Are you planning a visit to Universal’s Islands of Adventure? These Islands of Adventure tips will help you plan your visit to the Orlando theme park.
About Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure is the second of the Universal Orlando theme parks. It opened in 1998 to rave reviews and continues to wow and impress guests that visit.
The first time I visited Islands of Adventure I was so impressed with the attractions. They were unlike anything I had ever experienced. From the Adventures of Spider-Man to Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, the attractions are unique and fun for families.
Related Article: Universal Orlando Resort Parks and Hotel Overview
Best Rides at Islands of Adventure
This is always going to be debatable but I would have to say the best ride currently at Islands of Adventure is Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure. It has all the ingredients for an amazing theme park attraction including thrills, amazing storytelling, and surprises.
I go into more details on this post about the best rides at Islands of Adventure to help you decide what rides will be our your must do list.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure Characters
Islands of Adventure has some of my favorite characters. You can meet Dr. Seuss characters like The Cat and the Hat and the Lorax. You can also meet some Marvel characters like Spider-Man and Doctor Doom. The character interactions are fun and often have short lines. Read our full post about 65+ Characters to Meet at Universal Orlando Resort.
Islands of Adventure Dining
Dining can be a tricky thing when visiting a theme park and Islands of Adventure is no different. They have a sit down restaurant, Mythos, that is pricey but offers not your typical theme park food. I listed the restaurant options below and put our favorites in bold.
- Blondie’s (Quick Service, Toon Lagoon Area)
- Cafe 4 (Quick Service, Marvel Area)
- Captain America Diner (Quick Service & Character Dining Marvel Area)
- Circus McGurkus Cafe (Quick Service, Seuss Landing)
- Comic Strip Cafe (Quick Service, Toon Lagoon)
- Three Broomsticks (Quick Service, Wizarding World Hogsmeade)
- Mythos (Lost Continent)
- Confisco Grill (Sit Down, Port of Entry)
- Fire Eaters’ Grill (Quick Service, Lost Continent) The food was good but the dining area is small.
- Green Eggs and Ham Cafe (Quick Service, Open Seasonally, Seuss Landing) Not a lot of seating but very good.
- Pizza Predattoria (Quick Service, Jurassic Park)
- The Burger Digs (Quick Service, Jurassic Park)
When we visit Islands of Adventure as a family we are usually looking for something quick that the entire family will enjoy. We usually eat in Seuss Landing or Toon Lagoon at their counter service options. Check out this post where I share our favorite places to eat at Universal Orlando Resort.
Best Tips for Islands of Adventure
After multiple visits we have a few tips for Islands of Adventure that help us make the best of our visit. Islands of Adventure has a few unique qualities that are worth noting to be prepared for your visit.
Be Prepared to Get Wet
Island’s of Adventure has three water rides. In order of wet to soaked they are Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. They also have One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish that is not technically a water ride, but if you don’t move your fish you can get wet!
If it is a really hot day you may not mind getting soaked on any of these rides. We have used a poncho on all of them to stay dry and they have dryers in the park you can use for a fee.
Jurassic Park will get you the least wet and we can usually ride this without too much worry. Dudley Do-Rights will get you a little less soaked than Popeyes.
I suggest wearing flip-flops and storing your sneakers in a locker. If you ride Popeye you will be totally soaked through your shoes. If this does happen, use paper towels to fill your shoes in your hotel room. I find they work the best to absorb the water quickly.
Be Prepared to Walk
Islands of Adventure is laid out in a circle without a central hub. This means you will have to walk the entire circle to go from one location to the next. There is no cut through. I suggest planning your day and itinerary before you arrive at the park.
Lockers at the Park
A few rides require that you secure your items in a locker. They are The Incredible Hulk, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures. On the Harry Potter attractions you may be allowed to keep things in your pockets.
To ride The Incredible Hulk you are required to walk through a metal detector and everything must be stored in a locker. The locker’s are at the entrance of the rides and are free for your time in line and on the attraction. Most small bags will fit in the free lockers but you may need to pay for a larger locker if you have multiple items.
We have seen the locker process change in the numerous times we have visited the park. Typically, you will scan your park ticket to gain access to the lockers so be sure to bring that with you.
Scare Factor on the Islands of Adventure Attractions
Out of the Universal theme parks I would say Islands of Adventure has the bigger thrill rides and scare factor. King Kong has actors in the line that are there to scare people waiting, my kids really dislike this but others may be fine with it. I wrote an entire post covering the scare factor and height requirements that I suggest you read before visiting the park.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure Review
Islands of Adventure is a great park and I think families will find something they love for kids of all ages. With that being said the attractions are a bit more thrilling and may be best for older kids. My youngest is almost eight and he has been visiting for the last 3 years.
When we first started visiting he went on less rides and has grown to enjoy more with each visit. There are some rides that my kids are okay with experiencing once and then being done with it.
Judging how your kids will react to an attraction is a personal decisions and I always recommend doing your research. I have numerous Universal Orlando planning posts that I will list at the end of this article.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a great park to visit for families and I hope these Islands of Adventure tips help you and your family have an amazing day at the park.