The final ride-ranking post is here, where we discuss the best of the best. Even if one of these supposedly best rides caused no shortage of terror in the Duck and Mother Duck. And in case you’re curious about part 2, it can be found here.
6: Splash Mountain – I had expressed in the past that I would never ride Splash Mountain because of that insanely steep drop towards the end (statistics say it is 40 mph, 52.5 feet, or five-stories). Mother Duck agreed with these feelings, until I decided that, on our second visit to Disneyland, I would change that. I wanted to experience the same terror as other Disney guests, plus I wanted to see all those awesome animal animatronics I had only previously seen on Youtube. So the very first thing we did upon our arrival was get a Splash Mountain fast pass. Mother Duck dreaded having to relive a ride that had frightened her in the past, but as many times as I told her that she was welcome to sit this one out, she decided to come along anyway.
The animatronics are very cool, and much of the ride is deceptively pleasant. But the whole time, it was hard to enjoy anything because we both dreaded the drop that we knew awaited us. Throughout the ride, there are smaller drops from time to time. And you can tell yourself that it won’t be so bad, that you can handle this, until a big drop comes. Not THE big drop, but a different one. And when that happened, and I found that this lesser drop of death was still terrifying, I began to become very anxious indeed.
Oh, and you will definitely get wet. That second worst drop had the water pouring in like a wave.
Finally, we started the final ascent. At this point, Mother Duck and I…we were panicking. We begged for the ride to break down. We thought…how much trouble would we be in if we just got out of our seat and leapt to dry land. Surely they would understand. Surely.
Remembering that this ride, out of some morbid desire to immortalize people’s moments of terror, took a photo of you just as you go down the final plunge, I decided to start taking deep breaths. Calm yourself, Duck. Don’t let that sadistic camera see your fear.
Breathe in and out.
We went over the edge. And I thought…this is what people feel like when they jump out of a plane and their parachute fails to open.
This is literally what falling to your death feels like.
You don’t feel the seat beneath you…because it’s no longer beneath you. You just feel that sickening sensation when your stomach decides it doesn’t want to live in your abdomen anymore. Mother Duck counted and said that the drop took one second. But let me tell you, it doesn’t feel like one second. For that moment, time stands still.
And then it’s all over, and my limbs are shaking, not from the cold water rushing over me, but from nerves. When we get off, I refuse to see my picture and witness the look of horror surely upon my face. Mother Duck pauses to check our photo, however, and says that I, unlike her, look completely calm. Well, apparently my plan to fool the camera worked because I felt anything but cool. Indiana Jones was scary in its own right, a prolonged kind of fear that lasted nearly the whole ride. Even so, Splash Mountain was worse. Just that single second, stretched into what felt like countless more…a second filled with utter horror and the strange nausea brought about by steep drops…that was the worst.
Splash Mountain, despite being something I will now avoid like the plague (with the plague being the preferable option), still ranks pretty high on this list because I will admit that, despite that horrible drop (and the other horrible, but less horrible one, that comes before) is still one of the best rides at Disneyland. I really liked the animatronics and just wish my anxiety hadn’t gotten the better of me.
5: Star Tours – Star Wars is a great ride for those who want something a bit more thrilling, but safe. It’s amazing that you are literally sitting in a room, but you feel like you’re flying around through space. Not only is Star Tours very fun, but they have multiple variations, so you could ride many times and get a different experience each time. I am only baffled by a very important question…will Star Tours remain in Tomorrowland when Galaxy’s Edge opens? If so, that makes no sense. But fear not, Star Tours, for this quandary does not affect your ranking at all.
4: Big Thunder Mountain – While fast rides scare me, after braving Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain’s drop of doom, Mother Duck and I decided to give Big Thunder Mountain a try. I had actually enjoyed this ride in the past (it’s my favorite roller coaster of all time…not that I’ve ridden very many, not since Hershey Park anyway), and I must say, this ride is still super fun. I still found myself to be a bit nervous, and the fast dips were startling (I don’t care to be reminded of Splash Mountain, thank you very much), but overall, pretty awesome.
We didn’t get to finish riding this one, however, because it broke down towards the end. Even so, Mother Duck and I were grateful we got to avoid a rather large hill as a result, and we even got three fast passes (for ANY ride in the park, minus Peter Pan). So all in all, everything turned out quite well in the end.
3: Peter Pan’s Flight – Peter Pan’s Flight is a super awesome dark ride where you get to ride a flying pirate ship over London and through Neverland. Sadly enough, we didn’t get to ride this one during our most recent trip due to long lines. Why this one has no fast pass is beyond me.
2: Pirates of the Caribbean – And the number one and two spots have not changed in the least….
1: Haunted Mansion – Yep, I love these two rides. They are amazing, and…there’s not much else to say that I haven’t said already. If you’d like to hear me rant and rave about these two rides, you can read about them in part 2 of my ride rankings from last year.
At last, we have made it through every ride Mother Duck and I visited at Disneyland. We were certainly productive, weren’t we? I hope you guys enjoyed, and please let me know what your favorite Disneyland rides are. Or perhaps, if you already answered this question last year, why not let me know what you think of Splash Mountain’s harrowing drop! Does it strike fear into your heart as it does mine? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!