The 20 Best Rides at Universal Orlando Resort in 2021

Best rides at Universal Orlando: water rides

When it comes to the best rides at Universal Orlando Resort, narrowing them down was quite a task. After all, there are several things to take into account: thrill level, popularity, and theming. Additionally, add in the fact that they’re all created based on movies and it makes it even harder. Here are the 20 best rides at Universal Orlando Resort!

Planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort and want the scoop on the best rides? From water plunges to thrilling coasters to kid-approved favorites, here are the 20 best rides at Universal Orlando in 2021! #UOR #UniversalOrlando #ThemeParks #Orlando #FamilyTravel

 

If you’re just learning about Universal Studios Orlando, thank you for popping and and checking out this article for information. And just for a quick bit of info, Universal Orlando Resort has two separate theme parks: Universal Studios Florida (USF) and Islands of Adventure (IOA). In addition, Citywalk connects both parks and is filled with dining and shopping but no rides. 

When it comes to the best rides in both theme parks, I tried to keep the numbers pretty even but, since of the rides is technically in both parks, there’s one less in one. 

 

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida sign

For me personally, I enjoy the rides more in USF than IOA. IOA has several water rides and, since I’m not a big fan of walking around soaked, I get more bang for my proverbial buck at USF. Plus, I find The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP): Diagon Alley superior to Hogsmeade. At this time, all of these rides and attractions offer Express Pass except for one. 

For reference, here’s the link to the official Universal Studios map.

 

Escape from Gringott’s

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Escape from Gringott's

 

 

The best ride in all of Universal Studios Florida, Escape from Gringott’s in WWoHP: Diagon Alley makes the top of the list for several reasons. First, the standby queue sets up the scene for the ride itself. Second, once you board and receive your glasses, it’s a whirlwind of immersion. While not a roller coaster, it does have a couple of speedy spots. 

 

Location: Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley

Height Requirement: 42 Inches and Over

Lockers: Yes. You’ll be required to put anything you can’t fit into your pockets into a complimentary locker for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: The most popular ride in USF, you’ll want to hit it at rope drop (park opening) or right before it closes for the day for the shortest line. 

 

Want the scoop on Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Here are the best things to do to in WWoHP to help you plan your visit. 

 

Revenge of the Mummy

Best rides at Universal Orlando: The Mummy

An indoor coaster, Revenge of the Mummy gets high marks for (again) a super immersive queue. The ride itself is cool as it has a couple of places where the car tears off at significant speed. Probably the most impressive is the ceiling set alight with fire near the end.  Yes, it’s a bit outdated in its animatronics, but it’s still a hoot. 

 

Location: New York

Height Requirement: 48 Inches and Over

Lockers: Yes, required for items that can’t be fit into your pockets. Complimentary for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: Revenge of the Mummy has the shortest lines first thing in the morning, so my suggestion is to ride Escape from Gringott’s and then make a beeline for this one. 

 

Men in Black Alien Attack

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Men in Black Alien Attack

Men in Black is one of my favorite movies for the 90’s, so a chance to laser-shoot aliens is never boring. Before physical distancing the queue was much more interactive but these days it’s pretty much a walkthrough. Each two row vehicle spins pretty rapidly at times and the dark, city streets where you’ll be shooting aliens are filled with detail. 

 

Location: World Expo

Height Requirement: 42 Inches and Over

Lockers: Yes, required for items that can’t be fit into your pockets. Complimentary for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: If you get queasy from spinning, you may want to sit this one out. 

 

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Rip ride rockit universal

The most thrilling of the rides in USF, Rip Ride Rocket has a huge fan following. Sure it has some intense turns and dips at 65 MPH, but the coolest part is the ability to program a song to customize your ride. If you dig around on the internet, look for hidden song codes to really amp up the musical customization. 

 

Location: New York

Height Requirement: 51-79 Inches

Lockers:  Complimentary for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: Riders need to pass through a metal detector before getting on the ride. You’ll need to store all loose items in a locker before you queue up. 

 

Transformers: The Ride-3D

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Transformers

One of the hidden gems of USF, Transformers is a fun way to save the earth from Megatron and the Decepticons. The ride has both motion simulation and true movement and it’s the combo of both that’s really immersive. 

 

Location: Production Central

Height Requirement: 40 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: Compliments of how the ride boards, the indoor queue tends to drag mid-afternoon. So, hit this one in the morning or before it closes for the day. Also, the 3-D aspect can make folks sensitive to motion queasy. 

 

ET Adventure

Best rides at Universal Orlando: ET Ride Universal

Sure, the ride is antiquated and smells kinda funny, but ET Adventure has almost a cult following for folks that have ridden it. Essentially telling the story of the movie ET, you board a bicycle and fly through the sky to ET’s home planet. The ride itself is pretty smooth and the feeling of flying on a bike is super fun. 

Location: Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone

Height Requirement: 34 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not necessary

Tip: ET Adventure tends to open at least an hour after the park opens and the line can get pretty long. If you’re adamant about riding, be ready to queue up when it first opens. 

 

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Despicable Me minion Mayhem

 

I always wanted to see what the inside of Gru’s house would look like in person and Minion Mayhem was my chance. A motion simulation-style ride, it can make folks with vertigo queasy. If you can handle it, though, it’s worth a ride at least once. 

 

Location: Production Central

Height Requirement: 40 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: The first ride you’ll see after the park entrance, Minion Mayhem is very popular. You’ll want to keep an eye on the Universal Studios resort app and make a break for it when the line gets low. 

 

Universal Orlando Horror Makeup Show

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Horror Makeup Show

I’m a huge fan of classic monsters, so the chance to see a little movie magic in person is always a good time. You’ll learn about some of the history of Universal Studios monsters and get a lesson in movie makeup, too.

Location: Hollywood

Height Requirement: None

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: There is a jump scare at the end, so keep it in mind if you have sensitive kiddos. 

 

The Bourne Stuntacular

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Bourne Stuntacular

Ahh, Bourne Stuntacular. Part film, part live stunt show, you’ll be hard pressed to see where the two meet as the show is seamless. Motorized set pieces weave around the sage and the back screen is crazy clear. 

 

Location: Hollywood

Height Requirement: None

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: Bourne Stuntacular is pretty new, so it’s very popular to the point that the queue is easily one show behind. You’ll want to queue up early and grab a spot. 

 

Hogwarts Express

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Hogwarts Express

Technically a transport between both Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands, Hogwarts Express is a ride compliments of the interactive experience. If you have a Park-to-Park Ticket, you’ll want to ride the train both ways as each experience is different. 

Location: At Hogsmeade Station and Diagon Alley

Height Requirement:

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: At UOR, one park generally opens an hour before the other. Right before IOA opens (if USF opens first), there’s a mad rush to hop to the park so the line gets very lengthy. 

 

Islands of Adventure

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Islands of Adventure

While Universal Studios Florida has the bulk of my favorite rides, Islands of Adventure, by far, has the most thrilling of the two parks. You’ll find high speed coasters, water plunges, and whimsical kiddie rides throughout the park. 

For reference, here’s the link to the official Islands of Adventure park map

 

Note: Velocicoaster is scheduled to open Summer 2021. This post will be updated to reflect the ride undoubtedly. 

 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Hagrid's Magical motorbike Adventure

THE hot ride for both parks, Hagrid’s has received accolades from coaster enthusiasts since it opened. The queue is worth moseying to the ride for and the ride is breathtakingly beautiful. Called a “story coaster” the ride really does offer a tale of Hagrid’s love of magical creatures via a motorcycle and sidecar. At this time, Express Pass is not available. 

 

Location: Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade

Height Requirement: 48 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Yes, required for items that can’t be fit into your pockets. Complimentary for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: On higher crowd days, a Virtual Queue will open up in the park app. You’ll need to score a time slot to get in line. 

 

Incredible Hulk Coaster

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Hulk Coaster

With the force of a fighter jet (really!), the ride kicks off with a huge uphill catapult. With a top speed of 67 MPH, a zero gravity roll feels just as intense as the lifts and dips. The most intense of all the rides at Universal Studios Florida, this one’s not for the faint of heart.

 

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Height Requirement: 54 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Yes, required for items that can’t be fit into your pockets. Complimentary for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: Riders need to pass through a metal detector before getting on the ride. You’ll need to store all loose items in a locker before you queue up. 

 

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Reign of Kong

Coming in at 3 stories tall and 18 feet wide at his shoulders, Kong is fiercely terrifying. And Reign of Kong has you on the fence as to whether he’s your friend or foe. Once you board your vehicle, the ride has giant screens on both sides for immersiveness. More beautiful than scary (in my opinion), it can get moderately bumpy.

Location: Near Camp Jurassic (Not in a specific land)

Height Requirement: 36 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: Compliments of the giant screens, Reign of Kong can cause vertigo and stomach issues for folks with sensitivity. 

 

Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Harry Potter forbidden journey

If you could only walk through the queue it would be worth it. But happily, at the end of the tour through Hogwarts Castle is a 4D motion simulated ride. You’ll dive and swirl, flip up over your head and float through the air. And every second is filled with iconic scenes from the Harry Potter movies. 

Location: Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade

Height Requirement: 48 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Yes, required for items that can’t be fit into your pockets. Complimentary for the duration of your ride. 

Tip: There are plenty of head bobbing and 4D movie sections. Compliments of this, vertigo and motion sickness can happy for riders with sensitivity. 

 

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Spiderman

Another 4D dark ride, Spider-Man is not particularly scary. instead it’s on the intense side. If I had to compare it to another OUR ride, I’d have to pick Transformers in Universal Studios Florida. The ride vehicle does move and spin around 3D screens which is thrilling, for sure. 

 

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Height Requirement: 40 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: Express Pass is available. If you have stomach sensitivity or vertigo, you may want to skip this one. 

 

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Doctor Doom's Fearfall

If falling 185 feet faster than the speed of gravity is up your street, you’ll definitely dig Doctor Doom’s Fearfall. Folks claim that you don’t have time to be afraid of heights as you’re hurled up so quickly (and then back down) and continue to bounce, but it is worth noting the height.  Not as intense as The Hulk, it does provide for that stomach-in-your-throat experience. 

 

Location: Marvel Super Hero Island

Height Requirement: 52 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip:  Not for the feint of height. 

 

High in the Sky Seuss Trolly Train Ride

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Seuss Trolley Train ride

Probably not a ride you expected on this list, but hear me out. The Trolley Train Ride is one of my favorites in the entire park. It provides excerpts of Dr. Seuss’s rhymes and offers a gorgeous view of the land, especially at sunset. 

Location: Seuss Landing

Height Requirement: 36 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: This rides boards pretty slowly, so keep checking the wait times for low levels. 

 

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Jurassic Park river Adventure

What starts out as an easy float through a restricted area of Jurassic Park, it quickly turns awry with a large, 85-foot drop at the end. Hey, it’s either that or end up in the clutches of a T Rex, right?

 

Location: Jurassic Park

Height Requirement: 42 Inches and Taller

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: You will undoubtedly get wet, so bring a poncho. 

 

Pteranadon Flyers

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Pteranadon Flyers

This one’s a double edge sword. The ride is scenic and smooth (thumbs up) but you’ll need to have a rider that meets the 36-inch height requirement to be able to enjoy the fun. In a nutshell? You’ll need to ride with a kiddo making it the most elusive of the rides in both parks. 

It’s a single seat, ski lift-style ride that weaves and offers beautiful views of the park, definitely making the ride worth it. 

 

Location: Jurassic Park 

Height Requirement: Guests over 56” tall must be accompanied by a rider meeting the 36” height requirement.

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: Super popular with kiddos, queue up when the queue is low. 

 

Raptor Encounter

Best rides at Universal Orlando: Raptor Encounter

While you’ll learn fascinating facts about velociraptors, you’ll probably get the bejeezus scared out of you at the same time. But knowing that you’ll get jump scared is half the fun. Time your photos right and you can show other folks the fear in your eyes. 

 

Location: Jurassic Park

Height Requirement: none

Lockers: Not Necessary

Tip: Raptor Encounter can be scary for younger kiddos, so keep it in mind before you queue up. 

 

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4 Thoughts to “The 20 Best Rides at Universal Orlando Resort in 2021”

  1. […] been on the Transformers ride at Universal Orlando Resort and it’s a fun virtual reality of an attraction. But seeing an actual prop from the […]

  2. Anonymous

    You do not get wet on the river adventure lol. A couple drops and sprays are the usual.

  3. McKenzie Johnson

    I noticed a major error with the segment on the Hulk Coaster. Lockers are required for everything, including your cell phone. Although it is stated in the Tips section for the ride, the lockers section needs to be updated drastically.

  4. […] here me out. Yes, CityWalk is at Universal Orlando Resort. But, it doesn’t cost a dime to visit apart from parking. And if you visit after 4pm, parking is […]

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