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Universal Studios Orlando Resort’s theme parks are home to a number of simulation-based rides, which, depending on your sensitivity to motion can cause real sickness issues.
Personally, we rarely experience any form of motion sickness when flying or driving, however, we have both been known to get a little queasy on some of these rides.
Thankfully, we’ve visited the Universal Resort enough to know which rides to avoid for motion sickness and what can help counteract those motion sickness feelings so that you’re able to have an incredible time at the theme parks.
Simulator Rides At Universal Studios Florida
There are six rides within the Universal Studios Florida theme park that are simulation-based.
In our experience, you tend to find that the older the ride is, the more motion sickness it causes.
Subsequently, we find ourselves getting the sickest from The Simpsons Ride & Transformers: The Ride-3D while Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts and Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon causes fewer issues.
1. Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 4/5
The Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride is located inside Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This ride sees you do your best to avoid the likes of Bellatrix and Voldemort as you escape through the caves of Gringotts Bank back to the safe haven of Diagon Alley.
This ride is a dark roller coaster with a number of screens and simulations.
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However, the motion experienced is what’s usually associated with a roller coaster and this combined with smooth movements generally causes minimal discomfort.
2. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 2/5
This ride sees you be recruited by supervillain Gru to become a Minion.
During this time you’ll take a trip through Gru’s laboratory, but of course, the journey doesn’t quite go to plan!
This ride is much like a show, with a large projection screen at the front and a number of single rows which move through motion simulation.
While the ride is well done and relatively modern it can be a rough experience if you’re extremely prone to motion sickness.
For those who are worried about potential motion sickness, there are a number of stationary seats that don’t move, however, you’ll still need to wear the 3D glasses so you’re able to see the screen correctly.
3. Fast And Furious – Supercharged
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 3/5
The Fast and Furious Supercharged ride sees you join Dom, Letty, Hobbs and Roman on an adventure of a lifetime.
This ride features iconic cars, a recreation of the crew’s HQ along with actual props from the films all of which is sure to delight fans of the movie franchise.
The vehicle you’re seated in during this ride is parked and doesn’t move. However, the fans, water, and heat all make your body make you feel that you’re moving which can be triggering for some guests.
4. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 2/5
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon provides you with an opportunity to look at 60 years of the show’s memorabilia before strapping into the “flying theatre” and speeding across Manhattan.
During this ride, you’ll join Jimmy Fallon alongside other well-known characters from NBC’s “The Tonight Show” on a journey to the broadcasting studio.
This ride is a motion simulation ride that uses both 3D and 4D technology. Much like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem! you’re seated in a large flying theatre that moves as one.
As a result, the movements are relatively smooth, however, those with extreme motion sickness may find it uncomfortable at certain times, especially near the end.
We’ve personally found that the motion sickness on this ride is reduced significantly if you sit in the middle of the row rather than on one of the ends.
5. The Simpsons Ride
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 5/5
The Simpsons Ride is situated inside Springfield, home of The Simpsons at the Universal Studios Orlando theme park.
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 that’s falling apart, 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.
Unsurprisingly given the theme of this ride, it can be incredibly uncomfortable for those who are prone to any amount of motion sickness.
We would not class ourselves as people who suffer from motion sickness, but on this ride, we certainly experienced it and were left feeling incredibly sick for up to an hour after getting off.
6. Transformers: The Ride-3D
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 4.5/5
The Transformers Ride 3D sees you join forces with Bumblebee and Optimus Prime to take on the Decepticons on a mission to keep the AllSpark out of the hands of the villainous Megatron.
This ride is one of the older ones inside Universal Orlando and subsequently, the movements can be quite jerky at times which combined with the 3D glasses can cause some feelings of motion sickness.
What also doesn’t help with this ride is that it’s relatively long at just over five minutes, subsequently, if you do start to feel quite sick then it can be a while before the ride ends.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Universal’s Islands of Adventure has three simulation rides, and therefore substantially fewer than Universal Studios Orlando.
Subsequently, Universal’s Islands of Adventure may be a better choice if you’re unable to visit both parks during your trip to the Universal Studios Orlando Resort.
1. Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 4/5
Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey is a ride located inside the Hogwarts building at Hogsmeade. This ride see’s you join Harry and his friends on a ride you’ll never forget, as you soar across Hogwarts grounds.
The ride uses motion simulation with 4D technology to make you feel as though you’re travelling with Harry, Ron & Hermione around Hogwarts.
This ride has some simulated drops and a five-foot physical drop and while the ride does not go upside down, you will be pulled to lie on your back for a short time.
Given the mixture of real-life movement and simulated movement, this ride can cause many people some nausea.
However, you can minimise the feeling of nausea on this ride by focusing on the centre of the round screens and sitting in one of the two middle seats (the vehicle comes in a row of four).
2. Skull Island: Reign Of Kong
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 2/5
Skull Island: Reign Of Kong is similar to Fast & Furious: Supercharged in the sense that you’ll board a bus-like vehicle with the majority of the ride taking place in a long screen tunnel.
During your journey, you’ll head to a mysterious island, where you’ll encounter prehistoric creatures and predators who see you as a tasty snack.
When it seems like you’ll never make it out alive, the silver screens favourite ape, King Kong shows up.
Selected portions of this ride can cause some motion sickness, especially towards the middle part of your journey. However, on the whole, this ride isn’t too bad.
While all the seats move during this ride, you’ll generally find the motion is smoothest in the middle seats so we recommend trying to sit there where you can.
One benefit of motion-simulated rides is that they are not subject to the Universal Studios weather delay. However, this often results in the rides having longer wait times since there are significantly fewer rides available during this time.
3. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
🤢 Motion Sickness Rating: 3/5
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is an indoor ride that takes you on a journey alongside the incredible superhero Spider-Man as he challenges some of the most maniac villains Marvel has to offer across New York City.
While The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is one of the oldest rides inside the Islands of Adventure theme park it has undergone a number of modifications that make the motions significantly smoother than they were ten years ago.
That being said, those extremely prone to motion sickness may still experience some feelings of nausea in which case we recommend focusing on the centre of each of the screens as you move through the building.
How To Prevent Motion Sickness When Visiting Universal Studios Orlando
Depending on your personal preferences there are a number of ways you can try to prevent motion sickness during your trip to the Universal Orlando theme parks.
Dramamine is a non-drowsy medication which is available in the form of either a tablet or a gummy and is designed to help minimise the feelings of nausea.
The medication is designed to be taken between 30 minutes and an hour before you go on your first ride and usually lasts around four to six hours.
Dramamine is the most common form of medication that people take to minimise motion sickness when visiting Universal Studios and is available over the counter at most grocery stores and pharmacies.
Please read the label on the packet in advance to ensure that Dramamine is suitable based on any illnesses you have or any other medication you might be taking.
Choose Your Seat
You’ll have noted that throughout the rides listed above we’ve commented where choosing your seat can have a major impact on the level of motion sickness you experience.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to go for a seat in the middle, either of the row or the ride as a whole. This is because the seats at the front and the back of the ride are subject to the most force when moving.
Maintain A Straight Back
It can be tempting to lean forward and grip the handlebars during a ride. However, wherever possible we recommend keeping your back straight and your head pushed back to the headrest.
This not only minimises injury (I’m looking at you The Incredible Hulk ride) but also helps to reduce nausea and dizziness.
Consider What You Eat & Drink (And When!)
It can be incredibly tempting to fill up on delicious theme park food during your trip to the Universal Studios theme parks. However, what you eat and when you eat can have a major impact on both how you feel both during and after a ride.
We recommend eating bland foods wherever possible (boring we know!) and minimising the number of fizzy drinks you consume.
We also recommend avoiding rides for at least an hour after a meal – thankfully, there’s still a lot to do at both Universal Studios theme parks aside from just the rides that are sure to keep you entertained.
Suck On Ginger Candies
Ginger has been known to minimise feelings of sickness. However, thankfully you don’t have to take a clove of ginger to the Universal parks with you.
Instead, you can purchase ginger candies – which are surprisingly tastier than they sound.
Suck on one of these candies as you stand in line for the ride and afterwards where required.
We advise against having anything in your mouth (candies, gum etc.) during the ride as it is a choking hazard.
Keep Your Eyes On A Fixed Area
If you begin to feel nauseous during the ride try to focus on a fixed point in front of you.
On selected rides, this can be the centre of the screen while on others it might have to be the car in front of you.
Breath In Through Your Nose & Out Through Your Mouth
When you begin to feel nauseous on a ride it can be hard to think of anything else (well aside from when is this hell of a ride going to stop!).
However, that tends to only make things worse. Instead, we recommend focusing on your breathing taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.