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Universal Islands of Adventure in Florida

The last time I was in Florida was 16 years ago – and while many things have stayed the same, there are a lot of attractions that have been added in the past decade and a half. So, when I recently went to Florida for a girls’ trip we decided we needed to check out Universal Islands of Adventure.

Islands of Adventure is part of the Universal Florida resort that also includes Universal Studios, Universal City Walk and the nearby water park Wet N Wild Orlando. Islands of Adventure is the ultimate theme park for a family or even a group of friends. Organized in themed “islands” visitors can experience  cutting edge rides, shows and interactive attractions that will bring your favorite stories, myths, cartoons, comic book heroes and children’s tales to life.

Seuss Landing is an adorable experience for younger visitors. Attractions include: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, The Cat In The Hat, The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!, Caro-Seuss-el, If I Ran The Zoo, and Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear!

Welcome to Dr Seuss Landing

Welcome to Seuss Landing

As you can see, Seuss Landing is a bright & colorful land that brings your favorite stories from Dr. Seuss to life – the whole place just makes you feel young and happy – it’s like you’re literally walking into the pages of a story.

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The highlight of our trip to Island of Adventure was, for me, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I truly felt like I was walking into Daigon Alley and through Hogsmeade.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Right after you enter is the Hogwart’s Express – not only will Harry Potter fans love the opportunity to check out this iconic locomotive, but any train enthusiast will be pleased.

Hogwart's Express

Hogwart’s Express

Everything is so realistic – from the architecture to the butter beer that’s sold on the street. Universal has done an amazing job bringing the world of Harry Potter to life.

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I was so immersed in the true-to-life environment that I kept thinking  I was going to run into Harry, Hermione, Ron, or any number of other characters from the books & movies. And what do you know – I did!

Mrs Weasley!

My friend Brandylee as Mrs Weasley!

The rides were amazing and the shops delightful. You can stop in to visit the Owl Post, Ollivander’s Wand Shop, and Zonko’s Joke Shop along with many of the other famous shops in Daigon Ally and Hogsmeade.

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A couple of the “not to be missed” rides at WWHP include “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and the Dragon Challenge. The first is a unique ride that simulates the effect of flying as you follow Harry & his friends on a journey that lets you experience many of the highlights from the books and movies. The queue for the ride is as amazing as the ride itself. You walk through many familiar passageways and rooms of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry – the details will impress any fan.

Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey

 

Entrance to Dumbledore's office

Entrance to Dumbledore’s office

The Dragon Challenge is a fun, fast suspended roller coaster. Before you ride, you must choose – will you  go with the Blue Hungarian Honrtail or the Red Chinese Fireball? Your choice determines the course you take as the two intertwining “dragons” chase each other through the sky. If you’re a fan of roller coasters, this is one you’ll want to ride at least twice because each one is a completely different experience.

Other islands to explore include: Marvel Super Hero Island,  Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, and The Lost Continent. There is much to explore so you’ll want to spend more than one day at the park. If you’re looking for an epic adventure for your family – look no further. Islands of Adventure awaits!

At the time of publication they are running a promotion for US and Canadian residents 2-day park hopper ticket for $175.99 (plus an extra day for free, so 3 days total). You can find current promotions here

For more information and to book your trip to Universal Orlando visit: https://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Parks/Islands-of-Adventure.aspx

Julie is an OC Supermom to six beautiful children in Orange County. She is an editor with Astraea Press, active in the community and enjoys running in her free time.
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