Today we are sharing the best rides at Universal Studios Orlando with kids. We have visited many times and have our must ride attractions on each visit.
Universal Studios Florida has come a long way with its rides and attractions since opening day in 1990. We have visited a lot as a family and keep going back because of the exciting and fun attractions.
Some attractions are more exciting than others, and today I am sharing our best rides at Universal Studios Orlando with kids. My kids are school age (7, 9, 12) and this list will be for kids that age up to adults planning a visit to Universal Studios.
Best Rides at Universal Studios Orlando with Kids
Lets start with the attractions currently at the Universal Studios Florida park.
All the Universal Studios Florida Attractions and Rides
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- E.T. Adventure
- Fast and Furious Supercharged
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hogwarts Express: King Cross Station
- Kang & Kondos Twirl and Hurl
- Men in Black: Alien Attack
- Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Shrek 4D
- The Simpson Ride
- Transformers: The Ride 3D
- Woody Wood Pecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket
You can read more details about ride scare factor and height requirements on my post: Universal Studios Height Requirement and Scare Factor Guide for Families.
Our Favorite Rides at Universal Studios Florida
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
I love Escape from Gringotts! It may be my favorite ride at the park. It has all the elements that I find make an amazing attraction. It has a great story and atmosphere, and the attraction itself is family friendly.
As you enter Gringotts bank you walk along rows of Goblins that look up every now and then, almost as if they are real. Then you make your way to the elevator down to the bank. As you exit you head into a pre-show area where you learn more about what kind of adventure you will be going on.
After that you pick up your 3D goggles, walk up the winding stair case and board your train to Gringotts. This ride is themed so well and really blows me away every time I ride it.
The actual ride is an indoor roller coaster that has launches and 3D screens through the attraction. It is based on the ?5th book?? but you do not need to know much about the story line to enjoy the attraction.
E.T. Adventure is an original attraction from opening day at Universal Studios. My kids have never seen the movie but there are a few reasons we always want to ride.
First you tell the attendant your name as you enter the attraction and ET personalizes your goodbye at the end of the ride. The last few visits my kids have enjoyed coming up with creative names for ET to say goodbye to.
Second it is a dark ride that takes you through E.T.’s adventure from Earth to his home planet. You hop aboard bikes to make this journey and it is the only attraction in the park that doesn’t use screens or 3D technology.
E.T. is a fun ride that I think most families would enjoy when they visit Universal.
Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon
This is a newer attraction and follows Jimmy Fallon as he races through New York. We see all the popular NYC sites as we experience fun 3D effects. This ride is not the most amazing ride ever but it is enjoyable for everyone in our family.
The pre-show for Jimmy Fallon is different than any other attraction at the park. Guests are given a color group to know when it is there turn to line up for the ride. As they wait they are entertained by touch screen games, a singing group, or an opportunity to sit on the bench and rest a bit.
Men in Black: Alien Attack
Men in Black allows guests to train at becoming agents in this fun alien shooting attraction. The kids love this ride and we all have fun seeing our scores at the end. My biggest complaint is the car spins and this can make me feel really dizzy.
It doesn’t spin the duration of the ride but when it does it can be a bit much for me. I would ride it at least once on your visit but be prepared for it.
Transformers: The Ride 3D
Transformers 3D is much like Spiderman at Islands of Adventure. You board a vehicle and make your way through the attractions. The attraction combines moving vehicles with 3D screens and is a good ride.
If you love Transformers you will enjoy it. Most kids will be okay with it. There is a bit of violence similar to what you find in the movies.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
This used to be one of my favorite attractions at the park but recently they removed the 3D glasses and it is now a basic simulator ride. Kids will really enjoy this and the story is super cute.
I suggest making time to ride Despicable me and it is a great ride for families. They even have stationary seating for younger children or people sensitive to motion.
Rides that Didn’t Make the List
Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket didn’t make the list because although it is a fun roller coaster I wouldn’t say it is for every kid. It is a pretty intense ride and only for the brave coaster lover in your family.
I feel the same way about The Mummy. All of my kids (ages 7, 9, and 11) rode the Mummy and liked it but they were not dying to go back and ride again. They were happy to ride once and be done with it. It is great indoor coaster and if your kids are not scared by the Mummy they would enjoy it.
I also didn’t add Shrek 4D to the list because although it is a fun show, the technology is dated and the standing area at the start of the show can be long on tired legs.
The Simpsons is another ride we enjoy to ride once and that is it. It often causes us to feel queasy after riding. It is another fun ride but be warned about motion sickness on this one.
Overall the rides and attractions at Universal Studios are great for families. I suggest riding each one at least once and make your own list of best rides at Universal Studios Orlando for your family.
Latest from Five for the Road
- Watkins Glen Gorge Trail: Watkins Glen State Park with Kids
- Family Day Trips: Tips for Planning a Day Trip
- Best Things to Do in Watkins Glen (Family Weekend at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel)
- 21 USA Bucket List Destinations for Families
- 16 Family Day Trips from Rochester, NY