Right next door to Universal Studios you can experience the innovative thrills of Islands of Adventure theme park. Here you’ll take a journey through five uniquely-themed islands where the world’s most cutting-edge rides, shows and interactive attractions challenge all your senses.
Take a trip through Seuss Landing, a fantasy land with restaurants, attractions, rides and shops based on the late Theodore Geisel’s books. E xplore the Lost Continent, a place of myths and legends which mixes Middle Ages, Renaissance, and ancient Greek cultures . Experience the real Jurassic Park , where dinosaurs have been brought back to life. Splash through the panels of your favorite comic strips and see classic cartoon characters come to life in the wild and wacky water-filled streets of Toon Lagoon. Enter the luminous comic book city Marvel Super Hero Land -habited by Spiderman, the Hulk, the X-Men and a host of other favorite Marvel superheroes and villains.
Tips for Universal’s Islands of Adventure:
1. Arrive early
For best parking and also to ride popular rides when crowds are lightest. Typically the park opens at 9 am , plan to arrive at the parking lot no later than 8:45am.
2. Take advantage of valet parking.
Parking for Islands of Adventure (and sister theme park Universal Studios Florida ) is in multilevel garages connected to the park entrances by a long walkway. Even with moving sidewalks, the walk is long with kids or even for adults after walking around all day at the park. If it’s within your budget, it’s well worth paying a few extra dollars to park in the nearest parking zone.
3. Bring plenty of quarters, drinks, film and sunscreen.
Make sure your daypack contains a roll of quarters (for lockers), plenty of liquids, film and sunscreen. These can get pricey in the park. Worried that your pack or purse will be heavy? You’ll find many lockers in the park– see below.
4. Check height restrictions before you get in line.
If your kids are small enough for height to be an issue, but big enough to for wanting to seek a thrill, check height restrictions before they get all excited about experiencing a ride.
5. Bring your own waterproofing.
Many rides at Islands of Adventure will soak you! Bring some cheap plastic ponchos, and even more important, a watertight container for your money and tickets. A big garbage bag is handy for keeping daypacks and camcorders dry on wet rides.
6. Don’t follow the crowd.
Most thrill seekers hit the park with a counterclockwise motion, starting off with Marvel Superhero Island ‘s two signature rides, Spider-Man and the Hulk coaster. Instead, grab an Express Pass for your favorite ride as soon as you enter the park. Then head over to Jurassic Park . If you’re traveling with children under ten, we suggest you get in line for the Pteranodon Flyer. Or seek your thrills on the unforgettable River Adventure, another popular ride for older children and adults.
7. Plan your day using Express Passes.
Express Passes are a way to reduce lineups for the most popular rides. To get an Express pass, insert your admission ticket into the Express Pass machine located near the entrance of an attraction and you’ll receive a slip of paper with a time marked on it. During one hour, you’re able to board that ride using the Express line. Two hours after you obtain one Express Pass , you’re allowed to obtain another one. We recommend that you save the Express Passes for attractions with a wait time of more than 30 minutes.
8. Check the signboards that track waiting times.
Scattered throughout the park are a number of signboards that announce the waiting times for the most popular rides. If you see that The Incredible Hulk has a waiting time of 10 minutes, change direction and go for it.
9. Use lockers before you get in line.
You’ll find many lockers in the Islands of Adventure park, for good reason: riders on the extreme rides aren’t permitted to carry any sort of bag at all. You’ll need to tuck your stuff in a locker before you ride: lockers are free for 75 minutes, and then cost $2 for half an hour.
10. Use the baby swap.
At every height-restricted ride in the Islands of Adventure park, parents can take turns watching their small child while the other parent (or older kids) ride.
After the park closes, spend the evening on CityWalk Orlando, a street of entertainment and nightlife which features Hard Rock Café Orlando, complete with the Hard Rock Live performance center; a NASCAR Cafe; Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and the Universal Cineplex Cinemas with 20 screens.
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