How Scary Is Space Mountain? A Guide From a Mom of 5

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Disney pro talks everything you should know about Space Mountain

Space Mountain, which originally opened in Tomorrowland in 1975, may be one of the scarier rides at The Magic Kingdom, but it’s not overly frightening. Generally speaking, Disney parks tend to be pretty family-friendly, and there aren’t many scary rides. This is especially the case at the Magic Kingdom, which is known for its delightful attractions based on beloved children’s movies and characters.

Does Space Mountain go upside down?

Nope. Space Mountain has no inversions, loops or corkscrews. Overall, it isn’t especially intense for a roller coaster. It’s a super fun ride that can be a bit disorienting since you can’t see or anticipate the twists, turns and drops. The fact that it takes place in the dark is one of Space Mountain’s most unique features.

rider loading zones in space mountain at magic kingdom
Riders wait in the queue to ride Space Mountain (photo by Daniel Munson/

Is Space Mountain really fast?

It has a top speed of 27 mph, although it can feel like you’re going faster because of how dark it is inside the ride building. In truth, the ride is designed to feel faster than it is. Its largest drop is only 26 feet, which can cause the feeling of a stomach drop, especially in the dark when you don’t see it coming. By comparison, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a 39-foot drop.

Space Mountain Inside the Ride Crater Caverns
Space Mountain takes place in darkness, which makes the ride more intense (photo by James Overholt/

Should kids ride it?

If your child generally likes roller coasters and thrill rides, Space Mountain should be okay for him or her. The height requirement is 44 inches for Space Mountain. Most children reach this height around age 4 or 5. That being said, Space Mountain is an indoor roller coaster that takes place in the dark to give the illusion of flying through outer space in a rocket. For some young riders, that experience could be frightening.

I can remember being a kid and thinking that the scariest part of Space Mountain was “the red part.” During the ride, your rocket is moving through a tunnel and there are red flashing lights and warning sirens blaring. Just as you approach the end of the tunnel, the track takes a sudden unexpected turn and you are plunged into darkness. Still, I think Disney World has other rides that might be considered scarier. One of my kids was also a bit afraid of Pirates of the Caribbean as a preschooler. This is the same kid who self-reported having “peed a little” on his first experience riding Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

seat at space mountain ride
The Space Mountain seat configuration accommodates 2 to 3 guests (photo by James Overholt/

Considering the ride configuration

Another point to remember with kids riding Space Mountain for the first time is the configuration of seats in the ride vehicle. For example, most roller coasters have rows where guests are seated side-by-side. The Space Mountain ride vehicle has three individual seats in each rocket with two rockets attached. In other words, you’ll be sitting in front of or behind your kid. It might be a good idea to talk this through with your kiddo before the ride if you think they might get nervous about it.

When boarding the ride, a cast member may ask for your child’s age in addition to measuring their height. This is because Disney has policies for certain rides that children under age 7 must ride with an adult. On Space Mountain, children under 7 must have an adult ride directly behind them. If you have two children under 7, you’ll need to make sure you have one adult to ride behind each of them. Disney’s policy considers older siblings, once they turn 14, as “adults” for the purposes of supervising. The Disneyland version of Space Mountain in California has a different ride vehicle configuration.

The View of the Stars Space Mountain
The view of the stars at Space Mountain (photo by James Overholt/

What else you should know before you ride

Anyone who is not in generally good health should not ride Space Mountain. In other words, guests with high blood pressure, heart problems, expectant mothers or those who experience motion sickness are advised to sit this attraction out.

Space Mountain is one of the most popular rides in Magic Kingdom. Generally, you can expect an average wait time of an hour or more. If you want to skip the line, this ride is available on Lightning Lane through Disney Genie+. There is no single rider line.

Have you ridden Space Mountain in Orlando, Florida? Would you say it is scary? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Kirby Russell

Kirby Russell is a freelance contributor for LLC – the parent company of and

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