Universal is widely known as being the "adult" theme park. Where places like Disney and Legoland cater to a more adolescent market, Universal draws in more adults with its selection of thrill rides and lively nightlife. The rides at Universal are, naturally, modeled after some of its best films like Jurassic Park and Men in Black. These films possess more mature content, meaning that their corresponding ride storylines need to be equally as thrilling. Overall, this makes the better half of Universal attractions pretty extreme.
However, most of the Universal rides can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. It really all depends on your tolerance level. Rides like The Simpson's can be fully appreciated at either end of the spectrum, so long as you can handle a bit of turbulence. Then there are rides like the Incredible Hulk Coaster that have height restrictions for a reason. To give you a bit of insight, here are the ten most intense rides at Universal Studios, ranked.
10 Men In Black: Alien Attack
Before you knock this as a "kiddie" ride, consider the full concept of the Men In Black ride. The Alien Attack ride invites guests to sit in their own training vehicles after being given access to the MIB Headquarters (the queue), including the Immigration Control Room. Once you are seated in your vehicle, you are given your own S4 Alienators (the laser gun) which you use to shoot at cardboard cutout aliens to get as many points as possible.
Then you're pitted against an opposing team of MIB recruits in order to win the overall training session. Despite being a pretty relaxed ride, you definitely get a pump of adrenaline as you shoot your targets. The winning team gets applauded by Jay (Will Smith), while the losers are reprimanded for the incompetence.
9 Jurrasic Park River Adventure
The Jurrasic Park River Adventure starts off exactly like the films. Everything is lush and wonderous as boat riders are ushered through the glory that is the new Jurrasic Park. You get to ease through the Ultrasaur Lagoon and Stegosaur Springs to look onto the life-like animatronic dinosaurs who are casually strolling throughout the infrastructure.
Trouble looms ahead with the discovery of an abandoned raft. Then Velociraptors start to lunge at your boat and finally, after a steep climb, you are met face to face with a massively terrifying Tyrannosaurus rex. Then next thing you know, you are plummeting down an 85-foot drop that leads seemingly nowhere.
8 Transformers: The Ride 3D
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Transformers: 3D is a simulated ride, but the special effects can be pretty jarring. It's a dark seated ride that will take you through the NEST base using a mounted track. An Autobot named Evac takes you on a journey to stop the Decepticons from retrieving the AllSpark.
This ride can get pretty intense with its excessive use of fog and strobe lights. Throughout much of the ride, it's hard to tell which way is up because it's so jammed packed with action sequences coming from the monumental 3D screens.
7 The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride may look juvenile from the outside, but if you're prone to motion sickness, you might what to take a step back. The old Back to the Future ride got a makeover in 2008, giving the Simpson's an all-immersive sector within Universal Studios. The main attraction is the Krustyland theme park facade which hosts the ride.
And while this attraction simply involves you sitting in a Krusty vehicle and staring at a giant screen, the platform motion combined with the special 4D factors make the ride pretty realistic. The ride is so intense, in fact, that they recommend that people with heart conditions, motion sickness, or claustrophobia should not indulge in this ride.
6 Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey can be found at Islands of Adventure next door to Universal Studios. With the opening of Hogsmeade and the illustrious Hogwarts Castle also came a brand new ride concept unlike any other. It's a simulated ride on par with Transformers and the Simpson's, except much more extreme.
The ride involves sitting in an enclosed capsule that rises and drops on a track that leads you through the grounds of Hogwarts. Combined with the roller coaster effect are large 3D screens and actual structures to make the ride appear more realistic than any of its predecessors. The combination typically leads to a bit of motion sickness, but overall, the ride is will definitely get your heart pumping.
5 Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
It's a hard debate to determine which Harry Potter ride is the most intense. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts holds the same concept as the former, except this one doesn't exude quite as much nausea. That being said, the storyline for this particular ride is much harsher and acts more as an indoor roller coaster than the one inside Hogwarts.
This ride incorporates live-action and animated sequences that lead riders through the dungeons of Gringotts all the while being chased by Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort himself.
4 Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
Doctor Doom's Fearfall is in the superhero land of Island's of Adventure. It may only last a minute or two, but it's the anticipation that makes this ride so frightening. The name comes from the archenemy of the Fantastic Four and the ride itself is molded to be a fear extraction device.
The seats that you sit in are a part of Dr. Doom's latest invention which straps down its riders and shoots them unknowingly up into the air (almost 200 feet). You don't know when you're coming down either, which is just as terrifying.
3 Revenge Of The Mummy
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The Revenge of The Mummy is a dark roller coaster ride that is somewhat like Space Mountain at Disney World. Except much more profound. The queue is dark and daunting and leads you to your very own minecart to explore the ancient Egyptian tomb. Once seated, you are blasted off into the dark from 0 to 45 miles per hour.
There's also animatronic mummies, fire pits, and a backward track that leaves riders fearing for their lives. Because of its intensity, riders have to be at least 48 inches tall to ride.
2 The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Incredible Hulk Coaster recently had an upgrade in 2015 for a few slight enhancements. The ride has been on Universal property since 1999, making it one of the original attractions at Islands of Adventure. It's an outdoor steel roller coaster that catapults riders through the "gamma accelerator" from 9 to 40 miles per hours, followed by an immediate loop over the park's central pond.
After that, the ride mellows out a bit, but there are still quite a few corkscrews turns that will leave you feeling electrified even after you step off the train.
1 Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket is the sole outdoor roller coaster inside Universal Studios itself. It goes to a maximum speed of about 65 miles per hour with a height of 167 feet. The cool aspect of this ride is that you get to choose your own music, however, once the wheels start turning, you're in for a shock. The detrimental climb to the top of the peak is (arguably) the most intense part of the ride. It's a slow ride up, making the eventual drop all the more intense.
Probably the scariest part of this ride is the fact that there aren't any habitual harnesses that strap you in. In lieu of over the shoulder restraint devices, this steel roller coast simply holds you in with a seatbelt and a lap bar.