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The 25 Best Rides at Universal Orlando for 2024

The 25 Best Rides at Universal Orlando for 2024

The Universal Orlando Resort is a popular theme park destination for families, but what are the best rides at Universal Orlando? As coaster and theme park enthusiasts, we rode the rides, consulted with fellow theme park experts, and put together this list of the best rides at both Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.

The best rides at Universal Orlando utilize creative and immersive theming to create memorable experiences and plenty of thrills. Here are our top 25.

Need someplace to stay? Here are our favorite Orlando resorts for families.

Best rides at Universal Orlando

The Best Rides at Universal Orlando

1. Jurassic World VelociCoaster

Jurassic World VelociCoaster is one of the best rides at Universal Orlando
Photo via Eric Soto

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 51 inches

Jurassic World VelociCoaster is a beast of a coaster and one of the newest rides at Universal Orlando. If you have a family filled with coaster enthusiasts like I do, this is sure to be among their top picks for the best rides at Universal Orlando!

It begins with a launch that sends riders from 0 to 50 miles per hour in 2.4 seconds! The coaster features three different inversions- a corkscrew, a zero-g roll, and a stall.

It reaches a top speed of 70mph and has a second launch that sends you up a 154-foot-tall hill before dropping you back down at a 90-degree angle! All of this while being chased by a Velociraptor and flying over a lagoon filled with dinosaurs- whew!

The line for this ride can get long quick, so I suggest making a dash for it when the park opens. The queue has some shade and fans outside. Once inside, things get more interesting. There are windos overlooking the track and special effects show a velociraptor chassing coaster trains. There is a room with a video presentation by Dr. Henry Wu about the dinosaurs. Then, there is an examination room where a couple of velociraptors are caged.

Past that, there are lockers where you will need to store all loose items, including keys and phones, because you will eventually pass through a metal detector to make sure you don’t drop anything from the ride. Finally, you will see one more video where Jurassic Park characters will discourage you from boarding the VelociCoaster- but you definitely want to ignore them because this ride is fun!

Visiting the mouse? Here are the best rides at Disney World.

2. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrids Motorbike Adventure
Photo via Universal Orlando

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 48 inches

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a launched steel roller coaster located in the Hogsmeade section of Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando. Manufactured by Intamin, the $300-million attraction opened to the public on June 13, 2019.

The ride is themed around Hagrid, a half-giant character from the Harry Potter franchise. Riders board either a motorbike or a sidecar and embark on a journey through the Forbidden Forest, where they encounter a variety of magical creatures, including unicorns, flobberworms, and centaurs.

The ride features seven launches, the most of any roller coaster in the world when it opened. It also has a free-fall drop, a 360-degree spiral, and a number of other high-speed twists and turns.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a thrilling ride, but it is also family-friendly. The minimum height requirement is 48 inches, and the ride vehicles are designed to accommodate guests of all sizes.

The ride is located in the same area as the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, and it is a great way to experience two of the most popular attractions in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

3. Escape from Gringotts in Diagon Alley

Escape from Gringotts ride
Photo via Universal Orlando

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 42 inches. Riders 42-48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

If you have only been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios California, you will want to make a beeline to this ride as it is not on the West Coast. This attraction is a thrilling and immersive 4D dark ride that takes visitors on an adventure through the depths of Gringotts Bank.

The queue and its theming are on par with all the newer Disney rides. The attention to detail in the queue and the ride itself is exceptional. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Harry Potter as you explore the bank’s grand marble lobby and the underground vaults. The ride is based on a scene from the Harry Potter book series, where Harry, Hermione, and Ron break into Gringotts Bank to retrieve a Horcrux from Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault.

The experience begins in the bank’s grand lobby, where you’ll see goblins hard at work behind the counters. Visitors then proceed to the elevator, which takes them deep underground into the vaults. From there you enter the ride vehicles which are high-tech, 4-person “elevator” cars equipped with 3D glasses.

The ride combines physical sets, 3D projection technology, and motion simulation to create a thrilling and immersive experience. You will encounter both heroes and villians from Harry Potter’s world along the way. The highlight is the including a dramatic escape from a dragon.

4. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 48 inches

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey takes place inside of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is another great example with detailed theming that includes an immersive queue. You will see Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor commone room, and even a Hogwarts classroom as you wait in line.

The ride includes all sorts of the 3D scenes from the Harry Potter series where you will follow Harry on his broomstick through Hogwarts while encountering giant spiders, a steam-blasting dragon, and even the dreaded Dementors! The ride vehicle you are in will twist, turn, drop, and spin a bit along the way. It isn’t a coaster but it is thrilling.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey uses a combination of moving ride and 3D technology, so if the 3D bothers you, you may want to close your eyes in parts. This is a ride you will want to experience at least once! I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love it.

5. Incredible Hulk Coaster

Incredible Hulk Coaster
By Lawrence Rayner

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 54 inches

The Incredible Hulk Coaster is a high-speed roller coaster and one of the park’s most iconic and thrilling attractions. The ride is set in the fictional scientific complex called “The Gamma Ray Accelerator” and the storyline involves a gamma radiation experiment gone wrong, which transforms Dr. Bruce Banner into the Hulk.

The ride begins with a dramatic launch that propels the coaster from 0 to 40 miles per hour in just a few seconds. fter the launch, riders experience a series of inversions, loops, and high-speed turns, including a zero-gravity roll, corkscrews, and a cobra roll. There are a total of seven inversions and the ride reaches a top speed of 67 miles per hour.

My husband and daughter sat toward the back of the ride and they felt like it was a bit jerky. My son and I sat to the middle and it was smooth for us. So I suggest trying to get a spot in the middle of the coaster.

6. Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 48 inches

The Revenge of the Mummy is a coaster ride themed after its namesake movie franchise. It is longer than the version at Universal Studios Hollywood- score! This dark ride reaches speeds of 45mph, making it one of the faster rides in the park.

The ride begins with a slow and eerie tour through the movie studio, where you encounter various scenes, animatronic figures, and special effects that set up the story. Then the ride takes an unexpected turn, and guests find themselves launched into a high-speed roller coaster experience.

The coaster features sharp turns, drops, and sudden accelerations, all within the dark and immersive setting of the Egyptian tomb.

My kids love the launch and the thrills resulting from the immersive theme. There is even a portion of the ride that goes backwards!

7. Jurassic Park River Adventure Ride

Jurassic Park River Adventure Ride

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 42 inches. Children 42- 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

The Jurassic Park River Adventure is a water based ride that enters around a peaceful boat tour through the park that goes awry when the dinosaurs break free. It combines a leisurely tour through a prehistoric landscape with thrilling encounters with animatronic dinosaurs and a great splash that is especially refreshing on one of Orlando’s numerous hot days.

The ride begins as visitors board a boat and embark on a scenic tour, passing by lush vegetation, waterfalls, and peaceful herbivore dinosaurs, including Brachiosaurus and Parasaurolophus. As the boat progresses, the calm atmosphere changes as visitors encounter signs of trouble, such as broken fences and escaped dinosaurs. Uh oh!

Suddenly, there is an encounter with an angry Tyrannosaurus Rex which lunges toward the boat before taking a thrilling down drop a water shoot, creating an awesome splash at the bottom. If you really want to get wet, try to snag a seat towards the front of the boat.

8. Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express Universal Orlando
By Rain0975

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: none

The Hogwarts Express is a magical train ride attraction at Universal Orlando Resort that connects two Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands- Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

It is a recreation of the famous train from the Harry Potter books and films and is designed to look like the Hogwarts Express as depicted in the movies. It is meant to replicate the experience Harry Potter had when traveling to and from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It is a multi-sensory experience that uses technology, audio-visual effects, and detailed sets to immerse passengers in the world of Harry Potter. Riders can board the train at either Hogsmeade or King’s Cross Station in London.

Depending on which station you board, you’ll experience a different story and views out the train’s windows. You might witness the Weasley twins playing a prank, encounter Dementors, or see Hagrid with Buckbeak. The train compartments are authentic to the films and include interactive elements, such as the ability to listen in on conversations from other characters.

To ride the Hogwarts Express and travel between the two Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands, you do need a park-to-park ticket for Universal Orlando Resort. This is reason enough to book park hopper tickets, especially if you have major Harry Potter fans in your family.

9. Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls

Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 44 inches. Children 44 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much my entire family loved Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls. As the name suggests, it is a water-based ride and you will definitely get soaked on this one!

This ride is based on the classic animated series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and offers a fun and refreshing experience on a hot Florida day. The setting and design of this water flume attraction mimic the cartoonish and humorous style of the show. The ride begins with a gentle boat cruise through a scenic, forested area, but the tranquility doesn’t last long.

Riders soon encounter various humorous scenes featuring characters from the cartoon series, including Dudley, Nell, and Snidely with the climax being a drop down a steep flume, which generates a big splash, drenching everyone on board.

10. The Simpson’s Ride

The Simpsons Ride

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 40 inches. Children 40 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

The Simpsons Ride is a 3D motion-simulation ride which takes you through Krusty the Clowns midway which has been taken over by his former (now evil) sidekick, Sideshow Bob. Leave it to the Simpsons to save the day!

It is a 4D motion simulator ride, where guests sit in a motion-simulated theater with large screens. It combines 3D projection technology with motion simulation to create the sensation of being on a wild and unpredictable roller coaster ride through Krustyland. If you get motion sickness easily, you might want to steer clear of this one.

11. Men In Black Alien Attack

Men in Black Alien Attack

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 42 inches. Children 42- 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Men in Black Alien Attack is is an interactive dark ride based on the popular motion picture series. On this ride, riders must aim their laser guns at interactive targets to earn points. The goal is to achieve the highest score by “zapping” as many aliens as possible. It is fun and reminds me of Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters at Magic Kingdom.

The ride features multiple pathways and a branching storyline, which means that riders can have a different experience each time they ride. There are various scenes featuring animatronic aliens and intricate sets, including a cityscape and subway station, where aliens are causing chaos. I wish this ride was for all ages because I think even little kids will enjoy shooting their laser guns.

12. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
By William M

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 51 inches. Maximum height of 79 inches.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a fun and thrilling roller coaster where the riders get to choose the music they listen to while zipping around the coaster. Before the ride begins, you can select a song from a wide range of genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music.

It starts with a veritcal lift hill that takes riders nearly 17 stories in the air before descending at a steep angle. That drop definitely gets your adrenaline pumping! There are also everal inversions, including a loop, a corkscrew, and a zero-gravity roll as the coaster tops speeds of 65 miles per hour.

We did find this ride to be pretty jerky, which is why it it didn’t rank higher on our list. We wish the track was a bit smoother.

13. Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-rat Barges

Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-rat Barges
By Jeremy Thompson

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 42 inches. Children 42- 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges is a water-based rapids ride popular cartoon characters Popeye and Bluto. The storyline revolves around Popeye and Bluto competing for Olive Oyl’s affections, leading to a wild river adventure. You will be sure to get on this ride!

Riders board circular rafts that seat up to eight passengers and navigate a fast-flowing river filled with splashes, sudden drops, and water effects designed to ensure riders get wet during the adventure.

There are also water cannons located around the ride that spectators can use to soak riders. Be sure to take advantage of the lockers near the ride entrance to store valuables and electronics to keep them dry.

14. Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Amazing Adventures of Spider Man

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 40 inches. Children 40 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman takes place within the Daily Bugle, where the characters from the Spider-Man comic books work. It is a motion simulator dark ride that combines 3D projection with motion simulation vehicles. The vehicle can move forward, backward, and simulate a variety of motions.

The storyline revolves around Spiderman battling a group of supervillains known as the Sinister Syndicate, led by the villainous Doctor Octopus. It uses water and heat effects in addition to the 3D technology to add to the fun. It is not an ideal ride for those prone to motion sickness.

15. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Minions
Photo via NBC/Universal

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 40 inches. Children 40 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

The Minions have become quite popular over the years, so it is no surprise that Universal decided to give them their our ride- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

In this ride Gru invites riders into his house to do some minion training but it is quickly revealed that his evil plan is to turn us all to minions! Thankfully, Edith, Agnes, and Margo are there to help save the day.

Riders board Minion-themed vehicles and wear 3D glasses while enjoying the Minions’ playful antics and mishaps. The motion-simulation technology provides the sensation of movement, including bouncing and tilting, as riders follow the Minions on their adventure. This ride is not intense, so motion sickness is not typically a problem.

16. Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Skull Island: Reign of Kong
By Paulo Guereta

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 36 inches. Children 36 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is a dark ride that combines a motion simulator with sets, audio-visual effects, and 3D projection technology. It is in many ways simlar to the Kong experience at Universal Studios Hollywood which is part of the Studio Tour.

Riders board large expedition vehicles designed to resemble military transport trucks and are taken on an expedition deep into Skull Island’s jungles. There they will encounter prehistoric creatures, hostile natives, and King Kong himself. It is a thrilling experience but not anything too thrilling, as the low height requirement indicates.

17. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Adventure

ET ride Universal Orlando
By Jeremy Thompson

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 34 inches. Children 34 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Adventure is a dark ride where riders board bicycles, similar to those used in the film, and embark on an adventure through various scenes and environments from the movie. Along the way, riders encounter various alien species and help E.T. collect the magical “Interplanetary Botanical Identifier” specimens needed to save his planet.

This ride is fun for young children as well as us older folks who grew up with the E.T. movie and are looking for a bit of nostalgia.

18. Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 36 inches. Children 36 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Flight of the Hippogriff is a great “first coaster” for kids. Children appreciate that they can see exactly what the ride looks like from the queue so that there are no surprises and that is exactly what this ride delivers.

This coaster is themed after the Hippogriff, a magical creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a horse from the Harry Potter series. The creature swoops and dives, just like the coaster.

The ride would actually be rated much higher if it wasn’t so short! The track is less than 1,000 feet in length and feels like it is over right after it begins. I wouldn’t bother waiting in line for more than 30 minutes for this attraction unless your kids have their hearts set on riding.

19. High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train

Seuss Trolley Train Ride
Photo by Simon17964

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 36 inches. Children 36 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train is set in the fictional land of Seuss Landing, which is filled with unique architecture and vibrant colors that mimic the illustrations in Dr. Seuss’s books.

Riders board whimsical trolley cars, each adorned with various beloved Dr. Seuss characters, and travel along an elevated track that takes visitors on a journey above the Seuss Landing area. Anyone can ride this ride but it is really aimed towards families with young children.

It is one of four rides in the Seuss Landing area that is geared to the park’s youngest guests.

20. Pteranodon Flyers

Pteranodon Flyers

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: This ride is for children 36 – 56 inches. They must be accompanied by an adult. You may not ride this ride without a child fitting that height requirement.

Pteranodon Flyers is a unique ride that offers visitors the opportunity to soar through the prehistoric skies on the backs of Pteranodons, giving them a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding area. Riders are seated in open-air gondolas that hang from an overhead track as it glides over the Jurassic Park section of the park.

It features lush landscaping, dinosaur-themed architecture, and life-sized dinosaur replicas. The queue area is elaborately themed to resemble a Jurassic Park research station, complete with interactive displays, and fossil exhibits. The thing we don’t love about this ride is that adults must have a child between 36 and 56 inches with them in order to ride.

21. Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster

Woody Woodpecker Coaster Universal Orlando
Photo by David Tribble

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 36 inches. Children 36 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster is a kiddie coaster that follows a gentle track with small hills, dips, and turns. It is really designed for young children but all ages can ride this attraction. If you have little ones in your group, make an effort to ride the ride. Otherwise, I would skip it.

22. Transformers The Ride – 3D

Transformer The Ride 3D

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 40 inches. Children 40 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Transformers: The Ride 3D uses flight simulation technology to put riders inside the story of Optimus Prime battling to protect the AllSpark.

This ride utilizes a track as well as 4D technology, with heat and splashes of water adding to the immersive experience. It is a more intense ride, and those prone to motion sickness might have issues with the 3D screens combined with the ride motion.

23. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

Doctor Dooms Fearfalls

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 52 inches

This ride is themed around the Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom, and it basically a “what you see is what you get” ride. Basically, riders are launched 185 feet vertically into the air on one of the ride’s two towers.

At the top, riders experience a brief moment of weightlessness before the seats gently descend back to the ground. It isn’t nrealy as intense as mose drop towers.

24. Cat in the Hat Ride

Cat in the Hat Ride

Location: Universal Studios Orlando – Islands of Adventure

Minimum Height: 36 inches. Children 36 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

The Cat in the Hat Ride is another attraction in the Seuss Landing section of Islands of Adventure. The ride’s storyline follows the plot of its namesake book, with riders joining the Cat in the Hat and his friends, Thing 1 and Thing 2, for an adventure in the home of Sally and her brother.

It is a dark ride and the ride vehicles look like couches that spin and travel through the different rooms of the house. This ride is fun and not scary, making it a good fit for young children.

25. Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon ride Universal
By elisfkc

Location: Universal Studios Florida

Minimum Height: 40 inches. Children 40 – 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is themed around the NBC late night talk show. Riders sit in a “flying” theater vehicle and wear 3D glasses as they go on a wild race through New York with Jimmy Fallon.

The ride is fairly cheesy but lines are typically short so as long as it is under 30 minutes it is worth doing- as long as you aren’t prone to motion sickness. I am and walked out very queasy.