Universal Studios Florida is one of the premiere theme park destinations in the world, with a collection of technologically advanced rides and attractions that rival anywhere in the world. However, unfortunately not all of these classic rides are a wise idea for those prone to suffering from motion sickness.
However if you’re amongst that group, fear not! We’ve looked over the resort’s biggest attractions, and compiled the info you need to know for the best — and worst — Universal rides for those with motion sickness.
Arguably the most important ride in Universal history, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was the anchor attraction of the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter land, which opened at Islands of Adventure in 2010.
The attraction is a smorgasbord for Harry Potter fans, first taking them through a highly detailed queue that recreates Hogwarts Castle to the smallest detail. Once the line ends, guests board an “enchanted” bench that takes them through a “greatest hits” of Harry Potter moments through a combination of 3D film, a Kuka Arm ride vehicle, and practical effects that meds together in a way that has yet to be replicated.
Unfortunately the blend of 3D film, practical effects, and revolutionary ride vehicle that makes Forbidden Journey what it is also makes it highly unfriendly to those who suffer from motion sickness. The screen-based effects combined with the physical drops and stops can lead terrible queasiness — or worse — especially if a rider’s vision is knocked out of sync for any reason.
The Simpsons Ride adopted its current theme — that of the titular television family taking a trip to Krustyland only to be stalked by resident villain Sideshow Bob — in 2007 and was such a success that it eventually led to the creation of a whole Springfield land around it. However, as any hardcore Universal fan knows, the Max theater/simulator ride system and show building had a existed for well over a decade prior to that, originally housing the legendary Back to the Future: The Ride.
Unfortunately, both The Simpsons Ride and it’s BTTF predecessor have reputations for motion sickness, especially if riders look away from the screen. The current ride is claimed by some to be even worse, since a large portion of it involves simulating a roller coaster.
Forever one of the more… interesting attraction concepts at Universal Studios Florida, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon takes guests on a madcap simulator journey from the Tonight Show’s New York studios through the streets of New York – featuring numerous encounters with recurring Fallon characters – all the way to the moon… yes, the moon.
Similar to The Simpsons Ride, the simulator elements of Race Through New York can definitely aggravate the stomachs of those prone to motion sickness. On top of that, the ride uses 3D glasses, which as we’ve previously established can also wreck havoc with “weak” stomachs.
While the other attractions we’ve discussed do far have been technologically advanced thrill rides, this next one is a simple classic. For those unfamiliar, Storm Force Accelatron is an X-Men-themed spinner attraction located on Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure.
As you can probably guess from the type of ride system it uses, Storm Force Accelatron uses the same ride system as the Tea Cup attraction located at Disney’s theme parks, with spinning ride vehicles that guests can spin even faster by turning a large wheel in the ride. Of course, that also means that anyone who gets nauseous on the Tea Cups will also want to avoid this one.
Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, based on the blockbuster Illumination franchise, would seem on the surface to be a recipe for motion sickness disaster, given that it’s another screen-based motion simulator attraction (for those who haven’t been to Universal in a good long while, the attraction was previously The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera and Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast). However, the ride has one trick up it’s sleeve that the others do not: several rows of seats that don’t move.
That’s right, any guest who doesn’t want to experience the moving, simulator style seats can sit in non-moving rows and simply enjoy the ride film. Also of note, of even the ride film turns your stomach, you can still experience the highly entertaining Minions-themed queue and simply skip the ride at the end, which is also possible on several other Universal attractions, including the aforementioned Forbidden Journey.
Why are we grouping these two iconic Universal Orlando attractions together? Well, while they’re quite different thematically – the former has guests follow Marvel’s iconic web-slinger as he battles the Sinister Syndicate through the streets of New York while the latter puts them in the middle of a battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons for the mythical Allspark — their ride systems, use of 3D and screens, and track layouts are identical copies of each other.
The Transformers/Spider-Man ride system hit somewhere in the middle of the motion sickness scale. While it utilizes ride vehicles that behave somewhat similar to simulators (though they move on a track) and 3D screens, the rides are generally considered smoother than most others on our list. However, each ride features a simulated “400 foot” drop at their climax, which can make those afraid of heights a bit queasy, even though in reality the vehicles only a dip a matter of inches.
Do you agree with our takes on which Universal Orlando rides aren’t great for those with motion sickness? Did we miss any major attractions at the resort that those who are prone to motion sickness need to consider whether they should ride or not? Let us know in the comments below.