My Top Ten Disney World Thrill-Seeker Attractions



#10 Splash Mountain - Magic Kingdom

Height: 40in or taller [Big Drops, Water Ride, Indoor/Outdoor]
Splash Mountain is a log flume style ride featuring characters and songs from the classic Disney film Song of the South. I've never been a fan of the "you-will-get-wet" rides; however, Splash Mountain is a must-do Disney classic. What makes it worth my while are its two drops; the first one is mild, but the other is a gut-wrenching 56-foot drop! Tip: Since walking around in damp clothes is not my idea of fun, I like to wait and ride at the end of the day.



#9 Star Tours: The Adventure Continues -

Hollywood Studios

Height: 40in or taller [Small Drops, Indoors]
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues is a 3D, motion-simulated space flight that seemingly launches you right in the middle of the Star Wars universe. You get to experience that it might be like to travel aboard a Starspeeder 1000 with C-3PO as your tour guide while visiting classic Star Wars' worlds like Tatooine, Naboo, or Hoth. I have been a huge Star Wars fan for many years, so this attraction is always a must-do. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues is set during the Star Wars film series' timeline between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Since there are over 50 story combinations, you could experience a unique adventure almost every time you ride!

#8 Dinosaur - Animal Kingdom

Height: 40in or taller [Small Drops, Dark, Scary, Indoors]
Dinosaur is a prehistoric tour aboard a time machine called the Time Rover. After boarding, you are then sent back in time on a secret mission through the Cretaceous era to try and rescue an Iguanadon before a meteor wipes out all of the dinosaurs on earth. That sounds just peachy, right? Well, it would be if it weren't for the very large (and probably hungry) Carnotaurus that seems to be around every corner! I'll be honest, the first time I rode this, it scared me half to death! So, the next several times I tried riding it, my eyes stayed shut and my fists stayed clenched! At times the ride is completely dark and very turbulent. After my 6th 7th 8th visit, I was finally able to tolerate enjoy the ride with my eyes open (well, most of the time).

#7 Mission: SPACE - Epcot

Height: 44in or taller [Spinning (Intense Simulated G-forces), Dark, Indoors]
Mission: SPACE is a motion simulator thrill ride that simulates what an astronaut might experience aboard a spacecraft on a mission to Mars. Riders are "trainees" at the fictional International Space Training Center (ISTC), where they are arranged into crews of four. Each 'crew member' is assigned an on-board role (navigator, pilot, commander, or engineer) and given two tasks to perform during the mission. There are warnings throughout the queue that caution people not to ride if they do not like enclosed spaces or spinning. People that are prone to motion sickness, have a heart condition or history of migraines, inner ear problems, vertigo, or elevated anxiety should also avoid riding. Signs also warn folks that the ride may cause nausea, headache, dizziness or disorientation. But don't worry, Disney takes care of all types of riders by offering 2 levels of intensity to choose from. The Orange Team is the more intense training experience. This version of the ride uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate speed and G-forces, while the Green Team is a less intense experience motion simulator ride that does not spin and is less likely to cause motion sickness. My family and I love the Orange Team version of this ride, but make no mistake, it is very intense!

#6 Test Track - Epcot

Height: 40in or taller [Small Drops, Indoor/Outdoor, High Speed]
Test Track is designed to look like a Chevrolet Design Center wear you design your own virtual custom concept vehicle based on Capability (handling), Responsiveness (maneuverability), Efficiency (fuel-saving and environmentally friendly), and Power (speed). After finishing your design, you get to test your  vehicle in a special 6-passenger “SIM Car”. Your test car is driven though rough terrain and surprise obstacles. You'll  also maneuver through inclement weather, hug banked curves, and scale tall hills. Although most of the tests are indoors, the best part of the ride is the final 'power' test where your SIM-car stops for a moment and then accelerates to 65 mph on an outdoor track that circles around the entire attraction. Over the years, Test Track has remained one of our family's favorites.

#5 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad -

Magic Kingdom

Height: 40in or taller [Small Drops, Indoor/Outdoor]
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a runaway mine train roller coaster. It travels amid rugged bedrock and desert cactus and is designed to be enjoyed by the entire family. However, some parts are quite loud, bumpy, and in the dark. I will never forget the first time that all of the members of our family were 'big' enough to ride this ride together. It was the first real roller coaster for both of my kids (they loved it!) and continues to be one of our whole family's favorites. It may not be as intense as some of the other rides, but it holds a special place in all of our hearts. For us, no visit to Magic Kingdom would be complete without a ride on - you can always here us chanting, as we make our way through the line - "B-T-M-R!"


#4 Space Mountain - Magic Kingdom

Height: 44in or taller [Big Drops, Dark, Indoors]
My first trip to Disney World was around 1985, when I was 10 years old. A friend's family was nice enough to let me tag along on their Disney World adventure. Riding Space Mountain for the first time is what always comes to mind when I think of that trip. I remember waiting in line for what seemed like forever (it is when you are 10 years old), and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait! Even though it is the oldest operating roller coaster in Florida, Space Mountain  is still one of Disney World's most beloved attractions. Space Mountain is a dual track, space-themed indoor roller coaster. Traveling at a mere 28 miles-per-hour, your 6-passenger "rocket" blasts through a flashing neon tunnel, then sends you hurdling through "space" on an intricate dark track. Since it's dark and hard to see where you are going, it makes it seem like you are going so much faster than you really are. Space Mountain is truly a blast!


#3 Rock-n-Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith -

Hollywood Studios

Height: 48in or taller [Big Drops, Loud, Indoors]
Rock-N-Roller Coaster (R-n-R) has got to be one of the best looping roller coasters ever! For starters, it is themed around a typical night in the life of the legendary rock-n-roll group, Aerosmith. When you enter the building 'recording studio' of G-Force Records, you find the five members of Aerosmith just finishing up a recording session; however, the band must leave quickly to make it in time to perform at their concert. Lead singer Steven Tyler expresses his regret for leaving park guests the band's fans hanging and requests 'backstage passes' for everyone. Guests are then ushered through a door to the 'back alley' into a 'parking garage' where a 24-passenger coaster train 'super stretch limo' is waiting to drive everyone to the concert. While you wait, you can watch the coaster trains 'limos' drive by and then stop at the entrance to a tunnel to wait on a traffic light to change to green. Since you wouldn't want to be late to the concert, the 'limo' launches into 'traffic', going from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds (which is something that can only be compared to a jet being launched off of an aircraft carrier). R-n-R has two inversions, one roll-over, and one corkscrew, on a winding track that represents a fast nighttime drive through the Los Angeles area freeways and landmarks. During the ride, you can hear one of Aerosmith's  classics  blasting from the coaster's speakers 'limo's stereo'. This is Walt Disney World's only upside-down roller coaster, and it rocks!

#2 Expedition Everest - Animal Kingdom


Height: 44in or taller [Big Drops, Dark, Indoor/Outdoor, Scary]
Oh, how I love this roller coaster! It's themed around the mysterious legend of the Yeti and his home in the Himalayan Mountains, more specifically, Mount Everest. Disney has done an incredible job of recreating the mythical village of Serka Zong complete with religious Buddhas, prayer flags, carved totems, and so much more. Your adventure begins when you board an old mountain railway destined for the foot of Mount Everest. As the train heads for the snowy mountain peak, it passes through bamboo forests, waterfalls, and icy glaciers. The excitement builds when you discover that the train tracks at the top of the mountain are torn and twisted into a big wad of metal. At this point, you realize that the Yeti (guardian of the Himalayas) has torn apart the track in a fit of rage. From here, the train careens backwards and forwards through the dark treacherous caverns of the mountain. You see the legendary Yeti a few times on your wild train ride, but ultimately your journey ends when you come face to face with the abominable snow-beast just before your train arrives at the station at the bottom of the mountain.


and...

#1 Tower of Terror - Hollywood Studios

Height: 40in or taller [Big Drops, Dark, Indoors, Scary, Awesome]
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the "Best. Elevator. Ever." It is based on the popular television series, "The Twilight Zone", which originally aired from 1959 to 1964. At the end of Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios stands the creepy rundown Hollywood Tower Hotel. When you enter the hotel's dusty lobby, you are led to the library by a few foreboding bellhops. On the way there you see that the hotel's main elevator is "Out of Order". Inside the library, the room is dimly lit with an occasional streak of lightning showing through the one and only window. A small black & white TV in the corner of the room comes to life and begins playing a short film hosted by Rod Serling, creator of the old Twilight Zone television series. He tells the story of five passengers who mysteriously  disappear from the old Hotel's elevator during an electrical storm. At the end of his story, he explains that you must use the Hotel's "maintenance service elevator" - ya know, since that main one was mysteriously out of order - at that moment the room goes dark just as you hear thunder crashing outside. This is when the wall of the library slides open to lead you into the Hotel's boiler room.  

After you make your way through the boiler room, you and several other guests are seated inside one of the old "maintenance service elevators". The doors close, the elevator is dark, but then you can feel the elevator begin to ascend. After a moment, the doors open to one of the hotel's many floors. Down the hall you see the beckoning ghostly figures of the five elevator passengers from the film in the library. After they disappear, the hallway begins to shift and change. It goes dark again and the elevator continues its journey through a mysterious passageway. At the end, the "elevator" stops and the room goes pitch-black. Suddenly the elevator shoots straight up and stops. At that moment, you can feel and hear the elevator cables begin to break and snap apart. Electrical sparks fly as you drop down 13 stories! But that's not the end! The elevator unpredictably drags you back up and drops you back down several stories again and again. During your crazy ride, the elevator doors open and you can see all of Disney's Hollywood Studios from 13-stories up! You are eventually returned to the dimly lit rear hallway of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, where you can exit the elevator.

The Tower of Terror lives up to its slogan, "Fear Every Drop!", because you never know how many times you will drop. It is programmed to be completely random and different for every ride! Tower of Terror is my absolute favorite thrill ride in all of Disney World and deserves many repeat visits! A total must-do for all my fellow thrill-seekers!!!

1 comment:

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