What are the best Disney World rides for adults?
In this article
Being an adult at Walt Disney World can be a lot of fun, whether your have kids in tow or are just enjoying yourself with friends. To help you out with that fun, we’ve compiled what we consider to be the best Disney rides for adults. After all, like Walt said, “adults are only kids grownup, anyway.”
You’ll notice that most of these rides are thrill-oriented, but we’ve also included some adult beverage related attractions. For you convenience, we broke it down by park: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studies.
So just scroll down to the park you’re interested in and you’ll find our recommendations.
Although the title of this article says “rides for adults,” we venture a little beyond rides to talk about food, drink, attractions and activities that are fun for adults, too.
We tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible for the 4 major parks above. But, we didn’t include the water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon – in this guide, but there is plenty for adults to do there, too. Check out our separate reviews of those.
Note that most of these rides are popular and you’ll want a FastPass for them. We make a note of that by each ride. For a more detailed itinerary, check out our Itinerary section.
The Best Disney World Park for Adults
Let’s start with which park overall is best for adults. “Common knowledge” seems to say that Epcot holds the title for adults, and we have to … agree. All of the parks feature some thrill rides, but Epcot stands out in other ways. Although there are some thrilling rides, Epcot’s World Showcase features international cuisine and adult beverages.
My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Epcot is an all around good time, with lots 0f adult treats, especially during Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Having said that, don’t skip the other parks! There are ways for adults to have fun at ALL of the parks, and each has it’s own charm. We highly recommend sampling everything!
When Star Wars Land comes to Hollywood Studios in 2019, it may be a contender for best park if you are a Star Wars fan, but we will have to wait and see!
Best Rides for Adults at Magic Kingdom
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
This ride isn’t thrilling, but it sure is fun. And, just between us, it’s even more fun at night after a few beers. When we go to Magic Kingdom with our Cast Member friends, it is always their first choice. Shoot lasers at the targets, and use our tips to get a high score!
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
This ride is somewhat cartoonish, but never the less has some thrills. It’s an indoor-outdoor rollercoaster where you will go forwards and backwards, and teeter over the edge of a cliff. In my opinion, it’s about the perfect amount of thrill for slightly older inner ears. I get off the ride thoroughly entertained, without any nausea. You’ll want a FastPass+.
Some people reading this list will be surprised that Space Mountain isn’t listed first. It’s an anchor ride at Magic Kingdom (and Disneyland), and it’s been entertaining guests since 1975. It’s an entirely dark indoor roller coaster, which really adds to the excitement. If you could see what was coming, it would be a very mild ride. But since you can’t, it’s thrilling! You’ll want a FastPass+.
I debated whether to include Splash Mountain on this list, because it’s cartoonish and a little campy. Admittedly, it’s a kids’ ride for the most part. But, I enjoy it and so does Renee, so we decided to include it! And there are some thrills: the end of the ride includes a big drop (52 feet down at a 45 degree angle). This is a water ride, and you ride a log boat; you can get wet. You’ll want a FastPass+.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This is a very mild, but still fun ride. It’s design to simulate an old mine train, that might just come apart at any minute. Thrills are minimal, but fun factor is high. The story, characters, and music are endearing and entertaining. You’ll want a FastPass+.
There’s plenty to do at Magic Kingdom besides rides. Taking a stroll down Main Street and perusing the shops is one of my favorites. Having a meal at Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Castle (both are hard-to-get ADRs) is also worth doing. And both of these restaurants now serves drinks! And, let’s not forget Wishes, the Magic Kingdom fireworks!
Best Rides for Adults at Epcot
As I stated above, Epcot is my hands-down favorite Disney World park for adults. But, that’s not because of the rides, it’s because of everything else: the food, the drink, and the international influences. More on that later. First, the rides.
One of the most popular rides at Epcot, this is like an IMax movie that lifts you off the ground and simulates the sensation of flight. It’s not thrilling in the way a roller coaster is, but the sensation is unique and entertaining. Soaring’ is changing in 2017: your flight will now take you beyond the U.S. into some international locations. You’ll definitely want a FassPass+.
Ok, I don’t really want include this one, but some people love it and it’s more adult than many rides. It’s definitely intense. Too intense for my inner ears. You will sit in a simulated spaceship cockpit and are subjected to REAL G-forces. 2.5 Gs to be exact. The ride generates G forces by spinning (i.e. using centrifugal force). You don’t feel the spinning, but you definitely feel the G forces. You’ll be provided with air sickness bags! Think you’re up for it? If not, there’s a “less intense” version that doesn’t spin. You can get by without a FastPass+, depending on crowds.
You will design a concept car, which you then drive around the test track, simulating a vehicle testing facility. This ride reaches speeds of 65 mph, making it on of the fastest rides in Disney World. You’ll want a FastPass+.
This is where Epcot really shines. Stroll around the World Showcase, or better yet, drink around it! Have a beer at the pub in England, a Margarita in Mexico, a Beer in Germany, and a glass of wine in Italy. Don’t forget to sample food and snacks from each of the featured countries, too, or those drinks will catch up with you fast. Just don’t go to Food and Wine Festival on the weekend, when locals drive up the crowds.) You can also
The Best Rides for Adults at Hollywood Studios
Tower of Terror
This is one of the most thrilling rides on the property. Made to simulate a haunted hotel, you will be dropped in an elevated several times. Many of the larger roller coaster parks around the country have similar rides, like Cedar Point’s Demon Drop. This is a favorite among thrill seekers. You’ll need a FastPass+.
Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
This is the most thrilling roller coaster at Disney World, and the second fastest ride. You will reach speeds of 57 mph and up to 4.5 Gs (transiently). This is also the only roller coaster to invert. Really, for roller coaster enthusiasts, this is the only real roller coaster in Disney World. Add in some Aerosmith? No wonder it’s so popular. You’ll need a FastPass+.
Toy Story Midway Mania
Like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, this is another really fun shooting game. It’s not a thrill ride by any means, but it’s like playing a video game that you are inside. Compete against your friends, and use some game hacks to get a high score. It’s a blast. You’ll want a FastPass+.
The Best Rides for Adults at Animal Kingdom
Avatar: Flight of Passage
Pandora adds a new dimension to adult fun in Animal Kingdom. Avatar: Flight of Passage allows guests to ride a mountain banshee. I mean, that’s pretty great. It’s a 3-D ride over a moon, with all the whimsy of Pandora. Tough to beat.
Na’vi River Journey
If you are looking for something more relaxed than a banshee ride, Na’vi River Journey is for you. You and your ridemates will drift downstream on a reed boat. After you pass through of caves, see exotic glowing plants and see incredible rainforest creatures, you will end the ride meeting the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. Excellent ride.
This is my favorite roller coaster at Disney World, and it’s also the only thrill ride at Animal Kingdom. This is a traditional outdoor roller coaster. But, when you reach the top, you fall (roll) backwards. It’s thrilling, but easy on the inner ear. You’ll need a FastPass+.
Kali River Rapids
This is a river raft water ride. You will be on a 12 person raft, and chances are you will get wet. It’s a great way to cool down on a hot day in Animal Kingdom. You’ll want a FastPass+.
A “safari” ride, you will ride in a truck through the African “habitat.” It’s an easy going, no thrills ride, although it’s a little too jerky for a young baby (<6 mo). You’ll see quite a few animals, and it’s a bit like going to the zoo, if you were driving through the animal’s habitats instead walking from cage to cage. You’ll want a FastPass+.
We eagerly anticipate adding to our Hollywood Studios section with all the Toy Story rides coming in 2018 and the Star Wars rides to come in Summer 2019!
What about the Water Parks?
Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard beach can be a fun way for adults to enjoy Disney World as well. If you are interested the best adult attractions at either of the water parks, check out our Definitive Guide to the Disney World Water Parks. We have information on every attraction (including video!) at each location.
We have interactive maps with information on everything in the parks. Literally everything you could possibly need to know about hours, lockers, towel rental and food…and of course…
What is your favorite ride? Let us know in the comments section!