10 Reasons Florida Is Coaster Heaven On Earth

If you love amusement parks, then Florida is the state for you. Check out just a fraction of the amazing rides the state has to offer so that next time you VISIT FLORIDA, you’re prepared to hit every one.

1. Kumba at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay

Roller Coaster Philosophy / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: hyku

 

Kumba may date back to 1993, but the three-minute ride is packed with fun. Its course contains a dive loop, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll, two interlocking corkscrews, and one vertical loop that goes 114 feet in the air. Oh, and it’s got a g-force of 3.8.

2. The Dragon Challenge at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando

Jeff Greenberg / Getty Images

 

The Dragon Challenge features two inverted roller coasters (the Chinese Fireball and the Hungarian Horntail) chasing after one another. Though these coasters are separate, their lift hills are across from one another, which provides riders with a rather unique thrill.

3. Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista

 

In 2011, Expedition Everest was named by the Guinness World Records as the most expensive roller coaster ever built. However, that’s not the ride’s only claim to fame, as there’s a section of it where people ride backwards in the dark.

4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista

Christian Lambert Photography / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr: christiantlambert

 

The first thing you’ll notice on the Rock ‘n’ Roller is the Aerosmith soundtrack. But once you realize how much sense that makes for this ride, you’ll be stunned by the g-force of 4.5 (for some perspective, at four, your vision can start to lose color).

5. The Hulk at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando

 

The Hulk is special for a variety of reasons, but two things in particular make it a notable ride: one is the way it goes from 0 to 40 mph in about two seconds, and the other is its zero-gravity roll, which is an inversion that creates a center of gravity that is near the rider’s heart (which makes you feel completely weightless).

6. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios in Orlando

Flickr: rollercoasterphilosophy / Roller Coaster Philosophy / CC BY 2.0

 

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is the first roller coaster in the world to have a non-inverted loop (as you can see in the photo, the people are above the loop, not below it). Need we say more?

7. The Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando

 

The Kraken cost $42 million to make! Riders have an itinerary of seven inversions, two vertical loops, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll, and a corkscrew, and drop from a staggering 144 feet.

8. Space Mountain at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista

 

Space Mountain is not only an indoor roller coaster, but it’s also the oldest operating roller coaster in the state! It debuted in 1975, and its cosmic theme is enjoyed by every generation. Would you believe that inside that building is a 90-foot climb?

9. The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at the Islands of Adventure in Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort / universalorlando.com

 

Despite being a “scenic dark ride” instead of a roller coaster, this attraction has never disappointed anyone. This tour of Hogwarts is obviously a delight to all Harry Potter fans, but the ride also offers various drops, spins, and other movements that all amusement park fans will approve of.

10. The SheiKra roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay

MCT / Getty Images

 

The SheiKra roller coaster was actually North America’s first Dive Coaster (which is where riders experience a moment of free-falling due to a 90-degree drop). The name comes from the word “shikra,” an Asian-African bird that vertically dives when hunting.

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