ParkSpotting at Islands of Adventure – August 7, 2011: Staying cool while island hopping

in Entertainment, Food, ParkSpotting, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando

With a new camera in hand, I set out to Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure this past weekend to get some exercise and snap some photos along the way. What I didn’t anticipate (though should have) is just how hot the weather was going to be. Fortunately, Islands of Adventure is full of fun ways to cool off – many of which I took pictures of while hopping from island to island. So join me for the first ParkSpotting adventure in six months, from Sunday, August 7, 2011…

Universal Orlando
The Universal Orlando lagoon always looks so peaceful and inviting.

Seuss Landing
But once inside Islands of Adventure, it became quickly apparent just how hot it was outside. Guests walking around with shirts rolled up and/or wearing bathing suits were not at all uncommon.

Lemon Slush
I had only been there a few minutes, but the nearby Lemon Slush stand was already inviting.

Hogwarts Castle
The snow-covered roofs of Hogsmeade Village didn't make me feel any cooler, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter always offers spectacular views to take your mind off the heat. Is this really a photo from a theme park?

I don't know how anyone could stand to dance along with this band in the Jurassic Park area. Too hot to dance. But they were still entertaining.

Jurassic Park River Adventure
Water rides are a great way to cool off at any theme park and the Jurassic Park River Adventure offers wind in your face during the drop and water in your face (all over the rest of you) at the bottom.

Jurassic Park River Adventure
This group certainly cooled off quickly (with plenty of laughs).

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
The ultimate in water rides is Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, drenching almost every person who rides.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
Eyes open or closed, you're still going to get wet.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
So you might as well embrace it - and scream!

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
But beware, the big drop isn't the end, as guests may be waiting above to trigger one of the many water guns around the corner, giving you an unexpected blast.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
More water cannons await...

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
...sometimes doubling up!

Between rides, refillable mugs not only cool you down but offer much-needed fluids. It's far too easy to get dehydrated on a hot day in a theme park. (I used one of the free water coupons that came with my Universal Orlando Premier pass to stay hydrated.)

Another sure-to-drench attraction is Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.

The area in and around The Olive boat offers the best views of passengers getting soaked on the Barges.

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
A few slow corners precede one of the most drenching moments on the ride...

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
Look out above! There's a leaky pipe.

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
Yep, still leaking.

Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
That's one strong leak!

Toon Lagoon
More leaky pipes and other water features can be found throughout the area. They don't call it Toon Lagoon for nothing.

Dr. Doom
Over in Marvel Superhero Island, plenty of characters were out to entertain guests in the streets.

Green Goblin
The Green Goblin selected this prisoner. (I don't blame him...)

Dr. Doom Fear Fall
Those wanting to cool off without getting wet should consider one of Islands of Adventure's many fast rides.

Dr. Doom Fear Fall
Dr. Doom's Fear Fall rockets guests in the air at high speeds, providing a cool breeze in the process. (Just check out the wind flowing through their hair...)

Incredible Hulk coaster
More cooling winds and hair blowing can always be found aboard the Incredible Hulk coaster.

Nearby, the Marvel heroes rode into the park in style. It's still a bit odd to see these characters in this park now that Disney owns Marvel.

Wolverine was ready to pick a fight with me.

Storm seemed to be in a better mood. I wanted to ask her if she could summon some cooler weather.

Marvel characters
And then they rode off...

A reason for visiting Islands of Adventure over any other local theme park was to grab 3D photos for, as I hadn’t yet added that park to the growing gallery. Here are a few examples that I took (put on your red/blue glasses):

That Butterbeer concluded my trip to Islands of Adventure. You can see these and many more 3D pictures from Islands of Adventure (and other parks) at, not only in red/blue format but also as downloadable MPO files for glasses-free viewing on a Nintendo 3DS, 3D phone, Fuji 3D camera, or any other 3D-capable device.

After a few hours in the park, I had achieved what I set out to do. I was tired from walking around the park, took plenty of photos, and nabbed a refreshment or two before heading out, concluding another ParkSpotting adventure. I’ll try not to let six months pass before the next one.

Check out all of our past ParkSpotting adventures and keep coming back for more!

And visit for more 3D photos from theme parks in Florida, California, Paris, and other destinations and special events worldwide!

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