When we’re building our checklist for each and every trip to Universal Studios Florida, there are a few “constants” that we absolutely 100% need to experience. Some have a couple, a few, a handful…but I have a Top 10!
Note: For this list I’m only considering attractions found in the Universal Studios Florida park. I’ll have a separate list for Islands of Adventure soon!
Here is the list of my Top 10 Universal Studios Florida Rides to do every visit:
Number 1 – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
This is the pinnacle of Theme Park attractions in the industry, period. The technology that is utilized to transport guests into the world of Harry Potter is so much more than a cool ride vehicle…it’s the story elements that surround the adventure that you find yourself involved in.
I’m in awe each and every time that I walk through the queue line. The AudioAnimatronic banktellers to the ever present nods to the books and movies…well worth the price of admission by itself!
Number 2 – Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride
I love this attraction, but the days are limited for the franchise as it’s been handed off to more A-list actors than the Bond movies…without the success! The reason why it’s my number two is because of the thrills that you get from the physical sets vs the screen technology that’s used in most of the new attractions that Universal is debuting.
Oh, and it’s a dark ride with coaster elements (and fire)….and the death scene of Brendan Fraser at the end is always a pleasure to watch.
Number 3 – Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
There’s screaming, loud music and a HUGE lift hill…but it really isn’t as bad as it looks. The best part about the ride is that you get to pick your soundtrack! That’s right….you have a choice of over 30 songs to get you pumped! And let’s be honest – Ellen and Jimmy Fallon did it;)
Number 4 – Men in Black: Alien Attack
One of my favorite movies of all time, this attraction allows you the opportunity to walk into MiB HQ and become an honorary member of the Men In Black! Oh, and the ride is actually fun! It has repeatability, a single rider line and awesome music!
Number 5 – E.T. Adventure
The last of the original Universal Studios attractions left, this classic ride is still a worthwhile adventure because it’s still here! We definitely know that it’s on the chopping block with future expansions, but the next time you’re ready to visit your old friend E.T, get in line for this bike ride to a completely different world. Oh, and if you haven’t seen E.T…netflix or Youtube will help!
Number 6 – Transformers: The Ride 3D
I’m from the opinion that an attraction with live performers deserves to be around, no matter how relevant the source material is. That being said, this ride needs a HUGE overhaul. The special effects are cool and the set provides a ton of fun for folks who really like action movies…but know that you’re seeing a gem from the 90s that has seen better days (but the air conditioning is GREAT!)
Number 7 – The Simpsons Ride
I would put the area of Springfield USA on the list without actually mentioning the attraction, as the theming is actually pretty epic. Krusty Burger, Duff Gardens, Kwik-e-Mart and Moe’s Tavern are all there! But, as this is a list about the Top 10 Rides that you should do every visit, we should actually talk about the ride itself. Hey look…another motion simulator! Unfortunately, the ride has been spoiled from years of YouTube sharing and lack of updating, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ride it. In fact, the queue line mashes very well with the adventure that you’re going to go on.
Fun fact – The original story was more heavily focused around Mr Burns, but in the end…Harry Shearer decided to not participate in the ride, which is why we have the storyline that follows Maggie and never hear from any characters that Shearer voices on the show.
Number 8 – Jimmy Fallon
Although new, the Jimmy Fallon Race Through New York is pulling all the stops within the Theme Park world. The experience starts with a virtual queue, followed by an in-depth museum experience with artifacts that anyone would want to put on Instagram…then you get to see a safety video from the team at the Tonight Show themselves! Overall, they did a great job incorporating all the elements into the attraction and hopefully it will have a great rise from bottom to the top! Oh, and meeting #HashtagThePanda is AWESOME!
Number 9 – Shrek 4-D
Ok, so Shrek has seen better days. I’ve seen this movie a few times, and it definitely deserves to be experienced if you’ve never done it, but you need to know where this attraction sits within the canon of the movie franchise. There are some funny jokes, good story plots, but it’s still just a movie with effects in the theatre that interact with you. If you have kids, this is a great attraction to regroup and get out of the heat…and laugh at a few good ol’ fashioned Donkey jokes!
Number 10 – Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Not a huge fan of the franchise, but I understand that there is a market for the Minions. There are a few things to keep in mind about this attraction, from its location in the park (first thing you see when you go through the turnstiles), to the fact that it’s just another 3D movie with motion simulation technology. I’d still check it out, but know your audience before you stand in that line.
So that is my Top 10 Universal Studios Florida Must Do Rides. Do you agree with the list or did I miss something that you always have to experience? Let me know through social media!