Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the second theme park located at the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando Florida. Located right next door to Universal Studios and connected by either walking Universal Citywalk or hopping on the Hogwarts Express it is as close as two theme parks can get.
Islands of Adventure opened in May of 1999 which officially changed Universal Studios into Universal Resort Orlando. Islands of Adventure originally opened with 6 Islands. Today there are a total of 8. Kong Island being the newest which was completed in 2016.
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In 2018 Islands of Adventure saw over 9.7 million guest. This number places IOA as the 14th most visited theme park in the World. In the US it is ranked 8th. Ahead of places like Busch Garden theme parks, Hershey Park, and Six Flag theme parks. Let’s take a look at everything great about Islands of Adventure.
Islands of Adventure has some pretty amazing rides. The Incredible Hulk Coaster could be considered by many one of, if not the most intense roller coaster in Orlando.
It has 7 inversions including loops, corkscrews and a cobra roll. It reaches a top speed of 67 miles per hour. It is no longer in the top 25 steel roller casters in the US but only one Orlando theme park roller coaster makes that list. That coaster is Mako over at SeaWorld.
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman is a fantastic 3D dark ride. This ride opened with the park and has still remained a popular ride 20 years later.
If you are one who likes to get soak when going on a water ride. Fear not. There are two water rides that will leave you soaking wet from head to toe with no dry spots to be found.
Of course we are talking about Popeye’s & Bluto Bilge-Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls. One is a raft ride the other is a log flume ride. Both are exciting and both will leave you soaking wet.
Islands of Adventure is home to 15 different Attractions set in 8 different themed lands. Every single ride is worth a trip on once. Even the worst rides here should be ridden at least once.
If you can stomach it ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster a few times. Than take a splash on Jurassic Park River Adventure. Both have different thrill levels but both will leave you wanting more.
The theming here is just unbelievable. Walk around Marvel Superhero Island and you feel like you are in a comic book. Plus you never know when Dr. Doom might pop out.
Walk around towards Jurassic Park and it feels like you’ve just been transported to Isla Nublar from the first Jurassic Park Movie and the Jurassic World Movies. They do a great job on making everything feel so real and life like.
Be sure to go inside the Discovery Center. It is more than just a food court and souvenir shop. There are many activities down stairs that both young and old guest will enjoy.
Look through dinosaurs eyes. Watch eggs hatch. Even play trivia games.
The transitions between the different Islands is pretty good to. You can tell that they put some thought into where each of the original lands would be and how they would connect with each other.
The attention to detail is also top notch. Walk around Seuss Landing and you feel like you have been transported into one of his books.
He may not like Sam I am. He may not like green eggs and ham. But I do love this land. I love the colors in the street. I love the flowers you can not eat. I just love everything I see.
How could we forget about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogsmeade is the dream of every Harry Potter fan. See Hogwarts up a top the hill. Grab some butterbeer in the streets below.
Hop on the Hogwarts Express to head on over to Universal Studios and Diagon Alley. Plus Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure has one of the most popular rides currently in Orlando. Of course, we are talking about Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures.
Even none Harry Potter fans love this area. You really feel like you’ve stepped into another world. The details are so amazing. You just might not want to leave.
Now I only spent a few days between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. So I don’t have a strong opinion on food. What we tried we liked.
With around 20 plus different places to choose from it can be hard to decide. So we went with some common food chooses most families would make.
The food was good just not great. So it doesn’t fit in this post about everything great about Islands of Adventure. However there is one food/drink item that deserves to be on this list.
Of course I am talking about the refillable cup. If you are a coca cola fan this is the best deal around. Just pick up one of these refillable cups and get refills all day for one low price ($16 plus tax). A regular cup will run you $4 a piece.
So as long as you refill it at least 5 times you will have saved money. It is very easy to refill them too. There are many locations around both theme parks were you can fill it yourself or take it to a counter to have them refilled. Don’t forget Icee’s are included too.
Don’t forget about some of the amazing snacks available. These candy apples not only look awesome. They taste delicious. Almost looks too good to eat. ALMOST.
Between the two Universal Parks, Islands of Adventure would be the pick for children. So much more for them to do here than over at Universal Studios.
Even if kids don’t know who Popeye is. They will love how soaked they get on his raft ride. Even better they can run around on the ship, spraying people on the rafts below.
Camp Jurassic is an area in the Jurassic Park Island that has slides, nets and other fun play elements that kids will love. You will also find the Pteranodon Flyers. A Suspended Steel Roller Coaster that is only for children between the heights of 36 to 56 inches or adults with children between those heights.
Dr Seuss Landing is another fabulous kid zone. Not only is the theme in this are top of the line. The rides are entertaining for children. Sure ever kid has been on a carousel once before. But not like this one. Make sure you look up and see Horton. Maybe he will even hear you.
One Fish, Two Fish…. is a fun twist on this classic ride. Listen carefully to the clues in the song. If not you may be squirted in the face by a red or blue fish.
There are a total of 4 rides in this area. All usually have low wait times which is perfect for children. Even if the lines are a little long the theme around is great.
There are many things that make Islands of Adventure a great theme park. Maybe even the best theme park in Orlando for kids. There are plenty of rides for the whole family to enjoy. From crazy thrill rides to the tame rides the whole family will love.
What are your feelings on Islands of Adventure? What do you think makes IOA great? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to stay up to date with Kozmophotos. I am working on a what’s great about and what’s not great about series on each of the 4 Walt Disney World theme Parks, Disney Springs, and Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
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