney parks.
1) The Barnstormer – Newly refurbished as part of the Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom, the barnstormer takes you to the circus with the Great Goofini, a circus stunt pilot. This coaster is aimed towards younger children so if you have a child who is hesitant to go on coasters this might be a good place to start, as this coaster does not go that fast and has no terrifying drops. Height Requirement: 35 in.
2) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Get ready for the ‘wildest ride in the wilderness’ as you board a train to an abandoned mining town. This is a great coaster to ride with your family. It’s not too fast and its outside, so if you have young children who are fear the dark Thunder Mountain is a great choice. This coaster is located in both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom. Fastpass is available but depending on crowd levels you may or may not need one. Height Requirement: 40 in.
3) Goofy’s Sky School – Learn how to fly a plane with Goofy in this fun-filled coaster located in Disney’s California Adventure Park. This coaster features sharp turns and quick drops as Goofy teaches you how to fly. Fastpass is available and you may want to get one of crowds levels are extremely high. Height Requirement: 42 in.
4) Primeval Whirl – Located in Animal Kingdom this coaster allows you board a time-machine and go back to when Dino’s ruled the planet. This spinning coaster is not very fast but is boasts extremely sharp turns. The ‘time-machine’ is continually spinning and whirling in different directions meaning that each time you ride your experience will be slightly different than your previous rides. Fastpass is available for this attraction but the line are usually not too long so I doubt that you will need one unless crowd levels are extremely high. Height Requirement: 48 in.
5) Matterhorn Bobsleds – Come face to face with the abominable snowman as you climb to the summit of the Matterhorn Mountain. Built for Walt’s love of the Switzerland Matterhorn, this coaster located in Disneyland Park, features two exciting tracks (known as the Fantasyland side and the Tomorrowland side). While both tracks are equally fun the Fantasyland side features some sharper turns and is slightly longer than the Tomorrowland side. While this coaster is pretty mild it is definitely fun for the whole family. Height Requirement: 35 in.
6) Space Mountain – Space Mountain is one of the oldest coasters in the Disney parks. On this coaster, which can be found in the Magic Kingdom and in Disneyland Park you board of rocket like vehicle into space. This coaster is relatively mild but does feature sudden drops and turns. Furthermore this coaster is in the dark, so it may be scary to some young children. The ride differs slightly on each coast but whether you ride in California or Florida you are sure to have a great time. This ride is very popular so I would recommend getting a fastpass. Height Requirement: 44 in.
7) Expedition Everest – Board a train bound for the summit of the Forbidden Mountain in the Himalayas but beware you’ll find more than just snow and ice on your journey. This coaster located in Animal Kingdom is my favorite coaster in Disney. The ride features an 80 ft drop and goes backwards for a period of time. Depending on crowd levels this coaster can get busy fast so I recommend trying to get a fastpass. However if the wait-time is not too long I recommend using the stand-by entrance, as there is a wonderfully detailed ‘museum’ which helps depict the history and culture of the Himalayas and the people who live there. Height Requirement: 44 in.
8) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – This high-speed roller coaster is found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is not for the weak of heart. Board a super-stretch limousine and go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds as this limo zips you through the streets of LA so that you and fellow passengers can get to the Aerosmith concert on time. This is one of my favorite coasters in Disney World. Its the fastest coaster at the resort (the second fastest attraction after Test Track) and boasts numerous flips and turns. I recommend getting a fastpass for this attraction as it is one of the more popular rides at Hollywood Studios. Height Requirement: 48 in.
9) California Screamin‘ – Located in Disney’s California Adventure Park, this coaster is the longest and fastest coaster at Disneyland Resort. Designed to look like 1930’s wooden coaster, this steel coaster boasts twists and turns as well as an 108 ft drop. This tends to be a popular attraction so I would recommend getting a fastpass. Height Requirement: 48 in.
I hope this guide to the Disney coasters helps all of you thrill-seekers out there next time you the visit the parks.
xoxo – Michaela