Islands of Adventure trip report – January 2013 (new WWoHP live performance stage, possible lagoon show prep & more)
Over the long Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend my family and I visited Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando. Crowds were heavy on Sunday, with wait times about an hour for the Amazing Adventures of Spider-man and The Incredible Hulk Coaster rides. In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Dragon’s Challenge was temporarily shut down (scheduled to reopen tomorrow after a three week refurb) and posted wait times for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was 75 minutes and Flight of the Hippogriff was 80 minutes. The wait in the Express Pass line for Flight of the Hippogriff took 30 minutes before we reached the ride.
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The lines for the food and drink kiosks and the quick-service restaurants were 10-20 people deep throughout the day with about a 20 minute wait to purchase items. Each line for butterbeer was at least twice that length in the WWoHP. I noted that there were several “seasonal” drink/snack kiosks set up throughout the park including one in front of the fountain in Toon Lagoon.
As previously reported, the construction area for the WWoHP expansion between The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show and the entrance to WWoHP is evident, but it is difficult to see any changes from the guests’ side of the construction fences. I’m looking forward to hopefully reporting a significant change in this area in the near future.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride and Flight of the Hippogriff were enjoyable, and our enthusiasm continues for the always magical atmosphere throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A new stage has been built in the area where the Frog Choir, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students perform. I watched the Frog Choir and Beauxbatons performances. The stage made it much easier for me to see the performers and enhanced the overall experience.
Oddly, the Beauxbatons’ performance did not include any music, and I was unable to determine if this was a technical problem or a permanent change to the program. Another difference was the Durmstrang performers were at a separate time from the Beauxbatons performance for the Triwizard Spirit Rally. I attributed this change due to the size of the stage and space available to perform the stunts and dances from both groups.
Although it was crowded at Islands of Adventure, we enjoyed Seuss Landing and rode the Cat in the Hat ride and the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. We were able to watch the Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear show and hear the story of The Lorax, including music from the movie. After the entertaining show, we also got a chance to meet and have our photo taken with several of the Seuss characters.
After being open during several recent visits, the Green Eggs and Ham quick-service restaurant was closed during this trip.
Due to a slight chill in the air, cloudy skies and potentially cold water, my husband and son donned ponchos and rode Jurassic Park River Adventure and Ripsaw Falls. About half the riders were prepared with their ponchos but the ones not prepared were soaked and very cold – so cold that some were visibly shivering. After these wet rides, my son was ready to leave so we headed home, skipping Marvel Super Hero Island attractions on this trip. However, we were able to experience the terrific roar of the Incredible Hulk Coaster as we exited the park.
Our family had another enjoyable day at Islands of Adventure. I look forward to our next trip and hope to experience some of the attractions that we missed this time.
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For those of you in the final stages of planning your Universal vacations, please note that Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls is scheduled to be closed for maintenance February 9 through March 7. Also, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges will be closed from January 26 through February 8. To get more information about ride closures and a total overview of all the current Universal Orlando happenings, visit our Universal Snapshot page in the OI Universal Center.
Are the rumors true? Is there really a lagoon show coming to Islands of Adventure. While we don’t have any more details to tell you about, I can say that we have never noticed this boat or these black buoys in the water before (you have to look closely to see the buoys)…
Not to be outdone by the new Transformers merchandise available at Universal Studios Florida, there is a kiosk selling the robot gear at Islands of Adventure too. It is near the restaurant reservation desk in Port of Entry, just before you cross the bridge into Marvel Super Hero Island.
You can see 22 full-screen photos of the new merchandise on our Transformers page in the OI Universal Center.
Universal Studios Florida trip report – photo gallery
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