My family and I recently visited Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort. The weather was wonderful with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. The crowds were moderate.
We needed to renew our son's Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) this visit. The queue for guest relations was extended outside and it took us approximately 20 minutes before we reached a Team Member at the counter. Universal Orlando Resort has recently become more stringent regarding who can qualify for the AAP. For more details and our tips about using the AAP, please visit our website here.
Our son has a specific routine how we tour Islands of Adventure and after walking through the intriguing Port of Entry, we always turn right and head to Seuss Landing.
Our first ride, The Cat in the Hat, had a posted wait of 20 minutes. This indoor dark ride takes guests on a fun spin through the famous Dr. Seuss book depicting the antics of the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two. It remains a family favorite ride for us.
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride was our next attraction and its posted wait was 20 minutes.
While listening to a whimsical monologue, the train ride features awesome views of Seuss Landing and the waterfront areas of the park and is one of our must-dos at Islands of Adventure.
Although the architecture of the buildings, dining in Mythos restaurant and the Mystic Fountain entertaining guests are worthy stops in the Lost Continent section of Islands of Adventure, my son prefers to walk through this area and head straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade.
Hogmeade was crowded with guests using their interactive wands, queuing for Butterbeer and gasping at the incredible structural designs surrounding them. The one-of-a-kind Forbidden Journey ride had a posted wait of only 30 minutes and Flight of the Hippogriff family coaster's posted wait was just 15 minutes. We experienced an exhilarating ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff.
As many of our AutismAtTheParks followers know, our son thoroughly enjoys live performances. He was able to see one of the live stage shows in Hogmeade and this day the Frog Choir was performing for guests.
The next island we explored in Islands of Adventure was Jurassic Park. Lush green foliage, a 'live' dinosaur meet, great photo ops, an outstanding prehistoric playground, and a hands-on interactive area are some of the entertaining and visually appealing features of Jurassic Park.
The headliner attraction in this section is the Jurassic Park River Adventure that ends in an epic splash for both guests riding and guests observing the attraction. My husband and son were glad they wore ponchos because the water was chilly.
Our next adventure was experiencing the new and recently opened Skull Island Reign of Kong 4D ride. I had ridden the attraction a few months ago but this was my son's and husband's first ride. The posted wait for this attraction was 90 minutes. Guests who use the AAP for this attraction will be directed to enter the ride through the exit and will bypass the interactive and possibly sensory overwhelming queue. The ride vehicles are large trucks with bench seats. You will be jostled around but not excessively.
As a means of reference, the Kong ride is similar to Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom in that it can be loud and somewhat frightening for some guests due to Kong fighting with dinosaurs and other creatures. Sitting toward the back, right side of the vehicle seems to give a good view of the scenes throughout the attraction. The outstanding Kong animatronics at the conclusion of the attraction is astounding and very loud. All three of us enjoyed this attraction and are happy with its addition to Islands of Adventure.
Dudley Do-Right's Rip Saw Falls water ride is one of our son's favorite attractions and only had a 20 minute posted wait this afternoon. My son and husband rode this without me because I didn’t want to get wet. They said the water was chilly and were again glad they wore their ponchos.
Entering Super Hero Island, Spider-Man had just closed for technical reasons and guests were leaving the attraction and spilling into the street, making it very busy and crowded as we walked by.
The recently refurbished and rebuilt Incredible Hulk Coaster had a posted wait of 60 minutes. Hats off to Universal Orlando Resort for incorporating part of the old track into the new entrance of the attraction. Our son decided to skip the Hulk Coaster this visit but we hope he wants to ride it next time.
Islands of Adventure is always an enjoyable park for our family, especially with its wide variety of rides and attractions. I hope that the next time you visit Orlando you will be able to experience all the thrills and excitement that Islands of Adventure can provide.
Maureen is married and has a son with autism. She and her family visit an Orlando Theme Park nearly every weekend. Maureen created AutismAtTheParks to help vacationers who have a family member with a developmental disability to better navigate and enjoy the theme parks. She is also a contributor to the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Periscope.
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