Best Of 2021

Readers Poll Winner Highlight — Best Theme Park Ride
Photo by Seth Kubersky

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
Photo by Nick Fox

First: Gatorland,

Second: Wekiwa Springs State Park,

Third: Harry P. Leu Gardens,

First: Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride,

Second: Felicia Spencer, UFC,

Third: Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride,

First: UCF Knights Football,

Second: Orlando City Soccer Club,

Third: Orlando Pride,

First: Epcot,

Second: Universal Studios,

Third: Universal Islands of Adventure,

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

Second: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney's Hollywood Studios,

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

First: Volcano Bay,

Second: Aquatica,

Third: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon,

First: New Smyrna Beach,

Second: Clearwater Beach,

Third: Siesta Key,

First: Splitsville,

Second: Aloma Bowl Winter Park,

Third: Boardwalk Bowl Orlando,

First: Wekiwa Springs State Park,

Second: Wekiva Island,

Third: Kings Landing (Rock Springs Run),