I recently went to Orlando to visit colleges, and had the opportunity to visit Universal Orlando. I will post a report about Universal Studios Florida in the coming days, but let’s get started with a report from Islands of Adventure. I will go through the park clockwise, starting from Marvel Superhero Island.
Marvel Superhero Island
Marvel Superhero Island is home to many rides and characters, and is probably my favorite part of the park. I feel like it captures the feel of early 2000’s comics (I might be a little biased because of growing up in that time). Let’s get started with a look at The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster was a lot of fun! The launch was surprisingly intense, the track is incredibly smooth, and all of the inversions forceful. The way the train comes out of the launch into the first inversion with the Hulk screaming is fun to watch from off the ride too.
One complaint I have about this ride is the queue. The queue is themed to a gamma experiment which creates various enormously loud and bass boosted noises which got to my head while waiting up to an hour in the bottom part of the queue. I personally enjoyed standing in the single rider queue more, as it is shorter, quieter, and provides some good views of the coaster.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was by far my favorite ride at the Universal Orlando Resort, and also my number one overall. The greatness of this ride starts in the queue, which has great animated videos playing which last about one loop before getting to the next room with the next video, which is great so you get everything once and the story really starts to develop!
The ride itself is also fantastic. The way the screens are ingrained into real sets is amazing, and the ride vehicles pivot and respond incredibly well. The special effects on the ride are amazing, one of my favorite parts being when Hobgoblin throws an exploding pumpkin that misses but explodes on the bridge.
Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall was by far the biggest surprise of my visit. This drop ride doesn’t seem like much because of its modest height of 185 feet, but the launch up is very fun, and the brakes at the top provide a decent bit of airtime.
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls was a really fun log ride. Universal is known for really getting riders wet on rides, and Ripsaw Falls is no exception, as I came off drenched. The theming in this attraction is also great, and the small “coaster” sections are a lot of fun to change things up from the normal log flume formula.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong
Skull Island: Reign of Kong is a very interesting attraction. I like how they added some videos ahead of the section that was incredibly similar to Kong 360 3D at Universal Studios Hollywood’s tram tour, but was slightly disappointed in the use of the “party bus” and how short the outside section was.
Jurassic Park River Adventure was a really cool experience. I prefer this one to the one at Universal Studios Hollywood, as this version is slightly longer and has some additional theming elements.
I love how Jurassic Park is a really expansive land at Islands of Adventure, including the Discovery Center.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade was really nice, but I prefer the one at Universal Studios Hollywood. The one at Universal Studios Hollywood has larger paths, so people can get around a lot easier, but the original version here at Universal’s Islands of Adventure has a larger and more detailed Hogwarts Castle.
Flight of the Hippogriff is a very nice kids coaster. I love how it swoops up and around Hogsmeade, and it gives a very good view of the surrounding area. The track itself is very smooth, and the crew does a really good job of keeping the line moving.
Now for what many think is the best attraction at Universal Orlando Resort, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Surprisingly, I did not find this attraction to be too amazing. I actually prefer the version of this ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, as this one shows the backstage and edges of screens a little too much. The ride itself is fantastic, but parts like in the forest scene where the ride actually points you straight at the track and another ride vehicle ruins the immersion for me.
Cat in the Hat was a fun little dark ride. I love that Islands of Adventure has a dark ride similar to old school dark rides. I thought the animatronics were done well, and the ride really captured the spirit of the book.
Thank you for checking out this update!