11 Worst Rides at Universal Orlando, What You Can and Can’t Miss

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Universal Studios recently announced that Poseidon’s Fury would be closing soon.

And with that news, it leaves the question – what are the worst rides left at Universal? Which ones are non-essential?

And what exactly does worst mean?

Maybe the worst ride for you is one that makes you motion sick or leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed or bored.

Maybe the worst ride is one you could have stayed at home and ridden at seasonal carnivals and saved all that money on a Universal Orlando resort vacation. Here, I’ll list what I think are the worst rides in the park, along with which ones are bad for motion sickness.

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What rides at Universal are bad for motion sickness?

As someone who battles motion sickness, any of the motion simulator rides can trigger a queasy feeling.

The worst of those? I think it’s probably The Simpsons Ride in Springfield. I had to close my eyes for several sections of that ride to ensure I didn’t open up a second location for Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl.

Other candidates include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

For me, the trigger is motion on the periphery of my vision. For example, on one of the Star Wars rides at Walt Disney World, when it makes the jump to light speed, I almost always have to close my eyes. 

However, physical rides rarely bother me. I can ride roller coasters and thrill rides and never have an issue – with the exception of indoor coasters.

For example, Revenge of the Mummy or Space Mountain at Disney.

Sometimes, I’ll have a physical reaction on the Mad Hatter’s Teacups or Storm Force Accelatron at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. And even then on an attraction like that, the teacup ride has to be spinning really fast to get me. 

Also, The Men in Black Alien Attack got me a little. Not so much from the action but from the ride vehicle as it whipped back and forth allowing me to aim at the aliens. There are some pretty harsh spins. 

Overall, you know your flavor of motion sickness, so hopefully that helps as a guide on which rides to look out for.

race through New York with Jimmy Fallon at universal
Race Through New York may cause motion sickness for some (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

What rides should you avoid at Universal Studios? 

Let’s start with a caveat. Most of the rides on this list have some value. I like most of them. But if we’re ranking attraction by those you can or should avoid, something has to come up on the short end of the stick. 

So what does it mean to be the “worst” ride? Well, in some cases the ride might just be bad. But it can also mean that it’s skippable or non-essential. 

Between Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure, there are 30 listed rides and attractions to rank, so a full third of the attractions are in the bottom ten, just by simple math. 

Read Also: 20 Tips for Universal Studios Orlando That Will Maximize Your Trip

Hogwarts Express Train
Hogwarts Express is all about the Harry Potter theming (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

11. Hogwarts Express

Look, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is a sacrilege. However, if the thought of a silhouette of Ron Weasley fretting over the imminent approach of spiders doesn’t send chills down your spine, maybe skip this one.

The Express is all about connection. All about theming. The ride is slow. I wish there was an easier way to get from one side of the park to the other without having to ride the Express.

Further, the in-ride technology could be improved. I think the screens that serve as windows desperately need to be replaced. 

Also, I dislike the King’s Cross Station queue. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and was willing to renounce the whole thing after a 30-minute wait at King’s Cross. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and its main rides like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and the Forbidden Journey or Escape from Gringotts remain essential, even if you’re not a big Potterhead.

But the train? It can be skipped. 

Skull Island Reign of Kong Universal Islands of Adventure
Sometimes the overabundance of motion simulators is evidenced by rides such as Reign of Kong: Skull Island (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

10. Reign of Kong: Skull Island

If we’re being honest, as much as I love the Universal Studios Florida theme parks – and I really do – they are over-reliant on motion simulators and screens.

Of course, they may be fun, but they can get a little redundant.

Kong does a good job of mixing in some practical effects like the giant Kong head towards the end, but if I’m ranking Universal’s ride based on their essential nature, Kong ranks toward the bottom of the list.

Islands of Adventure Caro-Suess-el
The Caro-Seuss-el is fun but forgettable in the long run (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

9. Caro-Seuss-el

I’m glad this ride exists. A good carousel is a theme park tradition and you need rides kids can get on and off of easily.

But you would think a Seuss carousel would have a little bit more zaniness to it. It’s good for the moment, but utterly forgettable after.

The Simpsons Ride Universal
The Simpsons Ride theming is great, but it can induce motion sickness for many (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

8. The Simpsons Ride

I didn’t really want to include this one on the list. The queue was funny. The theming is great. Everything about it was good until they turned the ride vehicle on. Still, I couldn’t enjoy it.

I don’t know the science of it to say why, but this was the most motion-sickness-inducing ride I’ve ever been on. I closed my eyes and held on. The jokes were good, however. 

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman Universal Islands of Adventure
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man needs some updates (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

7. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

I want to love this ride. I love Marvel and Spider-Man. Love everything about this ride but the ride.

Of course, I think knowing that Disney has a modern, shiny – and for lack of a better term – good Spider-Man ride in California doesn’t help.

The ride in Universal feels like something out of 1999 – which it is. Unlike some of the better motion simulators, like Star Tours, you never really feel immersed. 

It feels like you’re bouncing along looking at a screen. It’s also not the smoothest ride, which I think leads to some people’s complaints of headaches and motion sickness. 

Maybe it’s because the ride is themed more to match the comic and cartoon nature of Marvel versus the live-action Marvel cinematic universe. 

Aerial View Raft Popeye & Bluto Bilge-Rat Barge
You will get soaked on the Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

6. The wet rides

You’re at a theme park in Florida. It’s hot. So, what’s better than cooling off with a wet ride?

Don’t do it. In 30 minutes you’ll be hot again but in wet pants and shoes that will make the rest of the park visit miserable. 

Jurassic Park River Adventure will probably keep you the driest of the water rides, followed by Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges will get you absolutely soaked, and the human driers do not help much.

If you want to ride the barges, plan accordingly and bring a change of everything or wear clothes and shoes designed to dry quickly.

Read Also: Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Which Is Better?

Universal Islands of Adventure Dr. Doom
The drop rides are thrilling, but perhaps not essential (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

It’s a drop ride. They have them everywhere.

Dollywood. Cedar Point. Disney. Six Flags. I like the Marvel theming and I think it’s good, in general, for the parks to have rides like these for people who want something else to ride.

It’s like an appetizer – amuse bouche – before tackling the big rides. And while it is thrilling, because getting dropped from up high will always be thrilling, it’s not essential. 

Fast and the Furious Exterior Universal Orlando
Fast & Furious – Supercharged is an outdated motion simulator ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Fast & Furious – Supercharged

This ride is another of Universal’s many motion simulators where the technology of the times has passed it by.

This ride remains on the cusp of fun and has some genuinely entertaining moments.

However, the quality of the screens and/or projections takes you out of the ride. This is a ride that could be saved by a significant technology upgrade. 

Storm Force Accelatron Universal Islands of Adventure
Storm Force is a scrambler-style ride with Marvel theming (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Storm Force Accelatron

This is the scrambler ride – a staple of carnivals everywhere – in Marvel X-Men wrapping.

I’m actually an advocate for theme parks adding more of these flat rides in the parks just to help crowd control and give guests and families some options for things to do between the big rides. 

But, if we’re being honest, there’s not much difference between this ride and any teacup or scrambler ride across the country. It’s fun, but certainly not essential. 

A Couple Rides One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish at Universal Orlando
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is another carnival-type ride with some water cannons (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

I love Seuss Landing, but it could use a touch more chaos.

Like the Storm Force, this ride is essentially a standard carnival ride with gussied-up Seuss theming. This is Dumbo’s Flying Elephants but with Seuss characters. 

It’s fun at the moment – though the water cannons could be kicked up a notch. But in a month, when your kids talk about their favorite rides at the Universal Studios resort, you’ll have to remind them that this ride even exists. 

Poseidon's Fury at Universal's Island of Adventure
Poseidon’s Fury will be gone soon, fortunately (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Poseidon’s Fury

As of this writing, Poseidon’s Fury is still running, but not for much longer.

The final performance will be on May 9, 2023. The experience, which is one of Islands of Adventure’s remaining opening day features, will close for good. 

I realize some fans will be heartbroken at losing a favorite experience. However, with apologies to them, I have never had a more negative reaction to an attraction like I did this one. 

Our family was crowded into a room that left little room to breathe, much less hear or see the show. Knowing the “story” arc, I could follow along in the darkness. And also, at 5-foot-10, I was able to see some of the show as we were herded from room to room. However, my kids saw virtually none of it and thus were completely detached.

When we made it out into the larger amphitheater for the grand finale, I was shocked at the poor quality of the costumes and the projections onto the water spray.

In honor of just how bad this attraction is, I am committed to keeping it in this top spot even after its closure.

Come see in a few years, and we’ll pick a new attraction to put at the bottom of the heap.

What are the can’t-miss rides at Universal? 

Universal’s bread and butter are the coasters

For example, the Incredible Hulk Coaster, the impossible-to-spell VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s and the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – made famous by Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart on the Tonight Show. 

I also think the Sky Seuss Trolley Train ride is something everyone should do, just for the views of the park and Seuss Landing. 

Most people don’t mention this one, but I think Transformers with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and more is the best of Universal’s many, many motion simulator rides. 

What do you think is the worst ride at Universal Orlando? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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