Once you’ve experienced the excitement of Universal Studios and the nightlife of Universal Citywalk, head to Islands of Adventure for some wet and wild fun. Here’s our guide to everything you need to see and do during your visit.
One of the park’s most popular rides, The Incredible Hulk, is re-opened after being closed for refurbishment. It’s sure to impress even the most daredevil rider. If hi-def superheroes are more your style, throw on some 3D glasses and hop on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
The park’s newest ride, Skull Island: Reign of Kong brings you onto a dangerous island, filled with predators, circa the 1930s. come face-to-face with the star of the ride. The Fantastic Four-inspired Doctor Doom’s Fearfall sends you flying into the sky, nearly 200 feet.
Orlando can get pretty hot, but Islands of Adventure has that covered! Cool off with a water ride or three: there’s Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, the Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.
Of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter features Hogsmeade in wintertime, where you can grab a Butterbeer before hopping on the Dragon Challenge roller coaster (formerly Dueling Dragons), ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, or get on the Hogwarts Express (if you have a parkhopper) to journey across to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.
Dr. Seuss fans of all ages should check out Seuss Landing, the stuff storybooks are made of. There’s the Caro-Seuss-el, the kid-friendly Cat in the Hat ride, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, which takes you soaring high above the park, around a set of flowing fountains.
Where to begin? There’s the incredible stunts of the Eighth Voyage of Sinbad show, which contains pyrotechnics and excitement aplenty. Over at Seuss Landing, Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear! showcases musical renditions of your favorite tales. Poseidon’s Fury takes you under the sea and into the heat of a battle between the Greek god and an evil lord. At Hogsmeade, you can catch the Triwizard Tournament Spirit Rally.
The Food and Drink
Seuss Landing offers casual eats and amazing acrobatic entertainment under the big top at the Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous. You can also grab a quick bite at the Green Eggs and Ham Cafe, and enjoy sweet treats at the Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop.
For fine dining, head to Mythos for upscale lunch entrees in a magical atmosphere, or Confisco Grille & Backwater Bar, which serves a rotating menu of innovative global cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Other options around the park include the Captain America Diner, the Thunder Falls Terrace food court, and the Comic Strip Cafe.
If you want to stay as close to IOA as possible, check out Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, or one of the three Loews resorts: Portofino Bay, Sapphire Falls, or Royal Pacific.
However, to save money and still have a great time, you should check out the nearby hotels off-property. Not only will the hotels with a shuttle save you $20/day on parking, but you’ll also be able to make better budget decisions elsewhere. Instead of having to eat out at a theme park restaurant or city walk, you’ll have a lot more options to choose from by being near International Drive.
Here are just a few nearby Universal Studios hotel deals for hotels with a shuttle to the theme parks: