13 Can’t Miss Rides & Attractions at Universal Studios Orlando
8. The Simpsons (Universal Studios)
What an excitement to join all your favorite Simpsons characters in Krustyland! The combination of an IMAX screen and a motion simulator ride make you feel as if you are actually following Homer and the gang. The most exhilarating portion of the ride takes you on an exciting roller-coaster ride where you really feel as if you experiencing the drops and turns of the coaster. An exciting, unexpected ride with fun appearances by your favorite TV characters! Although the novelty wears off on repeat rides, it’s more than worthy of a first go around.
After the ride, be sure to take a walk over to Springfield, Universal’s recreation of everything Simpsons. Here you will find restaurants based on different Springfield establishments and Simpsons episodes: Krusty Burger, Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror, Cleatus’ Chicken Shack, Moe’s Tavern, and Duff Brewery.
9. Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure)
While Universal Studios is home to the newest section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Diagon Alley), Islands of Adventure is home to Hogsmeade, the original Harry Potter attraction. Hogsmeade includes 3 great rides ( Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and Flight of the Hippogriff). In between all your rides and shopping, you can stop by 3 Broomsticks for an English meal served with a Butterbeer.
Take a look at a few of the great shops you can visit while in Hogsmeade:
Honeydukes – Get ready for a floor to ceiling collection of treats, including Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.
Ollivanders – Shop for your unique wand or a replica from the movie. Every single character from Harry Potter to Cedric Diggory is available!
Dervish + Banges – A great place to shop for themed merchandised based on your favorite house such as mugs and clothing. You will also be treated to a large assortment of wands and brooms.
Filche’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods – After your ride on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you will be brought into this large shop filled with everything Harry Potter, including must-see souvenir pieces like a sorting hat snowglobe and a Marauders Map. Lots of Hogwarts themed souvenirs such as t-shirts, mugs, picture frames, keychains, etc. – a perfect place to stock up for early Christmas gifts for Harry Potter fans. Be sure to check out the Hogwarts Houses Quidditch chess set up front by the register – really neat if you feel like spending $300! Here you can also purchase photos of yourself from the ride!
The Owl Post – Send out a letter or postcard with an official Hogsmeade stamp.
Every detail from the snow-capped mountains to the design of the shops and pubs is just perfect. As you walk around the snowy village, you can browse in shop windows (complete with special effects and movie props) and purchase ButterBeer in a souvenir glass. A perfect experience for Harry Potter fans – even better than you imagined!
10. Dragon Challenge (Islands of Adventure)
Dragon Challenge, formerly Dueling Dragons, reopened within Universal’s Islands of Adventure as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The ride used to consist of 2 opposing roller-coasters that would intertwine along their course. However, they now run as 2 separate coasters, although the ride is still as exciting as ever with 5 fun inversions. The intense ride includes several loops and corkscrews and a speed above 60mph. A fast and exciting ride which will leave you dizzy afterwards! Warning to those with motion sickness: skip this ride! The ride is extreme with many sharp twists and turns and try as you may your head will end up going side to side, leading to some major post ride dizziness!