OrlandoInformer.com is the world’s most popular independent guide to Universal Orlando Resort — comprehensive, obsessively updated & completely free — and used by more than 300,000 unique site visitors each month. That’s why we are so excited to provide our readers with a much-sought-after site feature: real guest reviews of the attractions and restaurants at Universal Orlando!
After a successful launch of this new feature last summer, we’re very happy to say that our site has received over a thousand guest reviews covering the attractions and restaurants at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. We now invite you to read those guest reviews by following any of the links below. And if you have been to Universal Orlando before, we also invite you to share your own experiences by submitting new reviews, which can be done directly on the individual venue pages listed below.
Two IMPORTANT notes: All the links will open in a new window for your convenience, and please be aware that new reviews are moderated. Once you submit a review, it will appear on the site shortly! (We moderate for spam, not for content — critical reviews are welcomed.)
Attractions: Universal Studios Florida
- Production Central
- New York
- San Francisco
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
- World Expo / Springfield USA
- Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone
Attractions: Islands of Adventure
- Marvel Super Hero Island
- Toon Lagoon
- Jurassic Park
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Lost Continent
- Seuss Landing
Dining venues: Universal Studios Florida
For USF, please note that we provide individual pages for each of the counters inside The Simpsons Fast Food Blvd. If you would like to review just Krusty Burger, for example, use the link in the Springfield USA section. However, if you’d like to write about ALL of Fast Food Blvd in one review, then hit the Fast Food Blvd link at the bottom of the Dining at USF section.
- Dining at USF
- Finnegan’s Bar & Grill (full-service)
- Lombard’s Seafood Grille (full-service)
- Beverly Hills Boulangerie (quick-service)
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour (quick-service)
- Cafe La Bamba (quick-service)
- The Leaky Cauldron (quick-service)
- Louie’s Italian Restaurant (quick-service)
- Mel’s Drive-In (quick-service)
- Richter’s Burger Co. (quick-service)
- Simpsons Fast Food Blvd (quick-service)
- Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe (quick-service)
- Springfield USA
- Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck (quick-service)
- Duff Brewery (limited-service bar)
- Moe’s Tavern (Fast Food Blvd)
- Lisa’s Teahouse of Horror (Fast Food Blvd)
- Luigi’s (Fast Food Blvd)
- The Frying Dutchman (Fast Food Blvd)
- Cletus’ Chicken Shack (Fast Food Blvd)
- Krusty Burger (Fast Food Blvd)
- Flaming Moe’s (Fast Food Blvd)
Dining venues: Islands of Adventure
- Dining at IOA
- Confisco Grill (full-service)
- Mythos (full-service)
- The Burger Digs (quick-service)
- Blondie’s: Home of the Dagwood (quick-service)
- Captain America Diner (quick-service)
- Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous (quick-service)
- Comic Strip Cafe (quick-service)
- Croissant Moon Bakery (quick-service)
- Green Eggs & Ham Cafe (quick-service)
- Thunder Falls Terrace (quick-service)
- Three Broomsticks & Hogs Head (quick-service)
This is one more friendly reminder that all reviews are subject to moderation, so once you submit a review it may take a few minutes or a few hours to appear on the site. But trust us, you only need to hit the ‘submit’ button once.
It’s a Review & Win Weekend!
This holiday weekend, May 24 – 26, we’re hosting another Review & Win Weekend. All Universal attraction and restaurant reviews submitted on our site between 10:00am EST on Saturday and 11:59pm EST on Monday qualify. What are the prizes? Check this out…
1ST PLACE: $100 Universal Orlando gift card
2ND & 3RD PLACE: $50 Universal Orlando gift card
To enter, visit any of the Universal attraction or restaurant pages listed below. Once the contest entry period is over, we’ll pick our three personal favorite reviews – if you wrote one of them, you win!
You can enter more than once by submitting individual reviews for multiple attractions and venues. However, you may only review each attraction and venue once (and sorry, reviews submitted before or after the contest period don’t qualify).
Contest winners will be notified via email. If you’d like to get started, just keep reading into the next section. If you have more questions or you would like see the full terms for entry, see the click here to skip to our FAQ section.
Hint: we’re particularly interested in getting reviews of attractions that aren’t necessarily headliners, like Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl (Springfield USA) or If I Ran the Zoo (Seuss Landing). We’re also really looking for more restaurant reviews.
Real guest reviews
Review & Win Weekend FAQs
I’m new to this — how exactly do I submit a review?
To share your experiences at Universal, first pick any of the attractions or restaurants listed just above the FAQ section on this page. Remember, each link will open in a new window for your convenience. Once you’re viewing an individual venue page in the OI Universal Center, scroll to the bottom of the information we provide and you’ll see something like this:
Once you’re in the review area, simply click the button that reads “Click here to write your review!”, fill out the form, and then click the button the reads “Submit (press once)”. You’re done! Keep in mind that all reviews are subject to moderation. More on that in a moment…
How can I improve my writing so my submission has the best chance of winning?
Our favorite reviews are personal, informative, and insightful. Please note that this does not mean you have to write a positive or long review – it just means your submission should be sincere and helpful to other guests visiting Universal Orlando. If you’d like to see examples of some great reviews, you’ll find them at the bottom of this page.
Hint: we’re particularly interested in getting reviews of attractions that aren’t necessarily headliners, like Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl (Springfield USA) or If I Ran the Zoo (Seuss Landing). We’re also really looking for more restaurant reviews.
How many times can I enter?
You can only write one review per venue, but you can enter the contest multiple times by reviewing multiple venues.
What’s the cutoff time?
All reviews submitted before Monday, May 26 at 11:59pm will be included for evaluation.
I wrote a review before this contest started – does that count?
We want to thank you for taking the time to write a review before our contest started. Unfortunately, only reviews written contest entry period can qualify to win.
What happens if I just write a bunch of nonsense and it’s clear I don’t really care about helping other readers?
All reviews are subject to moderation, and we reserve the right to trash anything that looks bogus to us.
Does that mean you’re going to trash my review if you don’t agree with it, or just because it’s negative?
Absolutely not. As long as your review is helpful for other readers, it will pass moderation. (We know Universal doesn’t do everything perfectly.) It’s also worth mentioning that we will not edit or revise guest reviews aside from glaring typos.
Are there any other requirements for winning that you haven’t mentioned?
Yes. You must be 16 or older to win the gift card, and you cannot have previously won a gift card from us. (If you’ve won a t-shirt before, that doesn’t disqualify you.)
I live overseas — how does that affect my ability to win?
It doesn’t. However, if you win the gift card, please be aware that we will not ship it until you are arrive here in Central Florida for your Universal Orlando vacation. This does not prevent you from using the gift card any sooner than you otherwise would because Universal gift cards can only be used on-site at the resort – they cannot be used online or over the phone.
Is Orlando Informer affiliated with Universal Orlando?
Nope. We are an independent resource and unofficial guide for guests visiting the resort.
I have another question or a comment:
Please feel free to drop us a line via our Contact us page.
More about Universal Orlando gift cards
Universal Orlando gift cards are available for purchase online at UniversalOrlando.com and throughout the resort. Once activated, they can be used just like cash at both Universal theme parks, at Universal CityWalk, and they can even be used at the front gates to purchase admission tickets and annual passes!
Universal Orlando gift card features
- Multiple denominations available: $10, $25, $50, $100, or more
- Several fun designs (as seen above)
- No fees
- No expiration: The unused amount on the card never expires
- Use it like cash: Redeemable at most merchandise and food & beverage locations within Universal Orlando Resort (including the front gate ticket booths)
- Reloadable: Universal Orlando gift cards can be reloaded with more funds at many merchandise and dining locations throughout the theme parks
More about Orlando Informer
Our website is the world’s leading independent resource for guests visiting the world’s most exciting entertainment destination: Universal Orlando Resort.
The OI Universal Center is home to our FREE next-generation ENCYCLOPEDIA of Universal Orlando vacation planning information. It contains over 200 pages covering Universal’s theme parks, hotels, and more. In addition, we offer our readers six extraordinary advantages over traditional guidebooks and other websites:
- Nearly same-day updates to our insider information as changes take place in the parks
- Comprehensive analysis of all construction projects and anticipated resort developments
- Immersive multimedia, including more than 10,000 full-screen photos and hours of HD video
- Intense, first-hand coverage of annual events with advice written based on this year’s activities
- Close to a thousand “real guest reviews” of Universal’s theme park attractions & dining venues
- In-park photo updates broadcast live from Universal Orlando each and every week
Last year over ONE MILLION FAMILIES used our website to plan the perfect vacation and gain complete confidence in their knowledge of the parks. As we now celebrate an even bigger and busier year, we are very proud to take our place as the premier independent resource for guests visiting Universal Orlando Resort.
Some of the best reviews submitted by our readers
Here is a collection of some of the very best and most insightful reviews submitted by our readers so far. Please note that the images included below were added by us. Enjoy!
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Terrified = Fun | Submitted by Coralann
During this past year, my boyfriend and I got Annual Passes and went to Universal 6 times…Every time we went, we would ride this. I hate Roller Coasters. Terrified of Them. I cry before arriving to the park because I am so terrified…..But during these trips, I have conquered my fears and I LOVE ROLLER COASTERS! Especially the ones here at Universal. I can do it and you can too. Here’s my advice, Psych yourself out. During the construction of this ride, I kept myself informed by using THIS great Website. I watched videos! I came to realize that a car ride on the highway goes faster than this ride!
Orlando Informer says that if you see this ride in operation, RIDE IT! It is prone to minor break downs…This is very true….even while in the queue a 10 minute wait can turn into 30 to 45 minutes….BUT it loads VERY QUICKLY when it is in full swing. First time I rode this, I was shaking, but I was actually looking forward to the climb up more than the ride itself. My paranoia about roller coasters comes from the fear that SOMETHING could happen. (I’m not secure, the ride could stop, you name it, I fear it can happen) My boyfriend peps me up by telling me to watch EVERYONE coming off the ride…They finished their ride quickly, so will we. You are whisked to your car on a conveyor belt and you need to pull down on the big lap-bar harness…Once it all clicks in place, you are good to go! The 90 degree launch is my favorite. Once you reach the top, WOW!! One thing to know if you fear going upside down. This ride does not go upside down! The first loop spins you slightly where you think you will be upside down, but you do not! This roller coaster is the longest in Universal. The worst (or best) of the ride is over by the second brake/slow stop…There is one long dip shortly after that….and then it just seems like you are “coasting” ….with 2 more brake/slow stops. This ride is so smooth and quiet all you can hear are your own screams. The video of our first ride was so funny. I looked terrified, crying, gripping my hold rails while my boyfriend is smiling, laughing and waving his arms! Unfortunately the price was way too high, but it was fun to watch.
This last time we rode it, we ran to the ride, with me smiling all the way, queue said it was 10 minutes but it was 20( no biggie) and I got into the Secret Song Selection!!!!!(Google it!! #132 My Favorite Blue Man Group Song) I was so happy about getting my song I GREATLY enjoyed the ride. Maybe next time I’ll wave my arms around like an idiot!
This is a MUST RIDE! If not just to conquer your fears, but to RIP and ROCK them away!
Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Ride… Starring You
Be a volunteer | Submitted by Grace R
I’ve been fortunate to get both my nephew and son chosen as volunteers for the child part. It was on two different trips. My tip is to be enthusiastic when they ask for volunteers. Your child needs to be very excited and you as the parent can also be excited (waving arms and lifting child up) to give you the best chance at being picked. It also helps if you can be close to the employee who is picking the volunteers so that you are in the employee’s line of sight.
Even if someone in your group is not chosen, I still think it is a fun and amusing show. I wouldn’t want to wait longer than 30 minutes but my nephew and son still talk about the time they were in the movie.
MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
An oldie but a goodie! | Submitted by Donna
I’m almost 21 years old and have been coming to Universal and IoA since I was in the 2nd grade roughly every other year. Although I love the crazy roller coasters, Men in Black has ALWAYS been one of my top 5 go-to rides!
Not only is it really exciting and action packed, but it also gives those (like me) who have a competitive nature something fun to fight over with the family. I have yet to beat my Mom, but I intend on doing it some day soon! If only I could get the big monster at the end! I can’t wait to be back June 2014 – this time I’m taking my boyfriend of 6 years and I KNOW I’ll beat him!
Thanks MiB for always giving me something fun to look forward to..even on those classic rainy days in the summer!
An 80′s baby reliving her childhood | Submitted by Shelley
I love this ride! 1 simple reason….. It takes me back to when I was a child. I become a 9 year old again reliving my thoughts that i imagined back in the 80′s as i watched this film. As you enter the attraction you are transported to the woodland the thoughts start becoming a reality. Not many people take in the sights of the queue up area…. I urge you to spend time looking at the objects, taking in the sights and even the smells. It really does add the the overall affect the attraction has.
When asked for my name the first time I ride I give my real one. Then as I got back a second, third or even fourth time I give random names. My family and I have always done this ever since our first visit in 1995 when I was 14 years old. My cousin and I have a great time thinking up some really wacky and unique names.
I love the bikes you ride, I love the story, I love everything that makes E.T what it is and the choked up feeling you get when you fly in front of that moon is unbelievable.
Yes the ride itself could do with some updating as it is reflecting a film from 30 years ago…. But please Universal don’t touch it! It provides us 30somethings with a bit of nostalgia and this is why I come back to this attraction every time I visit.
Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue
Hidden USF gem! | Submitted by Elle
This little show is a hidden gem of Universal Studios!!! I have visited Universal studios multiple times and I am visiting again in September and this is definitely on my to do list!
The first few times I visited US, I’ll admit I ignored this show, writing it off as another space filling theme park show, despite the fact that I do adore the Beetle juice(Beetle juice, Beetle juice)film, only eventually going to see the show because of painfully long lines everywhere else. I am super glad that i did!
It’s fun, surprisingly cheerful, (If a little cheesy) and full of songs that everybody knows and loves. Possibly a little scary or startlingly for very young children, but highly recommended for teens and adults!!
Great for a laugh and a sit down in the shade, especially in the summer months when its hot outside and the queues everywhere else are unbearable!!
Curious George Goes To Town
A tale of Curious George and his water adventures! | Submitted by L.W.
As a wife and mother, I know what and where I want to head in the parks to make everyone in my family happy (yes, including me!) This just happens to be one of “those places”. You know, the ones that they entire family loves… and this one just happens to be one of the best spots in the park on a hot Florida day.
It seems simply enough to like this area, and explain how great it is (even though it is not an awesome thrill ride!). But, I really don’t think many families head over to this area to cool off and take 5.
Something that I love about this particular area? Everyone is happy because everyone is getting soaked! Especially in the summer when kids(and their parents!) get so hot after being on the rides, this is the perfect place to cool off. With tons of space to spread out and enjoy the cool waters and of course that silly Curious George!
There are lots of places to grab hoses and hydrants to spray the water, cannons and geysers, and 2 dump stations to really get you soaked! (as if you weren’t already!)
All in all, it’s a great place to cool off with your children on a hot day… and it also lets the kids get out some pent up energy (and yet lets the parents relax and enjoy the fun too!). Smiles all around?! Yes please! Just another great perk to the Universal Studios Parks!
Horror Make-Up Show
Fun show, a Must-Do | Submitted by Emmy
This show is a must-do at Universal Studios Florida. It has clever jokes, funny entertainers, and you get to learn something about Hollywood! Being a fan in the behind the scenes of movies and other productions, I was really looking forward to this show. While waiting, you are able to browse in the lobby of the theater and look at props and information about classic horror films and even Halloween Horror Nights at Universal!
The actual show is great. They pull a person from the audience to demonstrate their effects on and, wow, does it look real! The knife cut they did looked incredibly realistic (which is why is anyone in your party is squeamish on this, they might want to rethink attending). In addition to the demonstrations, the entertainers leading you along are hilarious. The pick on audience members, splash water on you, and respond cleverly. For instance, a kid supposedly got the make up artist wet, so she went after him, being held back by the host of course, saying “This isn’t Disney! I don’t have to be nice to you!”
All in all, this is a must see! Make sure to add it to your park itinerary!
The Mystic Fountain
Not Your Average Geyser | Submitted by Melissa
Let’s face it… Most people on a mission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter breeze right past one of IOA’s best-kept secrets — The Mystic Fountain. This is not your average geyser! Located in the Lost Continent, this inanimate entertainer comes to life through the magical power of snark (and, of course, a fair amount of water).
While waiting for my husband to return from the restroom, I ventured over to a relatively small crowd gathering near the fountain, comfortably perched myself atop a nearby stone wall for optimum viewing, and waited… It didn’t take long. This geyser didn’t disappoint. The Mystic Fountain spoke to nearby guests, both young and old, but he especially targeted unsuspecting children.
At first, the fountain engaged in casual conversations of small talk and pleasantries, offering the occasional water squirt while keeping the kids on their toes if response time lagged, but the real fun ensued when the Mystic Fountain engrossed his human subjects in a battle of wits. The kids remained amused, mainly because a simple threat of splashing and spraying was entertainment enough for the children; however, the adults in the crowd were certainly humored by The Mystic Fountain’s quick jests, jokes, and wisecracks.
As the quips continued, the master of snark unleashed his grand finale… Jets of water poured out of the fountain’s mouth, pelting any children in its path with a constant, soaking stream of water! Beyond that, water spouted from the fountain’s head in high arches, soaking anyone within a six-foot radius.
If you’re waiting on a friend or family member or simply taking a rest from the hot Orlando sun, then be sure to visit The Mystic Fountain! It’s a fantastic way to cool off while having a good laugh, usually at someone else’s expense.
Flight of the Hippogriff
One Special Moment | Submitted by Gloria S.
I’ll admit that the Flight of the Hippogriff is a little short for my tastes but its worth taking a ride (or two) just for the money shot. What money shot you may ask, the most spectacular view at night. If you have the opportunity to take a ride after the sun has set you will not regret it.
As soon as you start the ascension to begin the flight you start to see the park at in a different light. As you reach the very top of the climb, you look to the right and see the Hogwarts castle. The view last only a second or two before you plummet down, but for the die hard Harry Potter fan, seeing the the twinkling lights of the castle and the starry night background, the magic becomes real, if only for that second.
I strongly recommend that everyone gives this ride a try even though it does not contain the high speed thrills or drops you expect in a coaster ride. This ride gives you something else, it gives you one special moment in thinking that perhaps magic is real and that you’re living in it.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Best Ride EVER for EVERYONE! | Submitted by Lisa
As someone who has grown up going to the Jersey shore riding roller coaster after roller coaster and ride after ride, I can say that I’m pretty experienced in this department. I have been on wooden roller coasters, upside down roller coasters, 3D simulated rides, 3D simulated roller coasters over and over again. THIS IS THE BEST ROLLER COASTER EVER!
It felt so real. It really feels like you are flying! The images and the 3D affects are perfectly placed and perfectly timed! I was screaming (in a good way) like a kid again! I had the world’s biggest smile coming off of this ride! I was really excited b/c 3D simulated rides where you sit in a seat and just the screen moves, makes me extremely nauseous. But this is a Roller Coaster with 3D affects. So you are actually moving and it was just so fun, so amazing! Even waiting in line was awesome b/c you walk through the castle which is a dream come true for every Potter fan. Even if you are not a Potter fan, you can still be pretty entertained by the display.
My husband is resistant to going on roller coasters since heights are not his favorite thing. (i.e. He was a little weary of the Flight of the Hippogriff but I was able to get him on that). He LOVED this ride. We went in November so the park closed early and we were heartbroken that we only were able to go on this ride once. Therefore, we booked another trip to Universal this July so that we could have more time to do this roller coaster over and over again!
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
Highlight of the water rides | Submitted by Kim
This is by far my family’s favourite water ride. We all love the story as you’re making your way up to the big drop, always getting wide eyes and giggles! The queue is very entertaining, so there’s never any moaning, even with a large queue time. The drop itself is really fun, and the way everyone is seated one behind the other, everyone gets a share of the splash!!
The only complaints we have about the ride is that its not long enough, and unfortunately we’ve had quite a few times we’ve been in line, but they’ve had technical difficulties, so its added to queue time – but since the queue is so fun we don’t mind.
INSIDER TIP : Look out for water cannons, and, if you don’t want to get soaked, invest in a rain mac!
High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
Up in the Sky, a Missed Opportunity (Sigh) | Submitted by Kyle T
Originally intended to open with the park under a different, (somehow) more convoluted name, the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride finally opened to high expectations. Sadly, the ride fails to live up to them or even its premise – an ariel tour of Seuss Landing.
The ride actually has two separate tracks that make for significantly different ride experiences. If you have the choice, choose the left track as you approach the station. (Often, if you have ask the loading team member nicely, they’ll seat you in your requested track.) The right track travels through the Circus McGurkus Restaurant, which takes up a good third of its running time. While initially this might seem like a fun gimmick, the bottom line isn’t there much to see inside besides hungry guests below. It also means you spend significantly less time outside with the beautiful views of Seuss Landing and the rest of the park, which is probably the best part of this attraction.
Both tracks travel through a brief show scene (more like a tunnel) before heading “outside” based on the Stars In/Stars Out machine from Dr. Seuss’s story, “The Sneetches.” The Sneetches story is explained in the queue on posters on the walls, but it has very little impact or relevance to the actual ride experience. You do encounter Sylvester McMonkey McBean on his truck on a roof towards the end of the ride, and finally encounter two Sneetches (one with a star on its belly, one without) making peace, but no larger story is attempted to be told once on-ride. These scenes provide visual interest and something unique to the ride that can’t be seen from the ground, but the visuals are of low and hokey quality and make very little sense in the greater context of the experience.
The ride has four different narration tracks, one limited to each train – in my opinion, the Sneetches story and Mulberry Street narrations are far more enjoyable than the ABCs or Sounds options. The former two offer amusing, inventive Seussian commentary on what you’re seeing as you ride, while the latter two are more juvenile and borderline obnoxious in their writing and vocal delivery.
The ride experience itself (once you’re outdoors) is gentle, breezy, and great fun – but it’s over all too quickly. The ride lasts less than two minutes on either track, making it an all too-short experience when compared to its counterpart at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the People Mover, which lasts more than five minutes. To add insult to injury, the capacity for this ride is woefully low, leading to excessively long lines (sometimes upwards of 45 minutes) when everything else in the park is below 30. The queue isn’t particularly visually interesting and isn’t indoors, either, so the lengthy, slow-moving line can be brutal.
The Trolley adds some kinetic flair to the Island and is fun to watch – but it isn’t worth the hassle to ride. More popular attractions like Spider-Man, Hulk, and even Forbidden Journey can handle far more people at once than this attraction can and will take longer to build significant lines, so if you have a burning itch to go high in the sky, it’s best to ride at the very beginning or very end of the day.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster
The Best Two Minutes and Fifteen Seconds of Your Life | Submitted by Chuck Fox
The Incredible Hulk Coaster my favorite roller coaster of all time. Maybe it isn’t a groundbreaking achievement in roller coaster technology, but it definitely puts the “adventure” in “Islands of Adventure.” While anticipating the launch out of the tube at 40 mph, you wonder so many things. “What will happen when we launch”, “Will something go wrong?”, or just a simple, “I cant wait till we launch!” For a first-timer on the ride, one may not know what will happen in the tube, asking themselves, “Why is that man screa- ahhh” They manage to say as they are unexpectedly launched out the tube.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster presents question, excitement, and fear for all people, coaster experts, or not. The Incredible Hulk coaster is the pinnacle of Islands of Adventure, boasting its soaring heights, roaring speeds, and exciting turns and flips. I look forward to my approaching trip to Universal, as I will once again be able to ride the “Incredible” experience at the Islands, known as The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
Thanks to everyone who has submitted ride and restaurant reviews on our site! They help Orlando Informer become an even strong Universal Orlando vacation planning resource, and reviews are a fun way for all of us to experience the parks from a new perspective.