Walt Disney World Thrill Rides for Differently-Abled Guests

by | Apr 8, 2024 | WDW Blog

Worried about the comfort and sizing of different ride vehicles for bodies of varying shapes and sizes? We’re breaking down how Walt Disney World thrill rides suit larger bodies and differently-abled guests.

One of the biggest questions I get when talking about Walt Disney World thrill rides is, can big or Pooh-sized people ride them? That’s a good question.

All the thrill rides at Walt Disney World have warning signs:

  • “If you have a heart problem don’t ride this ride”
  • “If you have a back problem, don’t ride this ride”
  • “If you are pregnant, don’t ride this ride”
  • “If you are less than (insert number) tall, don’t ride this ride”

But there aren’t any signs that say “if you have a waist size of more than (insert number) inches, don’t ride this ride” or if you weigh over (insert weight), don’t ride this ride”.  Have you ever wondered why?

It’s because yes, Pooh-sized people can easily ride all the Walt Disney World thrill rides.

Let’s take a tour of the parks and talk about each of the thrill rides at Walt Disney World and the restrictions and difficulties that face not only those of us who may have larger bodies, but also those with mobility challenges or different needs.

Thrill Rides at Magic Kingdom Park

The Magic Kingdom is full of thrill rides. It’s the most thrilling of all the parks, and being the oldest does offer a few challenges for Pooh-sized people or those with mobility challenges.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain thrills magic kingdom

Photo by Cliff Wang

Space Mountain is one of the original thrill rides at Walt Disney World. The ride vehicle itself is very “Pooh friendly.” It is wide and has a lap bar that comes down and is form-fitting.

Getting in and out of the vehicle can be a bit of a challenge if you have mobility and especially knee problems. It’s a pretty big step up and down.

Astro Orbiter

Astro Orbiter is probably the Walt Disney World thrill ride with the best view. You can see for miles (if you have your eyes open) from both the platform and on the ride.

The ride capsule doesn’t look really big, but it can accommodate just about everyone. You do have to step up into the capsule which might be difficult for those with mobility issues.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine train is uncomfortable regardless of your shape or size. The seats are uncomfortable for everyone. And I’m sorry to say that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is most uncomfortable of the Walt Disney World thrill rides for Pooh-sized people.

I’m not saying you can’t ride it, I’m just saying it’s uncomfortable. The seats are form-fitted and have humps in the wrong places and the individual lap bars are not very wide and can be constricting on the legs.

Pooh-sized people do fit on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but it’s just not very comfortable.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, ride vehicle on track

Photo by Laurie Sapp

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the “wildest ride in all the West.” It’s also one of the more accessible Walt Disney World thrill rides for Pooh-sized people and guests of all shapes and sizes.

It’s pretty easy to get on and off Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, too, if you’re worried about mobility concerns. The lap bar that holds you in is very comfortable. One caution, if you are riding with a small person, you might have to hold on to them to keep them from slipping around.

Splash Mountain

Note: Since Splash Mountain is currently being reimagined into Tiana’a Bayou Adventure, these details may change! We don’t yet know how the ride vehicles might be altered, reshaped, or designed to suit guests of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.

Splash Mountain has roomy seats and a lap bar so it’s pretty comfortable to ride. At least until that first drop… Yikes…

EPCOT

EPCOT doesn’t have a lot of thrill rides. Just two –– but boy, are they doozies.

Mission: Space

Mission: Space at EPCOT, ride interior pre-show

Photo by Cliff Wang

Are you ready for a trip to Mars? No, there’s no training required for this one, and everyone can ride no matter how big or mobile they might be.

Mission: Space has an over-the-shoulder restraint that is comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes. Unlike roller coasters that slide you from side to side, Mission: Space pushes you back into your seat. The only problem is if you’ll keep your breakfast down.

Test Track

Test Track, surprisingly, is one of the fastest rides at Walt Disney World. It’s not a nice quiet car ride through the country.

Like a lot of Walt Disney World’s thrill rides, larger individuals fit fine, but there might be some difficulties stepping in and out of the cars if mobility is a problem. The seat belts are big enough for anyone.

Disney Hollywood Studios

Some of the best thrill rides –– including comfortable rides for for larger people –– are found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But can people of all shapes and sizes ride them?

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Rock n Roller Coaster, ride vehicle loading area

Photo by Cliff Wang

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is the only ride at Walt Disney World that actually turns you upside down. That means you need to be restrained.

Luckily the restraining system is very friendly for individuals of all sizes. Like Mission: Space, you have an over the shoulder harness that fits everyone comfortably.

Like most of the rides, climbing in and out is the biggest challenge, which may pose difficulties for anyone with mobility needs.

Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror may be the most thrilling ride anywhere. Anticipation builds for that first drop and the second, and the third…

As thrilling as the drops are it’s really easy for everyone, whatever size or of any mobility level, to get on and ride the Tower of Terror. Sorry, there’s no taking the chicken exit because you won’t fit or you can’t get in! You walk to your seat and put on a seatbelt. Easy and comfortable.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is one of the best rides. It’s just cool.

It’s also a good ride for larger or differently-abled folks. You walk right in, sit right down, buckle your seat belt (when the time comes) and off you go on a wild ride across the galaxy.

Maybe you’ll be a rebel spy.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has some pretty incredible thrill rides for larger people, and most rides are easily accessible for guests of all mobility capabilities.

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, ride drop

Photo by Danny Shuster

Expedition Everest is the most thrilling of the Mountains of Walt Disney World. Like the rest of the mountains across the theme parks, Expedition Everest is pretty friendly to guests of all sizes, shapes, and mobility needs. It’s easy to get on. It has a lap bar that holds you in. That allows for larger people to be comfortable.

I’m not saying anything about going backwards, though –– that’s totally up to you!

 Dinosaur

Time to take a rough trip back in time to when Dinosaurs roamed the earth. This is getting to be a broken record but it really doesn’t matter what size you are, you’ll be able to ride Dinosaur.

You walk right on to the ride vehicle, sit down and put a seat belt on.

Kali River Rapids

Our final entry is Kali River Rapids. Yes, it’s a pretty thrilling ride, especially when the cold water comes smashing over and drenches you.

As such, it’s a thrill ride that’s very accessible. Each guest gets their own seat with a seatbelt, making it easily adaptable to guests of varying shapes and sizes. The only thing I’ve noticed is the heavier side of the raft tends to end up getting splashed the worst. Fair warning!

Discover More Thrill Rides for Every Guests at Disney World

Be sure to get more information about your favorite attractions in this month’s WDW Magazine.

Walt Disney World has some great thrill rides for guests of all shapes, sizes, and abilities, and you will be able to experience all of them. A couple are uncomfortable, but all of them are accessible.

Posts by Carl Trent

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Carl Trent takes his love of Disney seriously.
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Authored by
Carl Trent

Carl Trent takes his love of Disney seriously.
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