One thing I have learned from my years of researching Disney vacations, is that people have lots of questions about “what the rides are like”. I know this because I have been that person on various Disney message boards who has wanted to know if Mission Space was really “that” bad etc etc…..
Yes. I am publicly admitting that I am a Ride-Wimp. And I know from my research that there are lots of us out there. So for those of you who have wondered what some rides are like…which means of course, will YOU like the ride…..then this article is for you. :)
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 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.
So to help you can decide which rides YOU want to ride, see what this particular Ride-Wimp will and will not do at Disney World….and why.
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.
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 Starring Rolls and get a pastry, 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 when it bothered me and times when it didn’t, and so I don’t ride it every visit as a result. Now that it will be closing to be updated, it will be interesting to see how it changes, and I’ll do it when it re-opens…at least once. After that, we’ll just have to see…
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….
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…..
Speaking of videos though, 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 there you have it, my list of rides to-do, and not-do. Now, for the rest of you Ride-Wimps, how about you? What will you ride…and what do you steer clear of?
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and that special brand of Disney magic that you can’t find anywhere else.