True Confessions of a Disney Ride Wimp…

This week, it’s Disney confessional time. We all have them: something about Disney that, well, we don’t necessarily share because others ….just…might…not….understand.

Maybe you (gasp!) don’t actually like Dole Whips. Or are not fond of Pirates of the Caribbean. Or perhaps the idea of a Character meal makes you cringe. Whatever yours is, I am encouraging you to come clean this week. Let us all know. It’s ok, really! You’ll feel better by sharing. 🙂 And to help…I’ll start.

I am a Disney Ride-Wimp.

And I know from all my research over the years, that there are lots of us out there. We ask on message boards (“Is Mission Space really *that* bad?”….. Yup, I’m *that* person….) We frequent Facebook and Twitter, and even ask our friendly travel agent for advice. We want to know what to expect!

So for those of you who have wondered what some of the more, ahem, *exciting* Disney rides are like…which means of course, will YOU like the ride…..then this article is for you. 🙂

Now, one thing I know about us Ride-Wimps is that we are not all alike: some like fast, but no drops while others don’t mind the drops but have motion sickness. It’s kind of relative, so when I explain to others who ask about the rides, I start by sharing what bothers ME and what I am perfectly fine with. You can use this, then, as a frame of reference as you decide what’s right for you:

I am fine with speed, in fact I LOVE those rides. I am NOT fine with big drops. I get motion sick. I am *somewhat* ok with heights, depending on the circumstances. And I can go either way on dark, again depending on the circumstances.

Magic Kingdom

I’ve already said I love speed, so it should be no surprise that I am fine with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. But for those of you who are iffy about very fast rides, particularly with lots of tight turns etc, you will want to think carefully about this.

Splash Mountain is *OK* for me. I hate the big drop at the end, but I love the theming of the ride, so am willing to put up with that drop in order to experience the rest of the ride, if all the stars are aligned correctly: in other words, if it’s hot and I’m ok with getting wet, I’m willing. I am NOT willing to get soaked in January, and do the big drop also just to see Brer Rabbit…..

Space Mountain is a tricky one as it is borderline for me in the Ride-Wimp guidebook: love the speed, there are a couple of drops that I could do without ….and am not hugely fond of the dark part of this ride (yes, I know it’s *space* mountain…it’s just that I kind of like to see what is comin’ at me on rides like this…). So I probably end up doing this one every 3rd or 4th trip, and I’m ok with that…I know as coasters go, this is pretty tame, and many of you may be just fine with it…but Ride-Wimps will want to be prepared.


Some of my favorite rides are in Epcot. Guess which ones…..

Test Track? Oh yeah, I love this ride! But again, if you are a Ride-Wimp that is NOT ok with speed, then pass this one by, because it is veeery fast! Some tight turns and a few other “special” effects may also make you want to think carefully if that doesn’t sound like your personal cup of tea…

Soarin’? This is actually my favorite ride in Disney World, worthy of multiple rides each visit. The height does not bother me because it’s dark, so I don’t see how high up you go LOL….and the movie on the screen makes you forget that it’s dark. This is a ride that I honestly recommend to everyone, Ride-Wimp or not, because it is so amazing that it overcomes the fears of nearly every Ride-Wimp I have met.

Mission Space? Well I have actually done this ride, twice in fact…and not the watered-down version either. It was cool, and I’m glad I did it….but will not again. I really wanted to try this ride when it first came out, and struggled so much with the motion sickness factor, but being a bit of a space junkie, curiosity got the better of me and I got in line. I will say that they do a GREAT job of letting you know what to expect during the pre-show, and my suspicion is that a lot of folks don’t try it just based on those pre-show warnings. (This does not refer to the *milder* version which I have not done, and am not hugely interested in, as it seems like it would be nothing more than a movie in a tiny little space.)  What nearly did me in the first time was that miniscule space that you sit in….claustrophobics, heads up to you all….but the castmember, seeing the look on my face after the pre-show very nicely told me that once I saw the space inside the cockpit, if I didn’t want to ride, he’d let me get right off. Very nice fellow, that castmember. 🙂

So, should you try it? If you get motion sick, you really need to think carefully about doing the original version….My reason for trying it was that I wanted to see what that weightlessness feeling is like, and it is very cool. In fact, I think it is what makes this ride a great ride, so much so that, as I said, I have ridden the original version twice, and really have no interest in the mild version. There are some tricks that you can do to attempt to minimize the motion sick part….but frankly, for me the worst part was feeling lousy for hours afterwards….and that is why I won’t do it again: it’s not so great a ride for me that I am willing to lose a half day at the parks feeling crummy. So I can say I’ve been there, done that….and won’t be doing it again.

Hollywood Studios

It’s probably not a huge shocker for you to realize that based on my Ride-Wimp criteria, I do not ride Tower of Terror or Rock’n’Roller Coaster: drops, going upside down, dark….umm, no thanks. While my husband and daughter ride these, I go to Writer’s Stop and get a carrot cake cookie, thank you very much.

What about Star Tours? Well, I know of a number of folks who can’t ride this due to motion sickness. I have had times in the past when it bothered me and times when it didn’t, and so I haven’t always ridden it every visit as a result. When we went in January, I was ok with the new and improved version….but the addition of the 3-D definitely adds an element of caution for anyone who has motion sickness issues. It’s a way cool ride though…so for this Ride Wimp…it’s probably worth it for me to go again. 

I want to mention one other ride here, because while it might not be something that the average Ride-Wimp would think about, Toy Story Midway Mania is something that those who get motion sick may want to be cautious of. This is an awesome ride and I enjoy it a great deal….but the jerking and going backwards part could definitely leave those of you with serious motion sickness feeling a little woozy afterwards. Something to think about….

Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest is the one ride that I really, really, REALLY want to try….but the whole going backwards thing is, I know, not for me. When this ride first opened, my wonderful husband actually got a seat in the front and took a video of the entire ride, just so I could see if I thought I would like it. I want to like it, I really do…..but so far, my Ride-Wimpiness is winning out here…..

One thing that I do want to share is that YouTube is a wonderful way for Ride-Wimps everywhere to get an idea of what a ride will be like, and then make a more informed decision beyond just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Obviously a video can’t convey the entire experience, but it’s a good start.

So….you now all the details of my Disney secret. So are you a Ride Wimp too? Or do you have any other Disney confessions you would like to share today?

Don’t be afraid, if I can share, so can you! 🙂

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20 Responses to True Confessions of a Disney Ride Wimp…

  1. Pingback: True Confessions of a Disney Ride Wimp… | DisneyDigest

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  3. James D. says:

    I am certainly not a ride wimp at Disney World. However, out of The World I hate roller coasters of any kind. With nothing to look at except sky and ground, I can’t stand riding them. But in Disney World with all the visual themes, my attitude changes and I love the roller coasters. My favorite Disney roller coaster is actually Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris, but in Disney World it is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

    Now, I will confess that I actually hate the drop portion of Tower of Terror. However, I make myself ride it at least once every trip since I refuse to let an irrational fear control my actions.

    • Nancy says:

      LOL James….no problem here giving into irrational fear. 😉 But as I mentioned, I do share your love for Big Thunder Mountain. My screaming on it is, apparently, legendary, and duly recorded on video…….

  4. laurie bishop says:

    I really, really , really enjoy the Magical Express ride from the airport. I consider it my first ride at Disney. I love the waiting for the bus to fill up, the driver talking a little bit, I stare out the windows looking for alligators & crocodiles while we drive out of the aiport, then the movie starts. I giggle and relax and enjoy it thoroughly. I dont really notice the scenery as we move forward to the resorts.

    Most of the time I travel to WDW, it is with my boyfriend and I. We dont rent a car! I enjoy the buses too much.

  5. Kelly says:

    Nancy, I really want you to try Tower of Terror…do a little research on it and you will see you do not drop it pulls you. I can assure you that I skip the Giant Drop and Dr. Dooms Fear Fall at Universal but Tower of Terror does not give you that sensation. I truly think if you can do Test Track and Mission Space you can do Tower of Terror. Please give it a try??????

  6. Gaylin says:

    I learned a bad lesson with the Rock ‘N Roller Coaster, I didn’t ask ahead of time how big, fast, loopy, etc that is was. I could barely stand up when I got off of it and 10 minutes later I was vomiting. After that I asked questions before getting on a new ride! (new for me that is).

    I am not a ride wimp, I am truly willing to try them all, the motion sickness thing gets in the way. I can go on ToT no problem. A friend test-rode Mission Space for me and said I couldn’t go on it. Have no problem with Splash or Big Thunder. I did try Everest twice and while I didn’t vomit, I did have to sit down for 20 or so minutes afterewards.

    Had lunch with an Imagineer once and when he explained that ToT is pulled up and down by cables and is not a ‘drop’ ride, then I understood why I could go on it. Drop rides are also not good for my stomach.

    I can go on the Teacups as well, as long as I hold the center wheel as still as possible so there is very little spinning!

    • Nancy says:

      Right there with you Gaylin. The whole motion sick thing definitely stops me from doing some rides that I would try otherwise….and it’s definitely what is keeping me off of Everest….so far at least. 🙂

  7. Rosemary Chiacchia says:

    No one has more “high anxiety” than I do. I get that funny feeling in my stomach just looking at a PICTURE of a ride, building, cliff, ladder… you name it. My nightmares are of me falling. I hate roller coasters that turn you upside down. BUT, I ride EVERYTHING at Disney World. I figure Mickey would never hurt me and so far, he hasn’t. I scream bloody-blue murder. I need help getting out of the ride vehicles, knees knocking, but at least I’m proud to say “I DID it!”. I was petrified at the thought of “Soarin’ ” over California, but that turned out to be my favorite ride and the coolest thing I have ever done. So please, don’t pass up any opportunity. Ride TOT & RnR. Remember Mickey loves you & would never hurt you.

    • Nancy says:

      Rosemary, that’s a great way to think about it. And of course, Mickey would not hurt me at all….but I’m not so sure how my stomach feels about it lol! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Heidi says:

    I’m right there with you on TOT! Hate the feeling of dropping. But, I love Rock n Roller Coaster. We need to meet up at WDW and have Kelly fill us with margaritas and ride TOT together:)!!

    • Nancy says:

      LOL Heidi….my concern is exactly how many margarita’s it might take! 🙂 How about Kelly rides TOT and you and I go get a couple of carrot cake cookies instead. If she’s nice, we’ll get one for her too.

  9. Adrienne says:

    I am a sort of Ride wimp. I did TOT once and that was more than enough for me. I love speed but hate drops! I will say that I did learn a trick this year to get on Everest, I stopped at the Dawa Bar first. I usually freak out getting on that ride because of the drop and the whole going backwards thing. But not this time! 🙂
    I have never been on Splash and have no desire to ever get on. That drop is just too much for me!

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