I’m lucky that I only suffer from occasional back pain, but I still have to be careful on some of the attractions at Walt Disney World. Here is a park-by-park list of rides I avoid if my back is acting up.
Cramming myself into the small seat is one thing, but not knowing when to expect the next twist and turn since it’s in complete darkness makes Space Mountain a killer for bad backs.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The rickety ol’ tracks can strain a rickety ol’ back. Riding with someone in your row makes this one tolerable though; you won’t slide around as much.
It looks so mild, but these mini race cars can be pretty rough on the backside.
Mad Tea Party
Yes, I’m the one who usually insists on spinning our tea cup as fast as possible, so I guess I’m to blame for this one being on the list.
It usually doesn’t bother me, but I can see how the beginning part of Test Track with all the stopping, starting and turning could aggravate an aching back.
This is an amazing film in World Showcase, but standing in one position for 14 minutes puts a lot of pressure on my lower back.
Impressions de France
Think O Canada!, but four minutes longer.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
It’s smoother than Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but the inversions and not being able to brace for twists and turns (due to complete darkness) secure Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’s spot on the list.
Toy Story Mania!
It’s not the actual ride part of the attraction (though I can see how the sudden shifts of the ride vehicles to the next game might aggravate bad backs) it’s that darn line. Even on a good day, you’ll still have to stand in line for an hour.
Bench Seating at Shows
Oh, how I wish the benches were padded for Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Kilimanjaro Safaris doesn’t bother me as long as I ride toward the front of the jeep. The back seats offer a much bumpier ride.
It’s an awesome coaster and smooth by most standards, but as with any thrill ride it’s best to use caution.
This one gets me every time. The hydraulic lifting that occurs as the ride vehicle moves along the track can really inflame an aching back.
What is the word for a slight case of whiplash?
Tips for Theme Park-Goers with Bad Backs…
1. Watch POV ride videos on Undercover Tourist’s YouTube channel before your trip. You’ll have a better idea of what’s in store.
2. Heed the warning signs! If the sign outside the attraction says “Must be free from neck or back problems” there’s probably a good reason.
3. Take frequent breaks to rest and stretch.
4. Rent an Electronic Convenience Vehicle (ECV).
Happy (& Healthy) Traveling!