How would you rank all of Universal's shows (both parks)?

We’ve never been to Universal Studios Orlando. I’m deciding which shows are must sees for a probable trip in April (DH, DW and 3 kids aged 7, 12, 13).

Help me.

How would you rank all the shows at both IOA and USF? TP currently lists 8 for USF (USF showtimes) and 3 more for IOA (IOA showtimes). Thank you in advance.

All of IOA’s shows during COVID are outdoor smalls stage shows. The Potter ones are fine, skip the Seuss one.

At USF, Bourne and Horror Make-Up are must dos and are rated do not miss. Blues Brothers, Marilyn, and Beat Builders are all street shows - they’re ok and enjoyable. The two Potter shows are small stage shows are much better than the IOA ones. I recommend both of them.


The only show I care for at IOA is the Frog Choir

USF is a whole different matter and really depends on if you like “streetmoshpere” style entertainment versus sit down experiences. However. Bourne is a #1 Must Do!

It’s really hard to choose, but my top 3 would be:

Bourne, Horror Make-up Show and Tales of the Beetle Bard

I enjoy “looking at” stuff like the Blues Brothers, Marilyn as I walk around. I"ll stop for a minute or two, but rarely watch it all. It’s great and makes for fun atmosphere like parades.

I admit I haven’t seen Animal Actors yet, but is on my future trip list.

1 Like

If your family loves dogs and other animals, Animal Actors is a must do.

1 Like

Bourne is number 1 for me. Number 2 is the Horror Make Up. These 2 are my only must do shows. They are both brilliant.

1 Like

CD My daughter loves Animal Actors and both my teens were in fits of laughter at Horror Make up show as were the adults. Bourne is really good too. I’d do all three of those and of the street shows here’s my order

  1. Celestina warbeck
  2. blues brothers
  3. tales of beedle the bard
  4. frog choir
  5. beat builders
  6. Marilyn and the diamond Bella’s
  7. hogsMeade show with durmstrang and beauxbatons
  8. Seuss. (However your three year old might like Seuss…oops you have three kids…not a three year old. Yes please skip this with your kids ages!)

Edit: your kids and the adults will love the character calvacades They are better than Disney imho. For example when the minions come out Gru and the girls might get on stage in front of horror make up show where Marilyn comes on and do a dance. Really cute. I haven’t seen the new nighttime show but I wasn’t impressed by the old version at Universal studios but the castle light up show is magical if it’s happening when you go

1 Like

Horror show and Bourne are must-dos. Although I consider Bourne to be a one-and-done. Although I might go again when the actors aren’t wearing masks. That spoiled things a bit.

I agree with Jenny on the order.
These are Try Hard To See, and with the HP ones maybe catch more than one show, since there is a variety.

  • Celestina warbeck
  • Blues brothers
  • Tales of beedle the bard

These are worth pausing if they start up while you walk by.

  • frog choir
  • beat builders

Marilyn and the diamond Bella’s

  • hogsMeade show with durmstrang and beauxbatons
  • Seuss. (However your three year old might like Seuss)

I can’t speak to Animal Actors. The rest of the family saw it on our most recent trip while I had a work day. DD(10) liked it.

1 Like

Animal Actors is great but it is a slightly tired animal trick show. But it does have corgis so that adds one more start to my review. :wink:

It’s also the only outdoor amphitheater show in the parks.


My kiddo loves this show and she’s in the teen phase where everything is just meh including all of WDW now?!?!?

1 Like

We all go through that phase


Pretty sure I always thought Disney was neat but I did choose to go to Italy with classmates over WDW with my family at 15.

1 Like

I have a slightly different order to my factor shows, but it’s really all based on personal preference. Like others, I’m less thrilled with the shows at IoA. The Frog Choir is the only one I would go out of my way to see, though I would probably stop to watch the TriWizard Rally & Seuss if they happened to be going on when I was in the area.

At USF my order would be:

  1. Tales of Beedle the Bard - they perform 2 different tales, and I have yet to determine the times they do each one. I’m hoping to spend a day on one of my trips to watch all of the performances and maybe figure it out.

  2. Bourne Stuntacular - I’ve been fortunate to see this show 3 times, with the first being during tech rehearsals in June. It’s an incredible show and has some cool optical effects. One thing to note though, there is a fair amount of violence with hand to hand fighting, gun shots, explosions, etc which might be a little intense for younger audience members.

  3. Animal Actors - yes, this show is older and has some of the common animal show gags, but as an animal lover, I enjoy it and watch it every trip. Plus as a fan of the group Savage Garden, I appreciate that they use The Animal Song as the theme for the show.

  4. The Beat Builders - as a former marching band geek, I appreciate the percussion/drum line aspect of this show. It’s just fun.

  5. Horror Movie Make-up - I’ve had great and but so great experiences with this show. The actors are given a significant amount of freedom to improvise and for me, some of the jokes and innuendo have been more than I appreciate. But that being said, the last show I attended in December was incredibly funny. I like learning about how things work, so I find that part of the show incredibly interesting.

  6. Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees - fun little Music show, but this one in addition to the next two are just so loud and I never remember to bring earplugs.

  7. Marilyn and the Diamond Bella’s - cute little show, very dance based, but also loud. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is one of my favorite musicals, so I enjoy this show, but it’s not anything i would go out of my way for.

  8. Blues Brothers - my main issue with this show again is that is just so loud. Though my perception might be colored by the fact that the last 3 times I’ve tried to watch it, I’ve ended up getting work calls that I have to take and it’s very difficult to find a quiet-ish area near that area in the park, lol.


Appreciate the level of detail. Thanks

1 Like