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Best Universal Orlando Theme Park for Toddlers

theme parks for toddlers

This is your complete guide to the best Universal Orlando theme park for toddlers. It can be hard to figure out where to take toddlers when visiting Central Florida, especially when most attractions are advertised for older children and adults. But, don’t worry, there are plenty toddler attractions at Universal Orlando, and you’re sure to have an epic time with your little one.

Universal Orlando Resort is also perfectly equipped with all of the needs for a family with a little one. Family Services are offered in both parks, which are areas dedicated to caring for newborns through toddler age. If you’re looking for an air conditioned placed to change a diaper or an area to prepare bottles or food, Family Services are ready to assist your needs. We love this about these parks because it can be truly stressful trying to care for a family in a crowded theme park.

While Universal Orlando hasn’t always been known as one of the best theme parks for little kids, Universal Studios specifically is rather toddler friendly. We are also positive that with the addition of the EPIC Universe park, coming in 2025, Universal kids will be dazzled with plenty of new kid-friendly attractions. So if you’re planning a Universal Orlando trip with a little one, don’t worry we will help you find all of the activities you can do together. To start off, let’s check out the Universal height requirements in Orlando:

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers -Universal Orlando Height Requirements

Universal Studios Orlando Rides With No Height Requirement

  • Shrek 4D
  • Hogwarts Express – King’s Cross Station
  • Kang and Kodos Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

Universal Studios Height Requirements

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – Must be at least 40″ (102cm)
  • E.T. Adventure – 34″ (87cm)
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged – 40″ (102cm)
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – 42″ (107cm)
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit – 51″ (130cm) and no more than 79″ (201cm).
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack – 42″ (107cm)
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon – 40″ (102cm).
  • Revenge of the Mummy – 48″ (122cm).
  • The Simpsons Ride – 40″ (102cm)
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D – 40″ (102cm)
  • Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster– 36″ (92cm)

Universal Islands Of Adventure Rides With No Height Requirements

  • Caro-Seuss-El
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Hogwarts Express – Hogsmeade Station
  • Storm Force Accelatron

Universal Islands of Adventure Height Requirements

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – 40″ (102cm)
  • Cat in the Hat – 36″ (92cm)
  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall – 52″ (133cm).
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – 44″ (112cm)
  • Flight of the Hippogriff – 36″ (92cm)
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – 48” (122cm).
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – 48″ (122cm).
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure – 42″ (107cm)
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster – 51” (130cm).
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride – 36″ (92cm)
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster – 54″ (138cm).
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – 42″ (107cm)
  • Pteranodon Flyers – Pteranodon Flyers is designed for children 36″–56″ (92cm-143cm) tall.
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong – 36″ (92cm)

Best Theme Parks For Toddlers – Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida has plenty of things for toddlers to do like shows, play areas and even some attractions. If you’re looking for theme parks for children under 5, Universal Studios should definitely be one to consider. The best part is that if your kiddo is under 3, their admission to the park is free! There are no age restrictions at Universal, and even babies are allowed to enjoy the festivities.

Universal Studios Florida has some of the best Orlando attractions for families. There are many different thrill rides for the adults and older kids, but also dedicated children’s areas for the little adventurers. There is even a Universal Studios child swap available for parents, so there is no stress with having to wait in line twice for both parents to ride. You can swirl around on a giant space alien in Springfield: Home of the Simpsons or laugh the day away at Fievel’s Playland.

Not only are there whimsical, vibrant play areas, there are also famous character meeting spots and parades, which can be a blast for the whole family. You can meet Dreamworks characters, the Spongebob cast and so many more when adventuring around Universal Studios. Because of these reasons, we think that Universal Studios is one of the best theme parks for toddlers.

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers – Toddler Rides at Universal Studios Orlando

Kang & Kodo’s Twirl ‘n’ Hurl

Being one of only three attractions in Universal Studios Florida without a height requirement, this ride is one of the best attractions for 4 year olds or under. Located in Springfield, two goofball aliens from The Simpsons show let you fly your own saucer into space and soar in slow moving circles above the crowds. These ride vehicles can accommodate an adult and up to two children, making it a great Universal Studios ride for kids.

Shrek 4D

Although this attraction is leaving in the beginning of 2022, it is still another ride without a height requirement. This silly attraction is a perfect thing for toddlers to do at Universal Studios. The ghost of Lord Farquaad returns and captures the princess Fiona, while our favorite heroes Shrek and Donkey try and save her. You’ll get OgreVision glasses and get to ride along on the journey with moving seats and sprays of water and wind.

E.T. Adventure

While this ride has a height requirement, we believe that E.T. at Universal Orlando is a magically entertaining ride for those of all ages. Ride on the famous bike that flies you over the moon with ET guiding you under a sheet in his basket. You’ll get to visit E.T.’s home planet and have an intergalactic. E.T. is one of the best family rides at Universal Studios because of the nostalgia for the parents and the magic for the kids.

Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster

If your little one loves adventure, then Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster may be the best beginner rollercoaster to try out! This roller coaster for kids is the perfect attraction for 4 year olds or kids who are at least 36 inches tall. There will be plenty for your little one to look at while tackling small drops and fun entertainment.

Universal Studios Toddler Play Areas and Shows

Fievel’s Playland

One of the reasons that Universal Studios is a great theme park for toddlers is because of the kid-friendly play areas. Fievel’s Playland is located right by E.T Adventure ride, in the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. There are oversized props inspired by the An American Tail films with giant spider webs, swaying rope bridges and an enormous cowboy boot!

Universal’s Superstar Parade

Find a spot almost anywhere in Universal Studios to catch this parade! Running from Mel’s Drive-In all the way to Battery Park this amazing Superstar Parade is the perfect attraction at Universal Studios Orlando for 5 year olds or under. Meet SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, The Despicable Me crew, The Secret Life of Pets as they dance and boogie down the streets! Little ones will love this parade, as the floats elaborate and street performers keep the party moving as they dance along.

Animal Actors on Location

Also located in the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone area, is a wonderful show featuring very talented animal actors. If you’re wondering where to take toddlers, this is a rather laid back location where kiddos, especially animal lovers, will be bewildered! You can see birds, cats, dogs and more at Animal Actors on Location.

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers – Characters in Universal Studios

Universal Studios is one of the best places for with things for toddlers to do, especially when it comes to meeting characters. Throughout Universal Studios park, there are many different areas where you can find all of your Universal and DreamWorks pals to snap a picture or have a conversation. At DreamWorks Destination, you can even have a dance party with your favorite characters!

Best character meet and greets for toddlers in Universal Studios:

  • DreamWorks Destination (replaced A Day in the Park with Barney) – Meet characters from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls and more.
  • Character Party Zone – Right in front of Mel’s Diner you can meet Minions, Gru and the “gorls” and friends from SpongeBob SquarePants!
  • Hollywood Character Zone – Down the streets of Hollywood meet the gang from Scooby Doo, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop and more.

Best Theme Parks For Toddlers – Universal Islands of Adventure

theme parks for toddlers

While Universal Studios may be the better park for toddlers, we still believe Islands of Adventure is a great theme park for families. There is an entire land geared toward little ones, making Seuss Landing one of the best places to go with a one year old. Beyond the world of Dr. Seuss, there are also lands for little witches and wizards, Superhero fanatics and Jurassic Park lovers. Islands of Adventure is the perfect blend of thrill for adults and fun for kids. For these reasons, Islands of Adventure can be one of the best theme parks for toddlers.

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers -Islands of Adventure Toddler Attractions

best theme parks for todders

Caro-Seuss-el

Located in the bright and whacky Seuss Landing, there is a vibrant carousel with a literary spin! You and your little ones can choose to ride on the back of an elephant bird from Horton Hatches, a cowfish from McElligot’s Pool or even a Mulligatawnies from If I Ran the Zoo. You can even have an interactive experience with your creature by simply pulling back on the reigns.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Without leaving Seuss Landing, you can hop over to this joyful Universal attraction which is perfect for kids under 5. There is no height requirement for this ride, which makes sense due to is gentle, playful nature. Ride around on a flying fish in this aerial carousel, going up and down to avoid flowing fountains aimed right toward you.

Flight of the Hippogriff

If you’re looking for the perfect first coaster experience, Flight of the Hippogriff might be perfect for you. As one of the best roller coasters for kids, you can get incredible views of Hogsmeade and meet some magical creatures along the way. While there is a Universal height requirement of 36 inches for riders, your little one can still enjoy a slight thrill if they meet the cut!

Storm Force Accelatron

With no height requirement, this Islands of Adventure attraction is perfect for smaller Universal kids. The fate of the planet is in your hands, little superhero! You must help Storm stop Magneto by spinning your power generator as fast as you can. This ride is kid-friendly, but might not be the best idea after drinking a milkshake or big lunch.

Islands of Adventure Toddler Play Areas and Shows

Dr. Seuss’ If I Ran a Zoo Play Area

This play area located in Islands of Adventure is one of the best things for toddlers to do while in the parks. Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran a Zoo Play Area is expansive, interactive and a ton of fun. You can catch a Natch in a cave in Kartoom, splash around with beasts in the wet play area and more. Seuss Landing is full of these hidden play areas throughout to make the best day for your Universal kids.

Oh the Stories You’ll Hear

Throughout the day in Seuss Landing, you can catch daily showings of retellings of some of the best Dr. Seuss stories. With guest appearances from The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, Sam-I-Am and, of course, The Grinch! Don’t count out Islands of Adventure as a great theme park for toddlers. There is nothing like reading a story and then meeting the actual character right on the spot!

Wizarding World Frog Choir

The Frog Choir at Hogsmeade is a wonderful activity and doubles as the perfect toddler attraction. A small choir from Hogwarts School perform right out front of the castle with their amphibious friends. Kiddos are going to love the oversized singing frogs, you might even catch them singing along.

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers – Characters in Islands of Adventure

theme parks for toddlers

Islands of Adventure has epic cinematic universes throughout, making it a great place to meet your toddler’s favorite action packed hero. You can meet almost any Marvel villain or hero wandering through Marvel Super Hero Island. If action isn’t your kid’s thing and you’re wondering where to take toddlers for meet and greets, Seuss Landing is a great place. You can meet many different Seuss characters like the Grinch or the Lorax!

Best character meet and greets for toddlers in Islands of Adventure?

  • Seuss Character Zone – Next to the High in the Sky Trolley Train Ride, you can find this character meet spot. Throughout the day you can find characters like The Cat in the Hat, Sam I Am, Thing One and Thing Two and The Grinch.
  • Various spots on Marvel Super Hero Island – This land seems to be the best place to meet the widest variety of characters throughout the day. The normal rotating cast is Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Captain America, Green Goblin, Dr. Doom and Spider-Man.
  • Toon Lagoon – Randomly throughout the day you can meet classic comic strip characters like Popeye, Olive Oyl and Betty Boop. These characters are wholesome and is a perfect toddler attraction due to their gentle nature.

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers -What is Child Swap at Universal?

Universal Studios Child Swap is a great way for the adults in the party to also enjoy all Universal Orlando has to offer. If your little one opts out of a ride, or if they are not tall enough to meet height requirements, parents can utilize child swap. This feature allows for either parents, guardians, siblings, etc. to “swap” who rides an attraction while the other party watches your Universal toddler.

For example: You are traveling with your toddler, your spouse and your parents. While you and your spouse ride the attraction, your parents can watch your child, and then once you are done, you switch! This allows for the whole party to only wait once for an attraction, even if there are technically two different times you’ll ride.

Before entering any ride queue, you can let a team member know that you will be using child swap. Every ride is different and team members may have a separate procedure than the last ride you “child swapped” at. Having child swap makes Universal one of the best theme parks for toddlers.

Best Theme Parks for Toddlers – Universal Studios Stroller Rental

theme parks for toddlers

Because Universal Orlando Resort is a toddler friendly theme park, there are stroller rentals available for families. Universal Orlando allows guests to rent a double or single stroller for their little ones at either theme park. You cannot rent a stroller at Volcano Bay, unfortunately.

Universal Studios Stroller Rental Price

  • Single Stroller – $15/a day
  • Double Stroller – $25/day

We hope that this article helped you find the perfect activities for toddlers at Universal Orlando Resort!

For additional vacation planning tips to Universal Orlando Resort be sure to check out our main Universal And for the latest Universal vacation package deals be sure to check out our partners The Park Prodigy!

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