One of the most sophisticated and elaborate theme parks in the world, Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando is also a visual feast. Like Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, it is divided into themed lands -- in this case, "islands." Each "island" is meticulously themed and is designed to immerse guests and help advance the attractions' storylines.
The islands include: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (the enormously popular and finely detailed home of Hogwarts Castle and other artifacts from the well-known films and books), Toon Lagoon (home of comic strip and cartoon heroes such as Dudley Do-Right and Popeye), Jurassic Park (where the movie about a theme park comes alive--at a theme park about movies), The Lost Continent (fun with mythology), Seuss Landing (the most whimsical of IOA's islands), and Marvel Super Hero Island (featuring incredible attractions starring Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk).
Unlike Disney's sugarcoated Magic Kingdom, IOA features edgy, high-octane, to-the-limits attractions. While its coasters have great themeing, they don't skimp on the thrills. Its river raft ride won't just get you wet; you'll get completely drenched. And Spider-Man is so utterly amazing, you'll be scraping your jaw off the ground wondering how in the world they did that. The Forbidden Journey of Harry Potter Ride is one of, if not the, finest achievements in park attractions. Islands of Adventure is state-of-the-art (and then some) fun.
HighlightsWild, often amazing (hey, it's right in the name of the Spider-Man ride) attractions including:
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- The Forbidden Journey of Harry Potter Ride
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man roving motion base 3-D simulator ride.
- The Incredible Hulk launched coaster
- The Cat in the Hat dark ride
- Poseidon's Fury presentation- Be amazed by the incredible grand finale.
- Dragon Challenge inverted coaster- The twin-track, dual-train coaster no longer "duels," but the rides are still intense and a whole lot of fun.
- Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges river raft ride- You WILL get soaked on IOA's three water rides, especially Popeye & Bluto's. Store your belongings in the provided lockers. Wear sandals. Forget socks. You may want to bring a change of clothes--unless you don't mind walking around in squishy underwear.
- Jurassic Park River Adventure themed splashdown ride
See the Park
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter Photo Gallery
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter About.com Video
- Islands of Adventure Photo Gallery Tour
DiningThere are plenty of places to eat in Islands of Adventure and throughout the resort.
- Find out where you should be eating in the Best Universal Orlando Dining feature.
- The Top 10 Best Universal Orlando Table-Service Restaurants - Includes some IOA eateries.
- The Top 10 Best Universal Orlando Quick-Service Restaurants - Includes a few IOA eateries.
Holidays Events at Islands of Adventure
New for 2014
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expansion
There are some exciting developments for Potter fans.
- Why the Hogwarts Express may change everything at Florida's theme parks. My editorial about the ride's likely impact.