9 of The Best Family Attractions at Universal Orlando Resort

If you’re planning a trip to central Florida check out the best family attractions at Universal Orlando Resort. If you’re visiting while expecting, I also included what to do at Universal Orlando Resort when you’re pregnant.

Universal Orlando Resort Globe

9 of The Best Family Attractions at Universal Orlando Resort

Disclosure: My family and I were given complimentary passes to Universal Orlando Resort. All opinions are my own.

I haven’t even been back for a week yet, but I have been so excited to tell all of you about my Orlando trip that I’m going to jump right into it.


We LOVED Universal Orlando Resort. My family and I had such an incredible time, we can’t wait to go back and visit after the baby is born, though we’re actually planning on waiting until she’s two. My husband enjoyed the fact that there was something to do for everyone. He had fun on the family rides, like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, but  he really had a blast on the big boy rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt. Me? I was pregnant so I didn’t go on those…well, that’s the story I’m sticking to anyway.


A great addition to Universal Orlando Resort for families is that there are a lot of opportunities for the littles to burn through energy! There are multiple areas for them to play like Fievel’s Playground, Curious George Goes to Town, and over at the Dr. Suess area in Islands of Adventure.

Here are my family’s picks for the best family attractions at Universal Orlando Resort:

1. Harry Potter and The Escape from Gringotts

2. Race Through New York Staring Jimmy Fallon

3. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

4. Hogwarts Express

5. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

6. Flight of The Hippogriff

7. Shrek 4-D

8. Skull Island: Reign of Kong

9. Pteranodon Flyers

Naturally, this list will change for your family depending on the age range of your children. At the time of our visit, our son was five.

Dragon breathing fire over Gringotts bank at Universal Orlando Resort

I’m sure Jurassic Park River Adventure would have made the list (it was our favorite at Hollywood Studios) but it was closed for refurbishment and updates during our visit.

Randa’s Tip: To get the most of both parks, splurge for the Express Pass. Yes, it costs extra but you get to skip the line and almost right straight on to the ride. It’s a great time saver and a feature Universal Orlando Resort offers that we won’t pass up on future visits.

Universal Orlando Resort Rides for Pregnant Women

Hogwarts Castle in Orlando with tips for visiting the theme park while pregnant.

Since I was 23 weeks pregnant during my visit, I learned on the fly what rides are doable for pregnant women. Many of the attractions at Universal Orlando warn pregnant women that they should think about skipping the ride, it’s always better to play it safe. However, I did find that some were not as bad as the signs made them out to be. I personally found that anything with a lap bar was easier for me to brace and control against the shaking of the ride, but seat belts were a no. Obviously, if I was carrying differently, a lap bar may not have been okay. Use your best judgment and when in doubt, skip it. It’s always best to play it safe.

Dragon in Diagon Alley

1. Skull Island: Reign of Kong

2. Shrek 4-d

3. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

4. Pteranodon Flyers

5. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – warning if you get motion sickness, I’d skip it.

6. E.T Adventure

7. Hogwarts Express

There were a lot of rides that I ended up skipping, most of the rides in fact, but that didn’t change the amount of fun I had. While my family rode, I browsed the shops and took in the scenery.

Hogwarts at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando

I encouraged my family to take their time while visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter because I could have stayed there all day. I had a great time just taking it in. I especially loved watching the dragon breathe fire over Gringotts in Diagon Alley or simply staring in awe at Hogwarts over at Hogsmeade (all while sipping on a hot butterbeer of course).

If you can, purchase an interactive wand over at Ollivanders. While my husband was off riding all the big rides, my son and I explored the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and tried out the spells. He was so excited to make magic happen with his oak wand!

Randa’s Tip: Keep in mind that both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are in separate parks: Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Islands of Adventure. To access both in one day you will need a Park-to-Park ticket. Having this ticket also allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express, which is more than just a train ride, it’s a magical experience that my family and I adored.


One last thing: You have to check out Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. We stopped in for lunch (it was so good) and I also grabbed a few treats for later. I highly suggest the Key Lime Macaron!

If you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort, consider saving time and staying on site. We stayed nearby at Cabana Bay so be sure to read my Cabana Bay Beach Resort Review.

Have you visited Universal Orlando Resort? Tell me what some of your favorites were in the comments.

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Randa Derkson

I believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether it’s discussing your day, sharing the highlights of your trip, or just having quality time with a loved one; lives are brought together at the kitchen table.

12 comments on “9 of The Best Family Attractions at Universal Orlando Resort”

  1. Skull Island and ALL of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are musts in my book. They’re so exciting.

  2. We still have not been here. It’s on our list for sure. Every time I see an ad, it makes me want to hurry up and get there. Looks like so much fun!

  3. It sounds like being pregnant did not keep you from enjoying the trip. We have not been to Universal for a few years but had a great tme when we went and our kids were at the perfect ages.

  4. This really makes me want to plan another trip to Universal Orlando. Quite a few of those newer rides sound fun and the Harry Potter scenery is so cool!

  5. I haven’t been to Universal for years and I’m dying to go back. Those milkshakes are amazing!

  6. We have not visited yet. Hoping to do so soon. It all sounds so incredible 

  7. You definitely pegged this list right on. I couldn’t agree more with your choices. Now I wish I were going!!

  8. These are also my favorites!! I can’t wait to go back!

    Rating: 5
  9. Number one Harry Potter and The Escape from Gringotts is my personal favorite. I so want to go back and try some of the newer rides. Those milkshakes are awesome! Sharing Thank you for sharing on Merry Monday! Hope to see ya next week!

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