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Universal Studios Islands of Adventure - Orlando Florida 

Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure

Island of Adventure at Universal Studios Orlando, Florida features uniquely themed worlds set around a large lake. Each world contains rides themed to that area, with shops and restaurants to suit. The front of the park features the Cat in The Hat to the right and The Incredible Hulk Coaster to the left. Harry Potter and Jurassic park are towards the rear.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As you enter the park you can't help but notice the steep spires of Hogwarts School on the horizon, they seem impossibly high and surprisingly covered in snow. The quickest route from the front entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is to the right through The Cat In The Hat area. If having stayed in a Universal Hotel you are entering the park on an early admission then make your way straight to Harry Potter, don't be tempted to stop on the way.

From the moment you pass the Hogwarts Express and enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter you are immersed into the world of Hogsmead. It's all here, you can try Butter Beer, buy cauldron cakes from Honeydukes or wands from Ollivanders, get extendable ears from Zonko's Joke Shop, or even post a letter from the Owl Post. As you walk through Hogsmead for the first time passing Flourish and Blotts library, you will feel just like Harry Potter as he first entered the village in the books.

The buildings with their steep sloping roofs and higgledy piggledy snow frostedHarry Potter chimneys, tiny windows packed with Hogsmead goodies, authentic food and cobbled streets make this a real spectacle.

There are three main rides here; Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hipogriff.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a fast flying cart ride around the inside of Hogwarts School, you will sweep and spin through the many dangers, chasing dementors and playing quidditch. This is a fast ride with lots of imagery, the many signs warning of motion sickness are not just for show!

 

Both Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hipogriff are rollercoasters with Flight of the Hipogriff the more family friendly version. If all this makes you hungry then find your way to either the Three Broomsticks or the Hogs Head for some food.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

With most coasters as you leave the platform you clunk your way slowly uphillIncredible Hulk Coaster before the fun starts, with the Incredible Hulk Coaster the fun starts as you leave the platform Unique amongst coasters this ride does away the the chain lift using instead a powered ascent that takes you to 40mph in 2 seconds, follow that with high twisting turns and 360 degree loops and you have one serious coaster.

Billed as best for teens and with a minimum height requirment of 137 cm (54 inches) this coaster is for the adventurous ones.

Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Barges

Whilst all water rides will warn that you may get wet, most will only get splashed a little here and there. When the signs at the entrance to Popeye & Bluto's Barges say you may get wet they mean you will be soaked right though to your undies and then some. Its great fun, a great water ride but unless soggy clothes are your thing then maybe leave it for later in the day.

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Not so much a log flume, more a boat flume. You set sail around the primeval swamps of Jurassic Earth accompanied all the way by soaring and roaring Dinosaurs. Lots of splashing around and then a huge drop at the end. Sounds good and is good. Although watch that drop at the end, it's sudden, and the restraints in the boat will not stop you from being forced forward by the sudden deceleration at the bottom.

Jurassic Park Universal Studios

Poseidon's Fury

A walking tour around Poseidon's underground caves, full of fire and fury. A very clever show and well worth the lengthy queue. It is quite loud and the fire effects are hot, it may scare younger ones.