Disney Attractions that go Backwards

What goes up, must go down. What goes forward, must go backwards? Not sure that’s the catchphrase, but in this article, my goal is to share some light onto the attractions that have a secret…and it’s one that most people get surprised about.

Personally, I love knowing in advance that there’s a hidden piece to the puzzle as it’ll allow for me to prepare and enjoy it even more.

  • We know that Splash Mountain sends folks down a giant hill and they get soaked
  • We’re aware that Pirates of the Caribbean probably at some point…involves pirates.
  • It’s a given that when you see ‘Finding Nemo: The Musical”….that you’re going to find Nemo at some point.

But what about the attractions that have more to hide than just a plot twist? What if it’s something bigger?


Expedition Everest was the first Disney attraction designed to have their ride vehicles travel both forward AND backward. When you reach the top of the mountain, the train has only one exit…and it’s going to send you screaming backwards into an intense experience that would make you believe that you were going upside down and inside out.

Hang on, because right after this…you’re right on track to meet The Yeti!

Related Article – Fun Facts about Expedition Everest

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Although most folks wouldn’t really consider a slow-moving omnimover attraction as a thrilling adventure, but the steep descent from the top of Spaceship Earth to the load/unload area is definitely something to be prepared for. It’s not the speed…it’s the angle. You almost feel as though you’re laying back and facing the sky and the stars.

Don’t worry too much though, because Dame Judi Dench’s voice will calm you down;)

Related Article – The Best Dark Rides at Disney World


I can’t get over how awesome the Haunted Mansion is, especially when we’re looking at the technology that was developed and utilized in the perfect way. From the Pepper’s ghost effects to a classic soundtrack, the hidden star of the attraction are the Doom Buggies. They are the ride vehicle that are outfitted with technology which will bring you through the history mansion…but they also go backwards!

In the story, Constance Hatchaway (aka The Bride) brings guests face to face with her story and then the Doom Buggy “drifts” out of the attic window at a 15-percent grade, onto the balcony (with a view of the red-eyed raven) and then you land on the ground and turn to face the entrance of the Graveyard, where The Caretaker and his dog are seen…in their corruptable mortal state;)

Related Article – Fun Facts about the Haunted Mansion

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When Maelstrom closed at the Norway Pavilion in the World Showcase, there were plenty of questions about what the new Frozen attraction would entail. Would they gut the show building and start from scratch or would the original elements be utilized when Frozen Ever After re-opened. There was a collective exhale when we boarded the ride and saw a familiar layout AND got that rush when the boats went backwards again!

You’ll know the backwards section is coming up as soon as you see Elsa singing Let it Go. Your boat will then wooosh back and you’ll see the creation of the Ice Palace around you. Then you get to see Marshmallow and the Snowgies before getting your on-ride photo as you get SOAKED!

It’s not the most exciting attraction that goes backwards, but it definitely is a nice nod to Maelstrom and the days of the original World Showcase concepts.

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Attractions that Spin (and Can Go Backwards)

  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

We do have an article about Motion Sickness, so feel free to jump over there if you’re interested in knowing more about that topic…as this was more about the expectations going into an attraction and less about the G-Forces:)

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