The Orlando area theme parks include Walt Disney World, the Universal Orlando Resort & SeaWorld Orlando who attract millions of visitors each and every year. One of the main reason for all the visitors is the tremendous amount of rides and attractions, with new attractions being constructed every year.
There are hundreds of rides and attractions at all three Orlando area theme parks which range from classic rides for toddlers to state-of-the-art indoor themed roller coasters.
As multi-year passholders for each of three theme parks as well as being Florida residents that are fairly local to Orlando, we’ve had the opportunity to ride pretty much everything that’s out there. So for 2023, there is our list of the Top 50.
The 50 Best Orlando Theme Park Rides & Attractions (2023)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Jurassic World VelociCoaster
- Ice Breaker
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Test Track
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Avatar Florida of Passage
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Space Mountain
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- The Orca Encounter
- Disney Enchantment
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Infinity Falls
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith
- Revenge of the Mummy
- EPCOT Harmonious Spectacular
- Journey to Atlantis
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Men in Black Alien Attack
- Haunted Mansion
- Universal’s Cinematic Celebration
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
- Hollywood Tower of Terror
- Kali River Rapids
- The Simpsons Ride
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Na’vi River Adventure
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Savi’s Workshop
- The Amazing Spiderman
- Toy Story Mania!
- Transformers: The Ride
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- Tron Lightcycle / Run
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is one of the newest attractions at Walt Disney World. Recently opened in the spring of 2022 and located at Future World in EPCOT, this coaster was rumored to have cost $500 million and is one of the finest rides “across the galaxy”.
Click here to learn more about this amazing roller coaster.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster
If you love thrill rides than the Jurassic World VelociCoaster should be at the top of your list. Located at Universal’s Island of Adventure, this amazing coaster takes riders through a “raptor paddock” at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour and more than 150 feet up in the air.
Click here to learn more about this amazing roller coaster.
One of the newest attractions at SeaWorld Orlando is Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker is a multi-directional launch, vertical drop roller coaster that features a 100 degree vertical spike, four launches, a 93 foot tall top hat and several air time events.
Click here to learn more about Ice Breaker.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a highly themed roller coaster that takes riders through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guests board a two person motorbike (with a sidecar) that travels at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Riders go forward, background and even free-fall without ever leaving your motorbike.
Click here to learn more about the Hagrids’ coaster.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Located at Universal Studios Florida, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster can’t be missed from anywhere within The Universal Orlando Resort. Riders climb 17 stories before a 90 degree drop at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.
Test Track opened in 1999 and is one of the classic thrill rides in EPCOT at Walt Disney World. This high-speed attraction takes six riders riders through a series of “tests” include the Performance Test where the ride vehicle goes up to 65 miles per hour on a banked high speed turn.
Click here to learn more about Test Track at EPCOT.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
This state-of-the-art attraction is a complete 15-minute experience, where guests are part of the action. Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a combination of a walk-through attraction, trackless dark ride and motion simulator.
Learn more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Landing) in our Complete Guide.
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Fresh off a refurbishment in early 2022, Expedition Everest takes riders up to a height of 200 feet through the Himalaya mountains to the base of Mount Everest before dropping backwards at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. There is an 80 foot drop but this attraction does not include any inversions.
Keep an eye out for the Yeti which protects the Forbidden Mountain.
Mako is one of the most extreme roller coasters at any of the Orlando theme parks. Originally opened in 2016, this attraction is the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Orlando. Themed after ship wreck reef, riders will climb 200 feet before a near vertical drop, racing at speeds of up to 73 miles per hour.
Avatar Flight of Passage
One of the most popular attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Avatar: Flight of Passage. This attraction is a 3D motion simulator that allows guests to ride a banshee just like the Na’vi hunters in the Avatar movies.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the ride that started it all at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. This is one the most highly themed rides of any of the Orlando theme parks that takes place within the Hogwarts Castle.
In this motion simulator you will fly along with Harry on a broomstick for an amazing adventure while dodging dragons, spiders and Dementors.
Located at SeaWorld Orlando, Manta is a short one and one-half minute roller coaster ride features four inversions and travels at speeds of up to 56 miles per hour. Riders are in a “prone” position to simulate what is like to be a manta ray.
There a fun twist near the end where the coaster appears to make a dive into the water, churning up a bit of spray.
Located at SeaWorld Orlando, Kraken is one of the most intense roller coasters of any Orlando theme park. Features include of seven inversions and two vertical loops as well as a corkscrew, cobra roll and a spiraling zero-g roll at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.
Soarin’ Around the World
Located at EPCOT in Walt Disney World, Soarin’ Around the World is a motion simulator ride which features a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX screen where in-theater effects give guests a real life experience of hang gliding across a number of famous places around the world.
Click here to see some of the amazing places you will visit.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
One of the most fun rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is an adventure which takes guests on a “mission” to steal coaxium from the First Order to provide to the resistance.
There are multiple roles for the crew of the Millennium Falcon which include: two pilots, two engineers and two gunners.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is one of the main reasons guests come to visit Universal Studios Orlando. This “multi-dimensional thrill ride” encompasses it all. Its a combined roller coaster and 3D motion simulator all themed to the storyline of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The ride is located in Diagon Alley and as you pass through the walls, you transform from muggle to witch & wizard.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Incredible Hulk is one of the most intense roller coasters at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and perfect for anyone who loves thrill rides.
Riders are launched with a roar and reach speeds of up to 67 miles per hour on this 2+ minute ride. There are 7 inversions where you will experience up to 4 G’s.
Space Mountain is the original Disney thrill ride and our top ride at the Magic Kingdom. This amazing indoor roller coaster will takes riders on a rocket ship to outer space flying past stars, planets and meteors.
Originally opened back in 1975, Space Mountain is still one of the most popular rides in the Magic Kingdom to this day.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the newer rides at the Magic Kingdom and based on wait times, one of the most popular attractions in the entire park. Riders board your mine train and go on a easy but thrilling rides into the mine itself.
Keep your eyes open for Snow White herself at the end of the ride.
The Orca Encounter
The Orca Encounter is the premier show at at SeaWorld Orlando. This fairly new version of the “Shamu Show” commenced on January 1, 2020 and is structured as 30-minute educational presentation about the Orca’s as the ocean’s most powerful predator.
Disney Enchantment is a wonderful way to cap off the day when visiting the Magic Kingdom. Typically held just before the park closes, this amazing projection & fireworks show takes place not only on Cinderella’s Castle but also up and down Main Street USA.
It’s worth fighting the crowds to get a great spot in front of the castle.
Kilimanjaro Safaris takes guests on a ride through the 100-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve where they will encounter more than 30 living animal species including lions, rhino, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebras and exotic birds.
This 18-minute tour gives you the feel of being in the heart of Africa without ever having to leave central Florida.
Perfect for a hot Florida day, guests will get extremely wet on Infinity Falls. Located at SeaWorld Orlando, this river raft ride features a number of white water rapids before an elevator takes you up for a 40 foot drop to the water below.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith is one of the most popular thrill rides at any of the Disney parks. Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, riders jump in a super stretch limo for an exciting 57-mile per hour ride through Hollywood before attending a concert with Aerosmith.
At this time Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is the only ride at Walt Disney World that features inversions.
Revenge of the Mummy
Revenge of the Mummy is located in the New York section of the Universal Studios Florida and is a “dark ride” fully indoor roller coaster themed after the movies. The ride itself is a journey through Imhotep’s tomb as you ride up to 45 miles per hour twisting around fire and locusts to avoid having the Mummy steal your soul.
EPCOT Harmonious Spectacular
Located in the World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT, Harmonious is one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney theme park. This 20-minute show is centered on a six-story floating circular structure that is surrounded by four 25-foot LED screens that are more than 80 feet in length.
For 20-minutes guests will enjoy fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and fireworks all set to a soundtrack consisting of over 100 separate recordings by more than 200 musicians, artists, vocalists and others.
Journey to Atlantis
Journey to Atlantis is part water ride and part roller coaster. After you jump aboard your ride vehicle (which is an 8-person boat) your journey starts off in the lost City of Atlantis. After climbing to the top of the temple for a 60-foot drop which is the best part of the entire ride.
Plan to get soaked as you splash down right in from of the temple for all to see.
Flight of the Hippogriff
The Flight of the Hippogriff is a fantastic family-friendly roller coaster and a perfect compliment to the other coasters that are higher on the “thrill ride” scale. Be sure to say hello to the Hippogriff before you take off.
Jurassic Park River Adventure
Plan on getting we when riding Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Riders take a leisurely boat tour through the pre-historic themed jungle where you get up close and personal with a number of dinosaurs when the boat makes a wrong turn into the Raptor Containment Area.
The end of the ride is the best par where your boat makes an 85 foot drop at almost 50 miles per hour to the river below.
Men in Black Alien Attack
Located in Universal Studios Florida, one of our favorite shoot ’em up type rides is the Men in Black Alien Attack. The ride is within a fully air-conditioned studio and the exterior features two spaceships just like in the original movie where Agents “J” and “K” fought the the “Bug” at the New York World’s Fair.
What was your high score on Men in Black?
Riders board a Doom Buggy for a fun and “scary” trek through the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion is a fully indoor “dark ride” where guests see Madame Leota’s seance room and a number of other ghosts and ghouls.
The Haunted Mansion has one of the best queues of any attraction in the Magic Kingdom as guests will stroll through a graveyard and experience a leaky tomb, musical crypt as well as other amazing haunts.
Universal’s Cinematic Celebration
Cinematic Celebration is a fairly new show that features a number of Universal movies (Jurassic World, E.T., Despicable Me, Fast & Furious and the Harry Potter series) set to water & lights, projection mapping. music and fireworks.
The premier nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Fantasmic! which, although currently unavailable, is anticipated to return in 2022. Located in an open air theater at the end of Sunset Boulevard, the show is based on a dream by Mickey Mouse of a battle with good versus evil.
Guests watch as over 50 live performers make up this amazing spectacular which features special effects, pyrotechnics, music and enormous theatrical sets.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain is our favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom and a “must do” when visiting the park. After boarding an 1800’s era railroad car you will go for a three-minute wild ride through canyons, mountains and tunnels.
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
Guests will go on a wet and wild ride with Popeye the Sailor Man to rescue Olive Oyl from Bluto. located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, riders will need to hold as your barge will need to make its way through raging rapids as well as a number of water features which will keep you cool within the hot Florida sun.
One of the things we enjoy at SeaWorld Orlando is taking a ride on the Sky Tower. The 400-foot fully air-conditioned tower is one the original attractions since the park opened in 1974 and is not to be missed.
You will get a birds eye view of SeaWorld and on a clear day you can see as far as Disney’s Magic Kingdom and EPCOT parks.
Hollywood Tower of Terror
You just can’t miss this iconic attraction when visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios at it literally “towers” over the park. The story behind Hollywood Tower of Terror is set on Halloween night in 1939 where guests take an elevator ride in the Hollywood Tower Hotel during a violent storm.
The elevator gets a little hairy and riders are propelled up and down the abandoned shafts.
Kali River Rapids
On a hot summer day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom make sure you ride the Kali River Rapids as you are pretty much guaranteed to get wet. Riders board a 12-person raft and navigate through white-water rapids, waterfalls and a fast-moving current. One of the most exciting parts of the ride is the 20-foot drop where water is bound to get into your boat.
The Simpsons Ride
Located in the Springfield section of Universal Studios Florida, guests take a exciting roller coaster (and more) ride with Bart, Homer and the rest on the family. Your adventure takes you through Krustyland but watch out for someone sinister who is out to get you.
Originally opened in May 2008 taking the place of Back to the Future The Ride, The Simpsons Ride is a motion simulator where after a short pre-show, guests board a two-row ride vehicle for a four-minute ride that uses an 85-foot IMAX screen.
Pirates of the Caribbean
“Dead men tell not tales” on the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride in the Magic Kingdom park. Themed after another classic Disney movie, this dark ride (completely indoors) will take you on a journey through the Caribbean avoiding a number of pirates as they seek out treasure and loot.
Keep an eye out for Captain Jack!
Na’vi River Adventure
Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, riders take a calm and serene boat ride through the world of Pandora on the Na’vi River Journey. Guests go deep into the rain forest to find the Shaman of Songs surrounded by spectacular lights and animatronics.
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Riders fight the evil Zurg and become a Junior Space Ranger on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Located at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, guests fire a laser cannon at Zurg’s robot army targets that are marked by a “Z”.
The better you shoot, the more points you get so do your best and try to become a Space Ranger.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Located in Universal Studios Florida, in the motion simulator the Despicable Gru will turn you into a Minion. But of course things don’t go along as planned so you go on adventure with Gru and the girls for a wild ride.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem originally opened in July 2012 in the building that formerly housed Jimmy Neturon’s Nicktoon Blast.
Slinky Dog Dash
Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Slinky Dog Dash is a “family friendly” roller coaster that is perfect for first time coaster riders as it is not scary at all. There are some small drops and turns but no inversions (it does not go upside down) on this two minute ride.
The coaster’s speed tops out at 40 miles but it seems slower due to the design of the track.
Building a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop is one of the most unique experiences at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This amazing a 20 minute experience allows guests to work with “Gatherers” in the workshop to assemble their personalized lightsaber.
The Amazing Spiderman
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is a 3D motion simulator type attraction where guests go on an adventure with Spider-Man as he fights the villains of the Sinister Syndicate. This dark ride is located in Marvel’s Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Keep an eye out for the cameo appearance of creator Stan Lee.
Toy Story Mania!
Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania! is one of our favorite attractions in all of the Disney parks. This ride is a 4D shooting game featuring Woody, Buzz and your other favorite Toy Story Characters.
Guests board a carnival-inspired ride vehicle which features two, two-person cars. The goal is to shoot the targets that are in five individual games.
Transformers: The Ride
Transformers The Ride 3D is a motion simulation ride were rides don 3D glasses after you (“the recruits”) team up and board Autobot EVAC who is on emergency stand by to evacuate the AllSpark from the NEST Facility.
Located in Universal Studios Florida, guests will see a number of Transformers including Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular took a hiatus for a little while but is back. This amazing live action show is one of the best in all of Walt Disney World.
Just like the Indiana Jones movies, watch Indy and Marion steal precious artifacts and fight off bad guys in this 25-minute show.
Tron Lightcycle / Run
Opened in April 2023, TRON Lightcycle Run is a high speed roller coaster that is themed to the cyber-fi world from the movie TRON. Originally intended to open in 2021 for the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World, TRON is one of most exciting “thrill rides” not only at the Magic Kingdom, but also throughout all the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Guests will experience a fast launch that takes you almost immediate outside underneath the canopy. Riders travel on the 3,100+ foot track at speeds approaching 60 miles per hour for a “high-speed launch competition again Team Orange”.