Universal Studios is one of the major resort complexes in Orlando, Florida. With two thrilling theme parks and a fantastic waterpark perfect for cooling off in the Florida heat, it’s no wonder these parks see millions of visitors annually.
While these theme parks offer something for everyone of all ages to enjoy, if you’re searching for the thrilling, adrenaline-inducing, and scariest rides at Universal Studios because you crave the thrill or want to know what to avoid, we’ve got you covered.
As you pack your bags and head to Florida, these are the scariest rides at Universal Studios Orlando.
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Krakatau Aqua Coaster
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Honu of the Honu ika Moana
- Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Final Thoughts
Revenge of the Mummy
First up, we have the Revenge of the Mummy. This long-standing thrill ride has been scaring guests since opening in 2004. The ride is based on the famous the Mummy franchise movies and is in the original Universal Studios theme park.
Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor steel roller coaster. While it doesn’t go upside down, it’s still scary. This psychological roller coaster will play with your mind more than anything. While the ride itself isn’t that exciting, the scary parts come from the props, animations, and psychological thrills.
The path to get onto the ride is daunting by itself, decorated ideally to make you feel like you’re in an Egyptian tomb. The idea behind the ride is that you’re on a movie set cursed by a mummy, causing havoc throughout the pretend movie set.
Throughout the experience, the ride messes with your mind by destroying your sense of safety at theme parks. You’ll watch Universal Studios employees “killed” by the mummy throughout the ride, and the false stop sequence is sure to spark some screams.
Krakatau Aqua Coaster
One of the scariest roller coasters at Universal Studios is in their waterpark, Volcano Bay. The Krakatau Aqua Coaster is named after the famous volcano sitting in the heart of Volcano Bay, and the coaster even whips around the attraction.
This flagship attraction is just as thrilling, if not more, than some of the dry roller coasters located throughout Universal Studios. Even though it only opened in 2017, it’s quickly risen in the ranks as one of the scariest rides at the resort complex.
There are several drops throughout the ride, and you’ll also get propelled into the air throughout the ride. Unlike other roller coasters, where you’ll have to climb to the top to get onto the ride, you’ll board at the bottom of the volcano before weaving passengers up and around the fake volcano.
Besides the twists and turns, what makes this attraction scarier than others is that you’ll get wet. Sometimes, when you add water to a ride, people immediately get a little more frightened. You’ll feel like you’re defying gravity before landing in a pool at the bottom of the volcano.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
For several reasons, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is one of the scariest rides at Universal Studios. It combines everything you love about a simulator ride with 3D glasses, coaster thrills, and film magic.
You’ll sit on the roller coaster and put on your 3D glasses. We believe the 3D aspect of this ride is what adds to the thrill. The special effects will get your heart pumping and keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
Compared to other rides at this park, it’s pretty short. It’s only 30 feet long, but you won’t be disappointed when riding this ride. You’ll start with a quick vertical drop, and no, there are no lights on during this part.
The haunting feeling that Harry Potter sets can provide will set you up as you wait to board the roller coaster. You’ll twist and turn around the streets of London throughout the ride as you feel like you’re running for your life to escape the Gringotts.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Another Harry Potter attraction deserves mention on our list of scariest rides at Universal Studios. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey isn’t for everyone, but it’s one you need to ride at least once during your time in Orlando.
You’ll walk through the halls of Hogwarts, which have a creepy feel to it. Although it’s not necessarily scary at this point, the wait to get onto the ride helps set the tone for the rest of the attraction. This experience takes you on a wild ride.
What makes this ride so scary is that the way the ride moves can be disorienting with the various twists, turns, and di lighting. You’ll travel through the halls of Hogwarts, encountering all the scariest parts of the Harry Potter novels and movies.
You’ll get frightened by the dragons, dementors, acromantula, the Whomping Willow, and more. While it’s not the absolute scariest ride on our list, it’s definitely one that will make you scream at least once.
Jurassic Park River Adventure
Jurassic Park River Adventure is one of the most fun yet scariest rides you’ll encounter at Universal Studios. You’ll feel like you’ve been teleported to Jurassic Park and are amongst the giant dinosaurs and other dangers that lurk in the area.
Once you’ve boarded the ride, you’ll feel like you’ve been thrown over 180 feet into the air before landing in a calming river. Upon first landing, you’ll feel a sense of peacefulness, but that won’t last very long.
The river you’ve landed in is in the “restricted area” of Jurassic Park, where you’ll come face to face with one of the most enormous dinosaurs ever to exist, a T-Rex. The entire ride is you trying to escape the dinosaur–but don’t worry too much because although it was an apex predator, the Tyrannosaurus was actually not a very fast runner.
The ride itself doesn’t move very fast and doesn’t spin very hard. The scariest parts of the ride are the psychological aspects of feeling hunted by dinosaurs and the 85-foot drop at the end that will drench you. Once you get over the plunge, you’ll arrive back at the beginning of the ride, allowing your heart rate to go back within normal range.
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit might be the scariest roller coaster at Universal Studios. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster is famous for its 90-degree and 167 feet tall lift that will slowly boost your anxiety before the ride truly begins.
The climb alone will have you holding on and breathing heavily as you climb to the top before the roller coaster begins. You’ll reach speeds of 65 miles per hour and nearly miss various obstacles during the duration of the roller coaster.
You’ll plummet into the Universal Studios backlot at one point, which will indeed cause you to scream. Even though the roller coaster is scary, one of the most extraordinary things about this ride is that you get to choose the music track you’ll listen to throughout the ride.
Once you’re seated on the ride, you’ll choose your track, and it will blare through the speakers as you twist, turn, and drop around. You can even get a recording of your ride to take home with you or post on social media to show how brave you are for tackling this scary Universal Studios ride.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
If you’ve been to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure before, you probably remember the thrilling and scary Dueling Dragons roller coaster. With Harry Potter taking over various parts of the parks, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure took this roller coaster’s place.
While Dueling Dragons were arguably scarier than the new ride, this one still brings a scare factor that many people will enjoy…or fear. The ride’s premise is that you’re flying through the Forbidden Forest on a motorbike while Hagrid guides you.
You’ll reach speeds of 50 miles per hour as you dodge creepy creatures and other obstacles. The animatronics are incredible, and you’ll even move backward at a few points, which can add to the scare factor since you won’t know when that’s coming.
As you fly through the Forbidden Forest, you’ll reach a point that might be the scariest on the ride. There’s a 16-foot free-falling drop that is sure to startle even the bravest theme park goers. Trust us; before this ride, you won’t want to drink a butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Honu of the Honu ika Moana
We already talked about one scary ride at Universal Studios’ Volcano Bay, but we can’t leave Honu of the Honu ika Moana off our list of the scariest rides. This ride has been around since 2017 and has easily scared those who crave thrill rides.
Honu of the Honu ika Moana is two slides in one. The Honu side, also known as the turtle, and ika Moana, the whale. The ika Moana side is a great choice, but if you’re looking for a scary water ride, this isn’t the one for you. That side is much calmer but still worth a ride.
The Honu side of the ride is what thrill seekers crave. The water slide has several twists and turns before plummeting into the landing pool at the bottom. The massive walls on this ride allow you and your fellow passengers to slide to great heights before sliding back down.
The water resembles underwater currents, meaning it’s powerful, and you’ll move fast through the ride. Up to five people can be on one of the rafts at once, and while it might be tempting, don’t let go of the handles.
Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall
Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall isn’t for the faint of heart or those who are scared of heights. Or, it could be the perfect ride to conquer your fear of heights! We don’t judge. Fear is literally in the ride’s name, so be prepared to be scared.
You’ll strap into this ride and travel 185 feet into the sky. You’re sadly mistaken if you thought the ride up to the top of the 185-foot tower was slow. The ride shoots you into the sky and holds you there before dropping you back down at speeds that will make your stomach drop.
This scary amusement park ride will be terrifying for those who hate heights, and even if you love them, we’re sure you’ll be scared at least once while riding Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall. The best part, or worst depending on how you look at it, is that the ride doesn’t just drop you once.
You’ll constantly get launched up and down this ride for several minutes with no discernible pattern. You’ll get amazing Universal Studios views from 185 feet above the ground on the plus side.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
Last but certainly not least is the Incredible Hulk Coaster. You’ll find this scary roller coaster on the Islands of Adventure side of the theme park, and it’s one you’ll have to try. It’s easy to spot as the large, green, and purple roller coaster.
You’ll “experience” all of the Hulk’s power as you ride this ride. You’ll get blasted with gamma radiation and reach speeds up to 67 miles per hour. You’ll get to experience several positive g-force moments.
The climb to the top of the roller coaster is slow and suspense-filled, and you’ll shoot through a dark tunnel before coming out the other side and speeding down the track. The cannon launch is only the beginning of this scary roller coaster.
It’s not that scary, but for those who aren’t fans of roller coasters, this isn’t one you’ll want to try first. There are over five inversions and several moments where you’ll barely miss the ground. All in all, it’s a great ride and isn’t nearly as scary as some of the other coasters.
Scary rides can be exciting for theme park enthusiasts, and Universal Studios has several great rides that fit this bill. Whether you’re trying to prepare for these rides or want to avoid them altogether, knowing which rides are deemed the scariest will make planning your day at Universal much easier.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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