I am definitely tall enough to ride.
May 11, 2010 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Where are the best (and ideally most inexpensive) roller coasters around Orlando, FL? I'm not overly interested in Disney World, however.

Basically, I come from a part of the world with no theme parks to speak of -- we have basically one roller coaster anywhere nearby -- so while I'm in Orlando for the STS-132 launch I want to check some of those out. I'm on a budget, but not so strictly that I can't have a bit of fun. Suggestions?

I'm also open to any suggestions of things that I might enjoy with my wife and 1-year-old son, but that's a separate thing.
posted by ChrisR to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (10 answers total)
Old Town has a couple of fun rides, some little places to eat, shop, etc.. I imagine it would be a nice place to take a little driving break.
posted by amethysts at 7:58 AM on May 11, 2010

Revenge of the Mummy at Universal is my favorite. If you're going to Orlando after June 18th, the new coaster at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be open to the public, which is rumored to be the foremost state of the art coaster in the world.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:00 AM on May 11, 2010

If an hour-and-a-half drive is close enough to Orlando for you, Busch Gardens in Tampa might be worth a look. There used to be some small alternative theme parks around Orlando - Circus World comes to mind - but they've long since faded away.
posted by jquinby at 8:00 AM on May 11, 2010

I'll second what @jquinby said, and recommend Busch Gardens. Great coasters!
posted by willmize at 8:03 AM on May 11, 2010

Spend a day at Universal. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has the best lift in Central Florida, with the Incredible Hulk as a close second. Revenge of the Mummy is also awesome. Both sides of Dueling Dragons are great (I like Fire a little better than Ice).
Beyond that, Seaworld has both Kraken and Manta, and both are very good.
posted by Lokheed at 8:08 AM on May 11, 2010

Lokheed, Dueling Dragons isn't open anymore, I believe. It's being re-themed as Dragon Challenge for the Harry Potter land.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:17 AM on May 11, 2010

Well going strictly on roller coasters your best bang for buck is Busch Gardens. There are many excellent roller coasters there. Baring that, Sea World has two coasters, Universal Studios have two and Islands of Adventure has 3 to 5 (3 adult + 2 kid coasters that your kid is way too young for). Be aware that Universal and Islands of Adventure are next to each other and owned by the same people but they are separate admissions.

As for which park you go to, well including all the other stuff that these places have, you can really enjoy yourself anywhere. There are tons of non-coaster things to see and do. In particular SeaWorld will be be very accommodating to a small child since most everything is things you watch rather than things you participate in.
posted by mmascolino at 8:57 AM on May 11, 2010

I adore Universal's Islands of Adventure - awesome rides, and overall, the most gorgeous theme park I've ever been to (I worked in a Canadian/The Canadian theme park for 8 years - it doesn't hold a candle to IoA).
posted by purlgurly at 9:28 AM on May 11, 2010

Just another voice voting for Busch Gardens. Worth the hour's drive from Orlando. Kumba and Montu are both so fun.
posted by saladin at 10:25 AM on May 11, 2010

The Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure and/or Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios are both great. You can get a two-day pass to the parks. Your one-year-old might enjoy the Dr. Seuss-themed area at Islands of Adventure, too!
posted by misha at 5:11 PM on May 11, 2010

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