Revenge of the Mummy (Theme Park Tribune)

10. Revenge of the Mummy (Universal Studios Florida)

Opened: 2004

Made by: Premier Rides

One of the first attempts at a true storytelling coaster remains one of the best examples of combining coaster thrills with special effects. Revenge of the Mummy has less of the stop/start feel that weighs down Escape from Gringotts, and unlike Expedition Everest, its effects still work!

The launch through Imhotep’s mouth and the turns past projections and steam effects may seem simpler now than they did in 2004, but they’re still effective, making the ride feel like a scarier Universal take on Space Mountain during its coaster sections.

Rock N’ Roller Coaster (Theme Park Tribune)

9. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Opened: 1999

Made by: Vekoma 

The only Disney World coaster with inversions combines a 57 miles per hour launch and onboard audio blaring Aerosmith anthems to make for the Mouse’s most extreme coaster. 

Sure, you can find something more thrilling at most Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks, but those rides won’t be blaring “Back in the Saddle” and “Walk This Way” as you zoom past L.A. road signs in the dark. Like other Disney coasters, the thrills it delivers are higher than its stats would have you believe. 

Kraken (Theme Park Tribune)

8. Kraken (SeaWorld Orlando)

Opened: 2000

Made by: Bolliger & Mabillard

Seven inversions, a top speed of 65 miles per hour, a 144-foot drop — can you tell you’re not at Disney World anymore?

SeaWorld Orlando’s first foray into a pure thrill coaster is still an intense ride decades later. Its setting elevates it above other B&Ms by including “subterranean” dives through rockwork right by the ride’s entrance. 

Kraken does share some downsides with B&Ms of this era with over-the-shoulder restraints that can cause headbanging to certain riders. Keep your head back and try to enjoy the ride.

Incredible Hulk Coaster (Theme Park Tribune)

7. Incredible Hulk Coaster (Universal’s Islands of Adventure) 

Opened: 1999

Made by: Bolliger & Mabillard

Another seven-inversion B&M, Hulk rises above Kraken with its 40 mph launch (technically tire-propelled, but I like to think of it as powered by Gamma radiation) and the onboard soundtrack provided by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy. 

Hulk also benefits from interactions with its surroundings, flying over Islands of Adventure’s lagoon and then diving underneath the bridge to Marvel Hero Super Island. It can’t boast of being the headliner in its park these days, but in any other park, Hulk would be among the star attractions.

6. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (Universal Studios Florida)

Opened: 2009

Made by: Maurer

A controversial pick here, as coaster enthusiasts often gripe about Rip Ride Rockit’s multiple brake runs. On my recent rides, however, they’ve made very little difference. 

Rip Ride Rockit is a quirky coaster and unlike what you’ll find at most regional parks (which may be explained by this being the only Maurer X-Car coaster in the U.S.). You’ll get sustained ejector airtime off the deceptively mild-looking drop and head straight into a rarely-seen non-inverting loop, and then hit more airtime off every brake run. 

Of course, you can’t mention this ride without praising the music selection gimmick. If I’m choosing from the official playlist, I almost always pick “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys. But the hidden list (learn how to access it here) has some gems that go great with the ride’s pacing, such as “Temples of Syrinx” by Rush, “Wicker Man” by Iron Maiden and (don’t laugh) “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross.

Manta (SeaWorld)

5. Manta (SeaWorld Orlando)

Opened: 2009

Made by: Bolliger & Mabillard

Manta is in the conversation for being the best B&M flying coaster. With a 113-foot-drop, a top speed of 56 mph, and four inversions, it’s more intense than the Superman: Ultimate Flight clones found at Six Flags parks, while losing none of the extra excitement that comes with any coaster that changes your body position. 

Like Kraken, Manta is helped out by its scenery. There may be no better opportunity for coaster photography than this ride’s turn over the water.

The loading station at Cosmic Rewind (Theme Park Tribune)

4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind 

Opened: 2022

Made by: Vekoma

Read our full review of Cosmic Rewind here. 

Disney World’s latest roller coaster is also the best that Disney has ever designed. Feeling like a next-generation version of Space Mountain, Cosmic Rewind, you’ll be launched backwards at 60 miles per hour on cars that have a controlled 360-degree spin, passing by massive screens that immerse you in outer space. All the while, you’ll be bobbing your head to one of six randomized song selections (my favorite is “I Ran (So Far Away)” by A Flock of Seagulls). 

Oh, and did I mention it’s the world’s longest indoor roller coaster at 5,577 feet?  

For hardened coaster enthusiasts, you will find genuine pops of airtime on this ride, and there’s something indescribable about the controlled spinning sensation. You won’t find a ride like this at your regional park, but it’s a mistake assuming that Disney skimped on the thrills.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (Universal)

3. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure 

Opened: 2019

Made by: Intamin

You can read our full review of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure here

I called this Universal Orlando’s best ride in 2019 and I stand by that today. Yet it’s not the resort’s best coaster. 

This takes a storytelling approach comparable to the previously-mentioned Mummy and Gringotts, but balances the coaster elements far more successfully with its seven launches and whippy turns.  In short, it still feels like a coaster while mixing in the dark ride elements, including multiple animatronics, and enhances them in ways your average coaster wouldn’t — like how the 70-degree spike that sends you backwards is obscured by fog and set pieces, making it as unexpected as the drop track that comes after. 

If you want to experience this coaster at its best, you have to ride at night, when the Forbidden Forest scenery is the most effective.

Mako (SeaWorld)

2. Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)

Opened: 2016

Made by: Bolliger & Mabillard

B&M hyper coasters (which means any coaster with a height or drop over 200 feet) are beloved by coaster enthusiasts for their smooth rides and sustained airtime. Mako is, in my opinion, one of the very best examples of the model. 

Especially in the back row, that 200-foot-drop will deliver some stellar negative g-forces, and you’ll be repeatedly floating out of your seat through almost every hill while reaching a top speed of 73 miles per hour. 

The final turnaround over the water into the station isn’t the strongest finish, but everything that comes before it makes this an easy pick for No. 2 on this list (and for my personal top 10 overall).

Jurassic World VelociCoaster (Theme Park Tribune)

1. Jurassic World VelociCoaster (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

Opened: 2021

Made by: Intamin

You can read our full review of VelociCoaster here.

Jurassic World VelociCoaster is not just the best coaster in Orlando or Florida — it’s the best coaster in the U.S., at least in my opinion. 

The ride packs in two intense launches, a 155-foot-tall, 80-degree drop, and near-constant airtime, and then wraps up with one of the best inversions you’ll ever experience with just a simple lap bar restraint. 

That would be enough for top billing in any park, but VelociCoaster is a more complete experience with a highly-themed queue, an appropriate backstory for the franchise and a gorgeous setting that proves that a coaster can enhance a themed environment rather than detract from it. 

I’m sure hardcore coaster fans can dispute whether it’s truly deserving of being No.1 in the U.S. In Orlando, however, I say there’s no question: VelociCoaster is king.