Vacation savings from Orlando Informer!Save with Orlando Informer!X

Halloween Horror Nights

30 years of screams

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights takes place
select nights Sept. 3 - Oct. 31.

The world's best resource for Universal Orlando vacation planning
Comprehensive, obsessively updated, and completely free

FREE Islands of Adventure 1-day touring plan – accurate & up-to-date

The purpose of this plan is to give families an opportunity to experience nearly everything at Islands of Adventure in one day.

This plan is written for guests with and without Express Pass access. If you do have Express Passes, you will likely have more time to make your way from one attraction to the next, stop and get character photos, take in the details of the park, etc. You can learn more about Express in our complete guide.

We also want to mention that Universal features free resort-wide wifi and an updated mobile app that provides wait times for the rides and performance times for the shows. To download the app, follow these links: Android or iOS.

Tip: combine this plan with our Universal Studios Florida one-day touring plan to create the Ultimate Universal Orlando two-day touring plan!

Skip to: COVID | IOA

Pharos Lighthouse at Islands of Adventure
Your day of adventure at Islands of Adventure awaits!

COVID-19 note

Ever since Universal Orlando reopened after its initial COVID-19 closure, changes have been implemented that will impact your touring of the parks. Most pertinently, all single-rider lines have been closed (even though we still have those attractions that normally feature them marked as such), and there has been a greater emphasis placed on Virtual Lines, whether these are used exclusively or in conjunction with standby lines. This last point means that you’ll have to secure a return-time slot before you’re able to go to the ride at all, and it’s also important to note that the roster of Virtual Line-enabled experiences can change on a daily – or, even, hourly – basis, depending upon the overall crowd levels. (For more on this, please see our insider’s guide.)

You can read more about how the parks operate in a COVID world here.

Islands of Adventure 1-day touring plan

1. Entrance to Islands of Adventure
We recommend that you get to the turnstiles at least 45 minutes before the park opens for the best chance to jump-start your touring day.

Once you get through the turnstiles, be sure to pick up a park guide map. Universal’s in-park guide map covers both theme parks, and it includes times for the live shows and many of the character meet-and-greets.

Early Park Admission

Depending on the time of year, Universal Orlando hotel guests and vacation-package guests may be able to enjoy Early Park Admission (EPA) at Islands of Adventure. We recommend you check our crowd calendar or with your resort upon your arrival to see if EPA is at IOA. To take the best advantage of this benefit, be certain to get to the turnstiles 30 to 45 minutes before EPA is scheduled to begin.

Once you’re admitted into the park, simply follow the directions of the attending team members to get to Hogsmeade. What you do next depends on whether Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is open for EPA that day or not.

(If EPA is at IOA and Hagrid is open) 1A. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – Sr (single rider)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Restrictions and access: 48 inches; has a single-rider line. Summary: a thrilling, perfectly immersive outdoor roller coaster that takes you through the Forbidden Forest.

If Hagrid is using a Virtual Line that day – which is a pretty sure bet – you’ll need to use this time to grab a return-time slot instead of riding through the Forbidden Forest with the Hogwarts professor. Start trying to get your virtual spot as soon as possible, and slide it into wherever you can in the touring plan – everything else can be molded around what is arguably Universal Orlando’s flagship attraction!

(If EPA is at IOA and Hagrid isn’t open) 1B. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Ep (Express Pass) Sr
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Restrictions and access: 48 inches; loose articles must be stowed in the free lockers beside Hogwarts Castle; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: the first part is a tour of Hogwarts Castle’s most iconic rooms. The second part is a revolutionary flight simulator.

If you do not have Early Park Admission or if it’s not at IOA the day you are visiting, your first stop will be Skull Island. Here, we will experience one of the most popular rides while it’s still early in the morning, thus minimizing wait times.

2. Skull Island: Reign of Kong – Ep Sr
Skull Island

Restrictions and access: 34 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: board a large expedition vehicle and travel deep into Skull Island in the search for King Kong.

Upon exiting Skull Island, it’s time to visit Marvel Super Hero Island.

3. The Incredible Hulk Coaster – Ep Sr
Marvel Super Hero Island

Restrictions and access: 54 inches; loose articles must be stowed in free lockers; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line; also has a front-row line. Summary: one of the best high-speed, outdoor roller coasters in Orlando, featuring a story centered on the Hulk and a soundtrack provided by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump.

4. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – Ep Sr
Marvel Super Hero Island

Restrictions and access: 40 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: combining 3D film, ride movement, and special effects for a completely convincing simulator ride experience.

5. Dr. Doom’s Fearfall – Ep Sr
Marvel Super Hero Island

Restrictions and access: 52 inches; has Express Pass access. Summary: sit back and enjoy as you are thrust up a 200-foot-tall tower.

Now, it is time to go to Toon Lagoon and hit the water rides! Ideally, you will go on the next three attractions in a row because you will get soaked for sure on the first two and most likely on the third.

6. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – Ep Sr
Toon Lagoon

Restrictions and access: 44 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line; there are lockers nearby for convenience. Summary: the ultimate flume ride – you will get soaked.

7. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – Ep
Toon Lagoon

Restrictions and access: 42 inches. Summary: traditional raft ride – you will get soaked.

8. Jurassic Park: River Adventure – Ep
Jurassic Park

Restrictions and access: 42 inches; has Express Pass access. Summary: a dino-filled boat ride that ends with a plunge – will get you wet depending on where you are sitting.

9. Camp Jurassic
Jurassic Park

Restrictions and access: none. Summary: a truly gigantic play area with everything from slides and climbing nets to caves and water cannons.

10. Lunch time – Mythos or Thunder Falls Terrace
Mythos is an award-winning restaurant located in The Lost Continent, and it’s considered by many to be the best full-service restaurant inside Universal’s parks.

Not interested in full-service? Thunder Falls Terrace, located in Jurassic Park, is the best quick-service restaurant at Islands of Adventure – excluding The Three Broomsticks, that is, which we’re visiting for dinner.

The next set of attractions is inside The Lost Continent. Many guests consider these to be the weakest offerings at Islands of Adventure. If you are falling behind on time, you may want to skip Poseidon’s Fury; however, definitely take a few moments to visit the Mystic Fountain if it’s interacting with guests.

12. Mystic Fountain
The Lost Continent

Restrictions: none. Summary: the Mystic Fountain delights younger (and, if we’re being honest, older) guests as it talks, sings, and squirts them with water.

13. Poseidon’s Fury – Ep
The Lost Continent

Restrictions and access: none; has Express Pass access. Summary: indoor walk-through attraction, mixing live action with tons of special effects.

Now that we’re done with Lost Continent, we will be moving into Seuss Landing. As you can probably estimate for yourself, should you happen to be running short on time or if you don’t have younger kids in tow, you can skip the Seuss Landing rides (and proceed to Backwater Bar in Port of Entry for a drink!).

14. Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear
Seuss Landing

Summary: Dr. Seuss’s books come to life in song and dance as this small stage show invites us to read along. When the production is over, your little ones will have an opportunity to meet the characters.

*This is a live stage show and the showtimes will vary – verify the schedule in your park map. It’s not necessary to arrive more than a few minutes before this show starts.

15. If I Ran the Zoo
Seuss Landing

Restrictions: none. Summary: this interactive play area is filled with fanciful Seussian animals and contraptions. There is a world of fun to be had here with a little imagination.

16. Caro-Seuss-el – Ep
Seuss Landing

Restrictions: none; has Express Pass access. Summary: this is a traditional merry-go-round dressed up with Seuss characters.

17. Red Fish, Blue Fish, One Fish, Two Fish – Ep
Seuss Landing

Restrictions: none; has Express Pass access. Summary: Universal Orlando’s answer to Dumbo at Magic Kingdom, this ride lifts guests up and down and circles them ’round – with the extra element of water being thrown in.

18. The Cat in the Hat – Ep
Seuss Landing

Restrictions and access: 36 inches; has Express pass access. Summary: dark ride that takes you into the Cat in the Hat story. Entertaining enough for everyone in the family.

19. The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride! – Ep
Seuss Landing

Restrictions and access: 40 inches; has Express Pass access. Summary: the trolley takes you on a leisurely ride around Seuss Landing as you are entertained by fanciful sounds and effects.

With Seuss Landing complete, we have the opportunity to check out a few attractions we skipped earlier in the day as we moved around for optimal crowd management. Keep in mind that you want to save the last two or three hours of the day for Hogsmeade.

20. Storm Force Accelatron – Ep
Marvel Super Hero Island

Restrictions and access: none (children under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult); has Express Pass access. Summary: a Marvel spin on the classic egg-beater carnival ride.

21. Spider-Man photo op
Marvel Super Hero Island

Your favorite web-slinger has his own indoor meet-and-greet space in the building directly across from the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction.

22. Pteranodon Flyers
Jurassic Park

Restrictions and access: 36 inches; no Express Pass access; guests taller than 56 inches must be accompanied by a guest between 36 and 56 inches. Summary: meandering, outdoor, gondola-style ride designed for kids.

If all goes well, you now have two or three hours left to enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. We have stayed away from this area of the park all day because the intimate nature of its buildings makes it very difficult to maneuver through the shops and gain a full appreciation for all the detail. But, in the evening, the crowd levels lower considerably, making it easier to get on the rides, grab a table at The Three Broomsticks, and enjoy everything else there is to see.

23. Flight of the Hippogriff – Ep
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Restrictions and access: 36 inches; has Express Pass access. Summary: outdoor kiddie coaster that offers fantastic views of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village.

24. Ollivanders Wand Shop
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Restrictions and access: none; does not have Express Pass access. Summary: meticulously themed boutique where the wand chooses the wizard.

Note: if you experienced Ollivanders in Diagon Alley as part of our Universal Studios Florida touring plan, and you were satisfied with the experience, you can skip it in Hogsmeade – they are the same show.

25. Dinner – The Three Broomsticks
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Summary: stop in for traditional British Fare. If you have a big family, the restaurant’s signature offering, the Feast, can feed six people!

26. Sights and sounds of Hogsmeade
Just as we experienced with Diagon Alley, much of the amazement to be found in Hogsmeade is simply in admiring the intricate details of the land, from the sitting area behind Three Broomsticks to the interactive spell-casting locations scattered throughout the land. If you have the time, be sure to explore all the nooks and crannies you can, and keep your ears open for the live entertainment in Hogsmeade – the Triwizard Spirit Rally and the Frog Choir – which performs on the stage near Hogwarts Castle.

27. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Ep Sr
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Restrictions and access: 48 inches; loose articles must be stowed in the free lockers inside Hogwarts Castle; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: the first part is a tour of Hogwarts Castle’s most iconic rooms. The second part is a revolutionary flight simulator.

28. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – Sr
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Restrictions and access: 48 inches; has a single-rider line. Summary: a thrilling, perfectly immersive outdoor roller coaster that takes you through the Forbidden Forest.

Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is, quite simply, one of the best rides in all of Orlando, Universal or otherwise. We put it last on our list here – if you didn’t experience it during Early Park Admission, that is – for two reasons. First and foremost, the attraction probably utilized a Virtual Line that day, but it may have gone through all of its return-time slots by now, meaning that you could possibly just walk on it. Second, though, it’s a whole different experience at night – even if you did manage to hop on it in the morning, it’s more than worth a repeat trip through the Forbidden Forest!

29. The Hogwarts Express – Ep
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (Hogsmeade Station)

Restrictions and access: none; even wheelchairs and ECVs are allowed. Summary: the famous train takes guests on a magic journey from Muggle London to the wizarding village of Hogsmeade and back (note that each ride is one-way; guests wishing to return to IOA will need to exit the train, queue again, and re-board).

If you keep an eye on the time, you should be able to fit in a ride on the Hogwarts Express to USF and back at the end of your day. Just remember that the train requires park-to-park admission.

Tip: it might be a good idea to use Universal’s app to check out the wait time at King’s Cross Station before planning a round-trip experience.

Final tip: we couldn’t end our touring plan without mentioning that Camp Jurassic is incredibly cool at night. If you happen to find yourself at the end of the plan and you still have time, go back to Jurassic Park!

We hope you had an awesome day at Islands of Adventure!

Do you have a question about the information on this page, would like to provide feedback, or did you spot an inaccuracy? Please let us know by posting in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.

Reminder: combine this plan with our Universal Studios Florida one-day touring plan to create the Ultimate Universal Orlando two-day touring plan!

SeaWorld Manta Ray Ride

Save up to $62

on select Discovery Cove® Orlando reservations from Orlando Informer

Get Savings