Universal Orlando Resort is made up of two dry theme parks, Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure. Each park has its own ambiance, but both cater to families and offer attractions geared to every age group.
If you have young children, you might be wondering which is the best park. That’s a hard question to answer because both parks have great rides and play areas made specifically to appeal to their youngest guests. The answer lies in what interests your children the most.
Dr. Seuss Fans
Do you have Dr. Seuss fans in your household? Islands of Adventure is the place for them. It has a whole area, Seuss Landing, devoted to the popular author’s whimsical creations. There’s a Cat in the Hat dark ride, a spinning (and soggy) ride themed to One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and an aerial tour aboard the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley. Seuss-inspired characters spin around on the unique Carol-Seuss-El. Characters like the Cat in the Hat and Things One and Two are on hand to greet young visitors in this crazy, colorful place.
Islands of Adventure has fun for young children in other areas, too. One popular spot is Me Ship, The Olive, a nautical-themed vessel/playground based on Popeye characters. Fittingly, it’s located in Toon Lagoon, and it’s outfitted with cargo nets, slides, horns, bells, and other interactive fun. One thing that kids love in particular is the water cannons they can use to blast riders on the Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges raft ride.
The Jurassic Park section of the park has attractions for youngsters, too. Dinosaurs fascinate kids, and they get to explore the dinos’ world in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. The center mixes learning with fun as kids test their knowledge of dinosaur facts, test dino DNA, and even see dinosaur eggs hatching. There’s also a Camp Jurassic play area, too, where energetic youngsters can run and play. The camp has a special ride designed just for them: Pteranodon Flyers made for those between 36 and 56 inches tall. Adults and older siblings have to be accompanied by a kid who meets those height standards to ride.
Obviously, Islands of Adventure is a great spot for kids, but Universal Studios Florida has plenty for them to do, too. The kids’ area at this park packs areas devoted to such kid favorites as Curious George, Fievel the mouse, and Barney the purple dinosaur in one convenient area. The two playgrounds, Curious George Goes to Town and Fievel’s Playland, are both great fun for kids who want to run, jump, and play, but the Curious George area is a special favorite on hot days because it has cool water play areas.
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
Universal Studios Florida also has Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, a family coaster designed for all ages. It has just enough of a thrill to make kids shout with glee instead of fear. There’s also a cute E.T.-themed ride that transports families to the beloved alien’s home planet.
The park is also packed with popular characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora and Diego, the Scooby Gang, and the Minions from “Despicable Me.”
Kids may also enjoy fun interactions with the street actors who populate the park as goofy construction workers playing limbo, paleontologists trying to catch dinos with a butterfly catcher, or a cabbie out of his time period.