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Big Thunder Railroad

10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Walt Disney World’s Rollercoasters

There are myriad types of rides at Walt Disney World. Spinners, water rides, Omnimovers, thrill rides, and roller coasters. There are certainly enough rides to satisfy everyone in your family at every thrill level. The most popular attractions at Walt Disney World are the rollercoasters located Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. The following are the top ten tips for your next trip so you can get the most out of the rollercoasters at Walt Disney World!

10 – FastPasses are Essential – since the rollercoasters tend to be the more popular attractions, you should consider using one of your FastPasses to secure a spot on the ride. Wait times for three of the four coasters at Magic Kingdom can easily hit 60 minutes, while wait times around 90 minutes are also common. If you are unable to secure a FastPass for any of the coasters, consider trying to ride first thing in the morning or during a parade or fireworks as crowds will dwindle during those times.

9 – Check the Height Requirements – before jumping in line or mustering up the courage of any kids in your group, check the height requirements on-line. Nothing is worse than getting all excited for your first ride on Space Mountain or Expedition Everest to get there and find out that you’re too short and have to wait another year. If the smaller ones in your group want to try a coaster, don’t forget there is the Barnstormer in the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland that is very popular with kids!

8 – They Can Be Very Different at Night – for those outdoor coasters, riding at night can be a completely different experience. The best example of this phenomenon is on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The ride suddenly becomes a little bit more thrilling and offers views of the Magic Kingdom all lit up. If you are lucky enough to be at Animal Kingdom on a night when it is open late, be sure to try Expedition Everest – it isn’t an experience to be missed!

7 – Seat Location is an Important Decision – depending on what coaster you choose to ride, where you sit is important. Certain coasters are better experienced from the front of the car (Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Rock and Roller Coaster, and Expedition Everest), while one is better experienced from the back (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). Guests riding on the Barnstormer can sit anywhere for a good ride. Don’t worry if you don’t hit the line correctly, you can always ask a Cast Member and they will let you wait for the next ride.

6 – Try and Catch the Camera – with the exception of Thunder Mountain and the Barnstormer, all of the rollercoasters are equipped with cameras to capture you at some point during the ride. I always find it fun trying to find the camera and smile when I whiz by on the ride. If you miss, it can certainly provide a funny picture at the end of the ride and in your MyDisneyExperience app!

5 – Don’t Neglect the Single Rider Line – two of the rollercoasters come with a great addition that can allow guests to experience a coaster by themselves. Rock and Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom both have single riders line that allows guests who are riding solo to jump by the majority of the line to fill-in empty spots so every car is full. Be aware that you will still have to wait in some kind of line and you won’t get the ability to choose where you sit.

4 – Experience the Queue (at Least Once) – many of roller coasters have interactive queues that allow guests to pass their time by playing different games or play with hands-on elements in the theming. The best example of this is at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom – guests can sort gems, play with a musical water fountain, and spin barrels to make the dwarfs appear. Guests can also have fun in the Space Mountain queue and play a variety of space-themed video games. These games, however, are available only to guests who are waiting in the standby line, so try each one at least once!

Bonus Tip!

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3 – Enjoy the Views – be sure to try and take some time and enjoy the views as you’re being whipped around the track – I love seeing the views of Tom Sawyer Island while riding Thunder Mountain and looking out on Epcot and Disney Springs when you are stopped at the top of Expedition Everest. Be sure to look quickly because these coasters will not give you a lot of time to enjoy the view.

2 – Secure Your Valuables – make sure that you pack away your purses, camera bags, backpacks, etc. If they are too big for the pouch in your car, make sure you wrap it around your leg so it doesn’t fall out during your ride. Not only is it difficult to get back immediately, but it also poses a safety concern for other guests who are enjoying the ride.

1 – Hands Up – the classic sign of anyone enjoying a rollercoaster are both your hands up in the air. Make sure to raise them high before the big drop and have some fun!

Whether your favorite coaster is Space Mountain or Expedition Everest, take these tips and enjoy them all on your next trip to Walt Disney World. Which is your favorite coaster?

BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!

Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

About Tyler

Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!