Walt Disney World for Ride Chickens

by on December 18, 2013 35 Comments

Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL)

Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris for the first time. While I was excited to try new things, I still found myself very worried about the intensity of attractions. Was the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean a little dip like Walt Disney World or was it quite a drop like Disneyland in California? I’m what you might call a “ride chicken.” More specifically I really don’t like drops on rides. Before each of my first visits to new parks, I’ve spent hours hunting on the web trying to decide if I’d enjoy rides or if they might leave me queasy sitting on a bench somewhere. That gave me the idea to put together my guide to Walt Disney World attractions for all of us ride chickens out there! Please keep in mind that these are just my opinions… and opinions by definition can’t be right. Of course, your mileage may vary, and if anyone has had a different experience, I always value your comments! Also, I left out any attractions where you can see an issue from outside. (Example: It is pretty obvious that you’ll be spinning on Mad Tea Party!) Let’s get started.

Magic Kingdom

Big Thunder Mountain

The View on Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain: This is a not a terribly intense roller coaster. The worst part for me are a few bunny hops at the very end that make my tummy jump into my throat but it’s manageable and worth it to see all the theming. The track also isn’t very smooth and I’ve had friends complain about getting their brain rattled on this ride! Overall, this is a great coaster to start with before trying the others in the park.

Pirates of the Caribbean: I only mention this one because other versions around the world are more intense. The version at Magic Kingdom just has one little, tiny dip. It isn’t even worth mentioning. I’m the worst with drops, and it’s nothing!

Space Mountain: I wouldn’t ride this until just a few years ago. Honestly, it really isn’t that awful, but I can’t say I enjoy it. There is one drop that’s too much for me, but it’s over very quickly. The rest is just zipping around in the dark, which means if you don’t like roller coasters, you aren’t missing much here. The seats are also very low on this attraction, making it a little difficult to exit after you’ve been thrown around. I know many people will disagree with me, but I find Space Mountain very skippable if roller coasters aren’t your thing.

Splash Mountain: This ride is my arch nemesis. While I hate the drops, I still tell those who asks me that they should to absolutely ride it. The ride is beautiful and a real feat of Imagineering that everyone should see once. However, there are two sizable drops inside the attraction, as well as the huge one at the end to contend with. It’s easy to spot where they are on YouTube videos, so check those out in advance and be prepared. It really is worth it to see inside once!


Maelstrom: This ride has a tiny dip similar to the one on Pirates of the Caribbean. The scarier part is the movie after the ride! 😉

Mission: SPACE: This is a ride I could stay on over and over! I really enjoy the intense spinning! However, I have seen many people turn green and vow to never ride this again. I haven’t been able to find something to compare this ride to so I can give people an idea of what it feels like. It’s totally unique. However, if you know you don’t do well with spinning or simulators, your best bet is to choose the green side. In this line you get the same experience in a ride car that doesn’t spin at all. (Head for the orange line if you don’t fear spinning!)


Just before the finale on Test Track

Test Track: I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who said Test Track was too much. I’ve met people who were very afraid in line, but after riding everyone normally agrees it’s fun. There isn’t anything on the track that you can’t do in a car, so it isn’t that intense. I’m curious if there is anyone out there who disagrees?

Soarin’: This ride is a peaceful hang gliding simulator. While I would never have any trouble with this ride, I’ve been to the park with folks that feared heights that absolutely hated it. My husband is also very sensitive to simulators and sometimes comes off this ride nauseated when we are seated on the sides. I tend to think it’s a very small part of the population that doesn’t enjoy Soarin’. It’s a very gentle ride that shouldn’t be missed.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rock ‘n’ Roller CoasterFor anyone trying to get a gauge on where my tolerance level ends… it’s right about here. I’ve ridden Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster exactly once, and it was just way, way too much for me. The ride starts with a high speed launch that just doesn’t let up. All I remember is being knocked around and not seeing anything too magical. When I go to the parks with friends that want to ride this, I always watch the pre-show and line up with them then ask to exit. In my very humble opinion you aren’t missing much on the ride if you don’t enjoy coasters.

Star Tours: Those who are skipping this ride because the older version made them sick should really try it out again. My husband has a terrible time with simulators, but with the new version even he is able to ride with no trouble. I’m tempted to say if he can do it, anyone can! 😉  (Big Honkin’ Edit on this one – please check out the comments below as you are deciding about this one.  It’s a cool ride but not worth getting sick if you aren’t a HUGE Star Wars fan!)

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: This is one of two rides at Walt Disney World I’ve never ridden. (The other is Kali River Rapids. I just can’t bring myself to get drenched in Florida swamp water!) I can’t imagine anything worse than a straight drop down! I’ve heard people say it’s a different kind of drop, but I just can’t bring myself to try it. However, the pre-show and queue areas are beautiful! It is definitely worth a visit to check that out – even for a ride chicken!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

DINOSAUR: Personally, I love DINOSAUR, but this is a very dark and very bumpy jeep ride. If you think you’ll be uncomfortable in pitch black darkness making hairpin turns, this one might not be for you. There are also some pretty loud noises while you’re unable to see. As much as I’m partial to them, the visuals on the ride are not remarkable, and the ride can be really tough on your back. If that doesn’t sound like fun, this one might not be for you.

Expedition Everest: This is similar to Splash Mountain for me. I don’t love the actual ride, but it’s worth it to experience the theming. For years seeing the drop screaming out of the mountain kept me from riding, but that drop isn’t very bad and gives me no butterflies in my stomach. The more intense part of the ride is the backwards section through the mountain where I feel pushed into my seat and rattled. This ride also may be tough for anyone who fears heights, as the initial climb is open, giving you a view for miles. My feeling is that if you’ve tried Space Mountain and weren’t bothered by it then you should try Expedition Everest. It is certainly more intense, but it is also much more beautiful!

I think that covers the rides normally feared by us ride chickens. Did I miss any? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments above? Are you planning on trying a new ride on your next trip? Do you have any questions about other rides? Please let me know in the comments below. I always love to hear from you and I’m happy to help! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

Posted on December 18, 2013

35 Responses to “Walt Disney World for Ride Chickens”

  • Maelstrom movie – I never understood why they put the movie after the ride. I like the movie clips in line at the great Movie Ride while I walk through. I would not mind at all seeing the “scary” Norway movie while I was working my way to the boat.

  • I would think you should include Primeval Whirl for Animal Kingdom (our family didn’t find it terribly scary, but the fact that it twirls unexpectedly as it traverses the coaster track could make it disconcerting for some). For Magic Kingdom, Astro Orbitor probably deserves a mention – rather high up, tilting, and going round and round – any or all of those, alone or in combination, can cause issues with some.

    • Hey Brad! I left them out for the same reason I skipped The Barnstormer.. you can see what you are getting into. With the ones I listed there is some mystery around what is hiding in the show buildings. But I agree the ones you listed can be scary!

    • If you have any spinning motion sickness skip Primeval Whirl – I like thrill rides / coaster and such – given the option of this and any of the other coaster I will pick the ohters hands down. I about turned green and lost my lunch on this one! I did not realize how much it spinned you.

  • Everything I’ve ever read says the Green side of Mission:Space spins, just not as fast.

    • Hi Alicia – I’ll have to go check it out. I’ve never gone on the green side but my hubby has and told me it doesn’t spin. I’ll check it out, though. I will say that it can’t be much if it doesn’t make my hubby sick! He can’t ride the carousel!

      • You are right. I always get that mixed up in my head somehow. LOL. I shouldn’t comment on blogs before lunch. 😉

        • No way – comment away. I’m really excited to be right about something for once, though!! LOL 😉 I’ve never ridden the green side. I guess I should give it a try. I just love the orange so much!

  • The trouble with Star Tours is that it has a simulator and the huge 3D movie screen. I can ride simulators (love Dinosaur), I can do the mild version of Mission Space, and Soarin’ is great. However, combine the simulator jerking your body one way and the screen drawing your eyes another and it’s just nausea central for me. It’s an amazing ride but one I just can’t do without getting sick. If you have even mild motion sickness this one can cause trouble.

    • Hey Dawn! I really appreciate your comment because it is so different from the trouble I have with rides. I can spin and ride simulators all day but I know I need a serious break after a ride on Splash Mountain. It is great to have a different perspective! I hope more people will leave their experiences to help others. 🙂

    • I’m right there with you. I handled Mission Space Orange just fine, but Star Tours made me feel very sick. I don’t see 3D (eye problems) so it is very straining on my eyes, along with simulator, and my body kinda freaks out.

    • Same here, while I could ride the old star tours just fine, the combo with 3D makes me super sick! I actually rode this with my eyes closed after the first minute or so and vowed never to go on it again, and I loved the old Star Tours 🙁

  • My husband hates heights so we always ask to sit on the bottom row in Soarin. It puts his mind at ease. If anyone in your party is hesitant about this ride, just ask to sit low.

    • Thanks, Betsy! I know it sounds silly but I didn’t think to ask. I’ll be sure to next time when I’m there with someone that hates heights. Great tip! 🙂

  • Most of your recommendations are great both for ride chickens and those of us who have issues with motion sickness. But there are a few exceptions – Splash Mountain doesn’t bother me at all, while Soarin’ is impossible – I can’t even watch the movie in the France pavilion all the way through, and that’s in a seat that doesn’t move. I also can’t handle any motion simulator rides (except the Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for Buccaneer Gold at DisneyQuest), and any roller coaster that runs in the dark is out of the question – I actually can ride a very few coasters, but only if I can see where I’m going.

    • Hey Jan! It is so funny… I hate Splash Mountain. The last time I rode it you couldn’t see me on the ride photo because I was in the fetal position behind my friend! LOL! But I love simulators and 3D. We’re perfect opposites! 😉

  • I am with you on most everything you wrote (at least with the rides that I have ridden). I will add that on Thunder Mountain Railroad I have to either wear earplugs or cover my ears because the lifts are so noisy. The ratcheting noise could be a planned part of the ride experience but it just gives me a headache.

  • I know this is not a WDW ride, but I must say that despite being a thrill ride junkie, the Forbidden Journey ride in TWWOHP at Islands of Adventure might never get me seated in it again. Why? Spiders. Lots and LOTS of big spiders. I hate the things. My only time on the ride I immediately closed my eyes when they showed up and had a fellow rider tell me when they were gone. I kind of wish I had bought the resulting ride photo.

    This feature shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’d seen all of the movies, but I just didn’t stop to think that the spiders might show up in this ride.

    • Ohh… I love FJ, though! It is so different from everything else. I’m excited to see what they do with Gringotts. I’m going to have to get Universal passes again!

  • Daisy, you are my husband’s ride twin. I love all roller coasters though, and I absolutely hate Mission Space Orange. I think the Gravitron at a lot of state fairs is a good parallel for people who are familiar with that. I always feel super sick and dizzy afterwards.

  • Can you do this for Universal too please?

    • Hi Circe -that is a great idea! I haven’t been in a little while but I think I can manage that. I’ll get it on the schedule. Thanks for the great idea!

  • Star Tours made me throw up the a few days ago, so I caution anyone who has motion sickness … seriously, it’s not as easy to ride as it appears in this article. It’s jerky, fast-moving, up-and-down and tons of spinning, plus the video – it’s terrible for anyone who is sensitive to motion sickness.

    Primeval Whirl is another one. Whoa. Can’t deal with it.

  • Against my better judgement my family took me on tower of terror. I didn’t do well and was nauseated most of the day. The drops themselves are as expected but the randomness did it for me. I couldn’t take the sudden change of direction. There is no way to prepare for it and sometimes the drop is super short and it shoots back up. I actually held onto my head to help keep it stable hahaha! I also didn’t really like the theming of the ride itself, though the queue is great.

    • Hey Yasmijn! That is why I’ve never tried it. I just know it would put me on the bench for a long time and the experience wouldn’t be worth it. My family knows not to try anymore! They actually encourage me to stay off rides they know will make me miserable. (If they don’t they usually lose me for hours!)

  • Thanks for the tips! I love thrill rides, but have been cursed with motion sickness (no fair!). Mission Space made me sick. So not a fun way to end the day. The spinning was just too much. Test Track wasn’t too bad, just a little nauseating, but not bad. Soarin was another one that made me feel terrible afterwards. I had to keep looking over the side to spot another chair lift and the walls because I got so dizzy from the video simulator. At first, I though Expedition Everest would be fine when it was going forward slowly, but then it went backwards. It was all over then. I had to sit out for a good half hour or more before I could do anymore rides after that one. Feeling nauseated is just not worth it for me. I will be skipping these when we go in February!

    • Hey Nikki! I always thought I was the worst with rides. 🙂 I was worried about Expedition Everest but found out it was my absolute maximum. I’m sorry it put you on the bench. That is the worst! I agree.. nothing is worth getting sick.

      I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. I thought I’d get made fun of for this blog. I’m so glad it is helping folks! 🙂

  • I definitely agree with your assessments. I really love Mission Space (Green side please, no desire to spin), Test Track, BTMRR, and Splash Mountain (the drop scares me at the end – terrifies me, actually, but I love everything else about the ride that I overcome my fear to see the imagineering), Star Tours, and Soarin’ (terrified of heights so I have to remind myself that it is fake, but the experience is magical). I can take or leave Space Mountain, but I don’t hate it. I am tempted by Everest due to the theming, but I’m afraid of it. I ALWAYS chicken out. Your review tempts me to try it in February. I’m with you on Tower of Terror – no desire to even try. I hate drops.

    You’re missing Primieval Whirl. Drops are mild but the dizziness risk is high. It’s a ride that I can take or leave.