Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Disney Roller Coaster Junkies…& the folks who love ’em anyway!

I love Disney. I love walking up Main Street USA, and taking in the sights and sounds. I love riding Cinderella’ s Carousel, and riding attractions like Carousel of Progress, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin’. I’m not by nature a roller coaster junkie…

but my 11 year old daughter, Ciara, is one. Much to the delight of my husband. They both love thrill rides.

And, unfortunately (for me), it seems like my 4 year old, Ceili, is going to be a coaster junkie too. Fortunately (for me) Ceili’s still a little too short for the bigger rides.

As a family on this recent trip, 4 of us rode Goofy’s Barnstormer at Toontown in Magic Kingdom. It’s Disney’s young kids’ coaster. Ceili loves it. Me, not so much, but I’m getting used to it. ūüôā Bill and Ciara love to ride it for nostalgia sake – one past visit, when I was pregnant with Ceili, they rode it 15 times in a row during an extra magic hour’s night – they didn’t even have to get off. (I was sipping lemonade, with my feet up, during that marathon session¬†– much better for me!)¬†

Goofy’s Barnstormer has a height requirement of 35″, so it’s usually the first roller coaster for kids. You’re riding a crop duster with Goofy through the cornfields. Hang on to your hats, tho (literally). While it’s an easy ride for coaster junkies, there are still some sharp turns and drops – and you can often see hats in the trees next to the ride.

We also rode Big Thunder Mountain together several times. Ceili, like me, was a little skittish at first, but she did enjoy it. Bill and Ciara, of course, loved it. Nothing like a run-away train going wild on rickety tracks thru an old gold mine to get your heart a pumpin’.¬† Big Thunder is in Frontierland, and it¬†has a height restriction of 40″, so it is usually a step up for little kids in height, age, and maturity over Goofy’s Barnstormer.¬† The ride is longer, and has sharper turns, bigger drops, and is more in keeping with the typical coaster rides.

Also in Magic Kingdom is Space Mountain.¬† Space Mountain is the original coaster in Magic Kingdom, and it’s 44″ height restriction put it a little out of Ceili’s reach. (Lucky me.) Next time, I’m sure, she’ll ride (and I’ll have to…). Big sister Ciara rode Space 5 times with daddy Bill.¬†

The rocket ship propels you through space (in the dark) and its recent refurbishment seems to have put it in good stead. I sat out this time, but I have ridden this coaster in the past… The fact that the majority of the ride is in the dark scares the wits out of me. I hate not knowing where and when the drops occur. I also hate not sitting next to someone I can grab for moral support – each person is in their own seat in the rocket, single lines of 3.¬† However, neither of those two issues bothered Ciara in the least.

Of course, the roller coaster junkies, Bill and Ciara, also had to ride Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom over and over again. I’m not sure what their last ride count was, but I think it was 7 on this trip. I’ve ridden this ride once with Ciara on our last visit, and I swore I’d never ride it again. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever been on. Yetis don’t scare me. But going backwards in the dark is just not my cup of tea.¬† Fortunately for me, the height restriction is also 44″, so Ceili wasn’t tall enough to ride yet… not sure what I’ll do when she is… except maybe have a shot of Jack Daniels available for some liquid courage! ūüôā (I jest… well, kinda…)

And then, there is Rock ‘n Roller Coaster with Aerosmith in Hollywood Studios.¬† This is one high-speed coaster that I haven’t tried even once… but Bill and Ciara say it’s the best.¬† I’m not partial to spins and being upside down, but if you enjoy that kinda thing, then apparently this is the ride for you.¬† You step into a super stretch limo to be whisked across town to an Aerosmith show, with their music blasting the whole time. I don’t mind Aerosmith (although, having my 11 year old now tell me her fave song is “Dude, looks like a lady” is a little disconcerting), but the coaster issue remains.

Bill and Ciara rode this 5 times as well. The height restriction for this ride is 48″, so I have a few more years before Ceili will be bugging me to go on it with her…

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September 4, 2010 - Posted by | Lush Life Disney

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