Today we’re setting out to prove that Universal Studios Orlando really is suitable for kids. We get so many messages and see so many comments in our Facebook group about Universal Studios, and while we’ll agree it’s primarily tailored to teenagers and adults there’s still plenty of things that make this park great for the little ones and an all-around fantastic family-friendly park.
In this post, we’re covering 16 things to do at Universal Studios specifically. This doesn’t include Islands of Adventure or Volcano Bay if you have a park hopper, nor does it include City Walk – which shows you that if we can find this many things to do for kids in this park, there’s plenty for them to do across the entire resort.
- 1. Meet Shrek & Donkey
- 2. Play In Barneys Backyard
- 3. Ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- 4. Get A Donut At Lard Lad Donuts
- 5. Watch Shrek 4-D
- 6. Cool Down In Fievel’s Playland
- 7. Watch Animal Actors On Location
- 8. Meet The Characters From Despicable Me Over Breakfast
- 9. Watch Universal?s Superstar Parade
- 10. Get A Wand At Olivanders
- 11. Shoot Aliens On The Men In Black Alien Attack
- 12. Ride The Hogwarts Express
- 13. Be An Alien On Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
- 14. Watch Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration
- 15. Ride E.T. Adventure
- 16. Eat A Burger At Krusty Burger
1. Meet Shrek & Donkey
Just as you enter Universal Studios on your right hand side you’ll see Shrek 4D. An just behind that where guests exit the ‘cinema’ you’ll find the meet and greet for the characters from the movie franchise.
In our case, it was Shrek and Fiona but Donkey has been known to make an appearance too. As the meet and greet area here is rather hidden the queues (outside of the guests being released from the ride) is often very small.
2. Play In Barneys Backyard
Barney is a children’s TV show from the early 90’s. It was cancelled in the late 00’s however, is still relatively well known in the USA.
While I feel this area is in particular need of a character overhaul the principles of the play area are still fantastic. Providing kids with a great chance to run around, climb, swing and explore. Considering Dora and Diago are both popular characters on the parade and otherwise not featured within the park I think these are a lead contender – Do you have any ideas for which character should feature here? Let us know in the comments.
3. Ride Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
This is a small simulation ride and does have a minimum height requirement of 40″ (children under 48″ will require a supervising companion to ride with them)
It’s a popular ride with all ages due to the huge popularity of the Despicable Me franchise. If you have a Universal Studios Express Pass you can use it here if you don’t then be prepared to wait for anything up to 1 hour 20 minutes to ride – depending on how busy the park is on that particular day.
4. Get A Donut At Lard Lad Donuts
Lard Lad Donuts is situated inside Springfield, The Simpsons district of the park. Here you’ll be able to purchase a donut that’s likely bigger than your head.
Attempt to concur the entire donut yourself or for the number of selfies, you can take with it. Either way, your kids will no doubt be gobsmacked at its incredible size!
5. Watch Shrek 4-D
Shrek 4-D much like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is at the entrance of the Universal Studios Park.
Luckily, unlike Minion Mayhem it’s a ride that has no height restrictions and an average wait time of around 20 minutes.
6. Cool Down In Fievel’s Playland
Fievel Mousekewitz is another character that the kids of today (and maybe even some of the adults) have probably never heard of. Universal Studios chose to include this character within the park due to it being one of Steven Speilberg’s favourite animated characters.
Kids will shrink down to the size of a mouse, climbing through 30-foot spiders webs and giant tin cans. This play area also features a 1,000-gallon tipping cowboy hat – perfect for cooling off on those hot Florida summers days.
7. Watch Animal Actors On Location
This live-action show will allow you to see how professionals train animals of all shapes and sizes to perform for the camera.
This showing takes place multiple times throughout the day – we suggest viewing the schedule prior to your visit.
8. Meet The Characters From Despicable Me Over Breakfast
If your little one loves Despicable Me then there’s no better place to meet all the characters than at the Despicable Me Breakfast.
This experience does come at an additional cost and is situated just outside the park at the on-site hotel Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Resort.
9. Watch Universal?s Superstar Parade
Universal Superstar Parade runs just once a day and provides you with a great opportunity to see a range of fantastic characters pass you by on their incredibly decorated floats.
Again we suggest checking the showing time in advance to ensure you catch this parade if it’s on your ‘to do list’ when visiting Universal Studios Orlando.
10. Get A Wand At Olivanders
For fans of the Harry Potter franchise nothing’s more magical than purchasing your very own wand at Olivanders wand shop on Diagon Alley. Wands start from $25 but go right up to $48 + tax for an interactive wand.
The interactive wands can be used at shop windows in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley to cast spells. This isn’t the cheapest souvenir at Universal Studios, however, it’s incredibly popular so I suggest saving in advance if you think this is something you or your kids might enjoy.
11. Shoot Aliens On The Men In Black Alien Attack
If your kids love playing Nerf then the Men in Black Alien Attack ride is one for them. For this ride you’ll need to leave your bags in a locker.
12. Ride The Hogwarts Express
To ride the Hogwarts Express you’ll need a park hopper. That’s because the Hogwarts Express connects Universal Studios with the sister-park Islands of Adventure.
If you have a park hopper then this is without a doubt the coolest way to go between the two parks. This working steam train will take you inside the ‘real’ Hogwarts Express, escaped frog’s and all…
13. Be An Alien On Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
This is a classic ride that has had a wonderful character overhaul for The Simpsons area of Universal Studios. Everyones favourite aliens Kang and Kodo’s work simultaneously bouncing you into the air.
From experience, I’d recommend riding this prior to having a donut from Lard Ladd Donuts and not after…
14. Watch Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration
The Universal Studios Orlando Cinematic Celebration takes place on the lagoon in the centre of the park on an evening (times are subject to change check the website in advance)
The show consists of projected images of Universal pictures movies and shows being screened onto the water alongside music and a light-show. There’s no doubt kids will want to try and spot their favourite characters!
15. Ride E.T. Adventure
Kids who visit Universal Studios Orlando today are probably unaware of the significance, importance and history of the incredible film E.T. However, despite this the E.T. Adventure Ride is still an absolute must!
The ride includes you boarding your very own bike and taking a journey into the dark unknown on your very own quest to help E.T.
16. Eat A Burger At Krusty Burger
If a donut in Springfield isn’t your thing then consider heading inside Mo’s and grabbing a Krusty Burger instead. Unlike the Mexican Bumble Bee food truck outside, in here also has air-conditioning and an expansive seating area.
Kids who are fans of the popular cartoon will marvel at the attention to detail of the decor and be highly amused at being able to eat something that we all thought was just reserved for our favourite yellow TV stars.
That concludes our guide on things to do at Universal Studios Orlando for kids. As always we’d love to know what you and your family got up to on a trip to Universal Studios Orlando, let us know in the comments below.