The Universal Studios Orlando Resort is home to two incredible theme parks that are packed with fantastic adrenaline-inducing rides that are sure to delight.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the scariest rides at The Universal Studios Orlando Resort or looking for rides that perhaps you should avoid this list has you covered.
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida is the original park at the Universal Orlando Resort and is connected to the Islands of Adventure theme park with The Hogwarts Express inside of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and with the entertainment complex CityWalk.
If you’re travelling to Universal Studios with young children then this is the best park to visit in our opinion with significantly fewer scary rides when compared to Islands of Adventure.
However, that’s not to say those looking to be thrilled should skip Universal Studios Florida altogether as it’s still got so much to offer!
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1. Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
Situated inside Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts ride.
This is a 3D motion simulation ride in the sense that you will have to wear 3D glasses and experience projections on screens throughout. However, the carts still move on a steel track and have a number of unexpected drops and spins.
This can trigger motion sickness in some extreme cases, however, that’s not what the majority of guests find scary about this ride.
Instead, it’s the darkness and the close encounters with Voldemort and other magical creatures that younger guests may find a little scary.
Of course, only you know your child and how they might react to this. If they’ve seen the films without fear then you should be fine, however, if you find them hiding behind a pillow during the scary scenes then this may be one you want to miss.
2. Revenge Of The Mummy
Revenge Of The Mummy is one of our personal favourites inside the Universal Studios Florida theme park.
This is an indoor track ride that sees you move at speed on an action-packed adventure into the darkness of the tombs, through perilous drops, and pasted ancient creatures that will have everyone on the edge of their seat!
While neither of us has seen The Mummy film (yes, crazy, we know!) this is a ride that we’re sure to visit for a thrill during every trip to the Universal Studios Resort.
3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is the focal piece of the Universal Studios Florida theme park.
This unique ride experience sees you select a song to listen to as you travel vertically up into the sky before making your descent down 167ft at speeds of up to 65mph.
Most people find this ride scary to look at (and in most cases, it is, especially in those front two seats!) however, after going on this ride there’s no other in the entire resort that will compare. For those who perhaps need a little extra convincing, there are test seats at the entrance of the ride so you can get an idea as to how the harness fits.
This is one of several rides that’s subject to a weather delay at Universal Studios. As a result, if lightening is within a set proximity of the resort, the ride is suspended for 30 minutes from the last strike.
4. The Simpsons Ride
In my opinion, The Simpsons Ride is the worst ride at Universal Orlando, which is a frustrating thing for me to say, considering I love The Simpsons franchise.
This ride sees you head to Krustyland with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. However, in true Krusty the Clown fashion, Krusty only spent a small amount of money on the theme park and subsequently, it’s falling apart.
This ride is designed to emulate you going on a ride within Krustyland and as such it’s bumpy, very bumpy!
You’ll watch the ride in 3D on an 80-foot domed screen, and experience multiple twists and turns simulated by motion and 4D technology.
This can be a thrilling experience for some or terrifying for others – especially those with a sensitivity to unexpected, and sometimes violent motion.
Islands Of Adventure
Islands of Adventure is the second theme park at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.
This theme park is focused more on the rides rather than the attractions (unlike the Universal Studios theme park). As such you’ll find a large number of thrilling, albeit often terrifying ride options to choose from.
5. Jurrasic World Velocicoaster
VelociCoaster is one of the latest (and scariest) rides to be added to the Islands of Adventure theme park.
This ride is the tallest and fastest ride at any Universal Studios theme park worldwide and not only features multiple drops but also goes upside down for an extended period of time.
Situated in the Jurrasic World area of Islands of Adventure, this ride reaches heights of 155ft and has multiple drops throughout at speeds of up to 70mph.
Given all of this, this ride also has one of the strictest height requirements, with guests needing to be at least 51″ (130cm) tall in order to ride.
6. Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
The Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey ride is situated inside the Hogwarts Castle at Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This ride is not a rollercoaster instead, it’s a ‘dark-themed’ motion simulation ride. Throughout this ride you’ll experience small drops, spin around, twist and turn – however, you will not go upside down.
All this being done in near darkness can make this ride scary for younger guests. Meanwhile, the motion simulation element can make other guests experience feelings of motion sickness.
7. Skull Island: Reign of Kong
Skull Island: Reign of Kong sees you board a bus and head to a mysterious island, where you’ll encounter prehistoric creatures and predators who see you as a tasty snack.
This can be scary for younger guests. However, just when it seems like you’ll never make it out alive, everyone’s favourite ape, King Kong shows up.
Sadly, however, the fear of being eaten alive isn’t the only scary thing about this ride. As much like many others on this list, the majority of this ride is motion simulation-based, which can cause some guests to feel incredibly queasy.
8. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is one of the oldest rides inside the Islands of Adventure theme park.
Situated inside the Marvel Super Hero Island area at the entrance of the park, this ride sees you fly 185ft in the air before free-falling back towards the ground.
The ride consists of this to various degrees multiple times over the course of almost two minutes, which can be somewhat of a nightmare for those with a fear of heights.
However, those who choose to take on this ride are treated to some of the best uninterrupted views of the Universal Orlando Resort.
9. The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster is one of the best rides at Islands of Adventure. You’ll begin by entering Dr. Bruce Brenner’s lab, as you wait in the queue.
When your turn finally comes and you’re in your seat, the ride will launch you out of a tunnel at speeds of up to 67mph.
You’ll then twist, turn, tilt, go upside down at zero gravity, and feel what it’s like to turn into the Hulk. With all of that, it’s safe to say that this ride checks all the boxes for those seeking a thrill.
10. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is one of the most popular rides inside the Universal Studios Orlando Resort, and rightly so.
This high-speed story coaster will take you on a journey through the Forbidden Forest at speeds of up to 50mph.
This is the longest rollercoaster in Florida with more than 5,000ft of track and also features seven launches.
The motorcycles on this ride are modelled after Hagrid’s motorcycle from the Harry Potter books. Each row on this roller coaster fits two passengers, one on the motorcycle and one in the sidecar.
If you want to feel like you’re cruising through the magical Forbidden Forest, ride in the motorbike and hold on to the handles.
However, if you want a less intense experience and want to be closer to the animatronic creatures, sit in the sidecar.
Sadly unlike the majority of other rides on this list, you are unable to use the Universal Express Pass to skip the line.
Instead to minimise the amount of time you have to wait to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure we highly recommend staying in an on-site hotel to benefit from early entry into the park.
11. The Jurassic Park River Adventure
Jurassic Park River Adventure is a water thrill ride that contains everything a dinosaur fanatic would want to experience in a ride.
The first part of this adventure is a chill, slow tour in the river where you’ll see dinosaur animatronics around you in the water.
However, around halfway through the ride, you’ll be blown off into the Raptor containment area which contains a gigantic T-Rex. This sees you take an 85-foot plunge at a 55-degree angle down into the water below – resulting in you getting soaking wet!
The viewing area at the bottom of this ride means that many younger guests know it’s going to take place which either encourages them to head straight towards the line or avoid it at all costs depending on their tolerance towards thrill and fear.
12. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is one of many water rides inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
The water log ride starts off gentle and then hits you with mini splash drops. However, it’s the final 75-foot drop that’s the main thrill factor of the ride.
It’s nearly impossible to stay dry on this ride regardless of where you sit.
As such it’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes to the park with you, use the people dryers after the ride or head to another water ride to get them all done in one go.
Universal Orlando Travel Planning Guide
🎟️ Where To Buy Tickets for Universal Orlando?
If you’re based in the US or Canada, I recommend Klook for your Universal Orlando tickets. Klook consistently has the most competitive prices. There’s also a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.
Meanwhile, if you’re based in the United Kingdom. Then I recommend buying your Universal Orlando theme park tickets from AttractionTix. I personally use AttractionTix when purchasing Orlando theme park tickets. That’s because AttractionTix consistently has the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.
🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Visit to Universal Orlando?
If you’re travelling to Universal Orlando for vacation, then travel insurance is recommended. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.
However, if a trip to Universal Orlando isn’t part of a vacation. For example, you live locally. Then travel insurance isn’t likely to be necessary.
🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Visit to Universal Orlando?
You don’t need to rent a car to visit Universal Orlando, as the resort has Uber / Lyft pick-up and drop-off points. However, if Universal Orlando makes up the majority of your vacation, then you may want to stay on-site.
Staying onsite at the Universal Orlando Resort comes with several perks. Including complimentary transport from the hotel to the Universal Orlando theme parks. In some cases, you can even walk from your hotel straight to the theme park gates.
However, if a trip to Universal Orlando only makes up a portion of your vacation, then you may want to rent a car. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental for all of my trips to Orlando.
🏨 Where to Stay When Visiting Universal Orlando?
If you’re spending the majority of your vacation at Universal Orlando, it’s a good idea to stay at a Universal Orlando hotel. Staying onsite at Universal Orlando comes with several perks, including;
- Early park admission
- Complimentary transport
- Complimentary Universal Express Passes (selected hotels only)
- Walking distance of the Universal theme parks (selected hotels only)
While staying onsite at Universal Orlando is great value for money, it can still be out of budget for many. Thankfully, there are several budget-friendly hotels close to Universal Orlando to choose from.
Meanwhile, if Universal Orlando only makes up part of your Orlando vacation, then you may want to stay elsewhere. Kissimmee, International Drive and Lake Buena Vista are all within a 40-minute drive of Universal Orlando.