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Universal Orlando Resort: More Than Just Thrills!

I have discovered over the years that many people think Universal Orlando Resort theme parks are just for guests who love thrill rides.  While it is true these parks have some amazing thrill rides (I’m looking at you, Velocicoaster!), there are plenty of rides to please anyone in your party that prefer more tame attractions.

Recently I took my own family down to experience everything Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure have to offer.  My son is just venturing into the world of roller coasters, but still has some growing to do.  My daughter is still a bit cautious when it comes to rides.  They both declared that they LOVE Universal Orlando Resort and can’t wait to return! 

In no particular order, here are our favorite non-coaster rides that are sure to please everyone in your group. 

photo of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem signDespicable Me Minion Mayhem:  In this awesome simulator ride you get turned into a minion! Margo, Edith, and Agnes oversee your minion training, but things get a little out of hand.  This ride is exciting and funny, but still tame.  This is a popular attraction, so be sure to use your Early Park Admission to hit this ride first before heading back to Diagon Alley.

Location:  Universal Studios Florida

Height Requirement:  40 inches

E.T. Adventure:  This classic dark ride is the only remaining opening-day attraction.  That’s right—E.T. is the O.G.!  It has survived because it’s a ride everyone enjoys.  You will board a bicycle and help E.T. get back to his home planet, which is very colorful and full of various other creatures that look just like our familiar friend.  Even though my kids have never seen the movie E.T., they were entranced with this ride.

Location:  Universal Studios Florida

Height Requirement:  34 inches

Cat in the Hat ride entranceEverything in Seuss Landing!: I asked my kids for advice for narrowing this down to one attraction in Seuss Landing, and they were horrified!  How could we possibly eliminate any of them?!  Truly everything in this area is a hit for those in your party that just aren’t in to thrill rides.  Adults will feel the nostalgia of the books from their childhood and kids love the fun colors and designs.  Surprisingly, there are a few things that do have height requirements, so just be aware of that with your small children.

The Cat in the Hat:  dark ride that retells the classic storybook.  (height requirement: 36 inches)

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish:  a classic spinner ride, much like the famous flying elephant you might find elsewhere.  There is the possibility of getting wet on this attraction, which adds to the fun!

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!: Just look up and you will see this cute train above you throughout the land.  A nice way to relax and see what Seuss Landing has to offer (height requirement: 36 inches)

Caro-Seuss-el:  You’ve never seen a carousel with such zany creatures before!

Location:  Islands of Adventure

Height Requirements: (see above)

Hogwarts Express:  This famous scarlet train isn’t just transportation from one park to the other—it’s a whole experience!  As you sit in your compartment you will see and hear familiar characters and scenery.  And did you know that the experience is different depending on which direction you are traveling?  NOTE:  You MUST have Park-to-Park tickets to board the Hogwarts Express!

Location:  Universal Studios AND Islands of Adventure

Height Requirement:  None


Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges:  It seems like most theme parks have some variation of the round boat going through rapids, so it might be tempting to skip this one, but this is hands down the best version I have ever experienced.  My kids admittedly don’t know anything about Popeye, but it didn’t matter—you’re on this ride to get wet!  Everyone in our boat was giggling and had so much fun!  Just be prepared for the water because I guarantee you will be soaked when you get off this raft.

Location:  Islands of Adventure

Height Requirement:  42 inches

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack:  Honestly, I was surprised at how fun this ride was!  This gamified 
attraction will make guests a Men in Black Agent Trainee.  You must use your laser gun to help rid New York of the pesky aliens.  Each guest will rack up their own points and can compete for high score.  At one point you can even blast another car of trainees and make them spin! 

Location:  Universal Studios Florida

Height Requirement:  42 inches


Storm Force Acceleration:  This is basically a teacup style attraction, but I swear those ride vehicles were slinging us around a bit more than their Fantasyland counterparts.  This attraction is tucked away back near the entrance to The Incredible Hulk Coaster, so it’s easy to miss.  This is a great attraction for your non-thrill seekers to do if others in your party wish to experience the excitement of Hulk.

Location:  Islands of Adventure

Height Requirement:  None

entrance of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man:  Now, this one might be pushing the limits on whether it is a thrill ride or not, to be honest.  But it isn’t a roller coaster, and my kids and friends that are hesitant on many rides loved it.  This ride is kind of a combination of 3-D Motion Simulator and dark ride.  You will feel like you are in the action with Spidey himself!

Location:  Islands of Adventure

Height Requirement: 40 inches

If you’ve been putting off a trip to Universal Orlando Resort because you thought it was nothing but roller coasters, it’s time to book your trip.  This resort has so much to offer for everyone in your group!

Some of you may be scratching your head in disbelief that I left out one of your favorite attractions. There are still so many more rides that aren’t the typical adrenaline-pumping roller coasters in both theme parks, but the list must end somewhere! There are several more rides that could be included in addition to shows and multiple play areas for children.  Tell us in the comments…what attraction would you add to the list?

Aubrey's love of Disney started at an early age with her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was just 9 months old. You can email Aubrey at


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