MUST SEE Attractions at Universal Studios Orlando & Islands of Adventure

Universal CollageRecently, I had the opportunity to tour both Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure as part of a VIP press tour. Because of our express status we were able to bypass the lines to visit nearly every attraction and ride in both parks ( VIP tours are available during your vacations too! Have you ever considered scheduling one? Totally worth it in my opinion! Get the VIP info here.) If you’re lucky you just might get partnered with one of these lovely ladies they were incredible and had SO MUCH knowledge about the park, movies, attractions. The trivia junkie in me was soaking up every piece of info they were willing to share.

VIP Tour Universal Studios

There seriously are SO MANY incredible rides and  attractions at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure ( Did you realize there are 2 theme parks here?!?!) I have a “MUST SEE” list for you of my favorites.

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

This ride is one of the BEST for all ages! It is a 3D motion ride that is just THE most fun! Let me tell you, it outshined all my previous 3D experiences. It IS Universal Studios so expect nothing less than amazing.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit 

HollyWood Rip Ride RockIT
Adrenaline pumping and music thumping, you start climbing straight up. A moment later, you’re screaming at 65 mph, 17 stories over Universal Studios. For not being a Thrill Ride girl  I absolutely LOVED this ride and would do it all over again. It was one of the first “big” rides we did and while the height from the ground looked intimidating, being able to only hear your music as you go up, over, and around was my favorite part. Your teens and adreneline junkies will love this one!


Escape from Gringotts
At the far end of Diagon Alley™ stands Gringotts™, the goblin-run bank. Inside, you’ll experience a pulse-pounding adventure on the groundbreaking, multi-dimensional thrill ride that puts you right in the middle of the action as you navigate your way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults – encountering Harry, Ron, and Hermione along the way!

Hogwarts Express – Platform 9 3/4

Hogwarts Express

While this is not technically a “ride ” , it is an experience that will make you believe you are attending Hogwarts yourself.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the most spectacular themed environment ever created! The excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter films have truly come to life here. The expansive 20-acre area includes the village of Hogsmeade featuring Zonko’s joke shop, Honeydukes, the Three Broomsticks, the Hog’s Head pub, the Owlery and Owl Post, Ollivanders and Dervish and Banges.

Just beyond Hogsmeade is Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods and three attractions that place guests right in the middle of Harry’s world: Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff and, located within Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

19_Hogwarts Castle

Interactive Wands
Wand Collage
Be sure to pick up an interactive wand while you are here! With this special wand you will receive a map to show you where to fins special location to cast a spell just like Harry Potter. You do have to move the wand in just the right way so this may be something suited for older kids or those willing to try more than once.

Seuss Landing
seuss landing
If you are a Dr Seuss lover like me you will not want to miss Seuss Landing! Keep your eyes open Universal Studios Orlando had let no small detail to be missed.
Seuss Collage

I LOVED this trip and am looking forward to taking my family with me next time! Have you visited Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure before? Tell me what your favorite part was! Or if you’ve never been what part would you most look forward to visiting?










*Thanks again to Universal Studios Orlando for providing accommodations, park tickets, and meals for this press trip. All experiences and opinions are my own.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    That was the best day, right? I would have spent the entire day in Diagon Alley if I could have. It was a dream going there 😉

  2. I want to go to Diagon Alley! I want my own wand, too!
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  3. I didn’t realize there were 2 theme parks there. Well that is just GREAT!! My Grandkids will be coming to Florida next year while we are there. We might just have to take them.
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  4. Great post! These are two of our favorite places to go – we love the Harry Potter stuff especially!
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  5. I can’t wait to go back. I hope to spend time in Harry Potter Land. Last time we went it was right when it opened so it was a mad house, but a controlled mad house.
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  6. OMG I want to go there. I’ve only been with SG Universal – Orlando’s one looks like heaven. I have to go there soon!

  7. We’ve been twice and just love it there! Harry Potter world and Dr. Seuss world are our favorite areas. And the talking fountain is always a riot!
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  8. I think Seuss Landing would be a favorite! That looks like it was a super fun trip!
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  9. Wow it all looks so amazing and so fun! Hoping to get there one day. My kids would be over the moon!

  10. I have not been there in years. So much has changed there since I went last!
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  11. I want to ride Minion Mayhem. I love the Minions, they’re so funny!
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  12. Hi Alice, I so would enjoy going to both Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure – it looks spectacular – I haven’t been to our own Universal Studios in so long and the Diagon Alley sounds like so much fun
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  13. The rides would definitely be my favorite part! So fun!
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  14. I’ve heard so much about Hogwart’s and am a fan of the books, I would love to visit the attraction. I have never heard of Islands of Adventure, but I can’t wait to check it out.

  15. I love Universal Orlando so much, I totally agree with you!
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  16. Although I have been to Orlando, I missed out on Universal Studios while I was there. I am so jealous of you! I want to go to Universal Studios too!
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  17. It looks like you had a blast. I would love to do the Minions one. It must be so cool
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  18. Sounds great. We have been to Universal studios with family during our last vacation. Really that was a very pleasant experience and my kids totally enjoyed all the adventures and games a lot. The pictures are really beautiful, and glad to know that you too had a great time out there!

  19. I have never been to Universal studios or Orlando but I hopefully plan on going sometime in the future. Will keep this list in mind.
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  20. WOW! This trip just looked amazing! That Rip Ride Rocket looks so crazy!
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