All of the Universal Studios parks are famous for having thrill rides that teens and young adults will flock to – but what if you’ve got a group that includes toddlers, young children, and grandparents?
There are rides and shows here that are suitable for absolutely everyone, with nothing that is too fast, too loud, or too scary. We promise!
Production Central is meant to represent working soundstages, so nothing is too fancy over here. The Shrek 4-D show is really just a comedy movie starring the Shrek characters, with little to no scare factor.
New York is a recreation of early 20th century city streets and has a few shows and characters. Its newest attraction, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, is a rough simulator ride but the queue is pretty entertaining in itself. (Note: The park is perfectly happy to let you go through any queue without actually going on the ride.)
San Francisco awaits the opening of the new Fast and Furious: Supercharged ride, and in the meantime has restaurants, photo ops, and occasional street shows.
World Expo contains Springfield USA, home of The Simpsons. There are plenty of photo ops and characters here, including some from Back to the Future.
Hollywood has terrific atmosphere, along with many characters roaming around for photo ops. Mel’s Drive-In is straight out of American Graffiti and is a fun place for lunch.
Diagon Alley is now considered the premier theme park experience in all of Orlando. Yes, you read that right. Even if you’ve never seen the Potter films or read the books, this cannot be missed. It is one-half of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with the other half being right next door in Islands of Adventure.
You could spend many hours exploring Diagon Alley and its dark underside, Nocturne Alley. Its detail and beauty must be seen to be believed.
There are many shops, of course, but the finest is Ollivanders Wand Shop. The Wandmaster selects a child from the crowd and guides them through the very magical selection process. If your child is chosen, this becomes the most charming little theme park show you’ll ever see. (You have to buy the wand if you want to keep it, but trust us: You will.)
Escape from Gringotts is actually a fast and wild indoor roller coaster, but be sure to take everyone through the queue. Gringotts is the bank where wizards keep their valuables and so it is protected by enchantments. The queue contains stunning recreations of scenes from the films, complete with animatronic goblins. The dragon outside breathes real fire from time to time and it’s great fun to watch the crowds react to it.
The Hogwarts Express is the magical train that takes Harry and his friends to their school at Hogwarts Castle. It’s beautiful in itself and the ride provides many interesting scenes along the way. One is slightly scary, but don’t let that deter you from taking everyone on the best train ever. Once you get home, you’ll want to watch the movies!