Though many think of Walt Disney World as a kid’s dream come true, it’s also an amazing playground for adults. The term “Disney adult” has been popularized by all the millennials and Gen z’ers that love coming here.
If you are past your youth and wondering what Disney World has for you, this post will share the best Disney World rides for adults.
The Walt Disney World Resort has tons of entertainment, including rides, shows, walkthroughs, and more. Most of it is aimed at all ages, but some attractions are age specific. This post narrows down the rides at each Disney Park that adults will enjoy the most.
I am sharing both exhilarating thrill rides that are often too intense for small children and educational rides that adults can appreciate. Read on to find out the twenty best Disney World rides for adults that are a can’t miss!
Most people think of the Magic Kingdom when they think of Disney World and all the character things that come with it. This is by far the most popular of the theme parks and has plenty of dark rides, rollercoasters, shows, and more.
There’s so much to choose from here, so adults should prioritize these rides when visiting to maximize vacation fun.
For thrill rides at Magic Kingdom, adults will want to focus on the mountains. These are pretty mild as far as roller-coasters go, but they have enough twists and turns to make it a fun experience. Once Tron Lightcycle Power Run opens, that will also be a must for thrill-seekers as well!
1. Space Mountain
Until Tron opens, Space Mountain is the most exciting roller coaster in the Magic Kingdom. The dark atmosphere and fast winding track always have me gripping the handles of my seat and ducking my head. It’s old school, but still a blast.
2. Splash Mountain
Though not a roller coaster, Splash Mountain is a must-do for adults at Magic Kingdom. The build-up to the drop at the top of the mountain is always exhilarating. The rest of the ride along the way is tons of fun too. Bring a jacket or a poncho if you don’t want to get wet!
3. Big Thunder Mountain
Some may argue that Big Thunder Mountain is more thrilling than Space Mountain, but regardless it’s a close contender. This wild ride through the wilderness is another coaster with turns, drops and dips. I find this ride best in the day to fully appreciate the visuals.
Magic Kingdom has little to offer for Disney World visitors looking for an educational experience. However, for a relaxing day, I find this animatronic shows charming and entertaining. The reflections both have on the past also make for a fascinating look back on America.
4. The Hall of Presidents
Since opening day, visitors to the Magic Kingdom have been able to see the sitting president and his predecessors in one room with this multi-media presentation.
Though some find it dull, it’s not every day you get to see Lincoln read the Gettysburg Address or the current president recite the oath of office. Many history buffs find it to be a moving show, and there is rarely a line!
5. The Carousel of Progress
If you don’t have Disney nostalgia, this one might seem odd, but trust me it grows on you! This is a show that debuted at the World’s Fair and shows how technology changed throughout the 20th century. It’s cheesy at times, but that makes it part of the fun!
In recent years, Epcot has become THE Disney theme park for adults, although not so much because of the rides. It turns out the world showcase is an entertaining place to spend the day drinking, tasting international cuisines, and maybe learning a little about the world.
I recommend scheduling some time in the day to do the following rides, as they will definitely enhance your day at Epcot.
Epcot has not been historically known for rides, but it has been building up a nice selection over the past decade. These three options will provide the speed or excitement that many adults look for in thrill rides.
6. Test Track
Believe it or not, Test Track is actually the fastest ride at Walt Disney World. It goes over sixty miles per hour on the track to imitate the testing process a car goes through. Though I find the new theme of the ride a bit lame, this is a must-do for speed demons.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
The newest ride at Epcot is a must for adults, as it is a roller coaster themed to the Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy. There are no drops or flips, but there are spinning and quick turns that make it exhilarating. Some do experience nausea on this ride, so if you can’t handle something like Expedition Everest, you may want to skip it.
8. Soarin’ Around the World
An Epcot ride beloved by many is Soarin’ Around the World. This is a ride that simulates hang-gliding over famous landmarks across the globe. For those with a fear of heights, it can be intense, but most love this flying-like feeling. I still get a few jitters in my leg when the ride starts, but I always have a blast on it!
Epcot excels in educational experiences for both rides and live entertainment in different countries. For those looking for interesting and slow-paced rides, this is the best Disney park for just that. These three rides all provide an informative experience for adults without being too dull.
9. Gran Fiesta Tour
Possibly my favorite ride at Epcot, Gran Fiesta Tour is an adorable journey through Mexico guided by the Three Caballeros. Here you get to learn about the culture of Mexico while seeing the hijinks Donald Duck has gotten into on a trip there.
Though you could probably learn more about Mexico online, I think the vibe is incredible and this ride had me wanting to visit Mexico for years.
10. Spaceship Earth
The giant Epcot ball you see when you enter the park actually has a ride in it! This ride, Spaceship Earth, details the history of communication between humans throughout time. This is a classic ride with many quotable moments and lots of neat animatronics to see.
11. Living with the Land
My other favorite ride for adults at Epcot is Living with the Land. This boat ride talks about the past, present, and future of agriculture through animatronics and a tour of a working greenhouse. I always catch new sights in the garden when riding this and just find the experience to be all-around peaceful.
For adults planning a Disney World trip, most assume Hollywood Studios is a must-visit. This definitely has the most thrilling rides for adults at Disney World, with the only one that goes upside down.
Between this and the new Star Wars land, there is plenty to experience here. However, it does get crowded, so make sure to prioritize your ride choices before visiting!
Hollywood Studio Thrill Rides
I have only included thrill rides for adults to experience at Hollywood Studios and no educational ones because you will not find many. Though there are a few shows that may qualify, I recommend focusing on the rides here.
These four are all easily in the top ten best rides at Disney World for adults, and maybe even the top five!
12. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Another absolute must-ride for me at Disney World is the Tower of Terror. This is one of the most thrilling rides at Disney World with its tower that simulates a thirteen-story free fall.
It’s so much better than a typical freefall ride, as there is an elaborate Twilight Zone backstory to go along with it. I know many people are too afraid of heights to go in, buts worth conquering your fears for, trust me!
13. Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
The number one roller coaster for adults at Disney World is definitely Rock ‘N” Roller Coaster. This is the only ride in the park that goes upside down with both a loop and a corkscrew.
The entire ride takes place inside in the dark, which makes it thrilling as you don’t know what comes next, but also less scary for those who don’t like heights. The fun music throughout the rides is just the cherry on top!
14. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
The newest Hollywood Studios ride, Rise of the Resistance is the most groundbreaking ride at Disney World, if not the world. It’s essentially a trackless dark ride but includes all sorts of effects that make for an exhilarating experience.
Wait times can be crazy to get on and frequent shutdowns may occur, but if you can ride this ride, do not miss it! Star Wars fan or not, it is an amazing attraction.
15. Toy Story Mania!
One other thrill ride I recommend adults experience at Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Mania! This is not a fast-moving ride by any means, but it is still a ton of fun.
You pass by different screens with Toy Story-themed games and compete for the highest score! We always challenge each other to see who can get the highest score and ride it at least once per visit.
Last, but definitely not least is Animal Kingdom. This was considered a half-day park for years, but now it has plenty of attractions to keep adults entertained for a full day. Not only are there lots of great rides, but the animal exhibits and dining options are also first class.
I recommend adults prioritize these five attractions and make sure to squeeze in time for animal sightings, shows, and dinner at Tiffins Restaurant while here.
Thrill Rides at Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom has the least number of rides at a Disney World Park, but most of them are excellent. I definitely recommend prioritizing these three right in the morning for thrill seekers. Though only one is a roller coaster, the others are crowd-pleasers as well!
16. Avatar Flight of Passage
The newest and possibly best ride of Animal Kingdom is the Avatar Flight of Passage ride where you get to experience flying on a banshee. This is similar to the Soarin’ ride at Epcot, but a lot more exhilarating.
The visuals are amazing and it really feels like you are flying around Pandora. Try and get a fast pass for this or ride right at rope drop to avoid long lines!
For a fun dark ride, adults should give Dinosaur over in DinoLand U.S.A a try. This is similar to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland California where you race through the jungle.
However, on this ride, you are transported back to prehistoric times and have to escape from dinosaurs! It’s very silly at times, but overall, a fun attraction for all ages.
18. Expedition Everest
The must-do roller coaster at Animal Kingdom is Expedition Everest, where you ride down Mount Everest to escape the infamous yeti. This has a large drop, a part where you go backward, and amazing views of the park. I definitely recommend adults ride this at least once when visiting Disney World.
Educational Rides at Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom also has tons to learn about nature and animals when visiting the park. Most of the rides have interesting exhibits in the queue and the animal sighting areas have plenty of information to learn. Though only one of these is a ride, the other is still worth experiencing for adults at Disney World.
19. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Another fan-favorite attraction at Disney World is Kilimanjaro Safaris. This one is especially great because you never know what you will see! I have seen a lion roar, a giraffe crossing the road, and a couple of monkeys making it an X-rated attraction! They are all real animals, so you never know what you will see.
Best of all, it’s often twenty minutes long so you get a lot of time to see different animals and learn about them from the guides. Morning is the best time to visit, as animals are often more active then.
20. Maharajah Jungle Trek
Finally, I highly recommend adults at Disney World experience the Maharajah Jungle Trek and even the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail during your visit. These are both walk-through attractions where you can see animals native to Asia and Africa, respectively.
I used always to skip these and only focus on the thrill rides, but after many visits, I have learned that the memories you make at Disney World are often more valuable than doing as many rides as possible.
These unique experiences let you slow down and smell the roses in a way that only Disney World can do. Whether you have been visiting Disney World for years or are a newbie, make sure to fit in time for unexpected surprises while making your way through this list of must-do rides.
Know Before You Go: The Best Rides at Disney World for Adults
I hope this ride helped you determine which rides to prioritize at Disney World! Though everyone has different tastes for rides, this is a good list to start with for determining which rides to focus on. Most rides at Disney World were built for all ages, so you can’t go wrong with many.
Here are my final tips for those looking for the best rides at Disney World for adults.
- To ride the most popular rides at Disney World, you will want to rope drop the theme parks. This means getting there at least half an hour before the park opens and rushing to the most popular ride. It is the easiest way to have a short wait for popular rides.
- Another alternative is to get in line for a popular ride just minutes before the park closes. They will continue to let people on the right who were in line at closing, so you can maximize your park time this way.
- If you really want to avoid long lines, most of these rides offer a paid FastPass. The ins and outs of this system are too complex t describe here, so I recommend checking out this post to learn more about Fastpass at Disney World.
- One other way to cut down on wait times is to ride the single-rider line. These are common on roller coasters and though you have to ride next to a stranger, the line can be much shorter.
- For those looking for hotel options, here are my picks for the best Disney World hotels for adults to stay at.
I hope this guide helped you decide which rides to prioritize at Disney World! If you need help planning a trip, I am partnered with Kelly’s Magical Vacations and highly recommend her services. Find out more here!