by Fairy Diva
While most rides at Walt Disney World are relatively mild, yet filled with magic, Disney still delivers for those of us who enjoy thrill rides. Of any thrill ride, I would absolutely consider roller coasters to be my favorite. I love nothing more that an awesome roller coaster, and I really love that Walt Disney World offers a variety of coasters that can thrill all age groups. As my children have gotten a little older, I have really enjoyed introducing them to roller coasters, and I think that Walt Disney World is the perfect place to do so. By the time my son and my squeamish daughter were tall enough to tackle their first coasters, we had a game plan that worked perfectly for them. So if you are looking for a guide to introducing little ones to roller coasters at Walt Disney World (or if you have decided to brave them personally), here is a plan that worked great for us! Most all take place at Magic Kingdom, making it a convenient place to experience several roller coasters in a short amount of time!
To begin with, you obviously want to start on the most gentle coaster. This coaster would be The Barnstormer, located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. This is considered a junior coaster and features the hilarious Goofy (known on this ride as The Great Goofini). The queue resembles a barn, where Goofy has created homemade stunt planes and decided to use them in an aerial stunt show. As you near the coaster, you can see a few blunders in Goofy’s plan! The coaster itself seats two comfortably. The overall ride is very quick, so if your little one (or you) don’t care for it, it is over very quickly! This coaster features a few mild drops and gentle turns. Guests must be 35 inches or taller for this ride. My then three-year-old, who is afraid of most everything, loved riding The Barnstormer. It is really a perfect roller coaster to start out on.
Once you have braved Goofy’s silly antics on The Barnstormer, an easy transition (and short walk away) is the next coaster I would recommend. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, located in Fantasyland as well, offers a slightly longer, slightly faster and more immersive experience. This swaying family coaster is lots of fun. I would highly recommend FastPasses for this attraction, as it is still very popular and wait times are lengthy all day. If you are not able to obtain a FastPass for this ride, the standby queue is lots of fun, with many interactive features to help pass the time. Guests board a “mine train” and ride through the mines, over a few drops and around turns. The height requirement for this ride is 38 inches. Again, my youngest (now four) really enjoys this coaster as well, but it is her limit. She doesn’t care to try any other ones just yet.
My son, a little more daring, shares a love with me for the next roller coaster I would recommend, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, located in Frontierland of Magic Kingdom. This coaster is a little longer, much faster, and features areas of darkness. The turns and hills are a bit more bumpy, yet so fun! The theming is amazing, and this is always a must-do ride for us. It truly is “the wildest ride in the wilderness!” Guests must be 40 inches to ride.
Once you have conquered Big Thunder Mountain, and you are ready for more, I would then suggest Space Mountain. This coaster is a true Disney classic, but be aware that this coaster ride takes place in the dark, with only a few stars or planets zooming by as you speed through the galaxy. Another thing to note is that passengers sit alone on this coaster, so if you have a little one who may be hesitant, be aware that they are not in a multiple passenger car, rather behind or in front of others. Guests must be 44 inches to ride Space Mountain.
These coasters will be a good start for beginners at Walt Disney World. Once you have tried these, I would then recommend heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and riding Expedition Everest (possibly my favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World), and follow up with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No matter your preferred level of thrill rides (especially coasters), Disney has something that will work for all ages!
Ready to plan the perfect vacation to Walt Disney World? Contact Patricia with All for Dreams Travel today! Her services are FREE and she can help you with all of the planning details from transportation, to tickets, to hotels, to dining and attraction reservations, along with all kinds of other great Disney tips!