Best Kids Rides at Universal Orlando – Planning Your Family Trip

Our Globetrotters - Best Kids Rides at Universal

Universal Orlando has a big reputation for being an adult theme park because there are more thrilling rides and attractions, and this leads people to believe that the park is not kid-friendly.

We’re here to debunk that myth today!

Contrary to many beliefs, Universal Orlando is a great family-friendly amusement park with rides and attractions to cater to all ages – it is our kids’ favourite theme park from around the world!

What is Universal Studios Orlando Resort?

The Universal Studios property is made up of three parks, Universal’s CityWalk, and eight hotel resorts. The resort is broken down as follows: 

  • Universal Studios Florida Park – The Universal Studios Florida side of the park offers a variety of rides and attractions based on some of Universal’s biggest hit TV Shows and movies, including The Fast & Furious, Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, Men in Black, The Simpsons, and more!
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure Islands of Adventure also features rides and attractions based on Universal’s hit movies but focuses more on the action and adventure genre of movies, including Jurassic Park as well as Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Doctor Doom!
  • Universal’s Volcano BayVolcano Bay is Universal’s water park featuring rides and attractions, including water slides, water coasters, a splash pad, a lazy river, and more!
  • Universal CityWalk – CityWalk is the boardwalk leading up to Universal Studios and is an entertainment complex featuring a number of fun activities, shops, and dining experiences for guests to enjoy. 

All Ages Fun

Unfortunately, at Universal Studios, there is only one ride with no height requirement, and that is the Hogwarts Express. This train will take you through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and transport you to and from Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure (You can only ride the train if you have a one-day, 2-park pass for those in your group over 3 years old).

There are, however, a number of great experiences and shows with no requirements, plus several rides and attractions with minimal height requirements, making these great options for the whole family!

Those shows and rides include: 

Universal Studios Florida

Shows Appropriate for Kids

  • The Bourne Stuntacular – An exhilarating stunt show featuring live actors as well as special effects! The show is based on the hit movie series featuring Jason Bourne. 
  • ¡Vamos! Bailalo – Enjoy some fun and culture in this Hispanic dance show featuring a variety of styles of dancing and music.
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard – A puppet show put on by the Wizarding Academy of Performing Arts featuring Beedle the Bard, an author of wizarding fairy tales from the 15th century.
  • Animal Actors on Location! – A fun live show featuring some of the most talented and well-known animal actors from movies and television!
  • Mardi Gras Parade (seasonal)
Mardi gras beads at Universal studios
Mardi Gras season is a wonderful time to visit Universal Studios with kids with lots of shows and beads galore to collect!

Note for most rides, even if the child meets the minimum height requirement, they will need an adult supervisor if they’re under 48″

No Minimum Height Requirement (but able to sit/walk independently)

  • Kang & Kodos ‘Twirl n’ Hurl’
  • Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast

Rides with 34” Height Requirement (86 cm)

  • E.T. Adventure

Rides with 40” Height Requirement (102 cm)

  • Transformers: The Ride 3D
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged
  • Race Through New York, Starring Jimmy Fallon

Rides with 42” Height Requirement (107 cm)

  • Men in Black Alien Attack
  • Hary Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Rides with 48” Height Requirement (122 cm)

  • Revenge of the Mummy

Rides with 51” Height Requirement (130 cm)

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
OG Best Kids Rides at Universal - Universal Studios Florida
A groundbreaking moment for our kids once they hit 51″ to take the Rip Ride Rockit – though only one was brave enough to ride with Dad!

We are awaiting the replacement of the Woody Woodpecker KidZone, as this took out a few rides and attractions that were more suitable to the toddler and preschool age group at Universal Studios.

DreamWorks Animation Land will soon take its place with a range of rides available to different age groups.

Islands of Adventure

Shows for Kids

  • Frog Choir – Enjoy acapella-style music performed by the Hogwarts choir students featuring bass from giant frogs for a unique take on classic wizarding songs!
  • Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear! – During this show, enjoy Dr Seuss’s classics told by some of your favourite characters from Seuss Landing! Your kids are sure to love this one.
  • Triwizard Spirit Rally – In this fun and interactive show, join the students of Hogwarts as they rally and cheer for the start of the Triwizard Tournament!
OG Best Kids Rides at Universal - Islands of Adventure

Rides with no Height Requirement

  • Storm Force Accelatron (under 48″ needs supervision)

Rides with 34” Height Requirement

  • Caro-Seuss-el 
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Rides with 36” Height Requirement (86 cm)

  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Pteranodan Flyers
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
velociraptor ride at universal two young kids boarding
At 9 and 7, our oldest kids were tall enough to ride the Pteranodan Flyers on their own

Rides with 40” Height Requirement (102 cm)

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Rides with 42” Height Requirement (107 cm)

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

Rides with 44” Height Requirement (112 cm)

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
Dudley Do-Rights Tripsaw Falls
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – great water ride at Universal for kids that don’t mind some thrills

Rides with 48” Height Requirement (122 cm)

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Rides with 51” Height Requirement (130 cm)

  • Jurassic World Velocicoaster

Rides with 52” Height Requirement (133 cm)

  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

Rides with 54” Height Requirement (138 cm)

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Best Kids Ride at Universal Orlando

While your little ones may not be able to ride every ride at each of the Universal Orlando parks, there are plenty of fun rides to enjoy at Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. Here are the best ride choices for kids: 

Universal Studios Florida

Young Kids (Ages 4-10)

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – During this ride, you will take a journey through Gru’s supervillain laboratory with Gru himself and all of the minions! This 3-D adventure is fun and great for your younger kiddos. 
  • Hogwarts Express – The Hogwarts Express will take you from King’s Cross Station at Universal Studios Florida to Hogsmeade Station at Universal’s Island of Adventure. As you travel, your littles can look out the window to see amazing views and scenery going on around them. 
OG Best Kids Rides at Universal - Universal Young Kids
  • E.T. Adventure – The E.T. Adventure is a fun ride for the family! This is the perfect ride for kids who are looking for a fun adventure without worrying about scary jumps or twists along the way. You will hop on a bike and take a journey with E.T. to help him reach his home planet. 
  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl – Take a spin through space as you climb into your very own flying saucer and spin through the stratosphere. As you fly through space, you will get the chance to zap the citizens of Springfield with your spaceship lasers!

Tweens/Young Teens (Ages 11-13)

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – Join Harry, Ron and Hermione as they embark on a journey to escape Gringotts and make a safe journey back to Diagon Alley. This ride is multi-dimensional and a fun ride to enjoy with your tweens and teens!
  • Fast and Furious – Supercharged – If your kids love an action-packed experience, you can ride along with Dom, Letty, Hobbs, and Roman as they complete their assigned mission!
  • Men in Black Alien Attack – You’re officially an agent trainee, and it’s up to you to save New York! You will get the chance to use your laser gun to zap and defeat Aliens as you travel through New York! Complete the missions successfully to go from trainee to an official Men In Black Agent. 
  • The Simpsons Ride – Not a fan of real roller coasters? The Simpsons Ride is an indoor roller coaster simulation! Join the whole Simpsons family as you travel through Krustyland for a crazy adventure through Springfield!
OG Best Kids Rides at Universal -  Universal Young Teens

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Toddler and Young Kids (Ages 3-10)

  • Caro-Seuss-el – The Caro-Seuss-el ride is a carousel-style ride featuring all of your favourite characters from Seuss’ Landing. Your little ones will love this carnival classic!
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish – This ride is based on a classic Dr. Seuss book and is such a fun experience for little ones.  As you climb aboard a fish, you will fly around at varying heights and during your ride, you can control fun details such as making your fish’s eyes blink, ears wiggle, and heads turn!
  • The Cat in the Hat – This ride transports you straight into the Cat in the Hat story! Your job is to race behind the Cat in the Hat cleaning up the mess he creates before Mother gets home!
caro-suess-el at universal islands of adventure ride for young kids at universal florida
We have spent A LOT of time on Caro-Suess-al in Suess landing!

Tweens (Ages 11-13)

  • Flight of the Hippogriff – Take a lesson from Hagrid as he teaches you how to ride a Hippogriff and take a ride around the pumpkin patch as you make your way past Hargid’s Hut! 
  • The Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man – What tween doesn’t love Spider-Man? This fun and adventurous 3-D experience is a can’t miss at Islands of Adventure. You will race through the streets of New York as you help Spider-Man battle the bad guys!
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Join Harry Potter and his wizarding friends as you soar through the grounds of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on a magical, one-of-a-kind experience!
OG Best Kids Rides at Universal - Islands of Adventure Young Teens

Best Overall Age for Universal Orlando

While there are rides and experiences to enjoy for kids of all ages, Universal recommends the best experience being for kids at least eight years and older.

We agree that eight years old is a great age for guests to begin enjoying what Universal Orlando has to offer. Kids who are much younger than this may have a more difficult time enjoying a lot of the rides at the parks, and they may even be scared by many of the attractions. 

That said, we believe that kids of all ages can enjoy Universal Orlando, and there are many rides and attractions to enjoy at younger ages. Ultimately, you must decide what works best for your family, as each family’s experiences and interests will vary. 

family in Universal Florida with the Simpsons
We have enjoyed several trips to Florida with younger children and on multi-generation trips where the character meets and shows were a greater emphasis than the rides

We hope this guide has helped you decide if a trip to Universal Studios Orlando is the right choice for your family! The parks have so much to offer and fun experiences for people of all ages. No matter what your family decides, you’re sure to have a great time in Orlando! 

More Help Planning Your Trip to Universal

We have travelled from the UAE to Florida many times with our children at different ages and stages. Here’s a collection of our top Orlando travel tips that you may find helpful:

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