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The 5 Scariest Disney Theme Park Rides and Attractions

Great Movie Ride alien

Disney rides are hardly renowned for being terrifying. But little ones and scaredy-cat adults may get a fright from these 5 rides and shows.

Okay, so we realise that most adults will never be truly scared by a Disney attraction. And even children are unlikely to be spooked by rides such as the Haunted Mansion, which were carefully designed by imagineers to offer spooky, but not frightening, fun. Still, the sight of crying childen exiting an attraction is not complete unheard of, even at the Happiest Places on Earth. So if your kids are prone to bursting into tears at the first sight of a ghoul or goblin, be just a little wary of the attractions below!

5. Stitch's Great Escape (Disney's Magic Kingdom)

Stitch's Great Escape

Image © Disney

The original version of this attraction, the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, would comfortably top this list. Closed after its previews for retooling after then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner deemed it not intense enough, it featured a warning that it was "not suitable for children under the age of 12".

The current version opened in 2003, and reuses many of the original's effects. The difference, of course, is that it features kids' favorite Stitch, so some of the edge is lost. Still, some smaller kids may still find the the experience of Stitch "jumping" on them and "tickling" their heads more scary than funny.

4. The Great Movie Ride (Disney's Hollywood Studios)

Great Movie Ride alien

Image: Joe Penniston, Flickr

The Great Movie Ride scary? Really? Okay, most of this leisurely journey through movie history doesn't exactly induce a pounding heart rate. The section inspired by Alien, however, does feature a dark atmosphere and the sight of the iconic queen alien looming down at guests from the ceiling.

Not all kids will be frightened by this, though. When I covered my 10-month-old's eyes, he angrily batted my hand away. He thought the alien was cute!

3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure, Walt Disney Studios and Tokyo DisneySea)

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Image © Disney

While it features light "horror" theming, with its abandoned Hollywood Tower Hotel facade and backstory of guests disappearing into the Twilight Zone, the Tower of Terror is very family-friendly. That said, for those who suffer from vertigo, this is the stuff of nightmares, as their elevator plummets down its shaft at faster-than-freefall speeds.

2. Snow White's Scary Adventures (Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland)

Snow White's Scary Adventures
Image: Eric Polk, Wikipedia

Snow White's Scary Adventures has a mixed reputation among Disney-going parents. Some adore it (and were furious when the Magic Kingdom's version was closed for good recently), claiming that it sticks close to the sometimes-dark theme of the classic animated movie (and the fairytale itself).

Others, though, are somewhat angry that a kids' dark ride features a jaunt through a scary forest and frequent appearances from the haggard-looking queen. Most children love the experience, but just occasionally it will trigger unhappy thoughts in a few!

1. It's Tough to be a Bug! (Disney California Adventure and Disney's Animal Kingdom)

It's Tough to be a Bug!

Image: Loren Javier, Flickr

It's Tough to be a Bug, ostenisibly a family 4-D show, is another Disney attraction that divides opinion. It starts off innocently enough, with characters from Pixar's It's a Bug Life explaining how bugs are misunderstood. Things go awry, though, when the evil Hopper gatecrashes the party with some startling special effects that may scare even the bravest children. We love it, and so do many kids...but even adults who are a little bugged by the sight of a spider in their house may find this a bit much!

What do you think?

Are you scared by any Disney attractions? Or are all of its family-focused rides tame enough for anybody to experience? Let us know by leaving a comment below!


There is 1 comment.

How about Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom? Scariest ride ever! Fun to take newbies on to laugh at them

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