Prior to my trip to Universal Orlando, I researched what attractions I’d be able to take part in. Unable to find specific information dedicated to epilepsy, I decided to reach out to Guest Services via email stating that I couldn’t find anything regarding photosensitive epilepsy and if they had any tips or ideas. The next morning, I was sent a helpful and friendly email from one of the coordinators of guest communications.
They go on to explain that the Riders Guide does not specifically mention guests with photosensitive epilepsy, however, there’s a symbol in the Riders Guide, and outside each attraction warning guests that the “Attraction is not recommended for Guests who have medical sensitivity to strobe effects”.
Sifting through the Riders Guide I was a little overwhelmed at how many rides have this warning and that my trip may not have been worthwhile. This was NOT the case. I had a fantastic time visiting the parks and would love to take this opportunity to thank the Universal Orlando Guest Services for the valuable information they provided. Thank you!
With that said, within this blog post I’ll be listing the rides that have the strobe effect warning (marked with a red “X”), those that do not, and a few tips for those traveling to the parks with photosensitive epilepsy. (Like me! Woohoo!) Keep in mind that I’m not your neurologist and you should acquire a professional opinion before placing yourself into potentially dangerous situations. Also, some of the attraction lines are part of the experience and you are more than welcome to wait in line with your friends and family opting out of the rides before boarding. Hoping you find this information to be helpful!
If you’re staying in one of the Universal Resorts, there’s a bus that will drop you off at the entrance to City Walk from there you’ll be able to branch off to both of the main parks; Islands of Adventure (Left) and Universal Studios (Right).
Universal’s Islands of Adventure™
If I Ran The Zoo™
The Cat in the Hat™
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™
The Lost Continent™
Poseidon’s Fury™ X
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™
Flight of the Hippogriff™
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ X
The Hogwarts™ Express – Hogsmeade™ Station
Camp Jurassic™ X
Jurassic Park River Adventure™ X
Jurassic Park Discovery Center™
Skull Island: Reign of Kong™
Skull Island: Reign of Kong™ X
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls® X
Me Ship, The Olive®
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®
Marvel Super Hero Island®
The Incredible Hulk Coaster® X
Storm Force Accelatron® X
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall® X
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man® X
Universal Studios Florida™
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem™ X
Shrek 4-D X
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™ X
TRANSFORMERS™: The Ride-3D X
The Blues Brothers® Show
Revenge of the Mummy™ X
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon™ X
Fast & Furious – Supercharged™ X
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™ X
The Hogwarts™ Express – King’s Cross Station
FEAR FACTOR LIVE X
MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™ X
Springfield: Home of the Simpsons
Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
The Simpsons Ride™ X
Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone™
Animal Actors On Location!™
A Day in the Park with Barney™ X
Curious George Goes to Town℠
E.T. Adventure™ X
Fievel’s Playland™ water slide
Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster™
Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show™
Personal Tips & Tricks:
- Low Traffic Times and Sunlight
Foot traffic and wait times at the parks is at its lowest between mid-January and early February. I recommend booking your vacation during these dates and to avoid weekends and holidays at all costs.
The parks open at 09:00AM* and close at 07:00PM* with variations on possible early park access and/or holidays.
Once the sun begins to set, almost everything is brightly illuminated. Especially City Walk. Which can be beautiful, but also a potential trigger for epilepsy. Seeing as you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the parks and City Walk is the main exit, it’s best to plan your trip around the daylight.
- Bring A Crowd
Gather ‘round, friends! These parks are extraordinarily massive! Bring friends or family you’re comfortable spending time with to explore together. It’s quite easy to get distracted and accidentally lose track of your group.
If you’re traveling with photosensitive children set expectations before going to the parks. A majority of the rides are not photosensitive friendly, so make a list of the ones that are and plan your trip around them. Everyone deserves a day of adventure!
- Be Prepared
On average you’ll walk anywhere from five to seven miles spending a day at one of the Universal parks. As I’m sure you know if you’re reading this that two of the biggest triggers for epilepsy can be exhaustion and dehydration. Bring what you need, or may need, into the parks with you. I always carry my backpack while traveling and inside is an extra pair of clothes and emergency meds, alongside a water bottle secured tightly to my side. Also, my medical alert tag proudly strung around my neck.
Once again, these are just a few of my suggestions and you should acquire a professional opinion before making plans. If there’s anything I may have missed feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Twitter and Instagram: @iMarrowsJ. Wishing you the best and I hope your next adventure is full of wonder and excitement!
© John Marrows Some Rights Reserved