Avoid Long Lines
There are options to avoid long waits, but we opted not to take advantage of them (maybe next time we will). We also went on a long weekend, so the crowds were likely a lot bigger than they might have been on a week day.
- There is a single rider option you can take advantage of to get on the rides a lot faster, but your party will be split up. We didn’t take advantage of this because we wanted to stay together.
- There’s also a Universal Express Pass option you can purchase but the rides we wanted to be on primarily, were excluded from the pass (be sure to check before purchasing).
- You can participate in the Ride Swap option where everyone goes through the line together and then splits to a riders/non-riders platform where the non-riders get to enjoy some Harry Potter themed adventures of their own before swapping with the other parent when it is their turn.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books or movies, then you won’t want to miss a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. This themed area immerses you in the world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with breathtaking rides, interactive experiences, and authentic recreations of iconic locations from the series. This area looks a lot like Edinburgh, Scotland, which is where J.K. Rowling wrote a large part of these novels.
One of the standout attractions of the Wizarding World is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a thrilling ride that takes you on a journey through Hogwarts Castle. Along the way, you’ll encounter characters from the series, including Harry, Ron, and Hermione, as well as many magical creatures. The ride is a combination of a roller coaster and a simulator, which makes for an unforgettable experience. However, be aware that the ride can be quite intense and may not be suitable for those with a fear of heights or motion sickness.
If you’re looking for something a little less intense, you can take a leisurely stroll through the village of Hogsmeade, which features a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Here, you can sample traditional British fare, such as fish and chips or shepherd’s pie, and browse the stores for Harry Potter-themed merchandise, such as wands, robes, and Hogwarts house merchandise.
Hogwarts Express at Islands of Adventure
Of course the Hogwarts Express train that takes you on a journey from King’s Cross Station in the London area of Universal Studios to Hogsmeade smack dab in the middle of Islands of Adventure is a main attraction in and of itself. The train is an authentic recreation of the iconic locomotive from the series, with photo opps in the train station and some magical surprises along the way.
Other Harry Potter Attractions
In addition to these main attractions, there are plenty of other experiences to enjoy in the Wizarding World, such as the Flight of the Hippogriff, a family-friendly roller coaster, and Ollivanders, where you can witness a wand-choosing ceremony. You can also explore Hogwarts Castle on foot and take in the many details and interactive elements that bring the world of Harry Potter to life.
Overall, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure is a must-see destination for any fan of the series. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply looking for a fun and immersive theme park experience, this magical world is sure to delight and enchant visitors of all ages.
One thing that Islands of Adventures has that I appreciated very much was free use of the lockers. The lockers are small and you have to have your park pass to access them (so if it’s a paper ticket keep it in your pocket, if it’s electronic, don’t lock up your phone). You only get use of the locker temporarily, but it’s plenty long enough to ride the rides. Some of the more adventurous rides do not allow bags, cameras, etc.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
I grew up riding rollercoasters so while they’ve always been fun to me, I’ve kind of outgrown riding them in my older age. My teen talked me into getting on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and it was really so much fun. Took me right back to my youth and I was hootin’ and hollering with the best of ’em.
One person rides on a motorcyle and the other in the sidecar (I was on the side). It’s the best kind of thrill ride because it’s a super smooth (not jerky or bumpy) and it has some big surprises along the way, such as going backwards midway through, and dropping to a lower track at the end. We really had such a good time on it. The line was loooong, but after riding it, we decided it was definitely worth the wait. My advice? Get to the park early and ride the thrill rides right away before too many people arrive.
Beyond Harry Potter
Beyond the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there are a plethora of other fascinating themes and areas to explore at the park. For instance, you can embark on thrilling simulated rides like Spiderman, or get your adrenaline pumping on rollercoasters such as The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
There are plenty of places to eat, and for the older crowd, a walk down memory lane is in order as you see the comic-stripped eateries and displays from days gone by. Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible, Kathy, Family Circus and more. Does anyone besides me remember the joy of picking up a Sunday newspaper and finding these strips in color (they were in black & white every other day of the week)?
To my teenager’s delight, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges was practically empty and you get on and off of it without any wait at all. He rode this water ride twice, and didn’t get wet once, which was good since it was dark and a little chilly. No worries if he had gotten soaked though because there were big heaters you could step into if you felt like it (I’m sure those come in handy during the daytime hours too).
Seuss Landing is a blast for the little kids in your party, but it was fun for me too!! I loved walking through the Lorax Trees (How baaaaaa-aaad can I be? I’m just doing what comes naturally).
The merry-go-round was made up of all Dr. Seuss characters, and it was vibrant and colorful to say the least. There are other rides as well and this is a great place to spend a good chunk of time if you have brought toddlers or small children along.
Islands of Adventure is a Trip Worth Taking
You can spend the whole day in Islands of Adventure and have a great time. It is definitely a trip worth taking. You can also get a 2-park, 1-day ticket and share the adventure with Universal Studios. We did the latter, but I think next time we may make it a 2-day trip just because there was so much more to do at Islands than we had time for on a busy long weekend. One thing we missed out on that we had hoped to get to was the Jurassic World Velocicoaster! We’ll go there first next time. We’ll also be staying at a Universal Studios hotel so we can gain early admission.
Tips for visiting Islands of Adventure
- If you are a thrill seeker, you can easily spend the whole day in this park and still have more to experience.
- Download the app to have access to the park map (or pick up a hard copy map).
- You can bring in bottled water (plastic only) and snacks.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking.
- Arrive early to gain access to the shortest lines of the day.
- Visit the children’s area later in the evening and there may be little to no wait lines for the rides.
- Stay in a Universal Studios Hotel and gain early access to the parks.
- You can purchase an Express Pass to avoid long waits in lines (be sure to check ride exclusions).
- Free lockers are available for rides that do not allow carry-ons (keep your tickets or phone handy to open/scan lockers).
- Lockers are free but small. Mine fit a small purse and a camera case. Take a picture of your locker so you remember which one you used.
- If choosing one park, this is the one for Harry Potter lovers!
- Parking is in a garage nearby and is safe and easy to access after the park closes.
In conclusion, Islands of Adventure in Orlando is a truly unforgettable theme park experience. From the exciting rides to the immersive themed lands, this park offers an unparalleled adventure for all ages. Whether you’re a fan of superheroes, dinosaurs, or magical creatures, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. We had a fabulous time, and are already looking forward to a return visit.
Hi Rosey - crumbs!! what an adventure - I so admire designers and 'creatives' who can visualise and create these amazing experiences - thanks for the info via your two posts - cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Yes, whoever designs these kinds of things is very talented indeed. I'm glad there are a whole slew of talented people about because I don't have a lick of designing or building talent in me!Delete
It's the best theme park in Orlando. We stayed on site and got free fast pass which made a huge difference. Bummer you couldn't get the butter beer. That stuff is so good, it's like crack.ReplyDelete
I will try the butterbeer next time!! Good tip on getting a free fast pass if you stay on site!Delete
I would love to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it looks fantastic. I have been to the studio tour in London, so this is next on my list.ReplyDelete
and I would love to go to the studio tour in London!Delete
I used to go to IOA all the time when we lived in Orlando. You missed out not getting butterbeer, the frozen one is amazing!! We went back (now living in Texas) last February to take our boys to WWoHP for the first time and it was a great family trip. Go in the off season if you want to avoid the lines. We did the park hopper pass so we could ride the Hogwarts Express as well. Such a fun family day!ReplyDelete
So many people have told me I should have waited for the butterbeer!! Next time!! We did say our next trip will be in off season!! It was a fantastic day but lines got atrociously long.Delete
What a fun trip! I haven’t been to Islands of Adventure, but my niece tells me how much I’m missing. I’ve got to add it to my must visit list!ReplyDelete
It was a fabulous break from the daily grind!Delete
Nnniiiccceeeeee....visiting here will definitely be an adventure of a lifetime for me! Thanks for the tip on the pass-cards. Waiting too long in the queue makes me sad!ReplyDelete
it seems like such a waste of time to wait so long, lol. The Hagrid Ride was worth it, so we got lucky with that one. :)Delete
I've never been to Florida, but I really want to visit a few of the parks! They sound and look like such much fun. Great post and information, I will keep this in mind for when we get a chance to go out there.ReplyDelete
Florida is my most favorite place in the world, though it's getting too crowded.Delete
What a fun adventure! We have not been to visit the Islands of Adventure in Orlanda but it sounds amazing and perfect for families! Comfortable shoes are highly recommended when there's a lot of walking around to do and is a tip that regardless of place I always stand by! Amazing still to see some folks in heels... :)ReplyDelete
Maureen | www.littlemisscasual.com
I did see people walking around in heels and I thought they must be staying close by and not walking all day long. I can't imagine how my feet would feel in heels at any amusement park.Delete
Oh how fun. I would enjoy a visit here. I'll come with you.ReplyDelete
Have a fabulous day, my friend. ♥
Come on along any time, Sandee!Delete
I enjoyed this incredible and in pictures experience, touring the park. Definitely a must-do with kiddos.ReplyDelete
This looks like so much fun! I've never been to this place before. I'm sure it would be fun to visit as a family.ReplyDelete
Wow! The place looks stunningly mesmerizing! Family, especially kids will definitely love and enjoy the place! It has many to offer to visitors! Loved it!ReplyDelete
These are great tips! I'm hoping to visit Islands Of Adventure in the next few years. It looks like a great theme park.ReplyDelete
OMG what a great place to visit. That must have been so much fun. Arriving early is always a good thing with these types of places. Thanks for the tips. I am sure my kids would love the Spiderman ride.ReplyDelete
I've never been but it looks like an incredible place to visit and surely a place to create a lot of fun, beautiful memories with the family.ReplyDelete
I saw this on your instagram and I was looking forward to the post. So many places to visit. Lovely travelogue.ReplyDelete
Wow this looks like an incredible holiday that you will all remember for a long time to come! Thanks for sharing your experience hereReplyDelete
Its a great reason to visit Florida. I think we will have an unforgettable experience here. Its what I want for the kids too. For them to explore and just have fun.ReplyDelete
One of the things I do is to get to the park early to get the most out of islands of Adventure. You beat the crowd and beat the heat.ReplyDelete
The small details that go into planning can get stressful at times. SO what I do is to buy tickets in Advance Online.ReplyDelete
This look fun and great to visit. I don't like when there is a long line which is boring haha.ReplyDelete
I had no idea that there was a Dr. Sueuss land! I would love to visit there soemday.ReplyDelete
Paying a Visit to the Islands of Adventure in Orlando Florida would be an incredible experience! I would definitely try to visit if I am ever in Orlando!ReplyDelete
We are so overdue for a trip to Florida. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.ReplyDelete
I have yet to do Hagrid's ride but I hear it is so fun. I'll take your word on it too. I'd probably opt for the sidecar as well. I will wait 30 minutes for a butter beer though LOL. And a butter beer ice cream, too. It's one of the reasons why I agree to keep going back to the Harry Potter parts of the park. I need my butter beer fix!ReplyDelete