Even Adults Find These Four Walt Disney World Rides Too Scary

When hinges creak in doorless chambers…

As humans, we enjoy a good fright every now and again, and the scare factor can be a defining element for movies, video games, and even the attractions of Walt Disney World.

Disney and ghosts, name a more iconic duo ©D23

Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter even has a saying: “Fear – Death = Thrill”. For some guests, the “fear” part of the equation can be too much to get past.

Here are four Disney World attractions that even adults find too scary!

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

A decrepit abandoned hotel at the end of Sunset Boulevard, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror hits you with the one-two punch of scares. First, there’s the chilling backstory and theming that sets the bar for a lot of other attractions.

The hotel lobby is one of the most highly-themed rooms in any Disney World ride

The story goes that the hotel was abandoned during the golden age of Hollywood after a lightning strike hit the tower and five guests disappeared into an elevator. As the voice of our host Rod Serling states during the ride, “That door is opening once again, and this time it’s opening for you.”

Don’t let the smiles fool you, these people are scared out of their minds

The actual ride system itself is designed to elicit as many screams as possible out of guests. The elevator that you travel in differs from many drop tower rides in that it actually has a floor, but you’re still being pulled faster than gravity down an elevator shaft, which plays on fears of closed spaces and plummeting elevators!

DINOSAUR

Hindsight, they say, is 20/20, so looking at the facade of the Dino Institute should have been an indication that we might be in for a tense experience on DINOSAUR.

It’ll be fine they said, look at the cute Aladar they said…

It doesn’t help that the attraction formerly known as Countdown to Extinction got a name change to coincide with the release of the 2000 Disney animated film. While the movie is a darker look at dinosaurs as well, for some people “animated” and “cute” go hand-in-hand.

See, it’s fine ©Disney+

By the time we hop in our Time Rovers for our joyride through the age of the dinosaurs, it’s already too late to notice that there’s not anything cute in here. Next thing we know, we’re surrounded by towering animatronic dinos, the largest and most impressive (i.e. terrifying) being the Carnotaurus.

Nothing this big should move this fast

You become pretty well-acquainted with this lizard throughout your ride, at one point even being chased in the dark. Yeah, it’s terrifying.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain is a Disney World classic (the ride debuted here before being built in other Disney Parks), but it can be intimidating for first-time riders. Before you even get to the ride, the tension starts to build as you make your way down what we can only describe as “the queue tube”.

Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom

After the long walk through the starport, you make it to your space shuttle and are ready to blast off. This is about the time you might start to discover if you have nyctophobia or not because the majority of the time you’re in utter darkness.

One of the few times you can actually see on Space Mountain

You can see little pockets of light every now and again, but you can’t really tell where you’re going. That loss to your sense of direction can be too much for some.

Haunted Mansion

While it may seem obvious that an attraction named the Haunted Mansion would end up on this list, opinions vary about whether this attraction is truly “scary”. That’s because of the two different styles at play from two different Imagineers.

The Haunted Mansion

When the Haunted Mansion was initially being developed for Disneyland, Claude Coats and Marc Davis each had their own ideas for the tone of the attraction. Coats wanted the ride to be scarier, but Davis wanted to infuse the mansion with more gags and characters.

Marc Davis sketch for the Haunted Mansion

Both Imagineers eventually got their way, with Coats taking over the first half of the ride and Davis handling the second half. From the moment you step into the stretching portrait gallery and are introduced to the Ghost Host’s “way out” you’re witnessing Coats’ influence.

Haunted Mansion Stretching Room

The atmosphere of wall-to-wall creeps and hot and cold running chills doesn’t let up until you get to the ballroom, and even then it can be quite frightening for children and even some adults.

Do you like the fright? Which attraction do YOU think is the scariest? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 Replies to “Even Adults Find These Four Walt Disney World Rides Too Scary”

  1. I know this is about ‘scary’ but I would add motion sickness to the scary part of it. Several years ago I did the Tower of Terror only to have the rest of my day ruined by the experience and my extreme problem with motion sickness. That has not deterred me from riding rides at WDW. The problem for me is if there is even a hint of likelihood I will get motion sickness, I don’t even attempt the ride. Borderline rides for me are the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (rode once, likely won’t again) and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. So using them as a benchmark, there are many, many rides at WDW I never have ridden. That may result in some rides being tolerated, but I don’t want to take the chance. $100+ a day is a lot of money to wish you had stayed home after getting sick. It seems that of all the new rides in the last several years, few are rides I can tolerate. I wish Disney would create more new offerings that are not so ‘scary’.

  2. To me all of these rides are perfect and couldn’t be more fun. the adrenaline scares are a fun way to enjoy the day. Wish i could be there right now dropping down a couple floors on the Tower of Terror.