Islands of Adventure trip report – June 2013 (stunning images of the Hogsmeade train station under construction & more)

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I recently visited Islands of Adventure (IOA) at Universal Orlando Resort (UOR) on a hot and stormy afternoon. The crowds were heavy, although surprisingly the wait times for the different rides and attractions indicated a more moderate crowd level.

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

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IOA’s Port of Entry is a great place to shop for various merchandise including souvenirs, holiday decorations and island-style clothing.  It also has a variety of foods available like candy, Cinnabon rolls, bakery items and even full-service dining at Confisco Grille.

I always enjoy walking through Seuss Landing, seeing the bright colors and whimsical décor featured throughout this section of the park. Popular attractions like The Cat in The Hat and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish are very appealing to families with young children and the young at heart. You can get a great view of various sections of the park around the lagoon from the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, which had a posted wait time of 30 minutes for the standby line.

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

Transitioning over the bridge into the Lost Continent, I passed the Pearl Factory, the fabulous Mythos restaurant, the enthralling Poseidon’s Fury, and The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show. I spent some time observing the always entertaining Mystic Fountain and its interaction with park guests.

 [youtube_video]7Nn4iZ6PUZY[/youtube_video]

Until this point in my visit, I didn’t see many changes from my last visit to IOA. However, I was looking forward to what I would find in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP) and its current expansion. Before entering WWoHP I could see a small portion of the construction on the Hogsmeade Station over the high construction fence.

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

To our delight, riding Dragon Challenge enabled my husband to see the construction on the Hogsmeade Station from different perspectives even though it was only for a few seconds at a time. After riding each coaster a few times and strategically sitting in different seats, he noticed the Hungarian Horntail (blue) coaster offers a better aerial view of Hogsmeade Station and the Chinese Fireball (red) coaster passes in close proximity to the construction. It appears that construction of Hogsmeade Station is progressing with the most noticeable work occurring on the elevated platform of the station.

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

During our visit to Universal Studios Florida (USF) the day prior, there were brief but good views, while riding Rip Ride Rockit, of the Hogwarts Express elevated tracks leaving USF and heading to Hogsmeade Station in IOA.

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

In WWoHP Dragon Challenge had a posted wait time for the standby line of 25 minutes; Flight of the Hippogriff was 30 minutes and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was 45 minutes for the standby lines. The enjoyable Triwizard Spirit Rally took place on the stage near Forbidden Journey while I was in WWoHP. I also noticed a cart selling Florean Fortescue ice cream outside the Owlery. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and peanut butter flavored ice cream was available to purchase. The butterbeer cart at the main entrance of WWoHP was not crowded, but the one located near the exit to Jurassic Park was very busy.

Entering Jurassic Park I met my family at our usual spot for breaks: the picnic tables near the Watering Hole. This area is very shaded and somewhat off the beaten path. We enjoy our snacks, relax and rest our feet in this area every time we visit IOA. As we continued on our adventures through Jurassic Park, we noticed team members with dinosaur puppets greeting guests.

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

Past the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, we approached Jurassic Park River Adventure which had a posted wait time of 15 minutes for the standby line. River Adventure is now open after being refurbished last month. During the ride we noticed that the lighting in the jungle was more prominent. Fresh paint is evident throughout the entire attraction including the entrance gates to Jurassic Park, the signage along the ride, the buildings, props and even the dinosaurs.

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

The splash area outside the attraction was a popular spot for park guests as they watched the ride’s last drop and huge splash.

Leaving Jurassic Park, we entered Toon Lagoon. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls initially had a posted wait time of 60 minutes but was reduced later to 30 minutes for the standby line. My husband and son got soaked on this ride. I stayed dry in the shade near the lockers and enjoyed people watching. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges’ posted wait time was 10 minutes. As I strolled through Toon Lagoon, Betty Boop waved to me outside her shop where she was meeting and greeting guests.

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

Entering the thrilling and adventurous Marvel Super Hero Island, I noticed the posted wait time for the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was only 20 minutes. The gripping Incredible Hulk Coaster captivated park guests as it launched and roared around its multiple loops. This incredible coaster had a posted wait time of merely 5 minutes for the standby line. As a result, riding it many times was an easy task for those who were strong enough to tolerate the intense G-forces.

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

As usual, I enjoyed our visit to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort and look forward to my next visit soon.

 

NEW FEATURE! You can now read reviews of the individual attractions at Universal Orlando and share your own thoughts. This is brand new functionality, so OI hasn’t rolled it out across all pages yet. But it is live on the Transformers page, all the Simpsons Springfield pages, and these pages too:

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit | E.T. Adventure | Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges | Mythos restaurant | Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey | Horror Make-Up Show | MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack | The Blues Brothers Show | Revenge of The Mummy | Despicable Me Minion Mayhem

 

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[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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