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5 Tips for Overcoming Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando

by Mommy Frog on March 21, 2017 27

As much as I love hopping on the rides at Universal Orlando Resort, I have to be cautious because of my motion sickness. Rides such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey can quickly turn my day upside down. It's something I've had to deal with since I was a small froglet. My family learned about this—the hard way—when we did a spinning ride at a local fair. Let's just say that the words "funnel cake" stir up some bad memories.

If you’re like me and unfortunately suffer from motion sickness, then this post is for you. Here we’ll hand over our secrets and tips for overcoming motion sickness at Universal Orlando. Of course, most of these tips can also be applied to overcoming motion sickness at any of the theme parks!

Top Tips For Overcoming Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando

Overcoming Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando - Diagon Alley at Universal Studios

Plan, Plan and … PLAN

You can save yourself a headache—as well as a stomachache—if you do your research and know what rides have the biggest potential of inducing motion sickness at Universal Orlando. Showing up completely unaware that Revenge of the Mummy or Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts can upset a sensitive stomach can quickly lead to a nightmare once the rides get going. You’ll want to know what rides have the biggest motion sickness potential; that’s why we’ve listed a few that have been known to turn me green (err... I should say greener). Hop here to see them now!

It should also be said that not everyone has the same type of motion sickness. High speeds may make you feel worse than a 3D ride. You may be fine with 3D ... as long as your seat doesn't move. Be aware of the factors that lead you to motion sickness and steer clear of the rides that have them!

Pack the Right Stuff

Overcoming Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando - Spider-Man

If the warnings aren't enough to keep you from swinging with Spider-Man—even though this motion-sickness-inducing ride will shake your stomach— then I suggest packing the right products and using them. Pack plenty of Pepto Bismol (the pill form is most convenient while at the parks) or whatever nausea medicine works best for you. I find that Dramamine is the best for me. It's most handy if you're able to take one before you hop on a ride!

Want to try something more natural? Ginger root is known for its soothing elements; try taking a ginger root supplement before and after, and drink plenty of water. Some people also swear by acupressure bands for overcoming motion sickness. I have yet to try this out, but hey, it is worth a shot!

Watch What You Eat

What I eat before I ride at Universal Orlando largely impacts my potential for getting sick. While it's hard to resist some good ole cheesy nachos, it might not be so great when I feel them slowly coming back up on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Slugulus Eructo! Bland foods are the best to soothe and prevent upset stomachs—think pretzels, crackers or a bland sandwich. Just try to avoid anything too spicy, greasy and fatty! Caffeine can also make an upset stomach worse.

While on the Ride

So, you didn't listen to any of the warnings, you went ALL IN at the Hot Dog Hall of Fame at Citywalk and didn't take a Dramamine before, and now you're sitting on TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D feeling pretty green... what to do?

Believe me when I say this has happened plenty of times to me before. It can easily make a 4-minute ride feel like 30 minutes! If you find yourself in this situation, there are a couple of things you can do to try and ease the symptoms a bit. Try closing your eyes for the duration of the ride, lay your head on the head rest and keep it as still as possible! Take slow, deep breaths to help calm yourself. You could also try applying pressure at the top crease of your wrist with two fingers. (This works similar to an acupressure band.)

I'm not sure of the scientific reasoning behind this, but I always find smiling helps me get through a nauseating ride. Maybe it's convincing me that I'm having a great time or there really is something scientific ... whatever it is, it works for me! You'll find tricks that work for you, as well.

Last Call

You love Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but you know it will knock you down for the rest of the day. Plan your day around it! Make sure whatever ride triggers your motion sickness the most is one of—if not the final—attraction of your day. It's never fun to walk around with the results of motion sickness at Universal Orlando, but knowing that they won't spoil your entire day can make things a little better.

Rides with the Biggest Potential for Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando

Overcoming Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando - Revenge of the Mummy

As promised, here are the Universal Orlando rides that can induce motion sickness. Ranging from motion simulators to roller coasters, these rides have the potential to make you sick. Remember, what makes me sick might not trigger your motion sickness. Use this list simply as a guide.

Universal's Islands of Adventure

Universal Studios Florida

Overcoming Motion Sickness at Universal Orlando - Kang & Kodos

What are your tips for overcoming motion sickness at Universal Orlando? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Choosing The Best Universal Orlando Ticket For Your Family

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Mar 29, 2019 at 3:06 a.m. Joe Says...

Just got back from Universal and islands of adventure and experienced motion sickness for the first time in a long time. I’m 46 and can remember the carnival ride cobra or spider at a very young age that I would never do rides with multiple spinning axis because they made me very sick. The Himilaya, swings, graviton and a tilt a whirl are somewhat bearable to go on with the kids. But this weekend I realized we were in a new age of motion simulation! I was fine on the spider man, mummy and the other simulator rides and coasters that I did in the park 20 years ago. Hulk Still rules! And the rock and roll coaster is not that good compared to Montu or Kumba either. The newer simulator rides seem to take it to the next level with full simulator immersion where you simply don’t see the edge of the screen in you periferal vision. The Jimmy Fallon New York ride had me in a really bad panicked situation! As soon as that ride started I was instantly nauseous and was panicking that I would puke all over the other patrons. I raised my hands up to try to get them to stop the ride, they didn’t so then I tried unbuckling my seat belt and it wouldn’t, finally I looked as far as I could to the outside of the screen to get a steady reference of an exit door and then the immediate urge to vomit started to subside, I would slowly turn back to the screen and the sensation would creep back in. Finally it was over and I didn’t recover until a nice relaxing lunch and some coke. Later I went on the Potter ride in the same park and I felt the sensation again but was able to overcome it and if I simply looked around the ride vehicle to outside the viewing screen it would instantly ease the nausea. I also had a hint of it in King Kong a ride that is so fun I think I was able to keep the nausea at bay with a smile on my face. That ride seemed to have no reference point outside the screen so I don’t know where I would look to get over the sickness if I couldn’t overcome it with the enjoyment. I felt the ride designers know this would be a common issue and in these newer rides they tend to put you in and out of simulation by alternating to props then back to simulation. Without that these newer rides would be a no go for me. In the end I think you can still have a great time with motion sickness and maybe the tip of seeking a view of a solid portion of the building or not looking at the screen momentarily will help others as it did for me. I was able to ride multiple times with my son but will not be going on the Jimmy Fallon ride ever again!

Mar 13, 2019 at 3:02 p.m. Jodi Heilman Says...

Do all the attractions, such as Poseidon's Fury, Transfromers, etc have the easy exit after the queue but before boarding the ride? We did the easy exit at Gringotts last year and loved the experience through the queue and would love to do more attractions this year.

Mar 15, 2019 at 9:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jodi!

It's so fun that theme parks are making the queues so interactive now, isn't it? We know for sure that Transformers has a similar exit (we found this out when the ride broke down once and we needed to leave the line quickly). We'd imagine most do, but unfortunately don't have a definitive answer - the ride attendants will of course know more, and the Frog Pond may also have some inside knowledge on this to share :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 11, 2019 at 3:15 a.m. Sheri Says...

I confess I get motion sick very easily and often sit out while the rest of the family enjoys the rides. However, I would still like to wait in line with them and see some of the things inside (like the castle of Hogwarts). Do the rides offer a last minute exit before boarding?

Mar 12, 2019 at 9:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sheri,

Yes, they do! You could sit and wait for them in the child swap area that is right where the ride is loaded and unloaded.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Nov 13, 2018 at 5:09 a.m. Andrew Curiel Says...

Does anyone know if the Harry potter and the forrbidden journey ride in Hollywood leave a lasting motion sickness?

Nov 13, 2018 at 10:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andrew!

The combination of physical and screen effects can make some people a bit queasy, but we've never had a problem with this ride causing any lasting sickness beyond a few minutes after the ride.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 29, 2018 at 2:19 p.m. K Says...

I'm curious about the new Fast and Furious ride. Does anyone know if it tends to be rough for those with motion sickness, or know of a similar Universal ride to compare it to?

Dec 18, 2018 at 2:33 a.m. Nicole Says...

I tend to get motion sickness very easily, but the fast and furious ride was fine. The Jimmy Fallon ride was by far the worst for me

Jul 6, 2018 at 10:37 p.m. Mrs G Says...

It is all virtual. The vehicle is actually parked but it feels like you are moving with fans, water spraying, heat, etc. It was underwhelming.

Oct 15, 2018 at 7:05 p.m. Christina Says...

Don't be so quick to brush it off! For some of us who suffer from motion sickness, our brains feeling like we're moving and our bodies knowing we're not is a HUGE trigger.

May 15, 2018 at 6:34 a.m. Pat Says...

I’ve found Hyland’s motion sickness tablets to be excellent for both motion and sea sickness, and they don’t make me sleepy.

May 4, 2017 at 8:39 p.m. Den Says...

Love, love, love the 3D rides precisely because I get nauseous on the regular roller coasters. At least with a 3D ride I can close my eyes and it all goes away - you can't do that on a roller coaster.

Apr 19, 2017 at 4:05 p.m. Betty Says...

I put on the Scopolamine patch before our Universal trip. It worked perfectly for the full three days we were there. DH has bad side effects with it, but works for me.

Apr 19, 2017 at 1:34 a.m. Scott Says...

I recommend Relief Band.

It's worn on your wrist like a watch and puts an electronic pulse on the nerves. Will shut off motion sickness like a switch. Really.

Apr 16, 2017 at 8:58 p.m. Stephanie Says...

We have annual passes and I feel your pain. We pick one ride that I know I will get sick on and save it til the end then go home. If you can't do that, go on a water ride (at IOA) right after the ride that made you sick, or the pop up fountains at Kid Zone, the cool water will make you feel a little better. Also, first aid has beds that you can rest on if nothing else works and your in air conditioning. Have your family grab you a Sprite or gingerale and rest for a little while.

Apr 16, 2017 at 3:50 p.m. Courtney Says...

Take Bonine its over the counter and better than Dramamine since Bonine doesn't make you drowsy like Dramamine does and doesn't interfere with most medications or alcohol!

Apr 15, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. Marion Says...

How is the Men In Black ride for motion sickness?

Apr 15, 2017 at 8:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marion,

There are portions of Men In Black ride that spin.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 15, 2017 at 3:21 p.m. john tourbin Says...

to many rides were motion movements, I must push a wheel chair for my wife who loves the rides but will not go because of me. only one ride offered stationary seats,are there any more like this? our trip was ruined because of my stomach

Apr 15, 2017 at 8:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi John,

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Shrek 4-D and Terminator 2: 3-D offer optional stationary seats.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Oct 1, 2017 at 1:29 p.m. Penny Says...

Are the stationary seats clearly visible to the public or do we have to ask specifically?

Oct 1, 2017 at 8:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Penny,

It varies by attraction. Ask the team member at the entrance before you enter the line. They will inform you where the stationary seats are.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 15, 2017 at 2:27 p.m. Mom of 2 boys Says...

Exactly right ... very disappointed that most of the rides are simulators or heavy motion - UGH!!! Dramamine, plus PLENTY of water to elevate headaches. This is, unfortunately, why so many people can't spend a week at Universal like at WDW -- lack of "family" rides.

Mar 8, 2018 at 12:51 a.m. Cross country mom Says...

Oh boy, had never been on a simulator ride before going to Harry Potter at Universal and it was a nightmare! Literally had to keep my eyes closed throughout and still thought I wasn’t going to make it. Made me long for the old days of more family friendly rides!

Mar 26, 2018 at 12:02 a.m. Jen Says...

I feel your pain! Last November I went on that original Harry Potter ride first and couldn’t enjoy the rest of the day because I had to close my eyes the whole time too! I was so excited because I love anything Harry Potter and am going back there next week...this timed armed with PSI bands, pepto bismal chewables, draminine and some other motion sickness pill....I guess I’ll try that ride again as the last one of the day and hopefully not feel like I’m going to keel over. I feel like such a stick in the mud with these things! It really stinks that all the cool rides at both Universal’s make me so sick to my stomach and head!

Mar 22, 2017 at 5:39 p.m. Jules Says...

Just returned from a first trip to Universal Orlando a couple of weeks ago. I was so disappointed that almost ALL of the rides were motion simulated. I took Gravol (a ginger root remedy) and still felt ill. We didn't ride all of the rides because I just couldn't stomach any more!! Next time (if there is one) I may try the patch behind the ear!!

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