Am I legally obligated to start this post with a reference to the need for speed? I feel like I am.
The truth is, when thrill-seekers plan their vacation, the subject of speed at the Walt Disney World Resort has been at the top of the list.
Sure, Disney theme parks have always had attractions with a little speed to them, but many of the most popular rides in the parks are of the slower variety.
However, that has changed in recent years with speedy additions to each of the four Disney Parks. Guests who have a need for speed can turn to Disney to get their fix – or at least a little bit of it.
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Does Disney have the fastest rides in Orlando?
Ha, no. Most of the Disney rides are pretty tame compared to the top Universal Studios.
In fact, Universal Studios has three coasters that are as fast or faster than Disney’s fastest ride.
For example, VelociCoaster hits 70 mph and the Incredible Hulk clocks in at 67 while Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is 65 mph.
None of them are the fastest in Orlando, however. That honor goes to SeaWorld’s Mako with a top speed of 73 mph.
It should be noted that speed is not the only thing that makes a great ride. For example, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure tops out at 50 mph, but it is still a great ride.
What is the fastest ride at Walt Disney World?
Here it seems, there is mostly consensus at the top. However, you’ll be surprised to find there are some discrepancies.
Certainly, I thought it would be easier to pin down official sourcing for some of the newer rides, but Disney doesn’t seem to emphasize speed much in its releases. Maybe this is because it’s an area where the competition has the edge.
The top ride on our list has Disney’s official confirmation. The others? We checked multiple sources and went with the consensus.
12. Space Mountain
Magic Kingdom’s space roller coaster doesn’t go all that fast at about 27 mph, but like at Cinderella’s Castle, Imagineers used a little ingenuity to make it more impressive.
You’re zipping along at a little under 30 mph, but with stars moving in the opposite direction, the ride feels faster than it is.
11. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
No wonder this ride is so short.
Your mine train is flying along the track at speeds reaching about 34 mph. Since Mine Train is built in such a compact space, it doesn’t take long to finish the track.
10. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disney’s other mine train ride reportedly clocks in at a respectable 36 mph.
9. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
There’s a good documentary on Disney+ about the Tower of Terror which reaches speeds of 39 mph on the drop.
The speed may not be consistent since the ride has multiple drops that are randomized in sequence and length to create a different ride experience each time. Still, the largest drop – which is 13 stories – is guaranteed at least once with each ride.
8. Slinky Dog Dash
This relatively new addition to Toy Story Land with two launches reportedly reaches top speeds of 40 mph.
7. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (formerly Splash Mountain)
As a disclaimer, we don’t know what the speed will be coming out of renovations. At the end of Splash Mountain’s run, it was 40 mph.
Since it will remain essentially a log flume ride, I suspect it will be the same speed at relaunch, but we can’t be sure.
6. Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
This ride to see the Yeti in Animal Kingdom reaches top speeds of about 50 mph.
Also, it’s a good ride to use the Single Rider line to skip the wait.
5. Disney Monorail
The Monorail is technically not a ride, but it is one of the fastest Walt Disney World experiences.
With a top speed of 55 mph and an average speed of 40, it ferries guests around the complex in style.
4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
This ride is also being renovated at the time of this writing.
But now that I think about it, I think this herky, jerky ride is more likely to change speeds coming out of renovations.
Before renovations, this Disney’s Hollywood Studios coaster hit top speeds of up to 57 mph.
3. TRON Lightcycle Run
Here we have some controversy. There are claims that with speeds up to 59 mph at the start, this ride along with its sister ride, TRON Lightcycle Power Run in Shanghai Disney, is the fastest coaster at any Disney park worldwide.
However, it’s still brand new and in its Virtual Queue phase, so maybe there will be some clarity moving forward.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
This surprises me. Typically, indoor coasters don’t have to be that fast because they can rely on Space Mountain-style tricks to simulate speed as you race through space with Groot, Gamora and Star-Lord.
But the consensus seems to be that this indoor coaster hits speeds up to 60 mph.
Oh, be sure to get the Individual Lightning Lane for this ride – it’s one of the best in Orlando.
1. Test Track
At this speedy EPCOT attraction, Disney is proud to talk about how fast you’ll go. “Reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour as you put your car through its paces.”
After each test, check the scoreboard to see how your vehicle performed.
It’s natural for this thrill ride to be the fastest as it’s a speed test in your “own car” for the ride.
What are the slowest rides at Disney?
If you’ll forgive me some level of conjecture here, this is the best list I can compile. In fact, the exact speed data for Disney’s rides can be hard to come by. And also, tracing that data to its source can be nearly impossible.
With this in mind, the following list is my best guess.
Winnie the Pooh: Is this slower than the omnimovers – the rides with the belt where you can board without employees stopping the ride vehicle? I think it is.
Those rides maintain a consistent speed right at 3 mph. We’re talking about Journey of the Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Haunted Mansion. I don’t think Pooh – even on the most blustery day – hits that rocket speed.
Jungle Cruise: I have seen published reports that put the Jungle Cruise at 2.2 mph. You’ve got to give those cruise captains time to get in their jokes.
Na’vi River Journey: I think in general the water rides are going to be among the slowest with the exception of the Kali River Rapids and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. But this leisurely float through the Pandoran forest isn’t gonna set any speed records.
Gran Fiesta Tour: This ride – located in the Mexican Pavillion at EPCOT – is a slow tour through Mexico. You can’t soak in all that information if you’re flying through.
It’s a Small World: It’s a slow world, too.
Spaceship Earth: I’ve seen reports that the ride vehicle inside the iconic EPCOT golf ball moves at a glacial 1.24 mph. That sounds about right.
Do you enjoy the faster rides at Disney World? Let us know in the comments.