Universal Orlando is one of the coolest theme parks to explore in Orlando, Florida. There are two separate parts: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. With a place as large as Universal it can be hard to figure out which activities should take priority for teens. This article written by a teen will help kids and parents know what rides should be their top priorities on a trip to Universal Orlando with teens.
Tips for Universal Orlando with Teens
1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Hulk is “the ride” for anyone who likes roller-coasters while at Universal. (I recommend my other favorite below). Riders are “part of an experiment to turn people into Hulks”, and after being turned into a “Hulk”, riders embark on a quick journey that includes dips, rises, and loops.
2. Drink all the Butterbeer
A must for any trip to Universal is to try some of the Butterbeer from Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Diagon Alley. It doesn’t matter if you have a sweet tooth or not, anyone who has butterbeer will be wanting to go back for more. And more. And more. (There’s four types to try, so why not try them all?)
3. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
I really enjoy Ripsaw Falls because I like water rides. However, as much fun as it is, you will get soaked on this ride. As long as you’re okay with this fact, you’ll have a great time.
4. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
If you’re a thrill seeker, you won’t want to miss this super fast roller coaster that reaches speeds of 65 mph. As you wait in line, you have a chance to listen to different songs. Pay attention because when you’re strapped in, you choose one of these songs to play in your seat while you ride along. This is an intense, adrenaline rush inducing kind of ride you won’t want to miss. (See lead photo above).
5. Jurassic Park River Adventure
This rafting ride is perfect on hot Florida days. It’s cool to feel like you’re riding through Jurassic Park right before you experience the long drop and huge splash at the end. Super fun and we ride it every time we’re at Universal Orlando.
6. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Another good thing to do when it’s hot outside is head to one of the many indoor 4D rides at the park. While you’re waiting, you can watch clips from Jimmy Fallon shows which are pretty funny. In the actual ride you race Jimmy Fallon through the streets of New York (and beyond). It’s good for a laugh.
7. Spend time at CityWalk
CityWalk is just outside of the two Universal Parks and boasts many high quality restaurants, shopping, and a movie theatre. Some of my favorite spots to eat include: Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, and Antojitos. I can’t wait to try VooDoo Doughnut on our next visit. This is also a great space for teens to hang out with friends.
8. Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley
Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, you can appreciate the work that went into building the HP attractions, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogwarts Express, and Diagon Alley. Everything looks straight out of the movies and there are many special touches including magic wands and a replica of Hogwarts. At night there’s a new Nightime Lights at Hogwarts with music, lights, and sound effects. It looks really cool.
9. Revenge of the Mummy
I love this ride because it’s dark and spooky and it’s an indoor roller coaster. The entire thing is right of “The Mummy” movies with a mummy chasing you, special effects, and lots of action! Prepare to be scared!
10. The Mystic Fountain
A guy, probably a comedian, controls this fountain in Sinbad’s Bazaar. Half the time, people don’t realize the fountain will talk to them, but it definitely grabs their attention when he does. Not only can the fountain talk, he sprays water at unsuspecting guests. Sometimes they know it’s coming, but it’s really funny when they don’t.
11. Explore Simpsons Land
I’m not a fan of the Simpson 4D ride, but I laugh every time I walk through the area. This area has all the recognizable characters and buildings from the tv show. My favorite stops are the Kwik-E-Mart where you can get a Lard Lad Donut (think giant pink donut with sprinkles) and Bumblebee Man’s Taco truck for their carne asada tacos.
12. Seasonal activities
Depending on the time of year, there are themed events offered at Universal Orlando. When we were there, it was Mardi Gras and they had a night time parade, complete with floats and beads. In the fall they have Halloween Horror Nights and Holidays at Universal begins in November.
About the Author: Gavin is a high school student and regular visitor to Universal Orlando. He was a guest of Universal Studios as part of this review.