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.

It sure rocked ours!

This was one of our highlights from our road 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.

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.

Hulk one of 5 best rides universal orlando
Conquering the Incredible Hulk ride at 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.

Minions one of best rides universal orlando
Our new Minion friend at Universal Studios Orlando


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⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love Booking.com because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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For more Floridian inspiration, check out the following guides:

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

6 thoughts on “5 Best Rides at Universal Orlando in Florida”

  1. We love all the rides you mentioned but also love the Dudley Do Right Log flume. I think we love it because you can ride it over and over without getting dizzy and it cools you off.

  2. That’s Orlando for you! An amazing article about the best rides that are never to be missed on UNIVERSAL visit. A best place to go with kids and family. A pure top class photography. Thanks for sharing!

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