While Disney's most popular parks are in California and Florida, the company actually has theme parks across the world. Japan has Tokyo Disney Resort, France has Disneyland Paris, and China has Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Though these might collectively be thought of as family destinations, they are actually stocked with thrill rides, and that's what we're diving into now.
While these international Disney parks contain different versions of attractions known to North American audiences like Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Tower of Terror, they also have their fair share of unique thrill rides based on franchises like Indiana Jones, Finding Nemo, and Tron. We'll be looking at how the top rides outside of the U.S. stack up based on intensity.
Pull down that lap bar and keep your hands, arms, and feet inside the ride vehicle at all times. Things are about to get crazy.
10 Splash Mountain
The popular log flume ride at Disney’s North American parks finds itself a third home at Tokyo Disneyland. This version of the ride sends guests on a brisk river journey that mirrors the layout of the attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. However, Tokyo’s Splash Mountain features different secondary characters and rearranged scenes.
While Tokyo’s version of this ride is leisurely, it still features four drops including the final intense 50 ft plummet toward a briar patch.
9 Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars is a steel roller coaster located exclusively at Hong Kong Disneyland. This over 3-minute attraction, which opened in 2012, sends guests up hills and down turns on the back of a mine train.
The ride features a backward section and multiple launches, which has many likening it to a combination of Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest and multiple parks’ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Theming comparisons have also been made to Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure.
8 Crush's Coaster
Don’t be fooled by the Finding Nemo theming — this roller coaster is totally intense. Located at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, Crush’s Coaster sends riders into the ocean for a leisurely journey… that soon becomes a dark, crazy, swerve-filled coaster.
The ride reaches speeds of 37.7 mph, and the spinning makes its intensity skyrocket. Many guests are surprised by just how serious this ride gets, so take this as your warning.
7 Space Mountain
Tokyo’s Space Mountain opened in 1983 along with the park. It sends guests on a futuristic sci-fi journey that resembles the version of the ride at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.
Space Mountain is a staple attraction at every single Disney resort in the world, and Tokyo Disneyland’s version of the ride is just as intense as the ones in North America. Though the largest drop is only 17 feet high, with most of the ride in the dark, the turns and dips feel fast.
6 Hyperspace Mountain
Hong Kong Disneyland also has a version of Space Mountain, however, this one is Star Wars-themed. While this movie switch was at first designed to be temporary, it later became a permanent part of the ride.
While the Space Mountain in Tokyo is also loud and dark, this one’s zippy lights and projection screens make it feel even more in-your-face.
5 Indiana Jones Et Le Temple Du Peril
This coaster at Disneyland Park in Paris first began sending guests on a thrilling journies in 1993. Based on the Indiana Jones series, guests adventure through a temple on the back of a mine train.
The ride has a speed of up to 36 mph and lasts around 1:15. It was the first Disney thrill ride to ever feature an inversion, and yes, you can feel those G’s.
4 Raging Spirits
Raging Spirits is a roller coaster at Tokyo DisneySea that is based on Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril. It features a single loop, making it the only ride at the Tokyo Disney Resort to contain an inversion.
The ride lasts around 1:38, which is slightly longer than its Paris Indiana Jones counterpart. It goes just as fast and sends guests flying through the ruins of an ancient ceremonial site with plenty of sharp turns and drops.
3 Tron Lightcycle Power Run
This high-speed ride located in Shanghai Disneyland sends guests on a futuristic cruise based on the Tron series. Guests sit on the back of motorbike-styled vehicles that have them leaning forward and gripping handlebars, which makes the nearly 60mph speed and 4 G’s feel even more intense.
Tron Lightcycle Power Run is getting recreated in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. It is set to open in Tomorrowland in 2021.
2 The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror/Tower of Terror
Both Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris and Tokyo DisneySea have their own versions of the popular Tower of Terror attraction. While Tokyo DisneySea makes no reference to The Twilight Zone, and features different theming, both rides are equally terrifying.
Riders are a seated on an elevator-style vehicle and then slowly brought through a creepy story about the hotel they are in. The vehicle next locks into position and then plummets guests straight down at speeds of close to 39 mph and heights of up to 130 ft. Get ready to scream a lot.
1 Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain
This isn’t the Space Mountain you know. Like the traditional Space Mountains, this ride is dark and full of intense drops and turns. Like the Hyperspace Mountain in Hong Kong Disneyland, this ride is Star Wars-themed. What makes this Space Mountain so unique though, is its speed and inversions.
Disneyland Park in Paris has a version of Space Mountain that goes 44 mph, which is much faster than that of its North American counterparts that go somewhere between 28 and 35 mph. It also features two inversions, making it the only overseas Disney ride to go upside down twice. If you want to take on the most serious international Disney ride there is, this is it.