One of the biggest misconceptions about Universal Orlando is that the parks are limited in their appeal. Many who have never visited are under the impression that Universal is solely comprised of thrill rides, and that only the teenage and young adult markets will find activities of interest there. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
It is true that Universal holds more thrills than its closest competitor, Walt Disney World. However, roller coasters and other high speed attractions still comprise only a small percentage of the total attractions from which to choose. Both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure offer numerous choices, from classically styled dark rides to exciting shows, that are designed for the entire family to enjoy.
If walking is a concern, both wheelchairs and ECVs (motorized scooters) are available to rent. There is a long walk from the parking garage, through Citywalk, in order to reach the front gates of either park. However, you can rent a wheelchair at the Hub, located in the parking garage. Be sure to do so if you are concerned about the walk.
Universal Studios Fl is, at its heart, a movie park. Designed to allow you to “Ride the Movies,” Universal offers an insider’s look at many of the company’s most classic films and television shows. The only roller coaster in the park is Revenge of the Mummy. Many other attractions offer a choice of moving or stationary seating, and there are many shows to enjoy.
Universal Studios Attractions
While your list of attractions to experience will, of course, be dictated by your individual interests, it is sometimes difficult to know where to begin. Presented here is a guide to some attractions that seniors may enjoy. Be sure to use this list only as a jumping off point, however, and never be afraid to try new things.
Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast and Shrek 4-D: Both offer a ride through recent animated hits. Before writing off either attraction as “just for kids,” give them a try. Jimmy Neutron is a motion simulator in which the cars move in tandem with a projected film. Shrek offers movie theatre-style seating, which bounces and moves at some points in the film. Both attractions offer stationary seating as well, so if you have any health concerns, be sure to request this seating.
Blues Brothers: Do not miss this show! Performed on a street corner across from Revenge of the Mummy, the musical stylings of Jake and Elwood Blues are guaranteed to get your feet tapping. Arrive a few minutes prior to showtime to secure a good spot.
Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue: This rock n roll show is perhaps one of Universal’s best kept secrets. If you are a fan of classic horror movies and rock music, do not miss this show. Beetlejuice takes charge as four classic Universal monsters are transformed into rock stars! The show is silly and irreverent, and pure fun.
Earthquake – The Big One: Many guests who are not interested in thrill rides bypass Earthquake altogether. However, missing this one altogether would be pointless. Prior to the ride portion are three rooms of shows, all of which give you behind the scenes information on special effects in the movies. The shows are entertaining and informative, and you might even have the opportunity to be a star! The ride portion simulates an 8.3 earthquake and is quite rough. However, you may bypass the ride after experiencing the shows. Simply turn to your right on the loading platform and walk through the exit door. If others in your party want to ride, there is a waiting room located just outside the platform exit.
Men in Black and Back to the Future: Both are high speed thrill rides through recent films. Back to the Future in particular is an extremely rough ride, so be certain that you meet all of the health requirements.
Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone
Although this area was designed with children in mind, some of the attractions are great fun for the whole family. Animal Actors on Location is an amazing show starring some of the best animal performers I have ever seen. And no visit to Universal is complete without a visit to the Curious George ball room. Unleash the child inside as you use giant cannons to fire Nerf balls at your family or at random strangers. *Warning* Keep an eye on the time. It is easy to while away over an hour in the ball room.
E.T. Adventure: Who doesn’t love E.T.? The lovable alien is one of the most recognizable film icons of all time. In the E.T. Adventure, you can take a gentle bike ride through the air to E.T.’s home planet. This is one of the most innocently fun attractions at Universal.
Lucy: A Tribute: This walk-through attraction features many items of memorabilia from the much loved television show. There is a rather extensive gift shop here as well.
Terminator 2:3D: This show is high on thrills. Definitely worth seeing for the unusual blend of film, live action and special effects.
Universal Horror Makeup Show: Although somewhat gory, this hilarious show demonstrates techniques of special effects makeup using scenes from classic Universal horror movies. If your stomach can handle the gore, this show is definitely worth seeing.
Seniors will also appreciate that Universal studios is smaller and easier to get around than other theme parks in Orlando. This allows guests to go back to their hotels near Universal Studios should they need too to rest in the afternoon before returning for the evening festivities.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to enjoy yourself. On crowded days, you may wish to invest in Express Passes, which will allow you to avoid the line at each attraction once during the day. On slower days, though, you should have little problem with wait times. Relax and allow your day to unfold, and you will be surprised how much fun you will have.