15 Best Things to Do in Universal Studios, Orlando

Universal Studios, Orlando
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Universal Studios is a global icon representing the best of Hollywood and its cinematic prowess.

One of the most famous theme parks in the world, it’s a place that should be on everyone's bucket list.

The first-ever Universal Studios was established in 1964 in Los Angeles, California.

Since then, they’ve added a bigger park in Orlando, Florida, and expanded to Japan, China, and Singapore.

There are a ton of rides here that both children and adults can enjoy, so it’s important to plan ahead to avoid being overwhelmed.

With that said, here are the best things to do at Universal Studios in Orange County, Florida!

Get a Thrilling Immersion with the Dinos at Jurassic World – The Ride

Exterior of Jurassic World – The Ride
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Very few Hollywood series are as timeless as the iconic Jurassic World—easily one of the best ways to get into the prehistoric behemoths from millions of years ago.

Through Jurassic World – The Ride, Universal Studios is the best place to see and interact with your favorite dinosaurs.

Jurassic World – The Ride beautifully recreates the dinosaur enclosure that you see in the hit series.

Riverboat ride at Jurassic World – The Ride
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It’s full of artificial jungles, rivers, and rock formations.

However, there’s no mistaking that the highlight of this adventure is the massive Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex) animatronic.

Be prepared to get wet here because you’ll be on a riverboat throughout your adventure as you zip across the area.

People on a riverboat at Jurassic World – The Ride
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Have a Magical Experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hogwarts castle at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Another transcendent franchise that rivals Jurassic World is Harry Potter.

Almost every adult and child knows this iconic book and movie series, so The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is another ride that you must put on your priority list.

The recreated world of Hogwarts and its surrounding town of Hogsmeade are a treat to the eyes and definitely worth exploring.

There’s a variety of things to do—from drinking the famous butterbeer to interacting with the wizards in town.

Butterbeer store at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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When you go inside, there’s a variety of puzzles and mind-boggling games that you have to accomplish.

There’s also a cool ride that lets you experience the world of Harry Potter using high-definition animations.

Finally, you can’t miss riding the roller coaster—called The Flight of Hippogriff—that speeds across the entire vicinity of the theme park.

Hogwarts express at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Get the Full Hollywood Immersion at The World-Famous Studio Tour

Entryway of the World-Famous Studio Tour
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From the creative mind of legendary director Steven Spielberg, The World-Famous Studio Tour is a working studio tour with 13 city blocks spanning over 400 acres.

Special effects, props, and all sorts of filmmaking technology—many of which were part of iconic blockbuster films—are part of the attractions of the tour.

Tram ride of the World-Famous Studio Tour
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Some iconic movies with recreated rides here include War of the Worlds, King Kong, and Fast and the Furious.

You’ll easily spend hours trying them out.

You’ll also get to see how the studio creates natural calamities like earthquakes and flash floods.

Studio set along the World-Famous Studio Tour
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It’s an excellent addition for all the movie geeks out there!

Once you’re done having back-to-back blasts in Jurassic World and Hogwarts, you can proceed to The World-Famous Studio Tour to get the full immersion of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Western film set along the World-Famous Studio Tour
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Watch the Witty Animals at Universal’s Animal Actors Show

The stage of Animal Actors Show
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Speaking of shows, did you know that Universal Studios also has animal performances at Universal’s Animal Actors show?

Only half an hour long, you’ll get to meet Universal Studios’ talented pooches, birds, felines, rodents, and more that have been part of many of their iconic movies, like Evan Almighty and Night at the Museum.

Kids in particular will enjoy this fun show.

Several contraptions and obstacles are on stage for all kinds of animals to maneuver around.

Their expert trainers are the hosts of the show, giving you a glimpse of the training Hollywood animal actors undergo to be so intelligent.

Dogs at Animal Actors Show
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Perhaps the best part of the event is the immersion you can experience.

Not everyone gets to do it, but trainers will select audience members to partake in the tricks that their little companions would do.

Universal’s Animal Actors is a heartwarming and fun experience that will make you closer to the animals who work behind the camera.

Make sure to snap some video recordings as a remembrance!

A bird at Animal Actors Show
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Go on a New York City Adventure at The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash Ride

Building sign of the Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash Ride
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Speaking of animals, Universal Studios also has a fun ride called The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash—based on the quirky dogs and cats from the hit 2016 animated film.

You’ll find amazing recreations of your favorite 3D pets throughout the ride.

They’re not just static either; the animals come to life complete with motion and voice acting as you see them go about their New York City life.

You’ll be riding a makeshift cardboard box (it’s safe, don’t worry!) throughout your adventure across the reimagined New York City neighborhood where the movie was set.

You’ll see bustling commercial streets with high-arching apartments.

Eventually, you’ll end up in the sketchier areas of the city where the antagonistic cats reside.

Immersive and fun, it’s a perfect ride that kids of all ages would enjoy.

Be an Expert Paleontologist at DinoPlay

If you choose to not partake in Jurassic World – The Ride, there’s good news because there’s an additional attraction inside.

DinoPlay is a kid-friendly area where you won’t have to worry about getting drenched.

Here, kids of all ages can explore its fossil excavation site and even dig out their own dinosaur fossils.

Giant replicas of dinosaur skulls transform into playgrounds where kids can have a blast with other children.

If you’re not into the thrilling water adventure at Jurassic World, DinoPlay makes for a great alternative.

Pump Your Adrenaline at Super Silly Fun Land

Entrance to the Super Silly Fun Land
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Super Silly Fun Land is another awesome theme park in Universal Studios that’s rated for everyone.

Teeming with vibrant exteriors, this carnival-like place offers a variety of rides and interactive activities.

Based on the Minions from the movie Despicable Me, Super Silly Fun Land has over 80 different water-play features, so be ready to get wet!

If you’re not looking to get drenched, there’s also a spacious dry zone dedicated to climbing, jumping, and sliding activities.

Splash pad at the Super Silly Fun Land
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There’s also the Super Silly Space Killer, an arcade game that rewards you with exciting prizes.

However, the biggest highlight of this area is the Super Silly Fun Ride.

It’s a child-friendly aerial ride that will spin you across the park, giving you a full 360-degree view of the area.

Children playing at Super Silly Fun Land's splash pad
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Become a Minion at Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Exterior of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
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Speaking of Despicable Me, they have their own attraction site at the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem park.

Unlike the previous rides, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is a computer-simulated ride.

Still, it’s a lot of fun that makes it enjoyable for all ages.

Here, you’ll become an actual Minion and go through Minion training.

Entrance to Gru's house at Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
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There’s a lot of exciting twists and turns throughout your adventure filled with comedy.

You’ll be taken to the world of Minions on this ride, paying homage to the characters in the movies.

The facade of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is also a wonderful photo opportunity for the family.

It’s a great replica of Gru’s Home.

Go on a Shopping Spree at Universal CityWalk

Daytime view of Universal CityWalk
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A trip to Universal Studios is not complete without spending extra cash buying all sorts of memorabilia.

You can do exactly that at Universal CityWalk.

Aerial view of Universal CityWalk
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A centerpiece of Universal Studios, adults will greatly enjoy the diverse shops and restaurants present in this entertainment promenade.

At Universal CityWalk, you’ll see establishments that pay tribute to your Hollywood favorites.

It gets even better at night, because it perfectly shows the rich and vibrant Hollywood culture through its bustling streets full of beautiful neon lights.

Neon store signs at Universal CityWalk
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You can buy all sorts of items here, such as Harry Potter wands, The Simpsons merchandise, and even personal care items.

Make sure to leave enough budget to shop for all sorts of food and snacks, too!

Night scene at Universal CityWalk
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Get Wet at WaterWorld

The set of WaterWorld
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WaterWorld is Universal Studios’ thrilling live performance demonstrating the cutting-edge technology behind special effects in films set in oceans and rivers.

The performance team here comprises expert stunt performers that will get you out of your seat.

Set in a manmade waterfront area that acts like a pirate’s hideout, be prepared to get wet, especially if you’re sitting in front of the performers!

Stuntman at WaterWorld
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During its climax, the water contraptions and props are truly the main highlight of the show.

From machine guns to boats and water cannons, the performance is a sight to behold and an experience like no other.

Jaw-dropping stunt at WaterWorld
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Learn the Genius Behind Hollywood Filmmaking at the Special Effects Show

If The World-Famous Studio Tour is not enough to satisfy your curiosity about Hollywood filmmaking, fret not because the Special Effects Show has even more in store for you.

Dedicated to showing Hollywood’s cutting-edge technology and world-class stunt performers, you’ll see the genius behind how your favorite blockbuster film came to life.

The Special Effects Show is truly a haven for movie enthusiasts.

The entire duration of the show will feature fantastic stunt performances that can be as extreme as lighting someone on fire.

You’ll also learn more about camera angles and the use of sounds and lighting to create different ambiances.

Others, such as martial arts, live animation, and horror scenes, are also in the Special Effects Show.

Make sure to give this one a go during your stay, as the show runs for less than an hour.

Save Humanity with the Autobots at the Transformers: The Ride-3D

Exterior of Transformers: The Ride-3D
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The Transformers: The Ride-3D is another fun adventure in Universal Studios, based on the hit Transformers series that goes all the way back to the 1980s.

Known for its technical brilliance, The Transformers: The Ride 3D immerses you in the world of Autobots and Decepticons through its huge 3D screens and flight simulation technology.

The story of your adventure is simple—fight alongside Transformers leader Optimus Prime and win against the Decepticons to prevent the downfall of humanity.

Megatron at Transformers: The Ride-3D
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Before you begin your journey, you’ll also encounter an accurate recreation of N.E.S.T, or the Non-Biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty.

If you’re a big fan of this iconic series or looking for a simulated ride, The Transformers: The Ride 3D is one of the best ones in the country.

A transformer statue at Transformers: The Ride-3D
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Laugh Your Heart Out at The Simpsons Ride

Krusty the clown entrance to The Simpsons Ride
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Another classic series that gets a theme park in Universal Studios is The Simpsons Ride.

Not necessarily an action-packed series unlike the others, The Simpsons Ride is a great way to get a good laugh while you enjoy its characters.

One of the first rides in Universal Studios, The Simpsons Ride has state-of-the-art projection and hydraulic technology to give you a unique experience.

Signage of The Simpsons Ride
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You’ll begin your journey walking through the massive Krusty the Clown park entrance.

During this period, you’ll watch several pre-shows playing on TV screens.

Afterward, the iconic Homer Simpson will initiate the ride, and all sorts of hilarious twists and turns await you in this motion simulator.

Homer and Marge Simpson mascot at The Simpsons Ride
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Get Spooked at Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride

Entryway of Mummy: The Ride
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Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride is perhaps the most thrilling ride in Universal Studios.

It’s an enclosed roller coaster ride that will question your courage.

You’ll first walk through the huge entrance, which is the Museum of Antiques.

From here, you’ll face several jump scares that will make your skin crawl!

Interior of Mummy: The Ride
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You’ll eventually find yourself on a mine cart and thrust into the deep chambers that recreate the spooky Egyptian tombs in The Mummy film.

Take note—you’ll get wet here, too!

There’s a lot of great voice acting here that supplements the outstanding technical difficulty of recreating haunting mummies that will chase you.

This ride is easily the scariest ride in Universal Studios, so Revenge of the Mummy is best enjoyed with teenagers and adults.

Get an Immersive Movie Experience at DreamWorks Theater Featuring Kung Fu Panda

Exterior of DreamWorks Theater – Kung Fu Panda
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If all the rides have you reeling already, going to DreamWorks Theater Featuring Kung Fu Panda is a great change of pace.

You won’t be moving at all here.

Instead, you’ll be on your seat, immersed in Master Po’s world through the studio’s projection technology.

It’s not just a regular movie theater, however.

Advertised as a multisensory facility, your seat here is equipped with all sorts of fun surprises.

For example, as Master Po goes through a river, you’ll be gently sprayed with water.

The seats move according to the motion of the movie as well, making you feel like you’re part of the adventure.

DreamWorks Theater – Kung Fu Panda is suitable for children.

It’s a fun and less tiring way to enjoy Universal Studios.

Final Thoughts

Universal Studios is one of the best amusement theme parks worldwide, whether you go to its branches in the US, China, Singapore, or Japan.

Besides its thrilling rides, kids can enjoy all sorts of educational aspects behind filmmaking and acting.

And if you’re looking for a relaxing time, its shops and dining establishments are an attraction on their own.

To make the most of your visit, use this list of the best things to do at Universal Studios.

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