Universal Orlando is one of the best places to visit in the United States for roller coasters. This isn’t just because of the thrill factor of the resort’s rides, although there is plenty of that. Universal Orlando has some of the best-themed roller coasters in the country, some of which will blow your mind more than any inversion, drop, or launch ever could. This list will rank the best roller coasters at Universal Orlando, judging each on a combination of thrill factor and theme so you can decide which rides you want to prioritize on your visit!

Planning a Thrill-Seeking Vacation? Get Free Help From Our Favorite Universal Travel Agent!

Before we begin, note that our ranking is not based on thrills alone. We also factor in theming and the overall rider experience to determine which coasters rank highest. But we’ve also included key data for each roller coaster — such as maximum speed, number of inversions (upside down loops), duration, and height requirements — so you can decide which ones are best for you.

To minimize your wait times for these rides, be sure to check the current Early Park Admission schedule and the Universal Express Pass attractions list to determine if a coaster will offer these time-saving services during your visit. You can also lower wait times by checking our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar to time your visit during a slower time of year.

Now, on to our rankings!

1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Hogsmeade, Islands of Adventure
  • Opening Date: June 13, 2019
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 48” (122 cm)
  • Max Speed: 50 mph
  • Inversions: None
  • Duration: 2:55
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

Universal Orlando Rides - Hargrid's Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure takes the top spot on our list because it combines a great roller coaster with one of the most impressive ride themes in the country. Hagrid’s is often the most popular roller coaster in Universal Orlando, and that’s because it’s one of the best experiences available in the resort. The roller coaster itself will have you screaming with joy as you fly around the Forbidden Forest next to Hagrid. The ride has a maximum height of 65 ft, a maximum drop of 17 ft, and a maximum vertical angle of 70°. One of the most noticeable features of this roller coaster is that there are several launches throughout the ride that will seemingly come from nowhere and surprise you. For those who really want to get technical, the launch times are: 1st: 0 to 20 mph in 1.2 seconds; 2nd: 22 mph to 30 mph in 1.5 seconds; 3rd: 0 to 32 mph in 3.5 seconds; 4th: 27 mph to 35 mph in 2.3 seconds; 5th: 21 mph to 41 mph in 2.5 seconds; 6th: 37 mph to 44 mph in 1.7 seconds; 7th: 0 to 50 mph in 4 seconds.

While this ride will have you screaming and laughing, it won’t take the top spot in terms of thrill on this list, and the main reason it’s the number one roller coaster in the resort is its theme. You don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to appreciate the magic of this roller coaster. If it’s not apparent from the name, the ride is designed to simulate a flying motorbike journey in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Most of the journey takes place under the shadow of Hogwarts Castle in the Forbidden Forest, which Universal Orlando constructed using 1,200 trees. The forest also has immaculate replicates of Hagrid’s hut and a few more classic Harry Potter locations and characters along the way. The launches of the ride combined with the loud audio of a revving motorcycle make it really feel like you are going through different gears on your bike as you zoom through the sky. Universal also sprinkles in other audiovisual effects that bring the experience even more to life.

The combination of one of the most realistic themes in the resort and an impressive roller coaster make it clear why many people argue this is the best ride in America and justify its place at number one on this list.

Who is it Best For?

Like I said before, you don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy and appreciate the wonder of this ride. But, being a Harry Potter fan will make Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure a surreal experience that will give you deja vu from the series and bring some of your favorite movie and book memories to life in a way that you have to see to believe.

While this ride might be a bit scary for younger kids, as long as you meet the height requirement this ride is likely good for all ages. It’s not the most thrilling ride in the resort but still not for the faint-hearted!

2. Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Jurassic Park, Islands of Adventure
  • Opening Date: June 10, 2021
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 51” (130 cm)
  • Max Speed: 70 mph
  • Inversions: 4
  • Duration: 2:00
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

The Jurassic World VelociCoaster is the most thrilling roller coaster in Universal Orlando. Combining crazy peaks, drops, inversions, and pure speed, this ride is a thrill-seeker’s fantasy. I’ve been on this ride before and while I had a blast, I don’t go back frequently just because of how intense the experience is (I’m not the bravest theme park goer). The VelociCoaster has a maximum peak of 155 ft that shortly after drops you down 140 ft to the ground.

This is the fastest roller coaster in the resort, and when you combine that sheer speed with these drops and inversions it’s a recipe for extreme thrill. While this ride is famous for its thrill, it still has a really fun theme. Following its name, the ride is based on Jurassic Park, and it recreates escaping from Velociraptors as you fly around. Throughout the chase, you will zoom by several Velociraptors biting at you, fly through the jungle, and over a lake. This part of the ride is called the ‘mosasaurus roll’, as you twist over the surface of the water in a tight spiral. Despite all of this, it took me a few rides to notice all of these features because I was so focused on surviving the roller coaster itself!

Who is it Best For?

This is a ride for thrill lovers and daredevils. I would definitely recommend trying a few of the rides that rank lower on this list’s thrill scale before moving up to the VelociCoaster. There is no need to be a Jurassic Park fan to enjoy this ride- it’s mostly about the roller coaster anyway!

3. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Marvel Superhero Island, Islands of Adventure
  • Opening Date: May 28, 1999/ August 4, 2016
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 54” (138 cm)
  • Max Speed: 67 mph
  • Inversions: 7
  • Duration: 1:15
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

The Incredible Hulk Coaster may only last for just over a minute, but every moment of the ride is packed with thrills. The roller coaster starts out hot and immediately launches you out of a tube into several inversions. The ride has 7 total inversions that it packs into just a 1:15-minute ride, so make sure you don’t try this right after lunch!

Like the VelociCoaster, this ride is primarily focused on the thrill of the roller coaster. But, the 2016 refurbishments completely revamped the line experience and upgraded some of the themes. The queue is designed to mimic General Thaddeus Ross’ lab and so is the first part of the ride, nicknamed the ‘scream tube’. After the beginning of the ride, the only Hulk theme that persists is the green of the roller coaster, but that really isn’t an issue because you will be too busy being launched in circles to pay attention to too many thematic details.

This ride ranks highly on our list because of its thrill factor, and even though it is one of Universal’s shorter roller coasters it’s a must-try for the daredevils visiting the resort!

Who is it Best For?

Like the VelociCoaster, this ride is best for thrill seekers. The ride goes from 0-100 in terms of intensity right at the start, so I would also recommend building up to this experience! Marvel fans will love the queue, but the roller coaster itself is great for anyone because its main focus is the thrill.

Skip the Lines with a Free Express Pass!

Did you know that guests staying at select Universal Orlando hotels receive a free Express Pass as part of the booking? That helps you enjoy some of the best roller coasters at Universal with less time standing in line!

To find out more about this great perk, contact our favorite Universal travel agency, The Vacationeer. These trusted travel agents will help you find the best Universal hotel for your family. Whether you need one that’s pet friendly, within walking distance of the park, has suites for larger families, or whatever your need is, you’ll get expert advice at no additional cost.

As a trusted Universal Preferred Travel AgencyThe Vacationeer is well-versed in everything Universal has to offer. Their agents provide completely free Universal Orlando vacation planning services at the exact same price you’d pay if you booked it yourself. You might even pay less, thanks to their extensive knowledge of discounts and promotions. They’ll even monitor for new discounts to be announced after you’ve booked, and apply them automatically if your reservation qualifies!

Your dedicated agent (no giant call centers!) can answer all of your park ticket questions, too — and they’ll even make your dining reservations and arrange ground transportation as needed.

There’s never any obligation to book and they always offer free consultations, so connect with The Vacationeer today to start planning your Universal Orlando adventure!

4. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Hogsmeade, Islands of Adventure
  • Opening Date: June 18, 2010
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 48” (122 cm)
  • Max Speed: 23 mph
  • Inversions: None
  • Duration: 4:00
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

Due to its surreal CGI and unique ride system, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is considered to be the signature ride of Hogsmeade, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure.

It’s debatable whether or not you could call this ride a true roller coaster. At the very least, it is definitely not your typical roller coaster with huge launches, drops, and inversions. The ride vehicles are, however, on motion robotic arms which provide many of the swoops, drops, and near-loops that you would expect on a coaster. In this dark ride, passengers sit in small cars that only reach a maximum of 23 mph. Although this may not seem very fast, the explosive movement of the car and the CGI around you wildly enhance the physical experience of the ride.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey takes you on a journey with Harry as you both escape from Hogwarts. You will run from dragons, death eaters, and more, all while flying through parts of Hogwarts castle you will recognize from the movies. The visuals on the ride fall somewhere between 3D and 4D, and they pull you into the experience in a way that is hard to understand without trying it for yourself. The video attached to this list does not do the ride justice, although it gives a window into what you will experience. The combination of visuals, storytelling, and a unique roller coaster make this one of the best rides in the resort.

Who is it Best For?

Similarly to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to appreciate the technology and experience present in this ride. But, having seen the movies myself, there is something incredibly special about seeing the towers, lakes, and characters around Hogwarts in such an immersive setting that makes the experience unforgettable. As long as you meet the height requirements this ride is good for people of all ages!

5. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Diagon Alley, Universal Studios
  • Opening Date: July 8, 2014
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 42” (107 cm). Children between 42” – 48” (107 cm – 122 cm) must ride with a supervising companion.
  • Max Speed: 25 mph
  • Inversions: None
  • Duration: 5:00
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is similar to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, for what it might lack in thrill it makes up for in theme. The dark ride takes you on a journey with Harry, Ron, and Hermione as you escape Gringotts, just like in the movies. The experience of this ride starts in the line when you will get deja vu from the movies as you walk through a replica of the main entrance to Gringotts Bank as goblins peer at you from either side of the hall.

The ride has no wild drops or launches but depends heavily on CGI and sudden movements of the car to create an intense escape experience. You will be sent speeding through the vaults and caves below Gringotts with Harry, Ron, and Hermione by your side. Not only will you see some of your favorite witches and wizards, you might even see a dragon!

Who is it Best For?

This ride is good for people of all ages and like The Forbidden Journey, any park goer will appreciate the magic of the ride, but Harry Potter fans will feel like they are being fully immersed in the movie series they know and love.

6. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Production Central / New York area of Universal Studios Florida
  • Opening Date: August 19, 2009
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 51” (130 cm), and no more than 79” (201 cm)
  • Max Speed: 65 mph
  • Inversions: None
  • Duration: 1:40
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

Despite being number six on this list, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is one of the most thrilling rides in the resort. The coaster will send you shooting around Production Central on a 3,800 ft track. The track has a maximum peak of 167 ft and reaches a top speed of 65 mph. The Rip Ride Rockit is right up there with the VelociCoaster and the Incredible Hulk Coaster with thrill, but it lacks in theme.

The ride has a very simple theme centered around the songs you get to choose for your roller coaster ride. As a rider, you can select from 5 songs to jam out to during the roller coaster. This is a ton of fun! But, the theme is so simple it won’t rank highly on this list.

Who is it Best For?

This ride is for thrill seekers, and it is just a little less scary than the VelociCoaster and the Hulk Coaster. This would be a great ride to try before those two if you are looking to build up to the most thrilling rides in the resort. This is also a great ride for people who are more interested in the thrill of rides rather than the themes and stories behind them!

Get Free Help Booking Your Hotels, Dining, and Theme Park Tickets

7. Revenge of the Mummy

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: New York area of Universal Studios Florida
  • Opening Date: May 21, 2004
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 48” (122 cm)
  • Max Speed: 45 mph
  • Inversions: None
  • Duration: 3:00
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

Revenge of the Mummy is the first real psychological thriller on this list. Not only are you in a car that will launch you at high speeds, but the darkness, mummies, and visuals will have you holding your breath the whole ride.

The ride is themed after escaping from the mummy Imhotep. The ride uses linear induction motors (LIMs) in the roller coaster, which have the ability to launch you from 0-45 mph in a matter of seconds.

During the ride you will often be in darkness, waiting for mummies to pop out around any corner. From what you can see, your surroundings are primarily themed after ancient Egypt. This ride builds in intensity right from the start, and combines a good roller coaster with a terrifying story.

Who is it Best For?

This ride has a great theme and thrill factor, although the thrill is more psychological than physical. If you are looking for thrills that aren’t just about inversions and drops then this could be your favorite ride in the resort!

8. Flight of the Hippogriff

Thrills:

Theme:

Overall Ranking:

Overview

  • Location: Hogsmeade, Islands of Adventure
  • Opening Date: June 18, 2018
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 36” (91 cm)
  • Max Speed: 29 mph
  • Inversions: None
  • Duration: 1:06
  • Early Park Admission: Check List for Updated Information
  • Universal Express Pass: Check List for Updated Information
  • Lowest Wait Times: Early Park Admission, Universal Express Pass, Low Crowds

Ride Description

Flight of the Hippogriff is categorized as a junior roller coaster. The ride is not scary, and passengers get to enjoy beautiful views of Hogwarts and the Forbidden Forest as they fly around the school grounds. You will also get to see Buckbeak the Hippogriff and Hagrid’s hut as you go.

Who is it Best For?

This is best for young kids and families. It would be a great first roller coaster to try, especially if they are Harry Potter fans!

Currently Closed: Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster (Becoming Trollercoaster)

Another “beginner coaster” for little kids is the former Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster at Universal Studios Florida. This junior ride is currently closed (along with many of the attractions in Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone) as the area around it transforms into a land themed to Dreamworks Animation. The coaster is now confirmed to be taking on a “Trollercoaster” theme, based on the Trolls movie franchise. The new land is scheduled to open in Summer 2024.

Conclusion

Universal Orlando Florida has some of the best roller coasters in the country, and they have something for everyone! Whether you are more interested in the thrill factor, the theme, or both, there are rides in the resort that you will love!

But Universal is more than just roller coasters! There are plenty of rides for every taste. For more on all the rides the resort has to offer, check out our other articles:

You might also be interested in our list of the Best Roller Coasters at Disney World.

And if you are looking to plan a trip to Universal, make sure to check out The Vacationeer, one of the most highly rated Universal travel agents, to make sure you get the most value out of your trip.

Ready to Experience the Best Roller Coasters at Universal?

Get free help planning your Universal Orlando vacation from our favorite Universal Travel Agency, The Vacationeer!

Their agents can answer all your Universal questions, helping you pick the best time to go and how many days to stay, not to mention calculating how much it will cost and explaining perks such as early park entry. They can even help you determine if it’s worth purchasing paid add-ons such as Express Pass or one of the after-hours special events.

And because you’ll be assigned a single, dedicated agent who will take the time to learn about your family, they can offer ride recommendations for your kids while also making sure the rest of the group gets all the thrills they’re looking for.

Can’t decide whether to visit Universal or Disney World? They can help with that, too. They’ll help you compare prices between the two and answer all of your questions.

Whichever you choose (why not both?), your Vacationeer handles all the details for you. They’ll book hotel reservations, theme park tickets, dining reservations, even ground transportation from the airport or between Universal and Disney.

Best of all, they provide all of these planning services at no additional cost to you! You pay the same price as if you’d booked it all yourself (maybe even a little less, given their wide knowledge of discounts and special rates).

So book your Universal vacation the stress-free way so you can focus on having fun with your family! Get started today with a free, no-obligation quote from The Vacationeer!