A visit to Walt Disney World Resort has the power to uplift and encourage Guests of all ages to reach for the stars, so to speak. And you can’t help but feel like you’re sitting on top of the world the whole time you’re here! Aside from more metaphoric feelings of elevated elation, Disney World is also, quite literally, the place where you can find sky-high endeavors among some of their most top-rated attractions. From actual physical highs to simulated experiences alike, here are nine awesome attractions at Disney World sure to give you the ultimate high.
9. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Scraping the skies over Disney’s Hollywood Studios with its impressive 199-foot stature, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror holds the title of being what is currently the second tallest attraction in all of Walt Disney World Resort. Comprised of a series of algorithmic free-fall drops, all of which happen at a nerve-racking 13 stories, Guests are plunged repeatedly upwards and back down again, on a tier of suspended weightlessness. It’s the ultimate way to get that stomach-dropping buzz and complete feeling of losing all control.
Not a Park-based attraction per se, this next thrill can be taken in by Guests venturing to Disney Springs of all places. That’s right, you may or may not have ever seen that large hand-painted helium balloon in photos or even in person from a distance, but did you know that you can actually ride it for an eight-minute, 400-foot ascent into the air? Led by an Aérophile-certified pilot, the large balloon basket holds up to 29 riders at a time, remaining tethered throughout the entire ascent. Float high above, overlooking Disney Springs, taking in unparalleled panoramic views spanning up to 10 miles away.
7. Astro Orbiter
Perhaps an aerial coaster ride that’s not unlike Disney’s classic Dumbo The Flying Elephant attraction doesn’t sound too thrilling for those reaching for the sky. But when you consider the elevated placement of this Magic Kingdom Park staple, you may just change your mind. Themed for being a two-passenger spacecraft, the ride’s elevated appeal primarily lies in the fact that you must ascend up an elevator to a 60-foot dais where the attraction sits. Then from there, you take the wheel and control, rising and falling accordingly, allowing yourself even more heights to achieve on top of it all.
6. Mission: SPACE
While you don’t literally blast off into space with this EPCOT-based attraction, the simulated effects at work here still give you the high-reaching buzz you so crave. This is especially true if you join the Orange Team—the more intense of two available options. The Green Team is designed for those looking for an aerial circumnavigating mission of planet Earth from outer space. Whichever one you pursue, you’re in for an out-of-this-world high-flying adventure.
5. Star Tours—The Adventures Continue
Even before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this themed dark ride, loaded with simulation effects and high-speed action, was all the rage. And it’s still a popular pick for those looking to blast off while playing part in a jolting mission full of dips, dives, sharp curves, and more. And most importantly of all to the plot is that it all takes place in space high above, in a galaxy far, far away.
4. Star Wars: Millennium Falcon—Smugglers Run
Here’s a newer rendition of a Star Wars-themed dark ride, this one right on location within the newer aforementioned Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Another attraction that relies heavily on simulation techniques rather than literal heights, it still delivers wondrously all the desired dips, thrills, and suspended feelings of weightlessness.
3. Expedition Everest
We previously mentioned informed you that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was Disney World’s second tallest standing attraction. Now we present the number one tallest contender—Expedition Everest over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. With a full five inches on the aforesaid Tower of Terror, this impressive high-speed mountain of a rollercoaster stands at a breathtaking 199.5 feet in all. If you enjoy dramatic climbs, climatic falling action, and thrilling rushes of speed (not to mention a menacing yeti thrown in there too) then you’re going to love this most elevating of physical pursuits.
2. Avatar Flight of Passage
With the word “flight” in its title, you know you can rest confidently in having your high expectations fulfilled. But unlike Animal Kingdom Park’s formerly profiled Expedition Everest, the thrills to be enjoyed with this next pick are of an entirely simulated nature, except for the fact that you do mount a lifelike Banshee for the pursuit. And we can definitely assure you that the ride does well in delivering on all those needed free fall thrills, dips, and overall feelings of aerial suspension.
1. Soarin’ Around the World
This longtime Disney classic, which predates its current worldwide themed offering, remains hands-down our number one pick for achieving the ultimate Disney high. While it’s true that you don’t actually soar around the world, the ride blends a combination of lifelike simulated effects as well as a literal lifting off of the ground. So, while you may not be as high-in-the-sky as the ride succeeds at convincing you of, you are still off the ground throughout the entire event. And that dangling motion of flying freely delivers on the absolute most uplifting of all magical soaring experiences to date in any Disney Park. You just can’t deny flying high with Soarin’.
While we’ve targeted attractions that elevate the Disney experience specifically, do take note of the plentiful other ways in which you can “raise the bar” on your time at Walt Disney World Resort as well. Such suggestions include opting for rides along the Disney Skyliner, every chance you get, and taking in one of the notable rooftop dining options that exist, like those to be had at California Grill, Topolino’s Terrace, Dahlia Lounge, and Toledo—Tapas, Steak & Seafood. Whether taking to a physical high, a simulated high, or just a heartwarming experience to get you onto Cloud 9, Disney always succeeds at lightening the mood and making you feel like you’ve just been doused with pixie dust and can freely fly about!