A guide to the best rides in Orlando

As you might expect, the world’s theme park capital has no shortage of incredible rollercoasters, 3D rides and interactive experiences. Use this guide to find Orlando’s best rides and attractions.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Epcot
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney Springs
Universal Studios
Universal’s Island of Adventure
SeaWorld Orlando
Aquatica

Other theme parks in Florida

Busch Gardens
Legoland Florida

 

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando

This exciting railroad journey takes guests through the seven dwarfs’ diamond mine on a train designed to look like it’s been hand-carved by the dwarfs themselves. As the train trundles along, expect to see animated dwarfs, bright lights and music from the classic Snow White film.

 

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid Disney World

Watch your favourite mermaid tale come to life on this whimsical musical adventure, which takes you on a journey through the waves, playing some of the best songs from The Little Mermaid. Meet some of the characters and enjoy an underwater adventure like no other.

 

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at the Magic Kingdom

One of the original Disney World rides, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is still a family favourite. Take a journey up into the air aboard Dumbo the elephant, singing along to the carnival songs and flying over Storybook Circus.

 

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain orlando

Based on the old Disney movie Song of the South, this hair-raising water ride tells the tale of Br’er Rabbit. The ride begins in a loading area where you’ll board an eight-passenger log flume, seated in rows of 2. As the flume departs it slowly ascends a steep chain lift before taking a rollicking ride through the wetlands of old-time Georgia, USA. Be prepared to get soaked during the 9-minute aquatic adventure – the 5-story splashdown reaching speeds of up to 40mph.

 

The Barnstormer

The Barnstormer disney world

This exciting ride is great for young kids, who get the chance to fly above Storybook Circus with Goofy and his stunt aeroplanes. The Great Goofini’s daredevil act begins in the grand circus marquee, swooping through the sky with gentle bends and dips.

 

Recommended places to stay in Orlando

 

Disney’s Epcot

Frozen Ever After

The Frozen Ever After ride at Disney in Orlando

Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase, the ‘Frozen Ever After’ Ride is inspired by the movie spectacular, Frozen. This attraction tells the tale of Arendelle, taking you through the enchanted kingdom on a winter adventure. Explore the movie’s main highlights and meet the two princesses for the ultimate Frozen experience.

 

Mission: Space

Experience an out-of-this-world space launch on this shuttle simulator. Slingshot around the moon and dodge meteors, getting a taste for life as an astronaut along the way. From the Planetary Plaza and the Simulation Lab to the shuttle itself, every stage of this ride is jam-packed with entertainment for all ages.

 

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

Explore Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion with a gentle boat ride along the river. With cultural sights and 3 feathered amigos at every turn, learn about Mexican culture through videos, projections and live-action footage.

 

Test Track

test track epcot orlando

This interactive driving experience begins with designing your dream vehicle. When it’s ready, buckle up in a 6-passenger ‘simulation car’ and put your new creation to the test. Cruise and steer along with this speedy Disney ride.

 

Spaceship Earth


Take a tour through time and explore the history of communication, from the Stone Age to modern-day computing with this ultimate learning experience.

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Legend of the Forbidden Mountain ride at the Animal Kingdom in Orlando

An expedition with a twist, this rollercoaster ride ventures to the Himalayas, taking in a series of spectacular peaks from the er… comfort… of a rickety wooden train. Glide through hidden tunnels, descend down the dips and be prepared for an unexpected encounter. This family friendly ride is full of thrills.

 

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Less of a ride and more of an experience, the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction lets you venture through an African-inspired landscape, passing real elephants and crocodiles along the way. The whole ‘expedition’ lasts for 18 fun-packed minutes.

 

Dinosaur

Dinosaur disney animal kingdom

Enter prehistoric times with a tour aboard the thrilling Time Rover and save the dinosaurs from extinction. Race through the darkened forest with sharp turns and mystical creatures everywhere you look.

 

Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Strap yourself in and gently glide across the river with water splashing in all directions. The gushing waterfalls, sharp turns and dramatic slopes make this river raft ride one for all the family.

 

Primeval Whirl

primeval whirl disney animal kingdom

A spinning rollercoaster made up of exhilarating curves and drops, this surprisingly exhilarating ride transports you back to prehistoric times with a fun modern twist.

 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith" at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park

Fans of rollercoasters and rock music love this A-list theme park ride which blasts guests from 0–60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Expect plenty of twists, turns and drops on the super-speed concert quest as you race through the Hollywood hills. Boarding a VIP ‘stretch limo’, grab the chance to shine like a superstar while passing illuminated landmarks.

 

Toy Story Midway Mania

Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Inspired by the legendary Disney-Pixar film, this shoot-em-up carnival-style ride takes you on a lively 4D journey through ‘Andy’s Bedroom’ where you’ll ‘shrink’ to the size of a toy, grab your spring-action shooter and take aim at an array of interesting virtual targets. Join all your favorite Toy Story characters as you hop on board a swivelling carnival car and shoot your way through six animated games.

 

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror


Board the ‘fright elevator’ and join the lost souls of Hollywood’s Golden Age as you plunge into pitch black at the once-glamorous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Expect a series of random drops, side-to-side motions and lifts during the ride – you’ll never know which direction you’re heading.

 

Star Tours

Star Tours at Hollywood Studios

Explore a galaxy far, far away on an electrifying tour aboard Starspeeder 1000. The simulator ride features digital 3D video, audio-animatronics characters, special effects and music, immersing you in an intergalactic adventure.

 

For the First Time in Forever

For the First Time in Forever disney hollywood studios

Relive the magic of Disney’s movie spectacular Frozen in the For the First Time in Forever sing-along show. Watch classic moments, stories and sing-along tracks for an afternoon of family fun.


Disney Springs

DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park


With 5 floors of gaming entertainment, there’s plenty of activities from classic arcades, virtual interactive fun to the Animation Academy. Experience the Pirate action on Battle for Bucaneer Gold or grab your paddle and take a 4D adventure on the Virtual Jungle Cruise. Cyber Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblaster and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride also feature.

 

Universal Studios

Transformers: The Ride 3D

Transformers 3D ride at Universal Orlando

Experience Transformers first hand with this 3D simulator ride. For the main event you’ll be in the heart of the action as you’re loaded into Evac the Autobot and drive towards the others. Optimus Prime and Megatron fight it out in front of your eyes as you and Evac weave through the cityscape avoiding Decepticons whilst being sprayed by burst water mains and engulfed in smoke. You’ll be thrown across the city and land with a thud as the action shakes and jolts riders.

 

The Simpsons Ride

The Simpsons Ride universal orlando

Set around Krusty the Clown’s theme park Krustyland, this simulator ride flies through the air, causing havoc along the way. With the ride divided into 3 sections, you’ll be able to watch the animated series before the ride even begins.

 

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Universal Orlando

The journey begins at Gru’s home where you’ll be recruited as one of his minions, a part of the next mischievous scheme. The minion training doesn’t go to plan and you’ll get launched on a trip through Gru’s super villain laboratory. Hold on tight as the adventure begins in this 3D simulator ride with the Minions.

 

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts universal orlando

This 3D ride takes you on a journey to Gringotts bank, under the fire-breathing dragon at the end of Diagon Alley. Step right into the middle of the action, fighting off the malicious villains before you return safely to Diagon Alley.

 

Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy

Plunge into total darkness and tackle the army warrior of mummies as you soar through this spine-tingling ride. The rollercoaster features scenes from the Mummy movies, placing you right in the action.

 

Recommended places to stay in Orlando

 

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

The Incredible Hulk Coaster universal orlando

Launching guests from 0–40 mph in 2 seconds flat, this ride isn’t for the faint hearted. Enter Dr Bruce Banner’s lab and become part of his secret experiment while queuing for the ride. As you board, be prepared to turn upside down, experiencing some serious G-force and furious speeds of up to 67 mph.

 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is one of the best rides in Orlando

Explore the corridors of Hogwarts then soar above the castle grounds with Harry Potter and friends on this wizard-themed adventure. Come face to face with magical creatures like dementors, fly over the Quidditch pitch, pass the ‘whomping willows’ and enter the world of Harry Potter like you’ve never seen it before.

 

The Dragon Challenge

The Dragon Challenge is a Harry Potter-themed ride at Universal Studios in Orlando

These two different rollercoasters are designed to represent two ‘dragons’, the aggressive Chinese Fireball and these Ferocious Hungarian Horntail. Be prepared for twists, turns and loops across the sky on intertwining coasters.

 

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff at Universal Studios in Orlando

The family friendly coaster takes you on an adventure with Hagrid as he teaches you how to approach a Hippogriff, a mystical creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a horse. Soar and spiral through the landscape, passing Hagrid’s hut along the way.

 

The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man

The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man

Put on your 3D glasses and get ready for the crystal-clear graphics on this thrilling simulator ride. Glide through the friendly neighbourhood with Spiderman, marveling at the sights as you go. With the audio, lighting and graphic so vivid, this groundbreaking ride should really be high on your theme park bucket list.

 

SeaWorld Orlando

Mako Coaster

The Mako coaster at SeaWorld in Orlando

The tallest, quickest and longest ride in Orlando is inspired by the high speeds of the ocean’s fastest sharks. Standing at impressive 200 ft tall and reaching speeds of up to 73 mph, this 4,760 ft-long rollercoaster is only recommended for serious adrenaline junkies.

 

Kraken rollercoaster

kraken rollercoater seaworld orlando

Named after the fictional sea monster kept caged by Poseidon, this furiously fast floor-less coaster offers an unearthly experience with speeds of up to 65 mph and 4000 ft of eel-like twists, turns and loops.

 

Aquatica

Dolphin Plunge

Dolphin plunge aquatica

Aquatica’s most popular ride lets you glide through 250 feet of clear tubes underwater, giving you a glimpse of black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins along the way. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them swimming alongside as you pass by.

 

Omaka Rocka

The Omaka Rocka ride at Aquatica in Orlando

Putting a new spin on water park fun, Omaka Rocka offers different thrill-level slides for everyone.

 

Taumata Racer

Aquatica Orlando Taumata Racer

For those who prefer life in the fast lane, Aquatica’s biggest thrill ride launches 8 riders down a steep hill, head first.

 

Other theme parks in Florida

Busch Gardens

Cobra’s Curse


This spin coaster is the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a vertical lift and taking riders on a whirlwind adventure. Explorers will come face-to-face with an 80 ft snake icon, trek over the park’s Serengeti Plain and discover the mysteries of an Egyptian archeological excavation.

 

Falcon’s Fury

Falcons Fury busch gardens

The first drop tower of its kind in the world, this ride mimics dive speeds of the earth’s fastest animals. Standing at 335 ft, the ride sends guests plunging 60 mph straight down and at its highest point riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. Designers have compared it to skydiving, who used special sequencing technology so that passengers can’t anticipate when they will drop each time.

 

SheiKra


The ‘floorless’ cars on SheiKra give riders an unobstructed view of the ground, which rushes past at speeds of up to 70 mph. It passes through two loops, a vertical drop, an underground tunnel and a water feature finale, all within a half-mile of steel track.

 

Kumba

 

Kumba rollercoaster ride in Orlando, Florida

After the blood-curdling thrill of an initial 135 ft drop, rider plunge into a diving loop, experiencing a full 3 seconds of absolute weightlessness whilst spiralling 360 degrees. Following that, riders tear through one of the world’s largest vertical loops.

 

Montu

Busch gardens ride in Orlando

Named after the Egyptian God of War, this ride lets you experience thrills like never before. With its epic loops, zer- gravity rolls, 150 ft heights and furious speeds of up to 60 mph, riders are thrust in all directions.

 

Sand Serpent


Families love the curves, drops and corkscrews of Sand Serpent, a five-story “wild mouse” style coaster. With a top speed of just 22 mph and a low height requirement, it’s perfect for young thrill seekers.

 

LegoLand Florida

Lego City Driving School – Lego City

legoland driving school florida

Children aged 6–13 have the chance to earn their own Legoland driving license, using electric cars to navigate their way around a realistic course featuring traffic lights and roundabouts. Take to the road and become a newly passed driver at LegoLand.

 

Mia’s Riding Adventure


Mia’s Riding Adventure is a simple ride that lets young adventurers saddle up on ‘horses’ before being spun around and tilted from side to side.

 

Coastersaurus


Take a tour around a prehistoric jungle of life-sized, animated dinosaurs (made from Lego, of course) whilst the wooden rollercoaster curves and dips, creating thrills for all ages.

 

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