Universal's Islands of Adventure
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 at most.
Universal's Islands of Adventure Skyline at Universal Orlando Resort
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Islands of Adventure consists of six 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:
- 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, Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges and Pandemonium Amphitheater Shows
- Jurassic Park - straight from the set of the film of the same name comes the Discovery Center, Jurassic Park River Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - this is the newest island and will open in 2010. It has been described as a "theme park within a park" and has been built on part of the existing Lost Continent including a replica of Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts Castle plus a new state-of-the-art ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- The Lost Continent - a lost city with several shows including Poseidon's Fury and The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad plus the twin roller coasters of Duelling Dragons (to be re-themed as part of the Harry Potter attraction, Dragon Challenge)
- Seuss Landing - aimed at children including an interactive play area If I Ran The Zoo, The Cat In The Hat: Ride Inside and High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
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.
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.
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.
If you are looking for cheaper discontinued merchandising lines, then try the Universal outlet at the nearby Festival Bay Mall on International Drive.
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.