Top 10 Attractions in Universal Studios Florida!

Orlando , Expert View Column
Large circular sign shaped as the globe with white letters in bold curving around it spelling out "UNIVERSAL". In the background there is a lake, palm trees and a tall sign made from rock which says Islands of Adventure.
By’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
Need to know the top rides and attractions at this all-action theme park? Check out our ‘Best Of’ selection for max fun.

It’s probably true of any theme park, but when you first walk through the gates it’s a bit of a struggle to know where to go first. And next. The initial array of choice can seem overwhelming.

But, having done a similar exercise for Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park recently, we’re here to steer you in the right direction for Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando’s first park in the Sunshine State, dating back to June 1990. 

Universal Studios opened its gates with just 14 attractions, albeit several of them were absolute blockbusters like Kongfrontation and Jaws. Amazingly, only two are still open today, the E.T. Adventure and the Horror Make-Up Show (which was originally called the Gory, Gruesome & Grotesque Horror Make-up Show).

A hanging ride vehicle with bicycle shaped seating. Guests are sat on these smiling whilst looking at the immaculately themed surroundings, yellow, pink and blue alien figures and flowers.

However, the park has either replaced or added many more new attractions since then, and has expanded several times. Meaning your choice of what to do and where to focus your attention has increased significantly.

And that’s where we come in. We think it’s vital for visitors to have some advance knowledge of just how good – and varied – your options are once you walk through those gates, so here is our essential Top 10 Universal Studios attractions. If you succeed in getting all these under your belt in a day, you can safely say you have hit all the highlights.


10. Hogwarts Express

Red and black train with steam coming out of its funnel is still in a brick station. On the front it says "Hogwarts Express"

This is both a ride in its own right AND a way to get from one park to the other as it links Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure via a clever backstage rail line that takes visitors from one Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the other. The sense of immersion in the Hogwarts story is also first class, and the (screen-generated) views are different in each direction.


9. Men in Black: Alien Attack

Dark sky in the background with blue hue, with a sign saying "M.I.B. Men in Black Alien Attack"

Get set for a hilarious shoot-em-up adventure in a New York city-scape menaced by a variety of lurking aliens. This dark ride puts visitors at the heart of a “training exercise” for those movie protectors, the Men In Black, but things quickly go wrong and it's up to YOU to save the day and blast those pesky interlopers back into their alien realm.


8. The Simpsons Ride

Dive into the madcap world of Springfield and those zany Simpsons with this hilarious simulator ride that pits Bart and Co against the wily Sideshow Bob and his mission to sabotage Krusty the Clown’s wacky theme park. Things go seriously wrong and the ride takes on a weird and wild aspect that guarantees plenty of laughs. The queue area is highly amusing, too, with plenty of references to various Simpsons characters.


7. E.T. Adventure

One of the two original surviving attractions, this scenic dark ride takes visitors into E.T.’s world, with a dramatic queuing area that leads to an inter-planetary whirl on the trademark bikes from the film. Steven Spielberg collaborated closely with Universal for this attraction, introducing new characters and storylines for his friendly extra-terrestrial, and it remains a genuine family-pleaser.


6. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

There is a black and grey house in the background with a large orange and yellow sign saying "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" on. There are two minions in front with the Despicable Me characters (Gru, a man with a bald head, Agnes, a little girl with a black ponytail and dungarees on, Margo, a young brunette girl with glasses and Edith, a blonde child with a pink stripey hat on)

Here is more simulator-ride fun with those comic yellow characters from the Despicable Me films. Visitors are invited into super-villain Gru’s inner sanctum for a chance to join the Minion ranks, but things go suitably haywire in fairly typical Minion fashion and it needs Gru’s emergency intervention to return riders back to a safe landing.


5. Transformers The Ride 3-D

While this ride may seem a bit like the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure, as it is based on the same ride system, it delivers an even more action-packed experience in the world of the Autobots and their ongoing battle to protect the AllSpark from the evil Decepticons. There are explosions galore and it is a fast, frenzied experience, but it is packed with themed detail throughout.


4. The Bourne Stuntacular

There are buildings and a palm tree in the background. There is a man leaping through the sky high up off of a tower with a spiral staircase. There is also smoke in the background.

Stunt shows don’t currently come any more realistic and breathtaking than this 25-minute theatrical experience set in front of a gigantic video screen that the live actors use to move in and out from. The technology is impressive enough, but the physical stunts and on-stage action are truly jaw-dropping, and it serves as an official side-story to the series of Jason Bourne films.


3. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Rollercoaster red cart heading up a vertical chain lift surrounded by circular steel arches, almost about to drop down the steep red and yellow track. There is a black sign with red and yellow text saying "Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit"

Universal’s most eye-catching ride, this huge roller-coaster reaches 167ft high and a top speed of 65mph as it roars across the park’s skyline in dramatic fashion. It features a vertical lift hill at the start, a 103-ft non-inverting loop and a section that loops through part of the New York City façade, as well as its onboard sound system where riders get to choose the track of their choice to accompany the ride from five categories, including rock and hip hop. You can also get the video of your personal ride experience.


2. Revenge of the Mummy

Welcome to the lost – and haunted – city of Hamunaptra as the Mummy movies come to vivid life in this indoor coaster that starts as a slow dark ride but suddenly turns into a fully-fledged scream machine. There is an amusing story that unfolds during the queue that sets the scene for a film-making process hit by a terrible curse, and then it’s off through an underground mine setting that includes a fast-launch sequence into the coaster section. Will you escape from the Mummy’s revenge? It’s going to be touch and go!


1. Harry Potter & The Escape From Gringotts

Large clear building with black and white tiled patterned floor. Above hangs two grand chandeliers. Along the left and right hand side are tall dark brown desks with 3 goblin characters sat at them working. In the middle there is a larger desk with the main goblin working. This is a room themed as an elaborate bank.

Crowning the fabulous and wonderfully immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is the signature ride, tucked away “underneath” the Gringotts Bank façade and an absolute riot of theming and detail. You will feel you have been royally entertained before you even set foot on this combination of coaster and dark ride, and then things REALLY take off under the joint menace of Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix LeStrange.


We expect the forthcoming new Universal Mega Movie Parade (making its debut on July 3) to be another top 10 attraction later this summer, so bear that in mind for future visits, too.


What are YOUR favourite attractions at Universal Studios? Tell us about them on the friendly Community Facebook page, on Twitter or Instagram.


Orlando , Expert View Column