Motion sickness can be a hard thing to deal with in everyday life, let alone when at a theme park like Universal Orlando Resort. The twists, high speeds, and exciting drops can end up leaving you to deal with things you never signed up for – a headache and a queasy tummy are only naming a few.
Does that mean you are destined to have bad theme park days for all of eternity? Not at all! A little bit of planning here, a dash of preparation there, and you will be ready to enjoy every single moment of your holiday at Universal Orlando Resort!
Rides at Universal to Avoid if prone to Travel Sickness
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If you want to know which Universal rides to avoid and which ones to try, take a look at our list of motion sickness-inducing Universal rides below.
The Simpsons Ride
Fan of the hit TV show The Simpsons? This super-immersive, 3D motion simulator ride lets you join the Simpson clan on their visit to Krusty’s theme park. With hilarious dialogues, parodies, and non-stop mayhem, expect adventure around every corner!
Perfect for families with a wicked sense of humor, this ride is open to all, with a minimum height of 40” and a supervision requirement for kids under 48″ (height).
If you’re waiting with bated breath for the “Ay, caramba!” moment, here it is. Because of the heavy roller coaster simulation, the jolting and bumping of the ride, and the on-screen visuals, this is one of Universal’s most intense simulation rides. It is known to cause queasiness in riders with weak stomachs.
If this ride is a must-try, save it for the end of your day so that you can head back to your hotel if any dizziness ensues.
While on the ride, sit toward the center, as the curved screen is felt to increase that queasy feeling. Seating at the second level in room 6 also offers a less distorted view, but the taller folk should grab seats in the front rows to avoid any accidental bumps to the head from the sloped ceiling.
Bear in mind that the ride is quite loud and explosive, occurs in the dark, and can simulate some pretty high drops. So, if your kiddos are nervous, opt for the Child Swap feature to experience it while they sit this one out.
You might even use this time to explore the Springfield area and take your kids on the Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, a mild spinning ride. You can also check out the various Character Meets close by, like the Kwik-e-Mart, and the Springfield Food Court right next door.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a truly magical place for children and parents, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is where you can witness this magic come alive. Journey through the castle grounds with Harry, travel by Floo Powder, and showcase your best spell-casting abilities in this exhilarating 3D simulation ride that has a minimum height requirement of 48″.
The compelling storyline, exquisite sets, and special effects will make you feel as though you are truly experiencing Hogwarts in all its glory.
What makes this one of the most popular simulation rides at Universal are the advanced mechanics that actually move your vehicle up and down, in various angles and directions. Unfortunately, for our motion-sick riders, this thrilling addition can also make the ride quite nauseating.
For context, the attraction even requires passengers to secure their shoes and place loose items in their pockets. The ride is seriously packed with twirls, whirls, and sudden drops.
A fair warning to those who dislike the dark, loud sounds, and spiders, there are a couple of scary parts to stay prepared for, like the creepy Dementors and fire-breathing dragon. Brief your children in advance and if they still feel too nervous, use Single Rider or Child Swap instead.
We recommend checking out this attraction (even despite the triggers) for its waiting areas and queue sections which are totally worth it. You can even ask the staff for a castle tour to take in the sights of Hogwarts Castle and its many chambers and classrooms, without embarking on the actual ride.
Keep in mind that you will still need to stand in line for the ride to access the castle. You will just exit last minute to skip the ride.
It’s an experience that is guaranteed to leave ardent Potterheads in awe. You will get to pass through the Defence Against The Dark Arts classroom, Dumbledore’s office, and even catch the iconic talking portraits and the lovable Sorting Hat. Watch in awe as the Golden Trio and Dumbledore make brief conversations with guests!
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Zoom and dash through the streets of New York City as you race against everyone’s favorite TV show host, Jimmy Fallon, in this 3-D motion simulator ride. Avoid obstacles and crew members, veer around iconic spots of the city, dive into the East River, and even take a brief trip to outer space while competing in a neck-to-neck race.
With multiple references to classic movies, this attraction is best appreciated by teens and adults, even if the height restriction allows kids above 40″ (under 48″ need adult supervision).
While it’s all fun and games with this wacky ride, the same can’t be said for those who experience dizziness, as the ride features high speeds, sudden turns, and even movement of the entire theater.
If you cannot miss out on challenging the charming Fallon to a race, try to get seats in the middle to help abate symptoms.
It might also be more enjoyable to tour the building for the pre-show instead. Especially, if you decide to skip the ride.
Stroll through the hallways to admire the props and memorabilia of NBC Studios’ iconic show hosts. The upper floor is where you can spend time playing some interactive games or enjoy the antics of Hashtag the Panda. And if you are lucky, The Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet will croon sweet melodies for you.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
Are you a diehard Marvel fan? Get ready for this ride to knock your socks off! What starts off as an assignment from J. Jonah Jameson turns into an adventure that requires you to wear your 3-D glasses and hop into a news vehicle. Get the inside scoop of all that happens in New York City and dodge villains who are plotting evil deeds with the help of your friendly neighborhood superhero!
Stretching out over 2 acres, the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man thrill ride combines technology, amazing effects, and a motion simulator that spins as the screens transition to weave together a captivating story. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of the incredible Stan Lee.
The height restriction (40″) and supervised riding requirements limit the ride to older kids. But, its the numerous projectors and 360-degree rotation in just 2 seconds that make it inadvisable for those with travel sickness.
The swinging motion and the free-fall plummet from a skyscraper (perhaps the biggest trigger) can certainly be ride deterrents.
Since this sequence occurs towards the end of the ride, it is one option to just brace yourself and close your eyes. This would allow you to still enjoy the rest of the attraction, but parents with kids who don’t like the dark or loud sounds should definitely reconsider riding this.
Don’t worry, the character greets in Marvel Superhero Island (where you might bump into Spidey himself), and souvenir shopping will help keep the smaller kids busy while the rest of the family rides.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster
Adventurers over 51″ will love every heart-thumping second on Florida’s fastest and tallest launch roller coaster. Race over 4,700 feet of track, some of which are mere inches above the water in the central lagoon, as you dart past animatronic velociraptors in their enclosures on the Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
The set-up and layout across green forests, rocky paddocks, and over the central lagoon will leave you breathless, but so will the 155-foot climb and 80-degree drop!
Apart from this thrilling plummet, the ride also has 360-degree inversions and a zero-gravity stall that continues for almost 100 feet of track. Whew! Suffice it to say, the ride is definitely not for the fainthearted.
The heights and speeds, which, at one point, even reach 70 mph in just 2.4 seconds, could amp up nausea. It’s best to give this a skip if you have vertigo, motion sickness, high blood pressure, or even back pain.
Members in your travel group who do not suffer from motion sickness can still give it a whirl by using Child Swap. In the meantime, the waiting parents take the kids to the nearby kid-friendly ride, Pteranodon Flyers.
However, as someone scared of rollercoasters, who plucked up to go on the Velocicoaster, I found it personally very seamless and smooth and LOVED it, whereas the Simpsons made me feel pretty sick afterwards.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Incredible Hulk Coaster, in Marvel Super Hero Island, is all things epic! Riders sign up for General Ross’ experiment to be blasted with gamma radiation.
This goes wrong, almost immediately (we all saw that coming), launching you into the ride. With seven inversions, speeds of 67 mph, powerful G-forces, and twisting turns, the slow-to-start ride lulls you into a false sense of security which suddenly changes, just like Bruce Banner himself.
This ride is for those over 54″ in height, so nervous parents can sit their excitable kids out of this one right away. Launched by the Green Man himself, this ride is one to leave even roller coaster veterans shaking! This is why it goes without saying, that motion-sick riders should expect to experience disorientation and dizziness on this ride.
If you still wish to ride this one, take all your precautions, and preferably grab middle seats in the middle rows. Pro tip: tuck your head in, so you minimize any accidental impact from overhead bars.
The ride can be smooth or somewhat rough based on where you sit, so if you’re older or prone to headaches, try to get seats toward the front.
Not up for the challenge? Explore Marvel Super Hero Island instead, and wrap up with some last-minute souvenir shopping at Marvel Alterniverse.
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem
Promising wholesome fun for the entire family, kids above 40″, teens, and adults are all sure to love the “mayhem” that is this ride. The motion simulation thrill features a silly scheme by Gru and his cute Minions, after which you step onto a cool dance floor to groove the jitters away.
The seats rise and shake, making it the ideal trial run for kids who have never ridden on an actual roller coaster.
The ride, while extremely high on the Universal priority list (Express Pass to the rescue!), is often skipped by those who suffer from motion sickness because of the tilting seats. There are also a few high-speed moments and drops that can make hearts leap.
Although this motion simulator is pretty mild, those who prefer to be safe rather than sorry can opt for the stationary seats. In fact, the ride was converted from 3D to 2D to make it easier for those suffering from sensitive tummies!
And if you are still unsure, you can consider joining the queue during downtimes. This way, you will get to skip the ride but still admire the pre-show where Gru interacts with his family.
Transformers: The Ride 3D
This 3D motion simulation Transformers ride begins with a narration of some Transformer lore. Before long, you’ll be strapped into the N*E*S*T vehicle (roller coaster car) and ready to go to war against Megatron with Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. Fly through Downtown Chicago to save humanity from the enemies that promise death and destruction!
Ideal for tweens and older, this ride’s height restriction (40″) makes it a good one to use Child Swap. The wait times for the ride can get very long and tedious, and it’s no wonder why. The captivating effects of this super-immersive ride, fast-paced sequences, and spectacular graphics all make you feel like you’re right in the middle of all the action.
The simulated drops and practical movements where you actually move from scene to scene can cause mild sickness. Plus, the use of 3D glasses throughout can further contribute to dizziness.
However, if you really want to add the popular ride to your Universal experience, closing your eyes at uneasy moments can help reduce the symptoms. And if not, just settle for a quick photo with your favorite Decepticons or Autobot as a holiday souvenir.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Another immersive Hogwarts experience, this ride with Hagrid and his magical creatures is one of the longest roller coasters in Florida (1 mile). It reaches speeds of 50 mph and even takes riders down 70-degree-slopes!
The ride is a two-person setup where one rider is on the motorbike, and the other gets strapped into the sidecar. Together, you’ll be off to explore the Forbidden Forest of the Wizarding World and all the magical creatures it houses. Riders are required to leave all belongings (and wands) at the locker near the start of the ride.
With six forward launches and one reverse launch, this ride features the most number of launches in any roller coaster across the world. Phew! It’s pretty clear why the ride is almost always busy.
Unfortunately, this also spells trouble for motion-sick visitors, as the high speeds and rapid movements can leave some feeling queasy.
Consider giving this one a pass if it’s too much for you. However, if the ride seems too intense for younger kids (height of 48″ at least), use Child Swap instead.
While the rest of your group zooms off on the bearded groundskeeper’s motorbike, you can head out to explore Hogsmeade and try the famed Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
In 1 minute and 39 seconds, this ride will rock and roll-er coast you away! Choose your favorite tune to accompany you on one of the most personalized rides of your life.
As the music blares, your vehicle will go up a 90-degree incline to then transform into a 167-foot drop, making this thrill one for the wild child (or children) in the family!
Despite the loops and turns, this ride’s track doesn’t actually have any complete inversions. Still, the vertical climbs and dives combined with the loud sounds and rapid movements can be too much for some.
And be warned, the rip ride rockit can throw you around a bit as it comes with a lap belt and not an over-the-shoulder harness. If you do end up deciding to brave (and rock) your way through this ride, keep your head back to reduce symptoms of queasiness.
Revenge of the Mummy
Feel the fury of the evil Mummy on this hair-raising indoor coaster ride. The detailed theming, growling mummies, and flame rollover across the ceiling will make you feel like you are really trapped inside the Pharaoh’s tomb.
It is best suited for adults, teens, and tweens above the height of 48″.
As enticing as the attraction sounds, it is also infamously known for leaving stomachs churning. The entire experience takes place in the dark, making it scarier and preventing you from seeing approaching turns and drops.
While it does not invert, it does move backward for a short while. Throw in a couple of sudden movements and a lot of flashing lights and smoke, and Revenge of the Mummy is best left off the itinerary if motion sickness or dark spaces are a no-go.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Universal sure knows how to get Harry Potter right! This flagship ride at the Wizarding World is the perfect blend of an indoor roller coaster and a 4-D motion simulator cart ride through the depths of Gringotts.
Equal parts entertaining and interactive, it immerses you in the adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione as you try and escape the goblins to make your way back to safety.
Although motion-sick Potter fans might have a hard time sitting this one out, it should be remembered that this ride requires 3D glasses and involves roller coaster movements and simulation that trigger nausea. It really is best to be prepared or skip the ride entirely.
Those who wish to give it a shot can take solace in knowing that while the ride is fully immersive, it does not rattle around too much. With a few precautions and some planning, you can keep the sickness at bay and hop aboard for the ride of a lifetime!
The attraction also offers Child Swap and a Single Rider line if your child doesn’t meet the required height (42″).
If you wish to skip the ride but still venture into Gringotts, you can check out the enchanting queue lines without actually taking the ride. Head there during low wait times (after 7 p.m. or early in the morning) and view the fire-breathing dragon or the busy goblins behind their desks.
Storm Force Accelatron
Meet and greet Storm in Marvel Super Hero Island before being subjected to her force. While pretty much just a jazzed-up teacup ride, Storm Force Accelatron offers wholesome fun for the entire family.
The pods are placed on spin tracks, and by turning the wheel in the middle of your pod, you can make it spin individually too. The faster you turn the wheel, the faster you spin!
It’s no surprise why this ride is on our list. All that spinning can leave you feeling dizzy and disoriented, especially when dealing with motion sickness. So consider dropping it from your list and using the time to check out the other marvels at Marvel Superhero Island.
Tips To Reduce Motion Sickness
If the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) has you shakily reaching for your anti-nausea medication (Bonine and Dramamine), here are some more ways to beat the travel sickness before it beats you:
- Consider sea bands; wristbands that work on the principle of acupressure to alleviate motion sickness.
- Eat light and avoid heavy foods before riding thrill rides to prevent unpleasant accidents. Ensure everybody is always properly hydrated.
- Some visitors find some relief with ginger root, peppermint oils, and queasy drops/pops.
- Always research the rides on your Universal itinerary and check well in advance the possible ways they might trigger a bout of sickness. As motion sickness can vary from person to person, check what kinds of triggers are present in the attractions you wish to ride and steer clear of the rides that seem like causes for worry.
- Try to get as close to the middle seats as possible, so there’s less impact when the ride moves. The same rule applies to the front and back of rollercoasters.
- Close your eyes and breathe slowly and steadily while on uncomfortable rides and schedule them for the end of the day.
- Opt for alternate experiences like the Universal Horror Make-Up Show, chat with your favorite Marvel SuperHero, jive with the Blues Brothers, watch the Wand Choosing Ceremony at Ollivanders, or spend time at Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration with your family as the night comes to an end.
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