Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando in Florida is great adventure-themed park featuring some of the world’s best and most thrilling attractions. Off course when most people think of Orlando, Florida they probably think of Disney Magic Kingdom , but just a few miles away are two amazing parks from Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios (that we’ll review separately).
The park opened in May 1999, as Universal looked to expand its Orlando resort into a multi-day destination. In 2016 the park had 9,362,000 vistors (an increase of 6,5%) and won for the second year in a row The TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice for #1 Theme Park In The World.
Adopting a theme of exploration and adventure, the park is is divided into themed lands–in this case, “islands.” Each “island” is meticulously themed and is designed to immerse guests and help advance the attractions’ storylines.
The most criticly aclaimed island is home for the Harry Potter franchise The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that includes the Award-winning “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”, Dragon Challenge roller coaster ride, a recreation of Hogwarts castle and Homemade (where taverns sell butter bear). In 2014 the park plans a major upgrade as this area will be linked with Universal Studios park by train.
The islands also include Toon Lagoon (home of comic strip and cartoon heroes such as Dudley Do-Right and Popeye, both of which will leave you soaking wet.), Jurassic Park (where the movie about a theme park comes alive–at a theme park about movies), The Lost Continent (fun with mythology), the imaginative world of Dr. Seuss, and Marvel Super Hero Island (featuring the multi-million dollar dark ride The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman (as you spin in 3D HD through Spider-Man’s city landscape)) and the lighting speed mega coaster Hulk.
The eighth island, Skull Island, opened on July 13, 2016. Also in 2016 The Incredible Hulk’s coster suffered a major refurbishment.
Hulk is a high speed launched steel roller coaster which has a top speed of 67 miles per hour (108 km/h). It reopened in summer 2016 and 5 years since my last visit the first grabbing boast still make me chills…
We went there in October 2012 and stayed nearby in International Drive hotel area but had to walk a little bit because the tourist bus IRide doesn’t stop anymore at the park entrance. However we make a very good deal for a unlimited park entrances in Universal parks, along side with Seaword parks. During our stay we went 5 times Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and if i can regret anything is not to had ride it 5 more times. As these tickets are sold at a slight discount online it’s worth buying them that way.
Height requirements are the norm so small children will be very limited in what they can enjoy in this park. Most attractions are outdoors, and during Florida’s frequent thunder showers they will close temporarily. Everything was really clean and food locations were plentiful, and the full-service restaurant Mythos is considered one of the best restaurants in any theme park in the world (but a bit pricey i’m afraid).
In sum Islands of Adventure is out of this world. The variety of rides is staggering from rip roaring roller coasters to gentle water rides. And the Harry Potter themed area alone worths the ticket!.
By Carlos Canaes and Ana Alegria. Updated 9/6/2017
Tickets From 124 USD and 179 USD (park to park with Universal Studios park. Adult.
Park opens all year longTop Rides
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Doctor Doom Fearfall, The Cat in the Hat, Dragon Challenge