Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is a great vacation for both children and adults, but it can be exhausting trying to fit in everything in one vacation. Even if you spend an entire day in each park, you'll likely miss out on something you wanted to see. Here are the top five must-see attractions for thrill-seekers. Remember, there are many other things to do in the park, but these are the best for a quick and exciting quick thrill.
This is the only roller coaster that goes upside down in Disney World, and it is also one of the fastest. That is why it tops the list as the most thrilling, exciting, must-ride attraction in Disney. The line moves pretty fast, but it's advisable to get a FastPass, especially since it's relatively near another thrill ride, The Tower of Terror. The story for this ride is that Aerosmith has given you tickets to their concert, and since you're running late, their manager calls in a super-fast stretch limo for you. The limo is, of course, the roller coaster, which accelerates you through an indoor track of twists, high hills, and "dangerous curves". The ride goes by rather fast (it accelerates from 0-60mph in less than a second), but the speed is part of what adds to the thrill.
A slightly more slow-paced ride, Splash Mountain is a classic Disney ride with emphasis on kid-friendly Disney characters. As you follow Briar Rabbit through his world, you see the many ways in which he outsmarts Briar Fox and Briar Bear. The anticipation for falling down the giant waterfall after which the ride is named is almost as exciting as the fall itself. This is one of the only water rides within the four main parks, and definitely the best water thrill ride for both spectators and riders.
One of the longest-anticipated rides in any of the parks, when this ride opened, the lines exceeded two hours for anyone other than single riders. Even when FastPass was introduced, riders could expect a wait of around thirty minutes. And the ride was worth the wait. It is meant to imitate the tests conducted by automobile manufacturers to determine the vehicle's safety. Riders go through everything from heat tests to faulty anti-lock brake tests, culminating with the final test - the speed test. This thrilling loop begins indoors until the car bursts through the doors to the outside track, taking a loop at speeds exceeding 60mph.
Another one of the original Disney thrill rides, Space Mountain is a thrilling indoor roller coaster that can terrify riders without loops or twists. The ride relies on it's closed, dark space, sharp turns and small coaster carts to maximize thrills. There are only three seats per cart, and the riders are sat singularly behind one another. Once you ascend the first large hill, the coaster zooms through a world of "shooting stars" and glow in the dark paint. The turns are devastatingly sharp, and the drops feel much higher than they actually are. This is an oldie but a goodie.
The newest roller coaster in Walt Disney World, the heights alone can be thrilling as you ascend to the top of the first hill. This fast-paced roller coaster's biggest thrill comes from what it can do that no other Disney coaster does: go backwards. If the ride isn't thrilling enough the first time around, even the toughest roller coaster buffs have to admit that it's a thrill to shoot backwards through the dizzying heights a second time.
Another few must-sees that didn't quite make the list include Hollywood Studio's Tower of Terror, which drops you several stories down as your elevator sends you directly to The Twilight Zone. Another favorite is Mission to Mars, which simulates the anti-gravity and chaos of a space mission gone wrong.
Don't forget that outside of the main four parks are several water parks that include some thrilling water rides. Virtual reality rides are also great for an exciting thrill, but were excluded since they lack some of the experience in the real thing. If you're interested in checking these out, try Epcot's Future World (Innoventions), and Disney Quest where you can build your own roller coaster and ride it in a simulator.
Update: Worth mentioning is the new, renovated Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, especially if you're a Star Wars fan. The ride is a bit bumpier and exciting than its predecessor, and it has a whole new storyline. Since there are four "parts" to the story, with multiple possibilities for each, you'll never know what the story for your experience will be!
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