Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

In last week's travel post, I shared all about our adventure to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.  The Harry Potter attraction was the only reason we went to  Islands of Adventure.  But after we saw everything there, we did still have time to check out the rest of the park.

Aside from all the Harry Potter attractions, the next ride we wanted to see the most was the Jurassic Park River Adventure.  It's billed as a "thrilling river raft adventure. You’ll ride through the jungle and see dinosaurs in their natural habitats."  But guess what?  It wasn't open, it was closed for maintenance.  To say we were disappointed was an understatement.  I was downright angry.  This is a major attraction in the park.  If it wasn't available, tickets should have been discounted.

After we got over the shock of realizing we wouldn't be able to go on the ride, we walked around the Jurassic Park a bit.  It was designed very much to look like scenes from the movie.  

There was a jungle gym type play area for children (and adventurous adults like us) to explore.  It was called Camp Jurassic.  I loved how much this steel structure looked like it came right off the movie set.

We climbed all the nets and went down all the slides and through all the crawl spaces.  It was a lot of fun.  There was a pterodactyl ride called "Pteranodon Flyers" in this part of Jurassic Park too, but guess what?  We couldn't ride it.  It was only for children...though they did allow adults on it if they were with a child.  It looked like so much fun!  We were so disappointed....again.

Other than the two rides we couldn't go on, and a dinosaur attraction where a velociraptor pretends to eat you, the only other thing is this section of the park was the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.  This building contained informative exhibits and displays.

This building did look like it came straight off the movie set.  We loved the dinosaurs could move their heads!

The Dinosaur Nursery was a lot of fun to explore.  A lot of care and detail was taken to make it as reminiscent of the movie as possible.

Aren't these large doors amazing?   Just like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there was so much attention given to recreating details from the original movie.

Next, we visited The Lost Continent.  Here all the architecture had a Moroccan, Old World feel.  We first went to the Poseidon's Fury attraction.  It is a live action show described as follows:  "You'll soon find yourself trapped far beneath the sea with no hope of escape, caught in the middle of a colossal battle between ancient titans Poseidon and the evil Lord Darkenon. Massive fireballs, lasers, and huge explosions of water erupt all around you as you witness the power of this special effects spectacular. Will you make it back to the surface before the temple crashes down around you? 

This show was O.K.  You walk  and stand through all of it, and I think you would enjoy it more depending on where you get to stand.  I seemed to always get stuck in back and couldn't see a thing.  I did enjoy walking through the tunnel of water actually feel the mist as you walk through.  That was fun and interesting, and I felt a bit like the Israelites must have when they crossed the Dead Sea.

We enjoyed meeting these attractive and talented stilt walkers after the show!

There was a major theatre show in this section of the park called "The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show".  This was a fairly decent show.  I enjoyed being able to see it for one...because I was sitting down, in an actual theatre, with elevated seating.

The show involved stunts, comedy, romance, and pyrotechnics along with a silly storyline.

The set was quite impressive.  It is very large, and extremely detailed.

After watching two shows, by now we were ready for some rides.  Since we were unable to go onto the Jurassic Park water ride, we headed for Toon Town to get on the Popeye's and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.  And guess what?  I was closed due to technical difficulties.  So off we went to explore Toon Town till the ride was available again.

Thankfully they got the ride up and running again.  And even though by now it was late in the day, and the sun was not as strong,  we decided to go on the ride anyway, and boy did we get wet!   Never in my life had I gotten as soaked on any amusement park ride before!  But it sure was fun!  And lesson learned....never wear denim to an amusement park.  It does not dry out fast enough.  I was wet for the rest of the day!

This section of the park was really cute, but there wasn't much to do here.  Mostly just shops and eateries.  There was another water ride, Dudly Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, but it had too much of a drop for the "girls" comfort zone...though Jason would have loved it!

I really did enjoy looking at all the nostalgic decor of this park.  These were the cartoons from my childhood!

One of the cutest areas of the park, especially if you have small children, is Suess's Landing.  Everything is this section, is meant for kids...but we loved it and even went on the kiddie rides.

There is this cute little train that takes you for a ride above this adorable Dr. Seuss village.  And yes, we rode on it and enjoyed ourselves immensely!

My favorite ride in this section of the park was the The Cat in the Hat.  It is so adorable!  You sit on a couch and it moves through the storybook....oh, talk about re-living your childhood!  I loved it!

The decor and shops in this village are all absolutely adorable.  And Jason, a school teacher and book lover, loved every minute of it...if you can't tell by the picture below!  Who says Dr. Seuss is only for small children anyway?

The last section of the park, and the part we spent the least amount of time in, was Marvel Super Hero Island.  Again, the place was decorated amazingly well.  We just didn't do much here because most of the rides are more adventurous than Ashley and I like.  

They did have a lot of the Super Heroes out and about making sure the streets were Captain America!

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 3-D ride was our second favorite ride in Island's of Adventure (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was our Favorite!).  But would you believe the first time we showed up to take this ride it was closed due to technical difficulties?  I couldn't.  I was ready to head straight for the customer service booth and demand my money back at this point.  But we came back later and it was working again.  We ended up loving it so much, we rode this ride twice!

I screamed so much during the Spider-Man ride Ashley remarked "Wow Mom, that ride really scares you!".  I said "Yes, it does, because you not only see scary stuff happening, you feel it too!".

It is a moving, high-definition, 3-D ride.  You sit in a moving vehicle and follow right along side Spider Man "careening and crashing through the streets, scaling skyscrapers and plummeting to the pavement below in a simulated 400-foot free fall."   

The scary part for me was "feeling" what you see.  For example, if glass crashes and breaks in front of your eyes, you feel tiny pin pricks on your skin...I think it was just water sprays, but it felt like pin pricks.  It was so freaky, but fun!

This section of the park was so cool to walk through at night when everything was all lit up.

We were at the park from the time it opened to the time it closed.  We got on every ride we wanted to that was open.  They were in the process of building new rides while we there.  The King Kong attraction looked amazing.  I would love to go back someday and experience that ride, but probably never will.  There are so many other theme parks in Orlando that I have yet to visit...if I ever get back to Orlando again.

So what about you?  Have you ever been to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure?  What did you think of it?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE and Travel Tuesday!


  1. Wow, this looks like so much fun. So many great attractions.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  2. I would love to visit, so much to do here. I don't like theme park rides but everything else looks fantastic x

  3. I grew up in SoFla, so I went here when I was a kid, but I haven't been there since the Harry Potter part was added. Must see!

  4. The Dr. Seuss village looks like so much fun, my son would love that! I've never been here (or to Disney or anywhere similar) but hopefully one day we'll get to visit!

  5. I have yet to really explore all there is to do at Disney and all the parks. That's a real bummer that the Jurassic adventure was closed.

    Daily Style Finds

  6. I had no idea they had a Jurassic Park area, oh my son would LOVE this! I can't believe that ride was closed- I would have been so disappointed too- especially since I love water rides!


  7. Great photos, Amy! Looks like a fun place to visit.
    Thanks for joining the Travel Tuesday meme! Look forward to your next contribution.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback from my readers. If you have a blog, I always return the love by visiting within a week whoever leaves a comment.