The Best Rollercoasters at Disney World

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Photo by Steps to Magic

WHEEEE! When you think about Walt Disney World, the first attractions that come to mind are probably Dark Rides…like Pirates of the Caribbean or Family attractions…like it’s a Small World or Peter Pan’s Flight. But some of the best experiences at Disney are the Rollercoasters!

The Best Rollercoasters at Disney World

Before we get into the article, it’s important to know where I’m going to be taking the topic.

A “Roller coaster” is an attraction that has a load/unload area and “releases” the ride vehicle on a set of tracks made by tubular steel.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way….let’s talk about some awesome stuff!


Magic Kingdom Ranking

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  2. Space Mountain
  3. Big Thunder Mountain
  4. The Barnstormer

The Barnstormer @ Magic Kingdom

Wait, you thought that I’d start with a high-thrill high-speed coaster? Nope!

The Great Goofini’s Barnstormer is a family coaster that actually received a story update when New Fantasyland was unveiled in 2014. Seen as the best first coaster for kids, this Storybook Circus mainstay is actually a really fun ride.

Numbers:

  • 16 Seats per Train
  • Lift Hill is 9.1 meters high
  • Total track is 207 meters (679 feet)
  • Top speed is 40.2 kilometers per hour (25.0 mph)
  • 1 Minute ride length
  • FastPass+ Attraction

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Okay, this is more up to speed with what you may think of when I mentioned “Coasters”, so let’s get right to it. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a mix between a thrill ride and dark ride, with thematic elements from both classifications.

Officially opened May 28th, 2014, the Mine Train is a ride that brings the family coaster to a new level, with so much more than just a basic Fantasyland attraction. You get a couple drops that bring your adreneline up and it also has a fairly advanced on-ride photo & video package.

Numbers:

  • 20 Seats per Train
  • Drop is 39 ft or 12m
  • Total track is 2000 ft or 610 meters
  • Top speed is 55 kilometers per hour (34 mph)
  • 2:50 Minute ride length
  • FastPass+ Attraction

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Keeping with the mining theme, the next addition in the Magic Kingdom coasters is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland. With one of the more historically-savvy backstories in Walt Disney World, Big Thunder is a actually found in Disney Parks around the globe – from Tokyo, Paris, Orlando and Anaheim!

By far and away this is one of my favorite coasters on property, but has one of the absolute worst queue lines! You either want to get there early in the morning, use a FastPass+ OR wait til the sun goes down, because during the day…it’s a mess of switchbacks and a really poor FastPass merge line.

Numbers:

  • 45 Seats per Train (9 guests per car, 5 cars per vehicle)
  • 3 Drops (one outside, two inside)
  • Top speed is 56 kilometers per hour (35 mph)
  • 3:00 Minute ride length
  • FastPass+ Attraction

Space Mountain

When you think about coasters at Disney, Space Mountain is the iconic answer. What else is there to say, as it’s a coaster that takes you through space…so in complete darkness…on a track that’s as rough as a landing on the moon would be;) Not bad for a ride that opened January 15th, 1975!

Numbers:

  • 6 riders per train (1 seat per row, 3 rows per car and two cars per train.)
  • Two sides (Alpha and Omega – Omega is 10 ft longer)
  • Top speed is 56.3 kilometers per hour (35 mph)
  • 2:30 Minute ride length
  • FastPass+ Attraction

EPCOT

No Rollercoasters in EPCOT…Yet! Guardians of the Galaxy is slated to open in 2021


Disney’s Hollywood Studios Ranking

  1. Rock n Roller Coaster
  2. Slinky Dog Dash

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Rock n Roller Coaster is an enclosed linear electromagnetically launched coaster themed to a backstage storyline involving Aerosmith.

This is by far one of the best coasters at Disney and will be a highlight for any thrill seeker on vacation. With FastPass+, standby and single rider lines available, you’re going to have the chance to get into the Super Stretch Limo if you play your cards right.

Opened on July 29, 1999, the experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a perennial favorite for it’s pre-show and post-show highlights.

Numbers:

  • 3 inversions
  • 24 riders per train (2 riders per row, 2 rows per car, 6 cars per train)
  • Top speed is 92 kilometers per hour (57mph)
  • 1:22 Minute ride length
  • FastPass+ & Single Rider Attraction

Slinky Dog Dash

The newest coaster to Disney’s Hollywood Studios came as part of the Toy Story Land expansion that opened June 30th, 2018.

This family attraction is a hit with fans of all ages, as it brings a level of excitement that works for folks looking to get more Toy Story in their vacation. Plus, it gives you a performance by Weezy the Penguin at the conclusion!

Numbers:

  • 18 riders per train (2 riders per row, 1.5 rows per car with 5 cars per train)
  • Top speed is 64 kilometers per hour (40mph)
  • 2:00 Minute ride length
  • FastPass+ Attraction

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Ranking

Because there’s only one coaster, it’s gotta go to Expedition Everest!

Expedition Everest

This steel coaster (by Vekoma) is arguably the icon of the park, right behind the Tree of Life. It’s that good! In fact, Expedition Everest is the holder of the Guinness World Record for the most expensive coaster in the world, with costs reportedly hitting $100 million.

Not only is it the tallest mountain in all of the Disney World parks, it’s the 18th Disney mountain-themed experience.

Now that we’ve set the stage, the reason why it’s so awesome is because of the storyline. You know that you’re going to be heading on an adventure to try to find the Yeti….but little do you know that you have to go BACKWARDS in order to do it. It’s a must-do for sure!

Numbers:

  • 34 riders per train (2 riders per row, 3 rows per car and 6 cars per train)
  • 80ft drop (24 meters)
  • Top speed is 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph)
  • 2:50 Minute ride length
  • FastPass & Single Rider Attraction

Hope that was helpful! If you’re really looking for the definitive ranking of any coaster, you’ve gotta try all of them and then let me know! There are different experiences with daytime & nighttime, so maybe that’s a hint for a future article!

The Best Rollercoasters at Disney World - #StepstoMagic
The Best Rollercoasters at Disney World – #StepstoMagic

Written by Dustin Fuhs

I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality! If you want more Theme Park fun - listen to the We Like Theme Parks Podcast at https://welikethemeparks.podbean.com/

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