Ranking the Top 5 Thrill Rides at all Disney Parks

mickey-walk-disney-worldA long while ago, I ranked the thrill rides at Walt Disney World using a rather broad interpretation of the idea of a thrill ride. This time, I’m tightening up the definition to an attraction has some serious speed and pulls some Gs while at the same time broadening the scope to all of the Disney Parks here in the United States. Enough yammering! Here’s my ranking of the Top 5 Thrill Rides at all Disney Parks.

#5. Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World)
expedition-everestI think the Disney Imagineering folks really outdid themselves here. Expedition Everest is a glimpse of the future of roller coaster entertainment. The combination of a roller coaster, modern engineering, traditional fabrication, animatronics, projection… jeez, what don’t they employ on Expedition Everest? It really is the total package. It’s even a half-light/half dark ride. The mountain is beautifully fabricated, the yeti looks great, and that dead-end is something I’ve never seen before or since. Sure, I’ve been on a roller coaster that came to a stop and then ran backwards, but this was a whole new level of awesome as Expedition Everest sends you off in different direction that where you came from. It might not have earned the number one spot, but this is a great ride with everything you’d expect from a modern Disney roller coaster.

#4. Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World)
space-mountainThere are two Space Mountains, and while the Disneyland version has great presentation, the Disney World version is like the Millenium Falcon:
“She May not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.”
Space Mountain has some cool effects and the dark atmosphere is fun, but this roller coaster’s bread and butter (or, in my case, margarine) is its speed and turns. Every time I think the ride is over, there’s another turn! This was my first ‘serious’ roller coaster and it’s still one of my all time favorites.

#3. Rock n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Disney Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World)
rock-n-roller-coaster-starring-aerosmithWaiting in line for this ride can be a serious trial, but the Rock n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is worth it. It pops out of the gate with a burst of speed and flings you through the eternal evening with blazing tunes, loops (up side down loops are a rarity at Disney) and some wacky lighting. The premise is kinda fun and there’s some nice decor, but ultimately, it’s all about going fast. I’m aware that a lot of people get bounced around in the restraints on this one, but I’ve never had a truly bad experience here. I’m a big fan… but not enough to buy one of those ugly t-shirts they sell in the gift shop.

#2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World)

twilight-zone-tower-of-terrorThere’s a Tower of Terror at California Adventure, and it’s not bad, but the one at Disney Hollywood Studios is way better. I like that Mission Space features Gary Sinese, but having Rod Serling is way cooler.This is one of the few experiences where you truly feel like you’re inside the tv show (or movie, whatever) that the ride presents. Of course, the money drop is what it’s all about – it’s fun, fast and repeated several times. This one doesn’t bother my stomach, but I can see how the weightless sensation you experience could bother some people.
This might sound ridiculous, but it’s also home to the best gift shop ever. Most rides have lame, cash grab products, but the Hollywood Tower Hotel products are generally cool stuff. Bathrobes, key chains and what not that act as though they’re from the hotel have a nice kiche value to them. I keep meaning to get one of those keychains to use for our guest keys…

#1. California Screamin (California Adventure, Disneyland)

california-screaminCalifornia Screamin is fast, smooth, has an awesome loop and is probably the most comfortable roller coaster I’ve ever ridden. Uhm… that’s kinda everything. Oh, it’s a long ride, too – it loops around and around… it’s also one of the longer roller coasters I’ve experienced. It’s just a great ride. I think it could be improved with some theming as seen in the Despicable Me roller coaster, but otherwise, it’s a great roller coaster and my favorite thrill ride in all of the Disney Parks.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on May 16, 2014, in Disneyland blog posts, lists, walt disney world blog posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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