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: You swing, swirl, whoosh, and whirl past gigantic spherical screens and real-life creatures, immersed in spectacular special effects and coming face-to-face with some of the Wizarding World's scariest characters. It's by far the most elaborate ride in Orlando.
- Mako (SeaWorld): Orlando’s longest (nearly a mile of track), fastest (73 mpg), and tallest (200 feet) is billed as a “hypercoaster” with “relentless air time,” which means there are lots of humps and drops, including several over water, that combined with its deceptively loose restraint system make you feel weightless. It's our favorite coaster in Florida.
- Manta (SeaWorld): Gliding, swooping, and diving (this one's a very smooth ride) at speeds of up to 56 mph, you'll fly face-down and headfirst (yikes!) along some 3,359 feet of twisted steel track. You'll spin through four inversions (including inline spins, flat spins, and a pretzel loop) and drop a heart-pounding 113 feet to within feet of the water below before it's over (which is in just under 3 min.)—in the end throwing out a spray of water some 14 feet high and some 60 feet long.
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (Universal Studios): You're the star as this high-speed, musically themed multisensory thriller has riders rocking out (while being recorded by a sophisticated on- and off-board video system) at speeds of up to 65 mph, twisting and turning, dipping and diving along the intertwining track set some 17 stories above the walkways of Universal Studios and the CityWalk lagoon. And did I mention the record-breaking noninverted loop? It's the world's largest. So crank up the tunes (you get to pick 'em ahead of time) and enjoy the ride; after it's over, you can pick up a copy (for a fee) of your ride—think music video with a high-tech twist.
- 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 feel as green as the coaster when you're done.
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (Disney's Hollywood Studios): You'll launch from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, heading straight into the first of several inversions as 120 speakers in your "stretch limo" blast Aerosmith at (yeeeow!) 32,000 watts right into your ears. To add to the thrill of this indoor coaster, the entire experience takes place indoors and in the dark.
- 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 tracks are intertwined, but the trains are no longer dispatched so that you get a sensation of near misses.
- Summit Plummet (Disney's Blizzard Beach): This one starts slow, with a lift ride (even in Florida's 100°F/38°C dog days) to the 120-foot summit. But it finishes with the (self-proclaimed) world's fastest body slide—a test of your courage and swimsuit—as it goes virtually straight down and has you moving sans vehicle at 60 mph by the end.
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (Islands of Adventure): Combining the best of all worlds—3-D movies, a moving simulator car, and live effects—this is one of the greatest family-friendly rides ever created. Your vehicle spins, twists, pitches, and dives through elaborate sets as Spider-Man tries to save the world (and you) from annihilation. The chase ends in a dramatic, simulated 400-foot drop that feels an awful lot like the real thing, yet it won't even ruffle Grandma's hairdo. It doesn't offer the same type of thrills as a coaster, but it's sure to get your Spidey senses tingling.
- Kraken (SeaWorld): Named for a mythological creature, this stomach-churning ride is a beast! This floorless, open-sided coaster reaches speeds of up to 65 mph as it combines steep climbs, deep drops, and seven tremendous loops reaching high above water before plunging below the ground, to make it one of the most aggressive and intense coasters anywhere.
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.