Orlando lays claim to some of the biggest and baddest thrill rides and roller coasters anywhere -- certainly one of the largest collections of them in any one locale. So if your idea of fun is to twist and turn at speeds only a jet should reach, dive uncontrollably from dizzying heights to below ground level and back, or see just how far up into your throat your stomach can go -- this is the place for you. Here are the city's top stomach churners and G-force generators.
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure): The queue, as much a part of the experience as the ride itself, is signature Universal -- and, like the ride, simply brilliant. The thrills, however, come once you board: The robotic arm swings and swirls, whooshes and whirls past the gigantic spherical screen, is immersed in spectacular special effects, and brings riders face to face with some of the Wizarding World's scariest characters. It's by far the best ride in Orlando.
- Incredible Hulk Coaster (Islands of Adventure): It's the smoothest ride in town, but you'll still blast from 0 to 40 mph in 2 seconds flat (on your way up to 60 mph), spin upside-down more than 100 feet above the ground, dive straight back down only to spin your way through seven rollovers, and then drop deep below ground on this big, green, mean machine. (You might glow as green as the coaster when you're done.)
- Dragon Challenge (Islands of Adventure): Regardless of which dragon you choose -- the Chinese Fireball or the Hungarian Horntail -- your legs will dangle below as you sharply twist and turn through five inversions at speeds of 55 to 60 mph. The two intertwined coasters come within inches of each other (12 to be exact), only just missing a collision, not two but three times.
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (Islands of Adventure): Combining the best of all worlds -- 3-D movie effects, a moving simulator car, and live action -- this is the second-best ride in Orlando (coming in right behind the Forbidden Journey). Your vehicle spins, twists, pitches, and dives through elaborate sets as Spider-Man tries to save the world (and you) from total annihilation. The chase ends in a dramatic, simulated 400-foot drop that feels an awful lot like the real thing. It doesn't offer the same type of thrills as a coaster, but it's sure to get your Spidey senses tingling.
Best Water Rides
- Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls (Islands of Adventure): Dudley Do-Right and Snidely Whiplash are once again at odds, and you're caught right in the middle. This flume sends you plummeting not once but twice, and that second drop sends you 15 feet below the surface of the water before you make your escape.
- Jurassic Park River Adventure (Islands of Adventure): A seemingly calm tour through the age of the dinosaurs suddenly takes a turn for the worse. Before you know it, your only escape route involves a dramatic 85-foot drop almost straight down -- it's touted as the "longest, steepest, fastest water descent ever built."
- Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges (Islands of Adventure): Up to 12 riders splash and churn through a wacky series of twists and turns and dips and drops (some pretty intense) in order to help Popeye save his sweetie, Olive Oyl, from the dastardly clutches of Bluto. No one will walk away from this one without getting completely soaked -- it's the wettest and wildest raft ride in town.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.