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UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

This is the newest section of Universal Studios Florida.  It's really two very different parks.  First and foremost to the theme park crowd is Islands Of Adventure where you can ride all kinds of rides and see all kinds of shows based on movies and books with an adventure theme. Secondly you have City Walk for the over 21 crowd and a few spots for the under 21 crowd.  Clubs and restaurants dominate this area.  You have Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, and Pat O'Brians piano bar right off of Bourbon Street in New Orleans.   You also have the worlds largest Hard Rock Cafe and a 20 plus Sony Megaplex theater.  There are many more clubs, restaurants and attractions for you to explore but a separate admission is required just like Disney's Pleasure Island which City Walk was designed to compete with.

Below are the reviews for Islands Of Adventure. 

 

MARVEL SUPERHERO ISLAND  
1. The Incredible Hulk Coaster (H) 54

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  8 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  8

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  8

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  The Hulk is one of two steel coasters at Islands Of Adventure.   It has lots of loops, twists, turns and a zero to 60 time of under five seconds.   one unique aspect of the coasters at this park is that there are two lines for each coaster.  One line moves fairly quickly and gives you general seating while the other one moves slower but guarantees you front row seats.  Personally, I think that it's worth the extra ten or fifteen minutes.  A really great ride.

(7) WAITING TIME:  45 to 60 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  EARLY MORNING OR LATE AFTERNOON

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2.  Doctor Dooms Fearfall   (H) 52

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  9 and up

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  6

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  This is a free fall ride, sort of.  You are actually dragged down faster than you would free fall. There are two columns that hold four, four seat sections giving this ride a 32 passenger capacity.  Not unlike free fall rides at other parks but it's a good ride if you like that kind of thing.

(7) WAITING TIME:  30 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  LATE IN DAY

 
3.  The Adventures of Spider-Man (H) 40

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  7 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  9

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  YES

(6) SUMMARY:  This is a very unique ride in that it combines three different types of rides into one.  First you have the movement of a haunted house ride car that travels through different scenes.  That is combined with a motion simulator to make the car move in respect to the action that goes on during the ride.  All this while traveling through a 3D set that also has a 3D movie projected into the scenes.   Great ride, long line.

(7) WAITING TIME:  60 MINUTES OR MORE

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  LATE MORNING OR LATE AFTERNOON

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4. Storm Force

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  8 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:   4

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: **

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: NO

(6) SUMMARY:    Have you ever heard of an amusement park ride called The Whip.  How about Disney's Tea Cup ride.  That's basically what this ride is.  I really can't see what the attraction is but I guess that some people like it.  I travel to Orlando to ride things that are unique and this just doesn't fit the bill.

(7) WAITING TIME:  20 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:   ANYTIME

 
CARTOON LAGOON  
1. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-rat Barges (H) 42

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  7 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  7

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  This is a white water raft ride.  You will get wet.   Somewhere along the ride watch for "ME SHIP, THE OLIVE" because there are water canons mounted along her rail and they are manned by anyone who happens to be on the play ship.  Trust me, the little tikes that usually man the guns are ruthless.   They will drench you with water.

(7) WAITING TIME: 30 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  MID DAY ON

 
2. Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls (H) 44

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  8 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  8

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  A log flume ride with a few surprises best describes this ride.   Join Dudley in his quest to rescue the fair Nell and go down a very fast flume where the log seems to go under water and through an exploding building.  Fun, but not for smaller children

(7) WAITING TIME:  45 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  ANYTIME

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JURASSIC PARK

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1. Pteranodon Flyers (H) 36

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  6 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  6

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  6

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  ***

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  A sort of gondola ride best describes this attraction.   Suspended from a track you ride around Camp Jurassic for a birds eye view of  the park. Not worth a long wait in line but if the line is short you might want to give it a try.  By the way, there is an unusual height restriction on this ride.  You can not ride unless you are under 36 inches tall or accompanied by someone who is.

(7) WAITING TIME:  40 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  LATE IN AFTERNOON OR EARLY MORNING

 
2. Jurassic Park River Adventure (H) 42

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  8 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  8

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  7

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  This is the ride that everyone thinks of when they hear about this section of the park.  The ride is, or at least seems very short.  You see a few dinosaurs then a lot of sound and visual effects and then you plummet down the water slide.  Did I mention that this is a water ride and you will get wet?  In a nut shell, too short and not enough to see.  A good ride but not great.

(7) WAITING TIME:  40 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  MORNINGS OR LATE IN DAY

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THE LOST CONTINENT  
1. Poseidon's Fury

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  6

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  9

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  YES

(6) SUMMARY:  This is a show which tells of the battle between Zeus and Poseidon over the famous lost city. There are three parts to this show consisting of two pre-shows and the main show.  The effects are incredible and the main show is fantastic.  I can't tell you about the effects, you have to see them for your self.   This attraction may be too intense for younger children due to loud explosions and flames used in the finale.   Please use discretion.

(7) WAITING TIME:  CONTINUOUS SHOWS

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  ANYTIME

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2. The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  5

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  9

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  The Eighth Voyage Of Sindbad is a live production with an elaborate set and lots of special effects.  All that combined with some excellent stunt work makes this show a must see.  That's all I will tell you about this show because I don't want to spoil it for you. 

(7) WAITING TIME:  SCHEDULED SHOWS

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  ANYTIME

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SEUSS LANDING

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1. Caro-seuss-el

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  2

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  3

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  ***

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  This is just a standard merry-go-round with a Dr. Seuss touch.  Here, kids ride on a variety of Seuss characters and listen to Seuss music and sounds.  The animals on this ride are animated.  Pull on the reigns and watch what happens.  Great if you have small children but kids older than ten may not want to ride it.

(7) WAITING TIME:  20 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  ANYTIME

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2. The Cat In The Hat

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  5

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  7

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  YES

(6) SUMMARY:  This ride follows the story of the most famous of the Dr Seuss books.  Lots of music, sounds, twists and spins make this ride enjoyable for all ages. The cars make a few fast spins and turns but nothing too violent for anyone five or older.

(7) WAITING TIME:  35 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  MID AFTERNOON

 

 

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3. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  3

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  5

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  Ride your favorite fish round and round, up and down dodging fountains that will get you wet if your not careful.  A fun ride for all.

(7) WAITING TIME:  25 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  MID DAY ON

 
THE WIZARDING WORLD OF
HARRY POTTER

 

1. Hogs Mead

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  4

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  8

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO, Shops are though.

(6) SUMMARY:  A truly realistic recreation of the Harry Potter movies.  This will deffinately blow your mind if you are a fan of Harry Potter.  The architecture is very detailed and the shops are wonderful although they can be expensive.

(7) WAITING TIME:  20  minutes to enter some shops although this will go down after the novelty wears off.

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  anytime

 

 

2. Flight of the Hippogriff (H) 36

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  6 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 5

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 5

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ***

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: NO

(6) SUMMARY:  This is sort of a kiddie roller coaster. There are no really big drops and it doesn't go all that fast.  It is a ride that parents can take younger children on if they can talk them into trying it.  Formally called The Flying Unicorn.

(7) WAITING TIME: 30 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: EARLY OR LATE IN DAY

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3. Dragon Challenge  (H) 54

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  8 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  7

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  NO

(6) SUMMARY:  A duel suspended roller coaster.  This coaster has two very different tracks, fire and ice.  As you enter the castle you are told the story behind the ride.  You then wind your way down narrow corridors that have much to see until you get to the ride.  Just before you get there you will make a choice between fire and ice.  My advice is to ride both if possible.  They each have their own unique thrills.  Like the Hulk, this ride also has a separate line for those brave soles who insist of the front seats.  Of all the rides at Islands Of Adventure, this is my personal favorite.  A really great ride!  Formally Dueling Dragons.

(7) WAITING TIME:  30 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  MID AFTERNOON ON

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4. Hogwarts

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP:  ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL:  9 for the ride

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL:  9 for everything

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL:  *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED:  Yes

(6) SUMMARY:  This is the home of "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey".  Everyone can go through the castle and exit at the ride if you do not wish to go on it.  In the castle you will go through the line for the ride and see all of the rooms from the movie.  Harry and friends even talk to you by projections that looks very real.  You will see many of the characters from the movies.  The talking portraits must be seen to be believed.  The ride at the end of the tour is not for the squeamish.  Even though it is not in 3D I would liken it to the Spiderman ride on lots and lots of steroids.  It will not disappoint.

(7) WAITING TIME:  at least an hour at all times and closer to two during peak times.

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE:  Be there when the gates open and run like hell.

 

 

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