By Dalia Colón

Florida is home to countless thrills, from breathtaking sunsets to awe-inspiring space shuttle launches. For visitors who can’t get enough adventure, buckle up for these rip-roaring roller coaster rides.

These parks feature roller coasters filled with thrills.  Whether it’s a coaster meant for the whole family and little ones or for the thrill seeker, this list of rides will not disappoint. If you’re looking for a park near you, handy addresses and links are provided to learn more about each ride.

Note: Rides periodically close for maintenance or refurbishment, so call ahead or check online to be sure your favorite is operating.
 

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens is like an amusement park and zoo combined, so it’s fitting that many of its roller coasters are animal-themed. 10165 McKinley Drive, Tampa, 1-813-884-4FUN (4386); buschgardens.com/tampa

The coaster: Air Grover
Location: Sesame Street Safari of Fun
What to expect: Can you tell me how to get to a coaster that was made with little kids in mind? Head for this ride where children can ride solo or with a parent.
Minimum height requirement: 38 inches

The coaster: Cheetah Hunt
Location: Edge of Africa
What to expect: With 4,400 feet of excitement, this steel coaster is the park’s longest thrill ride. Three launches and maximum speeds of 60 mph prove this attraction is not for scaredy cats.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

The coaster: Cobra’s Curse
Location: Edge of Africa
What to expect: No two rides are the same on this family-friendly spinning coaster whose twists are different each time. With forward-backward motion and a 70-foot lift, this serpentine sensation is ideal for older kids.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches to ride alone. Riders at least 42 inches tall may ride with a chaperone who is at least 14 years old.

The coaster: Iron Gwazi
Location: TBA
What to expect: Opening in spring 2022, this ride bills itself as North America’s tallest hybrid wood-and-steel coaster—and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. With top speeds of 76 mph, a 206-foot peak, 91-degree and three thrilling inversions, this crocodile-inspired ride will snap you to attention.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

The coaster: Kumba
Location: Congo
What to expect: Hold onto your stomach for this high-intensity steel coaster. It starts with a 135-foot drop before plummeting you into a loop. There, you’ll experience 3 seconds of weightlessness while spiraling a full 360 degrees.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

The coaster: Montu
Location: Egypt
What to expect: Brace yourself for not one, not two, but seven inversions. This history-making steel ride was the first coaster in the world to include a Immelmann loop (a simultaneous loop and roll). The acrobatic maneuver is named for the late German fighter pilot Max Immelmann.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

The coaster: Sandserpent
Location: Pantopia
What to expect: Family fun soars to new heights on this kid-friendly coaster that’s 5 stories tall. The “wild mouse”-style ride climbs, zips and zooms through curves and corkscrews before bringing you back down to earth with squeals of delight.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches

The coaster: Scorpion
Location: Pantopia
What to expect: Feel the sting of the action as you careen through a 360-degree loop at speeds up to 50 mph.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches

The coaster: SheiKra
Location: Stanleyville
What to expect: Ascend 200 feet before you plunge down a 90-degree drop at 70 mph into an Immelmann loop. You’ll barely have time to catch your breath before you dive into an underground tunnel. This ride is not for the faint of heart.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

The coaster: Tigris
What to expect: Expect the unexpected from this feline-inspired coaster whose speed tops more than 60 mph. Looping twists, forward-backward motion and 150-foot height add up to more than 1,800 feet of steel track thrills that are nearly as powerful as the tiger itself.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches
 

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

This theme park is chockablock with kid-friendly rides, including a handful of coasters that the entire family can enjoy together. One LEGOLAND Way, Winter Haven, 888-690-5346; legoland.com/florida.
The coaster: Coastersaurus
Location: Land of Adventure
What to expect: The whole family will have a dino-mite time on this kid-friendly wooden coaster. You’ll rawr with delight as the ride curves and dips through a prehistoric jungle full of life-sized LEGO dinosaurs.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches

The coaster: The Dragon
Location: LEGO Kingdoms
What to expect: Get fired up for this indoor/outdoor steel coaster. Feel the heat of the dragon’s breath on your face as you career through an enchanted castle, then return outdoors to fresh air as you soar on the friendly green dragon.
Minimum height requirement: 40 inches. Guests between 40 inches and 48 inches must ride with a responsible rider at least 14 years old.

The coaster: Flying School
Location: LEGO City
What to expect: This suspended coaster makes the grade for high-flying fun.
Minimum height requirement: 44 inches; guests between 44 inches and 52 inches must be accompanied by a responsible rider at least 14 years old and 52 inches tall. Maximum rider height is 6’5”.

The coaster: The Great LEGO Race
Location: LEGO Technic
What to expect: Strap in, and you’re off to the races for a rapid road rally on this auto racing-themed coaster.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches. Guests 42-47 inches can ride when accompanied by a responsible rider at least 14 years and 48 inches tall. Guests over 48 inches can ride alone.
 

Fun Spot America Orlando

This family-owned amusement park is conveniently located off of International Drive, a Central Florida hub of attractions, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. In addition to thrill rides and roller coasterrs, the park features a go-kart track, bumper cars, an arcade, carnival games and more. 5700 Fun Spot Way, Orlando, 407-363-3867; fun-spot.com.

The coaster: Freedom Flyer
What to expect: You’re at liberty to scream with delight on this family-friendly ride with a maximum speed of 34 miles per hour. As your feet dangle above the theme park, this suspended, inverted steel coaster travels through tight turns and spins you around.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches or 36 inches with an adult

The coaster: White Lightning
What to expect: With bragging rights as Orlando’s only wooden coaster, this old-school ride brings 21st-century thrills. With speeds up to 48 miles per hour, the smooth journey is anything but stormy.
Minimum height requirement: 46 inches
 

Fun Spot America Kissimmee

Like its sister location in Orlando, this family entertainment center features bumper cars, a carousel, a giant slide and more. 2850 Florida Plaza Blvd., 407-363-3867; fun-spot.com.

The coaster: Galaxy Spin
What to expect: With up to three people per seat, your group is in for an out-of-this world time as the ride maneuvers around sharp turns.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

The coaster: Mine Blower
What to expect: Full of twists and turns, this ride has bragging rights as Florida’s only wooden roller coaster that goes upside down.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches
 

Peppa Pig Theme Park

Oh, goody! A coaster for little kids. The world’s first amusement park dedicated to the loveable British cartoon pig is located just steps away from LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Opening in February 2022, the park requires separate admission tickets. 1551 Helena Road SE, Cypress Gardens; peppapigthemepark.com/florida.

The coaster: Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster
What to expect: Take a ride in Daddy Pig’s squeaky clean red car. But watch out for muddy puddles, as Mr. Bull digs up the road. This gentle coaster is perfect for young riders. Ready, steady, go!
Minimum height requirement: 36 inches. Riders under 42 inches must be accompanied by a responsible chaperone at least 14 years old.

 SeaWorld Orlando's Manta Rollercoaster invites you to embark on a high seas adventure that starts with a head-first, nose-down plummet and continues to four inversions.
-SeaWorld Orlando

 

SeaWorld Orlando

In recent years, the marine park has become known for thrill rides that make a splash. 7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, 407-545-5550; seaworld.com/orlando.

The coaster: Ice Breaker
What to expect: Opened in February 2022, the park’s first launch coaster will have you in a cold sweat. The frigid fun features four launches, both forward and backwards, crescendoing into a reverse launch into Florida’s steepest beyond vertical drop—93 feet high, at a 100-degree angle. You’ll barely have time to catch your breath before flying into a tophat maneuver full of twists and turns, all with maximum speeds of 52 mph.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

The coaster: Kraken
What to expect: Themed after a mythical underwater beast, there’s nothing imaginary about the thrill of riding Orlando’s only floorless roller coaster. Hold on tight as you travel up to 65 miles per hour in an open-sided seat, your feet dangling above the crowd as you ascend 150 feet.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

The coaster: Mako
What to expect: Named for one of the world’s fastest sharks, this steel coaster speeds up to 73 mph and ascends up to 200 feet high. Sink your teeth into the thrill of flying over a lake, as you experience the country’s No. 1 rollercoaster, according to the 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

The coaster: Manta
What to expect: Embark on a high seas adventure that starts with a head-first, nose-down plummet and continues to four inversions. If you’ve always wanted to feel like a manta ray that travels at up to 55 mph, then you’ll take to this coaster like a fish to water.
Minimum height requirement: 54 inches
 

Walt Disney World Resort

The Most Magical Place on Earth offers thrill rides to delight and/or terrify visitors of all ages. 1375 E Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, 407-939-5277; disneyworld.disney.go.com.

The coaster: The Barnstormer
Location: Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
What to expect: Little riders will enjoy high-flying fun as performers in Goofy’s aerial stunt show. Take a seat on the Great Goofini’s stunt plane, surge to the top of a wooden observation tower, then dive through the bustling barnyard before landing safely on the ground. This charming ride is ideal for preschoolers.
Minimum height requirement: 35 inches

The coaster: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Location: Frontierland at Magic Kingdom
What to expect: All aboard this Wild West-inspired ride that leads you through an abandoned mine shaft and into the ghost town of Tumbleweed. With exploding dynamite, falling boulders, a dark cavern and intentionally bumpy tracks, this ride is most appropriate for bigger kids and adults.
Minimum height requirement: 40 inches

The coaster: Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Location: Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
What to expect: Experience a Tibetan village at the base of Mount Everest before boarding a train that will take you high into the Himalayas. This ride is best suited for older kids, teens and adults, with loud noises, high speeds, steep drops, dark places and scary special effects. Careen through the dark, icy mountains as you try to evade the legendary Yeti snow monster.
Minimum height requirement: 44 inches

The coaster: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Location: Epcot
What to expect: Opening in summer 2022, this intergalactic space chase will be Epcot’s first official roller coaster—and one of the world’s longest indoor coasters. The family-friendly ride features 360-degree rotations, cameos by the movie characters and songs from the film series soundtrack.
Minimum height requirement: TBA

The coaster: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Location: Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios
What to expect: You don’t want to miss a thing on this coaster that pays homage to the Grammy-winning rock group. Climb into the band’s limo and speed through the night as Aerosmith races to be on time for a performance. Zoom past Hollywood landmarks, dodge traffic jams and feel the sweet emotion of three inversions—two rollovers and one corkscrew—all set to a soundtrack of the band’s hits.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

The coaster: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Location: Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
What to expect: Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off you go up a steep incline. Then careen down into the mine shaft, where you’ll encounter the Seven Dwarfs whistling while they work. Then break through the cavern into the sky, where you’ll take in a birds’-eye view of Fantasyland before descending back to the base of the mountain. While you wait in line, try your hand at sorting and washing jewels.
Minimum height requirement: 38 inches

The coaster: Space Mountain
Location: Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom
What to expect: Blast off into an out-of-this-world adrenaline rush as you zoom past shooting stars, comets and meteors on this roller coaster in the dark. You’ll even feel the gravitational pull as you swirl into a wormhole before landing safely back on earth. Drops and darkness make this ride best for older kids, tweens and adults.
Minimum height requirement: 44 inches

The coaster: Slinky Dog Dash
Location: Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios
What to expect: You’ll have a doggone good time as Andy’s springy toy pooch stretches fun to the limit. Navigate curves, hurtle up hills and rush back down in this family-friendly, Toy Story-inspired journey.
Minimum height requirement: 38 inches

The coaster: Splash Mountain
Location: Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park
What to expect: We could squabble over whether this classic log flume featuring Southern bayou animals counts as a roller coaster. But all you really need to know is that You. Will. Get. Wet. The experience includes 95,000 gallons of water, three dips and a five-story drop. Sit in the back to get splashed or sprayed, or choose a front seat for a full-on soaking.
Minimum height requirement: 40 inches

The coaster: TRON Lightcycle Run
Location: Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom
What to expect: Based on the Tron movie series, this coaster is still under construction, with no opening date announced yet. Similar to Shanghai Disneyland’s TRON Lightcycle Power Run, this indoor coaster will require riders to climb aboard two-wheeled light cycles for illuminated fun at speeds of up to 59 mph.
Minimum height requirement: TBA
 

Old Town

Take a stroll back in time when you visit this 18-acre destination full of restaurants, shops and rides. Don’t miss the weekly Saturday Nite Classic Car Cruise. 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, 407-396-4888; myoldtownusa.com.

The coaster: Hurricane
Location: South Plaza
What to expect: The five-story climb is the calm before the storm on this family-friendly coaster that seats six riders per train.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches

 Expect to get upside down and inside out on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
- Universal Orlando Resort

 

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay come together under the umbrella of Universal Orlando. Purchase single-park tickets, or buy a multi-park pass. 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 407-363-8000; universalorlando.com.

The coaster: Flight of the Hippogriff
Location: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter  – Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
What to expect: On this family-friendly coaster, you’ll soar through Hagrid’s pumpkin patch. Take heed of Hagrid’s instructions on the proper way to approach a Hippogriff, a magical eagle-horse hybrid creature.
Minimum height requirement: 36 inches. Riders under 48 inches must be accompanied by a companion at least 14 years old.

The coaster: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Location: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
What to expect: A fire-breathing dragon ushers you into an underground world of multi-dimensional thrills. Along the way, you’ll encounter Harry, Ron and Hermione as you fend off Voldemort, Bellatrix and other villains who want to keep you from returning safely to Diagon Alley.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches. Riders under 48 inches must be accompanied by a companion at least 14 years old.

The coaster: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Location: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter  – Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure
What to expect: Climb aboard your own motorbike as you speed through the Forbidden Forest on a steel ride that Universal considers its most highly themed, immersive coaster. As you soar deep into the wild at speeds up to 50 mph, you’ll encounter some of the world's most unique magical creatures.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

The coaster: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Location: Production Central in Universal Studios Florida
What to expect: Music lovers select their own song that becomes their personalized soundtrack for this towering steel coaster. Feel the beat of the music and your own heart as you climb skyward at a 90-degree angle and endure breathtaking drops at speeds of up to 65 mph. Tweens, teens and adults will enjoy the thrills of this ride.
Minimum height requirement: 51 inches

The coaster: Jurassic World VelociCoaster
Location: Universal’s Islands of Adventure
What to expect: Sink your teeth into adventure as you race alongside these giant predators, speeding and twisting above land and water at speeds up to 70 mph. This coaster opened in June 2021 and is already one of the park’s most sought-after rides, no bones about it.
Minimum height requirement: 51 inches

The coaster: Krakatau Aqua Coaster
Location: River Village in Universal's Volcano Bay
What to expect: Test the waters of this four-person canoe ride that starts in a dark, misty volcano and ends with a plummet through a waterfall. Expect to get drenched.
Minimum height requirement: 42 inches. Riders under 48 inches must be accompanied by a companion at least 14 years old.

The coaster: Revenge of the Mummy
Location: New York in Universal Studios Florida
What to expect: Get wrapped up in the thrill of the chase as you evade the evil mummy Imhotep. This forward-and-backward includes a plunge into the black tomb, with top speed of 45 mph.
Minimum height requirement: 48 inches

Places to Remember