Who Doesn't Love a Good Thrill Ride?
Today we will take a look at five top fan-picked thrill rides. It will include three of my favorites as well as two that I have never ridden and, unfortunately, will never be able to ride. (I have a bad back, and yes, I still ride the other three!)
Hold on to your hats and glasses, folks, 'cause we're about to go on a wild ride through Universal's top 5 thrill attractions! But first, let's start with the less spine-chilling ones and work our way up to the ultimate heart-stopping experience!" 😲🎢
Join Hagrid and Fly into the Forbidden Forest
“Now’s the time to join Hagrid™ as you fly deep into the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts™ castle, on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Experience Universal’s most highly themed, immersive coaster—only at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.”
That is how Universal’s website describes Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™. While this may be the ‘tamest’ of the five we are discussing today, it remains one of my all-time favorites! I get a rush of adrenaline every time I ride it - so much so that my Apple watch gives me a thumbs up for the extra exercise I get!
The backstory is Hagrid agrees to take a few students on an ‘unauthorized’ excursion into the Forbidden Forest on his Motorbike to view a few of his magical creatures. What can go wrong?
As you enter the queue, you have the option to ride either in the driver's seat or in the sidecar. For those guests with a balance issue, I suggest the sidecar. For those with control issues, always use the Motorbike! (If you are worried about the restraint system and the issues of fitting, the Motorbike is a bit more lenient, while the Sidecar has more legroom.)
The best time to ride is definitely at night! It is a much more fascinating and completely different ride at night than during the daytime! My thrill junkie son rates this as a mild thrill ride. But beware, there is a ‘surprise’ midway through the ride that should earn it a moderate rating!
Hagrids replaced the Dragon Challenge and opened in Islands of Adventure on June 13, 2019. Some info from Coasterpedia about Hagrids:
There are no inversions, but there is a drop of 17 feet; the length is a whopping 5,053 feet long, reaching speeds of 50 mph. There are a total of seven launches. The ride has 12 trains with 7 cars each. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 14 riders per train.
From the enchanted world of Hagrid's, we now enter the realm of ancient legends to discover the secrets of The Mummy, an adrenaline-pumping ride filled with surprises!
Plunge High Speed into Total Darkness.
“Digging your nails into the safety rail, you'll hold on tight as you rush forwards and back on the track, fleeing from the evil Mummy Imhotep. Just as it seems you might've escaped, you'll plunge straight down into a pitch-black abyss with no end in sight. Will you ever see daylight again? Or will you remain sealed inside this tomb forever?”
This is how Universal’s website describes Revenge of the Mummy™! I will admit, this one almost did me in! I also will admit I only rode it ONCE, but I plan on riding it again in October!!
It is an inside roller coaster that will prove the old saying that looks can be deceiving! The old Museum of Antiquities appears to me a normal-sized building from the outside, but it contains a much larger-than-expected ride on the inside! This is because it uses LIM launches.
What is a LIM launch, you may ask? LIM (Linear Induction Motor) is a form of electromagnetic propulsion. They replace a traditional lift hill and do not contain any moving parts. Typically LIM systems launch the roller coaster from the station extremely quickly.
According to Coasterpedia, it has “three separate LIM launches throughout the course of the three-minute ride, including one that propels riders up to a maximum speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). The track is 2,200-foot (670 m) long, consisting of two track switches, a 180-degree turntable, 80-degree banked turns, and a 50-degree angle of descent.”
All that inside what appears to be a normal-sized building! My thrill junkie rates this as an Intense thrill ride, and I have to concur!. His opinion was,” Just as you think you have made it, and you think it's going to stop, it doesn’t!” Again, I have to concur!
While there is no ‘best’ time to ride, since it is indoors, it is most busy when there is a thunderstorm close by. Regarding seat selections, a front row seat will scare you to death! But these will also have some of the more roomy seats for those who just barely fit in the test seats.
My own personal story is that the one and only time I rode it was a few years ago. We had ridden Transformers (which I did not care for) and were getting on Revenge of the Mummy. I had no idea what it was and was talking the whole time we were in line. I saw the warning signs, but they were the same signs I had seen in Transformers, so I ignored them. I mean, it was indoors. How bad could it be? It was too late when we realized it was a roller coaster!
Now that I am five more years post neck surgery and have successfully ridden Velocicoaster multiple times in one day, I will attempt Revenge of the Mummy again on our next trip.
Leaving The Mummy's dark depths behind, we're ready to take on the sheer force of The Incredible Hulk Coaster, an experience full of hair-raising inversions
Unleash Your Inner Hulk
“You’ve volunteered to take part in a science experiment based on Dr. Bruce Banner’s research—but a blast of gamma radiation changes everything. You launch up to 67 miles per hour as Hulk-like power propels you upside down into a zero-gravity roll, racing faster and faster. Hang on as this high-speed, red-line rampage smashes its way through the sky.”
This is the way Universal Orlando’s website describes The Incredible Hulk Coaster ™! This green ‘monster’ dominates the landscape as you walk into Islands of Adventure past the Port of Entry. While the ride only lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds, it delivers 4 G’s throughout its 7 inversions! The ride is 3700 feet long with a drop of 104.9 feet.
Imagine going from 0 to 40mph in 2 seconds with a force equal to a jet taking off from an aircraft carrier. No wonder my thrill junkie rates this as an Intense Thrill! He also says the best time to ride it is in the morning, while everyone else is riding the Harry Potter rides or the other big coasters.
While he says all the seats are great, he prefers the front. And his favorite part is the loops in the middle!
I have not ridden this one, not because of the inversions or the G’s, but because of the restraint system. I have severe claustrophobia, and the thought of that restraint going down over my head and holding me in is more than I can take. Although I am told it is necessary, I know it is not necessary that I ride it!
And, as the crescendo to our thrilling adventure, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit awaits – a ride that lets you rock out to your favorite tunes while soaring through the sky
For Those About to Rock.
“This towering coaster offers a musical twist: As you strap in, you'll pick the song you want to hear above your own shrieks. Adrenaline pumping and music thumping, you'll climb toward the sky at a 90-degree angle and tackle the first ferocious drop. Topping out at 65 mph, this rip-roaring ride is a blast from beginning to end.”
This is the way the Universal Orlando website describes Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™! Seems pretty accurate! Even though the ride is only a minute and 39 seconds long, it delivers over 4Gs in its 3800-long, 167-foot-high short ride! It is one of the more popular rides managing 1,850 riders per hour! (per the Coasterpedia website)
My Thrill Junkie rates it as an Intense thrill and says riding it at night is the best time to ride it, and no seat is better than another. His thought for the best part of the ride is the music, of course. As far as the hidden music library goes, well, he hasn’t made it through all the regular songs yet! Once he has, he will try some of the hidden songs!
As for me, this is a big NO!
And now, it's time for us to move on to conquer the twists and turns of the VelociCoaster - if you dare!
Feel the Rush of the Hunt.
“Speeding through the jungle, rising high above the terrain, it’s the apex predator of roller coasters: the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Now you can board your vehicle for a high-speed dash through the park’s raptor paddock. Feel the rush of the hunt as you race alongside these nimble predators, twisting and soaring above the land and water. Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.”
This is how the Universal Orlando website describes Jurassic World VelociCoaster! But that doesn’t begin to describe the #1 Thrill ride at Universal Orlando as rated by my Thrill Junkie! He rates it as Intense X5!
According to Coasterpedia’s website, it has 2 Launches; a 155-high ‘top Hat’ with; a 140-foot drop; goes a top speed of 70mph; is 4700 feet long; has an 80-degree drop angle; has 12 ‘air time’ moments; a 100-foot long zero-g stall; and a barrel roll over the lagoon!
No wonder my Thrill Junkie said he was terrified for his life the first time he rode it! But went right back in line as soon as he got off! (while Dad was still collecting the ride photo!)
We were very fortunate to be able to ride it only a month after it had officially opened. The first time I rode it, I knew I was going to be the reason it closed! I knew I was going to be the first person to die on that ride! We rode it with the AAP, and the team member convinced my son that we should ride in the back seat. I was out of the seat more than in! During the barrel roll, I ‘knew’ I was falling out (‘knew’ because I wasn’t wearing my glasses so I couldn’t see!) and was worried about how my family was going to react on the first day of our week-long trip to have to deal with me ruining their trip!
For the thrill, the back seat is the most thrilling (meaning you will feel like you are going to die!). For the best ride, you want the front seat! Riding at night is the absolute best! (just make sure you have your glasses fully secured!
One thing I did not include on this is, remember, on each of these rides, you will NOT be allowed to carry anything in. You will go through a metal detector and will need to either have a non-rider hold your bags or use one of the free lockers. They are serious about this! Especially on VelociCoaster! Remember to put your lanyard inside your shirt (and still hold onto it!), make surer your glasses are firmly secured, and all hairclips (or hairpieces) are either firmly secured or left behind!
A huge thank you to Universal Orlando and Coasterpedia for providing amazing resources and insider knowledge on these heart-stopping rides! To explore these remarkable attractions further, check out their websites: Universal Orlando Link | Coasterpedia Link
Can't wait to join the ranks of thrill-seekers and embark on your own adventure at Universal Orlando? Don't hesitate – exciting times await! Schedule a call with me through my Calendly link and let's bring your adrenaline-pumping vacation to life!
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!