• The Top Kid-Friendly Rides at Islands of Adventure!

The Top Kid-Friendly Rides at Islands of Adventure!

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Mar 14, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

The Top Kid-Friendly Rides at Islands of Adventure!

When we think about Islands of Adventure, Kid-friendly rides don’t usually come to our mind. I know, I know, we tend to compare Disney to a paradise for our little ones, and connect Islands of Adventure to rides like the Incredible Hulk Coaster or the VelociCoaster. Yeah, Disney most of the time is the little kid inside of us, while Universal is the grown up that loves radical rides.

However, did you know that there are a lot of fun rides that kids will enjoy in Islands of Adventure? Yep, it’s true. It’s even better for kids than Universal Studios, which is certainly a surprise. How do we prove that? With the help of science. And some personal opinions, of course.

Islands Adventure Ride Hippogriff 4.webp

Kids love a lot of places in Islands of Adventure. There is a splash zone near Ripsaw Falls, the entire Dr. Seuss zone for them to explore and also Camp Jurassic so kids of all ages can have lots of fun exploring caves and rope bridges. We won’t be talking about awesome rides here like Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure or Jurassic World VelociCoaster. They aren’t exactly kid-friendly, but if your kids have the required height requirements and they wanna go there, sure, give them the green light!

So, what are some of the best kid-friendly rides at Islands of Adventure? We selected a few for you, based not only on how great they are, but also the perfect age range for each one. We give you quick details if a ride is set in the dark, if it can be scary for younglings and any sort of info that can help you decide if a particular attraction is appropriate for your little ones.

Of course, it can be really hard to pick an exact age range which is adequate for each offering, but we tried our best. With that in mind, let us show you a list of kid-friendly rides in this awesome theme park. After that, we are going to analyze each single ride and why they might be good for your children or not. Let’s see:

Good for every Age range

  • Camp Jurassic
  • Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade Station (requires Park-to-Park ticket)
  • Caro-Seuss-El
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Storm Force Accelatron

Good for Ages 3+

  • Cat in the Hat
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Pteranodon Flyers

Good for Ages 5+

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Good for Ages 7+

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rats Barges

Good for ages 8+

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Ride Height Requirements

No Height Requirement

  • Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade Station (requires Park-to-Park ticket)
  • Caro-Seuss-El
  • Storm Force Accelatron
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

36” (92 cm) or more

  • Cat in the Hat
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

36” (92 cm) - 56” (143 cm)

  • Pteranodon Flyers

40” (102 cm) or more

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

42” (107 cm) or more

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rate Barges

44” (112 cm) or more

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

48” (122 cm) or more

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

51” (130 cm) or more

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster

52” (133 cm) or more

  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

54” (138 cm) or more

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster

In-Depth Overview

Camp Jurassic

Details: Playground; great to relax; lots of small things to entertain young kids.

camp jurassic universal (2).webp

Camp Jurassic is great for kids up to ten years old. This is a playground located inside the Jurassic Park area, with several things that the little ones tend to enjoy. I am talking about rope bridges, giant footprints that emit sounds when you touch them, misty caves and water guns. Yeah, you can get soaked here if you aren’t paying attention. Kids, after all, don’t differentiate their targets and may shoot at anything (and everything) they see. They take no prisoners.

Camp Jurassic is huge, and often considered one of the best playgrounds in Florida. This is also a good place to chill, sit down and relax. Need to give lunch to your little ones and you are looking for a peaceful place? Come here and enjoy the vista. Need to sit down and escape from the Florida heat? Look for a bench under the shade of a tree. No, there won’t be T-Rexes or velociraptors interrupting you in any way. One of our favorite spots here is the “Echo Cave”, a dark cave which gives you perfect echo to everything you say. You bet there are a lot of kids there yelling all sorts of stuff, but it’s all for good fun. Unless they are learning cuss words, then it’s slightly less fun.

Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade Station

Details: good for all ages; you move from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios; requires park-to-park ticket.

Islands Adventure Hogwarts Express 2.webp

This isn’t exactly a ride per see, but a quick way to traverse from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios. You do need a park to park ticket to use this service, and then it’s time to board a train and ride all the way to the Diagon Alley in Universal. Choo-choo!

So, is this a fun ride? Kinda, yeah, especially for first timers. Kids get to ride a train where they can see different visual effects being projected against the windows, and details that won’t go unnoticed by fans of Harry Potter. You should probably only come here if you really want to move from one theme park to the other, not as a way to check out this ride. Standard queues can take all the way from 30 to 50 minutes, which is a lot for a train that will basically take you from point A to point B. This “ride” takes around 4 minutes, which at least is a good opportunity for you to sit down and enjoy the AC, especially during the hot Florida Summer.

Caro-Seuss-El

Details: classic ride; good for everyone.

Islands Adventure Caroseuss.webp

We all love carousels. Seriously, every theme park should have one, and it’s cool to see that Epic Universe will have an upgraded carousel of some kind. What can you expect from this one, you may be asking? Well, it’s based on Dr. Seuss, so expect to see a lot of weird creatures that you can ride, from blue horses to unicorns and… pink… tigers or something like that?

The Caro-Seuss-El is super vibrant, perfect for grabbing your toddlers' attention. Yeah, there are colors everywhere. Plus, the wait times hardly ever exceed 10 minutes, so it's a great spot to unwind and chill during the 2 minute ride time. While most vehicles are designed for one passenger, there are also smaller cars available for two guests, making it a great choice for parents with little ones.

You know what a lot of mothers say? They usually post online that coming to this ride first thing in the morning is actually a good strategy, maybe to even ride it twice. It’s a good way to tire the little ones and make them slightly less anxious, all of that so your family can enjoy the rest of the day.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Details: classic ride; good for everyone; spinning ride.

One Fish Two Fish.jpg

Another fun ride that is a staple in a lot of theme parks out there. This is a slow moving spinning ride, similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin at Magic Kingdom; and Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl at Universal Studios. You probably know the drill by now: you board a vehicle for two or three guests and then it’s time to chill for 3 minutes as you spin… and spin… and spin.

Just wait a second, though, there is a small twist to this ride that a lot of people don’t know about. This is, in fact, a water ride! Well, kinda. You can move your vehicle up or down, and you use the controls to dodge sprays of water which are spilled by the center statues. There is always a song playing (which is also based on the One Fish, Two Fish book), and you need to press up and down in harmony with the song to dodge the water. Or, you know, don’t and get slightly soaked. That’s why a lot of younglings come to Islands of Adventure, after all! They actually prefer to go against the song and welcome the sprays of water with open arms.

Storm Force Accelatron

Details: spins a lot; kids love it, adults not so much.

Hey, do you like the X-Men? I love them, especially the cartoon from the 90s. This is one of the rides inspired by our favorite mutants that love to walk around in bright colors. In this case, we are talking about Storm, the superhero who can turn the Florida heat in a cozy day by changing the weather. She can do this, she just never tried to. Shame.

Storm Force Accelatron is a teacups ride, which means that four or five guests board a vehicle and then it’s time to… spin. Yeah, you spin for a whole 3 minutes. In fact, there is a wheel in the middle of the vehicle that you can turn around to make your vehicle spin more and more. Storm actually tells us to keep rotating, since this will give her extra power to fight against Magneto… or something like that. LORE!

Kids love this ride. Seriously, it doesn’t mean if they are spinning like crazy, they are always smiling, laughing and trying their best to turn that wheel as fast as they can. I mean, kids rarely get dizzy. Adults are usually not a big fan of Storm Force. Last time I was here, I came with my ten year old cousins, and even got a small headache. Let me just say that,  getting old is *not* fun. You know what’s fun? This ride has very low wait times, so you are looking at something between 5 and 10 minutes most of the time.

Cat in the Hat

Details: Dark Ride; can be a little bit scary for young children.

Islands Adventure Seuss Landing Entrance.webp

Another ride with low wait times which can be fun for the whole family. This attraction dates back to 1999, and is a classic dark ride similar to Magic Kingdom’s Winnie the Pooh and Journey of the Little Mermaid. Instead of the usual Disney characters, you'll come across a whole bunch of whimsical creatures straight out of Dr. Seuss stories, like Thing 1 and 2, the Cat, and a whole lot more whose names I can't quite recall right now.

Your vehicle moves rather slowly, and Universal even removed a part where your car would spin a little to make it more family-friendly. Still, this one can get a little scary for kids, mostly because there are a lot of lights and the animatronics can look rather weird for the younglings. You'll witness some pretty surreal scenes, like a fish popping out of a toilet, the Cat spinning around with some bizarre backdrop, and more. It's almost like something out of a trippy Beatles music video. I guess we couldn’t expect less from these awesome stories.

Like most rides in Seussland, the wait times here are pretty short, usually around 10 minutes or so.

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!

Details: trolley train ride; moves slowly.

Islands Adventure Seuss Trolley.webp

Another ride with low wait times and that takes 3 minutes! Huh, it looks like there is a pattern there. This is a trolley train ride (duh, it’s in the name) and the first addition to Seuss Landing since the area opened back in 1999. In this ride, you board a vehicle for 4 guests and take a stroll around Seuss Landing. You go inside restaurants, journey in front of the Cat in the Hat and catch a fantastic view of the Incredible Hulk Coaster.

This is mostly a ride to sit down and relax your muscles. Kids tend to like this one, since they can see new animatronics when the trolley goes inside different tunnels, and your vehicle travels about fifteen feet in the air. Kids really like to be suspended like that and see everything from above, after all. Your vehicle moves slowly and there are no sudden turns, which actually makes me wonder why there is a height requirement at all. Maybe because you're up in the air? No idea. I like this one and would probably put it ahead of the Cat in the Hat. 

Flight of the Hippogriff

Details: junior roller coaster.

Universal Islands Adventure Flight Gryph.webp

This is a very fun junior roller coaster located in Hogsmeade, which means that wait times can range from 30 minutes all the way to one hour. Hey, everything related to that famous wizard is popular! Let me tell you, this is a fun ride, at least. I’d put it between Magic Kingdom’s The Barnstormer and Hollywood Studios’ Slinky Dog Dash in the thrill-o-meter. Certainly a good option to bring your kids and see if they have that Roller Coaster DNA in their blood.

The maximum track height is only 42.7 ft, so don’t expect any major drops. This one is more about dips and sharp turns, even more so than the competition. A full run in Flight of the Hippogriff takes about one minute and ten seconds, which is the average time for Junior Roller Coasters. The maximum speed is 28.5 mph, which is pretty good for a roller coaster that was created for young guests from 3 to 10 years old. The aesthetics are super cool, and you get a good view of the medieval looking building that fills Hogsmeade. A very easy recommendation, that’s for sure.

Pteranodon Flyers

Details: Flying ride; always need a young guest and an adult per vehicle; can be a bit scary since you are suspended in the air.

Islands Adventure Pteranodon Flyers.webp

We have finally arrived at one of the most unusual rides in Islands of Adventure. This is probably the only attraction in Florida where you need both a child and an adult to fill up the vehicles. Yeah, the young guest sits in front, while the adult sits behind and then it’s time to fly all over Camp Jurassic. Universal actually calls this one a roller coaster, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch. There are no sharp turns at all, and it’s all about being suspended in the air as your seat swings a bit to the sides during the 1min15sec ride time. It’s more like a slow train ride, but you are suspended in the air, honestly.

Make sure your little ones aren't afraid of heights, as the suspension height is higher than that of the Seuss Trolley Train Ride. Also, keep in mind that your child will be "alone" in the seat in front of you, which can cause anxiety since they won't be able to see you. It’s pretty cool, however, to gently swing to the sides and just feel the wind across your face. When it comes to thrills, you won’t find any here. This is actually way less intense than something like The Barnstormer, which is already a major achievement.

It’s very, very hard to predict wait times for this ride, probably because each vehicle needs to be loaded with a child and an adult. I’ve seen everything from 20 minutes all the way to one hour. Also remember that the Universal Express doesn’t work here, so you can’t save any extra time.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Details: dark ride; 3D motion simulator.

MARVEL LAND 3.webp

There isn’t much to say about the Spider-Man ride. It’s awesome. Seriously, it has won the best dark ride award for several years in a row, only losing recently to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. A lot of people still prefer Spider-Man, though, and there is a good chance that kids will prefer this one as well.

It is a shorter ride, has more action and you won’t be spending hours in a queue. Oh, it also has Spider-Man! My five year old nephew has only recently discovered Spider Man, and he begged me for a Spider-Man backpack. Then a Spider-Man T-Shirt. Then a Spider-Man outfit. Yeah, I think he will love this ride when he finally visits Islands of Adventure.

I love how action packed this ride is, with different things happening during the entire 5 minute run time. There aren’t any sharp turns, but your vehicle does move to the sides a bit as Spidey hunts down some of the most classic villains in comics, like Dr. Octopus, Electro and the Green Goblin. The 3D effects are still awesome to this day, and they mix well with the practical effects. One of my favorite moments is when the Green Goblin throws a grenade on the screen in front of you, only for it to hit a tower, and the scenario next to you actually explodes with fire coming out from the building. There are several cool moments like that, and each supervillain has their time to shine before Spider-Man comes to put an end to the party.

Bring your kids here if you can. This is an extremely charming ride, and one of the best motion simulators out there. I’d easily put it ahead of similar rides like Transformers 3D and Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This ride isn’t scary, but it can be intense for younglings. There are a bunch of supervillains appearing, after all, with some of them trying to electrify your vehicle or just… blow you up. Not nice, supervillains! There are also spots where your vehicle will suddenly turn to the sides or spin around. Young guests might get spooked by it and the 3D effects, so keep an eye out for them.

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Details: water ride; has a main drop; can get scary near the end.

Islands Adventure River Adventure.webp

Time to introduce your little ones to triceratops, velociraptors and t-rexes. This water ride is similar to the classic Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom and Ripsaw Falls, which is also located in Islands of Adventure. The main part of the attraction feels like a classic dark ride, where your boat cruises past animatronic dinos of all shapes and sizes. Some of them look so cute! Well, that’s until a security breach happens and your boat takes a shortcut to an 85 ft drop.

This is one of the longest water rides out there, clocking in at 7 minutes from start to finish. You also won't have to spend too much time waiting in line because River Adventure typically has wait times of 5-15 minutes. The main drop on this ride isn't too terrifying, to be honest, and you won't end up as soaked as you would on Ripsaw Falls or the Popeye ride. But it's definitely a good call to bring along an extra T-shirt for the kids and make sure they don't ride with their socks on.

Now, this ride can indeed get a little bit scary for the young ones, especially after the… “security breach”. Your boat travels through a dark area as you come face to face with some scary Dino-animatronics, including the old chap from the movies that spits poison… Thankfully, he only spits water here. Oh yeah, before the main drop, as your vehicle is going up, you also see a giant T-rex head roaring just above you, which can be rather frightening for the young ones.

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rats Barges

Details: rafting ride; you will get soaked.

Remember how I mentioned you don't get too soaked on River Adventure? Well, it's the complete opposite for this Popeye ride. We are talking about a ride similar to Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids, and we all know that rafting rides only have a single objective in mind: to take you closer to the God Poseidon and get you soaked from head to toe.

Popeye is typically closed during the winter season. In the summer, this ride can get really crowded, but on regular days, you're looking at quick wait times of only 10-20 minutes. This ride accommodates 12 guests and lasts for about 6 minutes, which means that it will be 6 minutes of you going down wild rivers, passing below waterfalls and having guests shooting water guns at you. Fun!

It is fun, by the way! This ride isn’t actually thrilling, but it’s always funny to try to find out who in your family is going to get soaked next. Kids love this one. I mean, they love getting drenched in most theme parks, so of course they would love a raft ride like this one. Just remember to pack a pair of slippers for them to change into so they don't end up with soggy socks. Bringing an extra shirt might also be a smart move. A great strategy is to hit up this ride first and then head over to Ripsaw Falls afterward (or vice-versa), so you can experience the top two drench-inducing rides in a row and then change into dry clothes.

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Details: log flume ride; has a main drop and a secondary drop; you will get soaked.

I really love this ride and still think it’s one of the most underrated water rides in Florida. Ripsaw Falls is great. It’s long, it features an amazing main drop and it’s incredibly funny. No, not funny because of the animatronics, it’s funny because you will quickly notice water entering through the front, the sides, in your t-shirt and in your pants. I’m not joking. As it’s the case with Popeye, try to come here with a pair of slippers and don’t keep anything in your pockets.

Kids usually love this one, but it's tough to say if they prefer Ripsaw Falls or Jurassic Park River Adventure. River Adventure can be a bit scarier, with some rather... intimidating... dinos, but the main drop isn't that scary, and the whole family can ride in the same row. Ripsaw Falls, on the other hand, is more intense and - as a log flume ride - guests need to sit one behind the other. There are no scary animatronics here, as most of them are based on classic cartoon characters from the 90s. Or at least I think that’s what the animatronics are trying to represent.

Again, remember that you will get soaked. The main 75 ft drop can be a bit scary for children. Wait, the main drop is actually lower than River Adventure? Yeah, but it honestly doesn’t feel like it for two reasons. First, you are in a very small vehicle, compared to the bulky one used for River Adventure. Two, the main drop has a small bump near the end, which makes you go up and down before you get completely soaked. There is also a secondary drop that takes place about three minutes after you board your vehicle. It’s nothing major or scary, but be certain that water will find a way to say hi to you.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Details: dark ride; motion simulator; can make you dizzy; can be scary for young children.

Harry Potter Universal Forbidden Journey (2).webp

Ahhh, now we get to one of the most popular rides in the whole park. Forbidden Journey is… okay. Please, don’t bully me, I just think that this ride can be a bit overrated, at least for us adults. But, hey, kids usually love this one, and I am pretty sure that Harry Potter fans will have a great time with all the easter eggs they see here.

So, what is Forbidden Journey all about? You will take a seat in a vehicle that's carried around by a metallic arm. Throughout the ride, you'll encounter digital screens featuring real actors from the movies, along with several animatronics that enhance the overall atmosphere. My main problem with Forbidden Journey is that your vehicle shakes a lot… and that the digital images are just low quality. Seriously, compare the images here to Avatar Flight of Passage and it’s night and day. Universal needs to update this, c’mon, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson deserve better!

Now, will kids care about any of those things? Probably not. In fact, they might enjoy the fact that the arm shakes you around, making it feel like you’re inside a blender sometimes. Okay, it’s not as intense as that, but I still wish this ride was more gentle and gave us more time to focus on the scenery.

Also, keep in mind that there are some scary sections for the younglings. There is a part near the end where your vehicle enters a dark room and giant spider-animatronics appear in all their spider-glory. Spiders are already scary, now imagine a few giant ones staring at you and making weird spider-sounds? Yeah, not cool. I would, of course, recommend that everyone come here - and actually visit every ride they can at least once - so you know if this one's for you or not.

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