Universal’s Islands of Adventure is the newer of Universal Orlando Resort’s two theme parks.
Islands of Adventure along with Universal Studios are the two theme parks at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Islands of Adventure opened it’s gates officially in May of 1999, while Universal Studios is the older park.
Islands of Adventure follows to a traditional theme park arrangement, which is a single-entry corridor that leads to a series of lands arranged in a circle, around a central lagoon.
At Islands of Adventure the main entry corridor is called the Port of Entry, this area connects the ticket and entry area to the central lagoon and goes a little way in each direction around the lagoon towards the adjacent lands.
Arranged around the central lagoon are seven more lands, which moving clockwise are: Marvel Super Hero Land, Toon Lagoon, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.
The concept for Islands of Adventure is that each land is an individual island with it’s own theme. When walking from land to land in most instances you will walk over a bridge which spans a small offshoot of the central lagoon. This is to simulate leaving one island and arriving on another.
One thing you may note when touring Islands of Adventure is the bad state of the pavement (cement in most cases). There is almost nowhere in IoA that you can’t look down in any direction and see lots of cracks, some huge, some repaired with no attempt to match colors, some not repaired. I don’t know if the ground was not suitable for construction or the pavement is sub standard. You will also see this elsewhere around the entire resort, to some extent in Universal Studios Park and also at some of the resort hotels. But Islands of Adventure is by far the worst.
In this overview I use the following shortcuts
Height Restrictions – Some of the more thrilling attractions have height restrictions. If children are shorter than the set limit, they cannot experience the attraction. Universal will not bend on these restrictions as they are for safety purposes; in many cases they have to do with the attraction seating and associated restraint capability. Some attraction require a supervising companion (someone who meets the height requirement) if a rider is under a certain height. And others have a max height requirement.
Attractions with height restrictions will be designated like this: (H33) the H designates height restriction and the following number designates how many inches tall you must be in order to ride. In this example (H33) you must be 33 inches tall to ride. Universal staff will measure those in question.
Many attractions have a supervising companion height requirement, that is if you are not above the designated height, you must ride with someone who is. These are designated like this: (AH48) the A for adult, and the rest as just above.
Attractions with a max height will be designated like this: (H36-56) with 36 inches being the minimum and 56 the max.
No where is this more confusing than at Pteranodon Flyers – (H36-56) (AH48). where you must be between 36 and 56 inches to ride, but if you are not 48 inches must be accompanied by someone who is.
Express Pass – Attractions that participate in Universal’s pay for short ride wait times program will be designated like this: (EP).
Some attractions have a Single Rider line. single riders will be used to fill in unused seating on rides. Standby waits to ride can be greatly shortened by using the single rider line. If you are part of a party that uses this line you almost certainly will not ride with others in your party. Look for (SR) in the attraction descriptions.
Universal OrlandoResort offers a Virtual Line option for very few attractions. You sign up via your Universal app (as early as possible in the day) in order to be assigned a time to show up at the ride queue. Rides with with this option are designated as: (VL)
Universal Orlando Resort’s attractions can be grouped into four basic types:
- Thrill – Big, fast, thrilling rides such as big coasters and drop rides. Best for Adults, Teens (13–17), Tweens (7–12). Designated: (Thrill)
- Video – 3D or 4D (3D with motion) thrilling rides mostly using big video screens (2D or 3D) to display scenery while you sit in motion controlled seating or ride in in a moving vehicle. Best for Adults, Teens (13–17), Tweens (7–12). Designated: (Video)
- Water – Splash rides where you will get wet. Best for Adults, Teens (13–17), Tweens (7–12). Designated: (Water)
- Kid – Slower paced kid friendly rides. For the whole family. Designated: (Kid)
Some thrill rides prohibit loose articles. These have free lockers located nearby. You will pass through a metal detector prior to entering to ensure you don’t bring things along. At Islands of Adventure these rides are: Jurassic World VelociCoaster and The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
Water Rides all have a limited number of for a fee drying stations. Large booths with huge blown air vents (like huge hair dryers).
Universal’s theme parks are overflowing with arcades and carnival games of skill (chance) that you can play for a fee.
While other theme parks have been aggressively innovating theme park fast food since the mid 80’s, Universal Orlando Resort has not for the most part! Most Universal theme park food is adequate, in that it will fill you up, but don’t expect to say,”Wow, that’s great!” (or in some cases even “That’s good”!). When a location is better than this base standard I will certainly mention it!
Table service Restaurants in the parks are quite to very good!
I’ll cover all of the traditional restaurants in the park. carts that are moveable and stands that just offer drinks and simple snacks are generally not covered.
I’ll give a brief overview of the type of food available at each restaurant as well as the type of restaurant, meals served, and average cost.
Restaurant types consist of table service, counter service, buffet, and grab-and-go.
Look for these keys to the rough cost of restaurants and the meals they offer:
$ = Less than $15 per adult
$$ = $15 – $30 per adult
$$$ = $30 – $60 per adult
$$$$ = over $60 per adult
B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
D – Dinner
S – Snacks
Almost all locations in Islands of Adventure serve alcohol. At some just beer and wine, while others have a limited or full bar.
Universal Orlando Resort serves coke products, with many quick service locations offering Coca-Cola Freestyle.
Refillable souvenir mugs are available for purchase at many locations that may be used at all Coca-Cola Freestyle locations park resort wide.
Some dining locations have Mobile Order available. You can order ahead and pay via your stored card on your Universal app. These restaurants are designated with a (MO).
A very few table service restaurants within the theme parks take reservations these are indicated by (RES).
Universal Orlando Resort has offered prepaid dining plans in the past, but they did not returned after the 2020 shutdown. It is unknown if they will return or not.
Both of Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks have two methods of entrance:
- The Main Entrance for each park – All guests will start their day by entering one of the parks via the main entrance.
- The Hogwarts Express – This train connects stations in the Harry Potter areas near the rear of each park.
A Park Hopping Ticket is required to ride Hogwarts Express. All trips are one-way, you must get off at your destination and get in line again to return to the park you started in, if desired. Standby waits for this mode of transport can be long (there is a shorter Express Pass Line) and the half mile trip on the train takes about five minutes. In some cases you might be better off walking between parks unless you want to experience it.
You will arrive at the main entrance to Islands of Adventure by walking, either from your Universal Hotel, the Water Taxi Dock, or the Bus Station & Parking Structure.
Those staying at a Universal Orlando Resort’s Main Campus Hotel may either walk or ride the Water Taxi. They will process through security either near the end of their walk or prior to getting onboard their boat.
Those staying at some of the further Universal Hotels will board a bus at their hotel and arrive at the main bus station and process through the Main Security Rotunda. They will then walk through Universal CityWalk to the Islands of Adventure entrance.
Those driving their car to Universal will park in one of the two the parking structures or valet park and process through the Main Security Rotunda. They will then walk through Universal CityWalk to Islands of Adventure.
Those at Universal via ride hire transportation will arrive on the top level of one of the parking structures and process through the Main Security Rotunda. They will then walk through Universal CityWalk to Islands of Adventure.
See my Universal Orlando Resort Security Overview
At the entrance is a line of ticket booths with the entry scanner stations located behind them. Lines to enter are often shortest to the far left behind the ticket booths on that side.
Port of Entry
The Port of Entry is your transition into Islands of Adventure.
As you enter the Port of Entry you will encounter all of the typical guest services, Information, Stroller and Scooter Rentals, Locker Rentals and more.
Moving along through this land themed on far away place, you’ll see Islands of Adventure’s main merchandise shop on the left and smaller merch locations on the right.
As you near the lagoon, Starbucks and Cinnabon will be on the left and on the right Croissant Moon Bakery, Confisco Grille, and the Backwater Bar. The first three being good options for breakfast, though there will be lines!
Straight ahead, step down to the lower terrace in front of the lagoon for some great pics with the park in the background.
Turning left at this end of the Port of Entry will lead you to Marvel Super Hero Land, while heading right will take you to Seuss Landing.
There are no attractions in the Port of Entry.
Croissant Moon Bakery – Counter Service, $, BLDS (MO) – Croissants, danish, deli sandwich, or salads. Hot and cold drinks, beer, & wine.
Confisco Grille – Table Service, $$, BLD (RES) – Global fare influenced by Asian, Mediterranean, Greek and other cuisines. From Chilled Tuna Noodle Bowls and Pad Thai to Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs, plus a children’s menu and full bar service.
Backwater Bar – $ – One of the two actual lounge locations in Islands of Adventure where you can sit down and enjoy a drink. Outdoor seating. Specialty drinks and all your bar favorites. Order food from Confisco Grille’s menu. Open all day.
Starbucks – Your typical Starbucks location
Cinnabon (MO) – Your typical Cinnabon location
Port Provisions – Stop by this outdoor vendor for all your last-minute gifts and keepsakes before leaving the park for the day.
Islands of Adventure Trading Company – Islands of Adventure’s main merchandise shop
DeFotos Expedition Photography – Last-minute camera needs and accessories. Pick up ride photos captured by My Universal Photos professional photographers, and on-site printing.
Island Market and Export Candy Shoppe – Homemade fudge, gourmet cookies, caramel apples, chocolate, and candy.
Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe – Universal themed Christmas decorations. Oddly, no good Grinch ornaments…
Ocean Trader Market – This market offers a curated selection of international souvenirs including sarongs from India, wood carvings from Indonesia, sculptures from Thailand, and other artisanal designs.
Marvel Super Hero Land
Marvel Super Hero Land is the first Island that you come to moving clockwise around the lagoon from the Port of Entry.
The atmosphere here is big and loud, themed of course on the various Marvel Super Heroes and Villains.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (H40) (AH48) (EP) (Video) – Spiderman on a romp through New York City while he spars with his most famous opponents. This ride uses moving vehicles, huge 3D screens (3D glasses required) and large physical sets in a dark setting. Vehicle motion is herky-jerky throughout. Follow Total ride time 5 minutes. Riders per vehicle 12 in rows of 4.
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall (H52) (EP) (SR) (Thrill) – Is a fast accent (Space Shot) and free-fall ride, like those at regional amusement parks. Its namesake Doctor Doom is a villain from the Fantastic Four comics. After being strapped in and a brief pre-show, the ride rises slightly then a countdown starts. Riders are then swiftly launched into the air. The initial launch shoots riders high up into the sky, where the whole park can be overlooked, making for a breathtaking view. The ride then drops directly down, launches up again, and then drops down one final time. Total ride time 60-90 seconds. Ride height 185 feet. Speed 40 mph. Seating 16 seats per vehicle in a circle around the central tower.
Incredible Hulk Coaster (H54) (EP)(SR) (No Loose Items) (Thrill) – Is a large, fast roller coaster painted green like the hulk. The ride features 7 inversions with a max height of 110 feet and a max speed of 67 mph. The initial launch “fires” your vehicle out of a “gamma-ray accelerator” cannon. Ride vehicles have onboard audio and lighting effects. Total ride time 2:15 minutes. Seating 32 riders seated 4 across. Lockers for loose items are provided across from the entrance.
Storm Force Accelatron (H48) (AH48) (EP) (Kid) – This ride themed on the X-Men is Universal’s version of the Mad Tea Party teacups ride at Walt Disney World. Total ride time 3 minutes. Riders per vehicle 5.
Kingpin’s Arcade – A pay to play arcade, named for the Kingpin from the Iron Fist comics.
Meet the Marvel Super Heroes – Character meet and greets with various characters ad villains take place all through the day on the walkways of the Island. There are set areas where guests line up for the characters on duty as well as roaming characters who, after schmoozing with guests, gather and hop on Three-wheeled motorcycles for a fast exit along the main street and exit from the island.
Marvel Character Dinner – Table Service, $$$, D – Character Meal – A set price, buffet dinner ($50 adults, $25 kids) includes a buffet dinner, character interaction, and a My Universal Photos pic of character interaction. Currently Closed
Cafe 4 – Counter Service, $, LD (MO) – Pizza, Italian sandwiches and pastas.
Captain America Diner – Counter Service, $, LD (MO) – Burgers.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Counter Service, $, S – Your typical Auntie Anne’s location
Chill Ice Cream – Counter Service, $, S – Waffle cones and floats.
Comic Book Shop – Books and graphic novels line the shelves, plus posters, apparel and, of course, official Marvel comics.
Alternverse Store – Character t-shirts, sweatshirts, toys, collectibles, mugs and more.
Spiderman Shop – Toys, action figures, mugs, t-shirts, and more.
Toon Lagoon sits between Marvel Super Hero Land and Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This Island is dedicated to the comic strip and TV characters of the 1920’s to the 1960’s. Here you’ll find attractions, restaurants and stores based on characters such as Betty Boop, Blondie, Beatle Bailey, Dudley Do-Right, and Popeye.
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (H44) (AH48) (EP) (SR) (Water) – A log flume ride with single-file logs that float down a river and past limited-movement figures and static “show” scenes from the the old Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show. The ride’s high point is a 75 foot, 50 degree drop. Total ride time 5:30 minutes. Riders per vehicle 5.
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (H42) (AH48) (EP) (Water) – A whitewater rapids ride with 12-person circular rafts down a canyon of twists, turns, drops, and waterfalls.
Carnival-Style Games – Games of Skill (Chance) for a fee line the walkway from Marvel Super Hero Land.
Meet the Classic Comic Strip Characters – Classic comic book characters such as Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Betty Boop wander and pose for photos throughout the day.
Me Ship, The Olive – A multi-story play area for kids that includes steps, slides, and interactive features to explore. Plus free water canons at the top for spraying guests on Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.
Blondie’s – Counter Service, $, LD (MO) – Deli sandwiches, subs, footlong hot dogs, and even the piled-high Dagwood sandwich—all made to order. Theme on the Blondie comic strip.
Cathy’s Ice Cream – Counter Service, $, S – One ans two scoop cones or three scoop sundaes. Theme on the Cathy comic strip
Comic Strip Cafe – Counter Service, $, LD (MO) – An eclectic mix of Burgers, Pizza, Arepas, and Asian food. Themed on classic comic strip characters such as Beetle Bailey, Broom-Hilda™, Hagar the Horrible, and Nancy.
Wimpy’s – Counter Service, $, LD – Wimpy’s serves the Popeye comic strip and cartoon’ character’s favorite, Burgers.
Betty Boop Store – Collectibles, jewelry, toys, gifts and apparel, all of which are themed on the Betty Boop comic.
Gasoline Alley – Beach towels, sandals, beach bags, sunglasses, t-shirts, hats, and more. From the 1920s comic of the same name.
Toon Extra – Apparel, Souvenirs, Collectibles, Gifts, Jewelry, Sundries, Toys. Themed on comics like such as Broom-Hilda, Cathy, Beetle Bailey, Popeye, and Hagar the Horrible.
Wossamotta-U – Seasonal gifts, souvenirs and apparel in this Rocky and Bullwinkle themed shop.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong
This is smallest of Islands of Adventure’s Islands is located between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park. There is only the single attraction on Skull Island
Skull Island: Reign of Kong (H36) (AH48) (EP) (Video) – This attraction uses large trackless ride vehicles that look like buses to drive you through this dark ride with various scenes, most of which are viewed on very large 3D screens as backdrop to physical sets. During the big finish, you’ll come face to face with a huge physical upper torso of Kong himself.
There is no dining on Skull Island.
There is no shopping on Skull Island.
There are three different entrances to Jurassic Park. It sits at the back of the lagoon between Skull Island on one side and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Lost Continent on the other.
The entrance from the Wizarding World is the most stunning, as you’ll pass through the massive gates to the Park just like in the movies. Walking form Skull Island into Jurassic park is a non event. While the bridge from the Lost Continent offers exciting glimpses of the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster – (H51)(SR) (No Loose Items) (Thrill) – Is Universal’s newest (June 2021) big coaster! VelociCoaster features two high-speed launches powered by linear synchronous motors, a signature 155-foot-tall top hat, four inversions, and a maximum speed of 70 mph. The initial launch takes you from 0 to 50 miles per hour in 2 seconds, while the second one part way through the ride takes you from 40 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour in 2.4 seconds. Seating 24 riders seated 2 across. Lockers for loose items are provided during the pre-show line.
Jurassic Park River Adventure – (H42) (AH48) (EP) (SR) (Water) – This is a water ride in large rafts with forward seating rows. You raft will take you through several scenes with a plethora of dinosaurs to check out. The scenes depict the dinos on the loose. As the ride nears its conclusion, your raft heads up a hill and enter a building, after some tense moments with velociraptors and a Tyrannosaurus rex your raft then plunges down an 85 foot 51 degree drop into a splash pool. Expect to get soaked!
Pteranodon Flyers (H36-56) (AH48) (VL) (Kid) – On this tame, but high ride tailored for kids you’ll ride in swinging seats below a Pteranodon with a 10-foot wing span suspended from the track. You’ll catch great views of the park as the tame ride soars along.
Carnival-Style Games – Games of Skill (Chance) for a fee line the walkway near the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.
Raptor Encounter – Brave a visit to the Raptor Encounter for a chance to see the most recognizable member of the park’s raptor pack: Blue. Here you’ll learn some interesting facts about the clever carnivore and her natural habitat. Then, if you’re daring enough, you can try to slowly approach her to snap a quick photo.
Photo Ops – Photo opportunities abound with life sized dinos on Jurassic Park.
Camp Jurassic – A mega recreation area that is a multi-level prehistoric playground where kids can have mammoth-sized fun. Explore dark caves and amber mines, climb dinosaur-capture nets and negotiate swaying suspension bridges as the ground rumbles with the roar of dinosaurs.
Jurassic Park Discovery Center – Unearth the mysteries of our planet’s prehistoric past at this interactive center where dinosaurs have been brought back to co-exist with humans. Test your DNA, play You Bet Jurassic™ and marvel at towering T. rex fossils. You can even examine dinosaur eggs in the nursery where baby Velociraptors are ready to hatch.
The Burger Digs – Counter Service, $, LD, (MO) – Burgers.
Pizza Predattoria – Counter Service, $$, LD, (MO) – Pizza and Italian Sandwiches.
Thunder Falls Terrace – Counter Service, $, LD, (MO) – Rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs, smoked turkey legs, rice bowls, salads, and more.
The Watering Hole – Counter Service, $, S – Coke products, beer, wine, and specialty alcohol drinks. No seating
Dinostore – Dinosaur collectibles, toys, apparel and books, plus fossil replicas and dinosaur-themed educational toys.
Jurassic Outfitters – Mix and match official Jurassic Park apparel, hats, toys, adventure gear and more.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade
Tucked in the back right corner of Islands of Adventure is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with Jurassic Park on one side and the Lost Continent on the other. The Wizarding World is one half of the Harry Potter areas to be explored at Universal Orlando Resort, the other half being the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley located in the other theme park, Universal Studios Florida. If you want to experience all of the Harry Potter that Universal has to offer, you’ll need a Park-to-Park Ticket that allows you entrance to both parks.
This Island is highly themed to represent Hogsmeade Village from the Harry Potter franchise during wintertime. Hogsmeade is the only settlement in Britain inhabited solely by wizards, witches, and other magical beings, and is located to the northwest of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“With a gentle flick of the wrist and the right incantation, Interactive Wands allow you to cast spells to create amazing magical experiences throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley Wave your wand, recite the proper spell, and watch as the magic unfolds. Remember to speak slowly—with the proper practice you are sure to see extraordinary results.”
Wizarding students can purchase wands in both Harry Potter lands (or before the vacation on universal orlando dot com) to use at various stations around both lands to “cast spells” in the real world through interactive interfaces. Students wave their wand in specific patterns and speak the spell in order to achieve the desired effect. Experienced wizards are on hand to help as getting the motions right can be challenging.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (48) (VL) (SR) (No Loose Items) (Thrill) – This is Universal’s newest coaster. The ride takes Muggles on a journey through the Forbidden Forest, coming face to face with magical creatures of the Wizarding World on Hagrid’s motorcycle. This coaster has seven different launches! WIth a max speed of 50 mph and no inversions.
- 1st: 0 to 20 mph in 1.2 seconds
- 2nd: 22 mph to 30 mph in 1.5 seconds
- 3rd: 0 to 32 mph in 3.5 seconds
- 4th: 27 mph to 35 mph in 2.3 seconds
- 5th: 21 mph to 41 mph in 2.5 seconds
- 6th: 37 mph to 44 mph in 1.7 seconds
- 7th: 0 to 50 mph in 4 seconds
The ride zips through the forest around Hogwarts and encounters some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Riders sit side-by-side in Hagrid’s motor bike, one on the bike, one in the sidecar. There are seven rows per train
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (48) (EP) (SR) (Video) – Housed in Hogwarts Castle this dark ride is one of the top experiences at Universal Orlando Resort and quite intense. The ride takes you through scenes and environments in and around Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter series of books and films. The ride vehicles are unique! Riders sit side-by-side in “enchanted bench” ride vehicles which hold four total. The rear of the vehicle is attached to one of those huge, multi jointed, mechanical arms that you are familiar seeing in videos of auto assembly plants. the arm moves along through the ride’s scenes on a on a track. This technology allows a wide range of motion for the vehicle, which raises, drops, spins around, twists and turns, but does not turn upside down, you will be at times flat on your back. If you are subject to motion sickness, this might not be for you. 2D Video and physical sets provide the visual experience.
Flight of the Hippogriff (H36) (AH48) (EP) (Kid) – This family-friendly roller coaster spirals and dives around the pumpkin patch before swooping past Hagrid’s hut. Seating is side-by-side in pairs, 16 total per train. Max speed is 29 mph.
Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade Station (AH48) (EP) (Kid) – The Express is both an attraction and mode of transportation. The attraction portion, besides being immersed in Harry Potter’s world is the experience while riding the train from Hogsmead to Diagon Alley. Riders are seated in a closed train car cabin on two bench seats facing each other. You will be guided down the trains hall to your assigned cabin. Cabins hold about eight people and you may be seated with other parties. A large “window” (video screen) fills most of the sidewall of the cabin, while opaque windows face the hall from which you entered.
As the train pulls out of the station you’ll see the countryside around Hogsmead pass by as the journey progresses you’ll eventually roll through London and arrive at King’s Cross Station. While on your journey you’ll see various Potter characters outside the train and on the opposite side of the cabin you’ll see and hear silhouettes of Harry, Hermione, and Ron talking and dealing with issues on the train.
As transportation, the train takes you from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios in about 5 to 10 minutes (not counting your wait time). A Park-to-Park ticket is required to ride. If you’d like to return to Islands of Adventure, you’ll need to exit and get back in line at King’s Cross Station.
Frog Choir / Triwizard Spirit Rally – Hear the vocal stylings of this small choir of Hogwarts students, accompanied by the smooth bass rumbles of their giant throaty frogs.
Triwizard Spirit Rally – Cheer on the colourful procession of students from the legendary wizarding schools of Hogwarts™, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang as they lead the excitement for the Triwizard Tournament.
Hog’s Head S, $ – Beer, wine, specialty alcohol drinks, and bar standards. Inside seating. This small pub attached to Three Broomsticks is one of the two locations in Islands of Adventure where you can relax with an adult beverage while off the theme park path.
Three Broomsticks (Counter Service) $$, BLD (MO) – This very popular restaurant always has long lines to enter! The fare here is some of the best counter service food to be had in Universal’s theme parks! Offerings include British fare such as Fish And Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Pasties, Turkey Legs, and fresh vegetables, plus Butter Beer.
Ollivanders Wand Shop – Purchase your own unique wand, wand sets, character wand replicas, or Interactive Wand. You can also witness a unique interactive experience and see a wand choose a wizard.
WIth an Interactive Wand you may cast spells throughout both of Harry Potter’s lands. With a gentle flick of the wrist and the right incantation, Interactive Wands allow you to cast spells to create amazing magical experiences throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Universal’s experienced wizards are standing by at each location to assist with spells and wand technique!
Honeydukes – Bolourful treats including Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs which contain a wizard trading card in each box. While you’re here, fill up a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.
Dervish and Banges – All your Quidditch needs like t-shirts, Quaffles, Golden Snitches, and brooms including the Nimbus Two Thousand and One and the Firebolt. Also find Hogwarts uniforms, clothing and magical items such as Spectrespecs and more.
Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods – Hogwarts t-shirts, shoulder bags, caps, and scarves; plus house crest banners, and stationery. You’ll also find authentic movie prop replicas such as Death Eater masks, Quidditch clothing, magical creature toys, and more.
Owl Post – A variety of writing implements including stationery, quills, seals, and ink as well as an array of owl-related toys and gifts. Here you can also mail letters complete with a special Hogsmeade postmark.
The Lost Continent
Still moving clockwise we enter the Lost Continent after leaving Hogsmead. The Lost Continent is an island where ancient myths and legends become reality. The themes of the land are ancient Greece and the Middle East. Stop in bazaars and marketplaces as you pass by.
Poseidon’s Fury (EP) (Video) – This is a show with 2D video, flame, light, and water effects. You’ll find yourself caught in the middle of a timeless battle between good and evil.
The Mystic Fountain – Take a moment to check out the Mystic Fountain. This fountains eyes will begin to glow ant you’ll be pulled into conversation with the fountain. The off stage operators of the fountain can have lots of fun with guests.
Doc Sugrue’s Desert Kebab House (Counter Service) $, LD, (MO) – Kebabs, Greek salad, and snacks like hummus, fruit, and churros.
Fire Eater’s Grill (Counter Service) $, LD, (MO) – Grilled gyros, fiery Chicken Stingers, traditional chicken fingers, hot dogs and salads.
Mythos Restaurant (Table Service) $$$, LD (Res) – This restaurant is one of the best on property! Mythos features a mix of Mediterranean, Asian and American fare. With options like Greek salad, pad Thai, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Reservations required during busy periods!
Shop of Wonders – Handcrafted jewelry, scented candles, and one-of-a-kind artwork
Star Souls – Psychic Reading – An eclectic collection of exotic souvenirs, jewelry, headdresses and apparel. You can also consult with the resident psychic or get a temporary henna tattoo.
Treasures of Poseidon – An assortment of jewelry, resort wear, and accessories.
Bright colors and impossible designs is what you’ll see in Seuss Landing. It’s just like stepping into a Dr. Seuss book.
All of the other Islands have a main thoroughfare through them, sometimes with some dead end offshoots, but here you’ll find two independent paths through the Island. There is the main path that winds right through the land and there is a second one closer to the lagoon that bypasses the majority of the Island (this path is used to get to Hogsmead quickly during early entry!
Seuss Landing adjoins the Lost Continent and Port of Entry.
Caro-Seuss-el (EP) (Kid) – A Dr. Seuss themed carousel featuring Horton. RIde Dr. Seuss characters, you can make their eyes blink, ears wiggle and heads turn.
Cat in the Hat (H36) (AH48) (EP) (Kid) – A family-friendly dark ride with characters from the famous Dr. Seuss book. Seating is three in a row, cars hold six.
High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride (H36) (AH48) (EP) (Kid) – An elevated, gentle ride through the buildings in Seuss Landing. See scenes from various Dr. Seuss stories. Parents will enjoy the great views of the rest of the park!
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (EP) (Kid) – Spinner ride like Dumbo the Elephant at Disney World. In this case you are riding in fish. Two to three per fish.
Dr. Seuss Character Zone
Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear! – A musical show fearuring retellings of the Dr.’s best loved stories.
If I Ran The Zoo – Step into the wacky habitats of bizarre creatures in this play area inspired by Gerald McGrew’s unusual zoo. Slide down tunnels in Zomba-ma-tant, catch a Natch in a cave in Kartoom, or trap beasts in the wet play area. But beware the Scraggle Foot Mulligatawny—unless you like getting sneezed on.
Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous (Counter Service) $, LD, (MO) – With a highly Seuss themed indoor dining area this restaurant serves up items like fried chicken, pizza, cheeseburgers, and chicken Caesar salad,
Green Eggs & Ham Cafe (Counter Service) $, LD – This outdoor walk-up served just what it says. On the menu are Green Eggs and Ham tator tots abd Who Hash served in a can, PLus an assortment of other better sounding tots with toppings (brisket, cheesesteak, and Buffalo chicken).
Hop On Pop Ice Cream Shop (Counter Service) $, S – Pop’s signature sundae on a stick, plus traditional ice cream sundaes, waffle cones and root beer floats.
Moose Juice, Goose Juice (Counter Service) $, S – Frozen Juice, fresh fruit cups, churros, pretzels, cookies and more.
All The Books You Can Read – An assortment of Dr. Seuss books, apparel, toys and DVDs.
Cats, Hats and Things – Cat in the Hat themed toys, gifts and T-shirts, plus a selection of themed child and baby apparel.
Mulberry Street Store –Apparel for the whole family, as well as glasses, toys, souvenirs, novelty hats, wigs, and personalized gifts with names chosen by you in the Personal-Who-Zation station.
Snookers and Snookers Sweet Candy Cookers – Bulk candies, homemade fudge, caramel apples, cotton candy and other goodies.
Islands of Adventure Entertainment
The Nighttime Lights At Hogwarts Castle – Experience a dazzling spectacle of music and lights. On select nights, watch in awe from Hogsmeade village as projections are cast against the majestic backdrop of the castle. Embrace your Hogwarts pride as the four houses are celebrated in stunning light and sound. It’s a beautiful way to end your day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle (Select Nights in Fall) – As darkness falls on Hogwarts castle, Dementors, Death Eaters and other unspeakable creatures cloak the stone walls in sinister images and fiendish magic. Chaos erupts as the image of Lord Voldemort joins the fray, summoning his cruel legions to swarm the castle. Stare in awe at the castle’s takeover during this ominous spectacle of light and music.
Final thoughts on Islands of Adventure
I throughly enjoy strolling around the lagoon and visiting all the Islands! There is a lot to see and do including the many great rides. I like the traditional layout and flow of the park.
Mythos and Three broomsticks (in that order) are well worth the time out of your day if you can spare it.
It feels a little like strolling around Walt Disney World’s Epcot, but without the great food at every turn. For a resort destination that prides itself on being more grown up that the competition, the lack of nice relaxing places to sit and have a drink is striking (there are plenty at Orlando’s other big park).
Be sure to check out:
What to Wear in Universal’s Parks (external Link)
Over To You
Let me know what you think of Islands of Adventure in the comments below! If you have a question, feel free to ask!
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