Arrival times and a top favorite rides list?

Newbie to Universal here, looking for some info to start my planning. Massive HP fans all around (my daughter shares a name with my favorite HP character) but also huge fans of dinosaurs and kitsch.

We are going to US/IOA April 8th and 9th as part of a Disney/Universal trip. The 8th is a full, open to close day, we hope, and the 9th we leave in the late afternoon and return to the Disney area for dinner.

Park opening at 9 - how early should we pull up to the entrance? We are Lyft/Ubering from a Disney hotel. We don’t need to be first and storm the doors but we do want to get a lot done that first day, especially WWOHP. We have 2-park passes both days, and don’t plan on Express passes unless the crowds are out of control.

For fun, Tell me your top three or five must dos list. Maybe one for coasters and one for other types of rides or attractions? I love all roller coasters and can single rider a lot, because husband and DD7 will do things that spin and I won’t. My daughter is 52", and she and my husband don’t do loopy or extreme rollercoasters. Both have done and enjoyed every Disney coaster except RNR in DHS, with BTMRR being all of our favorite.

Escape From Gringotts
Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon
Forbidden Journey (even though I get sick every time)
Jurassic Park River Adventure

I know you said three to five, but I could still write more, lol. It was hard for me to narrow Dow to these six, haha.

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It is quite a walk and you have to go through security so I would pull up no later then 830. One park normally offers early admission so I would start with the other one.

I personally love The Mummy and I dont do loopy coasters. I love all the Harry Potter rides but only once after that I start getting motion sick.

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Oh man, same. I am pretty sure I was literally green when I got off the ride. I wish I could do it but I don’t think even Dramamine could help me.

I was there in late 2017 and loved the following:

  • Escape from Gringotts (rode it like 4 times, I think)
  • Men in Black (so fun! just like TSM but with aliens)
  • Hogwarts Express (make sure you have park-to-park tickets, and be sure to ride both directions!)
  • the E.T. ride (because it’s nostalgic and fun)

A PSA: If any of your traveling party suffers from motion sickness, the rides I found particularly stomach-flipping were Forbidden Journey, Spiderman (it’s an AMAZING ride, though), Minions. And apparently the Simpsons ride is the worst of all of them, though we didn’t go on it.

If you’re huge Potter fans, you’ll have so much time wandering around and just taking it all in. It really is SO COOL. It’s amazing how immersive it is, even though the actual area isn’t that big.

This is a bit upsetting. We are a family that takes Dramamine every day before any long road trip or theme park because we are all sensitive stomached. I will probably still brave it - is it a ride with a screen? Is it in 3d?

It’s hard to describe – it’s a ride plus a screen plus… other stuff?!? The seats are on a robotic arm that tosses and turns you all around as you “fly” through Hogwarts and past dragons and such. I was so ill I closed my eyes for most of it, because it’s SO jerky. It tilts you about so much that if you had anything in your pockets, it would definitely fall out. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back to Universal in November and I won’t be riding it :frowning: sniff, sniff.

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I hit the heart on that comment but wanted to hit a big frown face. I am going to have to seriously think about it. Is Gringotts like that, too?

No Gringotts isn’t as jerky. That said, Forbidden Journey is an amazing & visually stunning ride! It’s worth riding just once if you think you can brave it!!

If you love coasters, definitely ride The Hulk! Reign of Kong is a cool ride as well (not a coaster). I love Jurassic Park ride too! I really love most things at Universal though. Great parks! You’ll have a blast.

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No, Gringotts is very smooth in my opinion, and I get motion sickness easily. FJ is very jerky, but worth seeing at least once. I make it a point to go on it every trip. The Mummy is awesome, and is smooth as well. I had no problems on Spider-Man anytime I’ve ridden on it. Simpsons is hit or miss in terms of my motion sickness—some days I’m okay, others I get so nauseous. The children’s Dramamine (grape flavor) was what I used on the last two trips with no problems on any of the rides. (I do not include FJ in this because I always get very nauseous on it. However, the last two trips with the children’s Dramamine, I got a little queasy.)

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The thing about FJ is that it isn’t on a track, so the jerks and swoops feel much harder to anticipate. I was totally fine on Gringotts, because I could sometimes see the track, which helps my eyes tell my brain/inner ear what’s about to happen, motionwise.

Gringotts is an AWESOME ride. So, so cool.

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Hmm – children’s Dramamine is an interesting idea… I bet that wouldn’t make me feel like I’ve been hit with a tranquilizer dart! Maybe I’ll try that when I’m there… Spiderman did bother me, weirdly. Even Kong did sometimes. Any of the 3D rides with glasses tends to mess with my inner equilibrium enough that my brain is like WTF IS HAPPENING MAKE IT STOP.

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That’s the thing! Every other motion sickness medicine made me feel so drowsy, but that one didn’t!


In order of how much I like them, my favorites are:

Forbidden Journey (my vote for best ride among all of Universal and Disney rides until I rode Flight of Passage)
Revenge of the Mummy

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Diagon Alley is the best themed, most immersive land in Orlando. Hogwart’s Castle is visually stunning, every bit the equal to Cindarella’s. I’m not a huge fan of Forbidden Journey, though I’ve never felt unwell after riding it. I much prefer Gringott’s.

Ridewise, my must-dos are: Spider-Man and Kong. Then Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious.

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I guess I’ll have to go on it this time! We skipped it because we live in New York… but if you’re recommending it, I’ll put it in our plans! What’s the ride like?

Ιt’s more than just a ride. There’s a large waiting area with all kinds of things to look at to do with the tv show.

The ride is your basic big-screen motion-simulator but it’s a good one, and it’s quite funny. It’s arguably the smoothest of the similar rides at UOR.

Do you have to wear 3D glasses on it? I get sooooo queasy with those kinds of 3D motion simulators… :confused:

I can’t remember, but almost certainly you do. But, as I say, I think it’s the least motion-sickness provoking of this style of ride. I think it’s less aggressive than Minions, and certainly milder than the Simpsons.

Pretty sure it had glasses. It was the easiest ride for me to make it stop if I get sick. You can close your eyes or look off to the side if you start getting sick and it almost immediately went away.