Are you visiting Universal Orlando and looking for thrills? These best rides at Islands of Adventure should be on your must-see list when visiting the Orlando theme park.
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Islands of Adventure is one of the theme parks at Universal Orlando resort. The Islands of Adventure rides have more thrills than the Universal Studios park but you can also find great rides for young kids too!
Islands of Adventure has some of the most fun lands at any theme park. I love Seuss Landing and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas the best. They are immersive and have some of the best theme park attractions in the country.
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All the Islands of Adventure Attractions and Rides
- Doctor Dooms Fear Fall
- Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Hogwarts Express
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Velocicoaster (Summer 2021)
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
- Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rats Barge
- Poseidon’s Fury
- Pteranodon Flyers
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- Storm Force Accelerator
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
- The Cat in the Hat
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
You can read more details about ride scare factor and height requirements on my post: Islands of Adventure Height Requirement and Scare Factor for Families.
Now lets get into the best of Islands of Adventure and what Islands of Adventure Orlando attractions you don’t want to miss!!
10 Best Rides at Islands of Adventure
1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Currently Hagrid’s is my favorite Universal attraction. It is so good! Hagrid’s is located in Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Pro-Tip: Hargrid’s is what you should ride first when you arrive at Islands of Adventure!
Guests board a motorbike and are taken on an adventure that has animatronics and a few amazing surprises. I don’t want to give away anything but make time to ride Hagrid’s on your next visit.
There is not an express pass option for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and the lines have been exceeding 120 minute waits. I suggest arriving at park gates around 45 minutes prior to opening to be one of the first guests in the park.
They have recently added Hagrid’s to the Universal App virtual que. This allows guests to reserve a time to ride on their phone before they arrive at the attraction. You must be on Universal property to make this reservation.
2. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
This ride is located in the Marvel Island of the park. It is a 3D ride where guests board a simulator and make their way on an adventure. This ride has a lot of familiar Spider-Man villains popping up and this is a great ride for families. All of us really enjoy riding Spider-Man.
3. The Cat in the Hat
The Cat in the Hat is located in Seuss Landing and is perfect for kids of all ages. Guests board their “couch” and are taken through the story of The Cat in the Hat.
From there they see all the mischievous things that Thing 1 and Thing 2 do. I love this area of the park and taking a ride through a beloved Dr. Seuss story is one of my favorites.
I know this may seem like a stretch but I like a little nostalgia when I visit theme parks and The Cat in the Hat offers a good balance to the thrills across the park.
4. Jurassic Park River Adventure
Jurassic Park River Adventure is a boat attraction that takes visitors through the world of Jurassic Park until something goes wrong.
I love Jurassic Park. It is fun to see the dinosaurs and get a bit wet on a hot Florida day. The end is a bit thrilling with an encounter with a T-Rex but all of my kids enjoy Jurassic Park.
5. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journery is unlike any attraction I have ever been on. As you enter Hogarts castle your journey begins.
The line is part of the attraction and many people will walk through only to exit the attraction before riding. Throughout the line you will see many references to Hogwarts and come across familiar characters from Harry Potter.
The ride itself has riders flying through the grounds of Hogwarts. Along the way you will come across dangerous encounters. A word of caution: This ride can cause serious motion sickness. I usually ride once during our visits.
Hulk is a seriously intense roller coaster that most will say is a must ride at the park. Guests are launched through twists and turns, and it is top on the list for thrills at the park. Hulk is located in the Marvel Island area of the park.
7. Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls
Dudley Do-Rights is Islands of Adventures take on a classic log flume. You board a log flume and are sent on your way down the water. This is located at the Toon Lagoon area of the park.
You realize as you are riding that this is more intense than your typical log flume. Dudley ends with a 75 foot drop and you will be soaked. Read more about Water Rides at Universal Orlando.
8. Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
This attraction is a raft adventure that will get you soaked. Located in Toon Lagoon guests board a raft and start on an adventure with Popeye. I suggest riding this and Dudley’s around the same time and at the hottest time of the day.
9. Skull Island: Reign of Kong
I was hesitant to add this to the list because some of my family members dislike it, but I think for your first visit it is worth experiencing.
Skull Island is a mix of 3D technology and animatronics. The best moment comes at the end when you are face to face with Kong.
The reason all of my kids don’t like it is because there are scare-actors in the line that will pop out at you. The attraction itself isn’t super scary but this has them avoiding the ride.
If you find this to be an issue for your family speak with the attendant at the ride entrance. Sometimes they can assist you in avoiding them. Skull Island is located between Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park areas.
10. Velocicoaster (Opening Summer 2021)
Although Velocicoaster is not yet open it will be among the best attractions at Islands of Adventure. It has several launch sequences and thrills.
Best Rides at Islands of Adventure 2021
With a new year usually you get new attractions! This year Islands of Adventure is opening a new Jurassic World themed rollercoaster: Velocicoaster.
This is all thrills and not for little ones. I suspect it may move ahead of Hagrid’s as the best ride for some coaster enthusiast. Take a look at the preview video below and decide for yourself.
How to do the Best Rides at Islands of Adventure
Now that you know what rides can’t be missed at Islands of Adventure you might find yourself wondering how you are going to ride them with young children or long lines.
There area a few different options to limit wait time when visiting the best attractions at Islands of Adventure.
Child Swap at Islands of Adventure
Each ride and attraction has a family room for children that may be too small or not wanting to ride. You wait together for the attraction and as you get closer part of your party will go to the family room with the small child, and the other part will ride.
After the ride you will switch and ride with the other part. We did this for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey when my kids were small.
My youngest and I sat in the family room watching Harry Potter movies and my husband and older children went on the attraction. When they were done I got to ride the attraction with my older children.
Single Rider Line at Islands of Adventure
Single rider line is a line specifically for single riders. This means you will be split from your group and put on the attraction when there is an opening. This line tends to move quickly but you will most likely be split up from your group.
Express Pass at Islands of Adventure and Virtual Line
Express Pass is an upgraded add-on to your admission ticket. It allows guests to skip the line and have priority ride access. I go into details in this post, Everything You Need to Know About Express Pass at Universal Orlando. Basically it is a great perk but also very expensive and not always needed.
Currently Hagrid’s is the only attraction at Islands of Adventure that has a virtual line option. I highly suggest taking advantage of it to minimize wait times.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a great park for families. With its fun themed lands there is something for everyone. I recommend riding each one at least once and make your own list of best rides in Islands of Adventure for your family.