UO Fan Guide to Islands of Adventure: Rides, Shows, Play Areas, Dining, Shops, and More

The Pharos Lighthouse in Islands of Adventure.

The Pharos Lighthouse in Islands of Adventure.

What Is Islands of Adventure?

Universal's Islands of Adventure, also known as just Islands of Adventure, is one of two theme parks in Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. The other park, Universal Studios Florida, opened in 1990.

Islands of Adventure officially opened on May 28, 1999. On opening day, it had 15 restaurants, 11 rides, a few shows, and about 20 food carts. The park has grown considerably since then. Islands of Adventure now has 16 rides, 23 restaurants, 20+ food carts, 6 shows, and more shops than ever before. The biggest Islands of Adventure expansion occurred with the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in 2010.

The first thing that you see as you approach Islands of Adventure is the Pharos Lighthouse. This lighthouse dominates the landscape and is the symbol of the park. Its namesake, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The overall theme of Islands of Adventure is exploration and adventure, but the park is split into eight distinctly themed areas, each with its own name and combination of attractions. These areas are known as islands. The eight islands are:

  • Port of Entry
  • Marvel Super Hero Island
  • Toon Lagoon
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Jurassic Park
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade
  • Seuss Landing
  • Lost Continent

Things in This UO Fan Guide

In this UO Fan Guide, we are going to explore all of Islands of Adventure one island at a time. Like a true navigator, we will touch on every ride, show, play area, restaurant, and shop in each island in addition to hidden secrets that every fan will enjoy. When our journey is complete, you'll learn about character meet and greets and find out which rides and shows at Islands of Adventure accept Express Passes and which ones don't. We'll close with essential touring tips and information on how you can buy tickets to Islands of Adventure.

Port of Entry in Islands of Adventure.

Port of Entry in Islands of Adventure.

Port of Entry in Islands of Adventure

Port of Entry is the very first area that you walk into when you enter the gates of Islands of Adventure. This island is reminiscent of old port cities around the world. The buildings are intentionally designed to look old, worn, and just a little exotic; many of them have Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean style architectural elements. Landscaping consists of rocks, evergreen oaks, and Mediterranean palms. 

The entire Port of Entry area is often underappreciated because people are in such a hurry to get to the other islands in the park, but if you take time to look closely, you'll see that this area is very carefully themed in every way imaginable. One element that everyone enjoys is the giant stone bridge that greets visitors with the message The Adventure Begins when they're on their way in, and then reminds them that The Adventure Lives On as they are leaving. 

Port of Entry also has its own musical soundtrack, composed by William Kidd (a John Williams protégé) just for this area. There are different songs for different spots in Port of Entry, each blending with the next as you walk through the gates and toward other areas of the park. In between bits of beautiful music, you can hear the sounds like conversations between unseen villagers, chanting monks, and gambling noises. 

Most of Port of Entry is dedicated to shops and restaurants, but there is also a Guest Services location in a building labeled Open Arms Hotel as well as a spot called Reliable Rentals, where you can rent strollers, wheelchairs, and electric conveyance vehicles. The Reliable Rentals board also advertises a Time Machine, but wouldn't you know, that thing is always stuck in the 6th century!

Some of the confiscated items in Confisco Grille in Port of Entry.

Some of the confiscated items in Confisco Grille in Port of Entry.

Port of Entry Fan Secrets

  • There are references to other islands on signs and buildings in Port of Entry.
  • Confisco Grille contains items confiscated from other islands (like the hat belonging to The Cat in the Hat).
  • You can find tributes to key staff members at Universal, such as a window that pays tribute to Universal Creative Team Member David Codiga through an advertisement for Codiga Adventures.
  • Go down to the docks at the end of Port of Entry to get a killer view of the lagoon and other islands. Listen to the colorful submarine that's beached on the docks while you're down there. 

Rides in Port of Entry

  • There aren't any rides in Port of Entry.

Dining in Port of Entry

  • Cinnabon: This Port of Entry restaurant sells Cinnabon coffee and the fresh backed cinnamon rolls with the ooey-gooey cream cheese topping that Cinnabon is famous for. Other menu items include Caramel Pecanbons, ice cream cones, soda, juice, and other beverages. 
  • Confisco Grille: The Confisco Grille has a larger menu than most Islands of Adventure restaurants and serves an array of American, Italian, Greek, Mexican, and Asian menu items for lunch and dinner. For a drink, head to the adjacent Backwater Bar. This full service bar has a TV, beer, cocktails, appetizers, and indoor and outdoor seating. 
  • Croissant Moon Bakery: This Islands of Adventure restaurant is a good place to get morning coffee, pastry, and other grab and go breakfast items. Croissant Moon Bakery also serves soup, sandwiches, milkshakes, cheesecake, and funnel cakes for lunch and dinner. 
  • Starbucks Coffee: Starbucks is the expensive place to get coffee in Islands of Adventure, but if you're craving your favorite Starbucks drink, you can probably get it here along with tea and a few pastries. 

Shopping in Port of Entry

  • DeFoto's Expedition Photography: If you posed for any pictures taken by a Universal photographer, this is the spot to look at them and decide if you want to take them home. DeFoto's Expedition Photography also sells film, camera supplies, photo frames, movie posters, and a few other random items. 
  • Island Market and Export Candy Shoppe: The Island Market and Export Candy Shoppe is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth. They have candies and baked goods, like cookies, cupcakes, and fudge, as well as a few souvenirs you can't eat like apparel, pins, and keychains. 
  • Islands of Adventure Trading Company: You can think of this shop as a Universal Studios Store; you'll find lots of theme park merchandise from every island as well as items with the Universal and Islands of Adventure logos on it. Islands of Adventure Trading Company is the perfect spot to get last minute souvenirs as you're leaving the park. 
  • Ocean Trader Market: One of the more unique shops in Islands of Adventure, Ocean Trader Market is the place to get something other than traditional theme park merchandise. You'll find a lot of apparel here, including Indian sarongs, exotic dresses, and scarves, as well as jewelry, sculptures, wood carvings, and kites. 
  • Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe: This store is all Christmas all the time. You can shop here for Christmas ornaments, character ornaments, personalized ornaments, and other holiday decorations. 
  • Port Provisions: Part tent, part outdoor kiosk, Port Provisions is the last store before the exit. Look for marked down items like t-shirts, key chains, stuffed animals, cups, and other theme park souvenirs. 
Marvel Super Hero Island in Islands of Adventure.

Marvel Super Hero Island in Islands of Adventure.

Marvel Super Hero Island in Islands of Adventure

People have a tendency to go right when they reach a fork in a path, which is why Marvel Super Hero Island is on left when you leave the Port of Entry area. Designers wanted to create an exciting path for rebellious teenagers and spirited adults. They definitely succeeded. Marvel Super Hero Island is exciting. This island immerses guests in a colorful comic book setting. 

The main street of Marvel Super Hero Island is designed to look like an urban area. It has several separate buildings that display different facades every 10 feet or so. The signage is humorously simple; buildings have names like: Five and Dime, Bank, Store, and Comics. But the rest of the design is anything but basic. Lines, shapes, and colors are all overly exaggerated. Many of the buildings are even painted with a special paint that seems to change colors depending on the light and where you are standing when you look at it. 

Marvel Super Hero Island is exclusively focused on Marvel comic book characters, including the Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Captain America, X-Men, and Dr. Doom. More specifically, it is focused on the classic comic book characters, not the revamped versions seen most recently in the theaters. The Marvel characters and graphics displayed throughout the land were created by renowned artist Adam Kubert, who has created art for all of the major comic book publishers, but is best known for his work at Marvel Comics. The high energy music that plays throughout Marvel Super Hero Island was composed by Howard Drossin.

Doomnet communication port in Marvel Super Hero Island.

Doomnet communication port in Marvel Super Hero Island.

Marvel Super Hero Island Fan Secrets

  • There are a few things that you can interact with in Marvel Super Hero Island, including call boxes known as communicator or communication ports. These ports are hemisphere (half sphere) shaped speakers on short poles. If you push a button, you'll hear special messages for heroes or villains (depending on where you are in the area). 
  • There is a telephone labeled Crimeline Update on Main Street. Pick up the phone, and you will hear quips from both super heroes and villains. 
  • If you look closely enough, you can find artist Adam Kubert's signature somewhere on each piece of Marvel artwork throughout Marvel Super Hero Island.
  • Keep your eyes on the pavement, and you'll see impact points and body outlines of Doom's previous victims near Doctor Doom's Fearfall. 

Rides in Marvel Super Hero Island

  • Doctor Doom's Fearfall: This Marvel thrill ride is based around villain Doctor Victor Von Doom. The ride uses compressed air to rapidly send you up a 199-foot tower while your feet dangle in thin air. 
  • Storm Force Accelatron: Based on X-Men super hero Storm, this spinner ride puts you into a spinning cup/pod with a wheel that you can spin to make your ride vehicle go faster. 
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: This award-winning ride takes you into the Daily Bugle for a special assignment and then to the streets of New York where Spider-Man is trying to stop his biggest nemeses from pulling off a dastardly heist. Expect well done 3D and a simulated 400 foot free fall. 
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster: Based on the Incredible Hulk, this roller coaster launches riders from a tube at high speed and then sends them down a lengthy track with plenty of drops and loops. 

Dining in Marvel Super Hero Island

  • Café 4: Set in Fantastic 4 headquarters, this quick service café serves Italian food like pizza, spaghetti, fettuccine, and meatball subs for lunch and dinner. 
  • Captain America Diner: The Captain America Diner has a distinctly American menu with cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, french fries, onions rings, and milkshakes. The food is mediocre, but the theming is extraordinary from floor to ceiling. 
  • Chill Ice Cream: This walk-up ice cream shop has a giant Iceman (from X-Men) on the top of the building. It serves sundaes, shakes, and other ice cream treats made from Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Shopping in Marvel Super Hero Island

  • Comic Book Shop: This is the store to buy official Marvel comic books, graphic novels, collectibles, and artwork. You can get current books and past books. 
  • Kingpin's Arcade: The Doctor Doom Fearfall ride exits into this well-stocked arcade; you can also access it from Café 4. You'll need to buy tokens to play the games at Kingpin's Arcade.
  • Marvel Alterniverse Store: Spider-Man appears periodically in this store for pictures. You can also buy Marvel themed merchandise featuring all of your favorite Marvel characters. 
  • Oakley: Like most Oakley shops, this store sells sunglasses and related accessories. 
  • Spider-Man Shop: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man exits into this store, which sells all types of Spider-Man related merchandise, including apparel, toys, collectibles, mugs, and other souvenirs. 
Toon Lagoon in Islands of Adventure.

Toon Lagoon in Islands of Adventure.

Toon Lagoon in Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure puts comic strip characters from the Sunday Funnies at the forefront in Toon Lagoon. The entire island looks like a three-dimensional collage of comic strip goodness. You can find more than 150 characters from 80 different comic strips, some of them as old as The Yellow Kid, which made its debut in 1895.

What makes this island different from the rest is the fact that it is very wet. Pools, fountains, and sprinklers are incorporated into the rides, streets, and architecture of Toon Lagoon. The island is split into two basic areas: Sweethaven, which includes Popeye themed décor, rides, restaurants, and play areas, and King's Row, which includes the main path through Toon Lagoon and every other attraction.

The entire Toon Lagoon area is one large photo opp. You can find thought and dialog bubbles hanging everywhere around the main path with sayings like "Wish You Were Here," "I Haven't Had This Much Fun Since I Was A Kid," and "I'm Going To Need a Vacation From This Vacation." Just stand underneath them to get great photos for your vacation scrapbook and social media pages.  There is also an excellent Marmaduke photo opp that's a favorite among Universal fans. 

The upbeat and whimsical music in Toon Lagoon was composed by Chip Smith and Tony Humecke, who also composed the music for Seuss Landing, another area of Islands of Adventure. 

Free water cannon on the deck of Me Ship, The Olive.

Free water cannon on the deck of Me Ship, The Olive.

Toon Lagoon Fan Secrets

  • The second deck of Me Ship, The Olive has free water cannons that can be used to spray people who are riding Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.
  • You can play the sheet music on the piano in Me Ship, The Olive for a special surprise.
  • The inner tubes at Gasoline Alley spray you with air; you can feel it when you get close to them.
  • There is an interactive Rocky and Bullwinkle related photo opp located near the lockers for Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. It features the opening jackhammer scene from the Aesop and Son segment of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • There is an enormous theater in Toon Lagoon that is occasionally used for special events but has mostly sat empty and unused since 2011 when Mat Hoffman's Aggro Circus show closed. 

Rides in Toon Lagoon

  • Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls: This Dudley Do-Right water flume ride runs along a track like a roller coaster. The ending sends you over the edge of a very large waterfall. 
  • Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges: The wettest ride in Islands of Adventure is Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. The 12-person barges sail through white water rapids and get doused by waterfalls, sprinklers, and water cannons. 

Play Areas in Toon Lagoon

  • Me Ship, The Olive: Popeye's ship, known as The Olive, is a three-story play area with interactive features and excellent views from the top deck. 

Dining in Toon Lagoon

  • Blondie's: Home of the Dagwood: This Toon Lagoon restaurant serves Nathan's hot dogs and made to order subs and sandwiches with deli meats and cheeses. The signature item is The Dagwood, which consists of chicken, ham, turkey, Swiss cheese, American cheese, and other sandwich toppings on an onion and poppy seed bun. 
  • Cathy's Ice Cream: Based on the Cathy comic strip, this small ice cream stand sells Ben and Jerry's ice cream in cups, cones, milkshakes, and sundaes. 
  • Comic Strip Café: Food is served cafeteria style in this themed food court. There are a range of offerings, including burgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken, fish, spaghetti, and Asian dishes. 
  • Wimpy's: This outdoor counter service restaurant is only open seasonally for lunch and dinner. Menu items include cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, chili dogs, french fries, and onion rings. 

Shopping in Toon Lagoon

  • Betty Boop Store: Everyone's favorite animated Jazz age flapper has her own store in Toon Lagoon. Some of the Betty Boop merchandise that you can buy includes apparel, jewelry, collectibles, and souvenirs. 
  • Gasoline Alley: Based on Gasoline Alley, one of the longest-running comic strips of all time, this store is made to look like a gas station, and sells all sorts of vacationer supplies, including hats, sunglasses, and apparel. You can also buy themed license plates and other souvenirs. 
  • Toon Extra: This is a catch-all store that sits under Hagar the Horrible's enormous Viking ship. Toon Extra sells all kinds of merchandise featuring Toon Lagoon characters. 
  • Wossamotta U: This Toon Lagoon store is named after Rocky and Bullwinkle's alma mater in the Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle movie. It sells a range of apparel and souvenirs. 
The ride marquee for Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

The ride marquee for Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is listed on the official park map as an island, but it isn't quite like the other islands in Islands of Adventure. This area is very small. You won't find multiple attractions. There is just one ride, also called Skull Island: Reign of Kong, in addition to a food cart and small merchandise kiosk.

This area of the park was inspired by Kong, the gigantic ape that has appeared in numerous books, movies, and videos games since the early 1930s. In the first King Kong film, released in 1933, Kong was captured from a skull-shaped island in the Indian Ocean where he lived with other prehistoric creatures and dinosaurs like plesiosaurs and pterosaurs. The island was never mentioned by name in that film, though there was a reference to Skull Mountain, a term used to describe a rocky knoll in the center of the island. The 2017 reboot, Kong: Skull Island, also takes place on the fictional Skull Island.   

Skull Island: Reign of Kong is not the first appearance of Kong at Universal. Kong was the star of King Kong Encounter, an attraction that was part of the Studio Tour in Hollywood for more than 20 years until it was destroyed by a fire and replaced with King Kong: 360 3-D. He also had his own ride in Universal Studios Florida called Kongfrontation (removed to make way for Revenge of the Mummy). Skull Island: Reign of Kong soft opened in Islands of Adventure in June 2016 and officially opened in July of 2016.

Skull Island: Reign of Kong Fan Secrets

  • Everything in Skull Island: Reign of Kong, including the temple where the ride is located, was purposely designed to be "larger than life," according to Mike West, Executive Producer for Universal Creative. 
  • Skull Island contains 150,000 square feet of rock work. More than 300 workmen and artisans worked together to sculpt and paint the Great Wall on Skull Island. 
  • The Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride has five different drivers, so you will have to ride at least five times to experience each driver character. One of the drivers, Will Denham, is the nephew of Carl Denham, a character in multiple Kong films, including Peter Jackson's 2005 film King Kong.
  • The Kong that appears at the end of the Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride is three stories tall. You get so close to him that you can feel his breath.
  • The Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride lasts about six minutes. 

Rides in Skull Island: Reign of Kong

  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong: This ride takes you deep into Skull Island in jeep-like expedition vehicles where you encounter all sorts of prehistoric creatures, including Kong himself. 

Dining in Skull Island: Reign of Kong

  • The Mess Tent: This walk-up quick service cabana serves drinks (soda, water, lemonade etc.) and snacks like chips, soft pretzels, and churros. The Mess Tent's signature item is the Kong Dog, a 1/3 pound hot dog with cheese and relish on a pretzel bun.  

Shopping in Skull Island: Reign of Kong

  • Kong Merchandise Kiosk: Most rides end with a trip through an actual gift shop, but this isn't true of Skull Island: Reign of Kong. However, there is a small merchandise kiosk near the ride that sells Kong themed pins, shot glasses, key chains, mugs, t-shirts and a few other items. 
Jurassic Park gates in Islands of Adventure.

Jurassic Park gates in Islands of Adventure.

Jurassic Park in Islands of Adventure

The 21-acre Jurassic Park is the largest of all of the islands in Islands of Adventure. The design in this area of the park was inspired by the first two Jurassic Park films: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park: The Lost World. When guests visit this island, they are supposed to feel like they are stepping into the 'real' Jurassic Park seen in the movies. 

Thousands of trees and tens of thousands of shrubs, bushes, and flowers were brought into Jurassic Park to create a lush tropical environment. Designers also created a full-scale replica of the Jurassic Park Discovery Center from the first film. 

A lot of the island is also dominated by Camp Jurassic, a heavily landscaped area with caves, amber mines, waterfalls, and other components that make you feel like you've been transported to the fictional Isla Nublar. This feeling is enhanced everywhere you go in Jurassic Park thanks to the music that is played throughout the island; if the score sounds familiar to you, it's because it's the same one used in the Jurassic Park film. This score was composed by John Williams, whose music can also be hear in the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  

Although Jurassic Park was very busy when Islands of Adventure first opened, the crowds began to wane after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010. The release of Jurassic World in 2015 helped to reinvigorate people's interest in the franchise, and helped to make the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure more popular. 

View from the area behind Jurassic Park Discovery Center.

View from the area behind Jurassic Park Discovery Center.

Jurassic Park Fan Secrets

  • Even the paved paths in Jurassic Park are themed; look down as you walk to see fossils imbedded in the pavement.
  • If you step on the dinosaur footprints in Camp Jurassic, you'll hear the growl of dinosaurs.
  • There is a Barbasol shaving cream can in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. This prop is a nod to the first Jurassic Park film in which a character used a Barbasol can to smuggle dinosaur embryos. 
  • If you go behind the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, you can find a spot with a great view of the lagoon, Mythos, and other areas of Islands of Adventure. This spot is a nice quiet area with light traffic - a great place to get away from crowds. 

Rides in Jurassic Park

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure: This river raft ride starts with a serene river through the gates of Jurassic Park and ends with a T. Rex attack and an enormous drop into a pool of water. 
  • Pteranodon Flyers: Located in Camp Jurassic, Pteranodon Flyers is an aerial roller coaster with excellent views of Jurassic Park.

Play Areas in Jurassic Park

  • Camp Jurassic: Without a doubt, Camp Jurassic is the largest and most developed play area in Islands of Adventure. Guests can explore caves, quarries, waterfalls, rope bridges, watch towers, slides, and an enormous caldera (volcanic crater) in the center of the play area.
  • Jurassic Park Discovery Center: Guests who visit this full-scale replica of the Discovery Center from the Jurassic Park film can learn about dinosaurs through several different interactive exhibits. 

Dining in Jurassic Park

  • Pizza Predattoria: This outdoor food counter serves pizza, Caesar salads, meatballs subs, and a few other menu items for lunch and dinner. 
  • The Burger Digs: Located in Jurassic Park Discovery Center, this indoor restaurant has a simple lunch/dinner menu of burgers, veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, onion rings, and milkshakes. You can top your own burgers and sandwiches with ingredients from a cold topping bar. 
  • The Watering Hole: This outdoor food and beverage counter serves beer, wine, cocktails, frozen drinks, and soda in addition to a few menu items like Nathan's hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, and chips.
  • Thunder Falls Terrace: Widely considered to be the best restaurant in Jurassic Park, Thunder Falls Terrace serves real meals like rotisserie chicken platters, rib platters, smoked turkey legs, soup, and salads. 

Shopping in Jurassic Park

  • Dinostore: Located in the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, the Dinostore sells dinosaur related sculptures, art, books, fossil replicas, and toys as well as Jurassic Park themed merchandise.  
  • Jurassic Outfitters: This store sells all kinds of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World themed merchandise like apparel, towels, and hats. You can also buy rugged adventure gear. 
The entrance of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. 

The entrance of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure

In 2007, Universal, in partnership with Warner Bros. and JK Rowling, announced their plans to add The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Islands of Adventure. After a few years of development and construction, this 20-acre island opened in 2010.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure recreates Hogsmeade Village, a British Wizarding settlement, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a British school of magic. Both of these areas were first introduced in the Harry Potter books before appearing in the Harry Potter films. 

Stuart Craig, the production designer from all eight Harry Potter films, helped to design The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to make sure this area of the park maintained the distinct look created in the movies. The result is one of the most immerse theme park lands ever created.

Guests who enter Hogsmeade really feel like they have been transported to a village inhabited by witches, wizards, and magical creatures. The shops have names familiar to book readers, and the windows of many of these shops contain props and interactive elements. When you wave your wand in the correct way, you can make props move or emit sounds. 

The crowning jewel of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Hogwarts Castle, which guests can actually visit on their way to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride located deep within the building. This castle includes many things that will be familiar to Harry Potter fans - from the Mirror of Erised and moving portraits to Dumbledore's office and the Gryffindor Common Room. 

After the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure was renamed to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. 

The Flying Ford Anglia in the Dragon Challenge queue in Hogsmeade.

The Flying Ford Anglia in the Dragon Challenge queue in Hogsmeade.

Hogsmeade Fan Secrets

  • There is not a tour only line for Dragon Challenge, but if you politely ask the Universal Team Member at the start of the queue if you can go through and take pictures, you may be allowed to walk far enough in with your camera to take pictures of the Triwizard banners, the flying Ford Anglia, and the back of Hagrid's Hut. (Note: Don't ask for this special privilege when it is really busy.)
  • There is a statue of the Hogwarts architect in the castle. He is surrounded by the mascots of each Hogwarts House. 
  • In Hogwarts, there is an area filled with talking portraits. Look for the portraits of the Four Founders. Each one is holding an artifact that Voldemort turned into a Horcrux. 
  • Moaning Myrtle haunts the Public Conveniences in Hogsmeade. Listen for her voice when you visit.
  • The Owlery in Hogsmeade has a cuckoo clock with an owl that pops out when the clock chimes. 

Rides in Hogsmeade

Shows in Hogsmeade

  • Frog Choir: Four Hogwarts students perform Harry Potter themed songs in this short outdoor show. 
  • Triwizard Spirit Rally: The students of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons perform choreographed stunts and dances in this short outdoor show. 

Dining in Hogsmeade

  • Butterbeer Cart: The Butterbeer Carts in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter sell various versions of Butterbeer along with Pumpkin Juice, Gillywater, and other beverages. 
  • Three Broomsticks: Widely believed to be the best counter service restaurant in the park. Three Broomsticks serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can get American food like rotisserie chicken and ribs as well as more British fare like fish and chips, Cornish pasties, and shepherd's pie. 
  • Hog's Head: Located next to the Three Broomsticks, the Hog's Head serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Unlike the movie version, the park version of the Hog's Head admits underage witches and wizards. 

Shopping in Hogsmeade

  • Dervish and Banges: This shop sells an array of merchandise including Hogwarts robes, sweaters, Quidditch equipment (Bludgers, Quaffles, etc.), and other Wizarding supplies. 
  • Filch's Confiscated Goods: The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride exits into this store, which sells all sorts of Wizarding World themed apparel, replicas of movie props, collectibles, stuffed animals, and toys. 
  • Honeydukes: The Honeydukes shop sells baked goods like cauldron cakes and pumpkin pasties as well as Harry Potter themed candies like chocolate frogs, chocolate wands, chocolate cauldrons, fizzing whizbees, fudge flies, exploding bonbons, blood pops, sugar quills and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans. 
  • Ollivanders: One of the most popular stores in Hogsmeade, Ollivanders is the spot to buy wands. 
  • Owl Post: You can buy stationary, envelopes, quills, pens, journals, bookmarks, and related items in this Hogsmeade store. 
The Lost Continent statue in Islands of Adventure.

The Lost Continent statue in Islands of Adventure.

Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure

Besides Port of Entry, the Lost Continent is the only island in Islands of Adventure that is not somehow related to a book, film, TV show, comic strip, or any other form of media. But the lack of a franchise does not ruin this island's theming. The Lost Continent is an exotic land based heavily on myths, legend, heroes, and adventure. 

When Islands of Adventure opened, Lost Continent was split into three areas: Merlinwood, Sindbad's Bazaar, and The Lost City. Merlinwood, a medieval themed land inspired by King Arthur, had two rides and other attractions that were removed or repurposed for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. The other two areas Sindbad's Bazaar and The Lost City still stand.

Sindbad's Bazaar has Middle Eastern style architecture and music. William Kidd, the composer of the music in Port of Entry, also created music for the Lost Continent. He combined an orchestra with ancient Middle Eastern, Indian, and Greek instruments. Depending on where you are in this area, you may also hear other sound effects emitted by well-placed speakers. 

The Lost City has two big attractions: Poseidon's Fury, a show that takes place in a collapsed and crumbling Greek temple, and Mythos, one of the most lauded theme park restaurants in the United States. 

Mythos in Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure.

Mythos in Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure.

Lost Continent Fan Secrets

  • There is a troll beneath the bridge behind Mythos. If you listen carefully, you may hear him groaning as you cross the bridge. 
  • Ask to be seated near the window in Mythos; there's a great view of the park. 
  • You can listen to the song that used to play in Merlinwood's Flying Unicorn queue on this Islands of Adventure soundtrack on YouTube. 

Rides in Lost Continent

  • There aren't any rides in Lost Continent.

Shows in Lost Continent

  • Poseidon's Fury: One of the longest running shows in Islands of Adventure, Poseidon's Fury is a special-effects laden show that takes you on a walking tour through Poseidon's Temple. 
  • The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad: This show combines an amazing grotto-like set, stunts, pyrotechnics, and other special effects with a scripted tale of good vs. evil.  
  • The Mystic Fountain: This interactive fountain is located near The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad amphitheater. If you talk to it, it will talk back…and spray you with water. 

Dining in Lost Continent

  • Mythos Restaurant: Built into a towering rock formation carved by ancient Gods and adorned with waterfalls, Mythos is a full-service restaurant with above average food. Menu items include Mediterranean, American, and Asian offerings. 
  • Doc Sugrue's Desert Kebab House: This quick service food counter serves vegetarian, chicken, and beef kabobs and snacks like yogurt and hummus. 
  • Fire Eater's Grill: This Lost Continent food service counter has a modest menu that includes chicken fingers, spicy chicken fingers, salads, and gyros. 

Shopping in Lost Continent

  • Historic Families - Heraldry: If you've ever wondered what you family's coat of arms looks like, you can find out here and have it placed on to a keepsake wall hanging. Historic Families - Heraldry also sells swords, daggers, and other medieval collectibles. 
  • Shop of Wonders: This Lost Continent boutique sells art and jewelry.
  • Star Soul - Psychic Reading: In addition to offering psychic readings and henna body art, this small shop also sells new age apparel and jewelry. 
  • The Coin Mint: You can get a souvenir coin created with a design of your choosing at this Lost Continent shop. 
  • The Pearl Factory: In addition to selling loose pearls in oysters, The Pearl Factory also sells gems and pearls in jewelry settings
  • Treasure of Poseidon: Associated with the Poseidon's Fury show, this shop sells apparel, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories. 
Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure.

Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure.

Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure

The 11-acre Seuss Landing is based on the famous characters created by Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss). You can see many different Seuss stories represented in the attractions of this island - from The Cat in the Hat ride to the Green Eggs and Ham Café. 

The design and décor is also representative of the whimsical Seussian illustrations. Straight lines were barred from Seuss Landing. All of the buildings and signs have twisting, turning, curved lines that highlight the general disarray of Seuss worlds. The colors are also very vibrant, catching the eye no matter which way you turn.

One of the most unique aspects of this island can be found in the trees, many of which were brought in specifically because they were bent and bowed by hurricane winds. But the trees aren't the only salvaged components in this island; many of the items in Seuss Landing were constructed of recycled materials. 

As you are walking through Seuss Landing, be sure to listen to the music that plays throughout the island. It was created by composers Chip Smith and Tony Humecke, who used 14 different vignettes to represent Seuss characters. 

McElligot's Pool in Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure.

McElligot's Pool in Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure.

Seuss Landing Fan Secrets

  • On the lagoon, you'll find a small area known as Sneetch Beach that is often overlooked by the average Universal guest. 
  • Stand on the Sneetch footprints closest to Snookers & Snookers Sweet Candy Cookers to hear a secret message.
  • Horton's egg, from the story Horton Hatches an Egg, is located behind Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous.
  • If you throw coins into McElligot's Pool, they will be donated to Give Kids the World
  • There is a photo opp outside of Mulberry Street Store that features three men in top hats. The man on the left is a caricature of the actual Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel). 
  • The green eggs served in the Green Eggs and Ham Café get their green hue from parsley paste. 

Rides in Seuss Landing

  • Caro-Seuss-el: This interactive carousel has Seuss-themed mounts and music. 
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Unlike most basic spinner rides, this one allows you to move your fish-shaped ride vehicles up and down. Move in the right direction or you might get wet!
  • The Cat in The Hat: Based on everyone's favorite cat in a hat, this dark ride takes guests through scenes from the The Cat in the Hat story. 
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride: This Seuss themed train takes guests on an elevated track with excellent views of Seuss Landing. Audio tells one of two Seuss themed stories. 

Shows in Seuss Landing

  • Oh! The Stories You'll Hear: Performed on an outdoor stage in Seuss Landing, this show features a reading of The Lorax and appearances from The Lorax, Cat in the Hat, Sam I Am, and other Seuss characters. 

Play Areas in Seuss Landing

  • If I Ran The Zoo: Based on the book of the same name, this outdoor play area incorporates a maze and animals from Gerald McGrew's imaginary zoo. 

Dining in Seuss Landing

  • Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous: Guests can dine under a circus tent in this Seuss Landing restaurant. Menu options include pizza, spaghetti, chicken, burgers, and other kid-friendly food. 
  • Green Eggs and Ham Café: This restaurant is bright green and shaped like a ham with a giant fork stuck in it. It serves green eggs and ham sandwiches as well as chicken and cheeseburgers.
  • Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop: This outdoor ice cream counter sells floats, cones, sundaes, and Dippin' Dots. 
  • Moose Juice, Goose Juice: Serving primarily snacks and beverages, Moose Juice, Goose Juice is a fast option for thirsty guests. Signature items include Moose Juice (tangerine flavored slushy) and Goose Juice (green apple flavored slushy). 

Shopping in Seuss Landing

  • All The Books You Can Read: You can find lots of different Seuss books here along with DVDs, toys, and apparel. 
  • Cats, Hats, and Things: Most of the merchandise here is themed after The Cat in the Hat, Thing One, and Thing Two. This is a good spot to buy children's apparel. 
  • Mulberry Street Store: If it has a Seuss character on it, you can find it at Mulberry Street Store. Items feature everyone from The Cat in the Hat to The Grinch and The Lorax. 
  • Snookers & Snookers Sweet Candy Cookers: This Seuss Landing sweets shop sells all types of candies and quite a few baked goods, including cookies, cupcakes, and fudge. 
Captain America in Marvel Super Hero Island in Islands of Adventure.

Captain America in Marvel Super Hero Island in Islands of Adventure.

Characters in Islands of Adventure

Many Universal characters, including Marvel and Seuss characters, are available for meet and greets throughout the day at Islands of Adventure. Most characters in this park appear at a specific time and in a specific place. These places are sometimes known as Character Zones. Read more about Islands of Adventure Character Zones and the characters you can expect to see there. 

Using Express Passes on Islands of Adventure Rides

Some Islands of Adventure rides and shows accept Express Passes. An Express Pass is a special ticket that allows you to skip the regular lines for rides and shows after you have entered the park. You can think of it as a VIP pass. Instead of getting in a regular ride line, you get in an Express Pass line, which is much shorter since the only people who are allowed to queue up here are people with Express Passes. 

It is possible to get free express passes when you stay at certain on-site hotels, including Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Loews Portofino Bay Resort. You can also buy an Express Pass for one or more days while you are visiting Universal Orlando Resort. The cost of an Express Pass varies depending on the season (i.e. how busy the parks are).

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Islands of Adventure.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Islands of Adventure.

Islands of Adventure Rides That Accept Express Passes

  • Caro-Seuss-el
  • Doctor Doom's Fearfall
  • Dragon Challenge
  • Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Popeye and Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
  • Storm Force Accelatron
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
  • The Cat in The Hat
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade Station

Islands of Adventure Rides That Do NOT Accept Express Passes

  • Pteranodon Flyers (this ride has a virtual line)

Islands of Adventure Shows That Accept Express Passes

  • Poseidon's Fury
  • The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show

Islands of Adventure Shows That Do NOT Accept Express Passes

  • Frog Choir
  • Oh! The Stories You'll Hear
  • The Mystic Fountain
  • Triwizard Spirit Rally
Park gates at Islands of Adventure.

Park gates at Islands of Adventure.

Buying Tickets to Islands of Adventure

A park admission ticket is required to enter the gates of Islands of Adventure. This park ticket will allow you to ride all of the rides and see all of the shows for no additional charge. 

Although it is possible to purchase a single-day, single-park ticket to get into Islands of Adventure, we recommend putting your money toward a park-to-park ticket. This will allow you to visit Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, which is located right next door. A park-to-park ticket will also allow you to ride the Hogwarts Express, the only ride in Islands of Adventure that requires a park-to-park ticket. 

It is also important to note that a multi-day ticket (whether it’s a single-park or a park-to-park ticket) is usually just a little bit more than a single-day ticket. Having a multi-day ticket will give you more time to experience all of the rides, shows, and attractions. Learn more about Islands of Adventure ticket prices

Pteranodon Flyers in Islands of Adventure. 

Pteranodon Flyers in Islands of Adventure. 

Islands of Adventure Touring Tips

Use these Islands of Adventure touring tips to save money and tour the park with ease. 

  • Buy your Universal Orlando park admission tickets in advance; the line to buy park tickets at the gates can be really long, especially in the morning. 
  • Consider getting the Official Universal Orlando Resort app before you visit Islands of Adventure. This free mobile app will tell you wait times for rides, show times, and restaurant hours.
  • Staying at an on-site hotel in Universal Orlando Resort gets your early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley depending on the time of year). 
  • You can mail letters from two spots in Islands of Adventure. The first is in Port of Entry near the turnstiles; there is a special rocket-shaped mailbox, labeled Rocket Air Mail. The second is in Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When you mail a letter or postcard from Hogsmeade, you can get a special Hogsmeade Village postmark.
  • You may be able to charge your electronic devices at outlets in some Guest Services locations if you are willing to stay with your phone. 
  • If Islands of Adventure is exceptionally busy, the bridge between Jurassic Park and Lost Continent may be open to help the flow of traffic. This bridge allows you to go from one side of the park to the other without walking through Hogsmeade. 
  • Many of the full-service and quick-service restaurants in Islands of Adventure close one hour before the rest of the park. 
  • There are more than 50 places to get food in the park (between restaurants, food counters, and food carts), but you may find better (and equally priced) food in the adjacent CityWalk
  • Islands of Adventure has outdoor smoking sections in every area of the park except The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. Look for signs or check the park map or Universal app for smoking locations.