Spotlight: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The name says it all…if you are looking for adventure, Universal’s Islands of Adventure is THE place to go!  Your favorite stories come to life with interactive attractions, shows and over 25 state-of- the-art rides.  The latest, much anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter is like a mini theme park inside the theme park.  You are entertained right from the beginning, even before you get to the ride and ‘fly’ off on your adventure with Harry Potter.  Some of the other well-known rides include the roller coasters The Incredible Hulk, the Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons), and the newer Flight of the Hippogriff.  This latest coaster, woven from wicker and decorated with fluttering ‘feathers’ takes you to a ‘real’ Hippogriff which has the head of a giant eagle and the body of a horse. If you follow Hagrid’s instructions, even you will know the proper way to approach a Hippogriff!

Some of the other great rides include the thrilling 3-D simulator ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man.   This highly acclaimed ride combines live special effects like flame and water, 3-D effects, as well as a virtual 400 foot freefall experience.   Then, try your hand in a mission as an agent in MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack.  You can travel through Krustyland in The Simpsons Ride and become a part of the action of the Mummy movies in the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster.  Among the many rides within this park, there are also a few that will help you cool off on a hot Florida day.  These include Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, and the Jurassic Park River Adventure, where you narrowly escape the Jaws of a T-Rex by taking an 85-foot plunge!

Some of the many great kid’s rides include The Cat In the Hat, Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, and E.T. Adventure. At some point, take a break from the adventure and catch one of the entertaining shows like the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show, Poseidon’s Fury special effects spectacular, or Oh! The Stories You Will Hear!, where Dr. Seuss tales come to life.  There are also several play areas to let the kids run around, as well as plenty of dining and shopping options.

There are 3 World-Class hotels on site, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and the Hard Rock Hotel. They are pricy, but do provide some benefits such as Universal Express ride access, where you get to skip the regular lines.  They also have a complimentary water taxis to both Universal theme parks and CitiWalk.  And, they have a pet friendly policy.  (Restrictions apply, reserve pet friendly room in advance.)  If you don’t stay at one of these hotels, you can still purchase an express pass for the most popular rides: Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Flight of the Hippogriff, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Storm Force Accelatron, and more!

Since there IS so much to see and do, Universal is suggesting you purchase a 2-day ticket with park-to-park access if you plan to see both parks.  As we mentioned in our previous Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter blog, the lines to get on the Harry Potter ride, or even purchase merchandise, were extremely long.  Orlando Tourist Tips: We recommend you avoid going on a holiday weekend or wait until fall, January, or May to visit to avoid such long lines.    Also, always try to buy your tickets online- they’re usually cheaper and save you the headache you’ll get waiting to purchase at the gate.  And, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen throughout the day.

For more information about Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, visit their web site, or type in ‘Islands of Adventure’ in our search (top right) to read more articles about this attraction. Feel free to leave a response below about your visit to Islands of Adventure and share your tips and experience!

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