amusement park rides the Orlando Eye

Couples + Family

Old School Thrills: 4 Classic Amusement Park Rides in Orlando

The Orlando Eye (Photo: Carl Stewart/

In Orlando, there are many kinds of amusement parks for thrill-seekers to test their limits. But Orlando doesn’t often come to mind when looking for a place with the classic death-defying excitement of wooden roller coasters and squeaky fair rides. Daredevils can rejoice as the destination known for amusement magic is actually packing a plethora of rickety rides for the visitor who’s looking for more than just theme in their park.

  1. White Lightning at Fun Spot America. This Coney Island throwback is Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster. Racing up to 48 mph, powered only by gravity, White Lightning at Fun Spot America delivers a shockingly smooth ride with lots of airtime and great views from the top. Touted as “not your grandfather’s coaster,” White Lightening’s old-school thrills are sure to electrify your need for speed. The park’s open until midnight so you can get your flying fix at after dark.
  2. Starflyer at Magical Midway Thrill Park. Speaking of flying, you’ll definitely feel the wind ripping by you as you soar through the sky on Starflyer, one of the most extreme carnival-style swing sets ever conceived by man. Towering 230 feet off the ground, these “swings on steroids” whirl at over 50 mph with nearby Interstate 4 rushing underneath riders’ feet. Magical Midway Thrill Park also features adrenaline-pumping classics, like the infamous Sling Shot and Space Blast, that are sure to leave your head spinning.
  3. Happy Days Extreme Bumper Cars at Old Town. Ever wish you could push cars in front of you out of the way? Now you can live out your road rage fantasies on Happy Days Extreme Bumper Cars at Old Town. Sporting the largest indoor bumper car arena in the world, Old Town is a slice of classic Americana with shops and attractions that transport visitors to a bygone era, complete with classic cars, arcades and even a Prohibition-era themed brewery and bar.
  4. Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom. Of course a list of classic Orlando rides wouldn’t be complete without the king of all coasters, Space Mountain at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom. A must-ride for any serious amusement park fan, this rip-roaring rocket blasts riders off the 180-foot mountain into the darkness of deep space where no one can hear you scream.
  5. The Orlando Eye. Rise above it all and gaze upon the magic in a whole new way on the brand new Orlando Eye at I-Drive 360. This 400-foot-tall observation wheel is just a few feet shy of its cousin in London and encapsulates riders in glass pods that offer vistas of Central Florida like no other attraction can. Though the oversized Ferris wheel rotates at a leisurely pace the experience is sure to thrill even the most seasoned sightseer.