© Universal

Universal Islands of Adventure: Tips for the Ultimate Trip

The Encore Resort Blog
April 25, 2024
April 25, 2024

Why is Orlando a top tourist destination? It’s simple: amazing weather and thrilling theme parks. If you’re planning a visit, you’re probably researching all the best things to do in Orlando — and there are plenty! But if Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ (IOA) makes your list, be sure to remember these insider tips:

Islands of Adventure Tips & Tricks

© Universal

1. Buy Tickets in Advance

Buy tickets online or through the Universal Orlando Resort™ app. You’ll save a significant amount on each ticket and skip the long gate lines. We consider more park time and less money a win-win!

2. Rent a Locker Right Away

Your day is sure to be filled with tons of walking as well as twists, turns and water. By stashing your stuff when you first arrive, you’ll have fewer things to worry about later. No lost keys, soaked cell phones or missing wallets for you!

3. Have Patience with Security

Security over the past few years has been amped up at all Orlando theme parks. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, this means that not only will you be screened at the entrance, but you won’t be allowed on rides with anything in your pockets — including loose change or jewelry. Put it all in that locker you just got, or you may have to exit the ride line once you finally get to the front!

4. Save The Incredible Hulk Coaster® for Later

Because this coaster is right near the entrance, the sight of its long line sends many people into a must-get-in-line-immediately panic. Don’t worry — just come back at or after 5 p.m. once the line dies down a little.

5. Single Rider Option on Doctor Doom’s Fearfall®

Single rider — also called “singles” — lines at Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ give guests the option of a (typically) shorter wait time in exchange for not riding the ride beside their friends. Instead, single riders are added to larger, odd-numbered groups to maximize efficiency on some of the most popular rides. We especially enjoy this option for Doctor Doom’s Fearfall®, which has a separate entrance in the arcade next door.

© Universal
© Universal

6. Use the Child Swap Areas

Most people don’t know that any ride with a height requirement at the Universal Orlando™ Resort parks features a designated room where one adult member of your group can wait with children while the rest ride.

7. Use the Guest Services Inside the Park

No one wants to waste time during their adventure-filled day — so just remember that the Jurassic Park or Marvel Super Hero Island Guest Services stations always have the shortest lines.

8. Have a Plan to Keep Cool

Islands of Adventure in particular offers many water experiences, including Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®, Jurassic Park River Adventure™ and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges® — making it the preferred theme park for beating that notorious afternoon heatwave in the summer!

Pro Tip: If you know you’re going to be getting wet, wear clothes and shoes that will dry comfortably as you’re walking around.

9. Dining with Dietary Restrictions

Dining at Universal Orlando with dietary restrictions is a breeze, thanks to the park’s commitment to accommodating various dietary needs (opens in a new tab). Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, or have any other dietary restrictions, there’s a wide array of options available to suit your preferences. From specialized menus at sit-down restaurants to allergen-friendly offerings at quick-service eateries, Universal Orlando ensures that every guest can enjoy delicious meals without worry. With helpful staff members ready to assist and provide information about ingredients, dining becomes an inclusive and stress-free experience, allowing visitors to focus on the magic of the parks without any dietary concerns.

© Universal
Group riding the Velocicoaster in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
© Universal

9. Must-Do Attractions

If you’re here on a tight timeline then these are the must see attractions.

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure: Unlike any other ride, on Hagrid’s motorcycle trip, you sit on a motorcycle or in a sidecar and ride through twists and turns. It’s full of surprises, such as startling backward motions and an unexpected 17-foot plummet reminiscent of the Tower of Terror.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: A 4D adventure where you soar alongside Harry on what can only be described as a magnificent excursion. While it is a great experience, people who are prone to motion sickness should exercise caution, since it may cause nausea.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: Help Spider-Man navigate the rookie York City cityscape, scale skyscrapers, and face his most formidable opponents. This thrilling experience, a fan favorite since opening day, combines 3D movies with dynamic ride motion and a variety of practical and visual effects, making it a must-see at the park’s entry.
  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster: As the park’s newest and most thrilling attraction, it is Florida’s tallest and fastest launch coaster. Experience a high-speed voyage through raptor territory, complete with four inversions, a 360-degree barrel roll over water, a towering 155-foot drop, and two launches that take you to 70 mph in 2.4 seconds, ending in 12 seconds of incredible flight. For adrenaline seekers, it’s the ultimate roller coaster ride.
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride: This attraction stands out by providing four separate experiences. One track tells the story of the Sneetches, including both Plain-bellied and Star-bellied versions, while another walks you through the ABCs of popular Seuss stories. Furthermore, the trip changes from day to night, presenting the bright Seuss world in a completely new light! (Excuse the pun!)
  • Hogwarts Express: Traveling from Islands of Adventure to Universal Orlando is best done on the Hogwarts Express, which requires a 2-Park Ticket. This train ride from Hogsmeade Station to Diagon Alley is not only convenient because it eliminates the need to walk, but it is also a magnificent experience that should not be missed.
  • Pteranodon Flyers: This gondola-style ride, which provides breathtaking views of Isla Nublar, is one of my favorite activities to do with Lily. The attraction has dinosaurs that glide gracefully and sway gently above the treetops, making it an excellent alternative for young children who are not yet ready for more thrilling experiences.
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: A classic Dumbo-style ride with a twist: you must carefully steer your fish up and down to avoid water sprays. A terrific ride for children.
  • Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges: Prepare for a splash-filled adventure on this crazy rapids ride as you assist Popeye in rescuing Olive Oyl from Bluto’s hands. Although it lacks the adrenaline-pumping 75-foot drop of Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, we always chose this adventure for the exciting thrill of being totally saturated. There’s no way to avoid the water; every seat promises a drenching. (For those seeking to dry off, full-body dryers are available at Toon Lagoon and Jurassic Park.)
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls: The Dudley Do-Right rollercoaster is an amusing log flume adventure that takes you through and around waterfalls. On this journey, you may expect to get soaked ranging from little to totally.

Encore Resort Offers Unrivaled Luxury on Your Island Adventure

As you prepare for a memorable tour through the Islands of Adventure, plan your accommodations at Encore Resort. After a day of adventure and excitement, our spacious resort is the ideal place to unwind. Encore guarantees that your journey is both comfortable and thrilling, offering easy access to the theme parks via complimentary shuttle. Plus there are a plethora of luxury services and amenities at your disposal. Don’t just plan a trip; create an experience that will be remembered for years to come. Book with Encore (opens in a new tab) to make your adventure truly legendary.

Max Luna waving while holding his teddy bear

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