Islands of Adventure Attractions
Islands of Adventure
Opened in 2001, Islands of Adventure mixes the 'edge' that made Universal famous with the 'theming' that made Disney famous. In fact, some of Disney's imagineers were hired by Universal to help develop this park - not to mention that Steven Spielberg himself also served as creative consultant. Islands of Adventure is divided into 5 distinct areas, each offering some of the best attractions in Orlando.
What you need to know
If you arrive at the park when it opens, you'll likely be able to experience just about everything the park has to offer in one day. During peak season, that tends to be a bit more challenging, but not all together impossible.
Universal Express: While Disney offers their 'fast pass' free of charge, Universal chose to take a different approach. A limited number of Universal Express passes are offered for sale, from approximately $40 to $50 per person, depending on the options you choose. Unlike DIsney's FastPass system which gives you a set time to return, Universal Express allows you to move to the front of the line whenever you want (you are limited to one use per attraction). If you are staying on-site at a Universal resort, however, UniversalExpress is provided to you free of charge (just show your room key), and there is no limit to how often you can use it. (There have been rumors that they will limit the use of the room-key Express Pass during peak times, but that is not confirmed).
Universal "Meal Deal": Universal offers a "meal deal" that allows you to effectively eat as much as you want at select counter service locations. The one park meal deal is $19.99 plus tax for adults, and $9.99 pus tax for children ages 3-9. The two park meal deal is $24.99 plus tax for adults and $12.99 for children. Neither offer includes beverages, but the two park Meal Deal does include a dinner entree at select CityWalk restaurants. More details
A very 'wet' park: We really can't stress this enough. Islands of Adventure tends to be a VERY wet park. Three of its biggest attractions (Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls and Jurassic Park River Adventure) have a habit of soaking you to the bone. For this reason, we suggest that you consider bringing a change of clothes with you to the park. A common mistake most people make is they think that since Florida is hot, they will dry off quickly - keep in mind that when Florida is hot, it's also humid - and nothing is worse then perpetually wet clothes when you're walking around a theme park.The 'Islands' of Islands:
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Marvel Super Hero Island
- Toon Lagoon
- Jurassic Park
- The Lost Continent
- Seuss Landing
Port of Entry does a terrific job of setting the tone for your visit to Islands of Adventure. Themed to reflect the crossroads of a Port town, here you will find some interesting and intriguing shops, as well as some of the best theming detail in the park.
The stores here are decidedly unique. Of course you have the standard 'theme park souvenir stores' that do a good job of pushing all the t-shirts. Of particular interest though are the candy store (which is attached to the Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe), and the Christmas Shoppe itself.
Oddly enough, this is also one of the most photogenic areas of the park, as it is rich in detail and theming. Be sure to take some time during your visit and take some pictures in this area of the park - you'll be happy you did.
- One Direction in concert at Universal Orlando November 17 - The band One Direction will be performing on an episode of the TODAY show to celebrate the release of their new album, Four. The concert will take place at CityWalk and is open to the public, no admission required.
- Blog - Universal Orlando expanding again with the new Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
- Bret Michaels to perform at this month's Velvet Sessions - VIP tickets are already sold out.
- More Haunted House and Street Experience themes announced for Halloween Horror Nights - Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights returns for 28 select nights beginning September 19.
- Save up to 30% at Universal on-site hotels - Savings are greater depending on the season and length of stay.
- Event packages for A Celebration of Harry Potter now on sale - Fans of the boy wizard will love this three-day event celebrating everything Harry Potter. There will be Q&A sessions with select cast members and filmmakers, a Harry Potter Expo, and of course, the chance to visit Diagon Alley, ride the Hogwarts Express and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
- Universal annual passholders will get early access to Diagon Alley in September - Annual Passholders will get early access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley on weekday mornings in September. Access will be granted one hour before the scheduled opening time, which is either 8:00 or 9:00am. This is part of Passholder Appreciation Month.
- Bret Michaels to perform at September Velvet Sessions - September's Velvet Sessions celebrates Pinktober, Hard Rock's annual breast cancer awareness campaign.