Rides at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Notes: C- Cool! You Must See This ☺ - Kids Will Love These
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ***** C
It's perhaps the biggest news story of all time.. The Statue of Liberty has vanished, and you've volunteered to get the scoop. Race through the city and join forces with the world's favorite web-slinger as you go up against Doctor Octupus and a host of villains in a no-holds-barred battle to save the city from evil! Amazing 3-D action erupts all around you while you take on the Hobgoblin and his exploding pumpkin bombs.
Not many people actually hear about this ride before they come into the park, but it packs one heck of a punch. Dr. Doom's Fearfall is not easy to miss. As you enter Universal's Islands of Adventure, just start heading for the two towering spires off to your left on Marvel Super Hero Island.
The great thing about this ride is that the line usually doesn't last that long, but if you do happen to go on a busier day, the line is mostly indoor and air conditioned. While waiting, you'll learn that Dr. Doom has invented a machine that is used to remove fear from its ˜guests' by sending you flying over 150 feet into the air, then letting you come back to Earth even faster than gravity could pull you.
As you come to the docking station, an employee will guide you to your seat where you will get strapped in with an overhead safety harness. You'll be on one of the two towers, each of which has four sides. I usually hope for the front side because I find it pretty cool to see the entirety of both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Either way, the ride is terrifically terrifying as you feel a sense of weightlessness for a split second but all of a sudden your shot right back down
This ride is not for the faint of heart (or stomach for that matter!). But if you can tough it out, you're in for a remarkable time. Can you handle Dr. Doom's Fearfall? I sure hope so, because this ride is a must.
Storm Force Accelatron ***
Help the X-Men's super hero Storm summon the forces of mother nature in a whirling, twirling, spinning power generator in her battle against the evil Magneto.
Despite the exotic name, this ride is little more than a spin-off of the Magic Kingdom's Mad Tea Party -- spinning teacups that, in this case, have a 22nd-century design. While aboard, you and the X-Men's superheroine, Storm, try to defeat the evil Magneto by converting human energy into electrical forces. To do that, you need to spin faster and faster. In addition to some upset stomachs, the spiraling creates a thunderstorm of sound and light that gives Storm all the power she needs to blast Magneto into the ever-after (or until the next riders arrive). This ride is sometimes closed during off-peak periods.
Incredible Hulk Coaster ***** C
Bruce Banner is working in his lab when -- yes, again -- something goes wrong. But this rocking rocket of a ride makes everything oh, so right, except maybe your heartbeat and stomach.
In a high-energy video pre-ride show, you learn that you can help Bruce reverse the unfortunate effects that have so complicated his life. All you have to do is climb into this little chamber which is, in fact, a 32-seat roller coaster. This is no ordinary roller coaster, however, where you have to wait agonizing seconds while the car climbs to the top of the first drop. It seems to get off to a fairly normal start, slowly climbing a steep incline, but thanks to an energizing burst of gamma rays you are shot at one G 150 feet upward, going from a near standstill to 42 miles an hour. From there it’s all downhill so to speak as you swing into a zero-G roll and speed toward the surface of the lagoon at 58 miles per hour. This is no water ride though, so you whip into a cobra roll before being lofted upwards once more through the highest (109 feet) inversion ever built. After that it’s under a bridge — on which earthbound (i.e. “sane”) people are enjoying your terror — through a total of seven inversions and two subterranean trenches before you come to a rest, hoping desperately that your exertions have, indeed, helped Bruce out of his pickle.
Dragon Challenge **** C
Marvel at the blazing Goblet of Fire and the shing Triwizard Cup as you take on the Dragon Challenge.
Choose your "dragon": an aggresive Chinese Fireball or a ferocious Hungarian Horntail. Then climb aboard and hold on tight as the two dragons twist, loop, and nearly collide with each other in an interwining roller coaster chase across the sky. Dragon Challenge is actually two high-speed roller coasters - each "dragon" is a completly different ride.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ***** C
Enter through the towering castle gates and make your way through the familiar passageways and corriders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
You'll visit iconic locations such as Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirements and more.
Then get ready to soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, coming face-to-face with an array of magical creatures! This amazing new attraction uses groundbreaking, state-os-the-art technology (and a little magic) to create a one of a kind ride experience.
Flight of the Hippogriff ***
Pass by Hagrid's hut and follow his instructions as you learn the proper way to approach a Hippogriff, which has the head of a giant eagle and the body of a horse.
Then it's time to take a "training flight" aboard the Flight of the Hippogriff, an enchanting family coaster woven from wicker and decorated with fluttering leaves representing feathers. Bow as you approach the "real" Hippogriff, and then your spiraling and diving around the pumpkin patch, and swooping past Hagrid's hut.
Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls ****
Hop in your Log and Hang On! That villainous scoundrel Snidely Whiplash has made off with Nell Fenwick! Will bumbling Dudley Do-Right™ save her in time? Will you stay dry when you plummet down Ripsaw Falls? Stay tuned for the watery conclusion of this sidesplitting flume ride.
The build-up takes us through a series of scenes in a “moving melodrama” in which the much-loved characters unfold a typically wacky plot that includes not just Dudley, Nell, and Snidely but Inspector Fenwick and Horse, too, as our five-passenger log-boats rise inexorably to the mountainous heights where Snidely has his hideout. Along the way we pass animated tableaux that advance the tie-her-to-the-railroad-tracks plot. The landscape is dotted with signs that echo the off-the-wall humor of the old cartoons. At one point the boat detours into the abandoned Wontyabe Mine, at another we pass a billboard advertising Whiplash Lager (“made with real logs”). Of course, Dudley triumphs almost in spite of himself. Anticipating victory a bit too soon, he strikes a heroic pose with his foot on a dynamite plunger, precipitating a plunge through the roof of a TNT storage shack as the riders are shot beneath the water surface only to pop back to the surface 100 feet downstream. This is the first log flume to pull off this little bit of wizardry and how they manage it we’ll leave you to discover. Another nice touch is that the final drop is curved rather than a straight angle; the result is that, as the angle steepens, you could swear you’re hurtling straight down.
Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges ***** ☺C
Everybody remembers the spinach-eating Sailor Man's adventures. Now you have the chance to become part of one as you join him for a trip on his new cruise line. You can find Popeye's and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges on Toon Lagoon in Universal's Islands of Adventure. This wondrously wet escapade will leave you soaked to the bone in excitement.
As you'll learn as you wait for your turn on the ride, Popeye is starting a new cruise line. Unfortunately, Bluto has overrun his business and guests are forced to use his rafts that aren't quite up to par. There are plenty of comical things to do and read in your wait in your queue. After a short trip through the line, you'll see the rotating docking station where you'll hop on your raft. Place your belongings in the waterproof holder in the center and get ready for a soggy journey.
Popeye's & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges is an easy 5 out of 5 ride. This attraction will cool you off while having a great time. If you pass through Toon Lagoon, don't pass this amazing ride up.
Jurassic Park River Adventure **** C
If you've seen the movie, then you probably already have a pretty good picture of what's in store for you. All the excitement of the silver screen hit put together into a shocking and thrilling ride. Not very difficult to find, you will run by the entrance as you venture through the Jurassic Park island of Universal's Islands of Adventure. If you're up for getting a little splash on your visit, this is the perfect ride to do so.
This is undoubtedly the most popular attraction in this area. It begins as a gentle meandering tour through the tropical jungle.
You'll see some of the tamer dinosaurs and their babies.
Then as you pass by the raptor containment area things take a turn for the worse and you are thrown off course.
Now you must escape the deadly veloriaptors and t-rex! T-rex makes a surprise appearance at the end of the ride and before you know it you're plunging over the edge into total darkness. This flume ride has the longest drop of its' kind -85ft near-vertical drop.
Pteranodon Flyers *** ☺
Pterandon Flyers are a hang-gliding type of ride where two riders hang from a pteranodon. The winged dinosaurs take passengers on a scenic tour of the Jurassic Park area.
This is part of Camp Jurassic and so is really aimed at kids.
Unfortunately, the wait times for this get long quickly.
This is because of the low capacity of riders and that Universal Island of Adventure require those over 56" tall to ride with a child. The ride is 80 seconds long, so if you see long lines, perhaps weigh up whether you really want to go!
The Cat in the Hat **** ☺
Dr. Seuss’s most popular book tells the tale of what happens when two kids, home alone, allow the cat of the title to come in for a visit. Step through the doors beneath that giant red and white striped top hat and you will get your chance to relive the adventure.
Located in Seuss Landing you can easily spot The Cat in The Hat ride by the tall red and white striped hat. When walking into the hat you appear in the front yard of a house. You make your way through the front yard until you reach the porch, and that is when the ride starts. You enter into the house and take a seat on the couch. Not only is a couch a comfortable place to sit on, in Dr. Seuss’ world couches make great forms of transportation. The couch takes you down a winding trail deeper into the house. When looking out of the windows of the house it becomes evident that it is raining, meaning you must have fun inside of the house! Out of the same window you can see the mother leaving, she is on her way to get groceries and she will be gone for a while. As soon as she pulls out of the driveway The Cat in the Hat appears! He begins to balance all sorts of household objects until he drops them all and angers Mr. Krinklebin, the fish. The Cat in The Hat releases Thing 1 and Thing 2 who run through the house and make a mess at every corner. Throughout the ride the couch will take you into odd rooms such as the room where the walls spin around you or where the clothes fly back and forth in a closet. After causing a catastrophe in the house the mother returns from her trip, before she enters the house The Cat in The Hat brings out his Thing-A-Majig and cleans the entire home before the mother steps in.
The Cat in The Hat is a very fun ride if you are traveling with kids or if you just want to live the experiences you’ve read about as a child. The ride was opened on May 28, 1999 and has been a great attraction for children ever since. The duration of the ride is about 5 minutes long and the fastest speed you go is 2.7 MPH.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish *** ☺
Just for kids! It's like the Dumbo ride at Disney, except there's a twist. You get to control your fish up and down to avoid the squirts of water fired from squirt stations below.
You can try to avoid getting wet if you follow the directions in the song that plays during the ride - but where's the fun in that?!
Most kids try to get as wet as possible anyway!
Caro-Suess-el *** ☺
This ride marks yet another design triumph. The old-fashioned carousel has been put through the Seuss looking glass and has emerged as a towering, multicolored confection. In place of old-fashioned horses are marvelously imaginative Seuss critters with serene smiles plastered across their goofy faces.
Even if you have no interest in actually riding the thing, it’s worth the time it takes to stop and admire this imaginative whirligig in full motion.
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride *** ☺
This is by far the best way to take in the wonders of Seuss Landing and more of Islands of Adventure, Orlando. Two trolleys take two different aerial routes around the colorful and topsy-turvy rooftops of Dr Seuss' world. There is a audio narration that tells the story of Sylvester McMonkey McBean and the Sneetches. Kids will definitely love this and adults too.
The ride lasts about 90 seconds, so it's not that long of a ride.
It certainly is worth going on for the views alone, you can see things that you wouldn't spot from ground level.
Attractions at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Me Ship, The Olive *** ☺
Me Ship, The Olive in Toon Lagoon® gives kids an ocean of fun while exploring Popeye’s ship.
This three-story boat is a family-friendly play land with dozens of interactive activities from bow to stern. Kids can toot whistles, clang bells, or play the organ. Sweet Pea's Playpen is a favorite of younger guests. Kids 6 and older as well as adults will love Cargo Crane, where they can drench riders on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.
Jurassic Park Discovery Center ***
Here's an amusing, educational pit stop that has life-size dinosaur replicas and some interactive games, including a sequencer that pretends to combine your DNA with a dinosaur's.
The "Beasaur" exhibit allows you to see and hear as the huge reptiles did. You can play the game show You Bet Jurassic (grin) and scan the walls for fossils. The highlight is watching a Velociraptor "hatch" in the lab. Because there are a limited number of interactive stations, this can consume a lot of time on busy days. Be sure to enter from the lower level -- the view is spectacular and there's an elaborate stone plaza -- which is far more impressive than the doors upstairs. Also come equipped with a camera -- if you want your photo snapped with a dinosaur, this spot is a great place to do it.
Camp Jurassic **** ☺
This play area, similar in theme but even better than the Boneyard at Animal Kingdom, has everything from lava pits with dinosaur bones to a rainforest.
Watch out for the spitters that lurk in dark caves. The multilevel play area has plenty of places for kids to crawl, explore, and spend energy. Young kids need close supervision, though. It's easy to get turned around inside the caverns, and some of the areas enhanced with sound effects may be a bit too frightening for the very young. Be prepared for your kids to get soaked -- you will be too if you have to retrieve them (very likely).
Poseidon's Fury ***
Journey far below the sea at Poseidon’s Fury. The Global Discovery Group has uncovered the remains of the ancient temple of Poseidon, and you are invited to tour the dig site.
Once inside, you'll find yourself trapped far beneath the sea as you dodge huge fireballs, lasers and explosions of water as the mighty god Poseidon wages an epic battle to return you to the surface. You're caught in a colossal battle between ancient gods with no hope of escape! Poseidon's Fury is located in The Lost Continent at Universal's Islands of Adventure, an ageless land of ancient myths and epic legends.
If I Ran the Zoo *** ☺
This totally interactive playland tells the story of Gerald McGrew and his quest to create a totally different zoo of strange and unusual animals.
If I Ran the Zoo is divided into three distinct areas: Hedges, Water and the New Zoo, and features 19 different interactive elements. Ranging from flying snakes of water which are likely to soak unsuspecting guests to 'Toe Tickle' stations where children can tickle the toes of a laughing Seussian animal, these creative play-stations are certain to entertain guests.