Is Universal Studios Orlando Worth Visiting?

The Universal Studios Resort is made up of two theme parks and one water park, and while these parks are not as popular as the nearby Walt Disney World many of my friends ask me whether or not it’s worth visiting these parks during their Orlando vacation.

Universal Studios is worth visiting as adults or with teens and children aged roughly 5+. There are a number of thrill rides in each of the Universal Studios parks, and themed areas including Jurassic Park & The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

While Universal Studios still has areas designed for babies, toddlers and younger children there’s not as much for them to do, nor are characters and themes as relatable when compared to other theme parks and resorts in the area.

Is Universal Studios Orlando Worth It If You Have Toddlers?

While Universal Studios still has a range of attractions for toddlers, it’s not the resort’s primary focus.

As such whether Universal Studios is worth visiting with your toddler is going to be determined by your toddler’s interests and height.

If your toddler is interested in;

  • Despicable Me – Minions
  • Jurassic Park – Dinosaurs
  • Dr Suess
  • Marvel – Super Heroes

Then there are themed areas, characters and attractions across Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure that they will be interested in.

However, depending on your toddler’s height they may not be able to go on many of the rides inside the theme park.

Here’s the minimum height requirement for some of the most popular toddler-friendly rides inside Universal Studios;

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – 40″
  • E.T. Adventure – 34″
  • Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster – 36″
  • Cat in the Hat – 36″
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride – 36″
  • Pteranodon Flyers – 36″
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – 40″

There are only two rides that children under 34″ can ride and those are;

  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  • The Hogwarts Express

However, the Hogwarts Express requires you to have a park-to-park ticket since it moves between both of the theme parks at the Universal Studios Resort (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure).

In both of these cases, children must ride with an adult.

In each of the parks at the Universal Studios Resort, there is a large kids’ play area;

  • Universal Studios Florida – Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Toon Lagoon

If you’re not taking advantage of the park’s child swap programme, then this can be the perfect place to hang out with your little one while you wait for the rest of your party to finish up on a ride.

However, be sure to bring your toddlers a change of clothes because both of these areas have a splash pad, which of course all toddlers are instantly drawn to.

Is Universal Studios Orlando Worth It For Kids?

Much like toddlers, whether visiting Universal Studios is worth it with kids is going to depend on the child’s interests and height.

If your child has seen or enjoys;

  • Despicable Me – Minions
  • Jurassic Park – Dinosaurs
  • Dr Suess
  • Marvel – Super Heroes
  • The Simpsons
  • Harry Potter
  • Transformers

Then there are themed areas, characters and attractions across Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure that they will be interested in.

However, depending on your child’s height, they may not be able to go on all of the rides and attractions inside the park.

Here’s the minimum height requirement for some of the most popular kid-friendly rides inside Universal Studios;

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – 40″
  • E.T. Adventure – 34″
  • Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster – 36″
  • Cat in the Hat – 36″
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride – 36″
  • Pteranodon Flyers – 36″
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – 40″
  • The Simpsons Ride – 40″
  • Men in Black: Alien Attack – 42″
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – 42″
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong – 36″
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure – 42″
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – 44″
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – 48″
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – 48″

Since children over the age of 3 require a park ticket (costing just $10 less than an adult’s ticket) whether visiting Universal Studios is worth it is likely going to be a bigger decision.

Based on our experience, even if your kids only passively enjoy some of the Universal themes they’ll enjoy Universal Studios.

However, if they are not tall enough to go on the majority of the rides then you may find yourself skipping a lot of the park to avoid disappointment.

Is Universal Studios Orlando Worth It For Teens?

The Universal Studios parks have been designed for teens and young adults.

As such if you’re travelling to Orlando, then visiting Universal Studios with teens is very much worthwhile.

The most popular themed areas within Universal Studios for teenagers are;

  • Jurassic Park
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Teenagers will be able to go on the majority (if not all) of the rides inside of the Universal Studios parks with the tallest height requirement being 54″.

Although, they may want to skip some of the rides designed for younger children (Despicable Me Minion Mayhem for example).

Some of the most popular rides for teenagers inside the Universal Studios parks are;

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Is Universal Studios Orlando Worth It For Adults?

Given the thrill rides and more mature-themed areas, it’s no surprise that Universal Studios is a popular choice for an adult-only trip.

As an adult, you’ll be able to go on all of the rides inside the Universal Studios parks (except Pteranodon Flyers which has a maximum height of 56″ unless you’re going on the ride with a child).

The most popular themed area within Universal Studios for adults is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which spans the two theme parks; Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Meanwhile, the most popular rides at Universal Studios for adults include;

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D

Is Universal Studios Orlando Worth Visiting If You Are Visting Walt Disney World?

Given that Universal Studios is roughly 10 miles from Walt Disney World, many people question whether or not it’s worth visiting both resorts during a trip to Orlando.

In our experience, it’s worth tagging on a trip to Universal Studios when visiting Walt Disney World if you’re visiting on an adults-only trip, with teenagers or with children roughly 8 or older.

The Universal Studios Resort is fantastic, but also very different when compared to the Walt Disney World Resort.

The most notable differences are;

  • Universal Studios Resort is less isolated, and you can easily walk to nearby hotels, restaurants and stores.
  • The theming of the Universal Studios Resort outside of the parks themselves is a lot less “in your face” and more neutral when compared to the Walt Disney World.

That’s not to say one resort is better than another. Instead, it’s just worth keeping in mind that both resorts are very different and have slightly different target audiences.

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