Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013 (Hogwarts Station construction, Jurassic Park midway games & a peek at the new CityWalk renovations)

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Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando provided an enjoyable afternoon for me recently as I visited for August’s trip report.

Upon entering the park gates, I decided to spend more time in Port of Entry than usual, and I enjoyed browsing through the shops and seeing the unique merchandise and delicious food available for purchase.

This trip I strayed from my normal routine and explored IOA in a clockwise fashion instead of counter-clockwise. As I entered Marvel Super Hero Island first, I was immediately captivated by the sights and sounds of the Incredible Hulk Coaster, which had a posted wait time of 20 minutes.

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

[wptouch target=”non-mobile”]Remember, you can click any image to view it full-screen. And don’t miss the complete photo gallery with 40 new full-screen images at the bottom of the post.
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I walked through while Super Heroes were scattered throughout this section, meeting and greeting park guests and posing for photos. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, a thrilling attraction, had a posted wait time of 45 minutes for the standby line.

Moving past the carnival games between Marvel Super Hero Island and Toon Lagoon, I noticed a new plush character from the Despicable Me 2 movie that guests could win.

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

In Toon Lagoon the crowds were heavy, even though the posted wait time for the soaking Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges was only 10 minutes. Several park guests were enjoying the views from Me Ship, The Olive while Wimpy’s quick-service hamburger restaurant was open. The fun and very wet Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls had a typical crowded day wait time of 60 minutes for the standby line.

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

Leaving the wet and wacky Toon Lagoon section of IOA, I entered the gripping and fun Jurassic Park. Pteranodon Flyers was popular as usual with the young guests and Camp Jurassic was also busy. I took a break inside the Thunder Falls Terrace quick-service restaurant and enjoyed seeing the Jurassic Park River Adventure boats plunge outside the large windows of the restaurant. Jurassic Park River Adventure had a posted wait time of 20 minutes.

Camouflaged construction walls continue to cover the extended queue to River Adventure. Rumors indicate this construction is for the midway games that will be moved from their current location in the Lost Continent area and re-themed for Jurassic Park (ultimately making more room at the main WWoHP entrance for its expansion).

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

An interactive map of the Jurassic Park midway games location is included at the bottom of the post.

I stopped briefly to observe the dinosaurs inside the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. I also watched scientists outside the center engaging with park guests and showing them dinosaur embryos and encouraging them to hold the embryos.

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

I then crossed the bridge into my favorite section of IOA, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I could hear the Frog Choir performing as I walked through Hogsmeade. Flight of the Hippogriff, a fun but quick kid-coaster, had a posted wait time of 5 minutes. The awesome and exhilarating Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction had a posted wait time of only 30 minutes, which is very unusual on a summer afternoon. Inside Filch’s Emporium, team members were encouraging guests to pet the spiders and other realistic looking hand puppets.

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

The high-speed Dragon Challenge rollercoasters had a posted wait time of 10 minutes. I noticed the construction of the new Hogsmeade Station was visible in the Dragon Challenge queue and over the construction fence between the Wizarding World and the Lost Continent. Here’s a look around the expansion area:

Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report - August 2013.
Islands of Adventure trip report – August 2013.

In Lost Continent The Mystic Fountain was entertaining guests with its antics and engaging water show. Poseidon’s Fury attraction had a posted wait time of 45 minutes for the standby line. I walked along the pathway on the lagoon side of the Lost Continent near the superb Mythos restaurant and took in the enthralling views of the other side of the park across the lagoon.

Crossing into Seuss Landing, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride had a posted wait time of 25 minutes for the standby line. This ride provides a unique view of Seuss Landing and the lagoon area of IOA. The family-fun One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish ride and the whirling The Cat in The Hat ride both had posted wait times of only 10 minutes. It had been raining and so the quirky and entertaining Oh The Stories You’ll Hear show scheduled at that time was canceled. Green Eggs and Ham quick-service restaurant, open seasonally, was not open this afternoon.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Islands of Adventure this trip, I noted that I prefer to travel around the park counter-clockwise. Seuss Landing is a good place to visit first as a “warm up” to the rest of the park. It is more thrilling to end a visit in Marvel Super Hero Island than Seuss Landing. However, no matter which direction you take, Islands of Adventure offers a fun-filled day with lots of memories to make and I hope that you can visit it soon!

On my way through CityWalk back to the parking deck, I took note of the construction area in front of Pastamore Marketplace. CityWalk is updating the pedestrian area and reconfiguring the walk-up service for this restaurant. Also under construction in CityWalk is Latin Quarter, which is totally closed. Rumors vary as to what will replace this section but some say a Mexican themed restaurant will be built.

Universal CityWalk - August 2013.
Universal CityWalk – August 2013.
Universal CityWalk - August 2013.
Universal CityWalk – August 2013.

 

Thanks for reading this trip report. Please leave your questions and comments below, and don’t forget to check out the map showing the Jurassic Park midway location.

When you’re done with this post, you can catch up on all our trip reports by clicking right here.


Jurassic Park midway – map

Click any marker to display the attraction or venue name. To scroll or zoom, use the controls on the top-left of the map. You may also switch to different map views by using the buttons on the top-right of the map.


View OI’s map of Universal’s Islands of Adventure in a larger map


Islands of Adventure trip report – photo gallery

Click any image to view it full-screen. When the full-screen image is open, click to the right or use the right arrow on your keyboard to advance through the gallery.

 

[sws_author_bio user=”MaureenDeal” size=”105″ authorposts=”More OI posts by Maureen” name_format=”About the author”] [/sws_author_bio]

Maureen Maureen is married with a teenage son who has autism. Since she and her family moved to Orlando in 2007, they have visited Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld almost every weekend. Maureen recently created AutismAtTheParks.com to help vacationers who have a family member with a developmental disability to better navigate and enjoy the theme parks.

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