Navigating Universal Orlando Theme Parks with Motion Sickness

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UOR Motion SicknessI want to share my personal experiences navigating Universal Orlando theme parks with motion sickness. I used to love all rides – the faster, the better!  But my equilibrium seemed to really get thrown off after I had my first child ten years ago.  Now I drive everywhere, as even sitting in the passenger seat of the car makes me ill.  So how does that work when going to a theme park with many major attractions?  I’d like to share how it works for me – I’m not giving medical advice – but hope that my experiences can help others maybe avoid that awful feeling you get once you’ve ridden something that makes you sick, or helps you determine if something may be worth giving a shot after all!

I’ll preface this by saying that I personally, take anti-nausea medication at theme parks.  I just do – before I leave my room in the morning is preferable as usually whatever method of transportation I’m taking that morning will trigger it.  For comparison purposes, there are only a few attractions I have to avoid at Walt Disney World as they still make me sick even after taking the medication – Expedition Everest and Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  I do ride Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain but always feel like I’m pushing my luck.  I tend to avoid the spinners like The Mad Tea Party and Primeval Whirl too.

I think there are several factors that can contribute to one’s motion sickness and the outcome can vary based on those factors – the heat, a full or empty (or in between) stomach, the number of attractions you’ve previously ridden, and of course, your own personal tolerance.

What’s amazing about the Universal Orlando Resort parks though, is the “Family Rooms” they offer!  This is what you may know as Disney’s “Child Swap” or “Rider Switch” option.  At Universal, guests can spend time together as a family or with friends in the queue, even if there is someone in their party who cannot or doesn’t want to ride.  The Family Room is usually located right near the on/off area of the ride and is an area to the side that provides both air-conditioning and seating for you.  So it might be you, Grandpa, or your sister and her baby who take a few minutes to skip the actual ride and wait in the Family Room.  It’s a fabulous options for when you need to just sit one out!

Below you’ll see that warnings are clearly posted at the entrance to, and again inside attractions before boarding.  You can certainly wait to make your decision about riding once you’re inside the attraction. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem even offers stationary seating for this 3-D experience.  Unfortunately for me, even the stationary seating didn’t help on this one. 😉

Escape From Gringotts Bank Warnings

Escape From Gringotts Bank Warnings

Escape From Gringotts Bank

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts Bank

Gringotts Bank Warnings Inside

Gringotts Bank Warnings Inside

Gringotts Bank Family Room Sign

Gringotts Bank Family Room Sign

Gringotts Bank Family Room

Gringotts Bank Family Room

Jimmy Fallon Warnings

Ride Through New York With Jimmy Fallon Warnings

Jimmy Fallon Family Room

Jimmy Fallon Family Room

Minions Stationary Seating

Minions Stationary Seating

Below I’ve listed the main attractions at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  You can click on the attraction name for more information, watch a YouTube video, see a very quick description of the attraction, and then my personal notes for how I handled it.  Again, this is to help give insight as to what might trigger motion-sickness and is not intended to advise anyone to ride or not ride an attraction.  I wanted to know from friends what they thought I could handle so wanted to pass along what information I could to you!

Universal Studios

Attraction (click on hyperlink for additional information)YouTube VideoQuick DescriptionMy Personal Experience
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

 

YouTube Video·         Motion Simulation

·         3D/4D Experience

·         Stationary seating offered

·         I couldn’t watch, had to take me 3D glasses off and wait it out

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts·         Thrill

·         Motion Simulation

·         3D/4D Experience

 

·         Was able to ride – would focus on something on screen

·         You are whipped around a bit

Hogwarts Express – Kings Cross Station·         Train Ride with some special effects·         Completely doable

·         Would advise facing forward as each compartment has seats on both sides

Shrek 4D·         3D/4D Experience

 

·         Show, can do

 

Hollywood Rip Ride RockitYouTube Video·         Thrill

 

·         Did not attempt this coaster
Transformers: The Ride 3D·         Motion Simulation

·         3D/4D Experience

 

·         We had just done several so I didn’t push my luck and skipped this one
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy FallonYouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

 

·         Motion Simulation

 

·         Sit closer to center for less motion

·         Had to keep eyes closed as the screen motion was too much

Revenge of the MummyYouTube Video·         Thrill ride

·         Forward & backward motion

·         Did okay, if it were any longer it might have been an issue
Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl·         Circular attraction

·         Similar to Dumbo

·         Manageable
The Simpsons Ride·         Motion Simulation

 

·         Didn’t experience
Men In Black Alien AttackYouTube Video·         Motion Simulation

 

·         Manageable
E.T. Adventure·         Motion Simulation

 

·         Very minimal motion simulation; no issue at all
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster·         Kid friendly coaster·         Didn’t experience
Fast & Furious – Supercharged

 

·         Thrill ride

 

·         Was only testing when we were there but was told it was no more intense than Kong

Islands of Adventure

Attraction (click on hyperlink for additional information)YouTube VideoQuick DescriptionMy Personal Experience
The Incredible Hulk CoasterYouTube Video·         Thrill ride

 

·         Did not attempt, wouldn’t do well
Storm Force Accelatron·         Propelled in the air and fast drop

 

·         Didn’t experience
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall·         Thrill ride

·         Blasts you 185 feet into the sky and hurls you back down

·         Didn’t experience but think I’d be fine with this! I love up & down drops. ?
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-ManYouTube Video·         Motion Simulation

·         3D/4D Experience

 

·         We had just done several so I didn’t push my luck and skipped this one
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges·         Water Ride

·         Rapids

 

·         Didn’t experience
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw FallsYouTube Video·         Water Ride

·         75’ drop

 

·         Didn’t experience
Skull Island: Reign of KongYouTube Video·         I was okay with this one

·         The screen didn’t bother me nor did the movement

Pteranodon Flyers 

 

·         Didn’t experience
Jurassic Park River AdventureYouTube Video

 

·         Water Ride

 

·         One drop but very tame
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey·         Motion Simulation

·         3D/4D Experience

 

·         You’re tipped backward a bit and travel mostly sideways

·         I did okay but really had to focus on things not moving

·         Cool air during ride helped

Flight of the HippogriffYouTube Video

 

·         Kid friendly coaster

·         Thrill ride

 

·         I didn’t attempt because I was saving up for Forbidden Journey!
Hogwarts Express – Hogsmeade Station

 

Train Ride with some special effects·         Completely doable

·         Would advise facing forward as each compartment has seats on both sides

The High in the Sky Suess Trolley Train Ride·         Kid friendly

·         Slow moving train on elevated tracks

·         Didn’t experience
Caro-Seuss-el

 

·         Basic carousel·         Didn’t experience
The Cat in The Hat·         Motion Simulation

 

·         Didn’t experience

I’d love to help you and your family plan your next vacation whether it be a Universal or Disney destination – or both!  We help you plan vacation all over the world so just send me an email at jocelyn@themagicforless.com or fill out a no-obligation quote request to get started! And be sure to follow me on Facebook!

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Jocelyn Martins

About Jocelyn Martins

I have been traveling my entire life and love any time at Disney parks, Universal Orlando, on cruise ships, at the beach, and really any place with my family and friends. While Walt Disney World is my home park, I've visited Disneyland and Disneyland Paris- when it first opened as EuroDisney, and find it hard to choose a favorite park but especially love all thing Epcot! I am also a huge Harry Potter fan and just love soaking up the Wizard World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. And any cruise or destination by the water simply makes my happy (salt water heals everything). ?I love to make memories while traveling and am passionate about helping others plan time together, making their own memories. My three girls have been traveling since my oldest was just 10 weeks old so I'm experienced at traveling with children, as well as multi-generational families and large groups.There are so many options available with Disney and Universal destinations, as well as cruises, that I believes there is a magical trip out there for everyone, and thrive on finding that perfect-for-you trip! I am a specialist in these destinations and love helping guests put together the best trip for them.I also stay active throughout the year training for the runDisney race challenges on both coasts – there’s nothing like running through the parks! My other loves include any time spent with my husband children, reading, and going to the beach.

One thought on “Navigating Universal Orlando Theme Parks with Motion Sickness

  1. Ashley L

    Thank you so much for this. I’m headed to Universal with my daughter in June. She doesn’t get motion sick at all and loves rides. I get motion sick at the drop of a hat and hate rides, but want to be able to do things with her. This really helps.

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