Top 5 Tuesday: Thrill Rides

Today’s Top 5 comes to us from afwdwfan;

Everybody thinks of thrill rides when they think Disney World, don’t they?  No?  Well, ok, but the parks do have some excellent rides to satisfy the appetites of those of us who are thrill ride junkies.  I thought about the various thrills offered in Disney World and rated them on a 10 point scale.  Each ride can receive up to 4 points each for Thrill Factor (TF) and Theme (T) and 2 points for my own Personal preferences (P).   My opinion will play a role in my list, so I might as well give a value to that influence.

5.  Test Track:  TF 3.0, T 3.5, P 1.5 = 8.0.  If you want to go fast, this is the ride for you.  It is the fastest ride in Walt Disney World, and the theming is great.  As you make your way through the queue, there is plenty to look at with displays featuring various tests that cars are put through before they leave the factory.   After you get past the queue area, you get to strap into a 6 passenger test car and learn how it feels to be a crash dummy as you experience a series of tests that may or may not turn out well.

4.  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:  TF 2.5, T 3.5, P 2.0 = 8.0.  “The wildest ride in the wilderness” has always been among my favorites… and I don’t just mean thrill rides.  This roller coaster, due to its immersive theming, really makes you feel like you’re going faster than 30 mph.  There is just so much to see as you go zipping around curves and up one hill and down the next.  My first ever roller coaster ride was on this Mountain in 1985 and it requires multiple rides any time I’m in the Magic Kingdom.

3.  Splash Mountain:  TF 3.0, T 4.0, P 1.5 = 8.5. Although BTMRR gets the nod as my favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom, its neighbor just edged it out in my thrill ride ratings.  I realize I have a few 4.0’s for theming, but how could you possibly give this ride anything less?  It is such an immersive experience as you enter a cartoon world and join Brer Rabbit and friends on a journey through the briar patch.  And I defy you to listen to the song “Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah” and not smile.  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Oh, and the part where you go down a big hill and get wet is fun too.

2.  Expedition Everest:  TF 3.5, T 4.0, P 1.5 = 9.0.  First of all, if they’d fix the Yeti this ride might be able to make it a tie for #1.  I’ve never experienced this ride as it was meant to be.  This roller coaster provides a very thrilling ride and that hairy arm reaching out to grab the train and send its passengers to their doom would easily bump the thrill factor up to the max.  This ride experience starts when you enter the queue, because it is by far the most detailed and most interesting queue on the property.

1.  Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith:  TF 4.0, T 4.0, P 2.0 = 10.  This ride tops the list for sooo many reasons.  The theming is fantastic all the way from the record studio pre-show to the exit at the concert venue.  We can’t end the theming discussion without mentioning the fact that you get to ride in a limo with an amazing sound system that blares Aerosmith music.  In addition to all that, this roller coaster has a launch that really gets the adrenaline flowing and it is the only one at Walt Disney World that goes upside down.  It offers a thrill factor that no other ride on property can touch.

There always seem to be rumors that Aerosmith will be replaced in the ride by The Jonas Brothers or some other tween pop flavor of the month.  It hasn’t happened yet and likely won’t.  I just have to say that if it does, I’ll remove this ride from my list and begin a campaign of mailing nasty letters and cases of Beverly to Disney Executives.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling opinions on thrill rides.  Please share your comments regarding which thrill rides you do or don’t like!



11 thoughts to “Top 5 Tuesday: Thrill Rides”

  1. Another great list! I cant beleive you missed the greatest of all thrill rides, atleast it scares the crap out of me everytime, IASW. TF -4.0, T -4.0, PF -2.0
    Oh wait were they suppose to in the positives? My bad.
    Great list Rod!!!! Keep ’em coming!

  2. That’s a hard list to crack into the top 5, but Tower of Terror at least has to earn an honorable mention. The queue rivals Expedition Everest, and the view you get from the top (albeit briefly) is pretty good. And come one, how can you love falling faster than gravity?

  3. Great job, Andy. I have to agree on the theming of Expedition Everest–they really went above and beyond on that one. I’d give an honorable mention to Space Mountain as well. It’s Thunder Mountain in the dark! Can’t wait to see if the new Star Tours becomes a favorite as well.

    And where is the Tomorrowland Speedway??

  4. Thank you for the kind words.

    IASW just did miss the cut. If they would finally mount those guns onto the boats, you could probably make a case for it to be #1.

    T0T was very close. When I ranked them, 3 through 8 was really tight. I just left ToT off because I didn’t want to make Mark feel bad. I’m not cruel like you.

    See above… SM fell into that range. I like it, but it is just dark, and to me, that just doesn’t add anything to the thrill of it… if there were some effects or something going on during the ride, that would make it a little more interesting and probably gain some theme points. Aside from that, you’re right, it is very similar to BTMRR, but without all the visuals to take in.

    I’m sorry I left the speedway off the list. I guess it just isn’t as thrilling to me because I haven’t ridden with any of the Oblivious kids.

  5. Oh, and I hope Star Tours can make this list. I left it out of consideration altogether since I haven’t experienced the “new” version yet. For those of you who have experienced it, how well do you think it fits in the conversation of Disney Thrill Rides?

  6. Great list Andy. I would probably slide TOT in there personally, at the expense of either Test Track or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but it would be close…

    Agree on Star Tours. Haven’t seen the new one yet, but excited to!

  7. I’ve ridden the new Star Tours probably close to a dozen times. It’s a great attraction, but I don’t know if I personally would call it a Thrill Ride. To me, thrill rides have some element of danger – speed, sudden drops, sharp turns, etc. The 3D effects are awesome and really make is seem like you’re zooming inches away from canyon walls in a pod racer, but when push comes to shove you’re still inside a simulator.
    It’s certainly an E-Ticket ride, but in my book it’s not a Thrill Ride.

  8. Thanks for not being cruel. But I would certainly agree that ToT is a thrill ride. I personally don’t enjoy feeling like I’m about to die, but hey, lots of people love it!

  9. I agree ToT should be way up the last, if just for the photos at the end of the macho guy screaming like a girl (none of them exist of me that way). IASW is very scary, especially when riding for the third or fourth time in a row!

  10. I’m glad to see there’s some ToT love out there. I had it as #6. It had a low P score. I like it, but I don’t love it. I get a bigger rush from something that goes fast and changes directions. The vertical motion type rides just don’t excite me too much. I typically don’t even ride them in other parks, but ToT does load quicker than most rides like that and the theming is spectacular. I think it is worth riding just for the theming and the backstory. That’s what Disney does with their thrill rides so much better than everyone else.

    Thanks for sharing your opinions, keep them coming!

  11. Sad to report that I’ve not ridden three of these five rides yet, but I look forward to the day of being able to experience every single one. I’ve never had a partner who wanted to ride with me and I didn’t want everyone in my group waiting for me to ride. This year when we go, I’m fairly certain that my son will be tall enough and brave enough to at least try Test Track and Expedition Everest.

Leave a Reply