Universal is an ideal vacation destination for those who love thrills and chills. From the psychological terror of Halloween Horror Nights to the heart pounding excitement of Jaws, Universal is full of activities guaranteed to get the hearts of even the most fearless thrill seekers pounding.
Although Islands of Adventure has earned its reputation as Universal’s thrill park, Universal Studios Theme Park should not be discounted by those seeking heart stopping excitement. Both parks offer a mix of thrill rides and more sedate attractions, and both are well worth a visit. Presented here are the don’t miss attractions at Universal Studios for those seeking adventure and excitement.
Although based on children’s programming, both Shrek 4-D and Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast are exciting simulator rides with a decent thrill factor. If you fall on the Universal side of the Universal vs. Disney debate, pay close attention to the Shrek preshow, and be sure to read the signs in the preshow theater. They are quite hilarious.
Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor dark coaster with a few surprises. The main complaint about this ride is that it is short, but the thrill factor is high. Universal buffs may recognize the building as the former home of Kongfrontation, and tribute is paid to the monkey via a small golden statue in the Treasure Room. The ride track actually follows the old Kong track, right down to the dips being located in the same places that Kong originally dropped the tram. If you are really good, you may be able to spot the old Kong track overhead.
Twister: Ride it Out has drawn mixed reviews ever since its opening. It is an attraction that people either love or hate. Though the thrill factor is fairly low, the effects are rather spectacular. Twister is worth a visit by thrill seekers, though you should not expect it to be more than it is.
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Earthquake: The Big One is another mixed review attraction. The theater portion has been retooled many times over the years and the current version is not the best. However the ride itself, into the middle of an 8.3 earthquake, is just as exciting as it ever was. Try to visit Earthquake during off hours to avoid a long wait, but try not to miss it.
Jaws is one of Universal’s most legendary rides. Opened for a few hours on the park’s opening day then shut completely for a multi-year redesign, Jaws has earned a prominent place in Universal Orlando’s lore. The ride is exciting and the effects are terrific. Definitely ride this one at night for maximum thrills.
Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue is not a traditional thrill attraction, but is a wonderfully well done show. Four old movie monsters plus Beetlejuice and a couple of backup dancers equals a funny, irreverent, and ultimately hilarious song and dance show. Don’t miss it!
Fear Factor Live is based on the hit TV show. If you are over 18, arrive an hour before showtime to audition for the chance to compete for real prizes. *Warning* Although safe, the stunts are quite real. It is recommended that you be in excellent shape to compete.
This area offers Men in Black: Alien Attack and Back to the Future: the Ride. Both are high on thrills and strongly recommended for any thrill seeker. Ride Back to the Future soon, as rumor has it that the attraction may close permanently.
Woody Woodpecker KidZone
Although this area was designed for kids, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster is surprisingly good even for adults. Check out the Curious George ball room too, for the chance to run around shooting foam balls at your friends. Even Fievel’s Playland offers a water slide that is especially fun if you exceed the weight limit.
Do not miss the Horror Makeup Show. Packed with inside information on special effects horror makeup, this show is both gory and hilarious. Truly one of Universal’s best. Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Through Time is also well done and worth a visit.
True thrill seekers should visit the park in October, when Universal is transformed by night into one of the most intense Halloween experiences ever. Previously moved to Islands of Adventure, Halloween Horror Nights has come home to Universal Studios Florida. Seven haunted houses and multiple street scare zones combine with top notch shows and bands to create a complete Halloween Experience. The event normally runs 19 nights throughout October, and is a must see for those with nerves of steel.
Although Islands of Adventure has developed a well deserved reputation as Universal’s thrill park and, indeed, one of the top thrill parks in the world, the original Florida park should not be overlooked. Universal as a company has been known for terror for many years, and with its emphasis on Universal’s legendary film catalog, Universal Studios Florida does not disappoint. Thrill seekers will love the action and adventure lurking around every corner.
For thrill seekers, we suggest to visit Universal Studios during the off peak season. This way you will be able to ride the rides multiple times without having to waste too much time in lengthy lines. Call today to book your Universal Studios vacation packages or your Universal Studios hotels.