We’ve been to Universal so many times in the years that we’ve been holidaying in Orlando and we’ve had a go at all of the rides old and new (our all time favourite shout out goes to Back to the Future!) so it got me thinking, with all of the newest additions at Universal, what are the best rides that they have there?
It’s actually a question I’m asked a lot.. What rides are best? Should I do every single ride? What are the Harry Potter rides like? It’s not one that I can ever answer without thinking, it’s such a difficult question with so many options..
So here’s my thoughts on the top 5 rides at Universal.
1. The Incredible Hulk
Location: Just after you enter Islands of Adventure, turn right at the lake.
Best time to go: Just after the park opens. Everyone turns left to go to the Wizarding World, if you turn right to start, you’ll be in for a 5 minute line.
One of our favourite rides, and one that we go on about 100 times whenever we’re in Orlando. The Incredible Hulk ride is a high-speed thrill rollercoaster that zooms you through a tunnel and onto plenty of twists, sudden turns and loops.
We were gutted when they put it into refurbishment, but actually it was one of the best things they did, as it made it so much better than the 21 times in a row that we rode it before it went into maintenance. The Hulk ride is definitely one of the best rides for ultimate thrill seekers.
2. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Location: Inside Universal Studios at Diagon Alley.
Best time to go: We’ve tried a number of times, and I’d recommend probably going around 2-5pm as this seems to always be a quiet period.
Oh, we couldn’t not have a Harry Potter ride in here could we? We chose this one rather than the original ride (Forbidden Journey – in Hogwarts castle) because that one is a real acquired taste and one that leaves a lot of people feeling motion sickness. That being said, we’d still recommend doing it.
This one is just so much better – and an actual rollercoaster. We absolutely love that while queueing for this ride you have to have your ‘security photos’ taken, which is essentially an opportunity to have a photo inside Gringotts bank! It’s a rollercoaster with a drop and features 3D projections.
3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Location: As soon as you enter Universal Studios, just after Despicable Me on your right.
Best time to go: There really isn’t a good time to go, although we’d recommend doing it around 1pm-ish as it seems to be the quietest time.
If you’re one for a proper thrill rollercoaster then this beast is for you! Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has a 156-foot vertical incline up to the top and a curved drop and reaches a top speed of 65mph.
We love that when you get on the ride you get to choose your own track from a selection of different songs, that you’ll listen to as you go round. We find it hilarious to try and sing the lyrics while screaming – try it – it’s so much fun! Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit also offers you the opportunity to buy your on-ride video, so if you’re one to savour all the memories and you know you or someone in your family is a screamer, then this video is sure to be a hilarious purchase! Definitely not one for the faint hearted!
4. Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
Location: Marvel Superhero Island at Islands of Adventure (After the Incredible Hulk)
Best time to go: Either just after you’ve ridden Hulk at the start of the day or just before you leave.
Now this ride is perfect for the young thrillseekers in the family. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride will zoom you through Spideys neighbourhood and take you along all of the twists and turns on the way.
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride is a 3D projection ride, although it is based on a track and takes you on some sudden twists and spins but we’d say it’s a perfect ride for all the family.
5. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
Location: Toon Lagoon in Islands of Adventure
Best time to go: Definitely in the afternoon around 12-1 as this’ll keep you cool. In summer months, you’ll probably want to go around 2pm-ish.
The final ride on our list, but by far it’s definitely not our least favourite. Popeye’s is actually one of the best rides during the middle of the day when the sun is blazing and you really need to cool down.
It’s a great family-friendly rapid ride and seats quite a few people per rapid, so if you’re in a big group, nobody will have any excuses! Be warned though, this one really does get you soaked. We came off dripping from this ride, so we’d recommend taking a spare pair of clothes/shoes as you must wear both and can’t take anything off during the ride.