One thing that doesn’t always come to mind first when some folks think of Walt Disney World is thrills. But there’s plenty of them to go around. In honor of 200 days until our next family trip, here are my five favorite thrills from Walt Disney World.
5. Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror — I generally don’t like drop rides, but Tower Of Terror offers something different and unique. With an intricate backstory — an abandoned Hollywood hotel with some strange things going on in it — and one of the most complex ride systems around, Tower Of Terror goes well out of its way to ensure its thrills. The computerized ride system generates a random number of drops, so you never know how many times you’ll go up and come back down again.
4. Mission: SPACE — If any ride was going to replace my beloved Horizons, it would have to be good. Mission: SPACE is that good and then some. Using centrifuge technology similar to real-life astronaut training facilities, Mission: SPACE puts you into the shoes of someone training for a mission to Mars (another nice reference to an extinct WDW attraction). It’s definitely not for the faint of heart…literally or figuratively…but it’s one heck of a ride, and it features an actor I truly respect and admire, Gary Sinise, in the pre-show video. It’s a nice shot of adrenaline on the east side of Future World.
3. Rock & Roller Coaster — Though it’s not the first WDW attraction to use linear induction motors, it’s the first to include inversions. Rock & Roller Coaster offers high speed action set to a soundtrack of Aerosmith classics. Another indoor coaster in the tradition of Space Mountain, Rock & Roller Coaster combines the excitement of a coaster with the quintessentially Disney tradition of a dark ride. It’s one heck of a road trip indeed.
2. Space Mountain — I had no choice but to put this classic near the top. The first roller coaster I ever rode, Space Mountain is a genius, innovative ride in the sense that it’s completely enclosed and almost completely dark. It was also one of the first Disney attractions to debut at Walt Disney World before being replicated at Disneyland. Even though it only achieves speeds of about 28 mph, it packs quite a thrill, and it’s classic fun!
1. Expedition Everest — What can I say about the most awesome thrill ride in all of Walt Disney World? No description will quite do it justice. It goes forwards and backwards, inside and outside. It features the most technically complex Audio-Animatronics figure ever, and it treats the rider to a surprising view at the top. With another perfectly set backstory — you’re in the Himalayas riding an old tea train, searching for the Yeti — Expedition Everest lives up to the hype set up in the queue, where every detail is put forth to prepare you for the excitement. Expedition Everest is, hands down, the greatest and best thrill in all of Walt Disney World.