Opened in 1999, Islands of Adventure is a showcase for more thrill rides, more kid rides and home of the very first Harry Potter area (in 2010). IOA contains big coasters that can be very intense, but there are some great rides for the younger set as well. There are eight “islands” in IOA, including Port of Entry, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Skull Island, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.
PORT OF ENTRY
Here is the first island you’ll walk through as you enter the park, where you will find stroller rentals, lockers, wheelchairs, ATMs, lost and found, and more shopping. You’ll also find some quick dining and a Starbucks
MARVEL SUPER HERO ISLAND
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man… With 4K high-def digital visuals, this is a must-do on the Islands of Adventure list. It’s a spinning, tilting ride in a vehicle through different mayhem scenes. Its a crazy ride, but so much fun. Height restrictions 40″
- Doctor Doom’s Fearfall… How about you get strapped into a seat, then soar 200 feet into the air with your feet dangling beneath you, then you plummet back to Earth? Boom. Nice view of the theme park, and you do get a few seconds of negative g-time. Height requirement 52″
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster… This is made for someone who loves roller coasters! You launch from 0 to 40mph in 2 seconds, into a barrel roll 100 feet in the air, then immediately into a few rolls again, another loop and then into an underground tunnel. There are lockers available for free to put your stuff while you wait and ride–in fact, they make you put everything in a locker, not just backpacks and purses, but phones and keys as well. Height requirement 54″
- Storm Force Accelatron… Sort of like the tea-cups, but you’ll be spinning in a car which will spin on a larger car which will spin overall. There are flashing lights and crazy music to enhance the ride and somewhere along the way, you’ll see X-Men’s Storm causing thundercloud chaos. This is the traditional teacup ride in overdrive.
- Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls… A log flume ride featuring Dudley is a bumbling Canadian Mountie who pursues the villainous Snidely Whiplash through the Great White North, while trying to protect Nell, who is Dudley’s lovely crush. It’s a longer ride, at almost 5 minutes, with several drops, including a bigger one at the end. You will get a little wet, but not too terribly much. Height requirement 44″-
- Me Ship, The Olive… An interactive Popeye themed playground full of slides, stairs and climbing platforms.
- Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges… a whitewater rapids raft ride that seats 10 riders in the raft, sending you down canyon rapids, waterfalls, twists and wetness. Height requirement 42″
Skull Island: Reign of Kong… Rather then being pulled from any of the King Kong movies, including the one that came out in Spring 2017, its an original adventure set in the 30s, as guests board a safari vehicle and ride through the jungle outdoors before going through the large Skull Island doors where you’ll be privy to a multitude of prehistoric bugs, bats, animals and more, all via the 3D screens around you. Then, of course, Kong. Height requirement 36″
- Camp Jurassic… An interactive play area with lava pits, mines, and a rain forest to explore and climb through.
- Jurassic Park Discovery Center… An interactive educational exhibit that has Jurassic Park fiction with real fossils and real facts. Plus, there is a chance to see an (animatronic) raptor being hatched.
- Jurassic Park River Adventure… This is one of the original attractions in 1999 at park opening, where guests board a tour boat for a water ride through Jurassic Park. And of course, things go awry and mayhem ensues, concluding with a T-Rex and an 85 foot drop. Height requirement 42″
- Pteranodon Flyers… This ride has you riding a swing high in the air over a small part of Jurassic Park, but is known for being slow to load and at only 1:15 ride time, possibly not worth the wait. Adults and older children must be accompanied by a child 36″ to 56″ tall. Universal Express Pass doesn’t work at this attraction.
- Raptor Encounter… Wanna meet a raptor? This meet n greet is your chance.
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER – HOGSMEADE
- The Owlery... a real, working postal area with animatronic owls (and poop), but also sells gifts, wands and toy owls
- Ollivanders… located in both Diagon Alley and in Hogsmeade, Ollivanders is a wand shop — and a show. You can just go in and look around, finding trinkets and souvenirs and other things, but if you line up (and wait a while), you’ll get in with 23 other people at a time. And if you are lucky enough, you can be chosen… or the wand will choose you
- Dervish and Banges… a magic supply shop
- Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods... all sorts of Harry Potter gifts and such, toys, games and more
- The Dragon Challenge… Two coasters intertwine, set out of the Triwizard Tournament from “Goblet of Fire”. As you enter the queue, you get to choose a Chinese Fireball (the red side) or a Hungarian Horntail (the blue side), and each coaster is similar.. but different. Fast moving, and both sides are worth riding. Set to be closed and replaced with another Potter themed ride. Height requirement 54″
- Flight of the Hippogriff… A quick ride on a small coaster, designed for kids who like small coasters, and maybe aren’t ready for the big time. Height requirement 36″
- Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey… A motion simulator dark ride that takes you on wild adventures through the castle, through Hogwarts grounds, through the Quidditch pitch and more. It’s an award winning ride and one of the best rides you’ll ever go on, but those prone to motion sickness may really have an issue with this one. Height requirement 48″
- Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade Station… take a ride on the Express that will transport you from Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure over to King’s Cross Station at Universal Studios, with incredible countryside videos on the windows (which are actually screens).
- Food and drinks… Honeydukes is a candy shop specializing in Harry Potter themed snacks and treats. Three Broomsticks is a olde tavern with English dishes like fish n chips and shepherd’s pie. Hog’s Head Pub has a great selection of beer as well as the famous (non-alcoholic) Butterbeer
THE LOST CONTINENT
- The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show… A 17 minute theater stunt show following Sindbad and Kabob, his sidekick, looking for treasure in a mysterious cave.
- Poseidon’s Fury… A 17 minute high tech theater show with Poseidon and Lord Darkenon battling it out with fire, water, lasers and smoke machines.
- Caro-Seuss-el… A merry go round with nothing but Dr. Seuss characters, each with its own effect.
- The Cat in the Hat… Ride on a couch vehicle through almost 20 sets with lots of Seuss characters, as the classic story is told with lots of color and whimsy. Height requirement 36″
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!… A train ride elevated to the top of the buildings, that takes you on a grand tour of the Seuss Landing area. Height requirement 40″
- If I Ran the Zoo… A Seuss themed interactive play area
- Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear!… A storytelling show with lots of character. Or Characters.
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish… A spinning ride on the same scale as Dumbo or Aladdin’s Magic Carpet, but with fish shaped cars to ride in. Oh, and water squirts all around, over and on you.