For those who can’t handle rough rides, physically challenging rides, or spinning rides, there’s still plenty to do at Disney World. Here are some options in all four of the Disney World parks that are considered more gentle and non-spinning. Meet and greets are not included, but of course all of those are considered gentle experiences.
If we’ve left some rides off the lists below, that’s because there’s something about it that we think may be physically difficult for some people. For example, Tomrrowland Transit Authority (Peoplemover) looks gentle and most of the time it is, but the ride includes a bumpy, jerky track with some quick sharp turns that can be challenging for those with neck problems, weakness, etc.
Of course remember that what’s okay and gentle for one person, might not be okay for another. So please remember to check out each ride in advance to make sure it’s okay with your condition, and check with your doctor.
First: Boat Ride Info at Disney World
Before we start, if you’re physically sensitive to any kind of jolts, there are a couple of things to know about most of the boat rides on attractions like It’s a Small World and Living with the Land. First be aware that the boats can knock into one another at the start and at the end of the rides. This can cause some jolting. Most people will consider it minor. Also when the boats take off and arrive, they can pass over some rollers which can make a brief period of mild bumpiness.
The More Gentle Rides and Attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom
In our experience, the more gentle, non-spinning rides in MK include:
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Jungle Cruise
- The Hall of Presidents
- Haunted Mansion*
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- It’s a Small World
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Carousel of Progress
- Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh**
*Haunted Mansion is a smooth ride with sharp inclines and declines. The seats tilt back when you’re going backwards down a steep decline. The ride car ‘roof’ curves overhead, which may cause awkwardness depending on your height, and could cause discomfort for some – especially those with neck issues. My wife carries a sweater to use behind her neck to make it more comfortable.
**The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has a simulated bouncing effect that may be a bit too much physically speaking for some people. There is a handicapped vehicle that can have the motion turned off, so guests who wish to avoid the jumping and rolling motions can do so.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin is not on the list, but it’s a pretty gentle ride. The issue is that it turns on its own at some points, in order to face you in certain directions. It’s a reasonably gentle motion, and personally I wouldn’t consider it a spinning effect, but it may be uncomfortable for those who are sensitive to this type of motion. Also there’s a “joy stick” that allows you to turn the vehicle by itself, so you control most of the turning motion on the ride. We find that if the person who is sensitive to motion and spinning controls the turning that the guest is allowed to control during the ride, it’s often much more comfortable and tolerable for them. My wife who has vertigo at times and can’t handle spinning does fine on this ride.
Epcot’s More Gentle Rides and Attractions
In our experience, the more gentle, non-spinning rides in Epcot include:
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Living with the Land
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- The American Adventure
- Impressions de France
- O Canada!
- Reflections of China
Spaceship Earth is probably okay for many people but it does have a bumpy track, and the ride cars travel uphill and downhill on steep angles for extended periods of time. Some people have difficulty with being reclined against the hard seat and awkward headrest during the backwards portion of the ride.
Hollywood Studio’s More Gentle Rides and Attractions
In our experience, the more gentle, non-spinning rides in Hollywood Studios include:
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Voyage of the Little Mermaind
- Walt Disney Presents
- A “Frozen Sing-along Celebration
- Muppet Vision 3-D
- Beauty and the Best – Live on Stage
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
- Star Wars: Path of the Jedi
Animal Kingdom’s More Gentle Rides and Attractions
In our experience, the more gentle, non-spinning rides in Animal Kingdom include:
- It’s Tough to be a Bug *
- Na’vi River Journey
- Festival of the Lion King
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
- Rivers of Light
- UP! A Great Bird Adventure
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch
- Discovery Island Trails
* For It’s Tough to Be A Bug, please note that guests sitting on the attraction seats will experience a quick jab in the back. You can avoid this by sitting forward and not leaning on the back.
Thank you to Melissa Cruikshank for providing the photo in the header image! Much appreciated.
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