universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List

The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List

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universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Entering Universal Studios.

What is Universal Studios and Why Should it Be Added To Your Bucket List

Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the world and ideal for families of all ages. There are a wide variety of rides ranging from thrilling roller coasters to immersive experiences.

Overall, Universal Studios offers an array of experiences that will make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking entertainment. The park also features live shows and interactive exhibits that offer plenty of opportunities to get up close with beloved characters from films and television series.

Adding Universal Studios to your bucket list is essential for any family looking for fun memories together while creating everlasting bonds! It’s an experience like no other featuring some of the best attractions alongside unforgettable moments that you can share with your loved ones. 

With such a wide range of attractions, it can be difficult to narrow down which rides are best suited for you and your family’s needs. To make sure you get the most out of your visit, I have created this Universal Studios bucket list ride guide.

This will provide invaluable information on the newest and top-rated rides at the park so that you can choose ones that fit your preferences perfectly. 

Get ready to explore the world of your favorite films and TV shows as you experience all that this incredible park has to offer!

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
A shot of the city with a nice shot of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket in the background.

General Universal Studios Bucket List Review

CategoryAdventure
Who Needs to Add This to Their Bucket List?Families with older children and adults who enjoy Universal movies and/or theme parks.
Best Time to GoI would go whenever the children are in school. This will reduce crowds. If you don’t mind a slight chill (I thought it was great!), then I would go in January or February time. Avoid summer like the plague. It is hot and crowded.
Traveling DifficultyEasy
Physical DifficultyModerate -requires a LOT of walking
Popularity Rating8/10
Group/Tour RequiredNo
Budget$$$ – everything from food to tickets to the hotel is going to be up-charged since it is a popular tourist destination. It can add up, especially if you have children.
Wheelchair AccessibleMost rides will require you to transfer from the wheelchair to the attraction seat. There are few that can accommodate wheelchairs and it does not include motorized chairs.
Book This ExperienceSnag a Park-to-Park Ticket for Universal Florida
Best Place to SayUniversal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

If you want more information on how to read this bucket list review, please swim to this page.

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Diagon Alley at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Things to Keep in Mind as You Read My Ride Guide

I am a young adult woman who doesn’t fit into any Harry Potter house except Gryffindor (I wanted to be Ravenclaw so badly but was rejected). This means that although I try to give an unbiased guide, it is clear which kind of rides I go wild for. 

Hint: it is the ones that make me feel like my heart is going to explode. As I said, I am a true Gryffindor at heart. I’m not bitter at all but it’s Ravenclaw’s loss…

And although I do talk about them, I am less chatty about options for small children. I am a kid at heart, but I don’t have a kid. This guide is meant for everybody, but you will get the most out of it if you are an average thrill seeker like myself.  

Another disclaimer: Every ride at Universal is FUN in its own way. When I do my bucket list rating, it is not putting the rides down but is meant to be more of a soft guide to how much they need to be added to their bucket list. 

I’ve seen a lot of various people just giving you the facts or saying everything is great. I wanted to create a healthily honest guide where I tell you everything just how it is…because time is money here at Universal! 

Everybody’s ride preferences are different, but I hope this gives you an honest idea of what you need to prioritize when you visit Universal Studios Theme Parks.

Where to Stay When Crossing Universal Studios off Of Your Bucket List

Before we begin, I am just going to mention some important accommodations that are run by Universal itself.

Why am I mentioning this in a ride guide? Because since these hotels are offered by Universal itself they offer unique perks for the parks.

This is honestly worth it to hit those waits in lines that are ridiculous during the day. This might save you from spending hours waiting in line for one ride.

Here are the hotels that I have personally stayed in and reaped those sweet sweet insider rewards. Plus, the hotels are stunning!

Below are other hotels that I haven’t personally stayed at but they are in the same circle of Universal Hotels and offer that essential early park admission.

Other perks (hotel dependent) can include Universal Express passes, complimentary transportation, priority seating at some restaurants, and more!

Universal Studios Florida Ride Guide:

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride at Universal Studios.

Category of Ride

Kid

Brief Description

Set in the events after Despicable Me, you have been chosen to become a minion. After you become a minion, you set off on a hilarious and family-friendly journey. You sit in carts that  move with a TV screen. It is immersive, but there are better immersion rides in the park.

Wear in the Park

As you enter Universal Studios on the left.

Vibe of the Line

The outside section of the line is quite boring, but there are TVs that give minion quizzes and recap Despicable Me. Once you are inside, it is themed like Gru’s house and lab. It is very cute!

Worth the Wait?

I wouldn’t wait all day, but it can be worth doing if you have children who like Despicable Me.

Height Requirement

40” minimum to ride

40” – 48” to ride with an adult

48”+ to ride alone

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Families with children or adults who loved Despicable Me.

What Seat is the Best

It doesn’t matter.

Suitable for Children

Yes! A lot happens in the ride, but it should be okay for most children.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No

Lockers Required

No

Fun Facts

Those in a wheelchair or who do not wish to move can choose to be on a stationary bench. Closed captioning is also available.

Bucket List Rating

4/10

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The first major drop of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Category of Ride

Thrill

Upside-Down Thrill

No

Brief Description

Create your own rockin’ music video on this high thrill coaster. When you sit down, you have the option to choose your own music! It starts with the category and then the song. This was definitely the most intense out of the rides at this park. My favorite part was going straight up and then straight down!

Where in the Park

As you enter the Park, go past Minion Mayhem. There is an option to take a street to your right but don’t be tempted. Just go down that main road and it should be tucked away on your left.

Vibe of the Line

Standard covered theme park queue.

Worth the Wait?

Absolutely, especially if you are a thrill seeker. It does tend to become quite congested as the day goes on, so I would head there the second that the park opens. I waited about 10 minutes and walked right on!

Height Requirement

51” minimum to ride

79” maximum to ride

You can see if you are properly supported before you enter the queue.

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Adrenaline junkies who love roller coasters.

What Seat is the Best

As with most roller coasters, the front is always going to be the best. They did have a separate tiny queue at the end of the line and I would recommend it!

Suitable for Children

Uhhhh…no.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

Yes

Lockers Required

Yes, no loose articles permitted including your phone.

Fun Facts

While you are listening to your chosen music, you go straight up. Once you reach the top, you are treated to a view of 17 stories up over Universal Studios and then screaming at 65 mph straight down! 

Bucket List Rating

7/10

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The entrance to the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Category of Ride

3D/4D Motion Ride

Brief Description

Join Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show in Studio 6B for a race through New York. Although don’t believe the title because I’m pretty sure we were on the moon at one point. Confused? So was I. Logistics involves you sitting in a massive cart with a massive group. With your 3D glasses, it is like watching a 3D movie but you are moving.

Where in the Park

As you pass the Rip Ride Rocket, keep heading down the main street and it is on your left right next to the Mummy.

Vibe of the Line

It feels like you are in studio 6B. There were also several cases of pictures and whatnot. Although I didn’t stop to read every single one.

Worth the Wait?

 If it is short and you have nothing else to do. I’m going to be completely honest, it wasn’t my favorite and there were better rides at the park.

Height Requirement

40” minimum to ride

40” – 48” to ride with an adult

48”+ to ride alone.

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Older guests or anyone who is an avid fan of Jimmy Fallon. 

What Seat is the Best

It doesn’t matter

Suitable for Children

Yes, as long as they don’t get motion sick.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No, although I was asked at the front of the line for a single and skipped part of it.

Lockers Required

No, you can keep it at your feet.

Fun Facts

During this ride, you see Hashtag the Panda and a quick performance by the Ragtime Gals. They say that guests in a standard wheelchair may stay there and closed captioning is available.

Bucket List Rating

5/10

Revenge of the Mummy

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Entrance to the Revenge of the Mummy.

Category of Ride

Thrill

Upside-Down Thrill

No

Brief Description

I don’t know if it is the vibe of the ride, the fact that it is a classic thrill, or that I was obsessed with the movie as a kid…but this ride is AMAZING! Giving you the feeling that you are on the set of the movie in Egypt, you discover that the curse of the Mummy might actually be real!

Where in the Park

As you enter the park, keep going straight until the main road begins to curve to the right. There is a museum-style building as soon as the road turns. This is the main entrance.

Vibe of the Line

Not gonna lie, this line is super cool! The outside has an “Egyptian Museum” look to it. Once you enter, you see some movie props only to proceed into a full-fledged Egyptian dig site. There is even a point where they have a camera showing you another point in the line. When you push the scarab beetle, it blows air at the unsuspecting line goers, making them jump!

Worth the Wait?

Definitely! I wouldn’t even think of going to Universal Studios without going on this ride at least twice. Some of it is slightly outdated but it still holds up and is completely worth it!

Height Requirement

48”+ to ride

If you are nervous about fitting properly, there are test seats outside before you go inside.

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Adults who love a tamer thrill and brave kids who want an introduction to scarier rides.

What Seat is the Best

The front middle is the best! Ask the attendant once you get to the front of the queue.

Suitable for Children

Yes

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

Yes

Lockers Required

Yes, they are to the left of the main entrance.

Fun Facts

As you make your way through the fantastic queue, you may notice some Egyptian hieroglyphics on the walls. These are actually real warnings! There is also a tall prop door near the entrance of the ride that was actually used in the movie!

Bucket List Rating

8/10 for an average joe, but this ride is 10/10 for me because it was my first roller coaster.

Transformers: The Ride-3D

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Spotting a Transformer right outside of Transformers: The Ride 3D

Category of Ride

3D/4D Motion Ride

Brief Description

This immersive ride takes you right in the middle of the fight between the Autobots and the Decepticons. You are tasked by N.E.S.T with keeping the AllSpark safe! This ride combines motion and 3D technology to deliver an action-packed Transformer experience!

Where in the Park

If you find the grassy section in front of the Rip Ride Rockit, take a right turn down the street from there (on either side). The main Transformer building is at the end of the street near the water. You can’t miss it! But you might have to go round the building to find the entrance.

Vibe of the Line

You enter N.E.S.T headquarters as you are briefed for your mission. There are several Transformers weapons and artifacts, including the AllSpark.

Worth the Wait?

Yes. It is not my favorite ride in this park, but it certainly delivers a kick-butt immersive experience.

Height Requirement

40” minimum

40” – 48” to ride with an adult

48”+ to ride alone

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

When I went, I had one little girl on my left who was going to have nightmares for a week and a little boy on my right who about exploded with happiness. I would say because of this it is for older/braver children or adults who want to feel as if they are transported into a Transformers movie.

What Seat is the Best

It doesn’t matter

Suitable for Children

If they don’t mind a lot of action and potentially scary robot cars, then sure!

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

Yes

Lockers Required

No

Fun Facts

The transformer who is tasked with transporting you is called Evac. He was specifically made for this ride. There are approximately 16 other transformers that will cross your path. There are 34 custom screens that are 80 feet tall in this ride!

Bucket List Rating

6/10

Fast and Furious – Supercharged

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The garage that makes up the queue of Fast and Furious – Supercharged

Category of Ride

Thrill

Upside-Down Thrill

No

Brief Description

 As you enter Dom’s garage and headquarters, you are met with several members of his crew that explain your purpose there: you are going to be partying and riding with the crew in party buses trying to avoid Owen Shaw.

Where in the Park

As you round the park and go past the Mummy, start making your way towards the water to Diagon Alley. Before you reach it, it should be on your left.

Vibe of the Line

The entire line is in Dom’s garage. Although there are separate rooms with members of his crew that break up the room nicely.

Worth the Wait?

I would only go on this ride if there is less than a 20-minute wait. Speaking honestly, there are better rides elsewhere in the park and your time is better spent at those if you have to choose.

Height Requirement

40” minimum

40” – 48” to ride with an adult

48”+ to ride alone

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Fast and furious lovers who want to join the family for an adventure.

What Seat is the Best

It is a bus ride, much like Skull Island Reign of Kong. If you are in the middle you will see well on both sides, but the view is going to be potentially obstructed. If you are on the end, you will see more of the action, but you may miss something that is going on on the other side of the bus. The party section of the ride is on the right side.

Suitable for Children

Although it isn’t a roller coaster, this is a high-intensity ride with action-packed scenes that might be frightening for some smaller riders.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No

Lockers Required

No

Fun Facts

If you have the Universal App, you can connect to the Supercharged Network on your phone to meet the team, see the cars, play trivia and do a quiz to see who you are most like. You can also stay in a non-motorized wheelchair and closed captioning is available.

Also, the cars that you see at the start of the queue were actually used in the movie! This attraction is largely based on Fast & Furious 6.

Bucket List Rating

3/10

Hogwarts Express – King’s Cross Station

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
King’s Cross Station where Hogwarts Express is waiting to take you to Hogwarts.

Category of Ride

Transportation to the other park

Brief Description

Travel to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts from London King’s Cross! King’s Cross and Diagon Alley are both in Universal Studios. However, to cross over into the other park and delve deeper into the wizarding world, it is necessary to take this train (unless you want to exit Universal Studios and cross all the way into Islands of Adventure).

The window is actually a TV screen that shows you traveling from London to Hogwarts and various things happen during your journey. Please note that a park-to-park ticket is required to go to the other park via Hogwarts Express.

Wear in the Park

Headed around the park past the Mummy and Fast and Furious, keep going until the city starts to look like London. It can be hard to spot, but keep an eye out for a structure that looks like King’s Cross.

Vibe of the Line

You head through King’s Cross at wait for Hogwarts Express. The entire thing looks very similar to London. Once you get to the point where you can see the train, it is spot on to the movies. I also went to the Harry Potter movie set in London and it is EXACTLY the same. It really does feel like you are traveling from London to Hogsmeade. Plus, watching Hogwarts Express pull up in King’s Cross is truly magical.

Worth the Wait?

Yes, especially since you might not have another choice. If you have a park-to-park ticket and you want to travel to Islands of Adventure, it is a perfect fun way to travel. If you don’t, you will have to exit Universal Studios, cross City Walk, and enter Islands of Adventure. Unless it has a long wait and you won’t get there until the park closes, it is probably worth it.

Height Requirement

None, it is a train ride.

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Families and adults who want to cross into Islands of Adventure. Or those who just want to experience Hogwarts Express!

What Seat is the Best

You sit in the train cabin. All seats are good, but if you are by the window it is the best.

Suitable for Children

Yes

Child Swap

No, you take them to the other park with you.

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No

Lockers Required

No, you take all of your belongings with you. 

Fun Facts: The crossing from Hogsmeade to London and vice versa is different, so you will get a different experience based on what direction you are coming from.

Bucket List Rating

8/10

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The grand lobby entrance into Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Category of Ride

3D/4D Motion Ride

Brief Description

Who doesn’t want to keep their treasures in the safest place on Earth? Explore every bit of Gringotts Wizard Bank, making your way from the grandiose lobby to the spooky caves that house the vaults. Of course, things go terribly wrong as expected.

You are hurled into a race to escape Voldemort with the help of Bill, Ron, Heromine, Harry, and a few loyal Gringotts goblins! This is a 3D ride that even has a few thrilling surprises!

Wear in the Park

This is the main attraction of Diagon Alley. To get to Diagon Alley, it is a wee bit confusing. After you pass King’s Cross Hogwarts Express, keep going down that main street. With the water on your right, keep an eye out for a weird-looking brick wall. You have to walk behind it in order to enter Diagon Alley. This is meant to give the illusion of the bricks moving as it does in the movie.

Vibe of the Line

This is another line that absolutely knocks it out of the park (or should I say theme park? Too cheesy?). As you enter the ride, you are greeted by the massive lobby of Gringotts Bank. This is complete with goblins hard at work, luxurious marble, and massive crystal chandeliers.

As you move through the line, you go deeper into the Gringotts. After meeting some familiar characters, you enter the elevator to take you miles beneath the Earth into the vaults. It is very cave-like until you make it to the front of the queue to proceed on your adventure.

Worth the Wait?

Yes! Absolutely! Especially if you are a Potterhead! The line itself is unbelievable! And the ride itself combines thrill, 3D technology, and immersive storytelling. Watch out for Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange!

Height Requirement

42” minimum to ride

42” – 48” to ride with an adult

48” to ride alone

Guests can test seats before they enter the queue to see if they are supported properly.

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Anybody who wants to feel like they are going on a wizarding adventure and explore Gringotts Wizarding Bank! I’m definitely sold to switch banks! My local Chase bank doesn’t have that cool of a lobby and a dragon.

What Seat is the Best

There are two cars comprised of three rows. Try to get a front seat of one of the two cars but aim for the very very front.

Suitable for Children

Yes, if they are brave. It does have some action scenes and one small drop at the very beginning.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

Yes, although you miss most of the fun line!

Lockers Required

Yes, but beware! When I went there were several people getting mad because they are only free for 35 minutes. The line was just above that so when we all came back, we were all forced to pay $3.

Fun Facts

There is a point about halfway through the line where you can take a photo and buy it after the ride.

Bucket List Rating

8/10 (9/10 if you count the line)

Men in Black Alien Attack!

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Aliens hard at work keeping the MIB going on the Men in Black Alien Attack!

Category of Ride

Thrill (Shooting Ride)

Upside-Down Thrill

No

Brief Description

Ever dream about becoming a Men in Black agent and defending Earth from an alien invasion? That certainly sounds like a dream come true to me! You start out in a training room until you are thrown into the field!

As you make your way through the alien-infested city in your cart, you can actually shoot and keep track of your score. I did this with my best friend and she absolutely beat me senseless. Needless to say, the first round was on me after we (mostly her) defeated the aliens.

Wear in the Park

This ride is at the back of the park. If you keep going down the natural circular nature of the park around the lake, you will come by it eventually. It is a pretty big building, so it is hard to miss.

Vibe of the Line

You start off in the 1964 World Fair Exhibit. The Universe and You – Are We Alone? The tour is stopped short when you hear the voice of Zed (MIB director), who lets you know what is actually happening! The rest of the line is through MIB headquarters! There are some fun easter eggs from the movie and fun scenes that make you feel like you are an agent there.

Worth the Wait?

Yes! It is a classic and fun for all ages!

Height Requirement

42” minimum to ride

42” – 48” to ride with an adult

48” to ride alone

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Who doesn’t love to shoot some aliens like an agent at the MIB? There isn’t much motion, but you are on a track. I think that it is a good overall ride for everyone!

What Seat is the Best

Although the front is slightly better, it doesn’t really matter.

Suitable for Children

Yes, if they are okay with some action. This right feels like a shooting video game.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

Yes

Lockers Required

Yes, they are located to the right of the main entrance to the ride.

Fun Facts

In addition to keeping score, it will let you know whether you are a Galaxy Defender, Cosmically Average, or Bug Bait. I’ll give you three guesses at what category I fell into. Just a little tip I wasn’t aware of: you can hold down the button for a continual zapping mode so your finger doesn’t get tired.

The aliens have different scoring values. Hard-to-spot or disguised aliens go for more points. And you can shoot it multiple times.

Bucket List Rating

7/10

The Simpsons Ride

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The entrance to the Simpsons ride.

Category of Ride

Thrill (kind of)

Brief Description

Join the Simpsons for an immersive adventure through a theme park as they try to escape their foe, Sideshow Bob. You sit in a car that moves and it is like being in a thrilling episode of the Simpsons. It is getting a wee bit outdated, but it is still thrilling and classic as ever.

Where in the Park

The easiest way to get there is once you enter the park, immediately take the right road to head to the Simpson’s section. If you are coming from this direction, it will be on your right. There are only 2 rides in this section and it is the main ride.

Vibe of the Line

It is a standard theme park line with a Simpson’s flare. Once you are inside, it is a theme park vibe but the Simpsons. You will see an introduction to the storyline of the ride on the TVs in this room.

Worth the Wait?

It is worth it if there is a short wait or you are a hardcore Simpsons fan.

Height Requirement

40” minimum to ride

40” – 48” to ride with an adult

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Older children who like a silly thrill or Simpsons fans.

What Seat is the Best

The front makes a small difference but overall it doesn’t matter.

Suitable for Children

Yes, the action is silly and shouldn’t be too overwhelming for the smaller tater tots.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No

Lockers Required

No

Fun Facts

There are several satirical jabs at Universal sprinkled throughout the ride. I was cackling at each one and it really made the right stand out in traditional Simpsons fashion. Good job, Homer.

Bucket List Rating

5/10

Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Flying high with Kang & Kudos’ Twirl n’ Hurl.

Category of Ride

Yes

Brief Description

Have you ever been on that one ride that is normally themed after spider legs that spins you around? Think that but green and Simpsons themed. It is based on the Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horrors specials.

Wear in the Park

Head to the Simpson section. The shortest way is to take a right down the road after you first enter the park. Otherwise, make your way around the entire park that surrounds the lake. It is right across from the Simpsons Ride.

Vibe of the Line

Standard theme park line.

Worth the Wait?

Only if you have a smaller child or the line is very short.

Height Requirement

None

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Small children who want a tame spinning thrill.

What Seat is the Best

 It doesn’t matter.

Suitable for Children

Yes, it is geared toward children

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No

Lockers Required

No

Fun Facts

When the saucers are at maximum height, they are 10 feet off of the ground. You can pilot your own shuttle! According to Universal, these saucers travel at 1/51,595,995 the speed of light…aka around 13 mph 😀

Bucket List Rating

3/10

E.T. Adventure

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
I wholeheartedly apologize for this terrible picture of E.T. I was probably too starstruck to remember to take a photo. LOL.

Category of Ride

Kid

Brief Description

E.T. needs your help to escape Earth and make it back to his dying planet! Hopping on your bike with this cute alien, it is a struggle to make it out of the woods and dodge the authorities. It’s very pure and kinda relaxing! I’m not gonna lie but once you make it to his planet it feels an awful lot like a fever dream or a dream you have after eating too late. Overall, it is actually super cute!

Where in the Park

This one is hidden! If you go to the first right road immediately after you enter the park, it is before you get to the Simpsons section. Look for the SpongeBob store and then make your way behind it. If in doubt, follow the signs.

Vibe of the Line

The outside section is pretty boring, but once you get past the story introduction of taking ET back to his home planet, you enter this really cool forest section! I was actually kinda sad that I rushed through it.

Worth the Wait?

Yes. I hate to say it…but it is pretty iconic. I’m not even the biggest E.T. fan and I enjoyed it!

Height Requirement

34” minimum to ride

34” – 48” to ride with an adult

48” to ride alone

Who Would Enjoy this Ride

Small children or adults who want to have a good laugh (or just love ET).

What Seat is the Best

You may have a slightly less obstructed view in the front, but overall it doesn’t matter.

Suitable for Children

Yes! It is very tame.

Child Swap

Yes

Express Pass

Yes

Single Rider

No

Lockers Required

No

Fun Facts

At the end of your journey, E.T. personally thanks you for your help. But, I must admit that I wasn’t prepared to hear my name and it kinda scared me until I realized what was actually happening.

Bucket List Rating

6/10

Universal Studios Florida FAQ

What are the main shows at Universal Studios?

Although they aren’t categorized as “rides” there are three main shows in Universal Studios that can’t be missed!

Universal Orlando Horror Make-Up Show

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Getting ready to go see the Universal Orlando Horror Make Up Show

This is a quirky and silly show about how makeup effects are done to monsters in the movie. Although it was quite educational, I would identify it as a comedy show. Be warned! Some of the humor can be adult. However, viewer discretion is advised (both for the gore and the adult humor).

Animal Actors On Location!

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The set of Animal Actors On Location!

A giant showcase of the amazing animals that grace the screen. You see everything from dogs, cats, birds, and some other fun surprises. It is very child friendly and so cute to see the animals in action.

The Bourne Stuntacular

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The line to wait for the Bourne Stuntacular.

This was the surprise of the day. I have to admit…I slept through all of the Bourne movies. Opps.

So I was less than thrilled to go see this show, but I was committed to doing everything for you. And OH MY GOSH! This show absolutely kicked butt…literally and figuratively! It is hard to explain, but it was basically like seeing an action movie but a Broadway stunt show.

The combination of live sets intertwined with technology and screens was something I had never seen before. My mind was blown! If you are in Universal Studios, this show is the best in the park (and better than some rides) and it NEEDS to be placed on your bucket list! 

Keep in mind that there are a ton more tiny street shows and character meetings that will keep you entertained for hours. My favorite one of these styled shows is the Banshee Show in Diagon Alley!

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
The Banshee Show in Diagon Alley.

How many rides does Universal Studios have?

As of 2023, there are 12 rides at Universal Studios. These are a mix of thrill, 3D, immersive, kid-friendly, and shooter rides. 

In addition to the rides, Universal Studios also has a wide array of traditional and street shows. 

You definitely won’t be bored!

Does Universal have water rides?

No. Islands of Adventure has 3 water rides. But if you are looking for a fancy water adventure, I would recommend skipping the theme parks and going straight to Volcano Bay.

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Getting butterbeer (my favorite drink on this Earth) at Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, Orlando.

Are Universal Studios rides scary?

Overall, I would say that if you are looking for scary rides, head over to Islands of Adventure

In my personal opinion, Universal Studios had more tame rides overall

The scariest ride I rode here was the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit followed by the Revenge of the Mummy.

What rides at Universal Studios are not roller coasters?

Most of the rides at Universal Studios don’t classify as traditional roller coasters. In fact, I would only classify 2 out of 12 rides that categorize as true thrill rides. The other rides that are NOT roller coasters are:

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Transformers: The Ride 3D

Fast and Furious – Supercharged

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Hogwarts Express

Men in Black Alien Attack!

The Simpsons Ride

Kang & Kudos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

E.T. Adventure

Are Universal Studios Express Passes worth it?

I think this is highly dependent on multiple factors:

What time are you going? 

If you are going during peak season, it would definitely be worth it to not have to wait in those long wait time. There would be nothing worse than paying all that money for an entry ticket only to go on 3-4 rides and wait in line all day long. 

If you are going on the off season, then it may not make much since because the lines are going to be shorter anyway. 

Do you have a big family? 

If you have a big family, it would be a good idea for your sanity, but it might not make sense financially. Everything at Universal adds up quickly, and the Express pass is no exception. 

Are you allergic to waiting? 

If you love theme parks, but you absolutely hate waiting in the brutal Florida sun, then it would be worth it to skip those lines. 

Do you have an extra budget to burn?

I’m not going to lie, these babies are expensive! They have to do it that way or else everyone would do it and there would be a line…which makes it lose its value. They can go up in price depending on if you want it on Unlimited (vs Limited) rides and can also vary depending on the time of year.

Can you do Universal Studios in one day?

I am not going to lie to you, it is going to be tight. But the short answer is yes

I went in the middle of May and managed to go on every single ride plus the main shows. Although I did it, I slept very well that night. I walked precisely 20,850 steps and walked 9.44 miles. 

Things to Consider: this was less than Islands of Adventure. I walked 27,795 steps and 13.01 miles. I definitely felt more rushed at Islands of Adventure. So if you are choosing to do a park in one day, Universal Studios is going to be less stressful. 

I am not sure this would be possible in either park during the summer (peak season) without an Express Pass.

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Unique architecture found at Universal Studios in Florida.

Final Thoughts on the Rides at Universal Studios Florida

If you love theme parks, you will have a tough time beating Universal Studios

With its wide variety of rides and shows, it is sure to keep families and solo adults entertained all day! 

There are several rides I went on that deserve to make their way onto your bucket list, and you could even argue that Universal Studios is a bucket list contender as a whole on its own. 

I hope that this helped you prioritize your time at Universal Studios and see which rides should be added to your bucket list! As always, don’t forget to follow and tag me on social media so that I can see you checking these rides off of your bucket list!

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List
Would recommend running through Diagon Alley with your best mate.

Adventure Bucket List Resources

I am here to help your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible! That way you can check off that bucket list with minimal complications and spending!

AIRFARE – It is no surprise that like many travelers, I have found that Hopper is one of the best resources to use when finding cheap flights. 

ACCOMMODATION – My two favorites are Booking.Com for hotels and VRBO for rentals. 

GUIDED TOURS –  If you are looking for quick and easy tours, check out GetYourGuide and Viator

MULTI-DAY TOURS –  For more in-depth tours that span several days, TourHub has many great options with reputable travel companies. Use my code (ALEXANDRA1GURU) for up to 5% off your next bucket list adventure. 

TRANSPORTATION –  You can either rent a car yourself with Discover Cars or do a guided bus tours like Big Bus Tours

CREDIT CARD –  I always use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all of my purchases. There is no annual fee and you get 1.5% cash back and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel. 

SIM CARDS –  Avoid expensive roaming charges with an eSim card with Airalo.

TRAVELER’S INSURANCE –  Check out VisitorsCoverage for affordable insurance plans.

Who would you take with you to explore Universal Studios Florida? Make sure you spread the love and share it below! Love it? Pin it!

universal studios, The Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Rides and Which Ones to Add to Your Bucket List

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