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“Awesome Job”

Universal's Islands of Adventure
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VIP Tour of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando or SeaWorld Parks
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Orlando Helicopter Tour from Walt Disney World Resort Area
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Universal Orlando Tickets - USA / Canada Residents
Ranked #2 of 442 things to do in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Universal's Islands of Adventure features some of the most innovative rides and attractions ever made on seven spectacularly themed islands: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing and Port of Entry.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children
Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

We went to Orlando for a weekend and tried both Disney and universal parks. Islands of adventure and Universal deserve an applause for a fantastic experience. From the staff at the ticket counters to the staff throughout the park. Everyone did their best to make us feel welcomed. Keep it up! It's obvious that Universal knows how to keep their employees Happy! And it shows. Kudos

1  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 28, 2012 via mobile

Had an awesome time at Halloween Horror nights on 10-27-2012. The park was crowded but that was expected on the last weekend of Halloween Horror nights. The cast of Universal put on numerous great Haunted Houses but the Walking Dead was my favorite. Another great treat was one of my party is handicapped and at a number of rides, the staff allowed us to go to the express line or to bypass the lines altogether, to that I say THANK YOU SO MUCH!

1  Thank Kirby E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Brilliant! We went to the Halloween Horror night and a day at Islands of Adventure. We'd gone on a cruise to the Bahamas before this and the park even topped that! We loved it so much we are going back next year for our anniversary again. It was just constant fun. The Hulk coaster was a total thrill. The Haunted Houses, expertly put together. Great park food too. It's pricey, true, but I believe you get your $'s worth!

1  Thank AuthorCMelanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

My 25 year old son and I spent the fourth of five days in Orlando at Universal Studios on 10/25/12. We last visited Orlando in the late 1990's. At that time, the construction was nearing completion on Universal Islands of Adventure. That was exciting at the time, so I’m surprised it took us this long to get back down here.

Of the five parks we visited (Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom and both Universal parks), Universal Islands of Adventure was BY FAR the best park for us. The planners of this huge park really did their jobs well! There are six sections to the park. From the Port of Entry, we went clockwise around the park. Since we ran out of time, we were really glad that we chose to do it that way!

First up was Marvel Super Hero Island. The Incredible Hulk Coaster was impressive to look at. I chose not to ride it, but my son did and he said that it was intense. With lots of loops and corkscrews, it is not for the faint of heart! We rode The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman together and I think it was my second favorite of the day. Neither of us was interested in Doctor Doom’s Fearfall or Storm Force Accelatron.

Next up was Toon Lagoon. There are two water rides and you better bring a change of clothes if you want to do these. YOU WILL GET WET. There is also a playground here that looked like a ton of fun for the younger set.

The third section was Jurassic Park. The entrance to this area has gigantic gates that look just like the gates from the movie. Throughout the area, if you look through the brush, you’ll spot what looks like electrified fences. Very clever! The developers did a great job in this section. Even the trash cans are themed. There is another great playground here, as well as the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. If you go in, be sure to go downstairs and out through the back doors. There is an incredible view of the entire park, with the lagoon in front. This is a GREAT photo opportunity. There is another fantastic water ride in this section of the park. AGAIN – YOU WILL GET WET. Have a change of clothes with you or be prepared to drip dry!

The fourth section – and the most amazing – is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Your first sight of Hogwart’s will take your breath away. It is huge and beautiful and looks so real! If you decide to enjoy Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (and you should), you will enjoy the line as it winds through the castle. You get to see so many things from the books & movies. It was the best line I’ve ever stood in!

The village is also amazing, with all sorts of shops that you’ll remember from the books & movies. Really, it is all done so well. We stayed there for hours. My son rode Dragon Challenge while I sat in the train station enjoying a Butter Beer. We both rode the Flight of the Hippogriff, a very mild roller coaster suitable for all.

By far the most amazing experience of the day came when we entered Ollivander’s Wand Shop. There are several places to buy wands and you will walk right by this experience if you’re not looking for it. We just happened to see people lining up beside the building and asked someone in line what it was about. They told us it was a “must do”, so we got in line, not really having a clue what we were waiting to see. We were in line for about 30 minutes and almost left. I’m SO glad we didn’t. They only let about 15-20 people in at a time. You enter a tiny, dimly lit, dusty shop. All the walls, from floor to ceiling, are lined with boxes of wands. Ollivander selects someone from the audience and takes them through the process of selecting of a wand. It is quite intense. Nobody makes a sound during the whole production. The actor playing Ollivander on the day we visited was incredibly good. After it ends, you exit into a larger shop that contains wands and other items for sale. I am so glad we had this experience. It was like attending a theatre production in the middle of a theme park. Amazing!

The next section of the park was The Lost Continent. I never quite understood this section. Poseidon’s Fury was closed for the day by the time we got around to that section. We did sit through The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad, one of the worst shows I have EVER seen ANYWHERE. We honestly could have skipped this entire section.

Finally, we entered Suess Landing, a must do for all children (young and old). We enjoyed the Cat in the Hat ride and the High in the Sky Suess Train Trolley Ride. There was another playground in this section. But it was the shops that made this area. There is even a Green Eggs and Ham eatery. All Seuss lovers will enjoy this section.

One word of warning: Some rides at Universal require that you place your loose belongings in a locker located next to the ride. It is free, provided you return within a set amount of time. But be prepared for some congestion at the lockers, as well as the inevitable park guests who can't seem to figure out how to use the computer screen, or can't remember where their lockers are.

Express Pass: We did NOT buy them for Universal Studios, but we did buy them for Islands of Adventure. The only ride that had a really long line was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is also the only ride for which you can NOT use the express pass. Bummer! I honestly don’t think it was worth the money. The only time it really came in handy was when my son wanted to go on a ride and I didn’t. It meant I didn’t have to wait as long for him to return. But even on some of those, there was a singles line – a line for people riding alone. He was able to go to the front of the line (even without an express pass) and join a group that didn’t quite fill out the spaces on a row. Honestly, Universal should stop charging for these and give them out the same way Disney does.

As always, food was too pricey and there were a million Tchotchke stalls and shops, each tempting you to spend more money on stuff you would later throw away. The only thing I ever buy are magnets and they were in short supply.

We absolutely enjoyed this day!

4  Thank CaptainJack58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

My son and I spent 4 days here in September and we absolutely loved it. So many of the experiences left us both amazed (and we have been to theme parks all over the world). We much preferred these parks to Disney World. We loved being able to walk from park to park and there was a great mix of rides, experiences, playgrounds and really good shows. Being able to slip out to Citiwalk for a meal was awesome too as I am not a fan of theme park food.

The areas are so well themed and so many of the rides are really innovative. We can't wait to go back hopefully when my son is tall enough to experience everything as we missed a few things due to his height.

1  Thank Brisbanekidz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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