Can anyone compare WDW rides to Toronto theme park rides?


Apr 3, 2001
Going to WDW for first time ever in a couple of weeks!! DD(8) hates roller coasters/fast rides. Can anyone compare the following WDW rides to local Toronto rides, so I can judge what might be okay for DD?

WDW Splash Mounter - is the drop a lot bigger than Ontario Place wilderness log flume? (DD will go on that sometimes for the scenery -- but doesn't really like the drop.)

WDW Big Thunder Railroad - how does this compare to Wonderland Ghoster Coaster or Thunder Mountain? (DD won't go on either of those)

Star Tours - how does this compare to Ontario Place Simulator Ride (DD doesn't mind the bumpiness of that, but will shut her eyes for the "dizzy" parts).

Pirates of the Caribbean/Maelstrom -- I have read there are "drops" on these -- how big are they?

Any insights/opinions would be much appreciated!
I have been to many theme parks, but not the one in Toronto. Just to give you an idea though, Disney takes a lot of pride in providing their visitors with the top notch rides. They are all so very smoothe, high tech and very visual. Splash mountain for example is not just a ride in a log. You go though a story before going down. Rock and roller coaster is also not just a roller coaster. You get to see a little movie clip before. Tower of terror and the haunted mansion, the actors provide just as much enjoyment as the ride. There is no drop in the pirates of caribbean, and honestly, kids were enjoying the rides just as much, if not more than the adults, even if they were a bit scary. Some rides do have height restrictions, so you will know which are appropriate and which are not. Some rides at other amusement parks just can't even compare to WDW. Hope I helped a bit.

Hi! You asked a great question!

I agree with the previous post that you can ALMOST not compare the rides, but I think I know what you are talking about, so here's my opinion ºoº

Not mentioned, BUT I think Space Mountain can be compared to Thunder Run (I think that's the name) at Paramount Canada's Wonderland. That's the ride that goes inside the Wonderland mountain. It's dark, fast and has little white lights, just like Space Mountain. The lines are about the same length, although I think WDW's line are longer. It's nice the walk thru Space Mountain. If you are interested in Space Mountain, you might want to take the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride. It's a VERY tame slow ride thru Tomorrowland and you get a glimpse at Space Mountain.

Pirates of the Caribbean is a GREAT TAME RIDE! The dip is extremely small. We plan on taking our 1 year old on that ride. It can be a bit dark, if that's a concern.

Splash Mountain's drop is comparable to the Wonderland Timber Wolf ride. Except you get more Disney fun at WDW.

To be frank, if you LOVE thrill rides, Wonderland blows the doors off of WDW (SORRY), but Wonderland WILL NEVER capture the DISNEY MAGIC!

Wonderland's characters are cheesy Flintstone, Jetson types.


1975 - off site
1977 - off site
1987 - Indian Rock Shores
1990 - Holiday Inn International Drive/Daytona Beach
1998 - KIDS VILLAGE, GIVE KIDS THE WORLD, Make-a-Wish trip with 4.5 year old daughter born ill),
2001 APRIL - CBR - ON SITE FIRST TIME! YIPPY! With dd 7 years old, ds 15 months old!

Hi Mloren! I'll try a take on this one, too. On our last trip in November DS (doesn't like coasters at all) was 7 and DD (would sky dive if we would let her, but hates loud noises) was 4.

Pirates - Very tame ride in terms of motion, but some children don't like the dark and/or skeletons. One or two very minor drops. Tell your daughter that my grandmother rode this one when she was over 80. DS loved it and DD liked it, except for the noise of the cannons.

Maelstrom - Again very tame in terms of motion, but some children don't like the 3 headed troll. Although you go backwards at one point, it's very minor, and we also took our DS on it when he was 2 1/2 without any problems. Both kids liked this one.

Splash Mountain - I think the pitch is about the same as the flume ride at Ontario Place, but it's probably 2? 3? times longer. The theming on this ride is lovely, and there are a few earlier small drops, with just one big drop near the end. I will admit that I wouldn't have taken my grandmoher on this one, though! DS liked it and was glad he tried it, while DD wanted to go on it again, and again, and again...

Big Thunder - We marketed this one as a "railroad" rather than "roller coaster" and then it was down for rehab on our last trip. My memory from previous trips is that it is a fairly smooth ride, though, and pretty tame as roller coasters go.

Star Tours - Haven't tried the simulator ride at Ontario Place, but Star Tours is a bit on the bumpy side. Sounds like your DD already has that one covered, though, if she's happy enough to close her eyes during the dizzy bits. DS thought it was pretty good, but DD found it too bumpy.

You might want to try Goofy's Barnstormer in Toontown first, since it's probably the tamest coaster on the property.

Since I seem to be writing an essay in any case,
;) I just thought I'd add that to me the real appeal of Disney is that most of the rides are truly designed for the whole family. Even if your daughter decides that some of these rides aren't for her, I'm sure you'll find dozens of things to enjoy together.

Also, are you familiar with switching off (AKA the child swap)? If you have 2 adults you can line up and tell the CM that you want to switch off. One adult waits with the child (or children) who won't be riding while the other members of the party ride, and then you switch places. That saves you lots of time in lines and keeps everyone safe!



Co-moderator - Restaurants Board & Canadian Board
I don't about comparing the rides between WDW and some of the Canadian places as I haven't been to many but after a day at Wonderland where the washrooms were disgusting in the first hours of the morning and so bad by 5pm that I waited until we got back to our hotel in Barrie, I can honestly say go to WDW! Also the staff at Wonderland were only polite if you were spending money on the games to win prizes on. I'm sorry to say this ( it does sound a little un-patriotic) but when it comes to the tourism and looking after paying customers you can't beat WDW or Disneyland and a lot of other tourist areas in the US!

Fair Winds and Following Seas...
Ok here is my take on the rides WDW the rides are not as thrilling as one would say as CWL BUT they are way more fun there are stories behind all the rides along with all the great stuff going on while in line it takes your mind off the wait if you have to wait unlike Wonderland where all it is is a long boring wait. Big Thunder mountain railroad this is a tame coaster and to make it even more so sit in the front car as the drops are not large the front cars are almost to the bottom of the drops before the brakes are released fully. Space mountain again me but in the dark this makes it more tense than if it were in the daylight or under bright lights. It has a few unexpected turns that can catch you by suprise as it is in the dark. Splash Mountain this is such a great ride Timberwolf Falls has nothing on this ride as it has a great story to it all throught the ride there is the one big drop at the end which gets you up to 45 miles per hour in about 65 feet or so but you really don't notice it because of all the great things that you just finished seeing inside the attraction. Star tours is like what days of thunder and the james bond ride are like at Wonderland so no real terror or worries with that one. I hope this helps and if you have any more questions just ask we will all be glad to try and help. Just remember as it was said before you really can't compare any of these attractions at Disney to the rides at Wonderland as they are just that rides where Disney puts that something extra special into everything they do and thus they are attractions
Darren & Lis

Thanks for the responses everyone. It helps.

Just to clarify the intent of my original question: I wasn't trying to compare the merits of Wonderland versus WDW. I was just trying to understand the "roughness" of some WDW rides (and Wonderland is the only thing nearby to compare to). My DD is quite timid about rides.

CindyAnn: My DD loved your comment about your grandmother riding Pirates of the Caribbean. She says she will go on it now!

Thanks again.



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