It’s the scariest time of year! So what’s the scariest attraction at Walt Disney World? Our 10 Best list may hold a few surprises for you.
Why is being scared fun? Because an after effect of fear is pleasure. This is the rush that thrill seekers are after. The theory being that the more intense the thrill, or scare, the more intense the rush will be after.
Now the downside of having these amazing brains of ours is that they can become conditioned to fear anything by associating painful memories with objects, people or events. On top of that, we have the ability to anticipate things and start getting scared before they even happen!
In addition to our instinctual fears, you may have a particular fear that determines what scares you, when it doesn’t seem to scare others around you. However, for this list, we’re going to focus on those universal fears that are common to everyone, and which attractions do the best job of eliciting those fears from us.
*This list does not include the water parks
10 Scariest Walt Disney World Attractions
1. Tower of Terror – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Fears: Heights, Falling, Darkness, Supernatural, Unpredictability
The infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel scores high for Heights, Falling, and Darkness. It plays on the supernatural somewhat, but the special effects are a welcome distraction from the darkness. Bonus points for the unpredictability factor. You never know how many drops there will be.
2. Expedition Everest – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Fears: Heights, Speed/Falling, Darkness, Monsters/Predators
High scores for heights with it’s terrifying ascent with nothing on either side of you. Great drops and bonus points for going backwards in the darkness. The Disco Yeti is more amusing than scary.
3. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Fears: Darkness, Loud Noises, Speed/Upside Down
They took one of my all-time favorite Disney thrills (Space Mountain) and made it faster, made it go upside down, and added a loud, rock ‘n roll soundtrack! The only part that fails is the scenery. I’d almost it rather be completely in the dark.
4. Dinosaur – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Fears: Darkness, Loud Noises, Speed, Monsters/Predators
The animatronics are impressive, but it’s more the loud noises, darkness, and jerky motion of your vehicle that make you wonder if you’ll survive the ride.
5. Space Mountain – Magic Kingdom
Fears: Darkness, Speed, Falling
This classic Disney coaster is all about rocketing through the darkness. You don’t see the turns and drops coming. It’s almost better to not be able to see how close you are to those steel beams.
6. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Magic Kingdom
Fears: Speed, Falling
The tamest of the Disney adult coasters. Fast enough with enough turns and drops to make you think you might come out of your seat.
7. It’s Tough to Be a Bug – Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Fears: Darkness, Bugs, Loud Noises
The only attraction on our list to stimulate our instinctive fear of bugs. Moments of nearly complete darkness, and loud special effects. The scares are intermittent, but since there are multiple scares, it puts this attraction above the next two on our list.
8. Splash Mountain – Magic Kingdom
Fears: Heights, Falling
Since most of the ascent occurs inside, your unaware of the height until it happens. When it does, it’s a decent thrill!
9. Astro Orbiters – Magic Kingdom
Fears: Heights, Speed
Of all the elevated carousel rides, this one is the highest, and leaves you feeling the most exposed. It’s not super fast, but both the height factor and movement factors are sustained for the duration of the ride.
10. Haunted Mansion – Magic Kingdom
Fears: Darkness, Supernatural
More spooky than scary, this is almost a completely honorary addition to the list. This classic dark attraction is filled with supernatural illusions. Adults will understand they are just Imagineering tricks, but kids may be more susceptible. Watch out for Cast Members sneaking up on you!