Islands of Adventure, the second theme park to open at the Universal Orlando Resort, may be steps away from Universal Studios, but it is worlds apart in atmosphere. While Universal Studios’ mantra is to “ride the movies,” Islands of Adventure aims to thrill you with the most innovative attractions in the country, from high-speed roller coasters to children’s rides that are second to none.
Like Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure is divided into themed lands, or the so-called “islands.” These lands contain some of the best attractions in the world, but it is important before diving into these themed lands that you check out the important park information to learn more about IOA’s ticket plans and other essential park information, along with these insider secrets.
Beginning with the Port of Entry, the different islands at IOA will offer you unique scenery and a completely different feel from the other five islands. Each is designed to transport and fully submerge you into that particular theme, and navigation is a cinch at this park, as most of the park is surrounding the central sea, and between each island, a simple walkway creates a bridge from one land to the next.
At the Port of Entry, you will find a marketplace filled with shops and eateries that are designed to recapture exotic ports of call. At Seuss Landing, a 10-acre kid’s area, you will feel as if you have jumped right into the pages of one of Dr. Seuss’s books, with attractions such as One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and The Cat in the Hat. The Lost Continent features attractions for teens and adults alike, and while it is the smallest of all six islands, it boasts the highest thrill factor in the classic roller coaster Dueling Dragons, a definite on the must-see list.
Steven Spielberg’s movie comes to life in the Jurassic Park island, transporting you right into a scene from the classic movie, complete with tropical foliage and the sounds of those gigantic prehistoric beasts off in the distance.
Toon Lagon takes your favorite comic strip characters, like Popeye and Beetle Bailey, and incorporates them into a variety of rides and shows. In addition to the more than 150 life-sized sculpted cartoon images, most of the rides and shows in this island are family-oriented and water-based, so prepare to get wet!
Finally, Marvel Super Hero Island is home to some of the park’s biggest and most popular rides, including the Incredible Hulk Coaster, as super heroes and their arch nemeses aim to entertain you in a whole new way.
To go along with the intricate theming of Islands of Adventure, many of the shopping and dining options also offer plenty of themed merchandise and food to complete the atmosphere of the park. The Green Eggs and Ham Café is one of the examples, with offerings of actual green-tinted entrees, while all of the restaurants in IOA are quite a step above the usual theme park-food offerings. And with more than 20 shops to check out, there is something for everyone to take home as a souvenir.