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When we share our adventures in the theme parks, you’ll see our family riding some of the biggest, tallest and fastest rides around. We sometimes get asked how the kids aren’t scared! Well, having spent as much time as have in theme parks, it’s pretty hard to find something anyone in our family is afraid of these days!
That said, we know that some people do not enjoy the thrills quite as much as we do. So, we are putting together a list of the scariest rides at Disney World. There are two categories of scary in our opinion: 1 – Dark and Creepy and 2 – Big Drops and Thrills.
Dark and Creepy Attractions
The first thing that comes to mind in this category is Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. Despite its whimsical music and comical props and gags, small children may find it scary. The Parlor Room and the Stretching Room feel noticeably dark, especially when you first step in from the bright Florida sun, which can feel disorienting. The theme is intended to be dark and creepy, so sensitive mortals may find it to be a scary one!
It’s Tough to Be a Bug
I know what you are thinking. A Bug’s Life is a cute movie about ants and other insects. Well, that’s true and it is cute, as is the attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but if you don’t deal well with insects, you may want to steer clear! Buzzing sounds seemingly close to your head, the sensation of bugs being around you and a dark theater are all part of this otherwise kid-friendly show.
DINOSAUR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is a dark, loud and wild joyride into the age of the dinosaurs. Menacing dinos lunge toward the ride vehicle as you avoid meteor shows and an eventual asteroid impact. There’s one drop at the end, but it’s not large enough to put DINOSAUR in category two, but this one can definitely be scary!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
An attraction based on the eerie classic TV thriller, The Twilight Zone, has to be creepy, right? Well, it sure is! This attraction is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The hotel lobby (attraction queue) is literally covered in cob webs signaling that something sinister awaits you. “Rod Serling” tells you a scary tale before sending you to walk through a boiler rooms that’s dark and hissing with steam. Eventually, as you can see from the outside of the attraction, you’ll be dropped frighteningly over and over, which makes this one a candidate for our second category, too!
Big Drops and/or Thrills
This Magic Kingdom classic, fantasy space-travel-themed ride is a roller coaster that zips you around in almost complete darkness. The low light level makes it very difficult to tell how fast you are going, what’s around you or when the next turn or drop is going to take place. It’s quite a thrill!
Another staple thrill ride at Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain gives riders the excitement of an almost 50-foot drop that’s followed by a big splash over in Frontierland! Other smaller drops whet your appetite and wet your clothes before the main event, too. You can clearly see what you are getting into from the outside of the attraction, so if the final dramatic plunge doesn’t look appealing, you will want to skip this one.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Also located in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom is the ever-popular Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Though this ride is wild (they don’t call it the “wildest rider in the wilderness” for nothing), the drops aren’t actually very big. In fact, Disney classifies them as “small drops.” But for a little one or someone that doesn’t enjoy the sensation of air time or that of an out of control, runaway train this may be a bit too much.
At Epcot, you can design a virtual concept car and then take it for an exhilarating spin at Test Track. While not a coaster, riders here experience speeds close to 65 mph as they zip around the outdoor test track. Inside, there are some fast accelerations and dramatics stops. The theme here isn’t necessarily a scary one, but some of the obstacles you encounter can certainly get your heart pumping.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
This almost 20-year old coaster’s theme is focused on rocking through Los Angeles with the one-and-only legendary rock group Aerosmith. While not a scary story, the ride takes place entirely indoors and largely in the dark. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is the only attraction with inversions (goes upside down) at Walt Disney World. And you are in for not one, but three, loops on this high-energy, rockin’ ride.
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Of all the attractions at Walt Disney World, Expedition Everest checks the most boxes for scariness! This coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom not only travels at 50 mph and has an 80-foot drop, but it also has some very dark and scary parts when you are threatened by a terrifying and enormous yeti. And if that’s not enough, the train also goes backwards!
Remember that everyone experiences things a little differently and some kids (or adults!) need more time to warm up to the idea of the scariest rides at Disney World. Learning about the rides or even watching online videos of what happens on the ride can help with the decision to ride or not to ride. We recommend that you never force anyone to board an attraction against their will. That is a recipe for disaster!
We hope our list is helpful to let you know which ones you may need to avoid for riders who may be scared.