5 Best Rides at Universal Orlando in Florida
Whether you're a Harry Potter fan, Simpsons geek, or you love good old fashioned wild rollercoaster rides, Universal Studios in Orlando will completely rock your world.
This was one of our highlights from our trip in Florida, especially the life size recreation of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and all those Marvel fantasies brought to life. Universal is simply overwhelming, exciting and completely magical!
These are our 5 favourite rides at Universal Studios in Orlando, which we loved so much, we went on each of them at least 2/3 times.
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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter fans will be blown away the moment they step into Diagon Alley at Universal Studios for their first time. The immense detail that has gone into recreating everything is simply astonishing, from the Butterbear stands, the dragon atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank and the many different wizarding shops where you can buy souvenirs, wands and more.
On the other side of the Wizarding World, which is located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can visit Hogwarts school and take the Forbidden Journey. This is a motion-based dark ride through Hogwarts and its impressive grounds with Harry and Ron leading the way. It's so lifelike that you really feel like you're flying on a broomstick through a Quidditch match. A must for all Harry Potter fans.
Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit
Stefan almost lost his voice because of this ride. For us this was the most intense-adrenaline-fuelled ride at Universal Studios Orlando. It's a steel rollercoaster ride which reaches 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) and oh my god you feel every second of it as you go up, down and spin around and round.
Its special feature? You can select a classic pop/rock anthem to have as background music in your seat during this 1 minute 37 seconds ride. For Seb, listening to Stefan screaming his head off to Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, was one of his most hilarious memories from our trip to Universal Studios.
The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk is another famous adrenaline packed rollercoaster ride at Universal. It looks more scary than it is and for us we found the Hollywood Rip, Ride Rockit ride more intense. Nonetheless, The Incredible Hulk is not for the faint hearted and is still guaranteed to induce screams, excitement and get the heart pumping.
The ride accelerates to 40 mph (64 km/h) in around 2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 67 mph (108 km/h) as you go round and round, up and down, in full sight of everyone in the Islands of Adventure theme park in Universal.
Transformers: The Ride
On this ride you're a Freedom Fighter in a simulation N*E*S*T* vehicle helping Optimus Prime and Bumblebee to save the Earth from Megatron.
Just like the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey, this is a motion-platform vehicle which glides along a 2,000 foot (610m) track. The seats move up to 360 degrees in different angles as you wind your way between the large 3D screens. We were so impressed at how life like it felt and for this it definitely ranks as one of our 5 best rides at Universal Orlando.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
This is a super fun 3D motion-based simulation. Gru and his daughters recruit you into his latest scheme where you become an actual minion.
Unlike the Harry Potter and Transformers simulations, here you stay in your seat the entire time watching a screen through 3D glasses. However, the movement of the seat along with the 3D visuals makes it so lifelike, you really believe you're a minion trying to survive in their quirky world. Along with the sensory psychological impact, you'll also laugh along with all the silly minion shenanigans along the way.
ESTA: TOP TIP FOR NON-USA BASED VISITORS!
If like us you're visiting from abroad, make sure you get your visa properly sorted before arriving. Seb travels with a French passport, and Stefan with a UK passport, so for us it was simply a matter of doing an ESTA application for our USA visa.
We cannot stress the importance of getting your ESTA sorted before arriving in the USA, otherwise it will make your holiday a nightmare when you arrive at the immigration desk!
We were invited to Universal and were not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely that of Nomadic Boys, based on our experience.
For more Floridian inspiration, check out our gay guide to Fort Lauderdale.