Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 1 (Mild Rides)

Summer is winding down, so it's time for that one big last Hurrah. Plan a timeshare rental vacation for the entire family and go out with a sizzling roller coaster ride at a great theme park! This is Part 1 of a 3-Part series exploring top roller coaster rides in the U.S. as listed by Arthur Levine, an avowed "theme park-aholic" and travel writer.

In Part 1 we'll explore roller coasters that Levine recommends as good for "wimps" and others of us who have been afraid of them. These roller coasters will help you ease into the "thrill" of Thrill Rides.
  1. Rent an Anaheim timeshare and head to Disneyland for its Big Thunder Mountain (see photo) roller coaster ride. You can also ride it at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom with an Orlando timeshare rental. This is a robust roller coaster that gets up to 30mph, but has no super steep drops. The "runaway mine train" theme is chocked full of cute Disney touches, and if you keep your mind on watching for those the ride will be over before you know it, and you'll be standing in line to ride again.

  2. Space Mountain, also at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, is another "easy but thrill-filled" roller coaster recommended at this level by Levine. He describes it as "really just a tame steel coaster that pokes along at 29mph." Indoors and in the dark, the space theme has you hurtling through inky blackness dotted by stars, and with mostly twists and turns it’s a fun ride without the steep drops.

  3. The Flight of the Hippogriff at Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, Florida, is part of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Following along with the Harry Potter theme, Hagrid welcomes you to his Magical Creatures class as you climb aboard this "typical family coaster." The biggest drop is just 30 feet, and its top speed is 28mph. You can have a lot of fun with your younger kids on this ride, and use it as good practice on your way to wilder roller coaster adventures.

  4. If you really feel like you need to start out on a small ride, Levine recommends the Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster at Universal Studios Florida. "If Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain seem too daunting, you could start with this very tame ride that is barely a notch above a kiddie coaster," offers Levine.
Levine suggests that you progress in your "roller coaster training" step-by-step. After the family coasters, ride intermediate ones before attempting any of the hypercoasters with whacky features. "The best roller coasters turn knuckles white and induce screams," says Levine. "The trick is to acclimate slowly!"

Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 2 (Intermediate Rides)
Top Roller Coaster Rides – Part 3 (Extreme Rides)
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