Most coaster enthusiasts will agree that sitting in the front row gives you the best experience. First off, you can easily see what is coming without other guests blocking your view. Also, you get the full effect of the speed, as there is nothing obstructing the feel of the oncoming air blowing in your face.
There are theme parks that have designated queue lines for those willing to wait for these seats, but this isn’t the case with Disney. Today, I’m going to talk about ways to increase your chances of getting the front row on many of the Walt Disney World thrill rides.
There are a handful of rides at the Magic Kingdom that make a difference when sitting in the front row. My favorite is Space Mountain. When sitting in the front “seat,” there is really nothing blocking the rider from the waist up. It definitely gives the illusion that this ride is faster than the actual 28 mph top speed. If you have 3 or more riders, you’ll have at least a 50% shot at one of you sitting in the front. However, if you ask politely, cast members will typically allow you to wait for the front seat if you weren’t already assigned that spot.
The next Magic Kingdom attraction that is better in the front row is Splash Mountain. You have the best views and you will typically get the wettest while leading the charge down the mountain. Again, most cast members will oblige your front row request if you ask nicely. Most guests go right from Splash over to Thunder Mountain. However, this is not a coaster where the front seat is best. With the engine pulling the coaster, you actually have an obstructed view when sitting in the first car. My favorite spot on Thunder is the very last seat.
The last two rides I want to mention at Magic Kingdom are The Barnstormer and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The Barnstormer is another where you can request the front and it is usually granted. However, the jury is still out on the Mine Train. Like Thunder Mountain, a cast member quickly assigns guests into the next available row. However, I’ve heard of guests who have successfully scored the front row by asking for it.
Now, it is time to discuss one of the best kept secrets in all of Walt Disney World. I’m talking about the ability to guarantee a front row seat for both Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. Both of these coasters have small waiting areas for those who request a front seat from the “row assigning” cast members. The reason I call this a best kept secret, is that I rarely see anyone taking advantage of this perk. The truth is that most guests have no idea about the front row access. There are no signs or labels anywhere, and the waiting spot for Everest is actually out of view of those who are next in line for the ride. All you have to do is ask the cast member for the front, and they will direct you into this area. Most of the time, you will only wait for one or two coasters before you are sent up to the front.
So, the next time you find yourself at one these Walt Disney World thrill rides, ask for the front row. It can make a fun attraction even better. It can also make you feel like a VIP, even for just a few minutes!
I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!