Islands of Adventure
Unlike Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure appeals to us 'oldies' as having a fair number of rides & attractions that don't actually leave us in traction for weeks !
- Visit October 2010 -
Having last visited March 2009 when we saw a little of the building, we wanted to see whether "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" as completed lived up to our expectations... AND HOW !!!!!
We usually turn right at the entrance & have a gentle start with Dr Seuss - Cat in the Hat & the Trolley ride - both rides aimed at youngsters below the age of about 10, but nothing bone-crunching which suits our antique frames. Then on to Poseidon's Fury, a stand-up walk-through show, always worth a visit....
This time, we made a bee-line directly for Potterland. We fully expected long queues as this is a very popular new attraction...Were pleasantly surprised to find that, apart from the wait to get into Olivanders' wand shop, there wasn't a long wait for anything & the meander through Hogwarts Castle needs to be fairly sedentary as there is a host of subtle detail to be taken in... The main attraction "Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey" is a continual loading ride, so the queue is consistently moving & there's plenty to take in on the way !!!
Although very compact, Hogsmead Village is exceptionally well rendered down to the smallest detail. Many of the shops have 'interesting' animated displays, the sweetshop and eatery are both unique, Butterbeer is on-tap for those with (very) sweet teeth !!!
The Hogwarts Express has 'just' arrived & the whole area really is an unmissable attraction for Potterites young & old !!!
Wandering around, 'The 8th Voyage of Sinbad' is just outside Hogsmead, which really makes no sense, but its a pretty good live show !!
Jurassic Park River Adventure is a fairly gentle guaranteed soaker 'so that comes after lunch taken at the Thunder Falls Terrace - ribs, chicken & the best corn on the cob. Pteranadon Flyer is for accompanied kids so we've never done it - our kids being older than we are (in mind, anyway). We've already got that soggy feeling, so onto Bilge Rat Barges & Ripsaw Falls - not sure which gets you wetter but wet you'll definitely get. Neither are particularly violent rides & we would recommend these for the hottest part of the day so you get some 'dry out' time. Then head on to Super Hero Island with the queue for 'The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman' - a sit down moving car ride & always worth the wait. By late afternoon, the park was sufficiently empty for us to return to Potterland for a repeat 'go' on "Forbidden Journey" . There's an awful lot of detail inside the castle that you will miss first visit ...
Including waiting in line plus a leisurely lunch this park takes us a day..