Visiting Universal Orlando Resort in Central Florida without stepping on a roller coaster may seem counterintuitive, but there are days when I feel like taking a break from the massive adrenaline rush. Instead, I focus on rides that still provide plenty of eye-widening fun without turning me upside down at high speeds. Here are the ten best rides at Universal Orlando for people who don't like coasters but still love thrill rides.
Thrill Rides at Universal Orlando That Aren't Roller Coasters
For this Universal Studio Orlando rides list, there are ten total Universal rides. I've split up five each for Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, so you'll have choices for either park the next time you visit. Additionally, there are several 3-D rides, so if that's an issue for you, please keep that in mind.
Islands of Adventure Thrill Rides
Islands of Adventure is Universal Orlando‘s second theme park. It is within walking distance of Universal Studios Florida. If you have a park-to-park ticket, you can ride the Hogwarts Express between the two parks to save your tired feet.
1. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
The premise: The Statue of Liberty was stolen by the bad guys, and it's up to our old pal, Spider-Man, to get it back to the island. There are plenty of Marvel characters during the adventure, so keep an eye out for them as you race to the tops of skyscrapers and fly above the streets on his webs. You'll be donning 3-D glasses for this one, too.
2. Doctor Doom's Fearfall
If you've always wondered what it would be like to be inside a space shuttle when it soars toward the stars, hop on this thrill ride: its acceleration is even faster. Mean Doctor Doom is test-driving his latest invention, a contraption that siphons the fear out of humans, so once you're strapped in, get ready for a massive rocket to the sky. As soon as you reach the top, a force that's stronger than gravity will hurl you back down.
3. Jurassic Park River Adventure Ride
All is well in the world of Jurassic Park, so you'll hop on board a raft-style boat to merrily float on a calm river. But it wouldn't be normal if you ended the ride happily. Instead, you're bang next to a T-rex with two choices: become the dinosaur's lunch or plunge an 85-foot drop in the dark. Of course, the only sane option is the massive drop with water hurling everywhere.
4. Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey
Another 3-D ride, the fun begins in the ride's queue as you stroll through the famous rooms of Hogwarts, including the Herbology plants and Snape's Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. With plenty of Harry Potter movie Easter eggs, you'll hop aboard enchanted seats, fly through the Quidditch pitch, and be thisclose to the Whomping Willow.
5. Skull Island: Reign of Kong
You'll have to put on another set of glasses, but they're well worth it. As you trek through the jungle on an open-air tram, creepy creatures, and evil predators attack the vehicle, so it's an all-or-nothing race for safety. The ride ends with the best animatronic at Universal Orlando Resort, Kong himself, and it's jaw-dropping.
Universal Studios Florida Thrill Rides
Universal Studios Florida is home to Diagon Alley, Krustyland, and the brand new Minion's Land that opened in August of 2023. Thrill rides in this park that are not coasters are worth a visit.
6. Transformers: The Ride 3D
Trust me. You don't have to be a fan of either the toys or the movie series to enjoy this thrill ride. The first stop is to hop on a N*E*S*T* vehicle, and then it's a speedy trip through the city streets as you do your best to keep the AllSpark away from Megatron. Don't worry; you'll be with your pals, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime.
7. Men in Black Alien Attack
In line with the movie trilogy, aliens have spawled themselves throughout New York City, and it's up to you and the Men in Black to rid the Big Apple of the foul creatures. No glasses are required, but you will need a strong stomach as you're blasting and twirling at high speed, all for the sake of scoring points.
8. Fast and Furious- Supercharged
Like most non-coaster thrill rides, it's hunky-dory until something trips the super-charged trigger. Check out movie props and high-octane vehicles as you walk through the entrance queue. As for the ride itself, it's a 3-D super chase through busy city streets.
9. Harry Potter and The Escape From Gringotts
This 3-D thrill ride begins with a leisurely walk through Gringotts Bank and ends with you and Harry saving the day. In between, it's a twisting, turning, racing, and rolling adventure that puts you face-to-face with a dragon, Voldemort, and a few Death Eaters. While not a roller coaster, the ride is on tracks similar to the ones in Gringott's vault.
10. The Simpsons Ride
Since you're already in the animated world, visiting Krustyland is a must. Again, this one's a 3-D ride filled with drops and bounces as you fly through the theme park with Bart and his family. Of all the 3-D rides in Univeral Studios Florida, this one's the most intense for flipping your stomach.
While you may go for the roller coasters, there are plenty more thrill rides at each Universal Orlando Resort park. Whether it's speeding through city streets or immersing yourself in a wizarding movie world, there's no lack of screams and giggles.
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Experience: Karyn Locke got her start writing Walt Disney World reviews over ten years ago for trekaroo. Bitten by the travel bug compliments of her military brat upbringing, she’s put her passion for road trips into popular content featuring theme parks, large cities and small towns, where the locals go, and of course, Disney theme parks.
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