Most Controversial Disney Rides and Attractions

Disney is thought of as a place of happiness, it's supposed to be a place for everyone, but there are some things that prove too controversial.

The Top Ten

1 Mission: SPACE (Epcot) Mission: SPACE (Epcot)

Mission: Space is a ride at Epcot that simulates a flight through space.
It includes a simulation of g-forces from launch and re-entry as well as weightlessness.
The effects are achieved by spinning, which is similar to those you find at NASA.
Which means that some people will get motion sickness.
Which is where the controversy comes in.

First of all, the minimum height requirement is only 44” and riders should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated, and that those who have headaches, inner ear problems, or a history of migraines, vertigo, or elevated anxiety should also not ride.

And the controversy gets even bigger...

From June 2005 to June 2006, paramedics treated 194 Mission: Space riders.
The most common complaints were nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.
Of those 194 guests, 25 people passed out, 26 suffered difficulty breathing, and 16 ...more - Gregory

2 Snow White’s Scary Adventures (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom 1971-2012, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris)

When you think about Snow White, you think of a lovely happy movie with princess Snow White and the funny Seven Dwarfs).
But with the scenes of with the Evil Queen, the ride has become scary.

The one in Magic Kingdom was originally about the Evil Queen trying to kill the riders, and involved throwing a huge boulder at them.
It was so scary that Disney toned it down and added Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and gave it a happy ending.

But still, so many people were scared, that Disney closed the ride down in 2012.

The other versions follow the story more accurately, but are still scary.
The name never lies. - Gregory

Some people remember the movie different than me, remember the dark Evil Queen & Tree sequences? I guess you don't. - Maddox121

I went on the Disney World version in 2006. It was too tame for me.

3 The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (Magic Kingdom 1995-2003) The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (Magic Kingdom 1995-2003)

Come on, this ride was great! - Maddox121

This ride was popular, but became notorious for being too scary.

It started off with guests being strapped into their seats, which have restraints that press down on them, while they experienced darkness, loud noises, and special effects that mimic the Xenomorph touching you, breathing on you, and spitting acid on you.

It was so scary that Disney closed it down and rethemed it into Stitch’s Great Escape, which is so gross that it’s the worst Disney attraction of all time.

Disney is supposed to be a happy place, and this attraction scarred children for life. - Gregory

4 Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland) Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris, Shanghai Disneyland)

The fact that the Wench Auction has gained controversy for being politically inaccurate, about brides, has become so notorious, that Disney is removing them from each ride.

There were incidents in Walt Disney World's version as follows:
In February 2005, a 77-year-old woman from Minnesota lost consciousness and died after riding the Pirates of the Caribbean.
A medical examiner's report said the victim was in poor health and that she had had several ministrokes.
The report concluded that her death "was not unexpected."

On August 6, 2009, a 47-year-old employee playing the role of a pirate in the "Captain Jack's Pirate Tutorial" show slipped on a puddle on the stage and hit his head on a wall.
He was taken to Florida Hospital Orlando with injuries including a broken vertebra in his neck and severe lacerations on his head that required 55 stitches.
He died on August 10 due to complications.

On July 10, 2014, a 12-year-old boy from the United Kingdom ...more - Gregory

5 The Hall of Presidents (Magic Kingdom)

As an attraction at Disney World, it’s hard to believe the controversy involved in this.
We’ve had presidents, both republican and Democrat, and this involves politics.
The latest president is Donald Trump, and he’s notorious for banning Transgender people from serving in the U.S. Military as well as his offensive comment about other countries. - Gregory

6 Splash Mountain (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland) Splash Mountain (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland)

Splash Mountain has gained controversy from it's theme, Song of the South, which is about the adventures of Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear on a Journey that leads to falling into the Briar Patch, but includes Zippity Do Dah, which is notorious for racism.

It was set around the Civil War, and among much stir, it stems from that fact.

There was 1 incident in this attraction:
On November 5, 2000, a 37-year-old man from St. Petersburg, Florida, was critically injured while trying to exit the ride vehicle while it was moving.
He told fellow passengers that he felt ill and attempted to reach one of the attraction's marked emergency exits.
He was struck by the following ride vehicle and died at a local hospital. - Gregory

7 Avatar Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) Avatar Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

The most popular at Animal Kingdom, a ride that simulates flying over Pandora on a Banshee.
Therefore it’s become an e-ticket attraction.

At least it has been.

The seating and restraints may prohibit guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding, which is what this ride is especially notorious for.
So therefore they added a test seat outside the attraction for people uncertain about their shape/size.

Yet there are warnings that tell you that it’s a highly immersive 3-D experience, and that those who have a fear of heights should not ride.
Also, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure.

Sadly, 4 people were unlucky.

On June 12, 2017, a 79-year-old woman became dizzy and briefly passed out during the ride.

On June 24, 2017, another woman, 31 years old, also became ill and passed out while on the ...more - Gregory

8 It’s a Small World (1964 New York World’s Fair, Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland)

A classic ride that originated at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
It became a staple in amusement parks.
The ride follows the story of sailing through many different parts of the world.
However, this ride is notorious for breaking down and having a song that gets stuck in riders’ heads, so this ride may trigger earworm.

Earworm isn't the only incident on this attraction, but there were much worse ones:

Magic Kingdom:
On August 18, 1994, a 6-year-old girl from Miami, Florida, fell out of one of the ride's boats while it was in the loading area.
Orange County authorities believe an incoming boat then struck her after the fall.
The girl suffered a broken hip, a broken arm and a collapsed lung, but paramedics took her to a hospital and was expected to recover fully. The ride was closed for an inspection and re-opened the following day.

On December 25, 2014, a 22-year-old woman lost consciousness after riding the attraction.
She later ...more - Gregory

9 Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Disney Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland) Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Disney Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland) Space Mountain is the name of a space-themed indoor roller coaster attraction located at five of the Magic Kingdom-style Disney Parks.

There's nothing wrong with it, some people are just physically/mentally ill. - Maddox121

Yup, though the controversy is how the large number of casualties would take place on a classical ride. - Gregory

What's wrong with Space Mountain? - CloudInvasion

Space Mountain is one of the most popular attractions, and it’s space-themed, and therefore has become a huge hit.
However, there is a dark side.

The rides have had their fair share of incidents.


On August 14, 1979, a 31-year old woman became ill after riding Space Mountain.
At the unload area, she was unable to exit the vehicle, although employees told her to stay seated while the vehicle was removed from the track, other ride operators did not realize that her vehicle was supposed to be removed and accidentally sent her through the ride a second time.
She arrived at the unloading zone semi-conscious.
The victim was subsequently taken to Palm Harbor Hospital where she remained in a coma and died one week later.
The coroner's report attributed the death to natural causes: a heart tumor had dislodged and entered into her brain.
A subsequent lawsuit against the park was dismissed.

In 1983, a 18-year old man fell off Space ...more - Gregory

10 The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland 2004-2017, Tokyo DisneySea, Disneyland Paris) The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland 2004-2017, Tokyo DisneySea, Disneyland Paris)

Based on the Twilight Zone, riders hop aboard an elevator that gets hit by lightning, goes crazy and drops 13.1 stories.
Yet the sequence is random, so that no 2 rides are ever the same.
The theme and the ride itself as well as the randomness is so scary that many children walk away from it.

Much of the controversy revolves on how scary it is.
The minimum height requirement is only 40", and many people come of this ride traumatized.

The point is that that Disney rides are supposed to be fun and enjoyable for everyone, and that everyone comes off with smiles.
While some people love this ride, others come off crying after this.

And there was 1 known incident on this ride:
On July 12, 2005, a 16-year-old girl from Kibworth, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, complained of a severe headache and other symptoms after riding the Tower of Terror.
She was taken to an Orlando hospital in critical condition, where she underwent surgery for intracranial ...more - Gregory

The Contenders

11 Slinky Dog Dash

Seriously, expsoed supports at a DISNEY PARK? - Maddox121

I know this ride is new, but here’s the main thing.
Disney built Toy Story Land, and upon doing so, it became so popular that crowds packed up and waited all night for it to open.
Then when it opened, they waited 4 hours 30 minutes to enter the land in a line that stretched all the way from the Chinese Theater outside the land, and then another 5 hours to ride Slinky Dog Dash.

The Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom May have occasionally 5-6 hour waits, but it’s shaded and has cool neat interactive things that are distracting, entertaining and totally suspending one’s disbelief.
Most of the queue on this happened to have no shade, so it was in the hot, blistering sun.
Many people who didn’t expect such a long wait for it were stuck outside and got severely sunburnt and dehydrated, melted their shoes and burned their feet on the hot asphalt ground, and some passed out due to heatstroke and were taken by paramedics.
And the fact that the ride just ...more - Gregory

12 Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout (Disneyland)

It’s here since taking away the Tower of Terror at Disneyland for this was a stupid decision that Disney made.
They closed it down for this.
The controversy is also that it’s intense and how a Disney ride could be like that.
Remember, the best Disney rides are meant for the whole family.
Yet 1st of all, when this opened, the wait time was 7 Hours long, and most of the line was shadeless, leaving everyone at hot, dehydrated and sunburnt, which are all risks in one's health, and the ride is intense and puts a lot of stress on people's bodies, therefore warnings should be taken seriously.
The biggest controversy is that the music played in this is known to be music in pop culture, which could mean that Disney is copying their songs, which is copyright infringement.
I don’t know why they didn’t get sued.
It’s a stupid ride and not something worth going on. - Gregory

13 Frozen Ever After (Epcot)

It replaced Maelstrom, and when Disney opened it, it caused much stir among guests.

It takes place in the Norway pavilion, and many people who love and expect the charm of Norwegian culture are disgraced by this attraction.

This focuses on the animated fairy-tale story of Anna and Elsa.
It has the song Let It Go, which is an earworm monster, and the since this ride’s debut, Disney started adding Frozen merch and themes through the parks.

Ever since then, the education turned into a money-making machine we know of as Modern Disney.

Yet when it 1st opened in 2016, people reportedly waited 5 hours to ride it, and almost all of the wait was in shadeless heat, exposing riders to high temperatures and direct sunlight, causing sunburn, dehydration and heat exhaustion.
All these safety hazards and misery for a 5 minute ride about Frozen.

No wonder this was such a big deal. - Gregory

14 Rock N' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Paris)

Disney World's most thrilling roller coaster, where riders meet Aerosmith and hop aboard a superstretch limo that launches up to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds through L.A. and goes through a rollover loop and a corkscrew.

The thing is that it exists at a Disney park, and that many children and some adults find this too intense for a Disney ride.
Disney is a place for families, and this ride is not for everyone.
After all, it is a roller coaster.
It exposes riders to nearly 5 g-forces as they enter the 1st inversion, which, at that rate, can cause blackouts, and if higher, g-loc (Gravity-induced Loss Of Consciousness), and even death.

Disney is also known for high safety measurements in rides and attractions.
So therefore this ride requires being in good health with no conditions that could be aggravated.

Yet the concern especially revolves around an incident that occurred more than a decade ago.

Disney's Hollywood Studios:
On June 29, 2006, a ...more - Gregory

15 Expedition Everest (Disney's Animal Kingdom) Expedition Everest (Disney's Animal Kingdom)

D I S C O Y E T I (play SpongeBob Jellyfish Jam theme) - Maddox121

The ride with the fabled Yeti, the tallest mountain in Disney.
It’s on here because the controversy relies a lot on how scary and intense it is.

The minimum height requirement is only 44”, and many guests who meet that height requirement (5-6 years old) come off traumatized.
There is known to be a backward portion, darkness, and an 80’ drop, taking riders by surprise.

There is also known to be a big fat Yeti who appears to jump onto you and eat you.
Which is surprising considering Disney is a place for families.

However, the Yeti stopped working and Disney couldn’t fix it because it would interfere with the whole ride structure.
Shocking how the most important part of the attraction no longer works, taking away the icon of it.

Yet the seatings are not able to accommodate all body shapes or sizes, and this ride has gained some complaints of that.
So, they warn riders of that.

It’s a good ride, but all the controversy keeps it ...more - Gregory

16 Stitch’s Great Escape (Magic Kingdom)

This is like comparing perfect pizza (Alien Encounter) to Dominos Pizza (Stitch's Great Escape) I hate dominios in my opinion. - Maddox121

After Disney closed the Alien Encounter down due to all the trauma it gave guests, they decided to retheme it into Stitch’s Great Escape.

However, while it’s not as scary as it’s predecessor, it still scares many kids and adults with the restraints, which cut down into you, and the imagery and effects.

Not only is it scary, it’s also rather gross.
It has a rotten chili dog smell mixed with Stitch’s breath, and it’s one of the worst smells known to man.

The whole thing is so awful that it has no lines and that even Disney doesn’t like it.
Thank goodness it’s only in seasonal operation, but it sucks anyway. - Gregory

17 It's Tough to be a Bug (Disney's Animal Kingdom)

It's neat that the idea of this show is to give us an idea of what it's like to be a bug.
But they put in things that make us question the joy of Disney.

In the show, there are parts where they spray people with "stink acid"(using water and scents) and in 1 part, there are "Hornets" that "sting" the guests, using needles and mini-tasers in the seats.
Yet there are giant spiders hanging down from the ceiling.
And in the end, the "bugs" "crawl" over the guests, which is really using seat vibrations.

Why would Disney want to hurt guests with special effects? I know they wanted to make this realistic and give us an idea of the bug world, and it does teach people lessons about how we hurt bugs, and how they have defense mechanisms.

It's disturbing how spiders and painful stings could target guests in a Disney attraction, yet didn't we all get over the huge stir Mission: Space at Epcot gave people, yet they wanted to make that realistic and that caused chaos ...more - Gregory

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List Stats

17 listings
235 days old

Top Remixes

1. Mission: SPACE (Epcot)
2. Snow White’s Scary Adventures (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom 1971-2012, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris)
3. The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (Magic Kingdom 1995-2003)


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