What is the Fastest Ride in Disney World?
Are you a thrill-seeker? Do you have a need for speed? Do you love theme parks and fast rides? Do you also love Disney? While Walt Disney World may not have the reputation of Six Flags thrills, if spinning teacups just aren’t enough then this is the list for you. I am about to take you through the fastest rides in Disney World, where to find them, what to expect, and if there are any age or height restrictions.
Test Track – Top Speed 65 mph
Test Track opened in Epcot in March of 1999 and it has been the fastest ride at Walt Disney World in Florida ever since, topping out at 65 miles per hour. The ride was originally a simulated excursion through the rigorous testing procedures that General Motors uses to evaluate its concept cars, culminating in a high-speed drive around the exterior of the attraction.
In April of 2012, the ride underwent refurbishment and opened in December with Chevrolet as the new sponsor. Guests now get to design their own virtual concept car and then buckle up in a “SIM Car” afterward and take it for an exhilarating spin on the Test Track. It revs you through tough terrain along a winding circuit, accelerates through straightaways, hugs 50-degree angle curves, and even scales hills up to three stories high. Test Track is located in Future World at Epcot and riders must be at least 40” (102 cm) tall.
Summit Plummet – Top Speed 60 mph
Summit Plummet might not be exactly what you were thinking when I said I would be listing the fast rides at Disney World. Why not? Well, because it is a water slide. Summit Plummet is the flagship attraction at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park (Get the Park Hopper Plus ticket for access to the water parks at Disney World). It stands 120 feet tall and thanks to a near-vertical drop, it reaches splashing speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. It is the third tallest and the fastest free-fall slide in the world. To take the daredevil drop, guests must be at least 48” (122 cm) tall.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Top Speed 60 mph
Topping out at 60 miles per hour, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith ties for the second-fastest ride at Walt Disney World. The enclosed roller coaster located on Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios features recorded music by Aerosmith such as “Walk This Way” and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” as well as “appearances” by members of the world-famous rock band. Passengers, who must be at least 48” (122 cm) tall to ride, will experience up to 5Gs, accelerations from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds, and 3 inversions in the limousine car.
Disneyland Paris features an identical ride that closed in September 2019 to undergo refurbishment to become part of the new Avengers Campus. It will reopen in 2021 and will feature Iron Man.
Expedition Everest – Top Speed 50 mph
Hopefully, 50 miles per hour is fast enough to escape the mythic Yeti on this Himilayan inspired steel roller coaster. It is fast enough to make Expedition Everest the 4th fastest ride at Disney World.
Located in Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, your train ride to the top of the world starts in a Tibetan Village at the base of the mountain. Suddenly, the track turns broken and twisted sending the riders plummeting backward. The ride, which officially debuted in April of 2006, requires riders to be at least 44” (112 cm) or taller.
Splash Mountain – Top Speed 40 mph
If you don’t leave Splash Mountain soaked and with “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” stuck in your head, you didn’t do it right. Inspired by 1964’s Song of the South, Splash Mountain opened in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom on October 1st, 1992. With a top speed of 40 miles per hour, it is the 5th fastest ride at Disney World. Riders must be at least 40” (102 cm) tall to ride.
This log flume ride starts by taking you gently through a Southern bayou with Br’er Rabbit while over 100 down-home critters sing songs like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox are in pursuit of a wayward hare and the ride slowly turns into a dark ride with a few small drops before the final five-story drop into a Briar Patch. It is in that final 52.5-foot drop where you will reach the 40 miles per hour as well as get soaked from the splash of water at the bottom.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Top Speed 39 mph
Not only is the Tower of Terror a fun Disney movie featuring a pint-sized Kirsten Dunst, but it is also a thrilling drop ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the 6th fastest ride within Disney World. While the ride inspired the 1997 movie (some scenes were even shot on site), the ride itself was inspired by Rod Serling’s anthology series The Twilight Zone. The Tower of Terror opened in Walt Disney World in July of 1994.
Guests 40” (102 cm) or taller can enter the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel for thrills and chills. In a dusty lobby seemingly frozen in time, a television set suddenly comes to life and Rod Serling himself appears to welcome you on your journey to the Twilight Zone. The back story: on a gloomy Halloween night in 1939 some hotel guests were riding the elevator when a violent storm struck the building and they were never seen again. The hotel closed down and has stood empty ever since.
After the creepy welcome and history lesson, guests enter the rickety, elevator-style lift and strap in. Prepare to shriek in terror as the elevator suddenly drops, reaching speeds of up to 39 miles per hour. Will you make it back to the real world, or become a permanent resident of the 5th dimension known as the Twilight Zone.
Walt Disney World may be known for their milder rides to meet the needs of younger families but Walt Disney himself said his parks are meant to be for people of all ages, anyone willing to give in to their imagination. Over the years Disney has worked hard to live up to that philosophy with many different types of rides and attractions geared to all types of imaginations, even the thrilling ones.