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Everything to Know about the Magic Kingdom Roller Coasters

When you think of the Magic Kingdom, you may be picturing the classic attractions that the park is known for – things like it’s a small world, the Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. But, families planning a vacation to the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort should know that there are some thrilling rides among the classic ones.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Magic Kingdom roller coasters.

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Cinderella Castle with cloudy ski, and topiaries in the foreground

Everything to Know about the Magic Kingdom Roller Coasters

TRON Lightcycle / Run

Walt Disney World’s newest ride (and the newest of the roller coasters at Disney World) is arguably the most thrilling ride at the Magic Kingdom. Based on the TRON: Legacy movie, and the same ride as the popular one at Shanghai Disneyland, TRON is located just behind Space Mountain and the Tomorrowland Speedway in Tomorrowland.

It’s partially indoors, partially outdoors, and utilizes a motorcycle-style ride vehicle. It’s a very fast ride, although a bit short.

On my second ride, I was in the front row and found that especially thrilling. If you are afraid of coasters, you’ll probably want to skip this one – although it is a lot of fun.

The ride has a minimum height requirement of 48 inches. If you have any concerns at all about the ride vehicle, you can test a sample one outside the building.

Disney World states that “The seating and restraints on this attraction may prohibit Guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding”. There’s also an accessible bench on the ride which has a lap bar and doesn’t use the motorcycle vehicle.

At this time, the ride offers an attraction photo, as well as an attraction video.

Currently, because of the popularity of this new ride, Genie+ and a standby queue are not offered. Instead, Disney World is utilizing a virtual queue. This is a free service, but you have to be proactive to get a spot.

To utilize the virtual queue, you’ll need to have the My Disney Experience app, loaded with your park tickets and reservation information. Currently, you have two opportunities to request a boarding group – at 7 a.m. and at 1 p.m.

Guests visiting during extended evening theme park hours (available on select nights for guests of Disney’s Deluxe resorts), may also have the opportunity at 6 p.m. You must have a park reservation (currently) and tickets to request one.

You have to be quick if you want one of these boarding passes. They go very quickly, sometimes within seconds.

In addition to the virtual queue, there’s another opportunity to ride the attraction. You can purchase an individual lightning lane reservation. These are also limited, so you’ll want to purchase one as early as possible to ensure availability and get the most convenient time for you.

Availability for this is limited. Pricing may vary based on the theme park crowds.

Part of TRON ride covering with Space Mountain in the background

Space Mountain

Space Mountain, is also located in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. It feels like a classic ride but is also a thrilling coaster. Offering an outer space theme, Space Mountain is a completely enclosed indoor coaster and is an iconic magic kingdom ride.

There are slightly different versions of this dark ride at the various Disney parks around the world. The version at the Magic Kingdom features a ride vehicle with a single seat in a row (one behind the other). So, if you’ve got a younger child that you need to sit next to, this is probably not the best ride.

Space Mountain offers attraction photography, as well as Genie+. There is a standby queue, so if you don’t purchase Genie+ or can’t get a return time, you can always wait in the regular line.

It does typically get longer in the afternoon, so it’s a good idea to get in the queue early in the day to avoid waiting in a long line. In general, arriving at rope drop can be a great way to get some rides in before the crowds arrive.

Guests must be at least 44 inches to ride. Space Mountain isn’t really a scary roller coaster ride – it doesn’t go backward or upside down.

However, it is very dark there. So if you or your kids are afraid of the dark, you may want to avoid this attraction.

Snow White cottage at the end of Mine Train ride

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Since its opening in 2014, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, located in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, has been one of my favorite attractions. Part family coaster, part dark ride, this attraction is great for families.

The height minimum is 38 inches. There’s another version of this attraction at Shanghai Disneyland.

In this ride, you’ll board a mine train and ride through a diamond mine, where you’ll see the Seven Dwarfs singing their iconic song while working. Then, as you depart the mine, you’ll start the coaster part of the attraction.

The ride vehicle provides a smooth ride, with some swaying. It isn’t a scary ride at all and has a lower height minimum than most other roller coasters at Disney World.

Although it’s been open for a while, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is still extremely popular. Therefore, expect the lines to be pretty long.

It doesn’t offer Genie+, so you’ll need to purchase an individual lightning lane if you want to skip the standby line. Like other popular attractions, it’s best to ride early if you are going to use the standby line.

This ride does offer attraction photography, and like TRON, there’s also a video. In the end, you’ll get to see Snow White in her cottage along with the Seven Dwarfs.

The Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini

When New Fantasyland opened in the Magic Kingdom about a decade ago, the popular Barnstormer was moved to Storybook Circus. I was glad that it was saved from the closing of Mickey’s Toontown Fair because it’s such a beloved family attraction.

My kids loved the Barnstormer when they were younger children because it’s a great first roller coaster. It’s very mild, with a minimum height requirement of 35 inches.

If you aren’t sure if your kids will like riding a roller coaster, this is the perfect ride to start with. I wouldn’t quite consider it a kiddie coaster, but it is definitely a slower ride.

The Barnstormer does offer Genie+, although the standby lines aren’t always very long. This is a good one to check wait times on before you use one of your precious Genie+ allocations. There’s no attraction photo for this ride.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

I have fond memories of first riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as a kid. This outdoor coaster is still thrilling but is relatively mild. It doesn’t go backward or upside down, so it’s more of a fun, traditional mild roller coaster.

As you enter the queue into the building, the line splits into two sides. The ride is exactly the same on either side. The ride storyline takes place in an abandoned mine shaft, and you’ll ride through a ghost town as the car travels past boulders, caves, and more.

There are versions of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Park in Paris. While I do prefer the Disneyland Paris ride (called Big Thunder Mountain), the Magic Kingdom version is also very fun. It’s definitely worth riding.

I think Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is more thrilling than the Barnstormer and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but less thrilling than TRON and Space Mountain. It has a minimum height requirement of 40 inches.

Like other popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, the queue for this line can get long. Much of it is outdoors before you reach the indoor area. Genie+ is offered and I’d recommend it if you have this on your must-ride list.

Tea cups ride at Walt Disney World

Other Magic Kingdom Rides

In the past, guests referred to the three mountains at the Magic Kingdom – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain. However, Splash Mountain closed in early 2023 and will be reopening in 2024 as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (with a storyline based on the movie The Princess and the Frog).

During your day(s) at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll probably have time for some other attractions in addition to these. Here are some ideas for the best Magic Kingdom rides. Note that this isn’t all the rides worth experiencing.

If you are looking for classic rides with (very mild) thrills, options include the Haunted Mansion, the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Astro Orbiter, the Tomorrowland Speedway, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Other popular classic rides (but not thrill rides) at the Magic Kingdom include the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, the Many adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, the Mad Tea Party, the Jungle Cruise, Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Other Coasters at Walt Disney World

If you are a roller coaster fan, there are other options for thrill rides across the other three Disney parks in Florida. These are some of the Disney rides. These other coasters include:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

This dark ride in EPCOT is one of the newest rides at Disney World and is more thrilling than TRON in my opinion. It’s an exciting ride and includes a backward launch at the beginning.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind feels like so much more than a roller coaster – it’s now one of my favorite fun rides at Disney World.

Slinky Dog Dash

Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this Toy Story-themed roller coaster is outdoors and relatively mild. While Slinky Dog Dash isn’t a thrill ride, it’s still lots of fun.

Rock N Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

This Hollywood Studios thrilling dark ride is the only ride at Walt Disney World that goes upside down. If you are looking for a thrilling ride, this is definitely one of my favorites.

Expedition Everest

Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this outdoor thrilling roller coaster goes backward and is definitely a must-do.

What is the most thrilling roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom?

That answer has changed with the addition of TRON. I now consider that one the most thrilling. However, I do think that the Rock N Roller Coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Expedition Everest are probably more thrilling roller coasters at Walt Disney World.

Do I need Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom?

If you plan to ride all of the Magic Kingdom roller coasters, I’d definitely recommend getting Genie+. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase an individual lightning lane or reserve a virtual spot in the queue to ride TRON.

For the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you can purchase an individual lightning lane reservation or wait in the standby line. I found during my last visit that the standby line wasn’t too long, but you can check current wait times on the app.

How Many Roller Coasters are at the Magic Kingdom?

There are currently five: TRON, the Seven Dwarfs mine train, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Barnstormer. The Magic Kingdom has the most roller coasters at the Walt Disney World theme parks.

Space Mountain behind the covering for TRON coaster ride

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