Our trip to Universal Orlando was definitely one for the books!
A big part of any vacation is the anticipation in the weeks leading up to it. To get our kids even more excited about the trip, we watched some of the movies and shows that are featured in rides and areas at the theme park!
Here are the 11 movies we watched (or wish we had watched) before our trip to Universal Orlando.
(You can also check out the movies you should watch before going to Universal’s sister park Islands of Adventure.)
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1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
We were probably the MOST excited about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The girls were especially excited to visit Diagon Alley at Universal! (Hogwarts is at Islands of Adventures.)
We’ve watched all of the Harry Potter movies, but if you don’t have time or don’t want to do that, at least watch the first one – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It will give you the best idea of the magical world and introduce you to Diagon Alley.
2. The Mummy
This movie was a blast from the past! I remember being traumatized by the Scarab beetles as a kid and beetles still freak me out to this day.
We watched this movie one rainy afternoon before our trip and my kids were completely unfazed by these little creepy crawlies. They enjoyed The Mummy more than I thought they would.
Lainey loved the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster at Universal Orlando. She was glad that she watched the movie ahead of time so that she knew who the characters were.
I couldn’t talk my youngest into watching Transformers, but Lainey was willing to give it a shot. And she liked it!
Before your trip to Universal Orlando, I would watch the first Transformers movie (Transformers) to at least get an idea of who the characters are and how Transformers ‘work’. Not only is there a 3-D Transformers ride at Universal, but you can also meet a Transformer!
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4. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
I was unable to get a copy of E.T. before our trip to Universal. So, when we all rode the E.T. Adventure ride together my kids didn’t know what everything was.
Even though they enjoyed the ride, I think they would have liked it better if they understood more about the story. Before our next trip to Orlando, we’ll be watching E.T.
5. Despicable Me
Of course, the minions are characters that my kids are very familiar with. And my youngest LOVED Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Orlando!
I think Lyvi ended up riding it 2 or 3 times before we left! If you are going to the theme park with young kids, make sure to watch Despicable Me before your visit.
Sadly, Shrek 4-D was one ride that we didn’t get to do during our first trip to Universal. But they were characters that my kids recognized right away when they saw the ride/theater.
Make sure to watch Shrek with your kids before your trip to Orlando! We’ll be checking this ride out on our next visit.
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7. The Fast and the Furious
We didn’t watch The Fast and the Furious with the kids before our trip to Universal Orlando, because it’s not a movie that they would be interested in.
However, for older kids and adults, definitely watch The Fast and the Furious before you hop on Fast and Furious – Supercharged at Universal Orlando.
8. The Simpsons
While The Simpsons cartoon isn’t really for kids, we did let ours watch a couple of episodes before our trip. There is a whole section of Universal dedicated to this iconic cartoon.
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons has several rides, games, and restaurants based on the cartoon and is truly an immersive experience.
Make sure you catch at least an episode or two of The Simpsons before visiting Springfield!
9. Men in Black
My siblings and I loved this movie when we were kids! And Will Smith has been one of my favorite actors ever since.
This ride is a motion simulation ride where you use a laser gun to shoot the aliens that are attacking you!
You should watch at least one of the Men in Black movies before your trip to Universal.
10. Jimmy Fallon
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is another motion simulation ride that takes you on a fun-filled race both above and below New York City.
Admittedly, I’m not familiar with Jimmy Fallon’s show, but the ride includes some of the characters, such as Hashtag the Panda and a barbershop quartet.
Before you head to Universal, you might want to catch a show or two so you’ll know what to expect.
11. Woody Woodpecker
My kids loved the newest Woody Woodpecker movie and I loved the old cartoons from my childhood.
So, he was a face we all recognized when we saw his roller coaster at Universal.
This roller coaster is perfect for little kids who may not have ever ridden one before. My girls weren’t very impressed with it, but they did it anyway.
Our trip to Universal Orlando was one that we’ll never forget!
And we even hope to go back again this year, thanks to the Freedom Passes we purchased through the MWR!
I recommend watching some of these movies and shows before your trip. It will make your trip even more fun. The kids especially like seeing familiar characters from the movies they watched at home!
Make sure you check out the list of movies to see before going to Islands of Adventure (Universal’s sister park).