On a recent visit to Orlando, Netflix DVD.com arranged for their directors (blogger ambassadors) to have a VIP tour of Universal Studios Florida.
This past June, I had what is only my second visit to Universal Studios Florida. My first was during my honeymoon back in 2002. I am sure I did some rides, but I mostly remember walking around holding hands and taking lots of pictures as newlyweds. 😉
This second visit to Universal Studios Florida was special as well but for different reasons. During this visit, Netflix DVD and Universal Studios not only hosted us for a visit, but they also treated us to a VIP tour. What a treat it was!
Though we weren’t able to stay all day, due to other commitments, we certainly made the most of the time we had. As VIP guests we got, better than fast pass access, to the front of the line on what I am sure are some of the best rides Universal Studios Florida has to offer. Here are some details about the rides I did, why I thought they were epic, and why I think you will too.
6 Epic Rides at Universal Studios Florida
I should add that I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to certain roller coasters. I don’t like to go upside-down or any ride that drops too high or spins too fast. I loved that most of the Universal Studios Florida rides I went on provide high thrill through stimulation versus me having to turn upside down or move to drastically in my seat.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon™
I can remember watching the Tonight Show when Jimmy Fallon was promoting this new ride. It was as exciting as he made it out to be. During the ride, you are racing against Jimmy to get through New York City both traveling along the streets and above them. Along the way, you’ll participate in many ‘classic’ moments from the show like visiting hashtag, sending a “Thank You Note” and dancing along with a hip-hop barbershop performance by the Ragtime Gals. This is a motion simulation ride.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem™
This was a cute, yet action-packed simulation ride at Universal Studios Florida. While you are seated, you certainly feel like you are on an action packed adventure assisting Gru’s daughters to help their dad out for the day by transforming guests into Minions. While the kids’ intentions were good, things don’t go as planned. All kinds of mayhem break out that will have you laughing, awing, and holding onto your seat as you travel through Gru’s super villain laboratory. This is a motion simulation ride with 3D/4D experiences.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong ™
This is a beast of an adventure. As you travel through Skull Island on a safari don’t be surprised if you forget that what you are seeing is not ‘real’. There are all kinds of prehistoric predators and gigantic creatures that wouldn’t mind having you for their next meal. And they will try. You’ll jump, squeal, and be squirted as you wiggle and worm to avoid their grasp. This is not for the faint of heart that is scared of King Kong, but if you want an epic adventure that doesn’t require a love of roller coasters this is it. This ride does include 3D/4D experiences.
Universal Studios Florida Harry Potter Rides
You can’t visit Universal Studios Florida without visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and taking a turn on its magical rides.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ™
This Harry Potter ride is like a traditional roller coaster ride. I was almost too scared to go on it. My friends tried hard to convince me to change my mind. Between their peer pressure and knowing I wouldn’t have this chance again for a while, I gave the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride a try. I am so glad I did. This is another unique 3-D thrill ride that adds in simulation and moving action. There are some twists and turns and big drops but no scary loops. In Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts guests become part of the action from when Harry, Ron and Hermione break into Gringotts bank. From there it’s an adventurous epic ride as you work with Harry Potter and his friends to escape.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ™
On this Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios Florida, you’ll sit in a seat like above but the simulation is one that will have you feelfeelinge you’re riding a broomstick. You will enter through the towering castle gates and make your way down the corridors of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After visiting familiar spots, you’ll head outside where you’ll ‘soar’ above the castle grounds with Harry and his friends. You may even come face to face with one of the movie’s magical creatures. This amazing attraction uses technology (and a little magic) to create an incredible experience.
Hogwarts™ Express: King’s Cross Station
While in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter of Universal Studios Florida you can take the Hogwarts™ Express travel between London‟ and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This is unlike any train ride you’ve been on. While riding this Harry Potter train, take in the magical view from the windows. Instead of looking out to the ‘regular’ outside, you’ll see images projected onto the windows that will have you feeling like you are really on a journey through the British countryside, with chance encounters from magical creatures and other favorite characters in the Harry Potter series.
There is actually a special spot at King’s Cross Station where guests can ‘walk’ through a wall.
Take a look at more of my Universal Studios Florida pictures in this Facebook album. Here’s a preview.
It was an epic time! My husband and kids are bummed that they weren’t able to join me, but you can bet they are talking about when they can. It looks like we have a family vacation to Universal Studios Florida in our future.
Have you been to Universal Studios Florida? What’s on your list of epic rides?