Ranking 25 Best Rides at Universal Orlando in 2021

PHOTO: Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Lauren Bowman)
Lauren Bowman
by Lauren Bowman
Last updated: 8:00 PM ET, Sat July 24, 2021

Three Parks for Three Times the Fun

Universal Orlando is constantly raising the bar for thrill-seekers. With new rides and even a whole new theme park in the works, guests have a plethora of options. From interactive queue lines to just jaw-dropping speeds, the rides at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay are really worth the wait. Which is your favorite?

25. E.T. Adventure, Universal Studios

This ride is all about nostalgia. Normally with low wait times - and offering a cool reprieve inside an air-conditioned building - E.T. Adventure brings back memories of your very first trip to the park. Journey aboard a magical bicycle with E.T. as he travels back home.

24. Fast & Furious-Supercharged, Universal Studios

Car enthusiasts and 'Fast & Furious' fans alike will fawn over Fast & Furious - Supercharged. Walking through the garage guests can stop for photo ops next to some of their favorite cars before short video clips set up the premise of the ride. Riders are then taken on a high-speed chase with some of the franchise's favorite characters.

23. Skull Island Reign of Kong, Islands of Adventure

Get ready for a bumpy ride! The queue line is modeled as if you're first walking onto Skull Island near where the local tribe resides. Guests then board research ride vehicles that will lead you deeper into the island where you'll come face-to-face with dinosaurs and Kong himself.

22. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, Universal Studios

This 3D motion simulated ride has guests seated in an audience-style theatre before taking off to follow Jimmy Fallon on his journey through New York City. See iconic cast members either in the queue and pre-show experience - like The Roots, Questlove and Steve Higgins.

21. Men in Black Alien Attack, Universal Studios

Competitive families be warned - this is just a game. Enter the Men in Black training facility to be briefed on your mission - shooting as many aliens as possible. And don't be fooled, the familiar-looking people in the opposing car are actually aliens!

20. Tonga & Raki of Taniwha Tubes, Volcano Bay

Volcano Bay can't be missed on a trip to Universal Orlando. Opened in 2017, the water theme park is full of fun water rides like the Tonga & Raki tube rides. Race down this twisty ride by yourself or on a double raft.

19. Hogwarts Express, Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure

The Hogwarts Express allows guests to stay within the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter by transporting guests from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Hop aboard the train in Universal Studios at Kings Cross Station after preparing for your next year at Hogwarts in Diagon Alley. Travel with other Hogwarts students to the Hogsmeade station at Islands of Adventure where you'll get to explore the town of Hogsmeade before seeing the castle. Just be sure to ride the train both ways as there is a different experience each way.

18. ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana, Volcano Bay

The much tamer side of Honu ika Moana, guests board a five-person raft to jet down the twists and turns of this partially enclosed water slide.

17. Honu of the Honu ika Moana, Volcano Bay

This multi-person raft ride will really give you an adrenaline rush. After boarding your raft, pick up speed before heading up a giant blue wall and freefalling back down amidst sprayers of mist.

16. Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides, Volcano Bay

These body water slides send you through an enclosed tube full of twists and turns before passengers are just dropped into a waiting pool. Ohyah drops you from a height of 4 feet, while Ohno has a drop-off of 6 feet.

15. Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, Islands of Adventure

This classic log ride is the perfect way to cool off after walking around the theme park. Enjoy a fun rollercoaster filled with the punny story of Dudley Do-Right coming to the aid of Snidely Whiplash before heading down a 75-foot plunge into water.

14. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Universal Studios

A classic steel rollercoaster, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit reaches a top speed of 65 mph and sends passengers down a 167-foot drop. This coaster becomes even better at night or during special events like Halloween Horror Nights due to special LED lighting.

13. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, Islands of Adventure

A large raft ride, this is a surefire way to cool off during the summer. This is a classic water raft ride filled with lots of spinning, drenching and a funny storyline about Popeye saving Olive Oyl from Bluto. It's also one of the longest rides at Universal Orlando, clocking in around seven minutes.

12. Flight of the Hippogriff, Islands of Adventure

Although a smaller rollercoaster, this is a great introduction for theme park newbies. Plus you'll get great views of Hogwarts castle.

11. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Islands of Adventure

Located on Superhero Island at Islands of Adventure, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is a 3D motion simulation ride that has you twisting and turning the streets of New York City as you follow Spider-Man on his quest to get the Statue of Liberty back. What makes this different from "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" is riders are in a 12-person ride vehicle that transports you through the ride and even has a surprising freefall.

10. Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides, Volcano Bay

Located within the volcano, Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides will have your blood pumping before even starting the ride. Riders are loaded into a capsule - where they don't know when they'll be launched onto the ride thanks to some mischievous lifeguards - and then slide through twists and turns on an enclosed water slide. This is also a great precursor before braving the full-body plunge.

9. Jurassic Park River Adventure, Islands of Adventure

This ride comes with all the warning you'll need in the form of "People Dryers" stationed near the exit - yes, you will get wet and those in the front will get soaked. This immersive story ride is just plain fun and comes with an 85-foot drop at the end.

8. Ko'okiri Body Plunge, Volcano Bay

Only the brave need to make the trek up the volcano to the Ko'okiri Body Plunge. This drop water slide - with the slide descending at a 70-degree angle - will have riders getting some airtime as they sped their way down 125 feet.

7. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Universal Studios

Universal Studios outdid themselves on the immersive queue experience for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Walk through the iconic Gringotts Bank where you'll see a goblin busy at its desk before viewing a preshow with Bill Weasley. Although not in line with what happened in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", it presents a rough outline for a better ride experience for those who aren't part of the Harry Potter fandom. The ride itself is part 3D, part steel coaster and all thrills as you are twisted and turned through the dark caverns far below Gringotts.

6. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Islands of Adventure

Another fully immersive queue followed by part 3D motion simulation, part coaster, riders will join Harry Potter and friends as they escape from a dragon.

5. Revenge of the Mummy-The Ride, Universal Studios

This ride really needs more credit. Riders head straight to the heart of the Museum of Antiquities where they come face to face with Imhotep - "The Mummy". Be ready for a surprise ending as you're once again launched into the second portion of the ride.

4. Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Volcano Bay

Much tamer than the Ko'okiri Body Plunge, the whole family will love the Krakatau Aqua Coaster. Hop aboard a raft before being propelled up into the volcano and enjoy some fun twists and turns as you're splashed with water.

3. The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Islands of Adventure

All thrills, this classic steel coaster is surprisingly smooth. There's not much of a storyline or queue experience, but the ride more than makes up for it. Just be sure to put all valuables in one of the available lockers before joining the queue - you'll even be required to walk through a metal detector to make sure nothing is left in your pockets.

2. Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Islands of Adventure

Opened this past June, Jurassic World VelociCoaster lives up to the hype. Passengers will have their hearts pounding as you outrace velociraptors on almost 4,700 feet of steel track. Be ready to get some airtime as you weave your way through loops and turns. Maybe just don't eat right beforehand though.

1. Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Islands of Adventure

Still my personal favorite ride, Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the perfect blend of an immersive storyline and thrill-seeking adventure. Riders will get a little bit of a different perspective depending on whether they choose the motorbike or the sidecar, but either way, you'll need to be hanging on to your lap bar as you speed through the Forbidden Forest and make a 17-foot freefall…on a steel coaster.

The theme park has added even more thrills, but which ones are worth the wait?

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CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me