Scariest Rides at Disney World Dinosaur
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Scariest Rides at Disney World: Proceed with Caution with a Shorty

Last Updated on September 20, 2021

Disney parks are a toddler’s paradise. The vast majority of the rides do not have prohibitive height requirements, so the whole family can enjoy them together. Are there any scary rides at Disney World? Hard yes. The Disney imagineers have made some questionable decisions over the years, like the now defunct Stitch’s Great Escape. Just because one can ride a ride with a small child does not mean one should. Ride the scariest rides at Disney World Orlando at your own peril.

What Are The Scariest Rides at Disney World?

20. Astro Orbiter Ride

19. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Magic Kingdom

18. Slinky Dog Dash in Disney World

17. Kali River Rapids Animal Kingdom

16. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Disney World

15. Pirates of the Caribbean Disney World Ride

14. Test Track Disney World

13. Soarin’ at Disney

12. Avatar Flight of Passage Orlando

11. Splash Mountain Disney World

10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World

9. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith Walt Disney World

8. It’s Tough to be a Bug Orlando Florida

7. Mission SPACE Disney World Orlando (Orange Mission)

6. Space Mountain in Disney World

5. Expedition Everest Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

4. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Hollywood Studios

3. Haunted Mansion at Disney World

2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Disney World

1. DINOSAUR by Disney

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The Twenty Top Scariest Rides at Disney World

Kids on train

20. Astro Orbiter Disney World

Astro Orbiter Magic Kingdom is a stereotypical kids’ ride that spins in a circle. It made this list of scary rides at Disney World because unlike most kiddie rides, the Astro Orbiter speed moves as fast as a group of middle-aged women fighting for the last crab leg. It is also high up in the air, requiring a very hot elevator ride to reach the spaceship vehicles. If you have a very small child, this one might be too much.

Astro Orbiter Walt Disney World Location: Magic Kingdom

Disney World Orlando Height Requirement: None

Why is the Astro Orbiter at Disney World scary?:

A. Height

B. Speed

19. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Disney World Ride

Winnie the Pooh at Disney World is a ride in a honey pot through the Hundred Acre Wood. There are cute animatronics throughout. It is a Disney ride without height requirements. There is even a play area for children to use while waiting to ride. It does not seem like a scary ride at Magic Kingdom Orlando.

However, this Winnie the Pooh Disney ride has darkness, thunder and lightning, and some jerking motions within the vehicle. At some point during the ride, Winnie the Pooh seemingly tries LSD. There are warnings to beware and a lot of non-specific neon creatures popping up overhead.

It is mild when it comes to scary rides in Disney World, but it may be more disconcerting than one would expect from a ride clearly geared toward young children.

Winnie the Pooh Disney Orlando Location: Magic Kingdom

Minimum Height Disney Orlando: None

Why is it the Winnie the Pooh ride in Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motions

C. Scary Elements

Disney magic kingdom scary rides Winnie the Pooh

18. Slinky Dog Dash Ride at Disney World

Slinky Dog Dash Disney World is a roller coaster in the fairly new Toy Story Land section of Hollywood Studios. One would assume a kid’s roller coaster with a dog’s head on the front would not fall into the category of scary rides at Hollywood Studios.

The Slinky Dog Dash speed is faster than you expect. The ride itself is not scary, but the appearance, theming, and low height requirement deceive one into believing it is more suitable for very small children than it actually is.

Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster Location: Hollywood Studios

Disney Height Slinky Dog Requirement: 38″

Why is Slinky Dog Dash Hollywood Studios scary?:

A. Drops

B. Speed

17. Kali River Rapids Disney World

Kali River Rapids Orlando is a water ride in a circular ride vehicle. You can find similar experiences at other theme parks.

Kali River Rapids Walt Disney World is a scary ride at Animal Kingdom because there are several sections with shooting water and some drops. If you don’t like the sound of whining, save this one for a warm day. You will most definitely get wet. The ride is mild, but if your child doesn’t like the anticipation of waiting to be shot by cold water or soaked after a drop, skip this one or pack a poncho.

Kali River Rapids Ride Location: Animal Kingdom

Disney Animal Kingdom Height Requirement: 38″

Why is Kali River Rapids Disney Animal Kingdom scary?:

A. Drops

B. Shooting Water

Animal Kingdom

16. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Walt Disney World

The Seven Dwarfs train ride is a fast roller coaster mixed with slow moving sections featuring animatronics. Parts of the ride are dark, and there is an animatronic wicked stepmother in her old lady form that is less than pretty right in the area where you wait (sometimes for an extended period) to exit the vehicle.

If your kids don’t mind the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train speed and that creepster, they will probably be able to tolerate this scary ride in Magic Kingdom.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Orlando Florida Location: Magic Kingdom

Disney World Magic Kingdom Height Requirement: 38″

Why is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Florida scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Scary Elements

C. Speed

15. Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World

The Pirates of the Caribbean Disney ride is a classic attraction and the perfect place to teach your children to make bad decisions. There is alcohol. There are weapons. Lots of men pillage and loot villages. People chase each other in a circle branding brooms. It has darkness, loud noises, and skeletons. Water shoots into the air unexpectedly.

Putting all of that aside, Pirates of the Caribbean Disney Magic Kingdom is awesome. Most kids will be fine (although mine hated it when he was younger).

Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction Disney World Location: Magic Kingdom

Height for Disney Ride Florida Requirement: None

Why is Pirates of the Caribbean in Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Loud Noises

C. Scary Elements

14. Test Track Epcot

Test Track at Epcot is all about racing. You can create your own virtual car before boarding the ride.

The ride itself is a cruise in a SIM Car. There are indoor areas with dark sections. At one point, you get the distinct impression you are about to hit another car. The ride ends with the Test Track speed reaching 65 mile per hour around an outdoor track. People always scream during this part (somewhat unnecessarily).

The Test Track ride is awesome, but may be one of the scariest rides at Epcot for small children.

Test Track at Disney Location: Epcot

Disney Test Track Height Requirement: 40″

Why is Test Track in Epcot scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motion

C. Scary Elements

D. Speed

Test Track scary rides epcot

13. Soarin’ Around the World Epcot

Soarin’ in Epcot lifts you high up into the air, then shows you a video that gives you the illusion you are flying over several different countries. It is fun, it is smooth, and the scenes are beautiful.

However, if your kid doesn’t like heights and/or loud noises, the Soarin’ Disney World ride is not for you. My then four year old tried to jump out of his seat (thankfully unsuccessfully because he would have been severely injured at best) when fireworks were shot off over Disney World at the end of the ride video.

Soarin’ the Ride Location: Epcot

Disney Soarin’ Height Requirement: 40″

Why is Soarin’ at Epcot scary?:

A. Height

B. Loud Noises

12. Avatar Flight of Passage Disney

Avatar Flight of Passage Animal Kingdom Orlando is a relatively new ride, so the technology is good. You sit on a car reminiscent of a motorcycle and go for a motion simulated ride on a Banshee through Pandora. The ride requires 3D glasses.

It is one of the scary rides in Animal Kingdom because there are jerking motions, darkness, and the sense you are about to be eaten or fall. People scream, which seems to just be part of the fun for some people. Overall, the ride is mild, but if your kid hates loud noises or darkness, this may not be the best choice.

Flight of Passage at Disney Location: Animal Kingdom

Disney Avatar Height Requirement: 44″

Why is the Flight of Passage ride Orlando scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motion

C. Loud Noises

D. Scary Elements

Donald Duck

11. Splash Mountain in Disney World

Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom doesn’t seem like it should be one of the scariest rides at Disney World at first blush. It is a mainly slow moving boat ride through scenes with animatronics from Song of the South, a movie so racist that it has been placed in Disney’s vault permanently. It is slated to be updated to a Princess and the Frog theme, but as of the time of this writing, construction has not yet begun.

Portions of Splash Mountain Orlando Florida are dark, some of the animatronics are a little disturbing, and there are steep drops that result in big splashes. You will get wet.

With that said, Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom is fun. If your kids can handle the sensation of free falling, they will be fine.

Splash Mountain at Disney World Location: Magic Kingdom

Height Disney World Orlando Requirement: 40″

Why is the Splash Mountain Ride Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Scary Elements

C. Steep Drops

Piglet

10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Disney World

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Magic Kingdom is a roller coaster with both indoor and outdoor portions. It moves quite fast for a ride being pulled by an antique steam engine. It enters dark areas several times. There are some loud noises and drops. It is fun, but this is not to be confused with a kiddie coaster like LEGOLAND Express.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Orlando Location: Magic Kingdom

Disney Magic Kingdom Height Requirement: 40″

Why is the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Loud Noises

C. Speed

D. Steep Drops

scary rides magic kingdom cinderella castle

9. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Disney Hollywood Studios

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney World is an indoor roller coaster. A good portion of the ride is in darkness. It is one of the scariest rides at Disney Hollywood Studios because it goes upside down and moves quickly when it is right side up.

Kids may also be alarmed by how culturally relevant Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Disney World Orlando is not. Why is that grandpa with highlights singing?

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Disney Orlando is super fun, but will likely be scary for younger children.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Disney Florida Location: Hollywood Studios

Disney Attraction Height Requirement: 48″

Why is the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Ride Disney World Florida scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Speed

C. Upside Down Motion

top scariest rides in disney world hollywood mickey

8. It’s Tough to be a Bug Animal Kingdom Orlando

It’s Tough to be a Bug Disney World Florida is a 4D movie starring Flik. Who (asks the same child who asked about that grandpa)? A Bug’s Life came out when the year still had a 19 in it, after all.

While a 4D cartoon movie doesn’t seem like it should be scary, there are angry bugs flying at your face, smoke, and a sense that bugs are running near your feet. All of that is tolerable until an insect stings you in your back unexpectedly while the room is pitch black. There is always a lot of screaming. Kids leave It’s Tough to be a Bug Florida crying on the regular.

It’s Tough to be a Bug Orlando Location: Animal Kingdom

Disney Orlando Height Requirement: None

Why is It’s Tough to be a Bug in Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Loud Noises

C. Scary Elements

7. Mission SPACE at Disney World (Orange Mission)

Mission SPACE Disney Florida is a motion simulator ride that takes you to Mars. It has a family friendly Green Mission, and the we’re all going to vomit intense Orange Mission. The Mission Space Disney Orange ride involves tons of spinning, so much so that it is difficult to lift your arms. When a ride comes with barf bags, you know it is going to be good.

The Orange Mission also spends about half of the ride jerking you around because your space shuttle is about to get hit by a meteor. Space is dark, so the ride is too. This is easily one of the scariest rides in Epcot.

I would definitely skip the Orange Mission Space in Disney World and hit the Green Mission with young children to save your sanity and your stomach.

Location: Epcot

Disney World Mission SPACE Height Requirement: 44″ for the Orange Mission Space Disney Orlando, 40″ for the Green Mission to Space Disney

Why is it scary?

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motions

C. Loud Noises

D. Scary Elements (including watching your parents vomit)

6. Space Mountain at Disney World

Space Mountain Magic Kingdom is one of the best rides in all of Disney World. It is super unique and original, it is in air conditioning, and you used to be able to get a FastPass (pre-COVID) without much difficulty. Is Space Mountain scary? Kind of. A young child will love it, right? Wrong.

Space Mountain Disney World is a roller coaster through space in pitch darkness. It has sharp turns and quick drops that you do not see coming. You also sit single file in cars that hold three, so you cannot sit next to your child. I spend the majority of the ride wondering if my son has fallen out, making it a scary ride at Disney World Orlando for me.

I dragged my son onto the Space Mountain roller coaster against his will in a moment of bad parenting with the best intentions when he was a tall four year old. Just as he was hating it the most, the ride broke down. We got stuck in the ride car for an extended period of time. This was karma at its finest for me, because he spent the entire breakdown informing me loudly that he wanted to exit the vehicle. Now.

Location: Magic Kingdom

Height Requirement for Space Mountain Ride Disney World: 44″

Why is it scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motions

C. Loud Noises

D. Space Mountain Speed

what are the scary rides at disney world space mountain cars

5. Expedition Everest Disney World

Where to begin? The Expedition Everest ride makes the Walt Disney World Resort scary rides list for several reasons.

Expedition Everest in Disney World is an awesome ride that is meant for older kids. This is a full sized roller coaster. It cannot be compared to kiddie roller coasters like Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster or the Barnstormer.

This ride is one of the scariest rides at Animal Kingdom because it moves fast, has steep drops, and goes backward. Some of the ride is inside a mountain in the dark. At one point, you get the impression that the track is broken, and for good measure, an Expedition Everest yeti threatens your safety.

I can best describe this ride as a cross between the Matterhorn at Disneyland and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Islands of Adventure.

Location: Animal Kingdom

Disney Everest Height Requirement: 44″

Why is it scary?:

A. Backward Movement

B. Darkness

C. Loud Noises

D. Scary Elements

E. Speed

F. Steep Drops

scary rides walt disney world mickey

4. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Galaxy’s Edge

Rise of the Resistance Star Wars is a brand new ride as of the time of this writing. Lauded as one of the best rides of all time, the scaring begins with the rope drop boarding group rat race to get on the ride in the first place.

Rise of the Resistance Orlando is one of the scariest rides in Hollywood Studios because it has jerking motions, spinning, loud noises, darkness, and a general sense of doom as you move through rooms. Stormtroopers shoot at you. Sirens sound. At one point, you enter a motion simulator for extra shaking and shooting. It will be a lot for young children.

Rise of the Resistance Disney World Location: Hollywood Studios

Disney Height Requirement for Ride: 40″

Why is the Rise of the Resistance Ride Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motions

C. Loud Noises

D. Scary Elements

3. The Haunted Mansion Disney World

Haunted Mansion Florida is the scariest ride at Disney World Magic Kingdom. It is a slow moving ride through very dark rooms. There are lots of ghosts, but most of them are more silly than scary. However, there are a few sections that are over the top for small children.

Before you even get on the Haunted Mansion Walt Disney World ride, they stick everyone in a stretching room wherein a man with a creepy voice laughs like he is in the Thriller video. That stretching room ends with darkness, lightning, and a glimpse of someone hanging above your head who is clearly not having a good day.

Pro tip: You can ask an employee to skip the Haunted Mansion stretching room, an option I exercised liberally when my son was younger.

On the ride, there are lots of creepy voices, and a couple of things that pop out at you. Most small children will be fine, but you should consider whether your child is ready.

The Haunted Mansion Ride Location: Magic Kingdom

Disney Minimum Height for Ride: None

Why is Haunted Mansion in Disney World scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Loud Noises

C. Scary Elements

2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney World

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Hollywood Studios is one of the scariest rides in Disney World Orlando, Florida on all kinds of levels. This ride seems to have been inspired by The Shining.

The Tower of Terror in Disney World begins with a stroll through a haunted building and a ride through darkness. Some ghosts wave at you, you go through more darkness and lightning, then you are taken to an elevator where you are dropped up and down a bunch of times. You are guaranteed to have a few screamers in your car. If you’re looking for a creepy ride at Disney World, this is it.

Disneyland’s Guardians of the Galaxy has the same ride format as the Tower of Terror in Orlando, but instead of giving you the impression you are about to die, you get bounced up and down to Jackson 5 music with clips of fun videos mixed in. Big improvement over Tower of Terror, one of the scariest Disney rides ever.

Tower of Terror Twilight Zone Location: Hollywood Studios

Disney World Height Ride Requirement: 40″

Why is the Tower of Terror Ride Orlando scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Drops

C. Loud Noises

D. Scary Elements

Sleeping scariest rides disney world florida

1. DINOSAUR Disney’s Animal Kingdom

What. The. Fudge. Were they thinking here? This is as close to a horror ride in Disney World as one can get. DINOSAUR at Disney Animal Kingdom is straight up terrifying for everyone, adults included.

Not to be outdone by Universal in the dinosaur department, DINOSAUR at Disney World is a ride through almost complete darkness with only flashes of light to show you the dinosaur that is about to eat you.

There is screaming from the narrator of the ride who makes sure you know you’re about to die, and there is inevitably crying from children on the ride. This is easily the scariest ride in Disney World Orlando.

I personally don’t see much appeal to the DINOSAUR Disney ride at all, but if you can appreciate the animatronics, definitely try it without small children first. If you want to get your prehistoric fix without terror, visit the T-Rex Cafe, a dinosaur Disney Spring restaurant.

Location: Animal Kingdom

The DINOSAUR Disney World Height Requirement: 40″

Why is it scary?:

A. Darkness

B. Jerking Motions

C. Loud Noises

D. Scary Elements

E. Steep Drop

how scary are disney world rides Epcot globe

The Scariest Rides at Disney World – Final Thoughts

Does Disney World have scary rides? Yes. Should this stop you from visiting? No.

The vast majority of the rides at the theme parks can be enjoyed by the whole family. Even if you avoid all of the scary rides at Disney World Florida, you can easily fill days at the parks and have a great time. Your small child may be fine on these rides, but proceed with caution, because odds are, you make better parenting decisions than I do.

Visit Disney World with little kids. You will not regret it.

Scary Rides Disney World Pin

Related Articles to the Scariest Rides at Disney World:

Best Rides at Magic Kingdom Disney World to Wear the Kids Out

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions Part I

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Attractions Part II

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Scariest Rides at Disney World

48 thoughts on “Scariest Rides at Disney World: Proceed with Caution with a Shorty

  1. Great post! The only ride at Disney that I can’t ride is Mission Space. I just don’t like the G force feeling. I rode it again the last time we were there and I just didn’t like how I felt on it. Everything else I love!

  2. We love Disney and have been on all these rides. The kids absolutely love them. Fun times for sure. My 3 year old is scared of all the characters walking around.

  3. I like the way you describe the scary elements of each ride. I don’t like things with steep drops, so this is helpful to know what to avoid. Good job!

  4. LOL this list! Some of the names I am like, come on that doesn’t sound scary, but then when you read them it’s like WHAT! lol. But Test Drive one is so up my street I would admit. I do hope one day I can get our family to Disney. With my oldest being 21 now, the clock is ticking. I would love to talk my 14 yr old to go on a ride called Seven Dwarfs train and seeing the end result! Thank you for the info!

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