Islands of Adventure for Thrill Seekers
Although Universal Studios Florida will always hold a special place in any Universal Orlando fan’s heart, Islands of Adventure for Thrill seekers is a completely different type of theme park. Billed as “the most technologically advanced theme park in the world” at its opening, Islands of Adventure has lived up to the hype. Virtually everything about the park will enthrall thrill lovers, from the world class roller coasters to the immersive islands which the rides sit on. Thrill seekers should be careful not to overlook the less obvious rides and attractions. While The Incredible Hulk coaster looms high above the skyline and is thus an immediate draw, it is easy to walk right past Poseidon’s Fury without ever realizing what you missed. Here, then, is a thrill-seekers guide to the must-see attractions throughout the park.
Marvel Super Hero Island
Turning left from the Port of Entry upon arrival at the park will lead you to the towering frame of the Incredible Hulk roller coaster. This combo chain-launch coaster is definitely not to be missed. Ride at night if you can for maximum thrills. Although the line for the front row is always longest, the best G-forces are experienced in the back row, so save yourself some time in line and go for the back instead.
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is a reverse freefall ride. Inside of a fast drop, the excitement is in the powered launch. The views of the park from the top are phenomenal as well. Storm Force Accelatron is also a must-see, as it takes the traditional carnival teacup ride to an extreme.
One of the most extreme theme park rides in the world is housed in Marvel, in the form of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Part motion simulator, part track based ride, part 3D film, and part special effects, this ride is almost impossible to describe. The action blends seamlessly between the different effects and at one point you will absolutely swear that you truly fell several stories. If you experience only one attraction at Islands of Adventure, make it this one.
Do not mistake this area as a simple children’s play land. Toon Lagoon houses the two most intense water rides on Universal property: Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls. These attractions are definitely not to be missed.
The signature attraction here is the Jurassic Park River Adventure. Based on the books rather than films of Jurassic Park, this ride begins as a slow moving boat ride past docile dinosaurs, and ends with a drop for your life beneath a menacing T Rex. This is perhaps one of the most immersive and well done rides at Universal.
Although it is a children’s ride and adults must technically be accompanied by a child in order to board, Pteranodon Flyers offers a surprisingly exciting flight through Jurassic Park. If you are able to get admission, do not miss this ride.
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The Lost Continent
The signature attraction here is Dueling Dragons. The queue line winds through a mythical castle, where stained glass windows and plaques explain the storyline of the attraction. Two intertwined roller coasters “duel” in midair, providing multiple near misses and heavy excitement. The two tracks are completely different, so be sure to ride both. An option exists to join the line for one after riding the other, so there is no need to completely exit before you have ridden both coasters. Locals swear by the saying “Back of Fire, Front of Ice.” The reason for this is that the red Fire coaster is a much rougher ride. Take advantage of this to experience maximum G forces in the back row. Ice, on the other hand, is a smooth coaster that gives a true feeling of flight. The front row enhances the flight sensations.
Flying Unicorn is billed as a kiddie coaster. However, the ride is actually quite exciting, though short. If there is not a long line, this coaster should definitely be experienced. Poseidon’s Fury is not by any definition a true thrill attraction. Nonetheless, this walkthrough show boasts some of the best special effects of any attraction on Universal property. This one is worth the experience simply for the water vortex tunnel, so be sure not to miss it.
Mythos Restaurant must be seen to be believed. Although by its nature it houses no actual thrills, the restaurant was voted Number One Theme Park Restaurant in the World for many years running. Whether or not you decide to dine, be sure to look around. The place is truly jaw-dropping.
Based on the writings of Theodore “Seuss” Geisel, this land is often ignored by those seeking high thrills. To skip the land would be a mistake, however, as this would mean skipping The Cat in the Hat. This ride was designed in the spirit of the old dark carnival rides. Modern technology, however, has created a bouncing, spinning ride that is guaranteed to thrill.
Islands of Adventure was billed at its opening as the most technologically advanced theme park in the world. Although contenders have stepped forward to challenge individual rides and attractions, Islands continues to hold its title when considered as a whole. Theming is phenomenal, thrills are definitely in place, and the rides provide a little extra beyond what would be expected of rides of their type. Universal Studios Florida continues to thrill and amaze park guests with its adventures inside Universal’s legendary film catalog, but Islands of Adventure offers something completely different. Plan to spend at least one day in order to fully explore this amazing park.