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Universal Studios Hollywood Rides by Age: Options for Little Kids Are Lacking

Secret Life of Pets ride

The park isn’t ride-heavy in general. It especially lacks options for little kids. If you’re expecting a Magic Kingdom equivalent, you will be disappointed. What are the Universal Studios Hollywood rides by age?

What Do You Need to Know About the Universal Studios Hollywood Rides by Age?

1. Maximize Your Day with a Touring Plan

2. Do You Need Front-of-the-Line Passes?

3. Rides for Everyone

4. Rides for Preschoolers and Up

5. Rides for Early Elementary-Aged Kids and Up

6. Rides for Upper Elementary-Aged Kids and Up

Transformers universal studios ride

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Universal Studios Hollywood Rides by Age

1. Maximize Your Day with a Touring Plan

Every good touring plan starts with an early arrival time. The park is at its most glorious first thing in the morning. You want to be up nice and early whether it puts a strain on your marriage or not. The early bird gets the worm, and in this case, the worm is short lines.

When you arrive at the park early, head to a popular attraction (think Super Nintendo World, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or The Simpsons Ride). If it’s hot, the Jurassic World line will be extremely long in the afternoon. Head there early if it is a priority for you and you’re OK with being wet in the morning.

Eat at an off time to avoid long waits for food.

Save shows, shopping, and rides that hold a lot of people, like the Studio Tour and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, for the afternoon.

If you can hang until nighttime, lines will die down. Employees won’t kick you out of a line if you’re in it before the park closes.

Pro Tips

Pro tip: Universal Studios Hollywood has better weather than Orlando. Like way, way better. However, it can get hot. Be sure to check the weather so you know what to expect. If it’s uncomfortable, save indoor attractions for the afternoon.

Bonus pro tip: Crowd levels vary wildly at this park. If you can visit when school is in session, you will have a much better experience. Consult a crowd calendar.

Extra bonus pro tip: If you want to ride something and your kid isn’t ready, utilize the rider switch program. Both adults can ride after waiting in line once. If you have an older child, he or she will likely be able to ride with both parents.

Extra bonus pro tip: Check out the park map before you go to familiarize yourself with where things are located.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey universal studios hollywood attraction

2. Do You Need Front-of-the-Line Passes?

Universal Orlando offers hotel packages that include Universal Express Unlimited passes for all guests. There is no such deal to be had in Hollywood. You must purchase it separately.

What is Universal Express Hollywood? It is a fast pass that allows you to enter each ride, attraction, and show one time without waiting in line.

Is Universal Hollywood Express pass worth it? That depends. It comes with a substantial upcharge, but it may be worth it to you if you don’t go very often and want to maximize your time.

Pro tip: You can pick and choose when you purchase the Universal Hollywood Express pass. You do not have to purchase it for every day of your trip.

Bonus pro tip: If you don’t care if you sit with your party, consider skipping Universal Express and using the single rider lines for free.

Super Silly Fun Land in universal studios california

3. Rides for Everyone

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets ride is a must-do, even if you’re not a child. The indoor, air-conditioned queue takes you through various apartments from the movie. The queue alone is worth a walk.

The ride itself is a slow-moving ride through various scenes from the movie with a ton of animatronics and detail.

Height requirement: 34″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Toddlers, preschoolers, lower elementary

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor

Silly Swirly Fun Ride

Silly Swirly Fun Ride is a ride in a circle in the Despicable Me-themed section of the park. While the ride is not exciting, it has an amazing view.

Height requirement: 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, lower elementary

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Outdoor

The World Famous Studio Tour

This backlot tour is a commitment, clocking in at almost an hour, but it is worth it. During this tram ride, a guide takes you through actual movie lots. There are several surprises and landmarks you will recognize from movies along the way. Back to the Future fans will be especially pleased.

Two 3-D rides are incorporated into this longer tour, the Fast and the Furious and King Kong 360 ride.

Pro tip: No bathrooms are available on this Universal Hollywood tour ride. None. Make sure your kids go beforehand. There are bathrooms right next to the queue.

Height requirement: None

Best for: Everyone

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Both indoor and outdoor with an outdoor queue

universal studios hollywood rides secret life of pets

4. Rides for Preschoolers and Up

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff is a teeny, tiny roller coaster in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The land and other ride within this area are heavily themed, but this is not. It is not worth a substantial wait, but it is a good filler ride.

Height requirement: 39″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Preschoolers, lower elementary

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Outdoor

Hogwarts Express universal studios hollywood rides harry potter

5. Rides for Early Elementary-Aged Kids and Up

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is a motion simulator wherein you become a Minion and travel through Gru’s laboratory. There is a cute pre-show during which a member of the audience’s hygiene is called into question. You exit the ride into a dance party.

Note: You might not feel great at the end of the ride if you are sensitive to motion. Pack Dramamine.

Height requirement: 40″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Tall preschoolers, lower elementary, upper elementary

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor with an outdoor queue

Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge

Mario Kart Bowser’s Challenge is a ride with Super Mario characters with goggles. It feels like you are racing other characters. Scores are kept. Competitive kids will get mad. A good time will be had by all.

The queue is in Bowser’s castle. The line gets painfully long, but there is a lot to see.

Height requirement: 40″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Tall preschoolers, lower elementary, upper elementary

Location: Lower Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor with a portion of the queue outdoors

The Simpsons Ride

The Vomitorium Simpsons Ride is the mother of all motion simulators. You ride in a car that is lifted off the ground and shakes so, so much. You are certain to feel sick at the end if you are sensitive. Prepare yourself.

Height requirement: 40″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Tall preschoolers, lower elementary, upper elementary, preteens, teens, adults

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor with a portion of the queue outdoors

Transformers

Transformers is a ride in a car with a lot of screens and shaking. As an added bonus, employees yell at you in line while in character. You may have a hard time with it if you are prone to motion sickness.

Height requirement: 40″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Tall preschoolers, lower elementary, upper elementary, preteens, teens, adults

Location: Lower Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor

Nintendo world universal hollywood rides bowser

6. Rides at Universal Studios for Upper Elementary-Aged Kids and Up

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is one of the best rides ever. The queue is air-conditioned and packed with a ton of theming.

During the ride itself, you sit in a car with your feet hanging down. You are lifted well above ground level and tossed and turned gently (sometimes almost upside down) between screens with motion simulation.

The ride is dark with some moderately scary elements. This is not one for little kids.

Note: If you get sick easily, this one may be tough for you. Bring the Dramamine.

Height requirement: 48″

Best for: Upper elementary, preteens, teens, adults

Location: Upper Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor

Jurassic World

Jurassic World ride is a boat tour through escaped dinosaurs that are trying to eat you. It ends with a near-death encounter with a Tyrannosaurus rex and a steep drop.

Pro tip: You will get wet. Bring a poncho.

Height requirement: 42″ to ride with a supervising companion, 48″ to ride alone

Best for: Upper elementary, preteens, teens, adults

Location: Lower Lot

Indoor or outdoor: A mix of indoor and outdoor with an outdoor queue

Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy is a dark roller coaster with some scary elements. Even the queue is spooky. It goes both forward and backward, but not upside down.

Height requirement: 48″

Best for: Upper elementary, preteens, teens, adults

Location: Lower Lot

Indoor or outdoor: Indoor with a partially outdoor queue

universal hollywood jurassic park ride

Final Thoughts – Universal Studios Hollywood Rides by Age

The park isn’t ride-heavy, but it has a lot to offer. There are characters, shows, and great views of the Hollywood Hills. It is worth a visit. Use this Universal Studios Hollywood rides by age guide to help with your touring plan and visit with your kids. You will not regret it.

universal studios hollywood rides by age

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Universal Studios Hollywood Rides by Age

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