Ranking Florida’s top 5 roller coasters

Florida’s Fourth Estate hosts showcase best rides in Sunshine State

ORLANDO, Fla. – Is it fast, filled with epic twists and turns, sport an epic storyline, all while still taking you on a smooth ride that doesn’t make you want to puke?

If so, it likely made Florida’s Fourth Estate’s top roller coaster list.

Hosts Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden invited In the Loop: Theme Park Scoops producer Landon McReynolds on the show to break down the best of the best.

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“If he’s off for two seconds he’s at the theme parks,” Austin said of McReynolds.

Of course, he has ridden each of the top 5.

Counting down to one, the top five are:

5. Mako (Seaworld Orlando)

McReynolds said Mako at SeaWorld claims to be “Orlando’s tallest and fastest.” It goes up to 73 miles per hour but because it has a metal track.

“It’s very smooth,” McReynolds said.

He also calls it “a must-do,” even though when he took his parents his mom sat this one out and his Dad agreed she was safer on the ground.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Epcot)

McReynolds said this ride is “one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world” and that “it’s so big it could actually take up an entire football field.”

He added it’s mostly in the dark.

“So you can’t see where you’re going,” McReynolds said.

Pair that up with your chair moving you towards displays on the wall and he said this could increase the “vomit factor” for some people.

3. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (Orlando’s Islands of Adventure)

Gadsden said this is the only one of the top five coasters she has ridden. She said she was “so terrified to get on this thing.” She quickly realized it was “fast as all get out,” but also “smooth.”

Despite waiting for two hours to get on she says “we had so much fun.” Austin said the good thing about Hagrid’s is that the height requirement is 48 inches, so parents looking for a thrill can take their kids on too.

2. Iron Gwazi (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)

“This one reaches up to 76 miles per hour and it flips you around like nobody’s business,” McReynolds said.

He said he was screaming on this ride and describes it as “very intense”

1. Jurassic World VelociCoaster (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

Austin said this is his “favorite roller coaster on Earth.”

“It does things to your body that you’re just like ‘what are you doing to me,’” Austin said. “You feel like you are floating around. you are going upside down, it has 12 points in this ride that you just feel like, ’Yep, I’m going to die’ and you don’t, you manage to survive it. And my favorite part about this is just how incredibly smooth it is, so I get off the thing and I don’t feel violently ill, I feel like I just cheated death.”

Austin said his family is gifting Gadsden with admission to Universal so she can experience the ride for herself.

If you don’t agree with Florida’s Fourth Estate’s top roller coaster list, or think Austin and Gadsden missed one, let them know at ffe@wkmg.com.

During this episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate Austin and Gadsden also talk to the co-owner of Tank America.

He said kids as young as 16 can get behind the wheel of a tank and don’t even need a license to do so. Watch the full episode to learn more.

You can watch Florida’s Fourth Estate every Monday & Friday at 5:30 p.m. on News 6 and anytime on News 6+.

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.