The Disney World Minute is here! In this video series, I’ll share Disney World tips, tricks, and trivia, all in about a minute or less. For this video, I’m giving you the best places to sit on the most popular Disney World rides. Think all seats were created equal? Think again. From the mountains of the Magic Kingdom to the thrill rides of Sunset Boulevard, here are the best places to sit on WDW’s best rides. Read on for more details, and to find out a really simple tip in order to get these coveted seats. And be sure to subscribe to the Guide2WDW YouTube Channel for more Disney World and Disneyland videos each week.
Here are a few more details and a couple bonus suggestions that I couldn’t fit in the video.
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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: There are two good options for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The front row feels the slowest, but gives the best views of Fantasyland. Also, the timing of the dark ride mine scene seems to work best for the front row, and front row riders get the most time to look at the surprise cameo at the end of the ride. The back row feels the fastest, so Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’s mild thrills get kicked up a notch. Either of these rows are the best way to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Splash Mountain: In terms of ride intensity, pretty much every spot in the log feels the same. However, dryness is another story. If you want to stay as dry as possible on Splash Mountain, sit in the back left of the log. The front of the log will absorb most of the water from the big splash down, and you’ll avoid the extra water from the waterfalls and water effects that tend to hit the right-hand side of the vehicle. Want the best view of the drop? Sit in the front row.
Space Mountain: I haven’t noticed much difference of ride intensity from the back seat to the front seat, but there is a big difference in immersion. Since there are no people sitting directly in front of you, the front most seat is the darkest, most surprising ride.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Want the wildest ride in the wilderness? Sit in the back row. It is considerably faster on the drops than the front row, making it a much more intense experience. For a bonus sense of speed, ride it at night. Through a completely scientific process, I’ve determined that Big Thunder goes faster at night (aka I’ve ridden it a bunch and it feels faster and scarier in the dark to me, even if the speed is probably the same. #science).
Soarin: Currently, this is the only attraction at Epcot where your seat selection can make a big difference on your ride experience. Be sure to sit in the middle section (section #2) on the top row. If you’re on the top row, you’ll avoid seeing other people’s feet dangling in front of you as you glide across California/The World. Also, the giant Soarin’ screen curves at the edges, so the middle section will get the least amount of distortion.
Tower of Terror: The randomized drops feel the same from every part of the elevator. However, I personally love the view I get of the park by sitting in the front row. Those with a fear of heights might feel better sitting in the back (or skipping the ride altogether).
Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster: For me, this ride is all about the front seat. The exhilarating 0-60 mph launch feels the most intense from the front row of the super-stretch limo, and you’ll get the best view of the giant neon sights of the indoor coaster.
Star Tours: Have trouble with motion sickness? Try sitting the closest to the middle of the vehicle as possible, around the middle of row 3. Want a more intense ride? Sit in the first or last row, away from the middle.
Expedition Everest: Like Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, this ride is all about the front seat for me. Thanks to the dual-directional nature of this ride, it provides both the best views (especially at the peak) and the best thrills (especially right after the peak). Wave hi to the yeti as you zip by.
Kilimanjaro Safaris: Nothing beats the window seats on Kilimanjaro Safaris, especially if you’re taking pictures. You’ll have an unobstructed view of the safari by sitting next to the window. As far as which side, it really depends on the day and which animals are out when you get on the ride. Sometimes I’ve had great luck with the right hand side, and sometimes I wish I was sitting on the left.
Tip: How to get these seats
So, now that you know which seats are the best, how do you get them? Well, it’s as simple as asking. Look for the cast member loading the ride: that’s usually the Disney employee right before the ride vehicle that asks you how many people are in your party. Politely ask them if you can ride in your requested seat. i.e. If you’re going on Expedition Everest, just ask them for the front row. You may have to wait an extra minute or two (a few of these even have mini-queues for people who have requested the most popular row), but Disney employees will almost always honor your request.
That’s it for the best places to sit on Disney World rides. Is there another ride that you have a seat preference for at Disney World? Or do you have a suggestion for next week’s Disney World Minute video? Let me know in the comments below!