The Ultimate Bucket List! 5 BEST Roller Coasters in Florida for 2024

Buckle up for a heart-pounding adventure with the best roller coasters in Florida ALL RANKED!

Roller coaster enthusiasts flock to fForida to visit a plethora of theme parks.

We offer Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa and more!

As Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer once said, “there’s so much to see and do here that I bet you didn’t do it all!”

Most people head on over to one, maybe two of these theme parks during an entire visit.

Roller Coaster Enthusiasts want to make sure they are getting on the best of the best, which Florida can offer when it comes to amazing coasters.

But the big question is: Where are the best roller coasters in the state of Florida?

Today, I will be going over just that and what makes these the best of the best-of-the-best in the Sunshine State! This includes the following:

  • History of the ride
  • What to expect on each roller coaster
  • Stats to know before you go
  • Guest satisfaction and review
  • Roller Coaster awards
Tron Lightcycle Run at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort Florida Tomorrowland roller coaster up close. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

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5. Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)

This steel roller coaster cracks open our list at number five.

Created by B&M coaster manufacturer, the hypercoaster calls SeaWorld Orlando theme park its home.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako Roller Coaster Entrance. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

It is named after the Mako shark and is located in the sea of mystery section of the theme park.

The name derives from the fact that the mako has been identified as the fastest species of shark in the ocean.

History of Mako at SeaWorld Orlando

When it was first teased in April 2015, the only fact we knew is that it would be 200 feet (ft) and it was marketed as the longest, tallest and fastest coaster in the city of Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando Lagoon overlooking Mako and Kraken. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

On May 27, 2015, SeaWorld officially announced the construction of Mako, which was named after the mako shark.

The first pieces of track began to ship from Ohio to Orlando in August and started to arrive on site two days later. 

Mako Roller Coaster SeaWorld Orlando. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

On January 6th of the following year, the roller coaster’s lift hill was  officially topped.

The first car of the train was shipped and revealed on February 16th with the car design exhibiting the face of a mako shark. The very last track piece placed on March 15th of 2016.

When did Mako open at SeaWorld Orlando?

Mako’s soft opening was on June 2, 2016, with the media day to introduce the roller coaster taking place a week later. A day after, its official opening to the public was on June 10th of 2016.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako Roller Coaster Mural with Shark. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

In addition to the ride’s opening, a summer-dedicated event named “Summer of Mako” was hosted from June to August 2016 throughout the park and its sister water-park, Aquatica.

Guest Reviews and Satisfaction of Mako Roller Coaster

Generally, the guest satisfaction is mostly positive for Mako!

Mako Roller Coaster SeaWorld Orlando. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Some have stated it was excellently done, with the feel of a retro coaster and plenty of airtime. At the time, some had called it the best coaster in Orlando, Florida.

Awards for this Florida Roller Coaster

In its opening year, it ranked number three in the Best New Ride category for the Golden Ticket Awards.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako with Skytower. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

With the exception of 2020, during the pandemic where there was no awards given out at all, it has managed to place at least in the top 40 in the Top Steel Roller Coaster category.

Roller Coaster Stats for Mako

  • Height: 200 ft
  • Drop: 200 ft
  • Length: 4,760 ft
  • Speed: 73 miles per hour (MPH)
  • Launch/Lyft System: Chain
  • Trains: 3 Trains with 7 Cars

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4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT)

Did you know that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the first coaster at Walt Disney World to feature Marvel characters?

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
NEW Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort

It is Disney’s first backwards launch coaster and EPCOT’s first roller coaster in general.

Next on our list is this enclosed coaster created by Vekoma.

History of Guardians of the Galaxy

The attraction was originally slated for EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary, and was announced at D23 Expo in 2017. It would inevitably be pushed for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary due to delays from the pandemic.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Ellen’s Energy Adventure would close in August 2017 to make way for the Disney roller coaster, in which construction began later that month. 

The show building was refitted to house the coaster. The first piece of track wouldn’t be laid until November of that year however.

Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster Ride at Disney Epcot. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

At the 2019 D23 Expo, the attraction name would be revealed and would be named such due to the 1994 contract with Universal Parks & Resorts, which pre-dates Disney’s 2009 purchase of Marvel Entertainment.

Filming for the ride, starring some of the original cast took place in October 2021.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

The first sneak peek footage was released in March 2022, with it being revealed that Terry Crews would play a new character the following month.

When did Guardians of the Galaxy open at Disney World?

The attraction had its grand opening ceremony on May 27, 2022, opening to the public on the same day.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

What to Expect on this Florida Roller Coaster

The attraction is showcased like a pavilion in World Showcase. It features exhibits and presentations of the culture of the Nova empire, Xandar.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort with Terry Crews. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Without giving too much away, you’ll board a vehicle to help the Guardians stop a celestial being from destroying earth.

Why We Love this Florida Roller Coaster

The ride is unique in the fact that you are assigned six potential songs to ride the coaster to and they are the following:

  • September by Earth, Wind and Fire
  • One Way or Another by Blondie
  • Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for Fears
  • Conga by Miami Sound Machine
  • I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls
  • Disco Inferno by The Trammps

Guest Reviews and Satisfaction for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The general guest reaction is that it is a fun and enjoyable thrill experience with some praising that they were grateful for an actual coaster at a disney theme park.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort roller coaster. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Some however did find issue with the spinning and backwards due to motion sickness.

Roller Coaster Stats for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

  • Launch/lift system: LSM Launch
  • Length: 5,577.4 ft
  • Speed: 60 MPH
  • Ride Time: 3 mins 20 secs
  • G force: 2
  • Trains: 8 trains with 5 cars
Epcot Drinking Around the World Passport

3. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

Hagrid’s made quite the impression upon its debut with its opening day boasting 6-8 hour waits.

One of the best roller coasters in Florida Universal Orlando Resort has created its most life-like animated figure for the most highly themed, immersive coaster experience yet, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – opening June 13. And it’s none other than Hogwarts gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures professor himself – Hagrid.
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

And the people did in fact wait. These days you can catch it with about an hour to and hour and a half wait time on a good day.

Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure 10 hour wait time. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Hagrid Roller Coaster 10-hour wait time on opening day

This multi-launch steel coaster in located in the heart of the Hogsmeade section of Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure.

History of Hagrid’s Motorbike Roller Coaster

This Florida roller coaster cost $300 million to manufacture with Intamin and took the crown from Expedition Everest as the highest costing coaster to make in Orlando.

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure hut in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

It arrived as the sixth Harry Potter-themed attraction to exist and is partially enclosed.

What ride did Hagrid roller coaster replace?

Dueling Dragons Challenge is what Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure replaced; however, it did come back to life briefly as a Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) house during HHN 32.

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure preshow with Arthur Weasley and Hagrid. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Construction of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The construction began in January 2018 after a land clearing process took place.

According to Alan Gilmore, art director of the Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, over a thousand trees were planted to create the woodland that would set the theme of the Forbidden Forest.

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

The attraction started going vertical in May 2018 and the castle portion was in the process of being built in August.

By October, Hagrid’s hut was being built, trees were being planted in the surrounding area and the track layout was finished.

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure queue in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

By mid-December, the first train was placed on the track to prep for testing in February.

When February came, the opening date was announced along with other details including the name of the coaster and the ride vehicle design.

Hagrid Motorbike Roller Coaster Photo Credit Universal Orlando Resort. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

While the testing phase took place, the Fluffy animatronic was completed in April of 2019.

Cornish pixie Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Following this, 13 inch Cornish pixies were added throughout as well as the unicorn animatronics being installed in May of 2019.

What to Expect on this Florida Roller Coaster

The late Robbie Coltrane reprised his role as Hagrid and filming took place at the Warner Bros Studio in London, alongside Mark Williams, who played Arthur Weasley.

Universal Orlando Resort entrance to Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Due to health issues, Coltrane used a body double with the exception of filming of his head and face.

He was also unable to attend the opening ceremony; however, Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Rupert Grint and James and Oliver Phelps did.

Hagrid Ride Grand Opening Moment. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Hagrid Grand Opening Photo: Universal Orlando

The attraction takes muggles through a journey through the Forbidden Forest on Hagrid’s motorbike where you’ll see magical creatures such as:

  • Fluffy the three-headed dog
  • Cornish Pixies
  • Devil’s Snare
  • A Centaur
  • Blast-Ended Skrewt: a creature that was never featured in any of the Harry Potter films

Guest Reviews and Satisfaction for Hagrid’s Roller Coaster

The general consensus amongst guests is that the ride is an adventure of fun and full of awesome twist and turns.

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

However, some find issue with the ride due to the size issue for some who can’t fit into the ride vehicle, similar to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Awards for this Florida Roller Coaster

Since its debut, it has won a few Golden Ticket Awards.

Universal Orlando Resort Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure unicorn. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure

It ranked second in the Best New Coaster Category in 2019, 1st place in the Best New Attraction installation category and has made the top 30 of the Top Steel Roller Coaster Category in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Making it one of the best roller coasters in Florida!

Roller Coaster Stats for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

  • Launch/Lift System: LSM Launch
  • Height: 65 ft
  • Drop: 17 ft
  • Speed: 50 MPH
  • Trains: 10 trains with 7 cars
  • Launches : Multiple

Hagrid’s Roller Coaster Launches

  • 1st: 0–20 mph in 1.2 secs
  • 2nd: 22–30 mph in 1.5 secs
  • 3rd: 0–32 mph in 3.5 secs
  • 4th: 27–35 mph in 2.3 secs
  • 5th: 21–41 mph in 2.5 secs
  • 6th: 37–44 mph in 1.7 secs
  • 7th: 0–50 mph in 4 secs

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2. Iron Gwazi (Busch Gardens Tampa)

This isn’t the first time I have chatted about Iron Gwazi here at ThemeParkHipster. I pitted it against its original form in this article here.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Iron Gwazi Entrance. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

You can learn in depth more about the history of both Busch Garden’s Gwazi and Iron Gwazi there!

Busch Gardens Tampa Travel Planner and Itinerary Guide

But the coaster was manufactured by the great Rocky Mountain Construction (the same company that did Steel Vengeance).

Guest Reviews and Awards

The guest satisfaction overall is that it’s an absolutely phenomenal experience and worth the trip to Busch Gardens Tampa.

Coaster Coffee Co. Iron Gwazi replica at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Plus, it brought renewed life into the once dead Gwazi wooden coaster.

It has been called a winner and praised for its numerous airtime hills, not letting up until a little over halfway through the ride.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Iron Gwazi Roller Coaster in Florida Sun. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

Because it’s only a few years old, it has only won 2 Golden Ticket Awards which was 4th place in the Top Steel Roller Coaster category in 2022 and 5th in the same category in 2023.

Iron Gwazi Roller Coaster during Busch Gardens Christmas Town
Iron Gwazi Roller Coaster (Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Entertainment)

Roller Coaster Stats for Iron Gwazi

  • Height: 206 ft
  • Drop: 206 ft
  • Length: 4,075 ft
  • Speed: 76 MPH
  • Time: 1 min and 50 secs
  • Inversions: 2
  • Trains: 2 trains with 6 cars

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

To some readers, VelociCoaster being in the number one spot will not come as a surprise. In fact, we touched base on everything that has to do with the coaster here.

Universal Orlando Resort Jurassic Park Velocicoaster at Night in Islands of Adventure. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

The acclaimed coaster is themed to the Velociraptor dinosaurs seen in the Jurassic World film franchise.

It’s located in the Islands of Adventure’s Jurassic Park area, occupying the site of the former Triceratops Encounter attraction.

Universal Orlando Resort Lagoon with park map overlooking velocicoaster at Islands of Adventure. One of the best roller coasters in Florida.

This Intamin masterpiece boasts two high-speed LSM (linear synchronous motors) launches features a signature 155-foot-tall (47 m) top hat, four inversions, and a max speed of 70 mph.

Making it one of the best roller coasters in Florida!

Guest Satisfaction and Reviews for this Florida Roller Coaster

The consensus across the board is immensely positive. Many guests come to Islands of Adventure solely to experience this coaster and come off of it exhilarated and wanting to ride again and again.

VelociCoaster queue dinosaur sculpture Universal Orlando Resort Islands of Adventure

However, there is some complaint with the ride vehicle as it may be a bit roomy for some riders.

Velocicoaster Going 100 feet upside down Universal Orlando Photo
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Roller Coaster Stats for VelociCoaster

  • Launch/Lift System: LSM
  • Height: 155 ft
  • Drop: 140 ft
  • Length: 4,700 ft
  • Speed: 70 MPH
  • Inversions: 4
  • Launches: Multiple
    • 1st Launch: 0-50 mph in 2 secs
    • 2nd Launch: 40-70 mph in 2.4 secs
  • Trains: 4 trains with 6 cars

WATCH NEXT: 10 Things I’ll NEVER Do at Universal Orlando Again!

My Final Thoughts the Best Roller Coasters in Florida

There may be many theme parks and experiences to explore in Florida, but only a few hold the key to some of the very best roller coasters that the state has to offer!

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa
KUMBA Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

From SeaWorld to Disney to Universal and Busch Gardens, you will be able to rise up to the challenge and experience the top 5 BEST roller coasters in the state of Florida!

Top 5 Best Roller Coasters In Florida
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Have you ridden some or all of these coasters on our list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Victoria Wade Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster

About the Author

Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.

She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.

She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.

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