Best Of 2021

Readers Poll Winner Highlight — Best Theme Park Ride

Before anyone even rode it, Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure was already a sensation, if only for the long anticipation and the massively long waits to hop aboard. Unless you were hiding inside the Chamber of Secrets, you heard about the June 13, 2019, grand opening at Islands of Adventure's then-nine-year old Harry Potter-themed area — the indoor/outdoor "story coaster," which replaced the Dragon Challenge inverted roller coasters, made national news for the 600-minute-long line of fans that snaked all the way to the park's entrance. So, could any theme park ride really be worth waiting half a day or more for? Readers have made it clear that this attraction is worth the wait. In 2020's Best of Orlando Readers Poll, it knocked Avatar: Flight of Passage off its perch to take the top spot, and this year is no different.

With a top speed of 50 miles per hour and no loops, Hagrid's adventure isn't so extreme that it will scare off tweens and grandparents, but don't underestimate its twisty turns: With more launches than any coaster on earth and the longest track in Florida, it's liberated more than a few lunches over its short lifetime. And beyond the thrills and spills, the ride is populated with detailed sets, Easter egg props and lifelike animatronics — all without a pair of 3-D glasses in sight.

Best Attraction That's Not a Theme Park

First: Gatorland, gatorland.com

Second: Wekiwa Springs State Park, floridastateparks.org

Third: Harry P. Leu Gardens, leugardens.org

First: Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride, twitter.com/alexmorgan13

Second: Felicia Spencer, UFC, twitter.com/feenom479

Third: Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride, twitter.com/alikrieger

First: UCF Knights Football, ucfknights.com

Second: Orlando City Soccer Club, orlandocitysc.com

Third: Orlando Pride, orlandocitysc.com/pride

First: Epcot, disneyworld.disney.go.com

Second: Universal Studios, universalorlando.com

Third: Universal Islands of Adventure, universalorlando.com

First: Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal's Islands of Adventure, universalorlando.com

Second: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney's Hollywood Studios, disneyworld.disney.go.com

Third: Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Universal's Islands of Adventure, universalorlando.com

First: Volcano Bay, universalorlando.com

Second: Aquatica, aquatica.com

Third: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, disneyworld.disney.go.com

First: New Smyrna Beach, visitnsbfl.com

Second: Clearwater Beach, visitstpeteclearwater.com

Third: Siesta Key, visitsarasota.com

First: Splitsville, splitsvillelanes.com

Second: Aloma Bowl Winter Park, alomabowlingcenters.com/aloma

Third: Boardwalk Bowl Orlando, alomabowlingcenters.com/boardwalk

First: Wekiwa Springs State Park, floridastateparks.org

Second: Wekiva Island, wekivaisland.com

Third: Kings Landing (Rock Springs Run), floridastateparks.org