Universal Islands of Adventure Ride Guide

Universal Islands of Adventure is home to the top brand new attractions at Universal Orlando. Universal has been consistently adding to their theme parks and adding rollercoasters that blow Walt Disney World's most thrilling ones out of the water.

In this guide to all the Islands of Adventure rides I will review every ride in this Universal theme park including heigh requirements, thrill level and what you can expect.

Plus see which rides rank in my top five so you know what you cannot miss on your next Islands of Adventure trip!

Best Rides at Islands of Adventure 2022

This is my top list of attractions and experiences you must experience at Islands of Adventure during your visit. Prioritize these rides for their amazing levels of thrill, new technology or immersive flair. This list has something for everyone!

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • VelociCoaster
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Best Islands of Adventure Rides 2022 Review

For each attraction I'll also note if the attraction offers Single Rider or Express Pass so you can best plan how to tackle each ride!

  • Single Rider
    • This is a special line for guests that don't mind being split up from their party in order to fill empty seats to allow Universal to board guests more quickly on the attractions. There is no wait time for this line given and can be unpredictable depending on the style of the ride vehicles used.
  • ExpressPass
    • This is the Universal version equivalent to Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World but there is no return time required to use these lines. All you need to do is purchase Express Pass (either once per attraction or unlimited) and access it as needed. Guests can also receive Express Pass when staying at certain Universal Orlando hotels and have access to this shorter line.

Planning Your Universal Orlando Vacation

While you're planning your Universal Studios Florida trip, you should refer to our various planning guides in addition to this Universal Studios Florida best rides guide. I have shared our complete guide to Universal Orlando with tips for taking advantage of everything offered at the entire resort and the best information on saving money with discount Universal Orlando tickets.

You'll also want to dive into our specific guides on the hotels at Universal Orlando, celebrating Christmas at Universal Orlando, tips for Universal Orlando park touring, and more.

Jurassic World VelociCoasterUniversal Ride Guide

Universal Ride Review: This is Universal's newest rollercoaster and been called one of the best coasters in all of Florida due to its smooth immersions and speed. Guests will fly through the air through this Jurassic World themed ride that simulates a raptor chase. This ride is definitely aimed for roller coaster lovers as this has high drops, an extremely fast launch and goes upside down multiple times. A must see attraction if you love thrill rides!

Skip? If you don't like intense rollercoasters or rides that go upside down! This ride is one of the most intense and highest ranking rollercoasters in Florida right now so this is definitely for the thrill seekers- it's a must do.

Height Requirements: 51 inches

Access: Single Rider

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike AdventureHagrids Motorbike Adventure

Universal Ride Review: This attraction is Universal's newest Harry Potter ride and is incredibly popular! You will board Hagrid's motorbike riding either the bike itself or the side car- the ride vehicle here helps add to the thrill of this attraction. You will fly around the Forbidden Forest seeing a variety of animatronics like Hagrid himself, magical creatures plus some additional surprises. The ride will slow down at moments when its showcasing these animatronics so you can take it all in before the ride takes off again. This is a rollercoaster and is on the higher level of thrills. While it doesn't go upside down, you can expect drops, sharp turns and a backwards launch.

Skip? If you don't enjoy fast thrill rides otherwise this is an absolute must!

Access: Single Rider

Height Requirements: 48 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Harry Potter and the Forbidden JourneyHarry Potter Forbidden Journey

Universal Ride Review: The queue to lead to this ride is an experience in itself as it winds its way through Hogwarts where you will past Dumbledore's office, a classroom featuring projections of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the Fat Lady, the vials holding the house points, the Herbology garden, and more! The attraction takes you on a journey following Harry Potter and his friends using a combination of screen technology and classic dark ride technology. The ride uses a robotic arm to transport guests on a bench that becomes magicked to fly by Hermione herself. The harness goes above your head, strapping you in, and leaving your feet dangling as you fly around Hogwarts and the Forbidden Forest. The ride does not go upside down although you do get shaken around quite a bit backwards and forwards. It's a fantastic ride- not to be missed! You don't need to know the films to enjoy this ride as the story of the attraction is detailed enough that any guest would enjoy it.

Skip? If you suffer from motion sickness, you may have difficulties with this ride so take preventatives beforehand. This ride is worth the risk of motion sickness, it's one of the best rides Universal has ever done.

Access: Express Pass, Single Rider

Height Requirements: 48 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Flight of the HippogriffWizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Ride Review: This ride will take you on a spin through Hagrid's pumpkin patch. You'll pass by an animatronic Buckbeak the hippogriff and Hagrid's hut on your way to board the ride. This family friendly roller coaster spins and dives around Hagrid's pumpkin patch giving great views of the nearby Hogwarts castle. This is a short ride and a great starter coaster for small children.

Skip? Extremely short for the wait, this is a skip unless you're a Harry Potter fan.

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: 36 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Jurassic Park River AdventureUniversal Islands of Adventure

Universal Ride Review: This water based ride is a classic based on the popular Jurassic Park franchise. Guests will board a raft styled after a Jurassic Park jeep as they float by a variety of animatronic dinosaurs through a jungle setting. Watch out for the surprise water sprays as dinosaurs emerge from the water to shoot water unsuspecting ride vehicles. The ride ends with a large 85ft drop after going through a dark building damaged by escaped raptors. This is a classic Universal ride that has stood the test of time and has remained popular since the 90s.

Skip? If you're not comfortable with drops, this is a must do otherwise.

Access: Express Pass, Single Rider

Height Requirements: 42 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Pteranodon FlyersIslands of Adventure guide

Universal Ride Review: This ride is unique in the aspect you can only ride if you have a child that meets the minimum and maximum height requirements so there's often a joke that you need to borrow a child to enjoy it! Out of all the child focused rides at Universal, this is a cool one adults will enjoy if you do have kids along with. You take a quick ride across Camp Jurassic so this is a traditional swing style ride but fashioned like a miniature children's coaster.

Skip? Kids will enjoy this ride, it's worth doing.

Access: Only for kids that fit the height minimum-maximum and an accompanying adult

Height Requirements:Min Height 36” (92 cm)- Max height 56” (143 cm). Or accompanied by a rider meeting height requirements

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Skull Island: Reign of KongSkull Island: Reign of Kong | Universal's Islands of Adventure™

Universal Ride Review: This trackless ride combines animatronics with 3D screen technology while also utilizing large ride sets to create an immersive experience that you cannot miss. Guests will board an expedition truck as they move through Skull Island and in each scene will see different monsters from the films- up close and personal! And of course, the main star of the show King Kong will be featured as a giant realistic animatronic. During some of the scenes of the monster fights, the truck will shake and bounce around but this is largely a dark ride- not a thrill ride. If you aren't familiar with the King Kong movies, you will still enjoy this ride as it doesn't require you to know the films.

Skip? This is a must do!

Access: Express Pass, Single Rider

Height Requirements: 36 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

The Incredible Hulk CoasterHulk Coaster Universal

Universal Ride Review: The Hulk coaster is a classic rollercoaster at Universal that was actually the first Marvel themed rollercoaster! This fast paced rollercoaster isn't quite on the thrill level of the newer attractions like VelociCoaster but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a tame ride! Guests will experience a fast launch, seven immersions on this ride and drops of over 100 feet. The ride is partially built over the lagoon next to Universal so part of the coaster is taking you over the water and is lit up bright green at night making it a fun choice for a nighttime ride.

Skip? If you don't like intense rollercoasters or rides that go upside down! Otherwise this is a classic, must do.

Access: Express Pass, Single Rider

Height Requirements: 54 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-ManAmazing SpiderMan Ride

Universal Ride Review: This Spider-Man dark ride is a Universal classic similar to how we view some of the classic dark rides down the street at Walt Disney World. After putting on 3-D glasses guests will follow Spider-Man in his pursuit against crime featuring numerous classic Spider-Man villains like Dr. Octopus and Hydroman. You can even spot a Stan Lee cameo in this attraction! While this ride is showing its age as its technology from the 90s, it's a classic ride at Universal that you have to do! Kids will love it, comic fans will appreciate it and anyone familiar with Marvel will enjoy it. Note: all the Marvel rides in this area are themed strictly after the comics as it was all built in the 90s!

Skip? Must do, classic dark ride steeped in Universal history.

Access: Express Pass, Single Rider

Height Requirements: 40 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Doctor Doom's FearfallUniversal Islands Guide

Universal Ride Review: Doctor's Dooms Freefall is a typical space shot ride (meaning it shoots you into the air, drops you and repeats the process) similar to most you'd find at other ordinary theme parks or carnivals. The Dr Doom thing would be appreciated by Marvel comics fans but otherwise most guests may find this a skip unless they're specifically looking for thrill rides. Which in that case, you can't go wrong with a class space shot!

Skip? If you're afraid of heights, not much different than regular theme park rides so skip this one

Access: Express Pass, Single Rider

Height Requirements: 52 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Storm Force AccelatronMarvel Universal Orlando

Universal Ride Review: This ride is a typical spinning ride themed after Storm from the X-Men. This is a good choice for small children but adults looking to prioritize other attractions at Universal won't find anything too noteworthy here,

Skip? Typical spinning attraction with lackluster theme, skip this one.

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: none

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw FallsUniversal RIde Guide

Universal Ride Review: Kids and teens may not recognize the cartoon characters of this ride (Dudley-Do-Right!) but it's the best water ride at Universal by far. Think of this ride like Universal's version of Splash Mountain but expect to get much wetter and experience more thrills on the way to the drop. This ride is part roller coaster, part water flume and sends guests flying through twists and turns before going down a 75 foot drop. If you don't want to get wet, pack some ponchos for this ride because it's worth it!

Skip? If you don't want to get wet as you can get drenched!

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: 48 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat BargesPopeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges® | Universal's Islands of Adventure™

Universal Ride Review: Not everyone may be familiar with Pop Eye & Bluto the cartoon characters but that hardly matters on this ride as it's a typical spinning water raft ride. Expect to get wet on this ride as you fly around drops and turns being sloshed with waves of water along the way. If you don't want to get wet, you might want to skip this one! This ride isn't too unique from other theme parks that offer rides in this style so you're also not missing anything unique if you want to skip it.

Skip? Similar enough to other theme park raft rides, can skip this one

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: 42 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

The Cat in the HatDr Seuss Cat in the Hat

Universal Ride Review: This is a classic dark ride themed after the Cat in the Hat. This ride is showing its age a bit but is still popular since guests of all ages are familiar with this character! A good choice for children but adults that aren't interested in classic dark rides can skip this one,

Skip? Classic dark ride, must for people who appreciate those. Otherwise, skip.

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: 36 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!Dr Seuss ride

Universal Ride Review: This train style ride takes you above Seuss Land on a loop with great views of Universal Orlando. This attraction is themed towards small children but many adults enjoy this ride because of the great views of the theme park it offers. It's a great relaxing choice if you just need a moment to rest your legs or enjoy the sunset. If you're short on time though, skip this one.

Skip? If you have time, offers great views of Universal otherwise skip it

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: 36 inches

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue FishDr Seuss land Universal

Universal Ride Review: Children's focused attraction based on the Dr Seuss book in the same style as the Dumbo attraction down the street at Walt Disney World. The ride gently spins in a circle and goes up and down with the lever inside the fish. Unless you have small children, there's nothing too unique here as this is a run of the mill attraction style.

Skip? Nothing unique here, skip unless you have small children.

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: none

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Caro-Seuss-ElUniversal RIde Guide

Universal Ride Review:  This Dr Seuss themed carousel is colorful and full of Dr Seuss characters to ride! This is a neat take on a traditional carousel and Universal really brought in the bright colors and eccentric qualities of the books into this ride.

Skip? Aside from the wacky Dr Seuss theme, this is a typical carousel- skip this one if you don't have small children.

Access: Express Pass

Height Requirements: None

On-Ride Video: via Youtube

Single Rider Universal Islands of Adventure

  • The Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man
  • Dr. Doom's Fearfall
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Plan Your Universal Orlando Vacation

We have all the tips and advice you need to plan an awesome Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World vacation. Through our guides to the resort we'll help you to plan out your full trip with our guide to Universal Orlando, decide where to buy cheap Universal Orlando tickets, where to stay at Universal Orlando, if you should consider a Universal Orlando Christmas vacation, touring tips for Universal Orlando, and more.

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the editor of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and writing Disney culture pieces on DisneyDose.com- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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