In a lot of ways, Universal Studios is the best theme park for teens in Orlando. Disney World has lots to offer for teens, but they aren’t the target audience.
Seaworld has lots of thrill rides, but the level of theming doesn’t come anywhere close to Universal.
Here, we’ll look at some of the best experiences for teens at Universal Studios Orlando.
We’ll go park-by-park – Universal Studios Park and Islands Of Adventure – listing off any rides, shows, and any other experiences teens will enjoy.
Universal Studios Park Attractions For Teens
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
A high-speed, hair-raising roller coaster that blasts your favorite music as you zoom along the track.
It offers a wide selection of music across many genres, including hits like “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band, and “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. Before your ride starts, you can pick your song on a touch screen on the vehicle restraints.
There are also some hidden songs, which you can access by pressing and holding the Rip Ride Rockit logo on the touchscreen on the restraint.
You then input a three-digit code that corresponds to a different song. Some of my favorites are “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin (code 113), “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd (112), and “Vertigo” by U2 (128).
This is one of the most intense roller coasters at Universal Orlando Resort.
It starts with a vertical lift hill, then goes into a near vertical drop, and then a massive twisted loop.
And that’s only the first few seconds of the attraction.
Revenge Of The Mummy
A horror-themed roller coaster based on The Mummy film series. It takes place in a cursed Egyptian temple, where scarabs crawl over every wall, It’s so dark you can’t see what’s right in front of you, and of course, lots and lots of mummies.
This is perfect for teens looking for an adrenaline rush.
It’s very tense and atmospheric roaming through the dark catacombs of the temple.
It’s like stepping into a horror movie.
Then to top it off, the roller coaster is insanely fun. It’s in pitch-black darkness, so you never know what’s going to happen next.
How Scary Is Revenge of the Mummy?
Revenge Of The Mummy does not go upside-down. The drops are small, but they do lift you off your seat. There is a small backward drop that catches you by surprise.
It’s nowhere near as intense as The Incredible Hulk or Velocicoaster, however, it’s no kiddy-ride…
The scariest part of the ride is the anticipation. They make it out to be much scarier than it actually is.
Transformers: The Ride 3D
Based on Michael Bay’s “Transformers” franchise, in this attraction, you get caught in an epic 3D battle between the Autobots and Decepticons.
It’s similar to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot (although, not surprisingly, it’s a lot more violent) and The Amazing Adventures Of Spider-Man at Islands Of Adventure, where they combine practical effects with 3D screens.
The effects are so convincing that it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s a 3D effect.
You board a spinning ride vehicle with a motion base, which puts you right into the action.
The 3D screens are 60 feet tall, making you feel a part of the experience.
Even if you’re not a fan of the Transformers movies, you’ll be amazed at this groundbreaking attraction.
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
Located in the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, Escape From Gringotts puts you right in the middle of the epic heist in Gringotts Bank from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
You’ll experience iconic moments from the movie, including coming face-to-face with a massive fire-breathing dragon.
Much like Transformers: The Ride 3D, it combines practical sets with 3D effects and blurs the line between reality and screen.
It’s also a roller coaster with some drops and launch sections. The roller coaster portion isn’t as thrilling or as long as the one in Revenge Of The Mummy, but it has its moments.
Arguably, the best part of the attraction is the queue, where you step inside the iconic Gringotts Bank lobby from the movies. The sets look exactly like the ones in the movies.
This is a must-do for any Harry Potter fan.
How Scary Is Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts?
The scariest part is the drop. However, it is relatively small. The worst part is the anticipation!
If you are worried about it, you could request the front row, as the closer you are to the front, the less intense the drop is.
But in general, even if you are not a huge fan of roller coasters you will most likely enjoy the Gringotts ride.
Men In Black: Alien Attack
An interactive shooter attraction where you train to become a member of the MIB.
Your first lesson: fight the alien invasion of Manhattan…
Similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin over at Walt Disney World, each rider gets an alien blaster and has to shoot as many targets as possible.
Whichever rider has the most points, wins!
I like this attraction more than Buzz Lightyear because it is fast-paced, thrilling, and plays out more like an action movie.
Universal Park Shows For Teens
The Bourne Stuntacular
I know most teens probably haven’t seen the Bourne movies, but this is an impressive stunt show. It combines live actors with screens, blending reality and screen effects.
It’s a unique show with some amazing effects. I wouldn’t prioritize it, but if you have the time, you should check it out.
Islands Of Adventure Attractions For Teens
The Incredible Hulk
This is one of the first rides that’ll catch your eye when you walk into Islands Of Adventure.
It’s a massive steel roller coaster based on Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk.
Once the ride starts, almost immediately you’re launched at 40 MPH into a zero-gravity roll.
In total, there are 7 inversions, including a cobra roll.
It was one of Universal’s first mega roller coasters and it’s still a fan-favorite.
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
Based on the character from the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is a launch tower that catapults more than 150 feet in the air and then pulls you down faster than the speed of gravity.
It’s short, only lasting 60 to 90 seconds.
Still, it’s great for a quick thrill. Plus, it usually has a short wait.
If you see that it has more than a 20-minute wait time, just go back later, because it will go down.
The Amazing Adventures Of Spider-Man
Similar to Transformers: The Ride – 3D, Spider-Man combines 3D effects and practical sets to make a seamless immersive experience.
It drops you into a Spider-Man comic, where you escape the clutches of the Sinister Six.
It pretty much has the exact same ride system as Transformers: The Ride – 3D, which spins around and has a motion base that reacts to what’s on screen.
Universal has been criticized for its overreliance on screens in its attractions.
However, this is a case where the screens serve the ride and they do a much better job at blending practical sets in.
It’s a spectacular ride that has thrills, and jaw-dropping effects, and is overall, amazing…
Jurassic World Velocicoaster
Velocicoaster is referred to by many as the best roller coaster in Orlando.
It’s easy to see why.
It reaches speeds of 70 MPH, has two catapult launches, a 155-foot tall tophat, and tons of air-time moments.
What’s crazy is that even though it goes upside-down numerous times, it doesn’t have any over-the-head restraints – it’s just a lap bar.
This surprisingly creates a much better experience though, because it allows your body to fly around more as the roller coaster twists and turns. Plus, you’re not banging your head on the sides of the restraint.
It’s themed around the Jurassic World franchise where you take a roller coaster ride inside a raptor paddock.
The queue features some highly detailed raptor animatronics that are almost life-like.
The roller coaster also has some statues of raptors, but you go so fast that you can barely see them.
The Velocicoaster ride is not for the faint of heart. It’s arguably the most intense ride at Universal Orlando.
You do go flying out of your seat – especially in the big drop.
There are also some very close head-choppers, where it really feels like you’re going to hit something.
It’s the perfect mix of sheer terror and joy. Visit Islands Of Adventure and see if you’re up for the challenge.
Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Soar over Hogwarts with Harry Potter in this one-of-a-kind adventure. The journey begins right at the queue, which takes you through the mysterious hallways in Hogwarts Castle.
You’ll see the classrooms, Dumbledore’s Office, and even the Gryffindor Common Room.
Fans of the movies and books will love finding all the easter eggs scattered throughout the queue.
The ride uses Kuka arm technology to simulate the feeling of flying.
Then it uses screens and practical sets to put you into iconic moments from all the Harry Potter movies, including an encounter with dementors, Aragog’s lair, and a Quidditch match.
There hasn’t been any ride built that’s quite like this.
The Kuka Arm technology provides a one-of-a-kind flying experience that Harry Potter fans cannot miss.
How Scary Is Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey?
The ride never fully goes upside-down, though there’s one moment where it feels like you’re about to. I’d say the ride isn’t intense, but it can be uncomfortable.
The dementors, giant spiders, etc. feel like they get close to you – and I mean close… I have been on this ride a few times now, and I still get a little tense…
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
One of the most popular rides at Universal Resort, Hagrid’s Magical Creature is a roller coaster where you can ride Hargid’s motorbike through the Forbidden Forest. This roller coaster has pretty much everything – a backward section, a freefall drop, and a whopping seven launch sections.
You have the option to ride the motorbike or the sidecar. Both are great, but I prefer the motorbike.
The best way to experience this ride is at night. The forest is much creepier and the effects work a lot better. It was well worth the hour-long wait.
How to Beat The Hagrid’s Line?
Hagrid’s Motorbike is infamous for having a long wait. On a busy day, it’s likely that it’ll reach a 100-minute wait – maybe even more. Hagrid’s does not have an Express Pass line.
It does have a single-rider line, but I wouldn’t recommend it because it doesn’t actually guarantee that you’ll get through the line quicker. Often, it’s about the same wait.
What about early entry? Universal resort hotels – and on occasion, Annual Passholders – grant guests early entry to Islands Of Adventure an hour before the park opens. That’s the golden ticket, right? Well, not really…
There are A LOT of other guests using early park entry.
So if you’re not right at the front of the line to get into the park, then you’ll probably have to wait in an hour-long line anyway. Maybe even more.
However, if you do manage to get in line early in the morning, maybe even an hour before Early Park entry, then you have a good chance to stand in a short wait for Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure.
Also, keep in mind it rarely goes below an hour, so if you were you, I’d jump in line if it’s an hour wait. Maybe download some games on your phone beforehand…
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.