Back problems - bad rides


Can you guys give me some idea of what rides could pose a problem for someone with back problems? I had lower back surgery last September and I still have occasional soreness and some slight pain. I have been hitting some balls (I play softball but not since the surgery) and I’ve been working out in the gym pretty often so I’m not THAT bad off so I’m more concerned with the REALLY back breaking rides.

I’m going to start off with Space Mountain because I remember that to be pretty demanding on a bad back.


I agree with Space Mountain, it is pretty rough. Also, Dinosaur at AK is pretty hard on the body!


Safari ride at AK can be rough on the back too


DH just told me that the Rock n’ Roller Coaster at MGM and Test Track at Epcot might cause problems too. He rides alot more than I do.


DO NOT get on Dinosaur or the Kalamari River ride in AK. (Yes, I know it’s not called the Kalamari, but I can’t think of what it really is. And calamari is on my brain at the moment. I love it.)

OK. Fast question. Who eats fennel on a custard? Sorry. I’m watching Iron Chef America. I’m a bit flighty at times.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Stay away from those two rides, as well as the Pooh ride in MK. You bounce through a part of it.


Big Thunder Mountain can be a bit jarring depending on your location. My experience is that the middle of the train is the worst.

My mom has major back issues and is always careful what she rides. We talked her in to Splash Mountain in March and she LOVED it! She rode it twice or three times that trip. She would never do ToT, RcRc, EE, M:S, TT, BTMRR, SpaMtn, DinoSaur. She has done Kilamenjaro once, but she would not go on it again. She also doesn’t do the Indy Speedway (afraid someone may hit her from behind).


I have a bad back too. Splash mt. and rockn roller coaster don’t bother me at all. BTMR and Space mt. along with Dinosaur are pretty jarring. Even Goofy’s barnstormer is jarring and the primeval whirl at Ak is kind of jerky too.


Star Tours can be quite jarring (not sure if someone mentioned that one yet).


My dad has a mildly bad back and usually has to start skipping rides by the end of our trip - he generally takes a pass on second rides on Tower of Terror, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.


Oh my gosh, I am so happy you agree with me about the Barnstormer! That really bothers my back! Also, I think Big Thunder Mt. RR is worse on your back if you sit in the very back than if you sit up front. I know they also say to avoid the Indy cars, due to bumping.


I would imagine Mission:Space would be off limits too for a bad back(even the milder one,as it has some bumping and bouncing).


there are so many rides that could give you probs to be honest ( I agree with all those listed) but all rides will have a ‘warning’ sign stating if you have certain health issues then maybe you should’nt ride them. Just make sure you read them. I think it really depends on the severity of your back complaint as to what you ride. I feel for you though. Every now and again I throw mine out and I know the pain! :flowers:…for you xxx


Without knowing how tender your back is, or what areas are painful, I can’t give you any tips other than, you’ll probably want to stay away from any “E” ticket rides. No coasters, no simulators, etc. I have a bad back, or what should be considered a bad back, but even 3 weeks after throwing my back (or locking a vertebra) I was able to ride Hulk without much pain, but overall, I’m probably, especially at that time, in better shape than you. I can ride coasters even while experienceing some discomfort, but probably shouldn’t. Everyone has given some good suggestions, but it’s going to come down to you and you alone, because only you can really know if you can hack it or not. But if you’re in doubt, then pass.


Spaceship earth always kills me. Seat is just hard and uncomfortable. Plus you are in it for a long time.

Then don’t forget It’s A Small World…no wait, that one doesn’t kill me - it makes me WISH someone would put me out of my misery. :biggrin:


I would definitely avoid Dinosaur at AK. I had a sore neck for 2 days after riding that, and I can usually ride anything. I also have ridden just about every other ride at WDW (except EE- doing that in Oct) and have never had a problem.


i have had two back surgeries and have a failed back syndrome. the only ride that i do not go on is mission space, dinosaur is rough but since i love it so much i go on it anyway.just take the old pain pill afterwards if it flares up. i have constant pain so i figure i live so much of my life differently due to this messed up back disney is the one place I demand to behave "normaly "


Yeah, I’ve been on Dinosaur a couple of times (pre surgery) and didn’t find it to be that bad. Same with Test Track. Mission: Space and Space Mountain I think I’ll definitely skip (is there a theme there?). The older rides I know what to expect but I guess it’s mostly the newer rides I need to be more cautious about.

Thanks for the info.


I’m still recovering from a spine injury as a result of a car accident. So, when I went to WDW a few weeks ago I was REALLY nervous about the rides.

Personally, the most difficult rides for me turned out to be the boat rides where a back-log of boats can result in ‘bumping’. On the evil doll ride (I now truly believe it’s evil) we had a backlog and the boat behind us slammed into our boat. I had shooting pains up and down my back. Contrast that to the smooth, pain-free, ride I had on Big Thunder Mountain…go figure.

I’ll pass along what my physical therapist suggested. Start of small and then work your way up. I did the usual Pirates, Haunted Mansion, etc and then tried Splash Mountain, and then Big Thunder Mountain.


I had lower back surgery in may 03 and went to WDW in July 04. I rode most all things but Space Moutain and Dinosaur were the worst for me. I would ride Space Moutain again but not Dinosaur. Also Mission Space really made my back feel good. :smile:


Is it because of the centrifuge? I could see that. If you can get past the need to hurl “in space,” I’ll bet hurtling through space would make your back feel excellent!