Sweet Emotion! That’s what I feel when I get the chance to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith. This indoor steel roller coaster is the ultimate in quick thrills at Walt Disney World. If you are a roller coaster fan then this is a can’t miss ride. If you are an Aerosmith fan, this is a can’t miss ride. If you are a fan of both, then get ready to rock!
As I have said on previous podcasts, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is my favorite Walt Disney World park, and one of the reasons is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith. I love walking through the studios teal blue ticket gates and then making my way down Hollywood Boulevard. Once I make that right turn onto Sunset Boulevard I get even more excited! This street just screams out fun. There at the end is the massive Hollywood Tower of Terror and just to the left is the entrance to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. These are two of my absolute favorite rides at Walt Disney World and having them right next to each other is so much fun.
This magical piece of Disney ride real estate was once just a cast member parking lot. While the park opened on May 1, 1989, it took another 10 years before it was developed to include Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith. There was discussion at one point to create a roller coaster that actually went out over the adjacent World Drive, the main road just outside the park. While that would have been pretty cool, I’m glad they decided to make the ride an indoor coaster. It seems Aerosmith was pleased with the final result as well. Before the grand opening, band members Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 12 times in a row on June 11, 1999. That day the ride really was starring Aerosmith!
As you Walk This Way into the ride’s courtyard pay attention to the upside down stretch limo riding along the track of guitar strings. This is your first clue to the fact you may need Nine Lives to survive this ride. This is a full throttle roller coaster with three inversions. It is not for the faint of heart. After you pass under the main arch, let your eyes follow the guitar strings all the way around until they meet up with the 40 foot tall candy apple red guitar. This is a great photo op just outside the entrance to the queue you don’t want to miss.
When it comes to the queue of this ride you have three options: Stand by, Fastpass +, and Single Rider. Since this is the first Single Rider line we have encountered on the WDW Ride Guide Podcast, let’s take a minute to familiarize ourselves. For those that don’t have a Fastpass +, may be riding alone, or dislike waiting, the Single Rider line is awesome. At Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith, you will find the Single Rider line to the far right of the queue. This line will run you up to the same spot as those with a Fastpass + reservation. Fastpass + riders still take priority over the Single Riders. Unfortunately, you will miss seeing some of GForce records as you bypass that part of the standby queue but this is a small price to pay when the waits are long. Once the Fastpass + riders are let through you will be worked into the main queue just before you go into the “recording room,” a staging room just before you enter the final boarding area. After leaving the “recording room,” you will veer left down the Single Rider line while everyone else stays to the right. At this point you can expect to wait just a bit. A cast member at the end of the queue will fill up the two-seat stretch limo cars with the main line first. If there is a party with an odd number, then they turn to the Single Rider line to fill the odd spot on the 24 passenger limo. How quickly the Single Rider line dwindles down here is dependent on how many parties with odd numbers there are. So, you may have to wait a little while at this point, but by utilizing the Single Rider line you are able to bypass the majority of the standby queue. Of course, I highly recommend Fastpass + on this ride, but if you aren’t able to obtain that then this is a great secondary option to ride with as little wait as possible when the lines are long. You won’t get to sit next to your favorite person, or even someone you know, but you can wait in the gift shop to be reunited and watch for their ride picture to be displayed in the meantime.
Regardless of which line you take you will all end up at the Recording Studio where you will see Aerosmith just finishing up a studio session. The band is in a rush to get to their concert which happens to be across the gridlocked town of L.A. Ever the crowd pleasers, Stephen Tyler insists that their band manager get all of you backstage passes and find a way to get you to the concert in time. As the band hops in their limo out back, the manager calls for a stretch, no better make that a super stretch limo for all those at the recording studio.
As you leave the recording studio, you enter the back alley of GForce records where it feels likely you can run into a Dude (Looks Like a Lady). The street is dark and dirty, the walls are covered in peeling paint, the air is filled with the sound of traffic, and there is a real energy as you await your stretch limo. While you wait you will see one of the 6 different limos used on the ride pull up, load the VIP’s, and then countdown to peel out. You can tell what music will be playing on your coaster by the license plate on the limo you ride. Now, I don’t like spoilers, so I am not going to tell you what plate corresponds to what Aerosmith song, but if you like you can find that information over at themickeywiki.com.
For the roller coaster junkies out there, you can request to sit in the front seat of the stretch limo. The consensus is that the front seat on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is the most thrilling as you pull the most G’s and have no idea what is coming without another car in front of you to give it away. If this sounds like a good idea to you, just tell the cast member who assigns seats that you want to sit in the front. They will ask how many are in your party and then direct you to a special queue for those awaiting the front seat. You will probably have to watch a couple of extra limos come and go, but many consider this a worthy trade off for the coveted front car. For any riders wanting seats with a little extra room, request an odd numbered row. This will put you at the front of one of the cars and give you some extra space.
When the time comes for you to climb into your limo seat, you’d better be ready to rock! One of the coolest things about this coaster is that each seat has its very own speaker pumping some of Aerosmith’s greatest hits behind your ears. But before the music begins, you get a traffic update as you sit at the edge of a tunnel. It seems there is some highway congestion, but lucky for you there is an alternate route! Next you are told to face forward, keep your head back and get ready to rock. Man, my adrenaline is pumping just thinking about the anticipation of that take off! When the countdown hits zero, the music starts blaring and you are shot into the tunnel.
0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds! That is twice as fast as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. How’s that for speed? There is no slow crank up a tall hill on this roller coaster. You are instantly screaming along with the music as you shoot into the dark landscape of Hollywood. If you can keep your eyes open after pulling 5 g’s through the first loop you will see a variety of highway signs. These signs pop in the dark thanks to the help of black lights and provide just enough decoration to keep the theming alive and give a sense of when you are upside down or sideways. I really enjoy the balance of dark and light here as it is just enough to keep you oriented but still guessing at the same time.
Thanks to your willingness to get Back in The Saddle Again, you arrive across town just a minute and a half after you left and make it to the concert in record time. Your super stretch limo pulls up to the theater and you are off loaded directly onto the red carpet. You will definitely want to stop in the gift shop to look at your photo. The candid pic is taken at the very beginning during that short 3 second span when you are blasting off at 60 mph. Needless to say, there will be some fun expressions as a result.
As I said at the beginning of the blog, this is my favorite roller coaster in all of Walt Disney World. The fun rock ‘n’ roll theme, the fantastic use of music during the ride, and the body-jolting beginning of this coaster make it so much fun. Of course, it is only fun if you like high speeds, serious g-force, and loud rock music! If you or anyone in your family is on the fence when it comes to roller coasters, this is most likely not the ride for you. My parents and my sister will not go on this ride. If you aren’t sure, I recommend Space Mountain over at the Magic Kingdom as a precursor to this ride. Space Mountain is another steel coaster that takes place in the dark. However, it has no loops or inversions and only gets up to about 30 miles an hour. If Space Mountain is too much for you to handle, then you might be Cryin’ after riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. If you like Livin’ on The Edge and want more than you should be more than F.I.N.E fine with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring: Aerosmith. It is Crazy and Amazing!