From Revenge of the Mummy to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Universal Studios Orlando has some of the best theme park rides in the country. To round out our top 10 lists of the best rides in the parks throughout Universal Orlando Resort, we will now cover the top 10 rides in Universal Studios Florida, to make sure that when you visit the resort you know exactly what rides to try first across all the parks.

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Universal Studios Florida is one of Universal Orlando Resort’s three parks.

Best Rides at Universal Studios Florida -- theme park entrance archway

Two of these parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, are theme parks, while the third, Volcano Bay, is a water park. Universal Studios is renowned for its theme park rides, shows, and entertainment, so this list will only cover one aspect of what is so enjoyable about the park. Let’s get into it!

1. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Coming in at the number one spot we have Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. I promise that this ride is not just taking the top spot on the list because I’m a Harry Potter fan, but on top of its fantastic theme, the ride is a crazy journey and is one of the best rides in the whole resort.

Despite the massive popularity of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the Escape from Gringotts is considered to be the flagship ride of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The ride combines a immersive line experience, a mind-blowing roller coaster, and top-of-the-line visual effects to make you feel like you are really trying to escape Gringotts alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

The Ride

Like all the best rides in Universal Orlando, the beginning of the experience starts in the line. Fittingly, the ride takes place in Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley. Every time I walk into the bank I’m hit with Deja Vu from the movie. The layout of Gringotts is identical to what it looks like in the Harry Potter films.

Remember when Harry, Ron, and Hermione go to Gringotts with Griphook to break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault? This ride is essentially an exact replica of that scene. As you walk through Gringotts, a high ceiling towers above you with a chandelier, and the hall is lined with long desks on either side occupied by Goblins hard at work for the bank. They will peer at you suspiciously as you move toward the teller at the end of the long hall.

Once you begin the ride itself, you will get into a cart just like in the movies and prepare yourself to be launched into the vaults of Gringotts deep below. The Escape from Gringotts ride utilizes the dark throughout the roller coaster to increase the thrill factor and bring the 3D projections to life. As you twist, drop, and speed through the vaults you will run from dragons and maybe even Voldemort, all with Harry, Ron, and Hermione by your side.

Even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan this ride is a must-try. But, if you have seen the movies, Escape From Gringotts will bring you directly into the world we all know and love in a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience.

Category: Roller Coaster

Theme: Harry Potter, Gringotts Bank

Location: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley

Opening Date: July 8, 2014

Height Requirement: Must be at least 42” (107 cm). Children between 42” -48” (107 cm – 122 cm) must ride with a supervising companion.

Duration: 5:00

2. Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy comes in at number two in our list of the best rides at Universal Studios. This psychological thrill ride uses a combination of darkness, special effects, and animatronics to keep you on the edge of your seat and looking over your shoulder the whole time.

The ride is themed after The Mummy film series, and it works really hard to bring the horror of the mummy Imhotep to life. I’ve tried this ride several times before and I love it. Even though I technically know where all of the scares are, they still get me every single time.

The Ride

The ride uses some props from the real Mummy film to help bring the series to life in the ride. The ride starts in a dark tomb surrounded by fluorescent lights. Just as tension really starts to build a mummy will spring out and hiss at the riders, letting you see just a hint of what you have in store over the next few minutes.

Revenge of the Mummy uses linear induction motors (LIMs) in its roller coaster that give it the ability to launch your car from 0-45 mph in a matter of seconds.

Throughout the rest of the ride, you will be expecting to see mummies around every turn, as you are shot into the darkness, dropped, and launched in every direction.

While the movement of the roller coaster itself might not have the fear factor of Island of Adventure’s VelociCoaster, the psychological intensity of the ride arguably makes it even scarier.

Category: Steel Launched Roller Coaster / Enclosed Dark Ride

Theme: The Mummy

Location: New York City

Opening Date: May 21, 2004

Height Requirement: Must be at least 48” (122 cm)

Duration: 3:00

3. MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack is an interactive dark ride based on the 1997 Men in Black film. When the ride opened in 2000 it was the largest in the resort and spans 70,000 square feet.

The ride includes more than 125 animatronic aliens that you will fight throughout your journey in the darkness. As long as you meet the height requirement, this is a good ride for people of all ages, and the interactive aspect makes it unique compared to many of Universal’s other rides.

The Ride

Entering into the ride you will walk into the MIB training facility and wind your way through the themed line and pre-show.

Once it’s your turn, you will get into your seat and prepare to battle the aliens! The movement of the ride is primarily spinning, so if you have a weak stomach this might not be for you. As you spin and turn through the dark you will be tasked with shooting down aliens with a laser gun. You can accumulate points along the way and keep track of who is killing the most aliens!

Even though this is one of the older rides in the resort, it’s still one of the most fun, and is a nice break from the crazy thrill rides the resort has to offer!

Category: Shooting, Interactive Dark Ride

Theme: Men in Black

Location: Universal Studios, World Expo

Opening Date: April 14, 2000

Height Requirement: Must be at least 42” (107 cm)

Duration: 4 minutes

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You’ll be assigned a single, dedicated agent who will take the time to learn about your family, offering ride recommendations for your kids while also making sure the rest of the group gets all the thrills they’re looking for.

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4. E.T. Adventure

Truly one of the most nostalgic rides in the park, E.T. Adventure will bring you back to the 90s on a fun and enjoyable dark ride.

Built as a 1990 opening day attraction at Universal Studios (the only one still operating), this is the oldest large-scale ride in Universal Orlando.

While this is probably obvious, the ride is based on Steven Spielberg’s E.T.

This ride is certainly not where you should go if you are looking for crazy thrills or drops, but for those seeking a nostalgic, relaxing, enjoyable ride, then this is for you!

The Ride

Just like E.T. in the movie, you will be flying on a bicycle through the sky. Right at the start of the ride you are zooming past NASA and the police are hot on your tail, but just as they get close you will float up into the sky and begin to fly away.

You will fly over some beautiful views and even go through a portal. Then, you will arrive at the Green Planet, where Botanicus will ask you to rescue E.T.’s friends.

The ride truly tells a story and takes you on a journey. The start of the ride is dark and intense, and the end is joyous and bright. This ride is great for all ages and is a great way to relive your love for the movie!

Some thrill seekers might quibble with this ranking so highly on our list (even outranking the Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster). But E.T. Adventure is one of the rides which made Universal Orlando what is today, and this ranking reflects the respect we have for it as the true essence of Universal theme parks.

Category: Suspended Dark Ride

Theme: E.T.

Location: Universal Studios, Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone

Opening Date: June 7, 1990

Height Requirement: 34” (86 cm)

Duration: 4.5 min

5. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is the most thrilling ride at Universal Studios. Reaching 65 mph, the Rockit will have you holding on for dear life as you shoot around the park.

The ride has a max peak of 167 ft and a total length of 3,800 ft, which goes quickly with the speed you’re traveling!

This is definitely a ride for thrill seekers. The ride doesn’t have much to offer in terms of theme, so I think we can agree that the main idea is the thrill.

One special aspect of this ride is that the guests can choose a song to rock out to throughout the roller coaster. Universal Orlando trimmed its available song selection in 2023, but you still have five songs to choose from for this wild ride.

The Ride

The ride starts with a slow climb up to one of the ride’s many peaks and it briefly pauses at the top so you can take in the views of Orlando before you are launched nearly straight down to the ground.

The next few minutes you will have your hands in the air screaming as you speed through inversions, turns, loops, and more.

This is the best place if you are looking for a thrill in Universal Studios!

Category: Roller Coaster

Theme: Hollywood

Location: Universal Studios, Production Central/New York

Opening Date: August 19, 2009

Height Requirement: Must be at least 51” (130cm), and no more than 79” (201 cm)

Duration: 1:40

6. Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station

The Hogwarts Express is one of my family’s favorite rides in the resort. We are all Harry Potter fans, which definitely contributes to our love of the ride, but even if you aren’t a fan this is a must-try experience.

The Hogwarts Express travels both directions in between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure and in Universal Studios. The Islands of Adventure Wizarding World is themed to Hogsmeade and in Universal Studios it’s Diagon Alley.

The Express is an exact replica of the train that Harry, Ron, and Hermione take to Hogwarts, and the railcar that you will sit in will give you deja vu from the movie.

The ride uses impressive CGI, scenery, and sounds to make you feel like you are really traveling Hogwarts like a first year wizard.

The Ride

If it’s not already obvious, this isn’t a thrill ride. The slow-moving Hogwarts Express mimics the experience of a Hogwarts student traveling to school, with a few special twists.

You might hear some Hogwarts voices you recognize out in the hall or out your window, see some crazy views, and you might even see a Dementor!

This is a must try immersive experience for anyone, and especially those who are Harry Potter fans.

Category: Train

Theme: Harry Potter, The Hogwarts Express

Location: Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley

Opening Date: July 8, 2014

Height Requirement: N/A

Duration: 4 minutes

7. The Simpsons Ride

Located in Springfield, U.S.A.: Home of The Simpsons, The Simpsons Ride is great for adults and kids of all ages. The indoor simulated roller coaster will take you on a journey to Krustyland with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.

This is a visual roller coaster, meaning it’s a motion simulator. Much of the action is shown on a huge screen and you will wear glasses to enhance the experience. Your vehicle bounces and tilts to help “sell” what you’re seeing on-screen, but otherwise remains firmly bolted in place so you don’t actually go anywhere. Whether you are a fan of the Simpsons, or you’re craving a roller coaster without the physical stress, this is perfect for you!

The Ride

The pre-ride experience for the Simpsons includes some cool, custom animations as you make your way to your seat. And somewhat jaded Theme Park lovers will appreciate the self-deprecating humor throughout (“Foolish Earthlings, don’t you know all rides must end near the gift shop?”).

Experiencing the roller coaster on a huge 80-ft diameter domed surface is a crazy experience and still provides some thrill even though you aren’t actually on a roller coaster.

This ride is as simple as sitting back and enjoying the show!

Category: Motion Simulator Roller Coaster

Theme: The Simpsons

Location: Universal Studios, Springfield U.S.A.: Home of the Simpsons

Opening Date: May 15, 2008

Height Requirement: N/A, but Under 48” (122cm) requires a supervising companion

Duration: 5 minutes

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8. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Just as it sounds, on the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, you will race the Late Night Show host through the streets of New York in a simulated experience.

The ride takes place on a huge screen with 3D capabilities and immersive POV technology that makes you feel like you are zooming through the city’s streets next to Jimmy Fallon.

The Ride

The experience begins in the line, where racers will pass by Manhattan’s 30 Rock building, and make their way into a classic NBC studio.

One bonus about this ride is that in some cases you may not have to actually wait in line. The ride has been known to sometimes use a virtual reservation system through Universal’s app, allowing you to do something else and then return when it’s your turn to ride. This isn’t always offered, but it’s a nice bonus when it is.

At the start of the ride itself, you enter into an NBC theater. After buckling up and putting on your 3D glasses, the race begins!

The screen has 16k resolution, and Universal used all the technology at their disposal to make sure it felt as life-like as possible.

This is worth the experience for the technology alone! But the experience of racing along the streets of NYC (and a few other far-out locales) makes it a must try.

Category: Simulated Ride

Theme: Jimmy Fallon/ New York City

Location: Universal Studios, New York area of the park

Opening Date: April 6, 2017

Height Requirement: N/A, but Under 48” (122cm) requires a supervising companion

Duration: 4 minutes

9. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Coming in at number 9, we have Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Get excited to go on a ride through Gru’s laboratory on a journey that is great for families and kids.

This is another simulated ride, so make sure that if you get nauseous you think twice about trying it! My wife sometimes gets motion sickness and she had no problems on this one, but if you are extra sensitive it might be best to avoid it!

The screen displays the show at a high 60 frames per second and uses a 4k screen, bringing you right into the action of the ride.

The Ride

Once you get into your seat you will be taken on a roller coaster-like journey alongside Gru and many minions around his lab! Without giving too much away, you will fly around, go on a slide, and might even fall into a cactus!

The ride has some great humor and is more of a good laugh than a thrilling roller coaster experience.

My kids love this one, and they are just as happy to see the Minions in the line as they are to actually experience the ride itself.

Category: Simulated Ride

Theme: Despicable Me

Location: Universal Studios, Production Central

Opening Date: July 9, 2012

Height Requirement: Minimum height required 40” (102cm)

Duration: 8 Minutes

10. Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

Rounding out our top ten, Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl is a great ride for kids in Universal Studios. Located in Springfield, U.S.A.: Home of The Simpsons, the ride features drooling aliens, flying saucers, lasers, and some of your favorite Simpsons characters!

The Ride

The ride reminds me of a more extreme version of a merry-go-round (if you’re familiar with rides at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, it’s a similar ride system to Dumbo the Flying Elephant). Only reaching a top speed of 13 mph, or 1/51,595,995 the speed of light as Universal puts it, it’s perfect for young kids. You will embark on the ride in a flying saucer that is under your control!

The flying saucers reach a max height of about 10 ft as you soar around the alien at its center. Throughout the ride, you will be able to maneuver your flying saucer up and down to activate targets featuring some of Springfield’s citizens, trying to zap them as you go!

Category: Kid Friendly Spinning Ride

Theme: The Simpsons/ Aliens

Location: Springfield, U.S.A.: Home of The Simpsons

Opening Date: August 11, 2013

Height Requirement: N/A

Duration: 2 minutes

Final Thoughts on the Best Rides at Universal Studios

While Islands of Adventure is filled with more thrill rides, Universal Studios has a variety of thrill rides, family rides, and simulated experiences that make it great for groups of all ages. Make sure to check the height requirements and other important notices before you ride, and enjoy the thrills!

We hope this list has helped you plan your day at Universal Studios. Of course, this list doesn’t cover every single ride in the park. When you’re making a top ten list you have to leave out some great rides to make a list that represents all of the types of attractions the park has to offer. To see what we left off, check out our complete list of every ride at Universal Orlando Resort.

For more guidance on the best rides around Universal Orlando, check out our lists for every Universal Orlando park:

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