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Universal vs Disney World: The best bits for thrill-seekers

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Universal vs Disney World. There is something so thrilling about the fear, excitement, and nerves that theme park rides evoke that keep us coming back for more. If you’re a family of thrill-seekers who find yourselves asking, “what is the most thrilling ride at Disney World or Universal?”  Read on!

Universal vs Disney World: The best bits for thrill-seekers
Universal vs Disney World: The best bits for thrill-seekers

Best Rides For Thrill Seekers at Universal Orlando Resort

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Universal Orlando is filled with thrilling rides for all ages. Whether you are looking for a heart-pounding roller coaster or a family-friendly ride, there is something for everyone. Our selection includes rides from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, as well as Volcano Bay.

Velocicoaster ride is intense!
Velocicoaster ride is intense!

Jurassic World VelociCoaster – One Of The Fastest Rides In Florida For Thrill Seekers

One of Florida’s tallest and fastest coasters, this monster-themed launch coaster propels itself up to 70 mph and reaches 155 feet tall. This one is not for the faint of heart. With a one-of-a-kind high-speed barrel roll that takes you upside down 360 degrees, the ride has no brakes and actually speeds up as it goes. 

You will find the VelociCoaster in Islands of Adventure. This ride will leave you screaming for your life with a 140-foot drop, an 80-degree plunge, and an intriguing story about the events before the first Jurassic World Film! 

Try to tackle the VelociCoaster first thing in the morning or right after Hogsmeade if you’re attending Early Park Admission at the Wizarding World. Otherwise, save it for your last ride of the night. An important thing to keep in mind is that if the wait time is too long, the attraction queue entry may be closed even before the park closes, so be sure to arrive early. The ride also has a height restriction of 51″ (130 cm). 

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Univesal Islands of Adventure
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a thrilling roller coaster that is also one of Universal’s best dark attractions. With magnificent animatronics and lushly crafted scenery, it features 7 launches, which is more than any other coaster globally. 

With a 65-foot tall dead-end spike, reverse motion, and a true free-fall vertical drop of nearly 17 feet, this one is a true beast. While not all of us can be expected to be as tall as Hagrid, you will need to be at least 48″ (122 cm) to participate in this Motorbike ride.

Like the VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This theme park is home to some of the most thrilling rides in all of Universal. 

revenge of the mummy

Revenge of the Mummy ride for thrill seekers who like dark and speed!

Another dark, thrilling roller coaster with a speed of up to 40 miles an hour, the Revenge of the Mummy will have your heart racing and pounding out of your chest! Where the ride’s first act features some fantastic animatronics and spooky ride elements, the second takes you on a super-fast roller coaster trip in the dark. 

If being in utter darkness surrounded by massive fireballs, swarms of scarab beetles, and an army of warrior mummies sounds fun, then this is the ride for you! Just remember that you need to be at least 48″ (122 cm) tall to ride the Revenge of the Mummy in Universal Studios. 

Krakatau Aqua Coaster – The Ultimate Water Ride for Thrill Seekers

Aqua Coaster is an exceptional ride that offers a classic rafting experience while also being one of the most thrilling coasters on the list. The raft ride, located in Volcano Bay, combines speed and terrifying drops accompanied by spectacular dips. The slide runs through the volcano attraction and is the world’s largest body slide.

You can sail up and down the volcano in a four-person canoe with your family, experiencing this water slide and coaster all in one! It requires a minimum height of 42″ (107 cm) and a maximum weight of 700 lb.

Volcano Bay Universal Orlando with kids

Ko’okiri Body Plunge 

Is Universal only about roller coasters? Nope! The Ko’okiri Body Plunge at Universal’s Volcano Bay is the country’s tallest speed slide at 125 feet and definitely worth a try for the adrenaline junkies among us. 

When Universal says Body Plunge, they mean it! In this attraction, sliders board a launch capsule at the volcano’s summit and wait a few moments for the floor to “release” them. The two Serpentine Body Slides throw the sliders into a 70-degree, 125-foot plunge into the park’s famous volcano in the dark below.

You read that right – this ride is no joke! It has a Minimum height requirement of 48″ (121.9 cm) and a maximum weight limit of 300lb (135  kg) to prove it. 

hulk ride at universal orlando

The Incredible Hulk Classic Ride for Thrill Seekers

This thrilling ride includes numerous inversions and shattering positive G-force moments. To start with, it sends passengers soaring up the “Gamma Force Accelerator” tube, only to flip them over as they emerge. 

Located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park, this ride is a favorite among Marvel fans and thrill-seekers alike. Double-check your kid’s height if you’re visiting with the whole family as this ride is restricted to individuals over 54″ (137 cm) tall.

rip ride rocket at universal

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a sit-down X-Car coaster with a maximum height of 167 feet and a 65 miles per hour speed that operates on a 3,800-foot steel track.

This terrifying coaster in Universal Studios whisks riders up a 17-story vertical lift hill before launching them into a 65-mph plunge. The descent pulls you into a loop, giving the impression that you’re upside down, but you’re never really upside down! The twisty track winds its way through Universal Studios’ New York backlot, with numerous eye-catching inversions. 

Riders need to be a minimum of 51″ (130 cm) tall and no more than 79″ (201 cm) tall. Don’t forget to purchase the personalized music video of your experience after the ride!

Best Rides For Thrill Seekers at Disney World

You’re not the only one who has wondered, “which is more fun, Disney World or Universal Studios?”

While it is true that Walt Disney World is best known for its whimsical charm and cuddly characters, it still has its fair share of heart-stopping coasters and thrilling slides. Some of them are even unrivalled in their themes and quality. Let’s get into it!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Brand New Family Thrill Ride in World Discovery at Epcot!

Board Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to chase through space and time intergalactic style! This is a family-thrill ride featuring a reverse-launch for the first time on any Disney coaster!

The adventure starts on a tour of the Galaxarium, an exhibition similar to a planetarium that showcases differences and similarities between Earth’s galaxies and Xander. Learn about Xander and its technology but look out! As the tour is about to culminate, you are called to action!

You need to help the Guardians of the Galaxy on an important mission! Rewind, rotate then head off to the action on an exciting pursuit through space.  

This is one of the biggest fully enclosed roller coasters worldwide, and it rotates 360 degrees to let riders focus on the action!

Riders need to be a minimum height of 42 inches or taller. It is recommended for tweens, teens and adults.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – May Suit Children Who Are Thrill Seekers!

Located on Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this ride takes you into The Hollywood Tower Hotel on a fateful Halloween night in 1939. You’ll enter a haunted elevator known for its un-sequenced drops that simulate free-falling and the feeling of weightlessness.

Prepare to scream in terror as the ride takes you on multiple plummeting drops and launches, giving you the 360-degree experience of an unsurpassed thrill. It has a 40″ height requirement which means kids are welcome to take the ride, although some may find it very frightening. 

Summit Plummet

Summit Plummet sends riders speeding down a water-soaked slide that sprays up around them, drenching them as they go. Sitting atop Mount Gushmore in Disney’s Blizzard Beach, this is one of the world’s tallest and fastest free-fall body slides at 120 feet tall and speeds that go up to 55 miles per hour! With this totally insane height and speed for a water slide, this ride guarantees that your plunge is thrilling on another level. 

It’s an experience that will leave you slightly disoriented yet craving for more and is quite possibly the most thrilling ride at Disney World. With a near-vertical 12-story drop, it requires that riders be at least 48″ tall to enjoy its signature drop.

Splash Mountain: Classic Water Ride For Thrill Seekers

Splash Mountain includes a straightforward story, richly themed scenery, iconic music, and multiple drops, including the exhilarating five-story plunge visible from the front of the attraction. Based on the animated elements of Walt Disney’s controversial 1946 film Song of the South, it also makes a great introduction to Brer Rabbit for your kids.

The renowned log flume ride can be found in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park and has a height requirement of 40″ (102 cm). Store your phone or camera in a ziplock bag to protect it from the splash and brace yourself to get soaked, as this ride does not disappoint!  

Space Mountain

This futuristic, indoor roller coaster has become a tried and true classic ever since its opening in 1975. Space Mountain zips you on a rocket through the stars in the Magic Kingdom.

While it only goes at around 20 miles per hour, it feels a lot faster and thrilling because it’s in the dark, making it so that you never know where you’re going or when it’s about to bend! It has a minimum height requirement of 44″ (113 cm), so it’s definitely worth your time if your kid is tall enough.

A much-appreciated aspect of this ride is that it has interactive lines that allow you to get absorbed in video games and have fun while you wait!

Another cool thing about Space Mountain is that it was specifically designed for Walt Disney World, unlike many other attractions that were first made for Disneyland and later adapted for Disney World. The reason the iconic structure was designed for this attraction was to project stars, comets, and meteors!

Everest Expedition: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Expedition Everest, one of Animal Kingdom’s newest thrill rides, takes you on a nerve-wracking trek through the Himalayas. With an 80-foot drop and a significant backward drop through the darkness, this 199-foot tall roller coaster is easily faster than any other Animal Kingdom coaster.

It reaches speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and includes appearances from a yeti that pops up seemingly out of nowhere – definitely stay on the lookout for him! Another tip is to fully relax your body and lie back on the headrest instead of pushing yourself forward during the backward segments. 

The minimum height requirement for this ride is 44 inches (113 cm), so kids who are tall enough are welcome to join in on the fun. One of the best parts about this ride is the beautifully themed queue that makes waiting in lines fun and interactive for families.

Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith 

Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios near the end of Sunset Boulevard, to the left of Tower of Terror. This indoor roller coaster contests the Tower of Terror and is the perfect thing for thrill-seeking fans of rock music.

It will have you upside down while Steven Tyler and Aerosmith scream along with you. Well, they’ll sing and you’ll scream – but you get what I mean!

The ride features a thrilling launch with twists, turns, and upside-down segments. It’s one of those rare rides with single rider line availability and has a minimum height requirement of 48″ (122 cm).

Thrill Rides: Universal vs. Disney World

While some say that nothing beats the thrill rides at Universal Studios, others agree that Disney World has the edge when it comes to excitement due to its magic.

If you want something fast, intense, and full of twists and turns, then Universal is the place for you. If, on the other hand, you prefer more immersive experiences that are rich in quality and stories, Disney world might be the better fit. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, so check out both parks before making your final decision. 

Universal vs Disney World: The best bits for thrill-seekers: FAQs

Which is more fun for thrill seekers, Disney World or Universal Studios?

While Disney World is much larger, with a wide variety of theme parks and rides, Universal Resort contests Disney World with some of the most thrilling rides. Equally stimulating, fun, and thrilling, each is special for its own reasons!

Which Universal park has the best rides for thrill seekers?

While all three parks include a wide variety of attractions and thrilling rides that will make you jump out of your skin, Universal’s Islands of Adventure is widely regarded as the park that features the most intense and thrilling rides.

What is the most thrilling ride at Disney World?

The Summit Plummet, located at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, is well known for being the most intense water slide in the entire country. Although not a roller coaster and technically not located within one of its theme parks, this ride is justifiably Disney World’s most prominent attraction.

Are the lines fun and interactive? 

Both Disney World and Universal offer virtual lines for most rides, but it’s mainly Disney World that features interactive queues with games and activities. While Universal does a great job at creating suspense-filled lines with spectacular themed design elements and animatronics, it offers little to interact with for keeping busy while waiting.

What Disney ride has the biggest drop?

Expedition Everest is Walt Disney World’s tallest roller coaster with the steepest drop. The structure of the attraction reaches a height of 199.5 feet, with the biggest drop at 80 feet tall. Yikes!

Is Universal fun if you don’t like rides?

Universal Studios Hollywood is an exciting place to visit even if you don’t enjoy rides. While certainly considered a thrill-seekers’ haven, it also includes more laid-back attractions like taking a trip on the Hogwarts Express; visiting Harry Potter world, from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley; and going to watch Shrek in its 4-D theater with eye-popping visual effects. 

Is Universal just roller coasters?

There are various non-roller coaster experiences at Universal to enjoy while having fun with your family and friends. The world-renowned Studio Tour, shopping at CityWalk, Shrek 4-D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and seeing famous faces like Homer Simpson are just a few attractions that don’t entail simulation or roller coasters.

How intense is the Mummy ride at Universal?

While it isn’t the most thrilling coaster, it is dark and features a variety of surprise special effects that makes it an intense one. It’s an indoor thrill ride inspired by “The Mummy” films. It combines the thrills and excitement of those films with heart-pounding thrills at every step.

Does the Mummy ride go upside down?

No. Universal’s Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor, high-speed, intense roller coaster that does not turn riders upside down.

Is the Kong ride at Universal scary?

This ride consists mainly of 3D visuals on screens and one face-to-face encounter with King Kong. Even the line is considered more scary and stimulating than the ride itself, so while Skull Island Reign of Kong is scary, it isn’t thrilling enough to make our list.

How scary is the Transformers ride at Universal?

Most do not consider this ride to be that scary since it doesn’t dip or drop. The motion simulator thrills in the Transformers ride are relatively moderate too. Those prone to motion sickness could feel a little queasy, but that’s about it. The action is mostly a trick of the eye, but some loud and intense moments may frighten younger children.

What are some new rides and attractions to expect?

While Universal is set to open a new park, Epic Universe, in 2025, Disney is expected to announce timings for the new thrill ride – Tron – Lightcycle Power Run.

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