Are there really any great toddler rides at Universal Studios Orlando?
Is there enough to keep a toddler entertained in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure?
Universal Orlando Resort is known as one of the more thrilling theme park destinations in central Florida. They pride themselves on thrills and immersion, which is why their current slogan is “Let yourself
If it’s inversions, g-forces, and jump-scares you’re after, Universal Orlando is the resort for you.
But what if you’re bringing toddlers along for the ride. Does Universal Still have you covered?
How does the resort compare to other family-oriented theme parks in the Orlando area?
While Universal Studios for toddlers is not necessarily restricted to the rides, there are some Universal attractions that toddlers can indeed experience and enjoy.
Besides the toddler rides at Universal Orlando, there are dining experiences, shops, and other areas of the parks made just for them.
Toddlers will love going to Universal Orlando even though the experience for toddlers is much different than the Universal teens and adults experience.
With a little planning, it is very easy to have a balanced vacation that makes everybody happy.
Universal Orlando has expanded in recent years and now includes two theme parks and one water park.
The original Universal Studios park opened in 1990, followed by Universal Islands of Adventure in 1999.
Volcano Bay water park completed the current expansion in 2017.
Universal’s fourth park, Epic Universe is anticipated to open in 2025.
To start with, let’s look specifically at the toddler-friendly rides at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Universal for Toddlers at Islands of Adventure
There are limited attractions for toddlers to enjoy in Islands of Adventure. The reason for this is that many of the attractions have height requirements that your toddler simply isn’t going to meet.
Here are all the Universal Islands of Adventure Height Requirements
- The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 40″
- Cat in the Hat 36″
- Doctor Doom’s Fearfall 52″
- Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls 44″
- Flight of the Hippogriff 36″
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventureagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure 48″
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 48″
- Jurassic Park River Adventure 42″
- Jurassic World VelociCoaster 51″
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! 36″
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster 54″
- Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges 42″
- Pteranodon Flyers This is designed for children 36″–56″ (92cm-143cm) tall. A child meeting this requirement must accompany guests over 56″ (143cm) tall. Children between 36″–48″ (92cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong 36″
However, there are still some experiences that toddlers will enjoy in Universal Islands of Adventure.
Suess Landing for Toddlers
Turn right when you enter the park and you will soon be in a land custom made for toddlers and young children – Suess Landing.
There are a number of attractions and themed play areas where you can spend many happy hours with your toddler.
Caro-Seuss-el at Suess Landing
You really can’t beat a good old-fashioned carousel ride. No matter how technologically advanced other rides get, a carousel is always going to be a popular attraction.
The very brightly colored kid-friendly Caro-Seuss-el has no minimum height requirement. Another great aspect is that there are rarely any lines for this attraction.
It’s the perfect level of thrill for a toddler.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
While older kids love how the Wizarding World of Harry Potter springs to life from pages in a
book to an immersive theme park stage, toddlers get the same thrill of watching and riding their
favorite Dr. Seuss books.
The ride is very much like Dumbo, but with a twist. You may very well get wet.
If your children don’t listen to which way to control their fish, they’ll get squirted by a nearby
If I know anything about toddlers following directions, you might want to bring a spare
set of clothes.
The Cat in the Hat
This is a ride that your toddler is probably going to ask to do again and again.
It is based upon the Cat in the Hat book and takes you on a sometimes whimsical, sometimes slightly bizarre journey.
Guests board a 4-person ride vehicle which has 2 rows in the shape of a couch. When the park first opened this ride was rather more intense and spun around a lot. After complaints from guests, it was toned down in 2014.
The Cat in the Hat rarely has much of a line and is a great ride for all ages. There is a 36-inch height requirement so check that before you promise your toddler that they can ride!
Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
There is another ride that young kids will enjoy at Universal Islands of Adventure. However, it has a
minimum height of 36″.
Make sure that you and your child are fine with heights. It is an elevated train ride with a track high above Seuss Landing. It gives you a great view of the park.
If you are visiting Islands of Adventure with toddlers you will want to spend some time in the If I Ran The Zoo playground area.
This brightly colored play area will keep toddlers entertained for hours. Make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen for everyone as there really isn’t much shade and you could be spending a lot of time here!
Marvel Superhero Island
Next to Seuss Landing on the neighboring Marvel Superhero Island you will not only find a
campy homage to comics as they were before the age of the MCU
Most of the attractions here have height requirements that many toddlers and young children aren’t going to meet.
However, there is one ride that the little ones will enjoy.
Storm Force Accelatron
The easiest way to describe Storm Force Accelatron is that it is like the teacups in Magic Kingdom but with Marvel-theming!
This ride puts you in the comic book story in a fun way, making you an accomplice in helping Storm generate enough electricity to blast Magneto and foil his evil plans.
This means you control how fast you spin, but with toddlers on board, it’s super okay to take it easy. Don’t worry – Storm will still beat the bad guy.
This ride is a lot of fun for all ages and usually doesn’t have too much of a line, partly because it is tucked in a corner at the side of The Hulk.
Flight of the Hippogriff
This does have a height requirement of 36″ but if your toddler is tall enough this can be a great introduction to roller coaster rides for them.
Located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the Flight of the Hippogriff is a ride that younger children will enjoy.
The only downside is that there is often quite a long line as the ride is popular and very slow to load.
This is an interesting one. Only one of my three children ever enjoyed this as the others found it really scary. They are now all grown up and happy to ride Jurassic World VelociCoaster over and over again, but when they were young the height and feel of this ride just didn’t make them feel secure!
Pteranodon Flyers are located in Jurassic Park and take riders on an elevated gondola-type ride above the park.
It is designed for children 36″ and 56″ tall. A child meeting this requirement must accompany guests over 56″ (143cm) tall. Children between 36″ and 48″ must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
Unfortunately, lines build up very quickly and remain throughout the day. The best time to ride is definitely early in the morning, but this means walking around to Jurassic Park as soon as you arrive unless you want to be in a long line.
The rides are not the only things that toddlers will enjoy at Islands of Adventure. There are also some shows that may capture their attention.
At Islands of Adventure, you’ll find a variety of performances at Hogsmeade. These include the
Triwizard Spirit Rally, and the Frog Choir.
“Oh, The Stories You’ll Hear” a musical performance by Dr. Seuss characters illustrates once again how great Seuss Landing is for toddlers.
The show features The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, The Grinch, Sam (aka Sam I Am), and the Lorax.
Universal Studios for Toddlers
Moving on now to Universal Studios park. Here is a list of the height requirements for Universal Studios Orlando:
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 40″
- E.T. Adventure 34″
- Fast & Furious – Supercharged 42″
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit 51″
- MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack 42″
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon 40″
- Revenge of the Mummy 48″
- The Simpsons Ride 40″
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D 40″
- Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster 36″
As you can see, most of the height requirements here are going to mean that your toddler can’t ride. However, there are still things to do and attractions to enjoy with toddlers at Universal Studios at Orlando.
E.T. Adventure Ride
Your child may or may not be able to experience this ride with a 34″ requirement for entry, but it is a
fun-for-everyone family-friendly attraction. This has always been a favorite with my family.
This dark ride differs from many others that are based on movies because it has an original storyline.
You board a flying bike and travel to E.T.s dying home planet in order to help him save it.
In a first-of-its-kind interactive feature, E.T. thanks you personally at the end of the ride. Well, it does when the technology actually works!
A fun fact is that the soundtrack by John Williams is also the first original score written for a ride.
Kang and Kodos Twirl and Hurl
Soar ten feet into the air on a flying saucer that’s 1/51,595,995 the speed of light (13 mph).
exciting spinner from the star-filled cosmos above Springfield USA features the beloved Alien
pair from the Fox series, The Simpsons.
This is also an interactive kid-friendly ride that lets participants “zap” citizens of Springfield as they swoop by.
You can board the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley, or from Hogsmeade. There is no
height requirement, only a Park 2 Park pass is required.
The Hogwarts Express is a wizardly way to pass from Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure and vice versa. It also conveniently connects the two wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter together for seamless continuity.
The experience is different depending upon which way you are traveling. The journey from Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure has a better experience. If you can only do one direction I suggest that you choose this one.
Your toddler will probably just love the experience of riding on a train rather than particularly enjoying the “show” but hey, whatever works!
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
If your toddler is 36″ then they will most likely enjoy this fun roller coaster. Located close to the ET ride, the lines tend to be short at this attraction.
At just 44 seconds long, this experience is pretty short! Your child may want to ride this over and over again.
There may not be many rides that your toddler can experience, but there are still things they can do.
Much of the fun for small children is in the entertainment at the parks.
Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone is now Dreamworks Destination, a cutting-edge interactive character experience that features Puss In Boots, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls, and more!
Fievels Playland is another place that your toddler is going to enjoy. Located next to the ET ride this is designed so that we see the world from a mouse’s perspective.
This is a really great playground, particularly as it has a padded floor! You will probably be spending a long time here watching your young child having a lot of fun.
They’ll also love the Animal Actors on Location show.
Child Swap at Universal Studios Orlando
If your child is not tall enough or old enough to experience a ride that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out. All of the rides at Universal Orlando Resort have a child swap facility.
What this means is that you can stand in line once with other members of your party and whilst others experience the ride the other looks after the child, usually in a designated waiting space.
Then when the first party has experienced the ride, you swap over and the person who stayed behind then goes to experience the ride whilst the other one looks after the child.
This is a great way to save time in line and make sure that everyone who wants to can experience the ride.
Strollers at Universal Studios Orlando
Even if your child doesn’t usually use a stroller anymore, it is a great idea to bring one to Universal Orlando Resort.
There is a lot of walking involved and you are all going to be a lot happier if you do not have a tired toddler who simply can’t walk another step!
You can rent a stroller at Universal Orlando. However, right now the only option is to rent a double stroller and these cost $35 a day.
Obviously, if you have your own, and particularly if you are visiting for more than a day, it is advisable to bring your own to the park.
Characters at Universal Studios Orlando Resort
Your toddler will most likely love seeing the characters, particularly in the Universal Orlando park as those characters are more geared to the younger set.
Some characters that you may see in Universal Orlando are
- Barney and pals
- Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey
- SpongeBob SquarePants and friends
- Hello Kitty
In Islands of Adventure you may see:
- Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Storm, Green Goblin, Dr. Doom
- Thing 1 and Thing 2, Cat in the Hat, the Grinch, the Lorax.
- Blue the Velociraptor
Just look on the park schedule to see when and where you can find these characters. Universal Orlando also has the Superstar Parade where you can see characters such as Gru, Agnes, Margo, Edith, and the Minions from Despicable Me.
Whilst there may not be too many rides for toddlers at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure you can certainly all have a great time there. Just make plans to space out the toddler-appropriate rides and utilize child swap as often as you can. Universal Orlando really is a great experience for all ages.
More About Universal Orlando
Here are some more guides to Universal Orlando Resort to help you plan: