Let’s Talk Disney World Rollercoasters

Walt Disney World

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From character meet and greets to thrill rides to roller coasters, there is something for everyone at Walt Disney World.  With the new addition of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, I thought now would be a good time to review all the great roller coasters Disney has to offer!

Everything you need to know about Disney World's rollercoasters

Magic Kingdom

Space Mountain
space mountain

  • Location: Tomorrowland
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!): 3
  • Interactive Line Queue: Yes!
  • Fastpass+ availability: Yes!
  • Best Seat: We like sitting in the back or the front for this one!  It’s all the same.
  • Height Requirement: 44 inches

Probably the most famous indoor roller coaster, you may be surprised to find out that Space Mountain only gets up to speeds of 27 miles an hour.  The darkness of the coaster adds a lot of psychological thrills, which makes it one of the more popular rides at Disney (which accounts for the long lines).  In 2009, the roller coaster got a makeover which made the entire ride much darker than before, adding to the “thrill factor”.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Location: New Fantasyland
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!): 2.5
  • Interactive Line Queue: Yes!
  • Fastpass+ availability: Yes!
  • Best Seat: Back for a more thrilling experience!  Front for a better view.
  • Height Requirement: 38 inches

This is the newest ride at the Magic Kingdom, so be prepared for really long wait times for a while.  If booking a Fastpass+ is more of your style, make sure to book early just in case they run out.  Disney did a fantastic job with the theme of this ride, because you really feel as though you’re a part of the movie once you get into the mine where the dwarves are. They even brought pieces from the original ride (Snow White’s Scary Adventure!) into the Mine Train, which I thought was a really nice touch.  Be aware though, this is not meant to be a thrilling ride.  There are a few drops, twists, and turns, but the major part of the ride is actually inside the mine.  Enjoy the scenery and the imagineering that went into the ride and don’t focus on the lack of thrills.

The Barnstormer

  • Location: New Fantasyland
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!): 1
  • Interactive Line Queue:
  • Fastpass+ availability: No
  • Best Seat: Doesn’t Matter
  • Height Requirement: 35 inches

The Barnstormer is a junior roller coaster for little ones not yet ready (or tall enough) to ride the other coasters that are offered at Disney.  This ride has small drops and tame twists and turns that are perfect for young ones.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
big thunder mountain railroad

  • Location: Frontierland
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!): 3.5
  • Interactive Line Queue: Yes!
  • Fastpass+ availability: Yes!
  • Best Seat: Back for a more thrilling experience!
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches

Probably one of my favorite roller coasters at Magic Kingdom, Big Thunder has a great theme and lot of thrills.  It’s a typical wooden coaster, slightly bumpy, but that is part of it’s charm.  The top speed of this coaster is 36mph, so while it’s not overly fast there is still plenty of fun to be had!

Hollywood Studios

Rockin’ Roller Coaster
rockin' roller coaster

  • Location: Sunset Boulevard
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!): 4.5
  • Interactive Line Queue: No
  • Fastpass+ availability: Yes!
  • Best Seat: Back for a more thrilling experience!  Front, since the ride is dark it feels like you’re flying through the ride.
  • Height Requirement: 48 inches

Chris and I love the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, it’s a must-ride any time we’re at DHS.  I’m giving this ride such a high score because you go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds, get launched upside down and there are a ton of drops, twists, and turns.  This coaster is another dark ride, with lots of black lights so you can’t really see what is coming until you’re right up on it. The line for this ride is always long, and if you don’t have a Fastpass, the second best choice is to get in the single rider line.  You won’t be able to get on with your party, but by getting in this line you’re cutting the wait time in half (or more!).  It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re a lover of roller coasters this is one you shouldn’t miss!

Animal Kingdom

Primeval Whirl

  • Location: Dinoland USA
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!)l: 2
  • Interactive Line Queue: No
  • Fastpass+ availability: Yes!
  • Best Seat: Doesn’t Matter
  • Height Requirement: 48 inches

This is a typical spinning coaster, something that you would find at a carnival.  There are a few drops, lots of spinning, and a few twists and turns but not a lot of thrills on this ride.  I would definitely classify this as a family coaster.  If you have a problem with motion sickness, this probably is not the ride for you.

Expedition Everest
expedition everest

  • Location: Asia
  • Thrill Level (0 tame to 5 Yikes!)l: 4.5
  • Interactive Line Queue: No
  • Fastpass+ availability: Yes!
  • Best Seat: Front because of the view you get at the top of the coaster (if you’re afraid of heights, this is not the seat for you!).  But, if you want a more thrilling experience you should ride in the back.
  • Height Requirement: 44 inches

Race against time as you try to escape the Yeti’s grasp.  This is another can’t miss coaster for us, because of the backwards coaster motion, drops, darkness, twists, and turns.  If you want an even more thrilling experience, ride this coaster at night!  I have never seen the line more than twenty minutes (even in August!), so if you can’t get a Fastpass for it then the wait really isn’t that long.

 Don’t forget to ask about Rider Swap!

If you are traveling with family members who do not like roller coasters or if you have a child that is not tall enough, you don’t have to miss out!  Disney offers a Rider Swap option so that everyone in your party can experience all the rides at the parks.  Just bring your entire party, non-riders included, up to the front of the line and ask a Cast Member if rider swap is an option for the attraction you’d like to go on (it is available for all the rides in this post). When the riding party gets in line, a Cast Member will then give the waiting adult a paper “Fastpass” that will allow them to get on the ride once the rest of their party has returned (without having to wait in a long line). The paper accommodates up to two people, and there is no time limit so you can come back and ride the attraction at any time that same day.

What do you think?

What is your favorite roller coaster at Disney World?  Have you ever used the rider swap option?  What did you think?

20 Comments

    1. Oh no! You could walk up to the ride with them and just let a Cast Member know you’re not riding! It’s hard when the people you’re with like to do rides you aren’t that excited about.

  1. I remember riding space mountain when I was only 17. Since then, I’ve watched my children ride it and now my grands! I don’t ride roller coasters any longer – just not into it – but my husband and family love a good roller coaster.

    We take the grands to Disney every spring and they never tire of visiting the magic kingdom!

    1. Magic Kingdom is my favorite park and I never tire of it either! haha It’s so great that you can now enjoy the parks with your grandchildren and make memories with them!

  2. We didn’t get on any rollercoasters this time around.. I was so sad but the lines were crazy everyday and I could never get a fastpass … they are all on my To Ride list for our next trip for sure!

    1. During the Summer the lines are out of this world for all of the popular rides! It’s crazy. I hope you get to do them on your next trip, you’ll love all of them!

    1. You’re welcome!! Rider swap is such an awesome option at Disney and we always see so many people taking advantage of it. I am so glad you found this post helpful!

    1. I am so jealous you’ve been to the one in Paris! It’s my dream to visit that park as well. I’ve also heard Hong Kong’s Disney park is really great too! Thank you for stopping by, I’m so glad you did! 🙂

    1. It’s a great option and I’ve found that a lot of people weren’t aware of it, so I’m guessing Disney doesn’t really promote it. Glad you were able to find some new information!

  3. We’re headed back to WDW for the runDisney marathon weekend! We probably won’t get to ride many rides, but hopefully we’ll get to see some fun stuff! So glad to find out about Rider Swap!

    1. That is so awesome! I’ve always wanted to attend a runDisney event, but I’m not a runner! haha Make sure to check out the new Festival of Fantasy parade while you’re there! It’s awesome!

    1. How funny! My best friend isn’t a fan of rollercoasters either. 🙂 I completely understand though because some of them are too intense for me, and I love coasters! haha But…the log rides are awesome too and another can’t miss thing for me to do while at Disney!

  4. Planning our trip for the 21st of this month and LOVING your posts!!!!! Kayla is 4.5 y/o now and we are thinking this is the perfect time for her first time!!!!!! Thanks for putting all this hard work on these posts…… 🙂

    1. First, how is Kayla already 4.5?! That just blows my mind. And second, YAY! I’m so glad y’all are finally going, that age will be so fun and she will absolutely love Disney. Also, I’m impressed Jesse is ready for the lines. 😉 I can’t wait to hear about the trip! I hope you guys have a great time.

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