The Top 10 Best Rides at Universal Studios Florida

Some of the best rides and attractions throughout the world are located at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.  Everything from roller coasters like Rip Ride Rockit to 3D themed rides Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, there are fun things to do for all thrill seekers. 

Since there are two separate theme parks at the Universal Orlando Resort (not including the Volcano Bay since it is a water theme park), we decided to break down the best rides for each individual park starting with Universal Studios Florida

The Top 10 Best Rides at Universal Studios Florida

10. Fast and Furious – Supercharged

9.   The ET Adventure

8.  Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

7.  The Simpsons Ride

6.  Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

5.  Men in Black Alien Attack

4.  Transformers the Ride 3D

3.  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts 

2.  Revenge of the Mummy

1.  Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit 

At Endless Summer Florida we love making “Top 10” lists (or any number of that matter) as we really enjoy seeing the comments from theme park visitors on which rides they think are the best. 

We know that opinions vary on what rides are the best.  While some love the coaster and “thrill” rides, there are many that prefer the newer “hybrids” that are a mixture of thrill & screen rides as well as being very highly themed (like the Harry Potter rides).  Our Top 10 list has a combination of them all.

Click here to see a list of our top rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

10. Fast and Furious – Supercharged

Fast and Furious – Supercharged is based on the highly popular movie franchise, you will hop on a party bus for a fully immersive 3D ride with Dom, Letty, Hobbs and the rest of the gang while fighting off Shaw and avoiding the FBI.

This ride has an unique queue that is themed after a working auto garage. Universal Express is available and wait times can range from 20 to 45 minutes.

9. The E.T. Adventure

The E.T. Adventure is one of the classic rides at Universal Studios Florida and it is the last remaining ride from the parks original opening back in 1990.   Guests travel with ET through space on bicycles to help him save his home planet.   The best thing about the trip is that you don’t have to petal. 

This attraction has an extensive queue that is themed after the movie. The minimum height to ride is 34 inches and any guest under 48 inches requires a supervising companion. Universal Express is available and wait times can range from 20 to 45 minutes.

8. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Guests get the chance to beat Jimmy Fallon in a race through the streets of New York and beyond.  This motion-simulator ride is one of the most engaging in all of Universal Studios and has a number of interactive experiences in the pre-show.

The Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon features a virtual line experience where guests can make a reservation on the Universal Orlando app.  Universal Express is also available on this attraction.

There is a minimum height requirement of 40 inches and riders under 48 inches must be accompanied by a supervising companion.

7. The Simpsons Ride

Located in the Springfield section of Universal Studios Florida, guests take a exciting roller coaster (and more) ride with Bart, Homer and the rest on the family.  Your adventure takes you through Krustyland but watch out for someone sinister who is out to get you.

Originally opened in May 2008 taking the place of Back to the Future The Ride, The Simpsons Ride is a motion simulator where after a short pre-show, guests board a two-row ride vehicle for a four-minute ride that uses an 85-foot IMAX screen.   

The Simpsons Ride has a minimum height requirement of 40 inches and Universal Express is available. Wait times can vary on this ride and during busy days, we have seen wait times range from 45 to 60 minutes.

6. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

In this fun kid-friendly motion simulator, Gru will turn you into a Minion.  But of course things don’t go along as planned so you go on adventure with Gru and the girls for a wild ride. Located in Production Central, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem originally opened in July 2012 in the building that formerly housed Jimmy Neturon’s Nicktoon Blast.

The short pre-show starts in Gru’s home (with all the trappings) before riders go into the “Lab”.  In the lab is where Gru, Agnes, Margo and Edith tell their guests that they will be transformed into a Minion.  Once in the main building riders are changed into Minions and go on a zany adventure with Gru and the girls before having a celebration of the anniversary of their adoption.

Due to limited capacity, wait times on this ride are longer than the average range and typically 60 minutes on a busy day.  Universal Express is available or try to ride this one early in the morning before the crowds arrive.  The ride Mayhem is a little bouncy but since it’s no longer in 3D, it’s probably much more fun for the little ones.  For those not fond of motion, there are benches in the front row.

5. Men in Black Alien Attack

We really enjoy the shoot ’em up type rides and Men in Black Alien Attack is one of our favorites.  The ride is within a fully air-conditioned studio and the exterior features two spaceships just like in the original movie where Agents “J” and “K” fought the the “Bug” at the New York World’s Fair.  

Before you go inside be sure to place your bags in the lockers just to the right of the entrance.  The small lockers are free and accessible with your theme park ticket or annual pass.

You will get a quick video as the “recruits” progress through the queue as well as a birds eye view of the Immigration Room from the movie.  There are also displays of some of the weapons used by the Men in Black (MIB) agents.  And for a tip: once your ride is finished, ask for a tour of the Immigration Room.  If they are not too busy then you might just be able to check out the entire from up close and personal.

Each ride vehicle is equipped for up to six (6) passengers in two rows of seats.  Grab your weapon and you will ride along with Agent J as a “recruit” to see if you have what what it takes make it as an MIB Agent.

After starting out in a training simulation room, an alien ship has crashed landed so you are placed into MIB service to shoot the aliens throughout the streets of New York.  Keep your eyes open are there are a number of references to the movie including Frank the pug dog at the newspaper stand as well as an alien version of Steven Spielberg.   

Ride times can get a little long as MIB is a popular ride but if you see it under 30 minutes, make sure you give this one a go. Universal Express is accepted at this ride and there is a single rider line which goes quickly (your party will get broken up though).  Men in Black Alien Attack is a motion simulation ride (with a fast spin at the ending) and there is a minimum height requirement of 42 inches.

Click here to learn how to get a high score on Men in Black Alien Attack.

4. Transformers The Ride 3D

The second you walk into the building which is home to NEST, you will be fully immersed in the world of the Transformers.  There are a number of props and videos throughout the queue which help get you ready to help Optimus Prime and the Autobots protect the All Spark from Megatron and the Decepticons.

Transformers The Ride 3D is a motion simulation ride were you put on 3D glasses after you (“the recruits”) team up and board Autobot EVAC who is on emergency stand by to evacuate the AllSpark from the NEST Facility.  

The ride starts where EVAC grabs the AllSpark after Decepticon Ravage tries to steal it from inside nest.  The story proceeds recruits and EVAC evade Megatron and the Decepticons on a wild ride through the city with twists, turns, spins and more.  And in the end,  you and EVAC will help Optimus Prime defeat Megatron once and for all.

We have seen wait times as long as 60 minutes during the busy park days so if you can get on this ride early before the crowds come to the park, it should save you some time. Universal Express is accepted on this ride so if you have that benefit, your wait time will be less than 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Even thought this is not our top ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is the reason you should come to visit Universal Studios Orlando.  This “multi-dimensional thrill ride” encompasses it all.  Its a combined roller coaster and 3D motion simulator all themed to the storyline of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

This incredible ride is located in Diagon Alley and as you pass through the walls, you transform from muggle to witch & wizard.  There is so much to see and so at Diagon Alley that it requires an entire post in and of itself.

After putting your bags in one of the adjacent lockers (small lockers are free), you enter Gringotts and into bank lobby to see four chandeliers containing 62,000 crystals.  This ride has one of the most well developed queues in any theme park world wide. 

After traveling down the shafts and into the underground vaults you will board this ride and encounter Harry, Ron & Hermione while evading Lord Voldemort, Bellatrix and the trolls.  Twists, turns and excitement await as you enjoy an amazing adventure with Harry and his friends.  And watch out for the fire-breathing dragon while your at it.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts does have a fairly large capacity but since it is one of the primary draws to Universal, wait times are typically longer than many of the other rides in this park. Wait times typically range from 45 to more than 60 minutes during the summer months so try to get to this ride as early as possible.

Universal Express is accepted that this ride (and highly recommended) and at times this ride an hour before park entry to Universal hotel guests and select annual passholders.

2. Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy is located in the New York section of the Universal Studios Florida and is a “dark ride” fully indoor roller coaster themed after the movies with Brendan Fraser and Tom Cruise (Brendan makes an appearance in this ride as well). 

Upon entering the Museum of Antiquities you will pass through a very detailed queue with a number of references to the movies and talks about the “curse” from the film.  You will then board your car for one of the most fun rides in all of Universal Orlando.

Recently refurbishing in 2022, the ride itself is a journey through Imhotep’s tomb as you ride up to 45 miles per hour twisting around fire and locusts to avoid having the Mummy steal your soul.

We have seen wait times vary at the Mummy ride but typically range from 30 to 60 minutes during busy days.  There is a 48 inch height requirement on this ride and Universal Express is accepted (other than being able to walk through a pretty cool queue is highly recommended).  Bags are not allowed on this ride and there are free small lockers ride to the left side of the ride entrance. Larger lockers are available for a fee. 

Endless Summer Tip:  You can take a free behind the scenes “tour” of the Mummy ride from one of the team members (but only is available on a slower days) where you get a fantastic walk-thru of the queue as well as a quick trip underneath the tracks of the ride itself.  It’s not available all the time so if you can get the opportunity to do so, try and make it happen.  There is no schedule for this “tour” but ask one of the team members out front.

1. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Our top ride in all of Universal Studios Florida is the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster.  Located just behind Music Plaza in the heart of Universal Studios Florida, you just can miss this ride as you can see it all the way from CityWalk.

You start out on this amazing roller coaster by boarding your car then choosing from a list of approximately 30 songs.  There is another “secret” list of songs you can access by pressing and holding the rides logo for about 5 to 10 seconds.  A keypad pops up and you will need to type in a code to access an individual song.  Since there is not an “official” list that is published by Universal, finding the codes are difficult but not impossible.  There are a number of web sites out there that have pieces of the list – you will just have to put it together yourself.

 Once you get moving your car begins a 17-story climb then an immediate 90 degree drop immediately followed by a non-inventing (you don’t go upside down) loop.  The ride lasts about a minute and a half but you speed upwards of 65 miles per hour getting incredible views of all Universal Orlando.

Bags are not allowed on this ride and there are free small lockers ride before the ride entrance. Larger lockers are available for a fee.  You will have to pass through a metal detector so make sure you don’t bring on any loose articles.

There is a 51 inch height requirement on Rip Ride Rockit.  Wait times can vary on this ride and during busy days, we have seen wait times well over 60 minutes.  Universal Express is accepted and highly recommended as we don’t want to spend your entire day waiting on line for just a few rides.  If you have Universal Express, wait for the front row – it’s totally worth the extra time.

Click here for our Definitive Guide to Universal Studios Florida

Where Should We Stay When Visiting the Universal Orlando Resort?

The Universal Orlando Resort has a number of great on site hotels at Universal and each and every one of them have their own benefits, characteristics and price points.

There are multiple “categories” of hotels which are as follows:

  • Premier Hotels & Resorts
  • Preferred & Value Hotels and Resorts
  • Prime Value Hotels and Resorts

Premier category hotels include the Lowe’s Portofino Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Lowes Royal Pacific Resort.  Although higher in price, the added benefit of the free Universal Express Unlimited (TM) is well worth the expense.  Once you experience unlimited front of the line access, it is VERY difficult to go back to a theme park without it.

Check out all the Universal on-site hotels and resorts as well as our recommended off site local area hotels by CLICKING HERE.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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