When most of us think about a trip to Walt Disney World, it conjures up images of mild-mannered family friendly rides like It’s a Small World or Dumbo the Flying Elephant. But don’t be fooled, Disney World has its fair share of attractions that really pack a punch…. right to the tummy. So if you’re faint of heart or prone to nausea you may want to think twice or strategize a bit before tackling our list of 10 Rides at Disney World That Might Give You Motion Sickness.
10) Soarin’– On the surface EPCOT’s hang gliding simulator looks innocent enough as it sweeps you across a series of beautiful landscapes making you feel like you are soaring through the skies. However, people with vertigo may want to consider their options before agreeing to be hoisted up 40 feet in the air for the simulation. Those with motion sickness should also be wary when it comes to the giant Omnimax screen that projects the vistas you are flying over. If you’ve ever felt sick at an IMAX movie, the feeling you will get during Soarin’ should be largely the same.
Please note: Soarin’ is now closed for refurbishment and expected to open Summer 2016.
9) Space Mountain – Though this “high speed” indoor space coaster provides a fantastic dose of vintage Disney, it’s also garnered a reputation for making visitors feel a bit queasy. Space rockets climb up a 180 ft. mountain before making their speedy decent through a predominately dark ride with the occasional strobe light effect. This can leave guests feeling disoriented as they are unable to see which way they’ll twist or turn next. And though the ride has been upgraded since its launch in 1975, the track is rough and jerky at times. Add to this several hard turns and drops and guests returning from their trip through the cosmos may feel a bit sore.
8) Dinosaur – Part track ride, part motion simulator, Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur takes you back 65 million years to locate an Iguanadon in a mission that could best be described as “bone rattling”. Though Dinosaur boasts some of the best animatronics at Disney, it’s hard to soak it all in as you are hurled through a dark forest while trying to avoid an incoming meteor shower. This very rough Jeep ride has its fair share of hairpin turns along with some very big bumps in the road. Guests that feel jostled easily or are uncomfortable with dark spaces and strobe lighting may want to think again or at least avoid eating churros until after your journey through the Cretaceous period.
7) Astro Orbiter– At first glance, Magic Kingdom’s Astro Orbiter looks quite mild-mannered. It’s essentially a rocket-themed variation on the Dumbo spinner ride that gently spins you around and boasts breathtaking views of Tomorrowland. However, the fact that visitors need to take an elevator up to the loading bay should be the first indication that there’s more to this ride that meets the eye. Raising you to heights of over 80 feet above the parks, it’s not the best option for those afraid of heights or with vertigo. Riders with sensitive tummies should also beware. This ride appears to move quicker than its long-eared counterpart and also has a joystick allowing your rocket to move up and down rather rapidly if you have a maniacal fellow-rider at the helm.
6) The Sum of All Thrills– Tucked away in Epcot’s Innoventions pavilion, this design-your-own rollercoaster simulator looks pretty tame but can actually put you through your paces. Guests use a computer program to design the loops, barrel rolls and drops, choosing between jet aircraft, bobsled or roller coaster options. Overzealous roller coaster creators take note: once you are strapped in, a robotic arm will take you through every twist and turn that you’ve created. Also a caution to visitors that suffer from claustrophobia, the ride apparatus does come down over your head which may make riders feel a bit panicky. But fear not, The Sum of All Thrills comes complete with a Panic Button that you can press if your creativity gets the best of you and the ride you’ve customized is a bit too over-the-top. That’s right, a Panic Button. You have been warned.
5) Expedition Everest – When thinking about Disney’s “thrill rides” Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest is usually the first that comes to mind. The tallest attraction at Walt Disney World, this Himalayan runaway train ride makes a haphazard decent down Everest as you try to outrun a very angry Yeti. With a 118 ft lift hill, this coaster is best avoided by those afraid of heights. Visitors with motion sickness should also note that as you progress through the ride, the railroad track reaches a dead-end and the coaster will send you hurtling backwards into darkness. If you’ve ever gotten sick sitting backwards on a train, subway or bus, this is a pretty good sign of how Expedition Everest can make you feel. Don’t give the Yeti the satisfaction.
4) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Picture yourself tearing through the busy streets of LA in your own stretch limo while Aerosmith blares loudly. That’s pretty much what Hollywood Studio’s indoor steel coaster is designed to simulate. Yet, what starts off a joyride can quickly turn sour for guests with a history of getting sick on rides. Even if you make it through a launch that takes you from 0 to 60mph in under 3 seconds, you will also be greeted by an inversion that promises 4 g’s (that’s 1 g more than what astronauts experience at a shuttle launch – I checked). It’s not surprising that many guests report feeling a bit worse for wear. There are corkscrews, sharp twists, and darkness throughout. And did I mention loud Aerosmith music? Sensitive riders should steer clear or risk ending up with one heck of a headache or tummy ache.
3) Mad Tea Party – One of those quintessential rides that most of us associate with the Magic Kingdom, Mad Tea Party has served as the joyful setting for countless Walt Disney World adverts. For that reason, it must be quite harmless right? Think again. Lured in by the colorful teacups, the Chinese lanterns or that cute little mouse peeking out of the teapot, many visitors that suffer from motion sickness make the mistake of casually hopping on this ride unaware of the damage it can do. What starts off, as a fun and lighthearted ride can quickly go astray when your little pirate or princess vehemently decides to start spinning the wheel and your teacup as fast as they possible can. Before you know it, you’re desperately clinging to the sides and counting down the seconds before you can once again plant your feet on solid ground. Parents, if you or the kids get dizzy easily give this ride a miss or insist they take it slow at the wheel.
2) Primeval Whirl – A tribute to Coney Island-style midway attractions, Animal Kingdom’s Primeval Whirl is part coaster, part Tilt-a-Whirl and part Wild Mouse. Think hills, hairpin turns, and spinning – lots and lots of spinning. Unlike Mad Tea Party, guests cannot control the spinning themselves and with no two rides on Primeval Whirl being exactly the same, it is hard to predict just how many times you’ll be twirled around. This means you’re taking a big risk if trying to keep your motion sickness at bay. Sudden stopping and starting is another characteristic of this ride. Guest may find the unexpected change of direction while spinning and diving to be a little on the painful side. Primeval Whirl may beckon you with its colorful and playful theming but it consistently ranks high on visitors’ made-me-feel-sick lists.
1) Mission Space (Orange)– It’s hard to predict what rides may make a person sick- everyone is different. However, this is one ride so consistently successful at making people toss their cookies that each seat comes with its own complimentary barf bag. EPCOT’s Mission Space is a centrifuge ride that is designed to simulate what a space flight would feel like. It quickly spins, generating up to 2.5 g’s as it simulates a lunar landing. The effect can be anything from weightlessness to extreme nausea. As a matter of fact, Astronauts have boasted that riding Mission Space is as close as many people will get to experiencing what space travel is truly like. Yet due to its enclosed dark spaces and rapid spinning, many of us will be thankful we picked the career that we did!
Please Note: In trying to make Mission Space more accessible to visitors, Disney created a milder version of the attraction, Mission Space (Green), without the centrifuge. The ride has the same design so if you have claustrophobia you may want to pass. But other riders may find that this simple motion simulator still provides a thoroughly entertaining and immersive experience without the edge.
Did the rides that make you woozy make the cut? Have you experienced motion sickness on a ride that’s not been listed? Share your experiences by leaving us a comment below.
Thinking of planning a Disney holiday but want to steer clear of rides that may make you queasy? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can work with you to come up with bespoke itineraries that include lots of things you love and skip the things that aren’t for you – All at no extra charge. Email me at MRoden@mickeytravels.com or follow me on Facebook to find out more.
Image © Jennifer Lynn
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