Navigating Universal for Seniors

Taking the grandkids to the Orlando theme parks is a great way to build lifelong memories, but for seniors with mobility issues, it can be a challenge. Too often we see grandparents assuming they’ll have to wait on the sidelines while the little ones have the adventure of a lifetime.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case! We recently ran into a great article by Ally Pfeiffer that does a wonderful job showcasing some of the ways people of all ages and abilities can enjoy Universal Studios. Check out our favorite tips below, or read her entire article on Accessible Fun for All Ages.


Choosing a Park – Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure

There are two parks to choose from – Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. For adults with mobility issues, Universal Studios is the easy choice. The rides there are lower impact, there are more shows, and there are fewer thrill rides than you’ll find at Islands of Adventure.

Electronic Convenience Vehicles

ecv-rentalAlso known as ECVs, electronic convenience vehicles are perfect for those with bad knees, back pain, or other issues that make it hard to walk or stand for long periods of time. They can be rented by the day or you can get a good deal on a multi-day rental.

Great Rides for Older Adults

Some of the easiest wheelchair and ECV accessible rides include:

  • Shrek 4-D
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Jason Bourne Stunt Show

Other options include The Simpsons Ride, Men in Black Alien Attack, and Disaster, though they include spinning and fast movements, which may be an issue for some.

Spectacular Shows

Lots of the fun at Universal Studios lies in the shows, and each of them has special sections designated for wheelchairs and ECVs:

  • Fear Factor Live (currently closed)
  • Universal Horror Make-up Show

Tips for the Hard of Hearing

cat-in-the-hat-universalUniversal is a lively place that takes advantage of all your senses – including sound. Many of the attraction queues and shows offer amplified audio for assistive listening, including:

  • Cat in the Hat
  • Amazing Adventures of Spiderman
  • Men in Black Alien Attack
  • Jason Bourne Stunt Show

Captioning through personal transmitters is also available in many rides and queues – just ask at Guest Services, and sign language interpreting is available free of charge at many shows. Note the show schedule at the front of the park to see which shows offer sign language.

As you can see, there are tons of things to at Universal for people of all ages and all mobility levels. Guest Services is there to make your stay as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions if there are additional ways you can be accommodated.

We hope this article is helpful, for more articles please visit our grandparents section.