We have been to WDW twice. My 11-year-old son will ride anything, my soon to be 8-year-old daughter is not as daring. We find plenty to do at WDW and can do most things as a family still. We have never been to Universal. I have to admit in the past I had people say there were mostly intense rides and it discouraged me. I have been looking into it more and I am considering it. I am super interested in Volcano Bay and the Cabana Bay resort. My husband is worried that our daughter won’t enjoy it. Advice??
I will add she rides Splash Mountain, Mine Train (gets scared each time lol) Rode Expedition Everest and was TERRIFIED, yet claims she will try to do it again!
I divide UOR into three.
Thrill rides — Rip Ride Rockit, Hulk
Simulator rides — Spider-Man, Jimmy Fallon
Harry Potter — Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade
(I’d divide it into four if I’d ever been to Volcano Bay.)
The Harry Potter stuff is every bit as breathtaking as any themed area in WDW bar none.
I’m not talking about the HP rides — the three main ones are pretty intense. But the visual feast of detail of the areas themselves: including the inside of the castle (you don’t have to ride) and Grigott’s Bank (you don’t have to ride).
To quote Pope John Paul II, it is as it was.
Can she do Star Tours? There are several similar simulator rides. US has ET which is a PP style dark ride, and Men in Black which isn’t dissimilar to Buzz. And a kids area, not sure what’s in there. IOA has Storm Force which is like the teacups, Flight of the Hippogriff is a kiddie coaster, and all of Seuss Landings would be fine. Volcano Bay has lots of intense slides but I’m sure it has stuff for kids too.
She has done Star Tours, Flight of Passage, Dinosaur, Soarin and Test Track. All can be intense in their own way. She wasn’t a fan of FOP (what!!???) but she just closed her eyes. All the other she likes. Soarin is one of her top rides.
There about 40 rides total at both parks. About half of them will probably fit your criteria. Here’s a list of them at each park
Hogsmeade - Just exploring it & interactive wands are great
Flight of the Hippogriff
Hogwarts Express - requires a “park hopper / park-to-park” ticket
Men in Black
All of Woody Woodpecker Land
Kang & Kudos Twirl & Hurl
The Simpsons Ride - It is a motion simulator like Star Tours, so this one is up to you.
Diagon Alley - Just exploring it & interactive wands are great
Storm Force Acceleration
Popeye & Bluto’s Barges - Warning! You will get SOAKED… not a joke!
Me Ship, The Oilve
Poseidon’s Fury - Imagine Jungle Cruise, but you walk through it with water & pryo effects
Jurassic Park Discover Center - Imagine a children’s museum about Dinos
All of Seuss Landing Rides
Spider-Man - another motion simulator like Star Tours, so this one is up to you.
You have exactly the same thoughts about Universal that I had before we went. I do not do any thrill rides, and I have a younger daughter (almost 8 when we went) who can only do limited ones. But my 2 older sons (11 and almost 13) like them and my husband can do some. We all had a great time at U. I was able to ride more than I had expected—I just watched a lot of POV videos on you tube and sometimes sent my husband first to get his take. We all loved doing rides like simpsons, MIB, even Gringotts was ok for me. Rides like despicable me have an option for stationary seating. We also split up for awhile with one group doing thrill rides while the others did kiddie rides.
There is such great advice in this thread! I will caution that many of the Volcano Bay attractions can be very intense.
Is there much for younger kids or would not be better to try a Disney water park. Never been to those!
There is a kids water play area that would be fun, a lazy river, and a pool area.
Appreciate this list as I have similar reservation about rides my 9 year old will like
My DD8 (who was actually still 7 during the trip) is a thrill seeker in the making who wants to do what her big brothers do. If she didn’t have her sibs I don’t know if she’d want to do a lot of the Universal rides she did. That being said, she LOVED rides like MIB and Simpsons. And Simpsons made my husband motion sick whereas all the kids could handle it.