The Universal Orlando Resort is known for big rides.
In fact, at Volcano Bay waterpark and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, many of the thrill rides and coasters are designed for older kids and adults. When you’re visiting these parks with young kids, it’s helpful to have an idea of which attractions they can enjoy.
Luckily, there’s a handy search tool that lets you filter by age and height when searching for rides and attractions. Use this search tool on Universal’s website for detailed information about accessibility and height requirements.
Personally, I find that play areas are a great option for families with very small children. They are also lots of fun for bigger kids.
Plus, they provide a welcome opportunity for kids who have been waiting in long lines to stretch their legs and burn some energy.
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Does Universal Studios have play areas?
Universal Studios Florida Resort has two play areas: Curious George Goes to Town and Fievel’s Playland.
At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, there are two Jurassic Park-themed play areas: Jurassic Park Discovery Center and Camp Jurassic.
You’ll also find Me Ship, the Olive in the Toon Lagoon section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Is Me Ship, the Olive a ride?
Nope! Me Ship, the Olive is an interactive play area. It is Popeye the Sailor Man’s ship, and it’s completely stationary.
The Olive is located in the Toon Lagoon section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. It is nestled along the route of the nearby water ride Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.
This giant colorful ship has three decks and multiple slides. Kids of all ages can climb up cargo nets and explore hidden passageways and tunnels.
Me Ship, the Olive also offers panoramic views of several of the park’s popular rides and attractions.
This imaginative play area has a 42-inch height requirement. Therefore, if you have smaller children in your party, it is a great place to watch the rest of your family get soaked on the nearby rides.
For example, you can add to the enjoyment of unsuspecting riders by squirting them with water cannons as they zoom past the shark-infested waters below.
Popeye’s boat is named for his love interest: Olive Oyl. As you approach the vessel, you’ll hear upbeat nautical-themed music.
You can immediately take the exterior staircase up to the second deck or head straight inside the ground-floor play area. Inside, there are cargo nets that adventurous little sailors can climb to reach the second floor.
What’s on each floor of Me Ship, the Olive?
On the first floor, you’ll find whimsical touches like potted purple flowers and a miniature speed boat for the tiniest sailors.
There’s also a knee-high old-fashioned ship’s wheel that’s the perfect height for toddlers.
Also, be sure to check out the fun-house mirrors and the interactive boiler.
The ship’s cargo includes wooden barrels and crates. And of course, there are countless industrial-sized cans of spinach stacked in every corner.
There are even spinach punching bags for little sailors to push around for some heavy work. Parents need not worry since they are anchored to the floor and ceiling.
Portholes line the outer walls and let in some natural Florida sunshine. Some of the portholes on the interior walls offer a view into a tank of spinach-infused fuel. In addition, you can watch green bubbles floating upward through the foggy glass. There are also wheels and levers to explore and manipulate on just about every surface.
Colorful water cannons are mounted along the deck’s railings. Grab one and squirt the unsuspecting passengers of Popeye’s & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges as they float below you.
The second and third deck
Upstairs on the second deck, you’ll find great views of several neighboring rides and attractions. And also, inside on the second floor, young musicians can practice on Popeye’s brightly colored interactive piano: The Spinach Spinnet.
The interactive fun continues on the third deck. The top deck offers excellent views of the rest of the park. Just below the ship, you can see several of the water obstacles of the ride below.
Inside the third level, you’ll also find the bridge of the Olive. From there, the small aspiring helmsman can grasp the ship’s wheel and pretend to steer the vessel.
There’s also a treasure map that leads the way to Popeye’s buried spinach stash. Additionally, there is a lever that controls the ship’s speed. You can climb stairs or cargo nets to ascend to the next level or take tube slides all the way down.
Is Me Ship, the Olive accessible?
Yes. In fact, there is an elevator that guests can use to move between levels if needed.
The view from the ship
Me Ship, the Olive offers some of the best views in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Specifically, it is located on the waterfront edge of Toon Lagoon.
Therefore, you can climb to the second or third deck for unobstructed views across the water of the other areas of the park. As we’ve mentioned, you can look down for a bird’s eye view of Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges.
Marvel Superhero Island will be on the right as you look across the lagoon. And also, there’s an incredible view of the gigantic twisting loops of The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Scanning left from the Hulk, you’ll see the Port of Entry and then Seuss Landing.
Additionally, there’s a great view of The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. Watch the Trolley Trains zoom over the portions of the track that takes passengers along the waterfront of Seuss Landing.
The Lost Continent area will be to the left of Seuss Landing.
Also from The Olive, you’ll be able to see the rocky towers of Mythos Restaurant. Beyond The Lost Continent is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade.
Look closely for a partial view of the backside of Hogsmeade’s pubs: The Three Broomsticks and The Hog’s Head. You’ll also be able to see the majestic towers of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Finally, to the left of Hogwarts Castle, you’ll see the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure. Look all the way to your left from The Olive for a fantastic view of the new Velocicoaster ride.
A long stretch of the Velocicoaster track borders the waterfront. This makes The Olive an ideal spot for watching this new ride.
Have you taken your crew to Me Ship, the Olive? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.