Attraction recommendations for older kids and adults at Universal Orlando Theme Park

Recently Castle Dreams Travel Planner, Marie, wrote about celebrating her daughter’s Sweet 16 Birthday at Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are great theme parks for both older kids and adults who enjoy thrill rides and the Harry Potter stories. Her daughter has been riding roller coasters since she was little, and like most kids loves Harry Potter, so was ready to return for some action and to experience the many new attractions since their last visit.

Marie was gracious enough to give us a few recomendatios for your next trip to the theme park –

Universal Studios, the original theme park, offers traditional roller coasters, 3D thrill rides, and virtual coasters. I avoid the high flying traditional coasters myself, but my teen and her dad can handle nearly all of them!

Here are the rides our family recommends for older kids and adults:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from GringottsTake a journey through cavernous passageways that lead deep underground as you climb aboard a multi-dimensional thrill ride. This is indoor steel roller coaster uses special effects and 3D projection of animation and live-action sequences. One of my favorite rides!
  • Hollywood Rip Ride RockitIf you’re looking for a rip-roaring traditional roller coaster rush, this is it. As you strap in, you’ll pick the song you want to hear above your own ear-shattering shrieks. I sit out this one, and let my family pick hip hop and classic rock to enhance their screams!
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien AttackNew York has been hit by an epidemic of aliens and it’s up to you to blast them into oblivion. Similar to Disney’s Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger, but those little suckers can fire back at you. Lots of fun and you can compete with your family!
  • Revenge of the Mummy –  This scary indoor ride had me holding on tight as we thrashed forwards and back on the track, fleeing from the evil Mummy  Another favorite!
  • TRANSFORMERS The Ride 3DBoard your N*E*S*T* vehicle and join Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in an immersive thrill ride similar to the traveling simulator system used by Spider Man. Fans of the Transformers may enjoy this ride more than we did.
  • Despicable Me Minion MayhemJoin Gru, his daughters and the mischievous Minions on a heartwarming and thrilling 3-D ride. The ride involves high-tech motion simulators moving in sync with a HD 3D cartoon projected on  screen. Youngsters will enjoy this ride too.
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy FallonJoin Jimmy Fallon and your favorite characters from The Tonight Show in another 3D motion simulator race through, below and above New York City.  We actually enjoyed the ride queue more than the ride itself, and was able to experience the history and fun of The Tonight Show in Studio 6B. 
  • The Simpsons Ride – Yet another motion simulator ride (do you sense a trend here?), you’ll smash and blast through Krustyland with the Simpsons on this non-stop adventure. But in an enclosed vehicle that may not be comfortable for guests with claustrophobia!
  • Hogwarts ExpressWith a Park-to-Park admission ticket, you can board and ride the Hogwarts Express between King’s Cross Station in London at Universal Studios and Hogsmeade Station in Islands of Adventure, or ride the other way around for a different experience. Onboard, you’ll see characters and creatures featured in the films. Standing in the train stations and riding on the train are like stepping onto the set of a Harry Potter film!

Stay tuned for our family recommendations for thrill seekers at Universal’s Islands of Adventure!

Please contact Marie directly for more informaton at

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