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Ranking the Best Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood

We love Universal Studios Hollywood! The vibe is so L.A., with tourists strolling down the red carpet, exploring the Back Lot on the Studio Tour and taking in the sights and sounds of Hollywood from both yesterday and today. We've spent a lot of time at Universal Studio Hollywood's counterpart in Florida, and even with similar attractions, the two parks couldn't be more different. Today we're ranking Universal Studios Hollywood's starring attraction — its rides!

Keep in mind that a lot of the rides have video and ride simulator components. If those cause you motions sickness, you might want to wait for your party outside the ride. The ones that most get Mommy Frog turning a little greener than usual are The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Transformers: The Ride 3D and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. We still think they are great rides for most people.

The Top Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood

Hop along as we share the details of our Frog Family's favorite rides at Universal Studios Hollywood. There's more than just these toadally awesome rides at Universal, however. Learn more about shows and other not-to-miss Universal Studios Hollywood attractions (such as DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda) before your next visit so you can have a hoppin' good time!

Universal Studios Hollywood's Best Rides - Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda is not a ride in the strictest sense of the word, but the DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda puts you in the middle of a multi-sensory adventure that uses state-of-the-art visual effects and technology starring Master Po. Plus the seats do move a bit in relation to what is happening on-screen. Join Po on a thrilling journey of awesomeness that will stimulate the senses and unlock your inner hero through the power of Kung Fu.

Top Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood - Secret Life of Pets10. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash

Let's start with a family-friendly ride! This slow, dark ride opened in April 2021. Our toddler Lily is a huge fan. The immersive queue is so detailed and prepares you for the ride. While in the queue, you learn that you are a stray puppy in need of a home. All the pets in the apartments you wander through are going to help you get to the adoption fair.

You'll climb into a cardboard box and go on a journey through NYC, make a stop at the groomers and then finally find a family and fur-ever home. It's a slow-moving ride with a height requirement of 34 inches (86cm).

The slow-moving box/ride vehicle is puppy-sized. Try the ride vehicle out in front to test the size if you are more of a fully grown Great Dane or large bulldog size or shape since it's a tight fit for those big dogs. You can watch the ride (and queue) on our YouTube channel.


9. Flight of the Hippogriff

Universal Studios Hollywood's Best Rides - Flight of the Hippogriff

This family-friendly roller coaster is the perfect introduction for developing muggle or magical thrill-seekers in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You’ll find it in the Care of Magical Creatures grounds just outside of Hogwarts Castle. You’ll walk past Hagrid’s Hut (keep an ear out for Fang barking). Listen for Hagrid’s instruction for the proper way to approach a Hippogriff. What’s a Hippogriff, you ask? It's a magical creature with the body of a horse and the wings and head of an eagle. Bow to Buckbeak the hippogriff to show proper etiquette, and you’ll be on your way for a short swooping and diving flight around the pumpkin patch.

8. The Simpsons Ride

Universal Studios Hollywood's Best Rides - The Simpsons Ride

One of our very favorite attractions is a motion-simulated wild ride that takes you through a rundown midway (owned by Krusty the Clown!) that has been taken over by criminal mastermind and former Springfield Mayor Sideshow Bob. It's up to the Simpsons to save you!

7. Revenge of the Mummy

We frogs are coaster fans through and through. For us, it just doesn't get better than this 45-mph coaster ride through the world of Imhotep. Part dark ride, part coaster, Revenge of the Mummy is pure thrills and surprises!

6. Jurassic World — The Ride

The former Jurassic Park water ride has evolved into the new Jurassic World ride. This new version has some pretty cool special effects and all the thrills of the old ride (along with a few new ones). It's also the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. The most exciting event is when Indominus Rex meets Tyrannosaurus Rex!

5. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Universal Studios Hollywood's Best Rides - Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Super sweet like Margo, Edith and Agnes, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a playful, at times nail-biting, motion simulator adventure! Gru has invited guests to his house to undergo minion training, and it becomes clear soon enough that his (evil) intention is actually to turn guests into minions! Thankfully, the girls are there to help out. For us, this family ride is not to miss, but I must warn you that the first time Lily rode it, she was absolutely terrified she would be turned into a minion.

4. Transformers: The Ride 3D

Ranking Universal Studios Hollywood's Best Rides - Transformers Exterior

Using flight simulation technology and 3D-HD screens, Transformers: The Ride 3D puts you right in the middle of the action, battling alongside Optimus Prime to protect the AllSpark. It's one of the most technologically advanced rides of all time, and you don't need to be a "Transformers" fan to appreciate it.

3. Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge

The newest ride in the new Super Nintendo World is admittedly the most popular at the moment. Step into Bowser's Castle to wander through an incredibly immersive queue. You'll learn that Team Bowser has challenged Team Mario to a race. You'll pick up your Team Mario visor and put it on. When you enter the four-person vehicle, you'll attach goggles that allow you to see the projected graphics during the ride to the visor, tap your Power-Up Band to the steering wheel and countdown to the race.

During the race you can steer and use the buttons on the steering wheel to shoot at Team Bowser and ? boxes. Be sure to look at your targets because you shoot where you look instead of where your vehicle is facing. This ride is unlike anything else we've ever ridden. It is surprising slow, considering it is a race. But you do have a lot to concentrate on in this ride. This is ride is not on Universal Express, but it does have a single rider line. Hop over to our full post on Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge.

2. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Weave through Hogwarts Castle while you're in line. You'll pass through Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom and Gryffindor’s common room in the queue. You'll reach your enchanted bench deep inside the Room of Requirement. Then, with a puff of magic Floo Powder and Hermione’s "Observatory" spell, you are off on a magical journey. Follow Harry on his broomstick around Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll encounter dragons, whomping willows, giant spiders, dementors and more. You’ll drop, spin, twist and turn — sometimes ending up on your back — but you won’t go upside down.

This ride uses the latest technology to take you through animatronics and projection screens. It’s frogtastically fun, but people prone to motion sickness also get a little green on this ride. Flora’s hop tip is to close your eyes during projection scenes if you start to feel queasy.

1. Studio Tour

The park's signature attraction is a 60-minute tour through the Back Lot of Universal's working studios and number one on our list of Universal Studios Hollywood's best rides. Yes, you might spot a celeb on set! If not, you'll still tour some of the most famous sets in all of movie and TV history.

Tours vary due to shooting schedules, but scenes may include the courthouse square in "Back to the Future," the airplane crash scene from "War of the Worlds," Wisteria Lane and the Bates Motel from "Psycho." You'll cozy up to Jaws and do battle with King Kong on Skull Island. Finally, the grand finale is the heart-pounding Fast & Furious - Supercharged. Using 3D-HD imagery, you'll be flying along at 120 mph with the cast of the hit movies!

Ranking the Best Rides at Universal Studios Hollywood-Psycho with knife at Bates Motel.

To experience all these Universal Studios rides, plus the shows and characters (not to mention food and treats), you’ll want to skip some lines. The Universal Express ticket definitely helps shorten the amount of time you’ll stand in line so you can get out and enjoy more aspects of the parks.

Related: Universal Studios Hollywood Touring Plan

Related: Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Time

Well, there you have it — our list of Universal Studios Hollywood's best rides. Do you agree? What is your favorite Universal Studios Hollywood ride? Share in the comments below!

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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Feb 20, 2022 at 10:46 p.m. Kathy Says...

Hi there, this is an older article but I'm hoping you are still responding. I am trying to figure if, me and my family can enjoy most of the rides at Universal Studios Hollywood or not.

I have a shunt which is a hollow tube surgically placed in the brain to help drain cerebrospinal fluid and redirect it to another location in the body where it can be reabsorbed , I was wondering which rides accelerate rapidly, or contain fast turns may not be advisable, as the G forces please tell me which rides to avoid so I can stay safe while I have fun please and thank you

Feb 22, 2022 at 12:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kathy!

We'd avoid Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Revenge of the Mummy. Jurassic World has one big drop but is otherwise not rough. We've been to the park with a friend who has shunt and she was able to tolerate the Studio Tour, but it does have some shaking. The ride simulators (Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Simpsons rides) have movement but it's only the seat that is shaking. You may be able to ask for a stationary seat at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. You can view Flight of the Hippogriff from the outside to determine if you think you could handle the turns. The Transformers ride has unpredictable movement with some turns but not great force (our friend was also able to tolerate this one). The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash is gentle and slow, so that would be a great ride option. You could watch the shows and most likely Kung Fu Panda (the theater seats have gentle movement but there is a optional stationary seat). Have fun and take it easy the next day to recover!

Keep hopping!


Oct 23, 2020 at 4:25 a.m. Janet lee Says...

I've been do Universal City Hollywood twice the first time was 1987 the second time was 1989 and both times we had a blast we went in as three couples and I had the time of a lifetime I was 19 when I first wet now I'm 52 year old grandmother of nine children and I'm planning on taking all of my grandchildren next summer I recommend guess the keishin spot it's once in a lifetime...

My hobbies my favorite hobby is watching TV movies and documentaries so Universal Studio is just the perfect entertainment for me.

Jun 28, 2020 at 4:45 a.m. Refornia Peebles Says...

My son and i never been he'll be 17 this year do u think it's to much of a kiddie adventures for him he's still like a kid he like all fun stuff like a regular teenagers lol

Jun 29, 2020 at 5:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Refornia!

Yes, there are quite a few thrills for teens and tweens at Universal! We have a whole post dedicated to planning a day with that age group here. Have fun!

Keep hopping!


Dec 12, 2019 at 9:25 p.m. Steph Says...

Hi there, this is an older article but I'm hoping you are still responding!! I am trying to gauge if our family can enjoy most of the rides at Universal Studios Hollywood or not. My 7 year old and I are not good with drops but can do jerky rollercoasters as long as no huge drops. For instance at Disney/CA Adventure we can't do Splash Mtn, and the drops toward the end of Cars is a bit much for my stomach. We can do Indiana Jones, Soaring around the World, and Pirates of the Caribbean just fine. Are there any rides we should stay away from? Nothing worse than going on a ride only to find it too much for you to take (And you can't get off... AHHH!) The ones where the motion is created more from animation we can just close our eyes if it's too much, but the big rollercoaster drops- no, can't do it. Thanks for any advice you can provide!!

Dec 16, 2019 at 4:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steph!

We sure are! The only ride we'd stay away from in your shoes is Jurassic World, as it has a big drop. Have fun!

Keep hopping!


Aug 26, 2019 at 4:23 a.m. David Joseph Says...

Yeah, I have also some experience in horror event, last year I was traveling Davis with my friend for one horror event organize by Corbett's House Of Horror and yes we both enjoy a lot...If you are someone who can take up an extreme level of horror, this is the right place for you. The six jail sections have different horror attractions such as zombies, sadistic surgeons, and many others.

Thank you

Aug 8, 2019 at 9:31 p.m. glen mc alpine Says...

with the new movie "THE HUNT" and the producers saying they will not back off on such A MOVIE THAT MAY CAUSE CIVIL WAR 2, I will never even think about seeing any thing even connected to universial

Jul 16, 2017 at 9:36 p.m. Stan C Says...

Are rides too much for a 60 year old? Coming July 27 should I get FOL tickets? Do you get Wet on any of the rides? If I buy tickets ahead of time can I get FOL tickets when I arrive?

Jul 17, 2017 at 4:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stan,

It all depends on what you can handle! If you're in perfectly fine health and feel up to it, then try a few out and have fun. You will get wet on Jurassic Park - The Ride. July is a very busy month, so FOL passes can certainly help minimize your wait in line. You can purchase FOL passes when you buy your tickets or at the park when you arrive.

Keep hopping!


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