Universal's Islands of Adventure is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida. It opened May 28, 1999 as part of an expansion that, along with CityWalk Entertainment District, the Portofino Bay Hotel, and Hard Rock hotel, converted Universal Studios Florida into the Universal Orlando Resort. The park's overall theme is that of a journey of exploration, where guests depart from a main port to visit six islands, each having its own distinct theme, but all emphasizing adventure. On June 18, 2010, the seventh island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (themed to the popular Harry Potter franchise) officially opened at the park, its largest investment since opening. In 2011, Islands of Adventure hosted approximately 7.8 million guests, ranking it sixth among United States parks and tenth worldwide.
Like Universal Studios Florida next door, Islands of Adventure has not limited itself to Universal's own library. In fact, with the exception of The Lost Continent and Jurassic Park, the remaining park areas are based on characters licensed from rival studios, many of whom did not own theme parks of their own. Some of these include Seuss Landing (Dr. Seuss Enterprises), The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Warner Bros.), Toon Lagoon (Jay Ward Productions and Paramount Pictures) and Marvel Super Hero Island (Marvel Entertainment).
During the construction of the park, Universal opened a Preview Center (known as the Islands of Adventure Preview Center) at their adjacent Florida theme park. Opening 2 years before the new theme park, the Preview Center was designed to give guests a sneak peek at some of the themes and attractions for Islands of Adventure. The attraction was located in the Paradise Theater building located in the New York section of Universal Studios Florida, next to the Kongfrontation attraction. In the attraction, guests would walk through various rooms themed to the various "Islands" in the new park. The final room stated when the Islands of Adventure park would open, and showed guests Universal's future plans for the Universal Orlando Resort. The Preview Center was closed shortly after the opening of Islands of Adventure.
Islands of Adventure had a soft opening beginning March 27, 1999 during which visitors could preview the park at a discounted price while the staff conducted a technical rehearsal and worked on the "finishing touches." During this soft-opening, guests were informed that attractions might open and close throughout the day without notice and that some attractions might not be open at all. Initial plans were to open the park in mid-May, but this was ultimately delayed until May 28, 1999.
After the enormous capital expenditure required to build Islands of Adventure, CityWalk, and the resort hotels, Universal sought to overtake nearby Walt Disney World in attendance. However, with the addition of the second park, new resorts, and entertainment district, the resort was named Universal Studios Escape. Essentially, it seemed that visitors were confused by the name, assuming that Islands of Adventure was a new area added to the already-existing Universal Studios Florida theme park. For the first two years, attendance did not rise as expected. By 2001, the marketing was re-vamped, clarifying that Islands of Adventure was indeed a second, completely separate park with new rides and attractions. Universal Studios Escape was renamed Universal Orlando Resort, and ended up being the only resort in the Orlando area to actually have an increase in attendance after the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Timeline of notable events
- 1991: The first concepts for the Islands of Adventure park are conceived by MCA Planning and Development. Known as "Cartoon World", the park would feature rides and attractions based on DC Comics, Dr. Seuss and Warner Bros..
- 1993, June: Universal releases the blockbuster film, Jurassic Park. Its success resulted in a Jurassic Park section being included in the park plans.
- 1993, September 16: Universal announces plans to add a second theme park and several resorts at their Florida complex.
- 1995: Construction was expected to begin on Islands of Adventure.
- 1997: Construction actually begins on Islands of Adventure. Shortly after, the Islands of Adventure Preview Center opened at the adjacent Universal Studios Florida, replacing The Screen Test Home Video Adventure. It allowed guests to preview all six original islands at Islands of Adventure and their rides and attractions within. The Preview Center also included Universal's plans for an expansion into Universal Orlando Resort.
- 1999, March 27: Islands of Adventure begins soft openings.
- 1999, May 28: Islands of Adventure is officially opened with a grand opening ceremony, with the islands Port of Entry, Seuss Landing, The Lost Continent, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon and Marvel Super Hero Island. The Islands of Adventure Preview Center at Universal Studios Florida is closed shortly afterwards.
- 2000, February 29: Pandemonium Cartoon Circus is closed.
- 2000, May & June 29: Flying Unicorn and Storm Force Accelatron debut in the park's The Lost Continent and Marvel Super Hero Island areas, respectively.
- 2000, December: The annual GrinchMas event begins in the park's Seuss Landing area.
- 2001: Universal delays the opening of Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines, which they had originally intended to open with the park, indefinitely due to technical and safety issues, as well as the ride's manufacturer going bankrupt. Island Skipper Tours is closed. Toon Lagoon Rock N' Roll Bash opens.
- 2002: Mat Hoffman's Freakin Crazy Stunt Show opens in the park's Toon Lagoon amphitheatre.
- 2002, October: Universal's Halloween Horror Nights event is held for the first time ever at Islands of Adventure. Each "island" is transformed into a different twisted world: Port of Entry into Port of Evil, Seuss Landing into Boo-Ville, The Lost Continent into Island of Evil Souls, Jurassic Park into JP Extinction, Toon Lagoon into Treaks and Foons and Marvel Super Hero Island into Island Under Siege.
- 2004: Mat Hoffman's Freakin Crazy Stunt Show is closed.
- 2004, October: Halloween Horror Nights is held in both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
- 2005: Triceratops Discovery Trail, also known as Triceratops Encounter, is closed down due to maintenance and staffing issues, and is left abandoned.
- 2006, June: Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines is rebuilt into a new concept, and officially opened as The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride.
- 2007, May 31: Universal Studios and Warner Bros officially announce Islands of Adventure's seventh island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at a joint press conference, with an expected opening of late 2009 or early 2010.
- 2008, July 7: The Flying Unicorn, as well as the Enchanted Oak Tavern, are both closed due to Harry Potter construction.
- 2009, September 16: Universal officially reveals the Wizarding World's attractions, including Zonko's, Honeydukes, Owl Post, Dervish and Banges, Ollivander's Wand Shop Experience, Frog Choir, Triwizard Spirit Rally, Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods and Dragon Challenge, which will replace the then-still operating Dueling Dragons rides.
- 2009, October: Oh, The Stories You'll Hear! opens in the park's Seuss Landing area.
- 2010, March: Mat Hoffman's Aggro Circus debuts in the park's Toon Lagoon amphitheatre, the theater's first show since Mat Hoffman's Freakin Crazy Stunt Show in 2002.
- 2010, May 5: Dueling Dragons is closed for its final transformation into Dragon Challenge. Ice is renamed Hungarian Horntail and Fire is renamed Chinese Fireball.
- 2010, June 1: The Wizarding World begins soft openings for the general public.
- 2010, June 18: The seventh island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is officially opened with a grand opening ceremony. The area is Islands of Adventure's biggest investment since the park's opening.
- 2010, December 13: After five years, Triceratops Discovery Trail is finally reopened to the public for a limited time, speculated to further remain seasonal during peak season.
- 2011, January 1: One of the roofs on Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls catches fire, causing immediate evacuation of the ride and an unknown return.
- 2011, March 3: Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls re-opens for the first time since the fire in January.
- 2011, May 19: Universal announces a major refurbishment of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride, with plans to re-master the ride film in High-definition as well as to update the ride's technical system and to replace all of the projectors with new 3-D digital projectors. .
- 2012, March 8: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man re-opens after refurbishment.
As with almost any amusement park, older attractions are sometimes removed to make way for newer ones. At Islands of Adventure, some have simply been closed with no replacement like Island Skipper Tours while others, like Poseidon's Fury, were changed from their initial concept to the attraction that operates today.
Islands of Adventure consists of seven themed "islands," only one of which utilizes movie tie-ins with Universal Pictures. They are, in clockwise order from entry, Port of Entry, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.
Port of Entry
The Pharos Lighthouse marks the park's entrance.
Port of Entry is the park's main entrance and is home to many shops and services, including Guest Relations. The park's iconic centerpiece, Pharos Lighthouse, is also located within Port of Entry. Each night, this real, functioning lighthouse sends out a bright beam to lead visitors to and from the park's gates. Like many theme parks using the "hub and spokes" format popularized by Disneyland, this entry Island contains no rides, and is primarily noted for its restaurants and shops. Its main features are the Confisco Grille restaurant (one of two full-service restaurants in the Park) and the Islands of Adventure Trading Company, the park's primary gift shop. An attraction information board is located near the shore of the lagoon.
- Islands of Adventure Trading Company
- Ocean Trader Market
- DeFoto's Expedition Photography
- Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe
- Island Market and Export Candy Shoppe
- Port Provisions
- Confisco Grille
- Croissant Moon Bakery
- Arctic Express
Marvel Super Hero Island
Incredible Hulk Coaster
The daily Superhero parade.
Marvel Super Hero Island has rides inspired by Marvel comic books, and focuses primarily on thrilling rides. The island features such Marvel characters as Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and some villains such as Doctor Doom, M.O.D.O.K., Hobgoblin, and Kingpin. In late 2009, The Walt Disney Company (Universal's biggest competitor in the theme park market) announced that it had sought to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Universal announced that Marvel's new ownership would not affect Marvel Super Hero Island, and Disney CEO Robert Iger acknowledged that Disney would continue to honor any contracts that Marvel currently has with Disney competitors. In March 2012, Iger revealed that Disney had begun preliminary concepts of incorporating Marvel's properties into their parks, although no major negotiations with Universal were announced.
Marvel Super Hero Island is notable for its unique, comic-book styled architecture. Many of the building interiors are created in what could be considered comic book perspective, with exaggerated lines and angles. Meanwhile, many exteriors are painted in a special paint which appears to change color based on the angle from which it is viewed - sometimes purple, sometimes orange. Perhaps most notably, the buildings are all labelled generically, as one would expect the buildings in the background of a comic panel to be: "Store," "Shop," "Food," and "Comics," instead of detailed names and logos.
Rides and attractions
Doctor Doom's Fearfall
- Incredible Hulk Coaster is a high speed steel roller coaster which has a top speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). You enter into Dr. Bruce Banner's lab, where you watch videos explaining what is going to happen, Dr. Banner is trying to separate the Hulk from himself by going through the Gamma Tube to increase the Gamma radiation. There are other videos that talk about the Hulk's destruction, how Lieutenant Ross wants the Hulk destroyed. You see the lab then you enter the Gamma Tube where you hear a nervous Dr. Banner say, "Everything looks good, I think.. I think this time it's going to work..." Then a warning voice comes on and the ride begins.
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is a 3-D simulator ride set in New York as Spider-man defeats The Sinister Syndicate from taking the Statue of Liberty.
- Doctor Doom's Fearfall is a pair of S&S Power Space Shot attractions themed after the Fantastic Four. Riders queue in the Latverian Embassy which is a front for Doctor Doom's headquarters. A large monitor displays a few short videos which explain that a scientist has created the Fearfall device to collect the fear from its riders to fuel the Fear Fusion Dynamo, which will be used to defeat the Fantastic Four. Riders are then loaded onto one of the vehicles on each of the towers. Each vehicle launches 16 riders 199 feet (61 m) into the air at a speed of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). Riders experience up to 4 Gs during the launch. At the conclusion of the ride, Doctor Doom exclaims that he now has the power he needs to defeat the Fantastic Four, and riders then exit into an arcade. Guests must be 52 inches (130 cm) to ride Doctor Doom's Fearfall. Universal Express is available on this attraction.
- Storm Force Accelatron is a teacups ride themed after X-Men. The queue line features live-action comic panels which explain that Magneto, a villain of the X-Men, has returned to threaten the world. Storm gives word to Professor Xavier who decides to launch riders on his "Storm Force Accelatron" while Storm gathers the powers of Mother Nature in an effort to stop Magneto. Up to 5 riders enter each of 12 circular shaped cars (known as "accelatrons") which are colored either purple or yellow. Once riders have been seated, Professor Xavier and Storm explain the crisis going on, and give guests the instructions on how to use their accelatrons. Each accelatron has a large wheel in the center of it which riders may use to control the spinning of their individual car. Sound and lighting effects simulating lightning and thunder serve as show elements during the ride which originate from an overhead "power generator" above the center of the track. At the conclusion, Xavier informs riders that they are successful and Magneto is retreating. Storm Force Accelatron opened in May 2000, a year after the opening of Islands of Adventure, due to timing conflicts. Universal Express is available for this attraction.
- Meet Spider-Man and the Marvel Super Heroes is a meet and greet attraction where guests can meet super heroes including Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops and Rogue, Spider-Man and Captain America.
- Cafe 4
- Captain America Diner
Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
Toon Lagoon is geared toward both kids and adults, and is based on the characters of King Features Syndicate and Jay Ward. The area focuses on water-based rides (hence the name) and features 3 counter-service restaurants: Comic Strip Cafe (offering Italian & Chinese Cuisine, Burgers & Dogs, and Fried Chicken & Fish), Blondies (home of the famous Dagwood), and Wimpy's (only open during peak seasons) & All On Mulberry Street.
The Island is rigged with dozens of water props that squirt at visitors and can be interacted with if so desired. In addition, visitors have the option of further soaking those who are riding on board water rides by squirting them with water guns, activating water cannons, and more.
Rides and attractions
- Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, a traditional log flume combined with roller coaster track based on the old cartoon & movie Dudley Do-Right.
- Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, a river rafting water ride themed after the 1960s television series Popeye the Sailor. The 7-minute ride follows Popeye in his never ending quest to save Olive Oyl, the damsel in distress, from his enemy Bluto. Guests originally enter a queue for Popeye's Pleasure Cruises before being detoured into Bluto's Boat Tours. Riders board large circular rafts from a rotating platform. The ride contains many river rapid elements including rapids, waterfalls and other water hazards including interactions with Me Ship, the Olive. The ride ends with Popeye saving Olive Oyl and the boats returning to the loading dock at Sweet Haven. Universal Express passes can be used for the attraction which has a height requirement of 42 inches (110 cm).
- Me Ship, the Olive, a kids' playground built around and in Popeye's ship. The three levels of the ship all contain a variety of interactive elements including cannons and hoses which can further soak riders on Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.
- Mat Hoffman's Aggro Circus, a live seasonal BMX stunt show at the Toon Lagoon Theater that generally operates during peak seasons, such as Spring break and summer time. Hosted by Mat Hoffman, the show features numerous BMX bike and skateboarding stunt tricks under a circus theme. The show replaced a similar production known as Mat Hoffman's Freakin Crazy Stunt Show, also hosted by Hoffman.
- Gasoline Alley
- Betty Boop Store
- Toon Extra
- Cyber Connect Internet Access
- Comic Strip Cafe
- Cathy's Ice Cream
- Blondie's: Home of the Dagwood
- Wimpy's, a seasonal quick service restaurant serving hamburgers, chicken fingers and other related items.
Set just after the time of the Jurassic Park movie. The area has some thrilling rides and has discovery-based exhibits. The characters of John Hammond and Ian Malcolm even put in an appearance from time to time. The Island takes place under the guise of the "real" Jurassic Park: a theme park / zoological park focused on dinosaurs. As such, the area is filled with the attractions and exhibits one would find in the "real" Jurassic Park.
Rides and attractions
Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Jurassic Park River Adventure is a water ride that is based on Steven Spielberg's hit film Jurassic Park and Michael Crichton's novel. It is a duplicate of the original Jurassic Park: The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. The Vekoma water ride was originally designed as the flagship attraction for Islands of Adventure. Throughout the queue, guests will be confronted by a series of televisions which show a video of the history of "Jurassic Island", a video showcasing various species of dinosaurs and a safety presentation. Riders taller than 42 inches (110 cm) board their boat which heads up a short hill and then splashes down into a calm river. A narrator can be heard throughout the ride through the use of hidden speakers in the foliage. Throughout the first section of the ride guests are surrounded by prehistoric trees which conceal animatronic dinosaurs. Knocked off course, the boats accidentally leave their tour path into a back of house area where more dangerous dinosaurs are contained. Riders pass the Jurassic Park Raptor Containment building which is surrounded by a damaged electric fence before passing another boat which had crashed into the cement walkway surrounding the river. The boat enters the Environmental Systems Building which conceals a lift hill which takes riders to a height of over 85 feet (26 m). Throughout the building sirens continue to wail and dinosaurs emerge from the darkness. After a small drop of approximately 10 feet (3.0 m), the head of a roaring T-Rex pops out from the darkness ahead. The T-rex reaches down at the boat just as the riders plunge 85 feet (26 m) into the lagoon below. An on-ride photo is taken during the 85-foot (26 m)-tall, final drop. Photos can be viewed or purchased from the gift shop which features many Jurassic-Park-themed souvenirs. The 1,900-foot (580 m)-long ride lasts 5.5 minutes and can cater for up to 3000 guests per hour.
- Pteranodon Flyers is a steel suspended roller coaster manufactured by Setpoint USA. Riders join the queue located within Camp Jurassic. Pteranodon Flyers features three, two-seater cars suspended on a track. The cars are pulled up a hill and then travel a circuit around Camp Jurassic at low speed before returning to the station. Due to the low capacity of the ride, only those who are between 36 and 56 inches (91 and 140 cm) or those with a child of that height may ride. The Universal Express pass cannot be used on this attraction due to the ride's low capacity. A similar ride, Canopy Flyer exists at Universal Studios Singapore.
- Camp Jurassic is a children's play area centered around an imported 50-foot (15 m) tall Banyan tree. It features a variety of play elements including slides, nets, water cannons and fountains. Pteranodon Flyers' queue is located within Camp Jurassic.
Jurassic Park Discovery Center
- The Jurassic Park Discovery Center is a large, interactive, dinosaur-themed museum based upon the Visitor Center from the film. The museum features large, full-sized dinosaur skeletons on display, as well as various games and activities for children. There is also a short show in which a dinosaur egg hatches over a span of five minutes and a Velociraptor is born.
- Triceratops Discovery Trail (formerly Triceratops Encounter) is a walkthrough attraction where guests can get up close and interact with a full-scale animated replica of a Triceratops, while a "veterinary technician" performs a semi-annual exam on the Trike. The attraction actually features three different Trikes - Topper, Chris, and Cera. All 3 are female. Chris was named after a member of the team that created the dinosaurs who died before the attraction opened. Spar Aerospace (now known as MD Robotics) was contracted to construct the three robotic trikes, each of which are 9 metres (30 ft) long and 3 metres (9.8 ft) high. Universal requested specific requirements for the robots including the ability to replicate breathing (through synchronised rib cage movements), sneezing, snorting, urinating and flatulating. Due to maintenance and staffing issues, the trail was closed off in 2005. But after a total of five years, the attraction reopened in December 2010 for seasonal operation.
- Dinostore (Jurassic Park Discovery Center)
- Jurassic Outfitters (Jurassic Park River Adventure)
- Pizza Predattoria (Jurassic Park Discovery Center)
- The Burger Digs (Jurassic Park Discovery Center)
- Thunder Falls Terrace (Jurassic Park River Adventure)
- The Watering Hole
The Lost Continent
This island is themed to ancient myths and legends, and is divided into two smaller sections. The first section is ancient Arabian marketplace called "Sinbad's Bazzaar", while the second is mythological Grecian-Atlantis-style "Lost City". Formerly, the Lost Continent included a medieval section, Merlinwood, but much of that area was rethemed for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Today the area contains two live-action shows. This land is also home to Mythos, which was voted winner of best theme park restaurant by Theme Park Insider for six successive years between 2003 and 2008, and one of two full-service restaurants in the park.
Rides and attractions
- The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad, a live-action stunt show located in the ancient Arabia section.
- Poseidon's Fury, an indoor special-effects show located in the mythological Greek section.
- The Mystic Fountain, a fountain (located in the front of The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad show) that entertains and interacts with guests.
- Treasures of Poseidon (Poseidon's Fury)
- The Coin Mint
- The Pearl Factory
- Historic Families - Heraldry
- Star Souls - Psychic Reading
- Coat of Arms
- Mythos Restaurant (Poseidon's Fury)
- The Frozen Desert
- Fire Eater's Grill
Seuss Landing is specially geared towards small children and is based on the works of author Dr. Seuss. It has several Seuss-themed attractions. There is also a Green Eggs and Ham Cafe and Circus McGurkus restaurant. One of the unique characteristics of this area is, like in the books, there is not a single straight line anywhere. Palm trees, curved by the winds of Hurricane Andrew, were even installed in the area to continue this theming.
Rides and attractions
- Caro-Seuss-el is a themed carousel.
- The Cat In The Hat is a dark ride that takes guests through the Dr. Seuss story of the same name. The queue for the ride begins under a 30-foot (9.1 m)-tall cat hat. From a front porch, 6 riders board a couch, to which secured by lapbars, before entering the house. The bus bar system allows riders to spin along the 1,000-foot (300 m)-long course throughout the house. Riders meet the Cat in the Hat, The Fish, Thing One and Thing Two, who all run amuck throughout the house. As the ride begins, riders see the famous "The Cat in the Hat" logo in the window. Then, the riders hear a "BUMP!" noise, and the cat comes to play. But, the fish tells the children to make him go out. The cat balances many items such as a cake, toy boat & man, until he bounces away by accident, dropping things everywhere, even the fish. He then opens a box with Thing One and Thing Two, who begin running out. They peek up from vases, paint the walls, & even jump on the bed. Soon, the riders go into the bathroom and see the cat eating cake in the tub, & the fish spinning in the toilet. As this mess continues, riders come across a scary scene where Things One and Two drop a piano at the riders, & they go into a room where ghostly walls including many things or sounds when people get hit by things. The cat is also blown out, washed, spun, & kicked out of this fantasy. The fish says to Sally & Conrad to watch out for their mother. The riders go to a closet, where they are blown into a vortex of clothes & almost get hit. Then, Sally's brother lowers a net to get the Things out of the house. The ride concludes with the cat pulling out his Thing-A-Majig which cleans everything up. The ride utilizes the same ride system as Men in Black: Alien Attack at neighboring Universal Studios Florida. On The Cat in the Hat, however, the program is much less intense and thus is more suitable for families with small children. Universal Express passes are available for this attraction.
- If I Ran the Zoo, an interactive play zone for kids.
- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, a spinning ride with a musical riddle that will help riders escape water-spitting fish.
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride is a twin-tracked tour above and around Seuss Landing. Riders board "trolley trains" on two separate tracks, each with four separate audio tracks based on Seuss stories which play throughout the ride. The ride features two overhead tracks, with the vehicles constantly switching tracks with each ride. The audio tracks played throughout the ride include excerpts from multiple Dr. Seuss stories, such as "Hop on Pop", "Dr. Seuss's ABC" and "The Sneetches and Other Stories". The attraction was originally planned to open as Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines however due to several contractual and safety issues, the ride never opened. In 2006, the track was rebuilt in a new format and finally opened as The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride.
- Oh, The Stories You'll Hear, a stage show based on the Dr. Seuss books and characters.
- Cats, Hats & Things (The Cat in the Hat)
- All The Books You Can Read (The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride)
- Snookers & Snookers Sweet Candy Cookers
- Mulberry Street Stores Trading Co
- Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous (The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride)
- Green Eggs and Ham Cafe (Opened seasonally)
- Hop On Pop Ice Cream Shop
- Moose Juice, Goose Juice
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Officially opened to the public on June 18, 2010. On May 31, 2007, Universal Orlando announced that it had secured the rights from Warner Bros. and from British author J. K. Rowling to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Islands of Adventure. The 20-acre (81,000 m2) island features attractions, shops and restaurants set inside such locations as the Forbidden Forest, Hogsmeade Village and the iconic Hogwarts castle. Ground breaking began in 2007, with the official opening scheduled for June 18, 2010 as announced on March 25, 2010. As part of the promotion for the then-upcoming area, a behind-the-scenes documentary on production of the park section is included on the Blu-ray and DVD release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Rides and attractions
"The Three Broomsticks Inn," a restaurant with typical British dishes and "The Hog's Head Pub" where you can sip on spirits and drinks inspired by those in the Harry Potter stories.
Universal Express Plus
Universal Express Plus.
Several attractions in Islands of Adventure allow guests to utilize the "Universal Express Plus" Pass. This pass admits users to a separate line for the attraction, which is given priority status when boarding. Universal Express Plus is not a virtual queuing service, where users receive a specific time to return to the priority line. Instead, passholders may enter the Express Plus line whenever they wish.
Universal Express Plus is not included in park admission. There are a limited number of passes available each day and they are often sold out in advance. The cost of the pass varies based on what parks are selected and even what day is selected, with higher prices charged on peak operating days during the year.
Purchasers of the Express Plus pass may use the shorter priority line once per enabled attraction. Guests of Universal's three on-site resorts— the Hard Rock Hotel, the Royal Pacific Resort, and the Portofino Bay Hotel—may show their room keys for unlimited uses of the faster line for each ride. Also, guests who hold Universal Orlando's Premier Annual Pass receive the same unlimited privilege extended to hotel guests after 4 pm.
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- ^ Mythos Restaurant picked for fourth successive year ThemeParkInsider.com
- ^ 2007 'Theme Park Insider Awards' announced Theme Park Insider
- ^ Disney, Universal split 2008 Theme Park Insider Awards Theme Park Insider
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- ^ Express Plus Passes http://www.universalorlando.com/tic_express.html
- ^ Premier Annual Passes http://www.universalorlando.com/annualpass/ap_prem.php.html