Family on Big Thunder Mountain
  • On Jan 30, 2023
    Hazel from Berkshire Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Rides with small drops! Customer Services are unable to provide me with details of what is classed as small drop on each ride at WDW. My son can just about manage the Gruffalo ride at Chessington which I believe is 15ft so I would l like to compare!

    Why hello there Hazel, wishing you a very Royal welcome to planDisney!

    I'm so glad that you came along to ask this question; as a thrill ride enthusiast myself, I've been trying to slowly train my nephews into more and more daring drops and faster rides with every Walt Disney World Resort visit. 

    I found that a good way to compare is to have a look at examples of water rides similar to the one you mentioned, or attractions that are considered to incorporate "Small Drops". The slight drop near the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean may be closest to what your son has already  experienced, while rides like Kali River Rapids and Frozen Ever After are much higher!

    From this list alone, I can understand why the Guest Services Cast Members might've found it difficult to explain in detail the classification requirements that would merit a "Small Drop" designation for a particular attraction - they seem to vary significantly based on each ride experience! Though I wish I had the chance to speak directly with the Imagineers who were responsible for the construction of each ride, I found that the best way to gather information about each one was to go straight to the friendly Cast Members operating the ride themselves and inquire about the relative heights that guests might expect on each drop.

    From their best estimates, it seemed that a drop of 25 - 30 feet or higher would be considered a "Big Drop", as in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Anything less than that might be generously classified as a "Small Drop", which ranges from screen-based attractions like Soarin' Around the World that may just simulate the feeling of a swooping drop to the gentle physical dips of
    Peter Pan's Flight.

    Unfortunately there appears to be no real set of metrics available to guests that compare the degree of each "Small Drop". Instead, what I might recommend is viewing on-ride videos of each attraction online to gain a better sense of what its "drop" might actually entail before you ride it in person.

    Please feel free to come back to planDisney to ask me if you have any other ride-related questions, or anything that may be helpful for your next visit!

    May your upcoming adventure take you to new heights and thanks for "Dropping by"!
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Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

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