From kid rides to attractions for the whole family, the best rides at Universal Studios Orlando will entertain and thrill! These are the rides we had to go on more than once, because they were that amazing!
We were guests of Universal Studios Resorts, and thank them for the opportunity to visit their theme parks and enjoy the rides! All opinions are 100% my own!
After our visit to Universal Studios Orlando last month, I wanted to help you plan your next vacation there by sharing the rides that you can’t miss!! We’re a family of 4, with 2 40-something parents and 2 teenagers, so keep that in mind that some of these rides may not be suitable for young kids.
These are the rides, though, that we all got off and immediately wanted to get back on again! These are the rides that we are still talking about a month later! And these are the rides that just looking at the pictures fills me with a goofy grin as I remember how much fun we had during our trip to Universal Studios!
Islands of Adventure Rides
As you’re walking through Universal’s CityWalk, if you stay to your left, you’ll come to the entrance of the Islands of Adventure theme park.
With more than 20 rides and attractions, Islands of Adventure is where you’ll find:
- Seuss Landing
- Hogsmeade (Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
- Marvel Super Hero Island
- Toon Lagoon
- Skull Island
- Jurassic Park
- and The Lost Continent
Skull Island: Reign of King Kong
The King Kong ride is located in Islands of Adventure theme park and has only been open since 2016. Which means it was the first time our family got a chance to experience it.
I’ll be honest, we had no real expectations and it was one of those rides that we were walking by so we just quick decided to jump in line.
Guys, don’t be like us!! Make sure this is actually a planned stop during your day! You will not want to miss it!
You wear 3D glasses as you board an expedition truck that takes you around Skull Island. You pass dinosaurs, oversized bugs and King Kong himself!
There are a lot of stops and turns, but I get motion sickness and wasn’t bothered by it at all! It has some 4D effects that add to the thrill even more.
We all got off, looked at each other and exclaimed, “That was so much cooler than we thought!!”
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
Okay, so this is one of two rides I’m going to share that break my little “we all got on and loved it” spiel.
I admit, I skip pretty much all coasters. Just cannot do it and never really could!
But I have to include The Incredible Hulk Coaster on my list of favorite rides at Universal Studios, because my kids rode it enough for all of us!
I kid you not, my husband and I parked ourselves on a bench… then we explored the area a little… then we came back to our bench…
Because they just kept riding it over and over again!
And even though this coaster reaches speeds up to 67 miles per hour and has 7 inversions, I’ve heard it’s a really smooth ride!
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
Think monorail when you’re trying to decide if you want to ride the Seuss Trolley. This wasn’t a ride that my teens got off and exclaimed over how thrilling it was or even said that we had to do it again. But we all agreed that it was really cool for the views alone!
It’s a great way to start your day at Islands of Adventure to get an aerial view of a lot of the park! Plus, the spot where you’re waiting in line is where the Grinch and Thing 1 and Thing 2 walk by as they head out into the park. It was pretty cool to see them up close and get a couple high 5’s without all the crowds that surround them once they enter the main walkways!
This is a ride that little kids will like for the ride itself and older guests will enjoy for the slow pace and the awesome views!
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
And, I have to end our Islands of Adventure highlight post with my favorite ride of all-time. And by that I mean of any single amusement park I have ever been to!
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey blows me away every single time I ride it… and I have ridden it many times!
And please keep in mind that I am NOT a coaster person and I don’t like rides that jerk you around a lot. But I LOVE this ride!!
Even your walk through the castle as you wait in line will give you goosebumps as you pass the talking portraits, Dumbledore and other characters. And don’t worry if you have an Express Pass! You’ll still get to see these interactive parts of the line as well!
But the ride itself is just phenomenal! A virtual reality ride that takes you through Hogwarts Castle, through a Quidditch match and more! I don’t want to give too much away, but I beg you to ride it! It is just the coolest!
Universal Studios Florida
The original theme park at Universal Orlando is Universal Studios Florida and you can enter by sticking to the right as you walk through CityWalk. Just look for the iconic globe and you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction!
Universal Studios Florida has its own set of amazing rides as well as other attractions:
- Universal’s Superstar Parade
- Universal Music Plaza Stage
- New York City
- San Francisco
- London/Diagon Alley (Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
- Springfield (Simpson’s)
- Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Since we stopped with Hogwarts over in Islands of Adventure, we’ll start with Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. Because you really do need to get park-to-park tickets so that you can ride the Hogwarts Express between the two parks and experience both!
Escape from Gringotts is another ride where you really do need to pay attention in line because they made it so interactive and realistic!
I’m pretty sure the other 3 members of my family all preferred this ride over The Forbidden Journey. It was faster, darker and a bit more thrilling for them!
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Let me stop for a minute and tell you how we ended up on this ride. On our 2nd afternoon at Universal, my husband I were beat. We decided to take the resort shuttle back to Cabana Bay Beach Resort where we were staying to relax in the pool for a bit. We let our teens stay with the explicit instructions that they should go on all the roller coasters and thrill rides that us old farts didn’t want to do.
About 30 minutes later we got a text that we had to come back and do the Jimmy Fallon ride! I’m not sure exactly why they thought this qualified as a roller coaster they should do right away, but they loved it and knew we would too!
So when we headed back an hour or so later, all 4 of us rode it together! It was a blast! Seriously… the line is fun, the ride is hysterical and we all highly recommend it!
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
My daughter’s a Despicable Me fanatic, so we all agreed to go on this ride with her. Turns out it was another ride with funny moments and a fairly thrilling ride sequence as well!
There were a couple moments I had to close my eyes so I didn’t get motion sickness, but we all came off smiling and saying how much we enjoyed it. Even my 17 year-old son!
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
A steel, music-themed roller coaster, this ride was right up my kids’ alley. They’re classic rock fans and loved that they could choose their own song to play while they rode.
In fact, they got off and hopped right back in line so they could pick different songs the 2nd time!
My husband and I didn’t personally ride this one, but I had to include it because my kids still talk about how cool it was!
Universal Studios Express Pass
Regardless of which park you start with, or which rides end up being your favorite, I highly suggest you consider purchasing an Express Pass! There are two different types of express passes for Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios.
- Universal Express Pass: With this pass, you can skip the line one time for participating rides.
- Universal Express Unlimited Pass: With this pass, you can skip the line an unlimited number of times for participating rides.
You can find more information on express passes HERE.
How to Purchase Tickets and Plan Your Visit to Universal Studios Florida
You can check current specials and purchase tickets directly through the Universal Orlando Resort’s website. If you live in Florida, you’ll want to check out Florida resident specials before you visit Universal Studios Orlando!
Be sure to follow along with them on social as well, so you can plan your visit!
See inside the rooms at Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Check out the amenities at Cabana Bay Beach Resort
See what foods you have to try at Universal Studios Florida
See our can’t miss rides at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure
Check out our favorite spots for photos at Universal Orlando Resorts