Former Disney Employee Reveals Fastest Rides at Disney World


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Key Points

  • Test Track in EPCOT is Disney World’s fastest ride. It reaches top speeds of 65 miles per hour. It hits high speeds but is not the most thrilling ride in the park.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind reaches 60 miles per hour, with more thrills to boot. You’ll be launched backwards while riding on a vehicle that makes you feel weightless.
  • Tron:Lightcycle Run clocks in at close to 60 miles per hour but feels much faster. You lie flat on a motorcycle, making it feel much faster than its top speed.

Most people who head to Disney World are not in it for just the thrill rides. But those with a need for speed can absolutely find some awesome thrills within the four Disney World Theme Parks. 

Though I would agree that Universal Studios (most specifically Islands of Adventure) is the best single location to ride some intense roller coasters, Disney has an excellent mix of thrilling, theming, and all-around good times when it comes to thrill rides.

If you are an adrenaline junkie and looking for the fastest rides at Walt Disney World, you have come to the right place. Here is a list of the fastest rides across the entire Disney World property, in addition to a few extra we threw in for good measure to give you a comparison. 

Keep in mind that while they may be fast, I still recommend most of them for everyone in the family, as long as no one has medical conditions keeping them from riding. Practically everything at Disney, even the most thrilling rides, and meant for families to have fun together! But if you are concerned these are too much for your kids, you can take them on a ride more suited for children.

The fastest ride: Test Track

Photo: Tristen Rider

Clocking in at 65 miles per hour, Test Track is a classic attraction that has been a staple of EPCOT since its opening in 1998. The ride has changed its theme a couple of times (and is on track to do so again – so be aware if you plan to visit mid to late 2025), but maintains mostly the same feel: you’re riding in a car being put to the test and supposedly pushed to its limits. That includes some handling tests, and of course, the 65 mile per hour speed test.

All in all, though it’s Disney’s fastest ride, it doesn’t come near the top of the list when it comes to overall thrill. If you have ever driven down the highway in a comfortable, you have the same speed experience as the ride. 

There are plenty of other great things keeping Test Track fun, so it is absolutely a must do while at the park!

#2 Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Hitting a top speed of 60 miles per hour, EPCOT’s new roller coaster Cosmic Rewind is an absolute blast. The ride features a backwards launch to get you up to speed before you spin through the stars aboard a ride vehicle that rotates on its own. This creates a weightless sensation that makes it extra thrilling – and also extra nauseating. 

Many times after riding, I have heard guests complaining about being dizzy or wanting to throw up, though I have never seen it happen. Just keep in mind that it might not be a good idea to drink around the World Showcase right before your trip to help the Guardians of the Galaxy in their latest adventure!

#3 Tron: Lightcycle/Run

Photo: Tristen Rider

Magic Kingdom’s newest roller coaster Tron: Lightcycle/Run comes in just shy of a 60 mile per hour top speed but doesn’t give you much of a chance to think about it. As soon as you load in and turn the first corner of the ride, you’ll be lined up for the launch before soaring over the entrance queue area.

Tron feels like it is faster than the top speed suggests for multiple reasons. First, you are literally lying on the motorcycle vehicles themselves – not sitting down in a normal seat. Leaning forward creates a bigger sense of danger and excitement, which really adds to the thrill.

Second, the launch is sustained just long enough to trick your brain into thinking you’re at max speed, only for you to continue speeding up. I recently had my parents visit and ride Tron for the first time and it seemed to be a bit too much for them. “Too fast for me” is the quote from my 60-year-old dad, who will happily hop on any of the other Disney coasters.

Another thing to keep in mind about the ride is that there are regular seats available for riders who can’t fit the motorcycle vehicles (or would rather not). You can test out the motorcycles before getting in line to see how you feel, and then simply request the normal car if you don’t feel comfortable. 

All in all, the ride seems like the fastest there is at Disney, but it’s so smooth that you don’t need to be too afraid of it.

#4 Rockin’ Roller Coaster

What many Disney fans will think of as the fastest ride at Disney is actually in fourth place. The Rockin’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios launches you from 0 to 58 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds, making it the most thrilling coaster within Disney World. It will push you back against your seat before heading into its inversions (3 times upside down). This is the ride I’d recommend skipping for guests who aren’t up to the thrill rides.

Many, many times while in line, I’ve seen terrified children who were coerced by their parents into riding with them, or who lost their bravery at the sight of the cars rocketing off right in front of them. Make sure everyone is aware of what they are getting themselves into before getting in line! However, you are always welcome to opt out and wait for others even if you have gone all the way through the queue.

If someone in your group wants to ride while others don’t, they can use the single riders line, which typically has a somewhat shorter wait than the regular line!

#5 Summit Plummet

Photo: Tristen Rider

This is my only addition from a water park, though with a speed of only around 30-40 miles per hour, there are other slides that could also sneak onto the list. However, Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park deserves this spot. That’s because, of all the attractions across Walt Disney World, Summit Plummet is the most fear-inducing and intense ride of them all.

When built, it was the tallest and fastest body slide in the world. Though that record has been broken, the plunge is still terrifying to anyone on their first go. It’s nearly a straight drop down, reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour for larger adults. Kids will be a bit slower, but that won’t take away from the experience.

Most of the fear achieved by the slide is from anticipation. You have to climb up tons of stairs, wait as people scream down the chute in front of you, and then sit and wait for your turn to slide down. It’s an exhilarating experience that I highly recommend. 

In fact, I was able to do it just a few weeks ago when I visited Blizzard Beach. If you head over on a day where it’s not too hot or not sunny, you can even avoid waiting in line entirely! Keep in mind that Disney is currently alternating which Water Park they have open, so as of summer of 2024, Typhoon Lagoon is open instead of Blizzard Beach.

#6 Expedition Everest

Animal Kingdom’s elite roller coaster, Expedition Everest, reaches tops speeds of 50 miles per hour after its drop to escape the Yeti. The ride isn’t overly fast or have any upside-down maneuvers, but it does feature a backwards section and an awesome theme. 

While you’re headed up the large lift hill, you can look to the left for amazing views of the rest of Disney World, or to the right for a view of Animal Kingdom.

#7 Slinky Dog Dash

The first time I rode the Slinky Dog Dash, I was caught off guard by the speed. Due to its location in Toy Story Land of Hollywood Studios, it seems primed to be more of a kiddie coaster than a fast one. However, it has some real kick to it and will pleasantly surprise even seasoned coaster fans.

Slinky is a great stepping stone to test out if you are ready for the bigger roller coasters at Disney World, and it seems most people are aware of this. Slinky maintains extremely long lines throughout the day, and it’s why I end up skipping it almost every time I head into the park. If you want to ride, be sure to get a Lightning Lane or prioritize it early in the morning.

#8 The Monorail

Photo: Tristen Rider

Though I considered dropping the monorail at the top of the list due to its capability of 65 mile per hour top speed (I’ve actually heard it’s closer to 75), the monorail typically hits a max speed of 40 miles per hour when traveling between the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. The ride is the fastest you can get while in Disney World that’s completely free!

#9 Tower of Terror

Photo: Tristen Rider

Another obscure ride to breach the top 10 fastest rides at Disney World is the Tower of Terror. Due to its unique ride system, it’s more than just a drop tower. 

The ride actively pulls you down faster than the drop itself would be, hitting maximum speeds of 39 miles per hour!

#10 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Photo: Tristen Rider

The “Wildest Ride in the Wilderness” at Magic Kingdom is one of my favorites. Though its 36 mile per hour speed isn’t incredibly fast, the way it uses the speed is tons of fun. 

The ride features tons of twists and turns, and the speed is maintained throughout the entire ride. I like to head over at nighttime when the wait time is low and the darkness makes it seem even faster.

#11 Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Photo: Tristen Rider

Across the Magic Kingdom Park in Fantasyland is Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, which hits top speeds of 34 miles per hour. The ride features unique ride care that rock back and forth, making the ride extra smooth and fun. 

I love sitting in the front of the ride and getting pushed off down the hills. This is another great ride for the nighttime, both to make it seem faster and to avoid longer wait times.

Honorable Mention: Space Mountain

Photo: Tristen Rider

I have heard dozens of guests falsely accuse Space Mountain of being “the fastest ride at Disney,” “50 miles per hour,” and other exaggerated claims. The truth is that the ride only hits a maximum speed of about 28 miles per hour, half the speed of its Tomorrowland neighbor, Tron.

However, Space Mountain is my favorite ride in the park. The darkness of the ride as you careen through the cosmos, in addition to strategically placed fans, creates an illusion of speed, and makes it seem like you are truly flying. The ride is a classic for a reason – and even though it doesn’t have a high speed overall, I always end up smiling and laughing throughout the entire ride.

Honorable Mention: Splash Mountain (Tiana’s Bayou Adventure)

At the time of writing this, Splash Mountain is still being renovated to open as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in a couple of months. Though the ride will surely be missed by me and other Frontierland fans, the 90 foot drop clocked in at 40 miles per hour, making it one of Disney’s fastest rides.