When people find out that I am a self-proclaimed Disney Fanatic, they often regale me with a list of their favorite Disney rides. These conversations often begin something like this: “Oh, wow! Don’t you just love Space Mountain!” or “Expedition Everest is awesome! I could ride it over and over again!” I always smile and nod approvingly, but in my heart of hearts I’m thinking, “NOOOO!!” I often say I love everything about Disney, but the real truth is that I’m TERRIFIED of many of the most popular rides. I’ve compiled the following list of “safe” attractions in each theme park for all of my fellow cowards out there.
1. THE “COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY SAFE” (AKA rides that wouldn’t even unnerve a toddler)
- “it’s a small world”
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- The Hall of Presidents
- Jungle Cruise
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- The American Adventure
- The Circle of Life
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Living with the Land
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- The Magic of Disney Animation (drawing lesson)
- MuppetVision 3D
- Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
- Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Snowground
- Conservation Station
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Any Trails or Treks
- Wildlife Express Train
2. THE “PROBABLY OK BUT…” (AKA rides you might need to avoid if you have a specific issue or phobia)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Don’t ride if you get motion sick. As the name suggests, it spins!
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Don’t ride if you’re afraid of heights.
- Enchanted Tales with Belle – People who don’t enjoy small, crowded spaces may dislike the beginning of this
- attraction, but the claustrophobic portion only lasts for two minutes at the most.
- Haunted Mansion – Don’t ride if you are uncomfortable with darkness or the spirit world.
- Mad Tea Party – Spinning is the main point of this ride. Those prone to motion sickness should beware.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – This ride, designed for preschoolers, briefly includes simulated thunder and lightening.
- Peter Pan’s Flight – You are suspended from the ceiling for the entire ride. If heights aren’t your thing, you’d best steer clear.
- Pirates of the Caribbean – Most of this ride is very tame, but there is an ever-so-brief drop toward the end. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t even like the feeling of your stomach dropping on the elevator at work, you’ll want to avoid this one.
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Afraid of dinosaurs? You’ll want to skip this one.
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment – There are several brief seconds during this ride when it becomes completely dark.
- Spaceship Earth – This ride is very slow moving but very dark. And yes, you do climb nearly to the top of that giant golf ball. If the thought of that unnerves you, skip this one.
- The Great Movie Ride – This is a completely charming ride through the history of movies…until you get to the part where they recreate Alien and that scary monster drops from the ceiling!
- Toy Story Mania – This ride would definitely cause anyone with motion sickness to loose their lunch.
- Triceratop Spin – Those with a fear of heights may want to avoid these high-flying dinosaurs.
3. THE “I MIGHT BE OK BUT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I’M GETTING MYSELF INTO” (AKA small children might be pointing and laughing at you but better to be safe than rocking in the corner)
- Astro Orbiter – Ride around in a little rocket ship…that you have to ride an elevator to get to. Hm…that’s a long way down.
- The Barnstormer – The height restriction on this ride is 35 inches. That’s the average size of a 2 and a half year old. But still, it’s a roller coaster, be it a SLOW moving one.
- Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train – This is the newest attraction in Disney and consequently the most popular. Although this is touted as a “family” coaster, the screams I hear resonating from the ride tell me a different story. I had a Fastpass for it during our last Disney vacation and couldn’t bring myself to use it after watching the ride in motion.
- Stitch’s Great Escape – It’s loud and dark in this theater. The show is full of explosions and other loud, sudden noises.
- Captain EO – This attraction is a movie involving sound effects that are extremely loud. If you find loud noises jarring, skip this one.
- Soarin’ – Although this is a “simulated” hang-gliding experience, you are ACTUALLY 40 feet in the air. If you have any fear of heights, this is not the ride for you.
- Test Track – Disney considers this a “thrill” ride. There are a few brief “thrilling” moments but it’s nothing like Space Mountain or Expedition Everest. I loved this ride as a teenager but my adult self rode it once two years ago and decided it would be the last time. Being hurled around the outside of a building at 60 mph just doesn’t agree with me anymore, no matter how briefly.
Star Tours – This is another “simulated” ride, this time through space. The passenger vehicle does actually move around some, but the movie on the screen in front of your gives your brain the illusion of interstellar travel. If you’re feeling nervous while on the ride, you can always close your eyes to minimize the experience.
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4. THE “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT” (AKA riding these might cause you to have a panic attack and/or cry)
- Magic Kingdom
Avoid any rides with the word “Mountain” in the name. Mountain = SCARY. What goes up (the mountain) must come down (the mountain)!
- Mission Space – There are two versions of this ride. The “Orange Team” is the more intense version of the ride, exposing riders to G-forces created by a centrifuge.
- Tower of Terror – Want to be dropped 13 stories in an elevator? Me, neither!
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Anything called a “roller coaster” is not chicken approved!
- Expedition Everest – Everest is a MOUNTAIN. And as an added bonus, you get to ride backwards on this terrifying coaster! NO THANKS!