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Universal Studios Rides that are Kid-Friendly

Planning a Universal Studios visit with younger children? Here are just some of the rides meant for families. 

By Tara Bennett
Universal Orlando Globe and bridge over water

Theme park visits should be joyful and fun. But that always depends on a lot of factors, especially when it comes to planning around kids who might not be ready for all of the rides awaiting them. In the last decade, both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Resort in Orlando have increased their family-friendly rides so even the youngest members in your group don't have to opt-out on the fun.

Here are some of the most kid-friendly rides you can try at both parks. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hogsmede at The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Whether you visit Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Studios Orlando, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must-see for kids who love the books or the movie series. In Orlando, Hogsmeade is located in the Universal Islands of Adventure park. Hogsmeade village is an all-ages area where kids can see for themselves where the Hogwarts students go when they have some down time. There's shopping, dining at the Three Broomsticks (which includes a kid's menu), a wand selection ceremony at Ollivander's, and the swift but non-scary rollercoaster, Flight of the Hippogriff. And if you happen to purchase an interactive wand, there are spell casting spots that will have everyone believing in magic again. 

The Simpsons Ride

The outside view of the Simpsons Ride at universal studios

Another adventure to experience at both Universal Studios theme parks is The Simpsons Ride which is an indoor, simulated rollercoaster ride. There are no actual tracks or hills, just a huge projection screen that allows riders to feel like they're really visiting all areas of the animated town of Springfield. The subject matter on the ride involves Maggie Simpson, so there's a lot for younger riders to enjoy. Beware for anyone who get motion-sickness, though, this ride might trigger those feelings as it simulates some faux drops that might feel a little too real.

Villain-Con: Minion Blast

A view of Villain Con Minion Blast at Universal studios

Both Universal Studios theme parks have a Minion Land created especially for kids. But Orlando just opened their exclusive experience, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. The unique, interactive walk-through allows visitors to become a member of the Vicious 6 – a notorious group of super villains from the hit film, Minions: The Rise of Gru. Everyone is given a blaster that is used to shoot targets and participate in scoring challenges that can be tracked by the official Universal Orlando Resort App. Accurate blasting unlocks special missions within the attraction, evil perks and extra powerful blasts to help players gain more points and earn digital collectibles. No experience required, and kids of all ages can learn the tech immediately.

Super Nintendo World: Mario Kart

The waiting area at Super Nintendo World Mario Kart

Universal Studios Hollywood opened Super Nintendo World giving fans of video game heroes Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad the chance to exist in their world within this immersive land. Families who want to keep it simple can just wander this area and attend meet and greets with the aforementioned characters. However, if they want to get the full interactive experience, adults can purchase individual Power-Bands that can be used over and over again within the land.

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As you play the key games, which are kid-centric, the band will tally your successes and the virtual coins you collect from around the world. Achievements will unlock new areas to play in, and allow you to compete against everyone else in the park as your coins increase. The main ride in the area, Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, is also meant for all-ages to play along together in a seated cart ride that is a real-world environment integrated with a VR racing adventure. 

The Secret Lives of Pets: Off the Leash

A view of Universal Rides Secret Life Of Pets

An all-ages, family ride exclusive to Universal Studios Hollywood, Off the Leash is a slow track ride — meaning no hills or spills — that takes guests through multiple animatronic augmented rooms featuring the actual voice actors from the second film. In a brand-new story unique to the ride, guests enter a two-seat "cardboard box" to become part of the story as a lost puppy roaming the streets of New York City hoping to unite with an adopted family. The ride designers worked closely with the Illumination Entertainment team for over two years to create the story.

Jurassic Park Pteranodon Flyers

Jurassic Park's Pteranodon Flyers at Universal Studios

At Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, the whole Jurassic Park compound is available for families to wander around, including the Welcome Center featured in the original films. If the intensity of the Jurassic Park River Adventure or the VelociCoaster is too much for the smallest family members, there is the kid-centric Pteranodon Flyers aerial swing ride. Tailor made for young riders, you zip through the greenery above the Jurassic area like a Pteranodon with no scares involved. 

Check with Universal Studios Orlando for ticketing options, or Universal Studios Hollywood for ticket options