For years, thrill rides have been the name of the theme park game. In fact, before COVID-19, Disney World had begun construction on two new coasters – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for EPCOT and TRON Lightcycle Run for the Magic Kingdom. However, not everyone loves coasters or thrill rides. In fact, there are many Disney guests out there who feel sudden drops, dizzying heights, and high speeds are anything but magical.
So for my fellow Disney ride chickens, I’ve created a ranking system to help you know what to expect and maybe what to avoid when compiling your EPCOT touring plan.
I’m breaking down the different elements of a ride that may be a little scary or extreme, such as drops, height, darkness, and speed. I’m also using a simple 1 to 3 scale with 1 being less intense and a 3 being the most intense.
Frozen Ever After
Frozen Ever After is mostly a slow-moving boat ride featuring characters and songs from Disney’s hit film Frozen. Now I say mostly because when guests encounter Elsa in her ice castle, your boat is sent moving backward! Then, after encountering Marshmallow, your boat slides down a short drop.
Drop Rating: 1.5
The 28-foot drop is very much like what you experience on Pirates of the Caribbean. I liken it more to a slide than a plunge, and it’s meant to be more fun than scary.
Mission: SPACE is a space flight simulator with two different experiences. The thrilling Orange Mission offers a journey to Mars complete with the sensation of space flight while the tame, family-friendly Green Mission allows guests to orbit around the Earth. For both missions, guests are assigned one of the four roles to perform during the mission: navigator, pilot, commander, or engineer.
So… this ride is incredibly unique in that it’s thrilling, but not because of major plunges or high speeds. Therefore, I’m using different categories just to appropriately rate Mission: SPACE, so be on the lookout for that!
Orange Mission – This version of the attraction uses a centrifuge to both spin and tilt the ride vehicle. As a result, guests experience the G-forces of launching into space and a few brief moments of weightlessness. If you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to skip this one.
Darkness Rating: 3
There are moments of total darkness that may make guests uncomfortable.
Claustrophobic Rating: 3
Guests ride inside of capsules that only seat four guests at a time. Once guests are seated, and before the ride begins, the ride vehicle closes around guests and moves them closer to their screens and dashboard. It feels very close, and the shoulder restraints locking guests in place only add to the sensation.
Intensity Rating: 3
Due to the G-forces and brief sensation of weightlessness, Mission: SPACE’s Orange Mission maxes out my intensity rating, even though there are no sudden drops, heights, or high speeds.
Green Mission – Unlike the Orange Mission, Mission: SPACE’s Green Mission doesn’t spin so there are no G-forces or feelings of weightlessness.
Darkness Rating: 2
There are moments of darkness after being launched into space. Fortunately, guests can see stars in the distance and it’s not as dark as what you experience aboard the Orange Mission.
Claustrophobic Rating: 3
Just like the Orange Mission, the ride vehicle closes around guests and moves them closer to their screens and dashboards. It feels very close, and the shoulder restraints locking guests in place only add to the sensation.
Soarin’ Around the World
This popular EPCOT attraction is an elevated simulated hang-glider tour around the world! This popular EPCOT attraction lifts guests into the air and uses gentle motion, scents, and wind effects to create the sensation of flight as they take in an aerial view of world landmarks shown on a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX digital projection dome.
In order to simulate the feeling of flight, your ride vehicle will gently bob and tip; however, the movement is incredibly smooth, natural, and even subtle.
Height Rating: 3
The rows of seats are lifted up in the air and towards the massive dome screen. So you’re not only high from in a literal sense, but the ride film also makes riders feel like they’re high in the air. However, the bowl-shaped screen really helps because when you look down, you’re still seeing the screen. Also, the rows of seats have high backs and canopies so you do feel secure.
Feel the need for speed? Test Track allows guests to design their own car and put it through a series of tests. The finale is a high-speed lap around the pavilion topping at 65 mph!
Speed Rating: 3
Test Track is the fastest attraction at Walt Disney World, but it’s only during the final lap outside the show building that your car actually reaches 65 mph. Also, to put ride chickens a little more at ease, you’re buckled in and securely seated in your car for this high speed finale.
Are you a ride chicken when it comes to Disney attractions? Which EPCOT ride would you recommend for guests looking to avoid thrills?