Universal Orlando with Kids: Kid-Friendly Rides and Attractions at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

From Shrek to Minions, and Dr. Seuss and Trolls, visiting Universal Orlando with kids is a great place for a family theme park vacation.

Universal Orlando Resort consists of two main theme parks and a water park. (They will be opening a 3rd theme park in summer 2025.) There are lots of kid-friendly things to do at Universal that the whole family can enjoy.

Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are where you will find fun and engaging activities, shows, character meet and greets, and rides.

Overview of Universal Orlando with Kids

There are three main areas at the Universal Parks that are dedicated to kids. This includes play areas and rides that are perfect for toddlers and young children.

  • Minion Land
  • Dreamworks Land (Opening Summer 2025)
  • Seuss Landing

Besides the three dedicated lands there are also kid-friendly spaces and rides located within different lands at the parks.

Read on for full details on visiting Universal Orlando with kids.

universal orlando with kids minion land
Entrance to Minion Land at Universal Studios Florida.

Pro Tip: Before you arrive be sure to secure your park tickets. This will save you time and money. You will need to know how many park days and which parks you want to visit. If you are at the beginning of your planning start with this post: Universal Orlando Trip Planning Guide for 2024

Kid-Friendly Rides and Attractions at Universal Studios

Universal Studios Florida is home to the Minions, Shrek, and more DreamWorks characters. We have been visiting Universal Studios since my kids were young and we always found fun things for them to do.

Rides at Universal Studios for Small Kids

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: Simulator attraction, suitable for all ages. Ride height 40″ but there is a stationary seating option for those that are prone to motion sickness or very small children.
  • Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast: Shooting attraction, suitable for all ages. There is no ride height but guests must be able to stand on their own. No hand-held infants allowed.
  • E.T. Adventure: Guests board a flying bike to ride on an adventure with E.T. through the sky. This is a dark ride attraction that requires a 34″ height requirement. This may be scary because it is dark but most kids are okay with this ride. Personally it is one of our family favorites due to the nostalgia of it being one of the original rides on park opening day. It is a bit dated but a Universal fan favorite.
  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl: Spinning ride like Dumbo at the Magic Kingdom. No height requirement but guests must be able to sit during the ride.
  • Trolls Trollercoaster: Kid-friendly roller coaster. Height requirement has not been annouced yet but I expect it to be 36″ like the previous Woody Woodpecker coaster. (Open summer 2024)
  • Hogwarts Express- King’s Cross Station: Train ride between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Must have a park-to-park ticket to ride.
villain con universal studios florida
Fun and engaging queue at Illuminations Villain-Con Minion Blast

More Kid-Friendly Attractions at Universal Studios

Dreamworks Land is the new kid friendly space opening in summer 2024. This will include Trolls Trollercoaster, Po Live! (an interactive show where guests can talk to Po), Shrek’s Swamp Meet (Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey Meet and Greet),

There will also be playgrounds and water play areas including Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres, Po’s Kung Fun Training Area at Panda Village, and a new live show at DreamWorks Imagination Center.

Universal has also announced different play areas within the land for small children to run around and play. This will include water areas so pack their suits!

Expect dining and shopping to be included in this new land opening summer 2024.

dreamworks land image from universal orlando resort
DreamWorks Land Image Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.

Another area that is fun for kids is Minion Land. This includes the two Despicable Me attractions at well as Minions Cafe (dining) and Illumination Theater (meet and greet for Illumination characters).

There are also snack and dining options as well as fun photo ops. All five of us loved Minions Cafe. The menu had options for everyone and it is decorated with bright fun colors inside. I recommend eating there on your visit, with or without kids!

minion cafe drink
The Antidote is a banana cream pie flavored drink.

There are four attractions that require a 42″ or taller rider height. They are Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket, Revenge of the Mummy, Men in Black Alien Attack!, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Those may not be suitable for small children but it depends on your kid. We started visiting Universal when my youngest was 5 and once he met the height requirements he would try the ride. You know what is best for your child and what one may be able to handle another may not.

I suggest reading this for Full details on ride height requirements and scare factor for Universal Studios in this post: Universal Studios Height Requirements and Scare Factor (A Guide for Families)

Kid-Friendly Rides and Attractions at Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure is known for its intense rides like Jurassic World Velocicoaster and The Incredible Hulk coaster but it also has Seuss Landing, one of the best kids areas at Universal.

Seuss Landing has 4 attractions, dining, shows, and meet and greets. I have an entire post dedicated to this area: 17 Things to Do at Seuss Landing in Universal Orlando

Islands of Adventure also has playgrounds that are great for the little ones when the big kids ride the thrill rides.

Rides at Islands of Adventure for Small Kids

  • Car-Seuss-el: Carousel in Seuss Landing. Great for all ages. Hand-held infants not allowed.
  • Flight of the Hippogriff: Kiddie Coaster similar to Trolls Trollercoaster. Ride height 36″.
  • Hogwarts Express- Hogsmeade Station: Train ride between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Must have a park-to-park ticket to ride.
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: a spinning flat ride like Dumbo. This experience is unique because riders can spray themselves as they navigate up and down. Guests must be able to sit independently to ride.
  • Pteranodon Flyers: This ride is unique in that you must ride with a child. Guests over 56″ you can only ride with a child under 48″. These fly high in the air and may not be suitable for guests afraid of heights.
  • Storm Force Accelatron: Tea-cup style spinning ride that requires riders to be able to sit and board independently.
  • The Cat in the Hat: Dark ride themed to the story of The Cat in the Hat. Riders must be 36″ to ride.
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride: Birds eye view of Seuss Landing. Rider height requirement is 36″.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: This is a family favorite and there is a 40″ height requirement. Most kids love this ride and we highly recommend it for families.
seuss landing store shopping
The Seuss Landing stores and areas are fun to explore.

More Kid-Friendly Attractions at Islands of Adventure

Camp Jurassic, If I Ran the Zoo, Jurassic Park Discovery Center and Me Ship, The Olive are playgrounds and interactive areas at Universal’ ‘s Islands of Adventure that are fun for all ages.

There are also character meet and greets like Marvel characters and Dr. Seuss characters.

If you are visiting with a Harry Potter fan that is not quite tall enough or ready to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but you want to see inside Hogwarts castle all you need to do is ask.

Guests can tell a team member they would like to walk through the queue but not ride. It really is a great part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that fans should check out, even if they do not want to ride.

One attraction I always struggle with sharing, because it can be scary, but has a 36″ height requirement is Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This attraction can be scary and is a bit violent, which should be expected with the subject matter.

It is not excessive and has one of the best animatronics of Kong but I always like to share our experience with the ride to help others make the best decision for their family.

My kids find the queue and ride to be a bit creepy. We will ride it sometimes but other times we skip it. I know families that love it! Keep this in mind when planning for your family.

Islands of Adventure does a really great job at creating immersive lands at the park. These lands are so much fun to explore, especially with young kids.

For full ride details and what to expect read this: Guide to Islands of Adventure Height Requirements and Ride Scare Factor

Kid-Friendly Rides and Attractions at Epic Universe

Epic Universe is the third gate(park) opening at Universal Orlando Resort in 2025. All the rides, attractions, play areas have not been announced but I want to share my opinion on what I expect.

There will be 5 immersive lands at the parks. They are Celestial Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Ministry of Magic, Super Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon-Isle of Berk, and Dark Universe.

I expect most of the lands to incorporate activities for small children as well as adults. My guess would be How to Train Your Dragon and Super Nintendo World will have more kid friendly activities than Dark Universe but I expect a family-friendly attraction in most spaces.

I am so excited for this new theme park and will continue to update as I learn more.

FAQ’s About Visiting Universal Orlando with Toddlers and Young Children

What age is best for visiting Universal?

We started visiting when my youngest was 5 years old. He was tall enough to ride a handful of attractions and we knew he could handle the attractions. There are also a lot of play areas and shows that are great for small children.

It helps to introduce your child to some of the characters like Minions, Harry Potter, and Dr. Seuss. The Dr. Seuss area at Islands of Adventure is perfect for children.

We watched the movies of characters at the park before we visited and I read the first Harry Potter illustrated book to familiarize them with the story.

Are there rides kids can’t ride at Universal Orlando?

There are thrilling roller coasters and more intense attractions that may not be suitable for small children. If your child meets the height requirement use your best judgement on whether or not you think they will enjoy the attraction.

Overall Universal Orlando with kids is a great pick for your theme park vacation. With a good mix of rides and attractions guests will have an amazing time.

Read Next: What to Do at Universal Orlando: 25+ Can’t Miss Things to Experience

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