Universal Studios Orlando priorities

Only have 3 hours to do Univ Studios Orlando in morning w Express Pass. Any advice on what to prioritize. 2 adults and a 12 year old.

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I would prioritise Minions and maybe the Mummy first thing.

Are you only visiting the studios and not islands of adventure?

Just rides, or are you interested in spells/shows/street performers??

For me it would be Mummy and MiB at the top of my list. My kids would put RRR next. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts would be next priority for us. And then touring Diagon Alley with whatever time you’ve got left. And a cherry on top for me would be ET. I can skip Simpsons, F&F (you’re gonna have to pay me to ride this again and I mean at minimum $100!), Jimmy Fallon, transformers and Minions personally but if you’ve never done em my order of preference would go

Do I have to mention the other one?

With 3 hours I don’t think you have time for shows. If you did I personally prefer the monster show over Bourne but that’s subjective. And animal actors would be my last choice.

Of the street shows I’d say Celestina, Blues Brothers and then Beedle of the Bard in that order of preference and then all the rest like Beat Builders and Marilyn Monroe in last.

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Wow. Great advice. Thanks!

This may sound like a dumb question, but to help I need to ask it…

When you say “Universal Studios Orlando” do you mean the entire campus of both parks? This means Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure or only the Universal Studios Florida park?

Because if you are asking about both parks that changes things… Universal has some confusing branding / naming issues where they overlap the word “Universal” so much it can be difficult to identify exactly what someone means if they don’t know the “correct” verbage…

Also… WTF??? Why has no one said anything about going into WWOHP?? Harry Potter is the icon of those parks. That would be like saying I’m going to WDW but never wanting to see anything to do with Mickey Mouse! :rofl: :crazy_face:


I said it! It would be third on my list but my kids would put RRR right before it cuz they’re teens.

Cool! LOL!! I admit I skimmed the post and just saw the list of attractions in the middle… :innocent:

Diagon Alley itself is an attraction. You HAVE to see the dragon. It would be like going to WDW / Magic Kingdom and not taking a picture in front of the castle!

As much as I LOVE Animal Actors, I can’t recommend it over Bourne! Bourne is the best stunt show in Orlando, possibly anywhere. (Although the Water World Stunt show out at Universal Hollywood is pretty cool too!)

Once we confirm if OP means both parks or only USF I’ll make my list…




I asked about spells :woman_shrugging:t4::laughing:

I didn’t put Gringotts as a priority because I don’t mind that line. There is lots to see.
Minions line is dull, so I would want that over and done with before it gets long.
I wasn’t sure about Mummy. The line gets long, but I don’t know how the EP line is.

And to be honest I entirely forgot about RRR :scream::scream:

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So if this makes it easier here’d be my list:

Just USF:

  1. Mummy
  2. MiB
  3. Escape from Gringotts
  4. Tour Diagon Alley
  5. ET
  6. RRR
  7. Minions
  8. Fallon
  9. Transformers
  10. Simpsons
  11. Nope…just run, run away from F&F


  1. Monsters
  2. Bourne
  3. AA

Street Shows:

  1. Celestina
  2. Blues Brothers
  3. Beedle the Bard (Three Brothers over Fair Fortune if possible)
  4. Beat Builders (very skippable but still over F&F)
  5. Marilyn Monroe (very skippable but still over F&F)

Both parks combined:

  1. Hagrids
  2. VelociCoaster
  3. Mummy
  4. MiB
  5. Escape from Gringotts
  6. Diagon Alley
  7. Hogwarts Express
  8. Forbidden Journey
  9. Hogsmeade
  10. Kong
  11. Hulk
  12. Jurassic Park River Adventure
  13. Popeye
  14. Spidey
  15. ET
  16. Cat in the Hat
  17. RRR
  18. Minions
  19. Fallon
  20. Transformers
  21. Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls
  22. High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
  23. Flying Hippogriff
  24. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  25. Simpsons
  26. Kang & Kodo’s Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  27. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  28. Caroseussel
  29. What Storm’s spinning thng is called? (this low down my list it doesn’t get ridden very often so I forget)
  30. and with Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone closed the ride that must not be named, I believe the F’s stand for curse words or something? :wink: F&F

Am I forgetting a ride? I’d obviously put shows in there before some of those rides but with 3 hours, I just probably wouldn’t do a show cuz that’s gonna eat up at least 45 minutes.

*I did forget Jurassic Park River Adventure…going to put it in… hold on.

Storm Force Accelerator

I feel this way about Jimmy Fallon. I’d rather ride F&F all day than one ride on Fallon. At least I can ironically ride F&F and joke around. (Plus it’s way shorter than Fallon!)

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Yes, these things are subjective. But my whole fam got off F&F and joked the entire rest of the day about the “best” attraction of their lives. From grandparents, to teens, we all hated it. I want those minutes of my life back! LOL. The funny thing is, it doesn’t bother me on the west coast as part of the full tour quite so much or really at all. But as a standalone attraction, nope. Jimmy Fallon, while not as memorable as Twister from it’s before times in that same space is alright; I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. It’s cute a few times. But I just don’t like Transformers that much, Simpsons makes me sick and then that other ride…lol I’m sure a lot of other people would bump Transformers much higher in that list. Very subjective this all is!

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Storm Force Accelatron!

Come on you’ve been on it more than I have!! :laughing:


I blame auto-correct!

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I have a moment now to make my own list of what I would do in three hours at Universal

To begin, you can’t park hop. I’m sorry, but it will eat a large chunk of time. The parks are super close to each other, but it will still take 20+ minutes to walk and the Hogwarts Express can take longer.

If I was only visiting USF I’d do the following route


Diagon Alley - Get an ice cream, Butterbeer or some treat to enjoy. If you see a WWHOP show in progress, stop to watch it! However, I might not plan around it. (even though I love them all!)

Escape from Gringotts

Men in Black

Simpsons (Only if you are a big fan. Otherwise you might not enjoy all the jokes and the “ride” is just OK. I love the show, so I stop in at least once per trip)

Stop at Central Park Crepes. They are awesome! Be aware that they are big and shareable! Whenever I eat a whole one it fills me up for the day.


Bourne Stuntacular - The show experience is going to take 45 minutes. Express doesn’t really help here. Also, you’d have to “plan” to be in that area at show times. I tell everyone this is one of my few “must-do” things at USF. However, I know it might not be feasible with your schedule.

Characters - They tend to meet along this stretch between Springfield and Hollywood

Rip Ride Rock’it - This one is tough for me to recommend. It used to be on of my favorites, but it is so rough on me now. I’m spoiled by VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s that run so smooth. RRR can be a headbanger (and not just for the awesome music) It is a fun ride though

That should be achievable in three hours with UXP at USF. (with Bourne being optional) It will give you a good loop around the park too

At IOA in three hours with UXP I’d do this route

Hagrid’s - (Optional, but shouldn’t be missed) I’m sorry that it doesn’t take UXP and it is going to eat up a large chunk of your time. However, it is probably the best coaster I’ve ever been on. It’s a “story coaster” and it does things that only one other ride in Europe does. I can’t tell you as they are fun moments that I will never spoil for first timers. My wife HATES lines and rarely goes with me to theme parks. She refuses to wait more than 30 minutes for anything. I told her Hagrid’s rarely has a wait less than 60 minutes. After the ride was over she said it was worth the wait. Plus, she rode it 3 more times on that trip - waiting 60+ minutes each time. That’s a big endorsement!!)

Forbidden Journey - It’s such a unique ride! It can cause motion sickness. The queue is amazing as well if you are a big HP fan. (I am!!) It’s one of the few queues that I enjoy waiting in. (It could almost be a “walk-thru experience” You’ll skip a big chunk of it with UXP, but you are limited on time so use the UXP and maybe one day you’ll see the rest)

VelociCoaster - It’s amazing and super smooth. However, it’s a MAJOR thrill ride. If you are scared about big coasters you should skip it.

Jurassic Park River Adventure - I love animatronics and giant dinosaurs. You will get wet, but not soaked. I always laugh at people trying to put on ponchos as they board. It’s not that bad!

Kong: Skull Island - very underrated attraction!

Wimpy’s Hamburgers for a food stop. Best burger inside the parks!


I’m not sure if you can get to everything if Hagrid’s eats up your time. Also, I didn’t list Hogsmeade as it doesn’t have the same “WOW” factor as Diagon Alley. If you do only go to IOA I’d walk through it for sure, but it may feel underwhelming.

I really hope you enjoy your trip!! Please let us know if you need any more advice!

CityWalk, the dining and entertainment center for Universal, has a lot of good food and fun. You have to go through it to get to the parks, so it may be an option for food as you enter or leave


Now I want a crepe :yum:

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Sadly, I put up a pic of my all time favorite that is no longer available - Lemon Blueberry! It still breaks my heart that it is gone!!


It’s my all time favorite too :pensive: I do really like the brisket crepe as a savory option. So good!

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