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0 Universal’s Islands of Adventure - the Adventure Continues….

22 Jul 2014 | 06:30:00

Orlando . 2014 . May 2


This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


If you are heading to Universal’s Islands of Adventure and do not have much time to spare, we recommend this route - head down to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first, because it is easily the most popular place in this park and then continue on in a anti-clockwise direction to explore the rest of the park.

Universal's Island of Adventure Map


So the order of sequence will be:

  1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  2. Jurassic Park
  3. Toon Lagoon
  4. Marvel Superheros
  5. Lost Continent (Bypass Seuss Landing first), 
  6. Seuss Landing
  7. Head for the Exit

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There is so much to see at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that we have written a two-part posts (Part 1, Part 2) dedicated to it entirely.


Jurassic Park

Head on to the Jurassic Park next.


The one and only ride you should look out for, is the Jurassic Park River Adventure.


Primarily a river raft ride through Dinosaur habitats and research facilities, this ride has a series of small climbs and drops, before culminating in the final steep plunge, 7-storeys high through the darkness.  Awesome.




The plunge actually feels as if we were weightless and flying. But be prepared to get wet - very wet, especially if you are sitting in the front row.  I would do this ride more than once.


Tip: Bring your own poncho - those kind that has a hood and has a fastener at the neck to secure it tightly (hoods do fly off your head during the plunge and water gets in from the neck area) and wear slippers if you do not want to walk in water-soaked shoes for the rest of the day.  

Toon Lagoon 

Next Up - Toon Lagoon...



Besides the Jurassic Park River Adventure, there are two other water-based rides at Islands of Adventure - Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, thankfully both located at Toon Lagoon and all relatively near to each other.  Which is all the better, because since we were going to get wet, we might as well get wet all at the same time!


Blinge-Rat Barges.  The most ‘tame’ water ride out of the three, but the one that will get you the most wet.


There are no sharp drops or turns in this ride, only some wild-rushing waters.

This is what I meant when I say you will get the most wet.  There are waterfalls and water guns for other guests to shoot at you.


Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls.  I would rank this as the number 2 water ride after Jurassic Park River Adventure.


The plunge is not as steep nor as high as Jurassic Park, but it maintains it’s high speed even after plunging resulting in loads of splash for the riders.


A sample of the ‘log’ that we were sitting on for the ride. A little too narrow that even I have difficulty fitting myself in.


There are only these 2 water rides that are worth your time at Toon Lagoon.  But Toon Lagoon itself is such a pretty place, it actually felt we were walking in a life-sized comic book.




Look at those cute minions and mutated minions at Toon Lagoon.  But I am reserving my money to shop at Universal Studios Florida which has a Despicable Me ride and hopefully more minion-related merchandise.


Marvel Super Hero Island

Marvel Super Hero Island is the place for trill seekers. and houses some of the best rides in the entire theme park.


The Incredible Hulk coaster which can be seen from most parts of Islands of Adventure. Featuring multiple 360 degrees turns, large plunges and high speeds, this ride is good to see but too lethal for me with a weak heart to take.

In terms of intensity, I think it can rival ‘Dragon Challenge’ at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


My personal favourite here is ‘The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman’.  It is basically a high-defination 3-D ride through the streets of Manhattan, and you participate in a high speed vehicle as Spiderman battles with his nemesis.





The ride is complete with high speed sharp turns, jerks, shakes, simulated plunges and villains ‘jumping’ on your vehicle., leaving many of us screaming with excitement. Universal is really good with their 3-D and 4-D technology! The experience was so real and fascinating that we felt we were indeed part of the action.   Highly recommended to try at least once, although the queues can get really long.

The Lost Continent

There isn’t anything much to see at this Island, but the landscape and setting is pretty impressive.



This attraction is called Poseidon’s Fury, where we get to enjoy the ruins of Poseidon’s ancient temple in this special effects guided tour. Tour times varies daily, so you’ll have to check the printed schedule.



Mythos Restaurant at the Lost Continent of Islands of Adventure.  Ranked as the best theme park restaurant in 2003 - 2009, and 3rd place in 2010, this restaurant is set in a man-made rock formation which is just as unique inside as it is outside.  There are quite good reviews for this restaurant as well, but being an avid Potter fan, we chose to have at our lunch at the Three Broomsticks at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.






The Eight Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show. 
 
It has a cheesy script, out-dated stunts and effects and basically nothing exciting.  Indeed, we were so bored sitting there that we contemplated leaving halfway through the show.  Skip it if you have no time to spare. I’ll rather spend the time queuing at ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’.

Seuss Landing

This is kiddy-town. And so unless you are with young kids, there’s really no rides that is exciting enough for an adult.  We did however try ‘The Cat in the Hat’ which is like a trolley ride through a animated story book.



As you can see, although there are 6 Islands at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the bulk of the action lies in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and for the rest of the Islands, there are only about 1-2 rides that were worth the time.  Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to expect to complete the park within half a day, leaving the next half for Universal Studios Florida.

Join us next as we explore Universal Studios Florida.

This post is part of our Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


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2 Orlando USA Trip Report and Itinerary (Updated)

19 Jul 2014 | 17:58:00

Orlando (USA) . 2014 . Apr 22 - May 7

Orlando is one of the places in our bucket list as we strive to visit every Disneyland in the world! :)

Orlando is sometimes known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" with its numerous famous theme park attractions which include Walt Disney World Resort, located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, which consists of the two parks of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure; City Walk; SeaWorld; Gatorland; and Wet 'n Wild Water Park.

Orlando''s tourist attractions draw more than 51 million tourists a year, including 3.6 million international guests. In fact, the Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth busiest airport in the United States and the 29th busiest in the world.

Here's our itinerary with some photos and links to our reviews for our trip. The links will become clickable as we post them. Do bookmark this page as we update the reviews! :)

Last Updated: 19 Jul 2014

Day 0  Singapore -> New York (Apr 22)

2130        Check in at Singapore Changi Airport
2355        Flight to New York JFK Airport

Day 1  New York JFK Airport (Apr 23)

1100 Arrive at New York JFK Airport
1230 Check in at Hampton Inn NY-JFK Airport Hotel
1400 Rest
1800     Order Takeout Dinner
2000 Back to hotel


Day 2  New York -> Orlando (Apr 24)

0430 Rise and Shine
0500 Hotel shuttle to JFK Airport
0530 Check in at Airport
0725 Board American Airlines flight to Orlando
1020 Touch down at Orlando Airport
1100 Disney’s Magical Express to Pop Century Resort
1200 Check in to Pop Century Resort
1230 Lunch @ Katsura Grill
1300 Visit Disney World’s EPCOT
              - Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
              - Take photo with Duffy
              - Innovations East / Innovations West
              - Spaceship Earth (FP+)
              - Mission: SPACE (FP+)
1945 Dinner @ Nine Dragons Restaurant
2100 IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (FP+)
2200 Back to Pop Century Resort



Day 3  Walt Disney World -Animal Kingdom (Apr 25)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
- Dinoland U.S.A and Discovery Island
              - Finding Nemo – The Musical (FP+)
  - Kali River Rapids (FP+)
              - Wildlife Express to Conservation Station
              - Take photo with Chip & Dale
1430 Lunch @ Tamu Tamu Refreshments
1530     Visit Disney World’s Animal Kingdom
- Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
             - Kilimanjaro Safaris (FP+)
  - Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
1830 Shopping
2000 Dinner @ Resort
2100 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 4  Walt Disney World - EPCOT + Downtown Disney (Apr 26)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Epcot
              - The Seas with Nemo & Friends (FP+)
              - Living with the Land (FP+)
              - Journey Into Imagination With Figment (FP+)
1230 Lunch @ Coral Reef Restaurant
1400 Back to Hotel
1600 Visit Downtown Disney
- Disney Quest Indoor Interactive Theme Park
2000 Dinner @ Earl of Sandwich
2200 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 5  Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom (Apr 27)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
              - Emporium (Shopping)
              - Stitch’s Great Escape
              - Tomorrowland Speedway (FP+)
              - Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
              - Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
              - Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
              - Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
              - Mickey's PhilharMagic
              - "it's a small world"
1330 Lunch @ Diamond Horseshoe
1430  Visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
             - Jungle Cruise (FP+)
             - Pirates of the Carribbean
             - Haunted Mansion
             - Peter Pan's Flight
             - The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
             - Under the Seas - Journey of the Little Mermaid (FP+)
2100 Dinner @ Resort
0000 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 6  Walt Disney World - Hollywood Studios (Apr 28)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
              - Star Tours® -The Adventures Continue
              - Muppet Vision 3D
              - Studio Backlot Tour
              - Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular! (FP+)
              - Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
              - Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show (FP+)
              - The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow
              - The Great Movie Ride
              - Take photo with Stitch
1500      Late Lunch
1600  Visit Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
              - Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage
              - American Idol
- Toy Story Midway Mania
              - Voyage of The Little Mermaid
              - Fantasmic! (FP+)
2200 Back to Pop Century Resort


Day 7  Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom + Premium Outlets (Apr 29)

0730 Rise and Shine
0830 Check out of Pop Century Resort
0900 Visit Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
              - Big Thunder Railroad (FP+)
              - Splash Mountain (FP+)
              - Take photo with Mickey (FP+)
1300 Back to Pop Century Resor
1330 Lunch @ Resort
1400 Taxi to International Drive (Orlando Universal Studio)
1430 Check-in Hyatt Place Orlando Universal
1500      Visit Premium Outlets
1900 Dinner @ Premium Outlets
2200 Back to Hyatt Place






Day 8  Universal Studios Orlando (Apr 30)

0730 Rise and Shine
0800 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0830 Hotel Shuttle to Universal Studios
0900 Visit Universal Studios Orlando
2100 Back to Hyatt Place


Day 9  Orlando Premium Outlets (May 1)

0800 Rise and Shine
0830 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0930 I-Trolley bus to Orlando Premium Outlet (International Drive)
1030 Shopping at Orlando Premium Outlet
2200 Back to Hyatt Place




Day 10  Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (May 2)

0630 Rise and Shine
0700 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0730 Hotel Shuttle to Universal Studios
0800 Visit Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
0900      The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Part 1 / Part 2
0430 Back to Hyatt Place


Day 11  Kennedy Space Center (May 3)

0800 Grayline bus to Kennedy Space Centre
0900 Reach Kennedy Space Center
1000 KSC Bus Tour
1200 “Space Station” 3D Imax Show narrated by Tom Cruise
1300 Shuttle Launch experience
1530 “Hubble” 3D Imax Show narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio
1700 Shuttle back to Hyatt Place




Day 12  Free & Easy at Hyatt Place (May 4)

0800 Rise and Shine
0900 Rest and relax at Hyatt Place
1200 Lunch at TGIF
1800 Dinner at Hyatt Place


Day 13 to 15  Orlando -> New York -> Singapore (May 5 - May 7)

0600 Rise and Shine
0630 Breakfast at Hyatt Place
0800 Check out of Hyatt Place
0830 Taxi to Orlando Airport
1025 Board Jet Blue flight to New York
1255 Touch down at New York JFK Airport
2055 Board flight to Singapore
0650      Arrive at Singapore Changi Airport (May 7)



The links will become clickable as we post them. Do bookmark this page as we update the reviews! :)


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