Universal Studios Orlando has added many rides and attractions in recent years and is planning on opening an entirely new park in just a couple of years. For now, the Universal Orlando Resort consists of two parks: Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. Each park has its own uniquely themed areas and rides, including many incredible roller coasters. To help thrill seekers stay on track and prioritize the best of the best, here are all of ranked. It should be noted that ALL of Universal’s coasters are well worth riding, and exciting in their own way.
Flight of the Hippogriff
Starting at the bottom of the list is Universal’s only current kiddie-type coaster. The ride is a fun jaunt around the Hogsmeade area near Hogwarts castle, but the fact that it’s made for kids means it isn’t quite up to the same standard that the other Universal coasters are. Despite it being at the bottom of this list, it’s worth a ride for most kids who are just below the height requirement for the bigger rides. It can also be used as a test to ensure kids are up for the challenge of bigger and more thrilling coasters.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
Despite being an incredibly fun coaster (and well worth your time), the Incredible Hulk Coaster comes in towards the bottom of the list because it doesn’t feature anything all that special. The theme of the coaster is that you’re being transformed into a hulk, but aside from the track being green, it wouldn’t matter what the theme was. It’s an exciting, launched coaster with multiple loops that is sure to leave a smile on your face after riding. The first loop, which occurs immediately after your upwards launch, is sure to make you feel the butterflies in your stomach. It’s a great ride, but it just doesn’t have quite the uniqueness or “oomph” to top the other world-class coasters in the Universal parks.
Revenge of the Mummy
Universal Studios’ Revenge of the Mummy takes you on a dark and spooky ride through the Mummy films starring Brendan Fraser. The ride has awesome story elements as you begin the journey. You’ll travel through past sarcophagi which pop up to surprise you as the Mummy curses you. After that, you’ll encounter beetles surrounding and engulfing our vehicle. Once that happens, the real ride begins. After launching into the ride, you’ll swoop past dark mummy figures and zip up and down the track. The ride features multiple special effects that are rather startling, making the ride feel even more impressive and exciting. Overall, it’s an amazing ride, but it isn’t quite exciting enough to beat out some of the other amazing roller coaster choices. That isn’t all bad though, as its lower intensity allows more types of riders to enjoy.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
On this story coaster, you’ll travel through the Gringotts bank and join Harry Potter and his friends in an encounter with all sorts of villainous characters, including Lord Voldemort himself. The ride has many surprising elements and stops in front of screens as it travels throughout the caverns of the bank. Harry Potter fans will love seeing the familiar faces, but even those who don’t know anything about Harry Potter can still enjoy the whole thing.
The ride is impressive from the queue through the exit. You enter the ride straight through the Gringotts bank, complete with goblin tellers who stare at you as you pass. The building is incredibly impressive, so be sure to have your camera out as you pass by. Once you enter the bank, you’ll take an elevator down into the caverns and be briefed on why you’re there in a preshow. After boarding, it’s up to you to escape the bank after its defenses are set off against you. The entire ride is an impressive experience, and well worth your time riding. It’s also relatively tame in thrill level compared to some of the other coasters at the park, making it doable for practically anyone who measures up to the 42” minimum height requirement.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
When you first enter the Universal Studios Park, you will come face to face with this giant coaster. It towers over the park with its giant lift hill which takes riders straight up. Literally straight up, 90 degrees into the sky. This feature is a big part of what makes the ride truly interesting and exciting. Most roller coasters take forever to pull you up a large lift hill, drawing out the anticipation for the impending drop. However, Rip Ride Rockit gives you the anticipation before you even get on the ride. When you sit down, it pulls you up surprisingly fast, and doesn’t give any sort of chance to stop and catch your breath. In fact, even the load onto the ride is fast. You step onto a conveyor belt, pull over a large lap belt, and are given a quick tug by a Team Member as you pass to ensure you’re locked in. The restraint doesn’t feel all that restrictive, making the ride even more thrilling. Once you’re up that huge lift hill, you’ll speed down the first drop, though inversions and soaring through the New York area of the park. It is an excellent mix of speed, inversions, and drops to create an all-around excellent experience.
Another huge part of the ride is its theme. Since it’s all about rocking out, you get to pick a song to play as you sit down onto the ride vehicle. The ride features a handful of preset songs from different genres, but there is actually a secret list of songs you can choose from. These songs include a far greater variety, ranging from Breaking Benjamin to the Muppets’ Rainbow Connection to Night on Bald Mountain. IF you are choosing a special song, be sure to sit down fast and pay attention. You need to hold your finger down on the logo at the top of the screen for a few seconds for the special sequence to activate. From there, you can put in the special code for the song of your choice, and you’ll be locked in and rocking out the whole ride.
Jurassic Park: Velocicoaster
Universal’s newest coaster truly packs a punch. It is the single most start to finish thrilling coaster I have ever been on, mostly due to the fact that it has multiple launches that keep you at high speeds throughout the journey. Other theme parks have roller coasters with impressive drops to start the ride, insane launches, or huge loops, but none of them are long experiences that have you excited for the whole ride. The Velocicoaster does an excellent job of spreading out inversion elements, speed boosts, and turn to create an awesome experience for all riders.
The theme of the coaster matches the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure. Effectively, they have built a mini-Jurassic Park, and built a roller coaster through the Velociraptor paddock as a way to keep its park guests interested. As you travel through the queue, you’ll pass by animatronic Velociraptors. The idea of adding a ride in the enclosure is, of course, called out as a bad idea by Owen Grady, Chris Pratt’s raptor-training character in the new series of films. When you enter the queue, you’re waiting in line for a theme park ride – inside the Islands of Adventure theme park – it’s meta.
A final element that makes the ride exciting is the harness. It’s a smaller lap band, allowing your hands to move freely as you ride. This, combined with the intense series of inversions at high speeds, makes the ride incredibly exciting. It feels dangerous, even though it’s not. As a thrill seeker, it checks every box, and the ride earns the title of the most intense roller coaster in central Florida.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
At the very top of the list is Hagrid’s coaster. The ride is an impressive mix of story elements, thrill, and surprises which are masterfully combined. Though it isn’t as intense as the Velocicoaster, it feels more fun. It primarily features fast and smooth soaring around the Forbidden Forest atop an enchanted motorcycle. Riders have the option to sit on the bike itself or in the sidecar. Due to the coolness of being atop a motorcycle (complete with handlebars), you should do your best to get that seat!
As you zoom through the forest, you’ll come across multiple animatronics, including one of Hagrid, Fluffy, and a unicorn. The ride keeps you moving quickly, and as multiple speed boost launches throughout the ride. It also contains a couple of big surprises, and you quickly change from moving forward to backward, and also eventually come to a complete stop and drop where another surprise happens (you’ll have to ride it yourself to find out!). All in all, the mix of story and thrill make it an amazing experience which will please you every time you ride.