Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Apr 23, 2014
    Lori from MS Asked

    My son's first trip to Disney is soon. He has never ridden a roller coaster, only small rides that stay on the ground. I need ideas for good "first time" roller coasters that will be fun

    Hi Lori,

    I agree that starting slowly is a great way to acclimate a child to more challenging thrill rides.

    There are many gentle rides at Walt Disney World that don't "stay on the ground." For example, Dumbo, Aladdin, and TriceratopsSpin all have gentle elevation into the sky. This is the most basic way to start pushing the envelope. After that, you may want to try something like Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates has one VERY mild drop, which is a nice way to get used to that falling feeling.

    The most mild actual roller coaster at Walt Disney World is Goofy's Barnstormer in the Circus area of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. If this goes well, move on to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Splash Mountain is a very gentle ride except for one visible large drop. It LOOKS quite intimidating, but is actually fairly moderate.

    The next level of challenge would be Space Mountain. Space Mountain is actually somewhat slower and less jarring than Big Thunder Mountain, but since the entire ride takes place in the dark, nearly everyone finds it to be more simulating.

    Once a child is fine on Space Mountain, then everything else is up for grabs. I'd do Expedition Everest and then Rock n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, but that's just a personal preference.

    The key to all this is to take you cues from the child. Proceed slowly and you'll likely have a lifetime coaster lover.

    Good luck with your planning. Please let us know what else we can do to help.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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