Amazing Islands of Adventure Tips For Universal Visitors

in Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando

Credit: Universal Orlando

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a theme park found at Universal Orlando Resort. This theme park is incredibly immersive, boasting many themed lands including Jurassic Park, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Dr. Suess.

This theme park is home to family-friendly attractions, and many thrill rides including two new coasters to quench the thirst of any adrenaline junkie! Here is our guide to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Related: Universal to Hire Thousands of Team Members as Parks Return to Normal

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

Planning your trip to Universal’s Islands of Adventure

It is so important to do some planning ahead of your visit to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. You can use this guide to help you plan your vacation, or you can reach out to our friends at Academy Travel, who are professional vacation planners and do not charge you anything for their services!

You can also read our full guide to Universal Studios Florida which is right next to Islands of Adventure — you will not want to miss a trip to Universal Studios Florida!

What are the best times of year to experience Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

Summer and the holiday season (November-January) are undoubtedly the busiest times of year for the theme parks in Central Florida, Universal Orlando Resort theme parks included.

But there are also other times of the year when you may notice that the theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort are a bit more crowded. Universal throws two big yearly events, Halloween Horror Nights and Mardi Gras. Halloween Horror Nights typically runs from mid-September through the end of October. Mardi Gras typically runs from February through April.

Mardi Gras
Credit: Katrina A. Inside the Magic

On weekends when Universal is holding these events, the theme parks are usually packed, so if you want to plan a trip to Islands of Adventure when those events are going on, the weekdays are your best bet for lesser crowds.

What days of the week are best for Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

In general, weekdays are always going to be less crowded days at Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and Volcano Bay.

When are the best times of day to visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

It is no secret that Orlando is HOT! The early morning and of course the evening are the best times to visit Islands of Adventure if you want to try and beat the rays of the Florida sun. However, you can beat the heat by packing and preparing for your park day properly.

The evening is my favorite time to enjoy Islands of Adventure because I find the roller coasters to be more thrilling when they are lit up after the sun goes down! However, many people enjoy the early morning when it is less hot.

Wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and stay hydrated during the day, while making the most of the air-conditioned lines, dining locations, and retail shops if you spend the entire day in the park.

Islands of Adventure will be Hosting Family Fall Events!
Credit: Universal Studios Orlando

What time does Islands of Adventure open?

Universal’s Islands of Adventure operating times can vary throughout the year, so the exact time when the park opens will depend on the season, but you can count on the theme park opening in the morning hours of the day.

Universal does also offer early morning park hours for Universal hotel Guests and Universal Annual Pass Members sporadically throughout the year. If you are eligible for those early park hours, be sure to take advantage of them! You can use that hour-early park entry to ride the park’s most popular attractions, such as Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, with little to no wait.

Another way to skip the lines and make the most of your day at Islands of Adventure is by purchasing a Universal Express Pass.

What is the Universal Express Pass?

Universal Express Pass is a special pass that is an additional charge to your theme park admission ticket. Express Pass lets you jump to the front of the line on the most popular attractions at Island’s of Adventure.

You can read our full guide to Universal Express Pass here and decide if purchasing Express Pass is right for you and your family during your visit to Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal Orlando

If you stay at select Universal Orlando Resort hotels you will receive Express Pass with your stay! The Hard Rock Hotel and other luxury hotels at Universal offer this as an amenity with your stay — this is a great added value to your vacation!

Which rides have Universal Express Pass at Islands of Adventure?

Here are the attractions that are offered on Universal Express Pass:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Hogwarts™ Express (Park-to-Park admission ticket required)
  • Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Storm Force Accelatron
  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Caro-Seuss-el
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Poseidon’s Fury
Hogwarts Express, Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal

Using the Universal Express Pass at Islands of Adventure

All you need to do is keep your Express Pass with you and let a Team Member scan your Express Pass at the Express Pass entrance of an attraction that utilizes this service. Then, you will be able to skip the line and ride the attraction with little to no wait. It is so easy and convenient, especially for hot, busy summer days.

What kind of rides are at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

You will find both family attractions and thrill rides at Islands of Adventure. You can look forward to taking the little ones on plenty of attractions in Suess Landing, such as the Cat and the Hat dark ride. But for the big kids and adults in your party, there are plenty of exciting attractions at Islands of Adventure such as The Incredible Hulk roller coaster, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Universal Forbidden Journey
Credit: Universal

What height do your kids have to be to enjoy the rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

According to the official Universal Orlando website, 48” inches is the magic number for your kiddos to ride most of the attractions in the theme park, but as you can see from the list below there is a wide range of heights for different attractions that your kids can enjoy:

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®
    Must be at least 40″ (102cm). Children between 40″–48″ (102cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Cat in the Hat™
    Must be at least 36″ (92cm). Children between 36″–48″ (92cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall®*
    Must be at least 52″ (133cm).
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®*
    Must be at least 44″ (112cm). Children between 44″–48″ (112cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Flight of the Hippogriff™
    Must be at least 36″ (92cm). Children between 36″–48″ (92cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™*
    Minimum Height 48″ (122 cm).
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™*
    Must be 48″ (122cm).
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™
    Must be at least 36″ (92cm). Children between 36″–48″ (92cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster®*
    Must be at least 54″ (138cm).
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure™
    Must be at least 42″ (107cm). Children between 42″–48″ (107cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges®
    Must be at least 42″ (107cm). Children between 42″–48″ (107cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Pteranodon Flyers™
    Please note that Pteranodon Flyers™ is designed for children 36″–56″ (92cm-142cm) tall. A child meeting this requirement must accompany guests over 56″ (142cm) tall. Children between 36″–48″ (92cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong™
    Must be at least 36″ (92cm). Children between 36″–48″ (92cm-122cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.
Seuss Landing
Credit: Universal

What rides should you do first at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

The layout of Islands of Adventure is a giant circle with a Lagoon in the middle of the theme park, which offers great views of everything the park has to offer. So when you enter you have two choices of where to go first, right or left!

Left leads you to Seuss Landing which offers plenty of attractions and entertainment for the little ones, and going right leads you to Marvel Superhero Islands and loads of thrilling attractions. Depending on your family’s wants and needs you may go right or left around the circle, and guide you to the right first attraction for your day.

Discovery Center
Credit: Universal Orlando

What lands are at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

Port of Entry

Port of Entry is the first land that serves as a jumping-off point for your Islands of Adventure experience. This land does not have any attractions but does offer a giant gift shop, Starbucks, sit-down restaurant, and more.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park transports you into the land of the dinosaurs! This land features attractions based on both the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films.

VelociCoaster
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Lost Continent

This land is not based on any particular film, TV show, or intellectual property — it is an original concept that is home two a show and a fantastic sit-down restaurant, Mythos.

Marvel Super Hero Island

Based on the stories from Marvel Comics, you will find all of your favorite superheroes inside of Islands of Adventure! The Incredible Hulk rollercoaster is high in the sky above this land.

Hulk Coaster
Credit: Universal

Seuss Landing

Based on the classic children’s stories from Dr. Seuss, your little ones will enjoy this brightly colored land filled with familiar characters such as The Cat in the Hat and the Grinch!

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is an attraction inside of Islands of Adventure that creates its own mini-land in the park.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong
Credit: Universal

Toon Lagoon

This land features old comic strip characters such as Popeye and Betty Boop. You will find two major water rides that will have you soaked after riding — perfect for a hot summer day!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

One of the best parts for many about visiting Universal theme parks is being transported into the world of Harry Potter. At Islands of Adventure, you will find yourself in the town of Hogsmeade which is right out of the books and films with a great view of Hogwarts Castle in the distance!

You will even be able to enter Hogwarts and take a ride on one of the park’s best attractions, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Hogwarts Castle
Credit: Universal Orlando

What are the newest attractions at Islands of Adventure?

VelociCoaster

On June 10, Universal will have the grand opening of the VelociCoaster at Islands of Adventure. This attraction themed to the raptor Blue, Charlie, Echo, and Delta from the Jurassic World franchise is an incredibly themed roller coaster — it is sure to make your ROAR!

VelociCoaster is not for the faint of heart — serious thrill-seekers only!

velocicoaster
Credit: Universal

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

This new coaster reinvented what immersive attractions look like by pushing all boundaries of roller coaster technology. You will see many elements when you take a ride on one of Hagrid’s motorbikes — you will see creatures right out of the Harry Potter books, and even some that were never shown in the films!

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Art
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

How many days should you spend at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?

In my opinion, one day is enough. For some Guests who want to take their time or go to the theme parks during busy times of the year, you may want two days to see and do everything Islands of Adventure has to offer. It is truly a personal preference based on the way you and your family vacation.

How much does a trip to Universal Orlando typically cost per person?

Your Universal Orlando vacation price will depend on your family, where you stay, how many people you are taking, how many days you visit the parks, and so on.

Universal has many different levels of hotels and resorts to choose from for your stay. I highly recommended staying at a Universal hotel for your vacation as you can get a lot of room for your money, their properties are clean, well themed, and well managed, and will not disappoint. Cabana Bay is my overall top choice!

Let our friends at Acadamy Travel help save you money on your vacation by planning your trip for free!

Are you excited to visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure? Let us know in the comments!

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