Islands of Adventure trip report – February 2013 (full tour around the park, refurb update and over 50 images)
As guests enter into the Port of Entry in Islands of Adventure (IOA) at Universal Orlando, “The adventure begins” is etched overhead on a stone overhang. Our recent visit to IOA was just that, a fun adventure for my family and me.
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Taking a right, we headed toward Seuss Landing first. We enjoyed the Cat in the Hat ride and The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. In addition to being fun, the attractions in this area have visual appeal bringing to life several Dr. Seuss books.
As you cross the bridge from Seuss Landing to the Lost Continent section of IOA, you cross into a different atmosphere and adventure. My son took us straight to Poseidon’s Fury. Although this experience was loud, it is also entertaining and exhilarating at times (and the building is magnificent).
Our adventure continued as we moved into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP). Construction still goes on next to the entrance to WWoHP but there were no noticeable changes since my last visit. Dragon’s Challenge had a short posted wait time but the actual wait time was much longer, most likely due to mechanical issues with the ride.
Even though I didn’t ride the coaster, I walked with my son and husband through the queue so that I could see the Triwizard cup, the Goblet of Fire and other memorabilia from the Harry Potter movies. There is so much detail, and you really feel like you are immersed in the Goblet of Fire movie. Guests should not skip the queue itself, even if they are like me and won’t ride most coasters.
I was able to see both the Frog Choir and the Triwizard Spirit Rally on the new stage again this trip. The Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students performed together with music, unlike the apparent temporary change I reported during my visit last month. After the Frog Choir performed, there was an opportunity for guests to take pictures of the choir only. However, after the Triwizard Spirit Rally, there was enough time for park guests to take pictures standing with the group.
In Jurassic Park, the Jurassic Park River Adventure was open and my son and husband donned their ponchos to enjoy this attraction. My son always seems to get wetter than my husband on this ride since he sits either on the far left seat or far right seat on the boat. He very much enjoys the big drop and large splash at the end of the adventure.
Moving onto Toon Lagoon, Ripsaw Falls was closed for refurbishment. Construction walls surround the attraction blocking all access, including the observation area on the bridge. Not wanting to be drenched, we skipped Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges, although it was open after its recent refurbishment. (You can track all of Universal’s refurb work on OI’s Universal Snapshot page.) We walked to Me Ship, The Olive and realized that my son and husband had never explored this area. This three-level play area themed as a cartoon ship offers some great views and photo opportunities of the entire park, including the other attractions surrounding the lagoon.
We were glad to spend more time this trip at the last Island of Adventure, Marvel Super Hero Island. We rode The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man, and it was my first time seeing the HD upgrade given to the ride last year. The enhancements were a dramatic difference from the old format and made for an extraordinary experience. I thought, if Transformer: The Ride is anything like Spider-man (and I’ve read on OI that it is), I can’t wait for it to open.
My husband and son rode The Incredible Hulk Coaster several times due to the short wait times and greatly enjoyed the experience as the sun set.
During this trip the crowds and wait times were moderate, but I noticed that the lines for food and drink seemed long for the crowd level. The WWoHP section is still the busiest and most crowded part of the park.
As you exit the park at the Port of Entry, the back of the overhang reads “The Adventure Lives On”. I look forward to returning to IOA with my family, but for now, my adventure lives on in my photos and memories.
I hope you enjoyed this trip report. If you’d like to catch up on all our trip reports, click here.
Islands of Adventure trip report – photo gallery
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