Best Walt Disney World Thrill Rides

by Darren Wittko

Walt Disney World is a family-friendly destination where the vast majority of attractions will appeal most. Even the attractions that promise big thrills are still pretty tame. What separates Walt Disney World from places like Six Flags is the attention to detail and the story. Often what brings the biggest thrills isn't the ride itself, but the story surrounding the attraction and the anticipation of walking towards a ride while being immersed in the backstory. The attractions at Disney do a terrific job of building the suspense before you even get to to ride's loading area.

If you want the absolute biggest thrills, be sure to experience the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Mission: SPACE at Epcot. In fact, Mission Space is so thirilling, they created a less intense version which is significantly reduces the simulator's motion.  


Big Thrills at Magic Kingdom 


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Hop on this rollicking mine train through an Old West mining town for a rip-roarin', thrill-a-minute coaster ride. "Hang on to your hats and glasses 'cause this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness."

Height Requirement: 40" or taller

Space Mountain

Blast into the outer-galaxy past shooting stars and other-worldly celestial satellites. Twist and turn in complete darkness of the nether reaches of space. It's one giant leap for fun!

Height Requirement: 44" or taller

Splash mountain

Hop a hollowed-out log to follow Brer Rabbit's mischievous escapades as he tries to flee the clutches of Brer Fox and Brer Bear until you plunge five stories off Chick-a-pin Hill! "It's the truth. It's actual. Everything is satisfactual. It's a zip a dee doo dah day!"

Height Requirement: 40" or taller


Big Thrills Epcot

Best Thrill Rides at Epcot - Test Track

Test Track

Design your own virtual custom concept vehicle. Then buckle up and put your virtual design through its paces on a realistic automobile test track. As the fastest ride at Walt Disney World Resort, your test vehicle reaches exhilarating speeds topping out at 65 miles per hour!

Height Requirement: 40" or taller

Illuminations Reflections of Earth

Behold the past, present and future of Earth at this stunning fireworks show that begins with a series of timed fireworks and powerful explosions. Gather around the fire and watch an amazing story through light, sound and special effects. Offered nightly, check daily Times Guide for start time. 

No Height Requirement


This thrill-packed space shuttle simulator is as close as you can get to blasting off into space without leaving Earth. Each member of your astronaut team has a role in a daring mission dodging meteors and navigating nebula. Feel the force of lift-off and have an exhilarating rendezvous on another planet. It's out of this world!

Height Requirement: 44" or taller


Big Thrills at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

The five members of Aerosmith teamed with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the thrill ride that features a high-speed launch of 0 to approximately 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, three inversions, rock-concert lighting and a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack.

Height Requirement 48" or taller

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Brave the creepy facade of a once-glorious hotel for a jolt back in time. Board a phantom elevator-themed ride, shoot up 13 stories and brace yourself for a thrilling rocket back up, only to plummet down yet again. With a random drop sequent program, the ide is never the same experience twice. 

Height Requirment: 40" or taller

Star Tours

You'll blast off on a thrilling tour of the Star Wars galaxy aboard a Starspeeder 1000 during a 3D, motion-simulated space flight. During your voyage, interact with characters and places made famous in the Star Wars saga. Voyage to alien worlds—like Naboo or Coruscant—and come face to face with the likes of Boba Fett or Darth Vader. 

Height Requirement 40" or taller


Big Thrills at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park


Travel back to primeval times for a wild ride of an expedition to complete your dangerous mission. The clock is ticking on your Time Rover and you have mere minutes to rescue a stray dinosaur. Beware the hungry clutches of one large meat-eating predator and the devastating power of an impending asteroid! 

Height Requirement: 40" or taller


A high-speed train through the Himalayas where you'll navigate treacherous chasms and hair-pin turns But beware, you'll encounter the Yeti and in an instant, your trail is hurled forward, then backward into the abyss on a spiraling drop into the mountain.

Height Requirement: 44" or taller

Avatar Flight of Passage Disney's Animal Kingdom

Avatar Flight of Passage

An intense fight simulator that has you riding on the back of a banshee from the film, Avatar. You'll encounter daring drops and high speed flight in and around Pandora.  

Kali River Rapids

Raft down the turbulent waters of the Chakranadi River aboard a 12-passenger raft through an enchanting Asian rain forest. But watch out for the blazing inferno! Escape down a rushing waterfall! Beware of gushing geysers! Get set to get wet!

Height Requirement: 38" or taller

Updated August, 2017