Green and grey roller coaster next to water feature

Best Roller Coasters at Universal Orlando Resort

While the Walt Disney World Resort is known for theme parks filled with family-friendly fun, if it’s pulse-racing thrills you’re after, then hop on Interstate 4 and drive just down the road to another Central Florida theme park: the Universal Orlando Resort. Along with immersive 3D motion simulators, carnival-style thrill rides on steroids and water rides that are sure to make a splash, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are also home to some truly incredible roller coasters.

Whether you want to get caught up in an epic battle between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort (sorry, He Who Must Not Be Named), be chased by a rampaging mummy or race a pack of velociraptors, you can do it all on one of the Universal Orlando roller coasters. From high-speed launches to exhilarating drops, these rides will definitely get your heart pumping.

But which roller coasters at Universal Orlando should you check out during your visit? (Spoiler alert: All of them!) As fellow coaster lovers, we’re here to help you figure it out. Now, buckle up and get ready for some serious fun!

Birds-eye view of Universal Orlando

Thrill Seeker’s Guide to Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios Roller Coasters

We don’t know about you, but for us, one of the best parts of any theme park is its thrill rides, especially the roller coasters. While you can find some pretty awesome coasters at Disney World (yup, believe it or not, the Most Magical Place on Earth is no slouch when it comes to these exciting attractions), Universal Orlando ups the ante by offering not just some of the best roller coasters in Florida but in the entire United States.

Seriously! In fact, two Universal Orlando attractions were nominated as the best roller coaster of 2023 by Theme Park Insider, with the Jurassic World VelociCoaster taking the crown for the second year in a row (the other nominee was Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure). And we haven’t even mentioned the can’t-miss Universal Studios roller coasters yet!

But first, before we get into our ranking, let’s tackle some commonly asked questions about Universal’s coaster lineup.

How many roller coasters are at Universal Orlando?

Currently, adrenaline junkies can experience seven different roller coasters at the Universal Orlando theme parks. There were previously eight, but that was before Universal Studios’s only true kiddie coaster, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, shut down for good, along with the rest of Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, in January 2023.

Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster Sign

Which has the most roller coasters: Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure?

Between Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Islands of Adventure comes out on top with four roller coasters, with Universal Studios Orlando following closely behind with three. Roller coasters at each park include:

Universal Studios Florida

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Revenge of the Mummy

Islands of Adventure

  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Does Universal have more roller coasters than Disney World?

Surprisingly, this is one area where Universal Orlando doesn’t have Walt Disney World beat. While you can currently find seven roller coasters at the adrenaline-loving resort, Disney World actually comes in slightly ahead with eight coasters to its name. Plus, that lead will grow even more once Magic Kingdom’s new roller coaster, TRON Lightcycle Power / Run officially opens its doors to guests on April 4, 2023.

How many roller coasters are at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Thrill ride-loving muggles will be happy to know that three of Universal Orlando’s seven roller coasters can be found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Flight of the Hippogriff and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Hogsmeade and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts in Diagon Alley. These magical coasters allow you to take flying lessons from Hagrid or test out his enchanted motorbike, as well as journey deep into the bowels of a goblin-run wizarding bank. Is anyone else ready to apparate there right away? Accio Universal tickets!

Dragon on top of a bank building

What is the craziest roller coaster at Universal Orlando?

Well, that depends on your definition of crazy. Whether you have a need for speed, love hurtling around at lofty heights or are a fiend for intense maneuvers like inversions, there’s a Universal Orlando roller coaster for thrill seekers of all stripes.

Fastest Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios Roller Coasters

Attention, speed demons! If it’s high-speed thrills you’re after, these Universal roller coasters have you covered:

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster — 70 miles per hour
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster — 67 miles per hour
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit — 65 miles per hour
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure — 50 miles per hour
  • Revenge of the Mummy — 45 miles per hour

Tallest Universal Orlando Roller Coasters

If big heights mean big thrills (after all, what goes up must come down), then these roller coasters at Universal Orlando are sure to give you an adrenaline rush.

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit — 90-degree climb up a vertical chain-lift hill with a maximum height of 167 feet followed by a near-vertical drop
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster — 155-foot-tall top hat followed by a 140-foot, 80-degree drop
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster — Maximum height of 110 feet with a 105-foot drop

Most Intense Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure Roller Coasters

But what about inversions? From loops to barrel rolls to zero-g stalls, these roller coasters at Universal Orlando bring the intensity:

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster — Two high-speed LSM (linear synchronous motion) launches, Jr. Immelmann partial inversion, dive loop, 100-foot-long zero-g stall, and a signature “Mosasaurus roll”
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster — High-speed tire-propelled launch followed by seven inversions, including a zero-g roll, cobra roll, two vertical loops and two corkscrews
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit — Vertical chain-lift hill with a non-inverting loop, two helixes and an over-banked curve

Roller coaster track drop with vehicle

What are the height requirements for Universal Orlando roller coasters?

Want to see if the kiddo in your crew is tall enough to ride? Here are the height requirements for each of the roller coasters at Universal Orlando.

Universal Studios Florida

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts — At least 42 inches (107cm) in height
  • Revenge of the Mummy — At least 48 inches (122cm) in height
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit — At least 51 inches (130cm) in height but no more than 79 inches (201cm)

Islands of Adventure

  • Flight of the Hippogriff — At least 36 inches (92cm) in height
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure — At least 48 inches (122cm) in height
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster — At least 51 inches (130cm) in height
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster — At least 54 inches (138cm) in height

Is there a family-friendly coaster at Universal Orlando?

With the closure of Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster in January 2023, the only kiddie coaster at Universal Orlando is Flight of the Hippogriff, which is on the Hogsmeade side of Harry Potter World and has a reasonable minimum height requirement of 36 inches. Though short but sweet, this junior steel coaster has a cute storyline, a narration from Hagrid while you ride and an appearance by an audio-animatronic hippogriff. It’s also a great way to introduce your kiddos to Universal’s slate of coasters.

The Wizarding World is also home to the second most kid-friendly coaster Universal has to offer: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. With a minimum height of only 42 inches, this dark ride-meets-roller coaster is a hit for Harry Potter fans of all ages. Just keep in mind that there are some parts during the attraction that may get a bit intense for younger riders.

Having said all that, while the Woody Woodpecker coaster isn’t currently in action, it is possible that the ride will simply be rethemed rather than completely demolished. We’re hoping that this is the case since Universal needs some good family-friendly attractions among its sea of thrilling roller coasters and 3D simulator rides. For even more Universal fun the entire family can enjoy, be sure to check out Seuss Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventure park, where you can go on such animated attractions as The Cat in the Hat and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Two stone huts with pumpkins

What are some other adrenaline-pumping attractions for thrill seekers at Universal Orlando?

Roller coasters aren’t the only pulse-racing rides at Universal Orlando. There are also several other attractions available for adrenaline lovers of all kinds and ages at each of the theme parks, but especially Islands of Adventure.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal is known for its motion simulator-style attractions, which use massive screens and some set pieces to turn a relatively small space into a whole lot of fun. While not officially considered a “thrill ride” by Universal, one of its more exciting iterations of the genre is TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D. With appearances by the intimidating Decepticons and a heart-pounding race to save the AllSpark, it’s an undeniably good time.

In fact, one of my fondest Universal memories is when I overheard a pint-sized TRANSFORMERS fan exclaim to what appeared to be his big brother, “We did it!” (“It” being saving humanity from certain destruction.) Yup, the kid honestly believed the entire thing was real. Adorable? Yes. A must-do thrill ride? Also, yes.

Islands of Adventure

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is another of Universal’s motion simulator-powered dark rides, which takes you deep into a remote jungle in search of King Kong. The queue for this tech-heavy dark ride is also equally intense and uses creepy details like ritualistic chanting and spooky skeletons to set the scene. Just around the corner from Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is a roller coaster-like log-flume ride with a 75-foot drop and a ton of water. It’s a good thing there are dryers nearby because you’re going to get drenched.

You can’t go to Universal Orlando and not experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This motion simulator-style dark ride is located in Hogwarts Castle and gives guests a taste of student life, from quidditch matches to run-ins with dragons and dementors. For simpler (yet still scary) thrills, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is a drop tower-style attraction that launches you screaming into the sky, then plunges you back down to stable ground.

Finally, Pteranodon Flyers in the Camp Jurassic area is a thrilling ride made with kids in mind. That’s right, the only way you’re getting on this one as an adult is if you have a child accompanying you. For this one, riders get a dinosaur’s-eye view of the park as they soar beneath the wings of a pteranodon.

Can you bring your things with you on Universal Studios Orlando roller coasters?

Typically, no. Unlike at Disney World, where personal items can be brought on every single attraction, loose articles are not allowed on the vast majority of Universal Orlando coasters. The only exception to this rule is Flight of the Hippogriff. For everything else, you are required to stash your stuff in a locker (don’t worry, they’re free) and then go through a metal detector before you get on. Lockers are located either in the ride queue or near the entrance to the attraction.

Hogwarts Castle at night time

Which Universal Orlando roller coasters are open for Early Park Admission?

Early entrance into the theme parks (up to an hour before park opening) is a valuable benefit provided only to select groups, like guests staying at the Universal Orlando hotels and those with certain kinds of tickets. Considering how busy the parks can get, especially later in the day, this is something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of if you get the chance, as it gives you an invaluable head start on the competition.

Sadly, not all Universal attractions are open during these times. That said, a handful of each park’s more popular rides do tend to be available. Just bear in mind that Early Park Admission attractions are subject to change, so refer to the Universal Orlando website prior to your visit for the most updated list. Universal roller coasters usually available during early admission are:

Universal Studios Florida

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Islands of Adventure

  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Best Roller Coasters at Universal Studios Florida & Universal’s Islands of Adventure Ranked by Thrills

Alright, adrenaline junkies, it’s time to get into all of the thrilling details. Universal has an outstanding collection of roller coasters to explore, and we highly recommend that you try every single one of them. However, as anyone who has ever sweated it out in line at Universal Studios Orlando can attest, trying them all in one visit can often mean many hours spent waiting. Luckily, if you’re trying to streamline your visit, we’re here to help you decide which ones are worth your precious time.

7. Flight of the Hippogriff in Islands of Adventure

Located in the shadow of Hogwarts Castle in Hogsmeade, Flight of the Hippogriff is the perfect starter roller coaster for younger children. This charming attraction features easygoing twists and turns that mimic how a hippogriff flies. (For the uninitiated, a hippogriff is a legendary animal that is part griffin and part horse.) Along the way, Hagrid instructs you on proper hippogriff riding techniques, and you’ll even get to take a peek at Hagrid’s hut and an audio-animatronic version of the creature.

Height Restriction: 36 inches (92cm) or taller

Max Speed: 29 mph

Duration: 1 minute and 6 seconds

flight-of-the-hippogriff

6. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts in Universal Studios Florida

Part interactive dark ride, part motion simulator, and part roller coaster, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a must for any fan of the beloved book series turned film franchise. The attraction is located on the Diagon Alley side of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and has an impressive fire-breathing dragon perched on the roof of the building. And don’t even get us started on the ridiculously detailed queue!

Set entirely indoors, this story coaster (a roller coaster with a storyline) takes guests deep into the perilous vaults of Gringotts. Security is tight at this wizarding bank, which keeps a dragon on staff to deter intruders. However, not even its fiery breath is enough to discourage the likes of Lord Voldemort and his equally notorious follower, Bellatrix Lestrange. During your subterranean journey, you’ll navigate tight turns and steep drops as you try to help Harry, Ron and Hermione escape, as well as a short drop that will leave your heart in your throat.

Height Restriction: 42 inches (107cm) or taller

Max Speed: About 25 mph

Duration: 5 minutes

Ride attraction vehicle for Gringotts

5. Revenge of the Mummy in Universal Studios Florida

Another hugely popular indoor roller coaster, this time based on The Mummy film series, Revenge of the Mummy is an intense thrill ride with three high-speed launches, sudden drops, pyrotechnics, dark tunnels filled with skeletons and other spine-tingling surprises. Even Brendan Fraser makes a special appearance at the very end. As you can probably guess from our description, The Mummy ride is definitely one roller coaster that you’re going to want to think twice about before taking your kids on. The spooky special effects alone are enough to give your child nightmares.

Height Restriction: 48 inches (122cm) or taller

Max Speed: 45 mph

Duration: 3 minutes

revenge-mummy

4. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure

Located on the former site of another awesome pair of Universal coasters, Dueling Dragons, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is one of the newest attractions in all of Universal Orlando and a must-do for Harry Potter fans and thrill seekers alike. Nestled in the heart of Hogsmeade, just a short walk from Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and King’s Cross Station, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is easily one of the best rides in the entire resort. The outdoor story coaster takes guests on a magical journey through the Forbidden Forest, with everyone’s favorite groundskeeper, Hagrid, as your guide.

Throughout your thrilling tour, you’ll see some of the fantastic beasts from the books and films, including Fluffy the three-headed dog, Cornish pixies and the most majestic creature of them all, a unicorn. The most notable part of the roller coaster, however, is the unique ride vehicles. As the attraction’s name suggests, guests climb aboard a motorbike, complete with a sidecar, for their voyage into the Forbidden Forest. Talk about an enchanting way to experience the wizarding world! On top of that, this masterpiece of a roller coaster also touts the most launches of any coaster in the world: an impressive seven. Though, if we’re being technical, four of them are more like boosts than actual launches. Nonetheless, this is a winner all around.

Height Restriction: 48 inches (122cm) or taller

Max Speed: 50 mph

Duration: 3 minutes and 25 seconds

hagrid's motorbike adventure

3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit in Universal Studios Florida

Ok, this is where things really start to get exciting (and fast!). Nestled not too far from the entrance to Universal Studios Florida, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is one of the most in-demand attractions in the park. While it isn’t the most intense coaster on our list—that title goes to the next two attractions—and there aren’t any inversions, Rip Ride Rockit brings guests back again and again with its massive drop and high-speed thrills.

What’s more, this rockin’ roller coaster (not to be confused with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) is one of the more unique thrill rides at Universal Orlando as, unlike other attractions where the soundtrack is already decided for you, you get to choose your own music to jam out to while you ride. Just be sure to lock in your favorite track before the ride begins, or you’ll be stuck listening to something you don’t want the entire way. There are even a bunch of super-secret songs you can choose from (ask a team member for the list). The only downside is, just like a concert with your favorite band or artist, the ride is over and done with all too soon.

Height Restriction: 51 inches (130cm) or taller but less than 79 inches (201cm)

Max Speed: 65 mph

Duration: 1 minute and 39 seconds

hollywood-rip-ride-rockit

2. The Incredible Hulk Coaster in Islands of Adventure

No list of the best rides at Universal Orlando would be complete without mentioning The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Located in Marvel Super Hero Island next door to Storm Force Accelatron and a short stroll from The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, this beast of a roller coaster is one of the most beloved attractions in the entire resort, and for good reason. As soon as you climb aboard this green goliath and are launched headlong into the sky, you know you’re in for something special.

The entire track of The Hulk ride is designed to feel just like how he might move during one of his rampages. In fact, as you’ll discover in the queue, you’ve actually taken part in a science experiment, receiving a jolt of gamma radiation that sends you reeling just like Bruce Banner. Don’t worry, though—one launch, seven inversions and a top speed of 67 miles per hour later, you’ll be back safe and sound on solid ground. Just be prepared that those moves can really throw your stomach for a loop (pun intended).

Height Restriction: 54 inches (138cm) or taller

Max Speed: 67 mph

Duration: 2 minutes and 15 seconds

the-incredible-hulk-coaster

1. Jurassic World VelociCoaster in Islands of Adventure

Last but certainly not least, we have the newest roller coaster on our list, and the one that currently holds the top spot for the most intense (and scariest) rides at Universal Florida: Jurassic World VelociCoaster. This state-of-the-art thriller is located in the jungle-like Jurassic Park section of the park and is an easy walk from both Pteranodon Flyers and Jurassic Park River Adventure. And while it may be a little shorter than some of the other rides in this post, make no mistake—this thing will leave you breathless!

Similar to The Incredible Hulk ride, this high-speed coaster hurtles guests at a top speed of 70 miles per hour through an array of twists and turns inspired by the movements of velociraptors, including a stunning “Mosasaur roll” over the park’s lagoon, throughout its short 1-minute and 59-second journey. But, that’s not all. In hot pursuit are Owen’s raptors, who are nipping at your heels for the entire heart-pounding experience. The ride’s designers even raised the seats farther away from the floor so your feet can’t touch to make the ride feel even more unsettling (how thoughtful of them).

Height Restriction: 51 inches (130cm) or taller

Max Speed: 70 mph

Duration: Almost 2 minutes

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Well, thrill seekers, we’ve reached the end of our guide to the best roller coasters at Universal in Florida. Which is your favorite coaster of the bunch? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how you can make your trip a little more affordable with our discount Universal tickets.