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Disney World Rides

Owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, the Walt Disney World Resort is home to four theme parks, two water parks, six golf courses, more than twenty resort hotels, and various shopping and entertainment areas in Orange and Osceola Counties, Florida, USA. The Walt Disney World Resort opened on October 1, 1971. It is the largest theme park resort in the world.

Walt Disney World’s Four Theme Parks
Walt Disney World Resort features four major theme parks, each with a main attraction that serves as its symbol:

  • The Magic Kingdom (Cinderella Castle)
  • Epcot (Spaceship Earth, the giant golf ball-looking geodesic sphere)
  • Disney-MGM Studios (the giant Mickey sorcerer's cap, though formerly the 'Earful Tower' water tower represented it)
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom (the Tree of Life)

There are also two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. (A third, River Country, has been closed indefinitely.) All of the theme parks are full of Disney World rides for children and adults alike.

Disney World Rides In the Magic Kingdom
There are several popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom theme park. The Disney World Magic Kingdom theme park is home to such thrilling rides as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Railroad but also features several elaborate adventure ride favorites as The Haunted Mansion, The Pirates of the Caribbean, and It’s a Small World.

In both Disneyland and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park there is a hugely popular attraction called the Haunted Mansion. The attraction opened at the Magic Kingdom in 1971 when the park opened, and has never been remodeled since the ride's debut. This Disney World Magic Kingdom version of the ride is located in Liberty Square and has a New England facade, likely because the intention there was to base the attraction around the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman.

Other of the more popular Disney World rides located in the Magic Kingdom is The Pirates of the Caribbean adventure ride. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the best-known attractions at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. Its setting is loosely based on the more romantic side of Piracy in the Caribbean. The grand opening of the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney World ride in the Magic Kingdom was December 15, 1973. The ride has 125 audio-animatronics, 65 pirates and villages, 60 animals and birds, and uses 155,000 gallons of water. The ride lasts eight minutes and thirty seconds.

The It’s a Small World ride is a popular feature in not only Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, but also currently an attraction at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. The Magic Kingdom version of It’s a Small World celebrated it’s grand opening on October 1, 1971 when the Magic Kingdom park first opened but the ride recently reopened with a state-of-the-art sound system, a few new animatronic figures, and a loading area similar to the ride's façade at Disneyland. The Disney World ride contains 472 animated/unanimated figures, 289 audio-animatronics figures, 147 toys, 36 animated props, and uses 500,000 gallons of water. The ride lasts ten minutes and thirty seconds.

Disney World Rides at Epcot
Disney World rides at the Epcot theme park are focused toward international culture and technological innovation. This theme is apparent in their popular rides like Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and Spaceship Earth.

Test Track is an attraction at Epcot that is sponsored by General Motors. It opened on March 17, 1999 after a long delay due to problems revealed during testing. It replaced the World of Motion, though it used the same ride building. Guests ride in futuristic "test cars" in a GM "testing facility" and are taken through a series of tests to see how automobile prototype evaluations are done. The highlight of the ride is a speed trial around the outside of the Test Track building at a top speed of 65 miles per hour, making Test Track the fastest Disney theme park attraction ever built, next to Mission: Space and Rock 'n Roller Coaster. The top speed reached in the ride is 65 mpg with the track length approximately 1 mile. The show scenes include the hill climb test, suspension test, brake test, environmental chamber test, ride handling test, and the high-speed test .

Mission: SPACE is a thrill ride/simulation on the former site of the Horizons pavillion at Epcot. The Disney World ride Mission: SPACE simulates what an astronaut might feel on a mission into space, from the actual g-forces of take-off to the speculative hypersleep. It is sponsored by Hewlett-Packard (HP), which began working with Disney Imagineers on design in April 2000. The actual simulator for Mission: SPACE was designed and built by Environmental Tectonics Corporation of Pennsylvania. Construction began on Mission: SPACE after the 1999 closing of "Horizons", a ride on how people have envisioned the future for decades as well as visions of a near future in amazing communities in the ocean and space. Some argued that "Horizons" was no longer "cutting edge" and seemed more like a 1980s flashback then a picture of what is to come. Imagineers attempted to attract a thrill-seeking audience to Epcot with the demolition of "Horizons" and the subsequent construction of the motion simulator.

Spaceship Earth is one of the most recognizable structures at the Walt Disney World Resort, and has been remodeled and updated numerous times, the last in 1994. The 18-story geosphere houses a 12-minute dark ride using the Omnimover system that explores the progression of human communications from cavemen to the dawn of the internet (see ride scenes below). Geometrically, Spaceship Earth is a pentakis dodecahedron, with each of the 60 equilateral triangle faces divided into 16 smaller equilateral triangles (with a bit of fudging to make it rounder). Each of those 960 flat panels is sub-divided into four triangles, each of which is divided into three isoceles triangles to form each point. In theory, there are 11,520 total isoceles triangles forming 3840 points. In reality, some of those triangles are partially or fully nonexistent due to supports and doors; there are actually only 11,324 of them, with 954 partial or full flat panels.

The ride starts with cavemen, who developed the first spoken languages. Then viewers see the Egyptians, who invented a system of hieroglyphs and made papyrus on which to record them; Phoenician merchants, who developed a written alphabet (the Phoenician alphabet); Ancient Greece, where the theatre was a popular form of entertainment; and Ancient Rome, whose leaders built a vast system of roads all over Europe. After the sacking of Rome by invaders, viewers see scenes of the Middle Ages, when Muslim scholars continued to progress in science, and when monks copied Bibles by hand. The ride then moves on to the European Renaissance, the development of the movable-type printing press, and the 20th century communications revolution—newspapers, telegraphs, radio, telephones, movies, television, and videoconferencing. This is the end of the historical segment of the ride; the remainder is split between abstract depictions of Earth and the communications that take place upon it, and the possible communications technologies that will be developed in the future.

Disney World Rides at Disney-MGM Studios
Disney-MGM Studios opened on May 1, 1989 and, 135 acres in size, the park's theme is Hollywood classic movies and popular TV entertainment. This theme is brought to life with such rides as the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, also known as Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, is an indoor dark roller coaster ride that opened in the summer of 1999 and is located near the end of Sunset Boulevard, next to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction. The roller coaster accelerates from 0 to 57 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds (making this the second-fastest ride at Walt Disney World Resort, behind only Test Track), and the riders experience 4 to 5 Gs as they approach the first inversion, more than an astronaut does on a space shuttle launch. The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, while considered "extreme", has been described by roller coaster enthusiasts as being smoother, less jerky and less painful than many other extreme roller coasters. Even those that traditionally shy away from roller coasters often return for a second or even third ride.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, more commonly known as Tower of Terror, is a simulated freefall thrill ride based upon the television show The Twilight Zone. The Disney World ride, with a grand opening in 1994, is themed to resemble the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel. The storyline of the ride is that on October 31, 1939, the hotel was struck by lightning, transporting an elevator car full of passengers to the Twilight Zone. The exterior of the ride resembles an old hotel with a blackened scorch mark across the front of the facade where the lightning destroyed part of the building. At 199 feet, it is the tallest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort. According to Walt Disney World staff, the ride is only 199 feet high because of regulations that would require a fixed red light beacon to be added to the top of the building if it were 200 feet tall or higher to meet FAA regulations. Having a red beacon on the top of the building would detract from the theme of a 1939 hotel.

Disney World Rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park opened on April 22, 1998. Covering more than 500 acres in size, it is themed around live animals and extinct dinosaurs. The park's advertising makes frequent use of the made-up word "nahtazu", pronounced "not a zoo," to emphasize that it offers more than animal displays.

The park is made up of seven themed lands: Oasis, with live animals; Discovery Island, formerly Safari Village; Camp Minnie-Mickey, the area displaying Festival of the Lion King, a live show which guests consistently rate as the best live show on Disney property; Rafiki’s Planet Watch, featuring small animals, a petting zoo with domesticated goats, exhibits teaching about conservation efforts and a veterinary hospital viewing window that allows guests to watch medical procedures conducted by the veterinary staff; Africa, a safari in an open-air vehicle through an area made to look like an African savannah in which animals roam freely; Asia, soon to feature the ride Expedition Everest, a rollercoaster housed in a two-hundred-foot-tall mountain; and DinoLand USA, an area to learn about extinct dinosaurs.

On of the exciting Disney World rides within the Animal Kingdom is Primeval Whirl. Primeval Whirl is a roller coaster is the "Mild But Wild Thrills" category. This ride is a roller coaster with cars that spin in circles while traveling down the tracks. Because of this feature, the ride experience varies greatly each time it is ridden. The ride is part of DinoLand USA and usually seats up to 4 riders


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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