Roller Coasters have fascinated theme park fans for decades. Due to that, roller coasters have continued to evolve over the years. Walt Disney World’s four theme parks each have roller coasters to enjoy. What are the best Disney World roller coasters? We decided to rank them to help with your next Walt Disney World vacation.
At Walt Disney World, roller coasters range from high-speed and thrilling to tame kiddie-style coasters. The roller coasters at Walt Disney World present guests with solid theming and thrills. However, if you are used to giga-coasters at other regional theme parks, the thrills at the Walt Disney World ones will seem tame. Still, the overall immersive experience of the roller coasters makes the Walt Disney World ones stand out.
We will rank the best Disney World roller coasters. These rankings will involve some subjectivity. For example, I spend a significant amount of time at Universal Orlando Resort riding coasters like Jurassic World Velocicoaster and The Incredible Hulk. Universal Orlando Resort presents some great rides, but this resource focuses on the Walt Disney World coasters. Walt Disney World roller coasters lack the thrills of other theme parks. Still, the uniqueness and theming of the Walt Disney World roller coasters enhance the guests’ experience.
Before moving to the rankings, we have one small piece of advice. Just because one of these coasters fails to be high on this list, do not let that keep you from trying it on your next Walt Disney World vacation. Now that we have said that, we will move on to the rankings of the best Disney World roller coasters.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: The Barnstormer
This kiddie-style coaster can be found in the Storybook Circus section of the Magic Kingdom. With a minimum height requirement of 35b inches, this roller coaster is a good option for the little ones. The Barnstormer makes a good first step for small children preparing to grow and tackle the more significant, faster roller coasters.
This roller coaster features two trains that seat up to four riders each. The ride begins with a gentle climb up a small hill, followed by a quick drop down into a series of twists and turns. The entire ride lasts less than a minute. So, if you or anyone else with you shows fear during the ride, it will be over soon.
This coaster does not reach high speed. Also, the twists will not feel too overwhelming. Groups with young children will enjoy riding The Barnstormer together.
This ride lasts a short time, so any wait in the queue makes it hardly worth the coaster ride. The ride vehicles for The Barnstormer will not be comfortable for full-size adults. Those looking for coaster thrills should skip this one. However, this might be the best Disney World roller coaster for little ones. Still, as roller coasters go, this one ranks the lowest on our list.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Space Mountain
In this list’s first controversial placement, we would rank Space Mountain in the Tomorrowland area of Magic Kingdom low on the roller coasters list at Walt Disney World. This classic indoor roller coaster still displays the charm of a Disney attraction.
Guests enter for an intergalactic trip with Space Mountain. The images and sounds within enhance this indoor coaster.
The top speed of this coaster is around 25 miles per hour. In terms of roller coasters, that speed fails to be impressive. Nonetheless, one should not assume that slower speed means no thrills. With the sharp turns in the darkness, guests have enjoyed Space Mountain for decades. Space Mountain offers a different style of thrills for those used to seeing where they are going with high-speed outdoor roller coasters.
The height requirement for Space Mountain is 44 inches. This roller coaster makes a reasonable choice for most coaster enthusiasts.
On the less positive side, the ride vehicles can be uncomfortable. The track offers some unexpected bumps and lacks the smoothness of modern coasters. Also, the wait times for this attraction tend to be longer than the attraction is worth.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
For another controversial placement, we venture back to the Magic Kingdom. The very popular ride, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, does possess a low height requirement of 38 inches.
During this ride, people enter the mines and experience the beauty of the glistening gems with the dwarfs. Guests might even confront the Evil Queen along the way. This coaster reaches a top speed of 34 miles per hour.
We would classify this roller coaster as a family-friendly coaster. The theming works okay. With some small drops and a few twists and turns, this ride makes for a good transition coaster for those not ready for proper thrill rides.
This ride consistently has the longest wait times at Magic Kingdom. Due to this, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is not a part of the Genie+ attraction. To access the lightning lane for this ride, you will need to pay for an individual lightning lane.
If you do not have early theme park entry as a Disney resort hotel guest, the wait time will be long no matter when you arrive at Magic Kingdom. The key reason we rate this attraction so low directly connects to the wait for a short coaster attraction. Also, roller coaster thrill junkies will be disappointed by Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
For nostalgic reasons, this continues to be one of our favorite roller coasters at Walt Disney World. Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, resides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios near another thrill ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster qualifies as one of the fastest attractions at Walt Disney World, with speeds up to 57 miles per hour. Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster is an indoor coaster.
This ride takes guests on a thrilling trip through the streets of Los Angeles. During this adventure, guests enjoy Aerosmith music from the in-ride audio. The coaster utilizes a launch system to start. Guests will go from standstill to top speed in a few seconds. Also, this ride takes guests upside down and through some inversions.
We love this attraction. This attraction offers a single-rider queue for those of you traveling solo or your group does not want to ride this roller coaster. However, this single-rider queue moves slowly, so do not expect a short wait via the single-rider queue. Do not worry–we have a roller coaster coming up that offers an efficient single-rider queue.
Still, the ride technology on this coaster has become outdated. The queue and pre-show area also show their age. Rumors persist that this attraction will be rethemed. However, that rumor has floated around for about 15 years. We expect to enjoy this coaster for years to come.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Slinky Dog Dash
This family-friendly roller coaster resides in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The backstory revolves around Andy putting together his new toy, this coaster. As toys in Andy’s Backyard, you get to experience this coaster.
The thrills of this coaster are adequate. We do have some reports of motion sickness on this coaster from people very susceptible to a specific type of motion sickness.
Still, this coaster will be enjoyable for the whole family. The 38-inch height requirement allows most family members to ride Slinky Dog Dash.
This roller coaster draws long waits. The Genie+ timeslots run out for this attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios faster than any other attraction. If using Genie+, we suggest selecting this attraction first. If staying on-site, this attraction makes a good choice to visit first during early entry. Unlike the headline attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog operates more reliably. Still, fans of high thrill-style coasters will not be impressed.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom provides “the wildest ride in the wilderness,” as Disney says. This attraction utilizes impressive rockwork theming to enhance this roller coaster.
Guests are loaded onto mine train style cars that seat two people. Once embarking on the ride, guests enter abandoned mine shafts, trying to avoid the chaos of this adventure.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad does not have the intense speed of coasters like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Still, with the sound effects and significant twists and turns, this coaster offers some thrills. Guests will experience several “brake stops” and lift hills on this wild adventure. In between those, thrills will be had.
The height requirement of 40 inches allows most guests to ride this ride if desired. Since it only reaches 35 miles per hour, guests afraid of more extensive, faster coasters should still enjoy this.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
This Disney-style roller coaster resides in the Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest is a thrilling rollercoaster by most standards. The ride takes guests on a journey through the Himalayan mountains, where they encounter unexpected twists and turns, drops, and a high-speed backward section.
Expedition Everest reaches speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Guests will experience the thrill of the environment as they race towards the peak of Mount Everest. Riders will encounter the infamous Yeti along their journey of the Forbidden Mountain. This “Yeti” should not be trusted and possesses a destructive nature, even though local legend says he enjoys disco music.
This ride offers plenty of thrills. The height requirement is only 44 inches, though.
Also, of note, the single rider queue moves efficiently. Cast members tell us that this involves a different loading style than the single-rider queue at Rock “n” Roller Coaster. This attraction usually has a lower posted wait time than most of the other roller coasters on this list.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: Tron Lightcycle / Run
The newest roller coaster at Walt Disney World can be found at Magic Kingdom, Tron Lightcycle / Run. On this attraction, guests are taken into the world of the “Tron” movies. Tron Lightcycle / Run allows guests to race through the digital world of Tron on a motorcycle-like vehicle.
Tron Lightcycle / Run currently utilizes a virtual queue system to ride. To acquire a virtual queue, guests must use the My Disney Experience mobile app to acquire a timeslot to return to ride this attraction. This procedure could change. Still, at the time of writing, the virtual queue system is in place. This means no standard (or standby) queue is available for guests wishing to wait in a queue to ride Tron Lightcycle / Run. Currently, guests may also purchase an individual lightning lane to ride this attraction. Before your Walt Disney World vacation, make sure to check with your PixieVacations.com travel advisor on procedures to ride this roller coaster.
Tron Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom first appeared at Shanghai Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom version operates the same way. A unique characteristic of this coaster involves using lockers to secure items during the ride. In the queue, guests must place their bags and similar things in the free lockers provided. The use of ride lockers marks a significant change for a Walt Disney World attraction. Tron Lightcycle / Run is the only Walt Disney World ride with this type of locker arrangement.
Tron Lightcycle/ Run features a thrilling launch as the best part of this roller coaster. The entire attraction runs indoors or outdoors under cover from the weather. This roller coaster offers some intense speed at times with some twists and turns. The ride experience involves neon lights and the “Tron” futuristic design.
This ride has a 48-inch height requirement, limiting some guests from riding. You must plan how to ride this attraction if your group members cannot or choose not to ride this coaster.
The initial launch intimidates some guests. However, after that, the ride length qualifies as short for a major roller coaster. So, those too afraid of major thrilling coasters could try Tron Lightcycle / Run out to build their confidence before taking on coasters like Rock “n” Roller Coaster or something more intense at Universal Orlando Resort.
Best Disney World Roller Coasters Ranked: #1
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind serves as the first roller coaster at Epcot. This new coaster takes us into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. This roller coaster loads guests into rows of two. After that, we venture into space to save the galaxy “again.”
One of the best features of this ride involves the music playing during the attraction. Each ride can feel a little different depending on which song you get. The songs are:
- “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
- “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps
- “Conga” by Gloria Estefan
- “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
- “I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls
- “One Way or Another” by Blondie.
This attraction currently utilizes a virtual queue system, like Tron Lightcycle / Run. To ride this attraction, you must use the My Disney Experience mobile app to get a timeslot to return to enjoy this popular attraction.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind involves a reasonably themed queue. This queue tells the guests about the backstory of this attraction. The pre-show staging areas offer an excellent special effect to boost your adventure as you save the galaxy.
This roller coaster travels entirely indoors, allowing Walt Disney World to use some incredible screen technology to magnify the thrills of this attraction. As coaster geeks, we find the ride on this Walt Disney World roller coaster to be the best on the property.
Guests should be advised that some riders experience motion sickness on this roller coaster. If you want to ride this attraction, the best way to avoid motion sickness is to look wherever the ride vehicle points you. If you get distracted by everything going on around you, then you will increase the chances of motion sickness happening to you.
The ride vehicles spin around as you ride to point your focus on certain scenes. This aspect will not add to the overall thrills but will help the experience as a themed coaster. This feature, combined with a few other roller coaster elements, creates an enjoyable coaster experience, making this the top roller coaster at Walt Disney World.
After riding this attraction with a group of first-time riders recently, we asked them about how to describe this coaster without giving too much away. They suggested that this article not include details about a thrilling and unique aspect of this roller coaster. Some of them did not know about that roller coaster element before riding. They loved not knowing. Thus, some potential spoilers were left out of this article.
As we said, we love this attraction. In fact, we rode it this morning before finishing this article while still in Epcot.
Honorable Mention: Test Track
Though Test Track is not a roller coaster, it offers some significant thrills. Test Track takes riders through some interesting maneuvers with the indoor section of the ride. Guests experience the excitement of being a test driver as they speed through various road tests, thus the attraction’s name, Test Track.
Even though it is not a roller coaster, Test Track reaches the highest speed of any attraction at Walt Disney World. That high speed of between 60-65 miles per hour happens during the outdoor portion of the ride.
Those are all the roller coasters at Walt Disney World. We hope you found one that sounded interesting to you. Of course, the travel advisors at PixieVacations.com can assist you in planning your next Walt Disney World vacation. No matter your plans, Walt Disney World offers fun for the whole family. It also creates memories that last a lifetime, no matter which coaster you think is the best at Walt Disney World. Also, we previously wrote about the best rides at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom if you are interested in more information for your Disney vacation planning.