Class of 2023 Senior Trip: Rides Worth the Wait Part 2



Hey Raptor Seniors! In preparation for the senior class trip, this article will serve as a guide to inform you on when it is worth it to wait for rides and when you should leave them behind without riding them. While some rides are worth the hype even considering a long wait time, others should not take up too much of your precious time, since the trip will be so quick. As a seasoned veteran of Walt Disney World and Universal, hopefully I can provide some insight on how to maximize your time and minimize the time you wait in line for rides you will feel regret over. For each location I will touch on a few key rides and how much of your time they are worth depending on your preferences. I will list each ride maximum time you should wait in minutes, since that is the format the parks use for the estimated wait times. A piece of advice applicable to all of them is to ride the most popular rides that you want to go on either as early in the morning or as late at night as possible.

Here is Part 2 for Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure!

Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure

Credit: VisitOrlando

Unfortunately, the system to wait in shorter lines at Universal, Express pass, is extremely expensive (upwards of $150) even though it can be beneficial. To most, this will render its purpose useless to those attending this trip. Most of the wait times posted at Universal are pretty accurate and typically the popular rides will have wait times upwards of 90 minutes.

Harry Potter Escape from Gringots – 75 minutes One of the best rides in all of Universal, this coaster-type ride is a favorite of many. It is categorizes as a dark ride as well, with the environment and darkness adding to the experience of making you feel the sensation of being in the underground vault system.

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – 75 minutes This is a 3D-style, cart ride around a track in front of different screens. While having been open for years, the visuals and experience is always sure to impress first time riders.

Credit: Universal Studios Orlando

Jurassic World Velocicoaster – 150 minutes By far, this is the most intense ride at either of the parks. The high speeds, tall drops, and intense loops make this ride only for the most intense thrill seekers. Be willing to wait if you want any chance to ride this, since it is frequently the longest wait in the Universal parks.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – 150 minutes Considered by some to be best ride in either of the parks, this coaster has fantastic thematic elements and is more accessible than some of the more intense coasters at Universal. This is a must ride for any thrill-seeking Harry Potter fan.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – 90 minutes This is a pretty intense coaster, meant for only those who want a very thrilling ride. The aspect of being able to change the music you can listen to while you ride is very unique and definitely makes the experience of riding better.

Credit: Universal Studios Orlando

Honorable Mention: Hogwarts Express – 45 minutes Since everyone on the trip will have the ticket that allows access to ride this train from the back of one park to the other, this can be a very useful tool to save you on some commute time over to the other park while giving your feet a rest and the ability to get some air conditioning. Rather than walking from the back of either of the parks, where the Harry Potter themed parts are located, and back across CityWalk, take the train over to the other park and it will drop you straight into either the Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade area. The experience on the ride is also very unique and immersive, being an attraction itself. If you are interested in doing this, make sure you do it in the morning since the wait can be absurdly long in the afternoon.

Other Attractions Worth Noting: Revenge of the Mummy, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Men In Black: Aliens Attack, E.T. Adventure, The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Fast & Furious, & Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey

All of these rides are worth about a 30 minute wait, or in some cases a little more depending on your preference. If you are a fan of any of these movie franchises, they are all worth riding.