Had To Be There Blog

Vacations By Kelly

7 Universal Orlando Resort Attractions Worth Waiting In Line For

Universal Orlando has added some incredible new attractions and a whole new park in recent years. A must-see for any true movie buff! Give yourself plenty of time to see and do everything you want – Universal is no longer a quick day trip during your Disney vacation! I recommend 2-3 days minimum to my clients. But if you’re cramped for time and need to prioritize, here are the SEVEN rides and attractions I will always wait in line for. What are yours? Tell me in the comments below!


7) E.T. Adventure

If only for the nostalgia factor alone, you can’t skip the E.T. ride! The ride queue has a distinct scent throughout that will transport you right back to your childhood. Climb aboard your flying bike and help get E.T. back to his home planet. If you’re in the front row, you may even notice E.T. himself peeking his head up from the bike basket. Listen closely at the end for E.T. to thank you personally for your help!


6) Hogwarts Express

With a Park-to-Park admission ticket, you can board and ride the Hogwarts Express from either King's Cross Station in London at Universal Studios Florida and travel to Hogsmeade Station in Universal's Islands of Adventure, or ride the other way around for a different experience. Once onboard, you'll encounter characters and creatures featured in the films. This is an absolute MUST for any Harry Potter fan – from walking through Platform 9¾ to watching the British countryside pass by your window, it is not to be missed!


5) Revenge of the Mummy

You may think that since this ride is completely indoors, it’s on the more mild side. I am here to tell you that is 100% untrue! Revenge of the Mummy is a thrilling coaster from start to finish! You’ll be flung forward, backward, and the floor may even open up and drop you straight down.


4) Jurassic Park River Adventure

This has long been my favorite ride at Universal. Warning: you WILL get wet. Take advantage of the available lockers to keep your valuables safe and dry. Float along a tour of the park, getting up close and personal with some of the wildlife, when all of a sudden – did you feel that bump? Why are we heading into the restricted section? Is that T-Rex after us? Oh, did I mention the teeny 85 foot drop at the end? Don’t forget to smile for the camera!


3) Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

This rollercoaster just squeezed “The Incredible Hulk Coaster” off my list. Both are fast and exciting and slightly terrifying, but I love that you get to pick the song to blast in your ears during your ride! Make it a good one – choose from a huge selection of songs by everyone from Metallica to Madonna!


2) Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

I have a confession to make. I was late to the Harry Potter party. I didn’t start reading the books and watching the movies until probably 15 years after their original release. So while I’ve always been a fan of the Forbidden Journey, I have a whole new respect for it now that I have some context. What an absolute honor to enter through the doors of Hogwarts and see all the incredible attention to detail that brings the written word to life. Plus, flying around on brooms with Harry himself – does it get any better than that? Expecto patronum!


1) The Simpsons Ride

Another confession. I can count on one hand the number of Simpsons episodes I’ve seen in my life. It was just never really my cup of tea. THAT SAID – I have stood in line for upwards of 2 hours to get on the Simpsons Ride at Universal. Formerly the Back To The Future Ride (rest in peace), the Simpsons is a completely motion simulated rollercoaster. So while it may feel like you’re careening all over the place, remember: it’s just a little movie magic!


Tell me what I missed. Leave your favorite attraction in the comments and tell us why it’s worth the wait!


Kelly is an independent travel consultant and proud affiliate of Academy Travel and MickeyVacations.com, an award-winning agency with over 25 years of booking magical vacations! Academy Travel is a Platinum level agency with Universal Orlando and a Diamond level Disney EarMarked Agency, the highest travel industry designation bestowed by Disney Destinations. They are also a Travel Leaders Network-designated President’s Circle agency, which the highest possible recognition from the largest association of Travel Suppliers and Travel Agencies in the world.