Orlando’s Roller Coaster Rundown: From Wild to Mild
The list of rip-roaring rides in Orlando — Theme Park Capital of the World® — covers everything from wild roller coasters like SeaWorld Orlando's Mako, to milder and family-friendly rides like Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida and the Barnstormer at Disney's Magic Kingdom. Whether you're chasing the biggest thrills you can find or looking for something more kid-friendly, we've put together your go-to guide on Orlando's roller coasters.
Roller Coaster Rides on the Wild Side
Orlando has some of the most extreme coasters in the United States, delivering heart-pounding G-Forces, wild drops and high speeds to get your adrenaline flowing. Here's our go-to list of the wildest rides in Orlando.
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida takes off straight up a lift hill before blasting down and around a loop, bursting through movie-set scenery at 65 mph. You can even pick your own soundtrack before takeoff for a different experience every time.
- Incredible Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure launches riders from 0 to 40 mph in just 2 seconds, for one of the most intense beginnings to a coaster, ever. This powerhouse ride reaches a top speed of 67 mph and features seven inversions, so when they say "remove all loose articles before riding," they have a good reason.
- Rock ‘N' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios invites you to rock out aboard this enclosed, black-lit, hyper-accelerated coaster. Set to the music of Aerosmith, the ride will have you singing — or screaming — at speeds up to 57mph.
- Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando offers a smooth, floorless ride through a series of dips and inversions at up to 65mph.
- Mako at SeaWorld Orlando is Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster. Named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, the coaster speeds up to 73 mph and up to 200 feet high. During the ride, you'll surge through a shipwreck reef and experience several G Force-heavy dips.
- Manta at SeaWorld Orlando offers a unique take on thrill rides as the first "flying position" coaster in Florida. Riders can dive through four inversions face down and head first, while reaching a top speed of 56 mph.
Milder Roller Coaster Fun
If crazy loops and high rides are a bit much, don't worry: Orlando has plenty of milder coasters that still promise tons of fun. Special effects and elaborate environments enhance many of these roller coasters for immersive dives through the world of Harry Potter, Mount Everest, space and beyond.
- White Lightning at Fun Spot America is Orlando's first wooden roller coaster. Smoother than many other wooden roller coasters, this ride offers a lot of twists and airtime hills, with a top speed of 44.3 mph.
- Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida launches riders from a complete standstill to a top speed around 45 mph in a matter of seconds, as you flee from the curse of the mummy. This dark, enclosed ride was designed to combine the spooks of a haunted house with the thrills of a coaster, delivering atmosphere and speed, but no inversions.
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida is a mind-blowing, multi-dimensional thrill ride that puts you right into the films, with holograms of beloved characters, the evil Lord Voldemort and escaped dragons, along with 3D elements aboard a zero-inversion coaster.
- Freedom Flyer at Fun Spot America whips through tight turns at up to 34 mph, delivering fun G-Forces along the way. The suspended family coaster has four special seats offering VR headsets for riders who want an extra-immersive experience battling massive robots in a crumbling cityscape.
- Space Mountain at Disney's Magic Kingdom is the oldest coaster in Florida, yet still a popular ride, with its quaint, space-age setting. Single-file cars zoom around each other on the star-lit twisted mass of rails at a top speed of 28 mph for a classic Disney experience.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney's Magic Kingdom is another list-topping choice. This mine-train roller coaster rushes riders through abandoned mining tunnels and over a western frontier, reaching speeds of 36 mph.
- Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom provides an immersive and atmospheric ride. The mountain-climbing coaster includes thrills and hills, but no upside-down action, with top speeds of 50 mph.
Roller Coasters for the Entire Family
- Shamu Express at SeaWorld Orlando is a first-coaster experience for many kids, featuring a few mild swoops and dives at 28mph, all aboard Shamu's back.
- Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom invites the whole family to spin and slide on a time-machine coaster back to the dinosaur age. The madcap maze of curves and drops reaches 29 mph for a twisty, but not too-speedy, ride.
- Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster at Universal Studios Florida was the park's first roller coaster and still brings all the fun without any daredevil drops. Even small children can get in on the coaster craze with this one, which reaches a top speed of 22mph.
- Flight of the Hippogriff at Universal's Islands of Adventure offers thrills, as well as stunning views of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village. Riders can spiral and dive at a top speed of 29 mph, swooping past Hagrid's hut for an encounter with magical creatures straight out of the Harry Potter universe.
- Coastersaurus at LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a wooden coaster that curves and dips around a prehistoric jungle of animated and life-sized LEGO® brick dinosaurs, reaching speeds up to 32 mph.
- Flying School at LEGOLAND Florida Resort launches five stories above the ground, sending you on a twisted course. But, don't be alarmed — the suspended coaster reaches a top speed of 25 mph.
- Project X at LEGOLAND Florida Resort is another family coaster that explores the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability, as you race a life-size LEGO®TECHNICTM vehicle along a wild roller coaster track at speeds up to 35 mph.
- The Dragon at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, an indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster, is all about fun. Explore life within the enchanted LEGOLAND Florida Resort Castle, all while feeling the breath of a dragon on your face.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney's Magic Kingdom navigates hairpin turns around a mountain, through a countryside and deep into a mine shaft at a top speed of 34 mph. Riders also come upon a familiar sight: the Seven Dwarfs hard at work, whistling and singing while collecting diamonds, rubies and other colorful jewels.
- The Barnstormer at Disney's Magic Kingdom is a junior roller coaster inviting riders to flight above Storybook Circus with Goofy and his homemade stunt airplanes. Reaching 25 mph, this coaster is a gentle jaunt kids and adults will both love.
Looking Ahead to the "Roller Coaster Future"
There's always something new coming to Orlando, and the next few years are especially exciting for thrill seekers. Several brand new roller coasters are planned across the destination, featuring beloved characters and even breaking world-records, with some debuting as early as next summer.
- A TRON coaster at Disney's Magic Kingdom is on the way. Likely similar to the TRON Lightcycle Power Run attraction at Shanghai Disneyland, the ride will offer access to the energy, lights and excitement of TRON's high-tech universe. The new Magic Kingdom attraction will sit in an entirely new area next to Space Mountain.
- Skyscraper, planned as the centerpiece of the upcoming Skyplex complex, will be Orlando's first polercoaster, using an observation tower as its main support structure. Upon completion, it will become the tallest roller coaster in the world at over 500 feet and will feature both the steepest drop and highest inversion at 65 mph. Skyscraper is currently expected to open in 2020.
- Slinky Dog Dash at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be a family coaster attraction where riders will zip, dodge and dash around turns and drops created by Andy to make Slinky's coils stretch to their limits. The ride, along with the rest of the Toy Story Land, is scheduled to open in summer 2018.
- A Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster at Disney's Epcot will open in 2021 where Universe of Energy is currently located in Future World. While few details have been released, the coaster will feature elements of the action-packed world from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
- A new Harry Potter coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure will open in 2019, taking you deeper into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. The ride promises to transport you to thrilling places, but few details have been released so far. It will replace both coasters of Hogsmeade's Dragon Challenge, closing Sept. 4, 2017.
Cover image: Mako at SeaWorld Orlando
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Written by Cory O’Born, Public Relations Representative at Visit Orlando. She enjoys puns, getting lost in foreign countries, petting every dog she sees and uncovering hidden gems in her hometown of Orlando.