***I want to preface this post by saying that all my photos are pre-pandemic. As much as I miss the parks, living in house with my grandma has me being extra cautious with it comes to COVID.***
Even though I would choose Disney over Universal when it comes to theme parks, I thought I would do a walk through of how I would spend a day at Islands of Adventure because today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It is the theme park with Seuss Landing, after all.
If you didn’t know, Islands of Adventure is the Universal park that has areas, which are little islands, like Marvel Superhero Island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park. Keep reading for how I would explore this theme park.
Upon the Port of Entry…
The Port of Entry is where you enter and exit the theme park, and there are definitely a bunch of themed gift shops here. The point is for you to feel like you’ve been transported somewhere else, but I have to say that there is so much going on that it is sometimes overwhelming. After walking through the port, I would turn left into Marvel Superhero Island first.
Marvel Superhero Island
As someone who loves Disney, I have to admit that I love the way that Universal brought Marvel to life. When walking through Marvel Superhero Island, you can see the comic strips coming to life, and I love that approach to it. I’m not sure if Disney would’ve done it the same way.
I know that most people love Islands of Adventure because they love The Incredible Hulk Coaster, which can probably be seen and heard no matter where you are in islands. It is expansive and definitely for the thrill seekers, and you can probably figure out from the way I’m talking about it that I have not been on it. My preference is The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, which launches you into the comic book as your car spins 360 degrees and the sets and scenes change before your eyes. Honestly, it is one of my favorite thrill rides.
After exploring Marvel Superhero Island for a bit, the comic strip walk through continues over to Toon Lagoon.
This is truly a lagoon, because both of the rides in this area are water rides. Something in me loves water rides and I can’t explain it, but I’ve only ridden Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls. You get soaked on this ride, I can confirm from experience. I remember feeling like a wet dog and not wanting my boyfriend to kiss me after.
Beyond the rides, I would say that the area makes me nostalgic for Sunday papers and comic books, but wouldn’t appeal to many others beyond that. So after strolling through Toon town, you’ll come upon the forests of Jurassic Park.
You have to give credit to Universal for fantastic theme development, because while I haven’t seen any of the Jurassic World movies, I felt like I was in one of them the moment I set foot into the area. Lush greenery, animal noises, and screaming from the Jurassic Park River Ride reminded me of the trailers I had seen from the movie. Now, if I’m being honest, I hadn’t been on the ride, because I wasn’t aware that it existed until I looked up a map for this blog. It’s going to have to go on my list of things to try when I can go back.
The ride that I have been aware of is the Pteranodon Flyers, which has been on my list of things I want to do, but adults can only go on the ride if they are accompanying a kid. Being the oldest of four girls is great for that, but at the same time, I’m not going to make my baby sister ride it three times over. So I’ve yet to ride it, but it is something I want to do. Hopefully my baby sister can stay tiny until I ride it, otherwise I will not be able to ride it until I have my own kid.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
For a long time, I wanted to wait to go to Universal, because I wanted to read the Harry Potter books first. For my generation, I’m sure that Harry Potter is a big draw when it comes to Islands of Adventure and Universal, and the company has definitely treated these areas as such. The movies and books have come to life because they probably paid top dollar here, and it was probably worth it because I find it to be the most crowded area in the parks.
This is where I would stop and eat. I love getting the Shepard’s Pie at The Three Broomsticks restaurant, and instead of drinking butter-beer, I prefer the butter-beer ice cream that they serve here. J.K. Rowling, as controversial as she is, was smart in insisting that she have input over everything that goes into these areas, because everything down to the food is an experience for anyone visiting.
As for attractions, Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure opened just before this pandemic started, and the line for the ride was always packed, or the ride was always shut down, so I never got to ride it. Maybe once I can go back, I’ll be able to ride it and say that it’s as good as the hype that its been getting.
For now, I think that the Forbidden Journey Ride is more than enough. This simulator ride is wonderfully done, but it also has the ability to make me very dizzy depending on the day. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t ride the Flight of the Hippogriff, just because the wait is not worth the 20 seconds you spend on the ride.
From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you’ll be able to stumble over to The Lost Continent area…
The Lost Continent
While this area is the only one that seems to be an original idea of Universal developers, I think it is one that is truly lost in comparison to the rest of the park. Sure, they can boast that this area has the best restaurant in any theme park, and the concept of the idea is pretty cool. However, the only attraction is Poseidon’s Fury, and as cool as the effects of the water-screen technology is and how awesome the water tunnel experience was, it is a standing/walk through attraction. By the time I get here, I don’t want to be standing anymore, but if it’s hot enough, I just might stop.
Typically, I just walk right on through, which brings me to Seuss Landing.
The last stop of the day would be Seuss Landing, which is the main reason why I wrote this blog today. I love this area. I love how colorful it is, and how it connects with my inner child. I love that there is a store that sells books by Dr. Suess, and a candy store where I can get cotton candy as tall as a Truffula Tree.
Why do I save this area for last? Surely the colors are seen better in the day? Well, my answer is The High in the Sky Suess Trolley Ride. It is my favorite thing to ride at night, especially when all of the holiday decorations are out. There are two different tracks, and you don’t typically have a say in which one you ride, but the narration is cute and it’s a great way to unwind before going home.
Do you have a favorite theme park? Is there an experience that you love and want to share with me? What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Tell me in the comments below!
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