As I mentioned in my first Universal article, the first question to ask yourself is whether or not Harry Potter will be your focus at Islands of Adventure.
Today, I will discuss the best ways to see a majority of this park with minimal waiting in lines. While you can certainly enjoy Hogsmeade Village later in the day, this plan will focus on the rest of the park.
As always, it is very important to arrive at the gates of Islands of Adventure prior to its opening. Just like at the other park, a majority of guests will head directly to the Harry Potter area. This gives the rest of us an opportunity to visit a majority of the other attractions before any substantial waits develop. While the heavy crowd is going to the right after entering the park, my suggestion would be to turn left and head toward Marvel Super Hero Island.
If you are brave, your first stop should be the Incredible Hulk Coaster. Then, head over to the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, followed by Dr. Doom’s Fearfall and Storm Force Accelatron. All but Storm Force will have long lines later in the morning.
After finishing the Marvel attractions, you have a decision to make, which is actually based on the temperature. During the warmer months (which is the majority of them in Florida) you will be best off heading into Toon Lagoon and riding Rip Saw Falls and Bilge Rat Barges. Keep in mind that there is a good chance that you will get soaked on both of these water rides. Since you will already be wet, the next stop should be the Jurassic Park River Adventure.
After the water rides, you’d be best off heading over to Seuss Landing to enjoy those attractions. The two that should be visited first are Seuss Trolley Train and Cat in the Hat, as these tend to have longer lines as time goes on. However, during the cooler winter months, I would suggest hitting Seuss Landing before the three wet attractions. There are two reasons for this. First, it is no fun being cold and wet. Second, those attractions won’t be very busy until the warmer afternoon hours. Because of this, the Seuss attractions can get busier early in the day. So, by swapping the order, you could save time and stay warm.
During most times of year, you can visit all of the above attractions and still have time for Poseidon’s Fury before lunch. Now, you will have all afternoon to enjoy Hogsmwade Village and the Harry Potter attractions, if you so desire. There will probably be a pretty long wait for The Forbidden Journey, but this attraction has one of the most elaborate queue areas of any theme park ride, which helps the time go by quicker. As an alternative, you could use the single-rider line to avoid a longer wait. At some point during the afternoon, you could also head over to the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show, which is located close to Hogsmeade.
The above plan does not require the purchase of Universal’s Express Pass. However, if you are staying at one of Universal’s deluxe resorts or just want to head directly to the Harry Potter area after the park opens, the Express Pass can definitely be a useful tool. It will help you enjoy the rest of the attractions, which could have substantial wait times later in the day. Hopefully, these tips help you make the most out of your next visit to Islands of Adventure.
I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!