Life in the Fast Lane: The Fastest Rides in Walt Disney World

rockin roller coaster hollywood studios sciencerock0420

September 21, 2021

Written by: Jim Smith

Editor’s Update: March 26, 2024.

Buckle your safety belt and carefully stow your belongings under your seat. Here are the fastest rides in the Walt Disney World theme parks.

TRON Lightcycle/Run

Hop on a lightcycle from the fabled TRON film franchise in Tomorrowland’s newest and fastest attraction. Opened in 2023, TRON Lightcycle / Run puts guests in a high-speed chase through a futuristic digital world. This adrenaline rush takes riders to top speeds approaching 60 mph on a series of twists and turns through a layout resembling the video-game grid depicted in the films. While the ride starts inside the pavilion building, it spills outside within a brilliantly lit canopy, and back inside again.

tron lightcycle run
Image: Travel Weekly

Pro tip: TRON Lightcycle / Run is great during the day, but it’s a whole different experience at night, beneath the lighted canopy. Riding the attractions at both times will help give you the full “grid” experience!

Splash Mountain (Soon to be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure) – Magic Kingdom

Prior to TRON, Splash Mountain held the honor for the fastest ride in Magic Kingdom. Most of this attraction winds lazily through the parched terrain of the American south, but the final drop into the briar patch sends guests screeching at a speed that can reach 40 miles per hour (mph). Zip-a-dee-doo-da-yikes!

Image: WDWNT

Splash Mountain closed in early 2023 to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – opening in Summer 2024. The attraction is being rethemed to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. While the ride theming will be completely new, the structure of the attraction will remain largely the same – including that final drop!

Splash Mountain’s neighbor, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, comes in around 36 mph. Space Mountain is surprisingly distant in the speed trials, with a top velocity of 28 mph (though the pitch-blackness of space more than makes up for the lack of speed!).

Test Track – Epcot

This automobile-embracing joyride may be the happiest thrill in WDW. After taking a run through the proving grounds, guests go full throttle, exiting the building to reach a top speed of 65 mph. I dare you not to smile!

Image: Disney

Mission: SPACE, while intense in its own “unique” way, takes guests as fast as 35 mph. However, this ride doesn’t really register in most guests’ minds as a fast ride.  That’s because the speed is a hidden component to telling the story of space travel, taking guests sneakily sideways, not forward.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

When Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind prepared to open in 2022, guests wondered if it would overtake Test Track for the fastest ride in Walt Disney World. While it came close, at a top speed of 60 mph, that wasn’t enough to give it the speed title. That being said, Cosmic Rewind changed the face of rollercoasters as we know them. This completely indoor coaster treats riders to indoor lighted entertainment, swiveling coaster cars, and a sweet selection of music to jam out to while riding – if you can hear it over the joyful scream of everyone on-board. Did I mention it takes off BACKWARDS???

guardians of the galaxy cosmic rewind
Image: Disney

Cosmic Rewind is a party on wheels (very, very fast wheels). After opening, this coaster immediately became the most popular attraction in all of Walt Disney World. With reprogrammable music and supporting imagery, this intensely fun coaster should be making guests laugh and scream for many years to come.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – Hollywood Studios

Did someone say party? Get in your stretch limousine and take off in a mind-numbing indoor “cruise”, reaching your top speed of 57 mph in less than three seconds! Your body may need a short break after this ride, before going “Back in the Saddle Again!”

Following distantly behind Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster – Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land edges out the Hollywood Tower of Terror for second place, hitting 40 mph to Tower of Terror’s 39 mph. Who knew this “family ride” would be so exciting?

Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom

Watch out for the Yeti! This runaway train makes Magic Kingdom’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad look like child’s play. Guests fleeing from the ominous snow monster will reach speeds of up to 50 mph – some of it while rolling backwards!

Who said Walt Disney World just has slow family rides? There’s plenty of adrenaline here to go around! What’s your favorite fast ride at WDW? Let us know with a message on social: Instagram Facebook X

If you’re planning a trip to WDW sometime during the 50th Anniversary celebration, I highly recommend using a travel planner. With WDW releasing constant updates to park touring options and procedures, planning your trip without expert knowledge could be scarier than the drop on Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Planning a Disney trip is much more easily accomplished with the help of an authorized and experienced Disney vacation planner. Contact us today at Facts and Figment Vacation Planning to start planning your next Disney Vacation! We’ll get your trip planning off the ground, so you can start looking forward to your next magical experience.

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