A few months ago, I ranked the attractions at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, so for this edition of “Ranked,” we’re going to switch things up slightly by ranking all of the roller coasters that can be found in both parks. Let’s roll out!
Honorable Mention: Pteranodon Flyers
Oh how I wish I could ride this attraction. For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is a small two-person coaster that glides over the Camp Jurassic area of the park. From what I’ve seen, it seems to be more of a sightseeing trip than anything too thrilling, but it still looks like a great time. So why haven’t you rode it Luke, you ask? Well, due to the abysmal hourly capacity, guests over 56” have to ride with someone under that height. So basically a parent and a child. One day Luke, one day…
8. Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster is absolutely not a bad attraction, but is just a small kid’s coaster that you can find at many other parks, including an identical copy at Disneyland as Gadget’s Go-Coaster.
7. Flight of the Hippogriff
Ranking one notch higher than the previous kiddie coaster is Flight of the Hippogriff. This is a somewhat bigger model of the Nuthouse Coaster, therefore providing a few more thrills. I prefer the Mack designed version of this attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, as it provides a smoother ride with a lot more leg room. However, this is still a fun beginner’s coaster, with a beautiful view of Islands of Adventure from the top of the lift hill!
6. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a really strange coaster. One of the few Maurer Sohne X-Coasters in the world, this ride has quite a few quirks. Firstly, the vehicles are interesting, with heavy, but comfortable lap-bar restraints. There are a lot of brake runs in this ride, to allow for maximum capacity. While brake runs can ruin the speed and experience of some coasters, it actually leads to some good airtime moments on this ride. The most unique part of Rip Ride Rockit has to be the music selections. You can either pick from a series of predetermined musical choices or use a secret list giving more options.
5. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Out of all of the Harry Potter-themed attractions at Universal Orlando, Escape from Gringotts is probably my least favorite, but that by no means it’s a bad experience. First off, the facade and queue for this attraction are absolutely stunning, especially that first step you take into Gringotts Bank. There are two pre-shows, the first kind of just sets things up for you, while the second is a fake elevator (a la The Living Seas’ Hydrolators) that takes you down to the vaults of the bank. The ride itself is an impressive combination of a Transformers type ride, with a roller coaster experience. Lots of cool effects, such as your cart disappearing into a hole in a screen and a tilting track moment really leave you on the edge of your seat the whole ride through.
4. Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride
Far superior to the Universal Studios Hollywood version of this ride, the Orlando version really throws everything at you. Things start off with a creepy dark ride-esque section, complete with animatronics, fire effects and scary statues popping up out of nowhere. That then leads into a thrilling coaster, with multiple launches, backwards moments, and even a fake ending. While it doesn’t necessarily fit the vibe of the attraction that well, the Brendan Fraiser coffee scene right at the end of the ride is truly iconic. Let’s hope it lives on in some way following the attraction’s big refurbishment this year.
3. The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Incredible Hulk Coaster is one of the best full package coasters out there. First up, there’s a good build-up to the attraction with a decently themed queue. The ride itself is a smooth, but intense coaster built by the great Bolliger and Mallibard and features an absolutely incredible score by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. That music always gets me so pumped and excited for the ride, and makes me want to hop right back in line.
2. Jurassic World VelociCoaster
The newest attraction at Islands of Adventure is also one of its best. The Jurassic World VelociCoaster is a visually stunning and intense ride experience, definitely not for the faint of heart. The open designed restraints really help you feel like you’re flying, with many exciting pops of airtime along the way. The launches are absolutely exhilarating. And let’s not forget about the queue, which features lots of fun details and even two animatronic Veliciraptors. Universal really hit it out of the park with this one, and there’s only one ride in the park that’s better.
1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
In anticipation of Jurassic World VelociCoaster opening, I quite often wondered to myself which I would like more, that or Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Safe to say, as much as I love the VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s is the better overall package. Sure, VelociCoaster is definitely more thrilling, but Hagrid’s has enough thrills to make it a true family attraction. Add on to that 7, count that: 7 launches, quite a few animatronics and show scenes, and the deceptive scene in Devil’s Snare, and you’ve got yourself a world class attraction.
I hope you all enjoyed this ranking of my Top 8 roller coasters at the Universal Orlando Resort. If you want to see some more theme park rankings, feel free to check out some of my other “Ranked” articles listed below:
Laughing Place recommends UniversalFanTravel.com for all your Universal Orlando Resort travel planning
Luke is a fan of all things theme parks and self-proclaimed #1 fan of Joffrey’s Coffee, who lives in Cypress, CA