14 August 2018

A Guide to Islands of Adventure

Voted the Number 1 Theme park on Tripadvisor, Islands of Adventure is the one to beat, complete with Marvel SuperHero Island, Jurassic Park and not to mention, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, IOA has a variety of attractions and rides to suit the whole family.

*Before I start, can I just apologise for the formatting in this blog post, blogger is playing up! So if there is any weird spacing, it is unintentional!*

Islands of Adventure is the sister park to Universal Studios and is set in the Universal Studios Resort, this park is home to famous thrill rides including The Incredible Hulk Rollercoaster, the newly added Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Jurassic Park River Adventure, this theme park is definitely the more animated out of the two and there’s no surprise that it’s the most popular park to visit.

The park is split into different themes which include: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Skull Island, Seuss Landing, Jurassic Park and The Lost Continent.

Fast-passes are available to purchase in this resort as well as Universal Studios, however as previously mentioned they are at an additional charge. Some people find this quite annoying compared to Walt Disney World, who let you book time slots for rides rather than charging a fee. My advice is if you have budgeted to include fast-passes then I would definitely use them, you are allowed 1 fast-pass use per ride and is good to use on popular attractions such as Jurassic Park River Adventure and The Amazing Spider-Man.

*Please note, you can’t use fast-passes on any Harry Potter rides, however if you are staying in a Universal Resort hotel, guests of the hotels are allowed early access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and selected attractions at the new Volcano Bay water park (T&C Apply).*
If you don’t mind riding the attractions on your own, then going in the Single Rider lines will allow you to skip the queue but you are not guaranteed to sit next to a member of your party.

Marvel Superhero Island

If you turn left into the park, Marvel Superhero Island® will be your first point of call. Here you will find The Incredible Hulk® rollercoaster, Doctor Doom's Fearfall® and the much loved The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®. For any Marvel fans, this is your place to be if you’re eager to get a photo with your favourite hero, characters such as Spider-Man, Storm and Captain America are seen regularly in this area.

Toon Lagoon

Take a trip through the comics and experience life-size versions of your favourite cartoons, Toon Lagoon® is a vibrant and fun part of the park that lets you interact with the likes of Betty Boop and Popeye and Olive.

The attractions here are mainly water-based including Dudley Do Right’s Ripsaw Falls® and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®, I suggest wearing ponchos for Popeyes as you can get soaked on this ride, Dudley Do Right’s also usually has a massive queue to keep an eye out for wait times if you don’t have a fast-pass.

Jurassic Park

Journey back when Dinosaurs roamed the earth, Jurassic Park® will take you into the hit franchise, they have recently added a Raptor Encounter in this section as well as talks of adapting it into Jurassic World to keep up with the movies.
Here you’ll find Jurassic Park River Adventure®, which is one of my favourite rides, taking you on a river journey through Jurassic Park®, but things aren’t what they seem… You get wet on this ride so take a poncho if you want to stay dry!

Along with this attraction, Jurassic Park® also includes the Jurassic Park Discovery Center® where you can uncover fossils and watch a baby Raptor hatch from its egg. For the little ones, there is Pteranodon Flyer®, this two people ride takes you above the treetops, there is also the prehistoric playground, Camp Jurassic®.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Probably the most anticipated area of the park, this is definitely the most busiest but so worth it! Here you will wander through the snow-covered Hogsmeade and gaze upon Hogwarts Castle, Universal have recently introduced a new display called The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts, which includes magical projections and music cast upon the castle. (See the official Universal Studios website for dates).

The main attraction in Hogsmeade is Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, in this ride you will fly through Hogwarts on a enchanted book case, dive into the Forbidden Forest and take a trip over the Black Lake with Harry. The queue for this ride is part of the attraction, as you weave your way through Hogwarts and explore the castle.

There is also the Flight of the Hippogriff, a small but fun coaster for all of the family! There was another coaster as well, formally known by Florida veterans as Dueling Dragons, this double coaster was converted into Dragon Challenge but has now been removed to make way for a brand new Harry Potter ride! Rumours are that it is a coaster that will take you into the Forbidden Forest and a spokesperson for Universal has described that the new ride will bring you closer to the world of Harry Potter than ever before!
You can have your picture taken with the Hogwarts Express Conductor, visit the Three Broomsticks for a bite to eat and a Butterbeer and hop onto the Hogwarts Express and head over to Diagon Alley, which is situated in Universal Studios.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

This is a new attraction for IOA and replaced the classic Jaws ride, which I was sad to see go! However, Reign of Kong takes you on an 1930’s themed exhibition to the mysterious Skull Island, part physical attraction and 3-D, Skull Island: Reign of Kong takes you deep into the jungle with some unusual creators being found along the way…

The Lost Continent

This area of the park looks like a movie set, with the walk-through special effects attraction Poseidon's Fury®, you will go deep into unexplored caves and unleash the Greek God Poseidon. This show is fab for taking a break from the sun and is actually a really good attraction, the wait times are usually low as they allow big groups at a time.

There is also The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad® stunt show and get up close and personal with the Mystic Fountain!

Seuss Landing

Another fun and animated land is the one of all things Dr. Seuss, with bold colours and even bolder architecture, Seuss Landing will drag you right into the books. This land is especially good for little ones and has rides such as the Caro-Seuss-Cel, the Steer One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and the family friendly The Cat in The Hat™.

So you’ve gone on every ride at least twice and walking around a theme-park can be tiring, so I guess you’re looking for a bite to eat and a cocktail or two? Well the Universal CityWalkis home to a variety of restaurants to sink your teeth into.
Restaurants include: Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafe Orlando®, Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co®, The Cowfish®, Jimmy’s Buffet® Margaritaville®, Voodoo Donut, PatO'Brien's®, and Bob Marley A Tribute to Freedom ®.

The CityWalk™ also has a cinema if you fancy catching a film before you head home!

Universal Islands of Adventure is exactly that, full of adventure and it’s no surprise that it was voted the Number 1 theme-park.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Georgia xx

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