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The best coasters in and around Orlando
A guide to the best coasters in and around Orlando
This is an introduction to some of our favourite coasters in Orlando and Busch Gardens.
Although there are plenty of theme parks to choose from in Florida, they cater to a wide range of tastes and as such thrill seekers have less choice in any one park than in some of the Six Flags parks around the world.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the pant’s scared off you in Orlando….
The newest coaster is at Busch Gardens – Sheikra. This is Florida’s tallest coaster and also holds (for the moment) the record as the worlds tallest dive coaster. With speeds of up to 70mph and the first of its kind to incorporate an Immelmann loop (a rolling maneuver), a second, 138-foot dive into an underground tunnel and a water-feature finale. If you like speed and being hurtled through the air then make this top of your “to do” list.
Also at Busch Gardens you have Gwazi, a double wooden coaster. Choose either the Lion or the Tiger; both give a different ride sensation. The Lion features plenty of spirals and the Tiger gives the sensation of riding a bobsled on a slalom course!!
Still at Busch and more coasters:
Montu - Experience the thrill of an inverse diving loop and a 60-foot vertical loop while you endure speeds of over 60 miles per hour and a G-force of 3.85. Another terrific ride.
Kumba – Yet another one… is there no end to the thrills in this park.
There are several more coasters in Busch Gardens so if you are looking to mix it up with the best of them, get yourself a ticket to ride.
Back to Orlando and the next Park to feature more than one big coaster is Islands of Adventure. The biggest of these is the Incredible Hulk Coaster, you are catapulted out of a tunnel straight over the heads of the crowds below, and it just gets better.
Dueling Dragons is another double coaster where you choose your preference – Fire or Ice. A looping double coaster that passes within inches of each other.
Spiderman, though technically not a coaster does a very good impression of one in a simulated fashion, so much so, that I was sure we had been hurtling through the city with Peter Parker.
Dr Dooms Fearfall isn’t a coaster either but scares you senseless nonetheless. Rocketed skyward 150 feet then dropped back to earth while seated around the outside of the contraption… This is visible from the I-4 before you even get to the Park.
Next door, over at Universal Studio’s there is the new Revenge of the Mummy ride. A coaster of sorts, with a few twists and surprises along the way.
In comparison the other Parks, Disney has very few pure adrenalin rides. The most famous must Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. You board your rocket to be fired into space…. A coaster in pitch black darkness, but showing its age a bit these days.
Hollywood Studios has a couple of rides worth trying. Tower of terror is a fear fest of spooky goings on in the Hollywood Tower Hotel. You are transported into the Twilight Zone and once on board your service elevator you hurtle towards the ground. This ride has got better and better since they changed the way it operates and now you never know what kind of a drop you are going to get as they are all randomly decided by a computer.
Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster is a high speed car ride to meet the band at a gig. Traffic signals hold no fear as you just ignore them in the dark streets.
On to Epcot and the rides to note here are Test Track and another simulator: Mission Space.
Test Track has you playing a crash test dummy in the GM testing facility as your car is put through its paces.
Mission Space is a simulator so real you’re not sure if you are still on terra firma.
Not to be outdone Animal Kingdom is currently building its first coaster – Everest. Billed to resemble a runaway train, the ride is certainly one of the bigger structures on the horizon as you approach the Park.
For the final rides of the thrill seekers there are 2 rides at Old Town, neither of which is a coaster, but they are truly thrilling.
Sky coaster is an epic ride for those brave enough (with an empty stomach) It’s not quite a hang glider, it’s not quite sky diving but it’s the closet you will get to either without going up in a plane.
Slingshot is exactly what it says it is. It’s a catapult with human ammo. You strap yourself in, are hoisted into position and fired at high speed into the sky. Of course if you’re brave/stupid (delete as appropriate) enough to even sit in it then you might want to have a video to prove to others that you did do it.
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