The Best Rides at Universal Orlando


There’s something for everyone at Universal Orlando Resort, where you will find everything from thrilling roller coasters to family-friendly rides. There are 32 rides across the two parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures. The best rides at Universal Orlando offer immersive experiences that make you feel like the star of your favorite movies and TV shows.

Choosing the best rides at Universal Orlando is subjective, but we will try to explain what makes each ride our favorite. This way, you can decide which rides you would like to go on.

Pro Planning Tip: We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to book your Universal vacation!

First, let’s start with the basics. When planning a trip to Universal, you need to know when to go, how many days to spend in each park, and what type of tickets to purchase. A travel agent can help you plan the perfect Universal Studios Orlando vacation.

When to go to Universal Orlando

You will typically find the busiest days on the weekends, especially around holidays. However, try to visit the parks mid-week, Tuesday – Thursday, for lower crowds. When planning your trip to Universal, it’s best to take a look at their event calendars to plan around any significant events or festivals that will draw larger crowds.

How Many Days to Spend at Universal

Plan on spending at least a full day in each park, especially if you want to ride all the rides. You can purchase a multi-day ticket to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures over several days.

Child Swap

Child Swap is available if you have young children who are not tall enough to ride the rides at Universal Studios. Select locations offer Child Swap families who need to alternate riding and waiting with children who do not meet the minimum height requirement or aren’t quite ready to face down a particular ride. To use Child Swap, everyone in your party should go through the line together. One adult will wait with the child while the other members of your party ride. Then, you will switch off, allowing the adult.  If you have additional older children, they get to go on the ride twice. 

Ride Lockers

Many of the rides at Universal Orlando do not allow guests to bring bags onto the rides. They offer free small lockers to store your belongings while on the ride.

On these rides, all items and bags must be stored in the Attractions Locker, including items in your pockets. The only exception at these rides is a lanyard holding your park ticket, which you may be asked to tuck under your shirt. Guests are required to pass through metal detectors before entering the ride.

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Guest may wear belt bags and keep items in their pockets on these rides. However, larger items must be stored in lockers on these rides:

  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Men in Black Alien Attack
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Best Rides at Universal Studios

1. Revenge of the Mummy

Minimum Height:  48″

This indoor coaster is based on the 1999 film The Mummy, starring Brenden Fraiser. This exhilarating, without being overly frightening, ride is a pleasant diversion from other screen-based attractions.

2. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Minimum Height: 42 inches.

The centerpiece of Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The line for this ride features goblins that appear to be lifted directly from a movie. This immersive and thrilling ride is part dark ride and part coaster with 3-D projections, making the ride extremely unique.

3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Minimum Height: 51″

This is by far Universal Studios Florida’s most exhilarating rollercoaster. Before embarking on a thrilling ride that reaches a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour, riders can choose from over two dozen songs to customize their ride soundtrack.

4. E.T. Adventure

Minimum Height: 34 inches.

The only remaining opening day attraction at Universal Orlando is E.T. Adventure. Join E.T. on a bike ride through the sky to help him save his home planet. Young children will enjoy this ride, as well as anyone who grew up with the E.T. movie and is looking for a bit of nostalgia.

5. Men in Black Alien Attack

Minimum Height: 42 inches

This interactive dark ride lets you inside the Men in Black training facility and zap invaders. This attraction, which has 120 robotic aliens, is entertaining and worthwhile to experience more than once to try to beat your previous high score.

6. Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station

Minimum Height: None

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Harry Potter movies by hopping aboard the famous Hogwarts Express. This is a fun and effortless way to travel to Islands of Adventure, as arriving at King’s Cross Station will remind you of London’s train station.

7. The Simpsons Ride

Minimum Height: 40 inches

Experience the hilarious adventures of the Simpsons on this motion simulator ride. The ride is packed with references and details that fans of the show will surely appreciate.

8. Transformers: The Ride 3-D

Minimum Height: 40 inches

Transformers: The Ride 3-D is a motion simulator similar to Spider-Man in Islands of Adventure. It’s a combination of a simulator ride with practical sets.

9. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Minimum Height: 40 inches

This simulator ride might have lengthy lines because it’s one of the first things visitors see when they enter the park. Fans of the Despicable Me movie should check it out because it’s lovely for families.

10. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Minimum Height: 40 inches

This 3-D motion simulator experience will appeal to fans of The Tonight Show as it offers a tour of New York City. Just as impressive is the well-themed line that mimics 30 Rockefeller Plaza exactly.

11. Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

Minimum Height: None

This Simpsons-themed spinner ride is a solid option for kids, but it’s not the most exciting ride in this park. That said, it’s worth riding (if the line is short) to take in the views of the park while flying in circles.

12. Fast & Furious – Supercharged

Minimum Height: 40 inches

Fast & Furious – Supercharged takes you on a thrilling ride into the world of underground street racing. However, the execution of this ride is seriously lacking. If you’re a fan of the movie series, you might want to check it out, but if you’re pressed for time, skip it.

Best Rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Minimum Height: 48 inches

Many guests regard this ride as one of the best in the park, and it’s easy to see why when you experience it for yourself. Riding Hagrid’s motorbike, you will encounter magical creatures and delightful surprises.

2. Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Minimum Height: 51 inches

This may be one of the most thrilling rides in Orlando. Featuring multiple inversions, tall, fast rides, and a Jurassic World theme, this coaster won’t be for the faint of heart.

3. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Minimum Height: 48 inches

Guests will experience Harry Potter’s story through innovative technologies and a unique ride system. In addition, the queue is incredible, with classroom replicas, a message from the Sorting Hat, and more.

4. Jurassic Park River Adventure

Minimum Height: 42 inches

This calm boat ride through Jurassic Park quickly turns into a thrilling escape ending with an 85-foot drop. Whether you’re a fan of the Jurassic Park films or not, it’s worth experiencing this ride at least once.

5. The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Minimum Height: 54 inches

The Incredible Hulk Coaster is an intense ride with seven inversions and a 67-mph launch start. Thrill seekers will love this coaster.

6. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Minimum Height: 40 inches

Based on the popular Spider-Man comic books, this ride is in Marvel Superhero Island. With the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man dark ride, you’ll be immersed in superhero action like never before.

7. Flight of the Hippogriff

Minimum Height: 36 inches

Flight of the Hippogriff is a family-friendly roller coaster in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This short and tame coaster is the perfect intro coast for young riders and a must-do for Harry Potter fans.

8. Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station

Minimum Height: 40 inches

The Hogwarts Express allows visitors to travel between Universal Orlando’s two parks without leaving the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which makes it a must-do experience if you plan to visit both parks in one day.

9. Pteranodon Flyers

Minimum Height: 35 inches Maximum Height: 56 inches

Because this Jurassic Park ride was created for kids, adults cannot ride without a child between 36 and 56 inches tall. Younger riders will enjoy the gentle, soaring ride, which offers amazing park views.

10. Caro-Seuss-el

Minimum Height: None

The Caro-Seuss-es is a typical carousel with Seuss-inspired characters replacing carousel horses. It’s the perfect ride that everyone in the family can enjoy.

11. The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride

Minimum Height: 36 inches

Take a scenic tour of Seuss Landing on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. This ride has two tracks, allowing you to enjoy a different story during your section time.

12. Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Minimum Height: 36 inches

This trackless dark ride based on King Kong is a mixture of animatronics and screen-based ride.

15. Storm Force Accelatron

Minimum Height: None

This hero-themed spinning teacup ride isn’t unique. It does spin a little faster than some similar amusement park rides.

17. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Minimum Height: None

Take a spin around this Dr. Seuss-themed ride on a cute flying fish. Younger children will enjoy the ability to control the ride vehicle, but keep an eye out for the fountains.

11. The Cat in the Hat

Minimum Height: 36 inches

The Cat in the Hat is a simple dark ride that takes you straight into one of Dr. Seuss’s most beloved stories.

13. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Minimum Height: 44 inches

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is a traditional log flume ride with a cartoon twist. It’s a terrific way to cool off on hot Florida days. On Dudley Do-Right, you will experience numerous drops and a lot of water.

14. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

Minimum Height: 42 inches

This bumpy water ride will get you very wet. The raft-style ride in Toon-Lagoon is full of raging rapids and water cannons.

16. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

Minimum Height: 52 inches

This villain-themed drop ride delivers thrilling drops for brave thrill-seekers. This ride is no different from those found at your local amusement park.

Book Your Universal Vacation

Ready to book your Universal vacation? We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Vacations to find you the best deal on your Universal vacation. Jessica can save you money on your trip. Plus, her services are 100% FREE FOR YOU!


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