Universal’s Islands of Adventure Tips and Tricks

Are you planning a visit to Universal’s Islands of Adventure? These Islands of Adventure tips and tricks will help you plan your visit to the Universal Orlando theme park.

entrance to islands of adventure
Entrance to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort.
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Universal Orlando Resort has 3 theme parks, multiple on-site resorts, and an entertainment district. The three parks are Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay.

Islands of Adventure is the second park opened at Universal Orlando and is full of thrilling adventures, a Harry Potter area, as well as Marvel Island and Seuss Landing.

The first time I visited Islands of Adventure I was so impressed with the attractions. They were unlike anything I had ever experienced. The rides at Islands of Adventure offer something for everyone.

From the Adventures of Spider-Man to Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, the attractions are unique and fun for families. If you are planning a full day at Islands of Adventure check out this one day Islands of Adventure itinerary.

If you are planning on visiting other Universal parks check out these helpful articles: First Timers Guide to Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Tips and Volcano Bay Tips.

Not sure where to start? Read our Complete Guide to Your Universal Orlando Vacation!

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Are you visiting a city and want to research hotels? Check out Booking.com. City attraction and theme park tickets check out CityPass

Best Tips for Islands of Adventure

Due to COVID-19 Islands of Adventure has put safety measures in place. Guests are required to wear masks, socially distance, have temperature checks, and hand sanitize before/after they board attractions. Learn more in this article about COVID at Universal.

Arrive Early

A big Islands of Adventure tip is to arrive early! There are a few ways to get early entry into Islands of Adventure.

Guests staying at an on-site resort receive early access to a designated park. If you are staying off-site and have an annual pass you may have early entry perks. If you do not have early entry perks plan to arrive 30-45 minutes before park opening to be one of the first people through the gates.

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.

Related Post: Best Water Rides at Islands of Adventure

Plan to Walk A Lot

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 to get from one section of the park to another. I suggest planning your day and itinerary before you arrive at the park to prepare for the amount of walking.

Islands of Adventure view
The view from across the lake at Islands of Adventure. Marvel Superhero Island is to the left. Seuss Landing is to the right. Jurassic Discovery Center is across the way.

Use the Lockers at the Park

At Islands of Adventure lockers are required to ride certain attractions.

They are The Incredible Hulk, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Jurassic World Velocicoaster, 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.

Prepare for Scary 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 Islands of Adventure scare factor and height requirements that I suggest you read before visiting the park.

Plan Your Must See Attractions Before You Arrive

Before you arrive at Islands of Adventure spend some time looking over the park map and learning about the rides before you start your vacation.

This will help you determine what to skip and what to see first during your visit to the park.

Best Age for Islands of Adventure

One of my biggest tips for visiting Islands of Adventure is to know what the people in your group want to see. The best age for Islands of Adventure will be different for everyone, and only you know your kids.

Check the height requirements and learn about the characters and attractions during your planning process, before you arrive at 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 can help you decide what is best for your family.

Can’t Miss 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.

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

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.

Eating at Green Eggs and Ham at Islands of Adventure.

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.

Read Next: Universal Orlando with Kids: 71 Must See Attractions at Universal

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