Disney Loses Best Theme Park in Orlando, but Wins Best Ride

Guardians Cosmic Rewind best ride
Credit: Disney

Universal’s Islands of Adventure can now revel in its newfound title of “Best Theme Park in Orlando” for 2023. However, the park didn’t sweep the competition as voters hoisted it above EPCOT. Instead, Walt Disney World’s beloved park lost the war but won a battle. One of its rides took the title of “Best Theme Park Ride” from Islands of Adventure.


Credit: Universal

Universal’s Islands of Adventure Thrills

The last time Disney World won Orlando Weekly’s “Best Theme Park Ride” poll was in 2019. Animal Kingdom’s Avatar: Flight of Passage ride won the title for two years in a row. However, Universal Islands of Adventure has claimed victory in this category for the past three years.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure was voted the best attraction in Orlando in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, the Jurassic World-themed VelociCoaster managed to snag the victory. Both of these rides have been extremely popular reasons to visit Universal’s Islands of Aventures since their release.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure has the thrills of a roller coaster combined with extremely unique twists and a familiar setting. On the other hand, VelociCoaster has attracted many thrill-seekers for its incredible speed, launches, and drops around the park.

Hagrid ride

Credit: Universal

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Victory

Walt Disney World is known to have a lot less intense thrill rides due to catering to families and children. However, EPCOT added Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to the mix last year. This incredibly unique roller coaster provides the same sense of speed and adrenaline as normal coasters. It sets itself apart from any coaster in the world by having segments where your cart spins. With the addition of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters and famous songs, the attraction has always had a long wait and popular presence since its launch.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Credit: Disney

Voters have recognized this accomplishment and handed Disney World a victory this year. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind uncrowned VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure for “Best Theme Park Ride in Orlando” in 2023. It has been rare over the past decade to defeat Universal Studios in this category, giving Disney some major bragging rights.

However, it is important to note that EPCOT’s long reign as the “Best Theme Park in Orlando” was destroyed by Universal’s Islands of Adventure. As stated, Disney may have won the battle, but they lost the war.

Do you agree with the voters on this one? Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind better than Universal’s powerhouse offerings? Did EPCOT deserve to lose its title for best theme park in Orlando? There is no definitive answer, but the masses have definitely spoken on this one.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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