• Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: May 17, 2024

Last Updated: May 23, 2024

Universal Studios Florida
  • Year: 1990
  • Rides: 8/10
  • Atmosphere: 8/10
  • Dining: 8/10
  • Kids: 7/10
  • Live shows
  • Special events
  • Too many motion sims
  • Not for toddlers

Universal Studios Florida theme park review

The land of motion simulators is also a great place for live shows and indoor coasters

Welcome to Universal Studios, the first major theme park in Florida to compete directly with Walt Disney World. Since its debut, Universal Orlando has only grown, as it opened Islands of Adventure in 1999 and is getting ready to launch Epic Universe in 2025. There was even a time that big brother Universal Studios was getting a little jealous of Islands, since most of the new rides and attractions were being released there.

So, how does Universal Studios fare in 2024 against the competition? Fairly well, I’d say, even though there have been some bumps along the way.

Universal Studios Springfield 3.webp

The Good

Let’s start with what everyone wants to know: rides.

How is Universal Studios in 2024 when it comes to amazing rides and attractions, considering that only two rides from 1990 are still operational? I'd give Universal Studios a 'B' for its rides. While there’s nothing particularly outstanding, the overall experience is solid enough to deserve some praise.

Universal Studios Orlando streets 2.webp

I do think that the best attraction in Universal Studios isn’t even five years old: The Bourne Stuntacular. This is a very underrated show that takes the idea of Terminator 3D to the next level, with amazing setpieces and amazing visuals. Please, do yourself a favor and watch this show every time you come to Universal Studios, even if you have no idea who Jason Bourne or Matt Damon are.

Speaking of shows, Universal Studios offers a solid lineup. You can enjoy The Bourne Stuntacular, Animal Actors on Location!, and Universal Orlando’s Horror Makeup Show. The first is great for children, while the Horror Makeup Show appeals to fans of classic Universal Monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman. Universal Studios also features street performances near the Revenge of the Mummy ride, providing fun distractions for the entire family.

We also need to talk about all the special events held in Universal Studios throughout the year. The first major one takes place in early February: Mardi Gras. It feels like you are experiencing a Carnaval in Brazil with so many amazing floats, people in colorful costumes and everyone smiling and waving. It’s great, and you even have the opportunity to try brand new food items and drinks.

Universal Studios Diagon Alley Streets.webp

The major event, however, starts late August: Halloween Horror Nights. We are talking about one of the best halloween events in the world, by the way. It isn’t even Famvia that is giving Universal Studios this honor, but The Golden Ticket Awards, which is more or less like the Oscars of theme parks. 

Universal has won the award for best halloween event for the last what, a hundred years? Yeah, something like that. Halloween Horror Nights is amazing, featuring multiple haunted houses, cast members in top notch costumes trying to scare you and a spooky atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the Haunted Houses are even based on popular IPs. In 2023, there were Haunted Houses based on The Last of Us, Stranger Things and Chucky. If you love horror, you must come to this theme park in September or October.

The Bad

There are, however, some things that can certainly improve in Universal Studios. The main problem I see with this theme park is that it lacks a blockbuster ride. Something like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in Epcot, or Avatar Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom or the VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure in Islands of Adventure. I do think that The Bourne Stuntacular is great and a must-see, but shows don’t usually get the same recognition as traditional rides, which is unfortunate. I’d love to see a huge, new steel roller coaster in Universal Studios, this theme park deserves it.

A lot of people online also complain about the great number of motion simulators in Universal Studios, and I couldn’t agree more. We have The Simpsons Ride, Minions Mayhem, Transformers 3D, The Fast & the Furious Supercharged and Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon sharing the same DNA. That’s way too many motion simulators, man, with some of them being too similar to each other.

Universal Studios Transformers character.webp

Universal Studios isn’t the best theme park for toddlers and children up to four years old. It’s surprising that only one ride - Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl - has no height requirement, and that’s just a traditional aerial carousel. Sure, you can bring your kids to watch Animal Actors on Location!, but that’s about it. However, things might improve once DreamWorks Land opens in Summer 2024, where parents can take their little ones to visit Shrek’s house and take pictures.

Will Kids enjoy it?

Toddlers and young children probably won’t enjoy Universal Studios very much. I’d recommend it for kids who are at least 40 inches tall, so they can enjoy attractions like Minion Mayhem, Transformers 3D, and The Simpsons Ride. If your children are too young for these, you might have a better time at Islands of Adventure or Walt Disney World.

Teenagers, however, will have a blast at Universal Studios. The park features some of the most exciting indoor roller coasters in Florida, like Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and Revenge of the Mummy.

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