14 Rides at Universal Studios Orlando: Must-See Attractions
Universal Studios Orlando, nestled in sunny Orlando, Florida, warmly welcomes guests with a remarkable array of entertainment choices and immersive experiences.
- What is Universal Studios?
- Universal CityWalk
- Universal Studios main sections
Best Rides at Universal Studios Orlando
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- Transformers The Ride 3D
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Revenge Of The Mummy: The Ride
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- The Simpsons Ride
- Fast & Furious: Supercharged
- E.T. Adventure
- Men in Black: Alien Attack
- Shrek 4-D
- Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show
- Fear Factor Live
- Hollywood Street
- Hogwarts Express experience with Park-to-Park ticket
- Universal Studios Parking Lot
- Best time to go to Universal Studios
- Places to stay when visiting Universal Studios
This delightful theme park resort is celebrated for its fantastic attractions, captivating live shows, and meticulous attention to detail, which breathe life into some of the most beloved film and television franchises.
What is Universal Studios?
Universal Studios, a world-renowned theme park, captivates visitors of all ages by whisking them away into the enchanting realms of beloved U.S. movies and television shows.
At Universal Studios, the ever-evolving attractions are thoughtfully designed to keep pace with new releases and seasonal themes, ensuring a fresh and exciting experience for returning visitors.
The park boasts a delightful array of exhilarating activities, affectionately known as rides, which invite guests to embark on heart-pounding adventures aboard rail cars, trains, or even through immersive 3D experiences. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, Universal Studios never ceases to amaze and inspire the young and young at heart.
Universal CityWalk, nestled within the heart of the Universal Orlando Resort, is a vibrant entertainment complex that provides guests with a diverse array of shopping, dining, and nightlife experiences.
Brimming with themed eateries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and various entertainment options, CityWalk is the ideal spot for visitors to unwind and treat themselves after a day filled with excitement and adventure at the theme parks.
As you stroll through Universal CityWalk, you’ll find that the path diverges into two directions. Venturing left will lead you to the entrance of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, while taking the right path brings you to the gates of Universal Studios Florida.
Should you choose to embark on the rightward journey towards Universal Studios Florida, be sure to pause and capture a memorable photo with the iconic Universal Studios logo, located on the left side.
For those who have purchased tickets to both theme parks, this photo opportunity may not present itself on your return journey, as your path may differ. So, seize the moment and create lasting memories with friends and family as you explore the wonders of Universal Orlando Resort.
Universal Studios main sections
Universal Studios Florida is divided into a few different sections, each with its own collection of attractions.
Production Central, Hollywood, Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, New York, San Francisco, Springfield, World Expo and finally The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Best Rides at Universal Studios Orlando
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a popular 3D motion simulator ride located in the Production Central area of Universal Studios Orlando.
As you enter the park in the morning, it’s important to note that this attraction tends to draw large crowds during the following hours. To make the most of your visit, try to head straight to the ride upon arrival to avoid long wait times.
Situated near the entrance of the park, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem offers a fun-filled experience for guests of all ages. The ride, which lasts approximately 8 minutes, invites you to join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous Minions on a thrilling and hilarious adventure.
With its captivating storyline, impressive 3D effects, and engaging motion simulation, this ride is a must-visit attraction when exploring Universal Studios Orlando.
Transformers The Ride 3D
Transformers: The Ride-3D is an immersive, action-packed attraction located in the New York section of Universal Studios Orlando.
This thrilling ride combines state-of-the-art 3D technology with dynamic motion simulation, placing you in the heart of an epic battle between the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons.
The adventure lasts approximately five minutes and takes you on a high-stakes mission to save the AllSpark from falling into the wrong hands. You’ll join forces with fan-favorite characters like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee as you race through the city, experiencing stunning visuals, thrilling twists, and turns that make you feel like you’re part of the Transformers universe.
After the ride, be sure to visit the Meet the Transformers area, located just behind the Transformers entrance. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to snap memorable photos with life-sized versions of iconic characters such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron.
This unique photo shoot area adds an extra layer of excitement to your Transformers experience, allowing you to create lasting memories with these beloved characters.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is an adrenaline-pumping roller coaster located in Universal Studios Florida, near the entrance of the park. This high-speed coaster reaches speeds of up to 65 mph and boasts a ride time of approximately 1 minute and 37 seconds, providing thrill-seekers with a heart-pounding experience they won’t forget.
Please note that the line for Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit can get quite long, especially during peak times, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit accordingly. Despite the wait, this exhilarating attraction is a must-try for roller coaster enthusiasts alike.
Revenge Of The Mummy: The Ride
Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride is an exhilarating indoor roller coaster. Situated within the park’s New York-themed area, the ride is inspired by the popular “The Mummy” movie franchise and offers guests an opportunity to embark on a thrilling journey through an ancient Egyptian tomb.
The ride duration is approximately 3 minutes, during which guests experience high-speed twists, turns, and sudden drops, all while immersed in a captivating storyline featuring Imhotep, the vengeful mummy.
As you race through the dark, mysterious catacombs, you’ll encounter impressive animatronics, stunning special effects, and chilling surprises that make Revenge of the Mummy an unforgettable adventure for thrill-seekers and fans of the movies alike.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Harry Potter is one of the places that shows that there is another world within the theme park and it is the most popular part of Universal Florida. Harry Potter fans will already be enamored by this section, and even though we are not fans, it has an atmosphere that impressed us. It is a place where the Harry Potter concept is fully reflected, where the buildings, characters and even the spells cast in some areas are thought out to the finest detail.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is an amazing 5 minute ride that replaces Jaws which used to be there. While waiting in the queue, you pass through Gringotts Wizarding Bank where the goblins are located, you can watch the goblins at work, as a general crowd we probably annoyed them a lot with our noise because they don’t like noise at all, but thanks to them they never complained 🙂 Then the line is completed by looking at talking paintings and moving newspapers. The type of ride is similar to Transformers and Spider Man in the other park. It is one of the roller coaster experiences in the dark and is supported by 3D projection screens and physical effects. Do not leave without experiencing this ride.
Harry Potter is a big world, and by reading the What You Need to Know About Harry Potter page once, you can navigate it in a more informed and less alienated way. Make sure you tackle the rides above as soon as possible. These are the best and most popular. Once you have visited and completed them, you can move on to the following ones.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is a thrilling and entertaining 3D motion simulator ride. Set within a replica of the iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the attraction takes guests on an exhilarating race through the streets of New York City alongside the popular late-night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon.
The ride is approximately five minutes long and seamlessly combines cutting-edge technology, impressive visuals, and Fallon’s signature humor to create an unforgettable experience.
As you embark on this high-speed adventure, you’ll encounter various landmarks and famous locations, such as Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and even the moon! The immersive nature of the ride makes it feel like you’re truly racing through the Big Apple with Jimmy Fallon himself, providing a unique and exciting experience for all ages.
The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride is a fun and engaging virtual reality roller coaster situated in the Springfield area. Located near the iconic Kwik-E-Mart and Moe’s Tavern, this attraction truly immerses guests in the world of America’s favorite animated family.
The ride itself lasts approximately 4 minutes, during which riders are taken on an exhilarating journey through Krustyland. Combining humor, adventure, and a generous dose of The Simpsons’ signature wit, the ride offers an experience that fans of the show and theme park enthusiasts alike will enjoy.
Fast & Furious: Supercharged
Fast & Furious: Supercharged is an adrenaline-pumping, high-speed attraction located in the San Francisco area. This exhilarating ride takes guests on an action-packed adventure alongside the beloved characters from the Fast & Furious franchise, such as Dom, Letty, and Hobbs.
The ride experience lasts approximately 5 minutes, but the excitement begins long before you board the vehicle. The queue area is filled with memorable props and vehicles from the films, immersing you in the world of Fast & Furious from the moment you enter.
Once on board, you’ll join the crew on a high-octane chase, using state-of-the-art motion simulation and high-definition 3D projection technology to create a truly perfect experience.
E.T. Adventure is a charming, family-friendly dark ride located in the Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone section of Universal Studios Florida. This nostalgic attraction takes guests on a magical journey with E.T., the lovable alien from Steven Spielberg’s classic film. Visitors board flying bicycles and help E.T. return to his home planet, the Green Planet, to save his friends.
The ride is lasts approximately 4 to 5 minutes. As you glide through the darkened scenes, you’ll encounter familiar locations from the movie, such as the forest and the famous bike chase sequence.
Once you reach the Green Planet, you’ll be greeted by a colorful and imaginative landscape filled with alien creatures and E.T.’s friends. The ride ends with a heartwarming farewell from E.T. himself, creating a great experience for the whole family.
Men in Black: Alien Attack
Men in Black: Alien Attack is an interactive, dark ride attraction located in the World Expo area. This thrilling experience takes guests on a mission to save Earth from an alien invasion alongside the Men in Black organization. The ride combines cutting-edge technology with a lighthearted, alien-blasting adventure, creating an unforgettable experience for visitors.
Upon entering the attraction, guests are welcomed into the Men in Black headquarters, where they’re immersed in the world of the secret organization.
After a brief training session, riders board their own six-passenger MIB vehicle equipped with laser guns, embarking on a mission to zap aliens hidden throughout the ride.
The ride lasts approximately 4-5 minutes, during which riders encounter various animatronic aliens and compete with each other to achieve the highest score. Men in Black: Alien Attack offers a perfect balance of friendly competition and immersive storytelling, making it an exciting and engaging attraction for visitors of all ages.
Shrek 4-D is a delightful experience, offering guests a chance to join their favorite characters from the Shrek franchise on a fun-filled adventure. This unique attraction combines the magic of 3D film technology with interactive physical effects, making it feel like you’re truly a part of the story.
The adventure follows Shrek, Fiona, and their friends as they embark on a new journey, expanding upon the tale from the original movie. The 4-D element enhances the experience by incorporating various in-theater effects, such as water sprays, wind, and seat movements that synchronize with the on-screen action.
Situated in the park’s Production Central area, Shrek 4-D is easy to find and adds a whimsical touch to the surroundings.
The entire experience, including the pre-show and main attraction, takes approximately 20 minutes, providing guests with a perfect opportunity to rest their feet and enjoy a lighthearted, entertaining break during their visit to Universal Studios Orlando.
Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show
Universal’s Horror Make-Up Show is a live, entertaining, and interactive show that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the art of creating special effects make-up used in popular horror films.
Located in the Hollywood section, the show is situated within the park’s studio-like setting, giving it an authentic feel.
The show itself, which typically lasts around 20-25 minutes, features talented make-up artists and performers who demonstrate various techniques used to create realistic horror effects.
From prosthetics to fake blood, guests can expect to be both amused and educated as they learn about the fascinating world of special effects make-up.
Fear Factor Live
Fear Factor Live is an exhilarating, interactive live show, based on the popular television series “Fear Factor.” Situated in the World Expo area of the park, this thrilling attraction invites brave guests to participate in various stunts and challenges that test their physical and mental limits.
The show usually runs for about 30 minutes, during which audience members can watch participants face their fears through a series of daring tasks. These may include hanging from great heights, handling creepy critters, or even consuming some rather unappetizing items.
I don’t think you should waste your time, but if you want to watch it, you should find out the show times in advance.
Hollywood Street is a vibrant and bustling area within Universal Studios Orlando that transports visitors to the iconic Hollywood Boulevard.
This lively street is lined with shops, restaurants, and beautiful replicas of famous Hollywood landmarks. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown.
One of the most exciting aspects of Hollywood Street is the opportunity to meet and take photos with your favorite celebrities and characters. You’ll have the chance to snap a picture with the lovable Simpson family, Shrek and his donkey, Scooby Doo family and Marilyn Monroe, among other famous faces, as they roam the area.
Hogwarts Express experience with Park-to-Park ticket
The Hogwarts Express is a truly magical experience for Harry Potter fans visiting Universal Studios Orlando. This enchanting train ride connects the two Harry Potter-themed areas, Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, allowing guests to travel between these immersive lands just as the characters do in the beloved book and film series.
To fully enjoy the Hogwarts Express experience, it’s essential to purchase a Park-to-Park ticket. This type of ticket grants access to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure on the same day, allowing guests to seamlessly travel between the parks via the Hogwarts Express.
With a Park-to-Park ticket, visitors can explore all that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer, from sipping a Butterbeer in Hogsmeade to shopping for magical supplies in Diagon Alley.
While Park-to-Park tickets may be slightly more expensive than single park tickets, the additional cost is well worth it for those looking to make the most of their Universal Studios Orlando adventure.
Not only do these tickets enable guests to board the Hogwarts Express, but they also provide the flexibility to enjoy other attractions and experiences across both parks. Be sure to review the Park-to-Park ticket options available on the Universal Studios Orlando website to find the best choice for your magical journey.
How is it work?
We had purchased the Park to Park option online months in advance. If you bought tickets online, you convert your tickets into an entrance pass at the entrance of the theme park. You can use the kiosks or the staff will help you with this.
Then you register your fingerprints, go through the turnstiles and enter the world of Universal Studios Florida. We won’t need to show this ticket every time, but we will need it for the Hogwarts Express train ride to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park.
After seeing everything, we took the Hogwarts Express train to Universal’s Islands of Adventure since we had Park to Park tickets. To get to the other theme park, you can either use the exit, walk through CityWalk or take the Hogwarts Express train.
The train departs from King’s Cross train station next to Diagon Alley. The train journey is not an ordinary journey, it is a train journey in the concept of Harry Potter.
The train is a separate activity and there is a waiting time. After you get on the train, you take a train ride for about 10 minutes and you find yourself in a Harry Potter story.
Universal Studios Parking Lot
When visiting Universal Studios, it’s essential to consider parking options to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Each Universal Studios location offers on-site parking facilities designed to accommodate the needs of guests driving to the theme parks.
The parking lots are conveniently located near the park entrances, making it easy for visitors to access the parks and CityWalk, the vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment district.
Parking fees at Universal Studios vary depending on the location and type of vehicle, with standard parking rates typically ranging from $25 to $30 per day for regular cars.
Oversized vehicle parking, such as RVs and buses, may incur additional costs. It’s a good idea to check the specific Universal Studios location’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date parking fee information.
For those who prefer a more convenient parking experience, Universal Studios offers preferred parking options at an additional cost. With preferred parking, guests can park their vehicles in designated areas that are closer to the park entrances, making it even easier to access the theme parks and CityWalk.
Some Universal Studios locations also provide parking discounts or complimentary parking for guests with disabilities, as well as for annual pass holders, depending on the pass type. Be sure to review the parking policies and benefits related to your specific situation before visiting the parks.
Lastly, keep in mind that parking lots can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons or special events. Arriving early and being prepared for potential wait times will help ensure a smooth start to your exciting day at Universal Studios.
Things to know about Universal Studios parking lots
When planning a visit to Universal Studios, it’s helpful to be aware of some key details about the parking lots to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Here are a few important things to know before you arrive:
- Once you park your car, you don’t need it again until you leave the amusement parks. So make sure you take everything you need to take with you when you leave your car.
- Time it well. If you want to enter Universal Studios early, you should take into account the parking time and the walking time to reach the entrance. Even if you get to the parking lot from the toll booths early, it will take about 20 minutes to park the car. Add to that 15-20 minutes to walk to the entrance after parking the car and the curious watching left and right while walking on CityWalk. You can also add at least 15 minutes to grab a bite to eat at a quick spot like Starbucks for breakfast on CityWalk.
- Take a photo of the parking lot. Since it has a large parking lot, the floors and sections of the parking lot are labeled with names like Jaws, King Kong, Spider Man, Jurassic Park. Since it can be hard to remember these numbers after having so much fun inside, take a photo of where you are before you leave the parking lot. Don’t bother with memorizing them.
- Keep your receipt. If for some reason you leave the parking lot and want to return, show your receipt. This way you will not have to pay again.
- Parking lots are free after 18:00. If you are around Orlando and want to take a CityWalk tour after 18:00, you can use the parking lot for free. Parking is free on non-event days except for special events such as Halloween, Halloween Horror Nights, New Year’s Eve.
Best time to go to Universal Studios
Determining the best time to visit Universal Studios depends on several factors, including weather, crowd levels, and personal preferences. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the optimal time for your visit:
- Weather: In general, the most pleasant weather conditions for exploring Universal Studios can be found during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) months. These seasons often feature milder temperatures and lower humidity, making it more comfortable to spend a full day at the parks.
- Crowd levels: To avoid large crowds and long wait times for attractions, consider visiting on weekdays during the off-peak seasons.
- Special events: Universal Studios hosts various special events and seasonal celebrations throughout the year, such as Halloween Horror Nights, Mardi Gras, and holiday festivities. If you’re interested in attending one of these events, plan your visit accordingly. Keep in mind that parks may be more crowded during these times.
- School holidays: To minimize wait times and crowds, try to avoid visiting during major school holidays, such as summer vacation, Spring Break, and the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year’s. During these periods, the parks tend to be busier and more congested.
Places to stay when visiting Universal Studios
When visiting Universal Studios, there are several accommodation options to consider, ranging from on-site hotels to nearby off-site hotels and campgrounds. Each option offers different benefits, so it’s essential to choose a place that best suits your needs, preferences, and budget.
- On-site hotels: Staying at one of the Universal Studios on-site hotels provides numerous benefits, such as early park admission, complimentary transportation to and from the parks, and the convenience of being within walking distance to the parks and CityWalk. Some on-site hotels even offer Universal Express Unlimited passes for guests, allowing them to skip regular lines at participating attractions. On-site hotels cater to various budgets and preferences, from luxury resorts to more budget-friendly options.
- Off-site hotels: Numerous off-site hotels are located near Universal Studios parks, often providing more affordable accommodation choices. These hotels may also offer shuttle services to the parks or be within walking distance, depending on their proximity. When choosing an off-site hotel, be sure to research its amenities, distance from the parks, and any potential transportation options.
- Vacation rentals: For families or larger groups, vacation rentals, such as condos or vacation homes, can provide a more spacious and comfortable stay. Vacation rentals are available in various sizes and price ranges and often include amenities like full kitchens and private pools.
- Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake Campground: For those who prefer a more nature-oriented experience, Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake offers a campground just a short drive from Universal Studios Orlando. The park features RV and tent camping sites with amenities such as restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and a variety of recreational activities like fishing, hiking, and disc golf. This option provides a unique, budget-friendly alternative to traditional hotels while still being close to the theme parks.
When choosing a place to stay during your Universal Studios visit, consider factors such as budget, proximity to the parks, transportation options, and the type of accommodation that will best suit your needs. With a variety of options available, you’re sure to find the perfect lodging for an unforgettable theme park experience.
In conclusion, Universal Studios Orlando offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages, immersing guests in the magic of their favorite movies and television shows.
With thrilling attractions, captivating entertainment, and the enchanting Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this world-class theme park destination promises excitement and adventure at every turn.
When planning your visit, consider factors such as ticket options, accommodations, and the best time to go, ensuring a smooth and memorable experience.