Universal's Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure entrance
Universal's Islands of Adventure entrance

Universal’s Islands of Adventure draws its inspiration from a number of different sources with cutting edge entertainment including a number of world class roller coasters and high-tech motion simulators. It continues to lead the way with some of the most thrilling theme park rides in all of Florida.

It opened in 1999 and compliments its next door neighbour Universal Studios Florida. If you want to park hop then it really is just a hop, skip and a jump between the two parks; a five to ten minute walk from the main entrance or the newly opened Hogwarts “Express” train ride between the two Harry Potter inspired lands.

Islands of Adventure consists of seven interconnected islands plus an entrance area located around a central lake, the Great Inland Sea. The layout means that each island is quite distinct with its own theming and background music.

Like Universal Studios Florida, the central water area means you have to navigate from one land to the next in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Bridges connect each island to its immediate neighbour. Travelling in a clockwise direction:

  • Port of Entry - Confisco Grille, one of two full service restaurants in the park plus stroller, wheelchair and ECV rentals, lockers, Lost and Found, Guest Services and First Aid
  • Marvel Super Hero Island - a comic book world populated by The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman simulator ride, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Storm Force Acceleration
  • Toon Lagoon - very wet cartoon inspired attractions including the log flume ride Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
  • Skull Island - still under construction, Skull Island will be home to the newest attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Jurassic Park - straight from the set of the film of the same name comes the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Raptor Encounter and Pteranodon Flyers
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade - the newest island which was built in 2010. It has been described as a “theme park within a park” and was on part of the existing Lost Continent. It includes a replica of Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts Castle, Flight of the Hippogriff, the new state-of-the-art ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and the twin roller coasters of Dragon Challenge (formerly the Duelling Dragons ride). From here you can transfer to Universal Studios Florida by riding on the Hogwarts “Express” if you have a park-to-park ticket
  • The Lost Continent - a lost city with two shows; Poseidon’s Fury and The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad
  • Seuss Landing - aimed at children including an interactive play area If I Ran The Zoo, The Cat In The Hat: Ride Inside and the High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!

If you are looking for a non water park to get very wet in, then Islands of Adventure is the one with three very wet rides, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.

Whilst Islands of Adventure does not have any parades, there are meet-and-greet opportunities, particularly with some of the Marvel characters on the streets of Marvel Super Hero Island.

Eating and Shopping at Islands of Adventure

Like Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure also offers a range of full table service and fast-food quick self service restaurants plus seasonal kiosks dotted throughout the park. Mythos is probably one of the best full service restaurants you’ll find in any of Florida’s theme parks.

If you like a lot of fast-food, then you could consider the Universal Meal Deal which gives you “as-much-as-you-can-eat” at selected quick-service restaurants.

Throughout the park you will find merchandising relevant to the area you are currently in plus the large Islands of Adventure Trading Company at the front entrance.

Islands of Adventure Park Tickets

You can buy single day or multi-day park tickets to Universal’s Islands of Adventure with or without the option to park hop to Universal Studios Florida.

If you want to avoid waiting in line, there is also a Universal Express Plus ticket; similar to Disney’s FASTPASS+ system but not free.

Getting to Islands of Adventure

To reach Islands of Adventure, you park in the multi-level parking garage. Moving sidewalks lead you to the Central hub. From here, you pass through the CityWalk entertainment area and then continue straight ahead is Islands of Adventure.

If instead you turn sharp right you enter Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s other theme park.

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