Ranking All US Universal Theme Parks

Universal Adventurer

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Entrance Universal Islands of Adventure

Universal is one of the best theme park companies in the world at the moment, providing some of the best rides and most immersive experiences in any theme park in the world. But not all of the Universal parks are created equal.

Today we are ranking the three Universal theme parks in the United States, not including the water park Volcano Bay, from worst to best. We are not including temporary changes made due to the pandemic in our decision-making.

3. Universal Studios Hollywood

The Simpsons Ride Entrance Springfield Universal Studios Hollywood

The original Universal theme park is currently the worst in the United States.

This park both suffers and gains from its proximity to real film production. The Studio Tour is one of the best singular rides in any theme park in the world at the moment, and it would not exist without the century worth of filmmaking history alongside the park.

Crashed Airplane Set Studio Tour Universal Studios Hollywood

The problem is, this also limits the park by limiting the space that can be used for attractions, and even good rides need to be replaced more commonly than in many other parks. This has cost the park many great attractions over the years.

Universal Studios Hollywood also features one of the worst layouts of any theme park in the world, with its position on a cliffside that divides the park in half. This makes it difficult to navigate the park, and constantly makes crowding worse than it needs to be.

The park is improving gradually though, with additions like The Secret Life of Pets Off The Leash and more. Hopefully, the park will be able to continue to improve with the addition of Super Nintendo World in the near future.

2. Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida London Street Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The first park in Orlando exists as an improved version of the ideas behind Universal Studios Hollywood, although robbed of its flagship ride.

This park features a much better layout than its west coast cousin, and while a lot has changed since it opened, it has been able to hold onto classic attractions for a longer period of time, and develop its own identity beyond the studio theme.

Transformers The Ride 3D Entrance Universal Studios Florida

The park holds a combination of better versions of attractions that exist in Hollywood, like Transformers and Revenge of the Mummy, as well as exclusive attractions, some of which formerly existed on the west coast, such as ET Adventure, Men In Black Alien Attack, and Diagon Alley.

But this park also has made some missteps in recent years, most significantly adding Fast and Furious Supercharged, one of the worst rides in recent memory, and it also has not addressed a few of its rides becoming outdated. Overall though, this park is a superior version of the model created by Universal Studios Hollywood.

1. Islands of Adventure

The Circus McGurkus Cafe Seuss Landing Universal Islands of Adventure

The one Universal park not based on a studio theme is the best in the US.

Following a more generic theme of adventure, this land fully immerses you in several themed islands that are each their own unique entities, entirely different than anything else in the park. It is also an amazingly balanced park, with attractions for all levels of thrill-seekers and all different ages.

Gringotts Bank Building Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley Universal Studios Florida

This land has a combination of some of the best rides Universal has ever built, from Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey to The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, to amazing park exclusive attractions like Velocicoaster and Seuss Landing.

Raptor Containment Area Jurassic Park River Adventure Universal Islands of Adventure

It also features Universal's only major attempt at original theme park areas with Port of Entry and Lost Continent, on top of including some of the best franchises in any Universal park, from Harry Potter, to Marvel, to Jurassic Park, to Dr. Seuss.

This park has only gotten better since it opened and is still finding ways to add new rides without removing anything. With the future of the park including Jurassic World Velocicoaster things only look to improve for this park.