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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn

Islands of Adventure

Updated: Jan 31

Over in Islands of Adventure you’ll find the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss, dodge dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, battle evil with old school comic book superheroes, and of course find Hogsmeade and the iconic Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. The set up of the park is a loop around a central lake.

Marvel Super Hero Island

Step into your favorite superhero comic book in Marvel Super Hero Island. Here you can rage along with Hulk on his coaster (screaming in terror is like raging right?), join Spider Man on an immersive adventure to save the city, and meet some of your favorite characters. There are also lots of snacking and a couple quick-service dining options around this area. We willnote that this is the Comic Book universe, not the movie one. So while you can see fan favorite characters like Captain America and Spider Man, they may look a bit more retro than you are expecting if you are a fan of the MCU.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

Get ready to Hulk out on this high speed, high intensity coaster. First you’ll be enlisted as a test subject in an attempt to recreate another Hulk, then after being blasted with the all important gamma radiation you’ll embrace your inner Hulk and blast off from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds and take on the twists, turns, and inversions like a Hulk pro. This roller coaster has the tallest height requirement at 54 inches and both Express pass and single-ride queues are available. If you are a proper thrill junkie and want to front row there is a separate queue for you near the boarding area.

Storm Force Accelatron

Take a whirl on this classic self-twirling ride with the aim of helping Storm stop the evil Magneto from taking over the world (insert evil laugh). This is essentially a x-men themed tea-cups ride, where you can go as fast or as slow as you would like. This is the only ride outside of Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure to have no minimum height requirement, though children under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult. There is an Express Pass access line.

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall

You’ll certainly be feeding into the story of Doctor Doom’s fear sucking experiment in this 185 feet drop ride. This is a little more involved than a traditional drop ride, you’ll go up, you hang in the air for a time, you’ll come down, and then you’ll enjoy some sporadic ups and downs, sort of in the same vein of Tower of Terror. The minimum height requirement is 52 inches and there is an Express Pass access line.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

As you tour Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure you’ll probably notice a recurring ride technology, involving giant screens, a motion simulator, and sets that you move through like on a dark ride. This was the ride that started it all back in 1999. Here you’ll join Spider Man on his high flying adventures to rescue the Statue of Liberty, which has been stolen (gasp!). The immersive ride technology will have you feeling like you are really soaring above the streets over and around skyscrapers to battle bad guys. This ride has a height requirement of 40 inches and an Express Pass access line.

Toon Lagoon

Step from the world of comic book superheroes unto the newspaper pages of Sunday-morning newspaper comic strips. Classics like Rocky and Bullwinkle, Popeye, Betty Boop, and so much more are featured here. This area is sort of like a mini water-park, with attractions like Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, where you can expect to get quite wet, and a fun play area at Me Ship, the Olive where you can explore Popeye’s ship and have fun using some water canons to further douse riders of Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. There are also some character meet and greet locations and a number of quick-service locations scattered around this area for those looking for dining options.

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

Prepare to get completely soaked, like head to toe dripping wet, aboard a 12-person raft as you take a ride on Popeye’s river tour. The tour doesn’t go quite to plan as you are diverted down raging rapids as you chase after Bluto, who is yet again trying to kidnap Olive Oyl. Keep an eye out for the plethora of visual gags along the way, if you can keep your eyes open while being sprayed with water for all sorts of unexpected directions. There is a height requirement of 42 inches for this ride, and an Express Pass access line available.

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Another attraction where getting wet is unavoidable, here you will join Dudley Do-Right as he races to save Nell from Snidely Whiplash. This is a flume ride that is sort of like Splash Mountain but on steroids. There are a number of small drops throughout the ride, culminating in the 75-foot wet and wild plunge at the finish. The height requirement for this attraction is 44 inches and there is an Express Pass access line available.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park you’ll find yourself in an ominous area of the park that exists solely for the Skull Island: Reign of Kong attraction.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Those who are daring enough will join an expedition into the treacherous jungle aboard a large expedition truck that is helmed by one of five different drivers. From there you will find yourself on a fraught filled journey with prehistoric creatures attacking from all sides. Just as all seems lost Kong himself arrives, which is not as nice as it sounds. This experience takes the immersive motion simulator technology that makes rides like Spider Man and Transformers so cool and pluses it. The minimum height requirement for this ride is 36 inches. There is both an Express Pass access and single-rider line.

Jurassic Park

Pteranodon Flyers

Hop on your very own Pteranodon and fly around the surrounding Jurassic Park area and even out over the lagoon. This is a unique attraction that is truly geared toward kids, there is a minimum height requirement of 36 inches but also a maximum height requirement of 56 inches. Adults can only ride if they are accompanied by a rider who falls in the height requirement range. There is no Express Pass access, but there it does use a Virtual Line pass. While logged into your Universal Orlando account in the mobile app, you’ll tap “Virtual Line” in the navigation menu and then “Virtual Line Venues”. This will bring up a alist of attractions that have virtual queues, select the attraction you would like to reserve, the number of people in your party, and select a preferred return time. Finish by selecting “Reserve Virtual Line Pass”. This will give you a reservation with a corresponding QR code on your app, when it is time to return to ride you will show the QR code for the team member to scan and grant you entry.

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Go on a boat ride for an aquatic tour through the grounds of Jurassic Park. But while everything starts out nice and tranquil, when does it ever stay that way in a Jurassic adventure? You’ll find yourself passing by the ominously open raptor enclosure, there is evidence of their destructive nature all around you and then suddenly you’re face to face with a cuddly and sweet T-Rex (we mean, it didn’t eat you did it? So by T-Rex standards we feel that is very cuddly and sweet) and then to avoid being cuddled by its teeth you plunge down 85 feet to the river below. All in all there aren’t too many dinosaur sightings on this ride, but it’s still fun and immersive. There is a 42 inch height requirement and an Express Pass access line and single-rider line are available.

Jurassic World VelociCoaster

VelociCoaster is the newest roller coaster at Islands of Adventure and has quickly become a fan favorite. The ride story is that you will get to be a part of a first-of-its-kind attraction inside a velociraptor pen to ride beside the racing raptors themselves. The queue is the only place you will actually get a good view of the raptors, at one section of the queue you’ll pass by the raptor cages where you’ll see two amazing lifelike raptor animatronics. You can see raptors a couple other times, but you are moving too fast to really appreciate it. The start of the ride is a launch from 0 to 50 mph in two seconds, and the first half of the ride is full of twists and turns. The second half of the ride features another launch, this time propelling you up to 70 mph in preparation for a 155-foot incline and then corresponding plummet at nearly 90 degrees that ends with an inversion. If you are a roller coaster or thrill junkie, this ride was made for you, especially because with only a lap bar to keep you in place you’ll feel like you’re about to fall out for parts of the ride (they designed it to feel that way, you are perfectly safe). The height requirement for this ride is 51 inches. There is both an Express Pass access and single-rider line available.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade

The OG Harry Potter area of the park is Hogsmeade, where you will find classic shops like Honey Dukes, excellent dining at the Three BroomSticks, an Olivanders for all your wand buying needs, and of course Hogwarts castle just a short walk away. This area has three separate rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Hogwarts, Flight of the Hippogriff right next door, and closer to the entrance of the area you’ll find Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which is currently the most popular ride in the park.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Journey into Hogwarts itself to join Harry, Ron, and Hermione on a magical, and sometimes fraught, journey around the castle and its grounds. Hermione is there to help you ‘fly’ so you can escape the castle and enjoy some time on the grounds with Ron and Harry, but when has anything ever gone smoothly at Hogwarts when Harry Potter is involved? Be ready to encounter some of the scariest creatures from the books before your journey is done. This is a very popular ride so expect long lines throughout the day. This ride does have Express Pass, so if you have that it is a great way to experience this attraction with a much shorter wait.

Flight of the Hippogriff

For those who are too young to go on daring, and sometimes questionable journey’s, there is the Flight of the Hippogriff ride. This is a lovely little coaster, a bit more than a full kitty coaster but much tamer than the other rides around the Harry Potter areas. This ride does have Express Pass, so if you have that it is a great way to experience this attraction with little to no wait.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

By far the most popular ride in either Universal or Islands of Adventure is Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Here you get to mount Hagrid’s motorbike, or sit in the side car, and zoom around the Hogwarts grounds, seeing some fantastic creatures along the way. Make sure to watch out for the blast-ended skrewt! If you enjoy roller-coasters then this ride is for you, whether you like Harry Potter or not (though who doesn’t like some Harry Potter). As we said, this is the most popular ride in the parks right now, and there is no Express Pass option for it, so get there early in the day or aime to join the queue closer to closing, and pack your patience.

Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade Station

If, and only if, you have a ticket that allows you to change parks in a single day, you can travel between Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure) and Diagon Alley (Universal Studios) via the Hogwarts Express. From the Hogsmeade side you’ll get to venture out of Hogsmeade and just on the left as you exit under the arch, you’ll find Hogsmeade Station. The line to get onto the Hogwarts Express is generally not too long and then you’ll be ushered onto the train. Each of the compartments on the train will fit 6-8 people, so there is a good possibility you will be sharing with another family. Then off you go! On the ride between the parks you’ll get to enjoy some magical views out your window and see some familiar witches and wizards wandering up and down the train. Then, before you know it, you have arrived and are ready to disembark at King’s Cross Station.

The Lost Continent

Here ancient legends, myths, and stories come to life around you. While there are no rides in this area with the closing of Podeidon’s Fury in May of 3023, there are some good dining locations worth checking out and a fun interactive water fountain: The Mystic Fountain, located off to the right as you are walking toward Hogsmeade.

Seuss Landing

If you grew up reading Dr. Seuss (who didn’t), or love reading it to your kids, then Seuss landing will be a surreal place where you find yourself transported into the pages of the books. This area is crammed full of familiar characters, zany shapes, and the colorful scenes that are so iconic in Dr. Seuss books. There are a plethora of fun attractions here for the whole family from The Cast in the Hat ride to the Caro-Seuss-el. There is also a fun play area: If I Ran the Zoo, and a bunch of fun themed quick-service dining options.

The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!

This is a slow moving trolley that is elevated above walking foot traffic so you can take in the fantastical views of Seuss Landing. While waiting in the queue you’ll get to hear a retelling of the Sneetches and once you are on board you’ll either get to continue the Sneetches story or enjoy some Dr. Seuss ABCs. There is a minimum height requirement of 36 inches. Express Pass access is available.


With a Seussical overlay, this carousel is even more fun than it’s classic counterpart. Instead of riding horses, you’ll be riding the magical creatures from Dr. Seuss books. You might find yourself astride a Cow Fish, or riding along with an Elephant Bird, or taking in the views with the Scraggle-foot Mulligatawny straight out of the Deserts of Zind. There is no height requirement for this ride, but kids under 48 inches must be supervised. Express Pass access is available.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

You’ll find more than just red and blue fish options to choose from in this gentle aerial carousel ride. Think Dumbo but with fish and some surprising water thrown in for fun. This is a great ride for little kids in the group. There is no height requirement for this ride, but kids under 48 inches must be supervised. Express Pass access is available.

The Cat in the Hat

Who hasn’t wished for a visit from the Cat in the Hat on a cold wet day, to run through the halls with Thing One and Thing Two, and then to have it all magically cleaned up by the same Cat in the Hat…just us? Well even if you haven’t had that wish, this ride is the next best thing. The Cat in the Hat ride will take you right into the story and you’ll enjoy all the scenes you know and love from the book all around you. There is a minimum height requirement of 36 inches to ride. Express access is available.

Park Overview

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