Just as there was a Universal Studios Florida series, here’s an Islands of Adventure. Yes, you may not have thought there was this much to do in both parks. Here’s part one, and we’ll make our way around the park, although saving the best for last.
Islands of Adventure had a rocky start. I myself didn’t know if it was a new theme park or just a new area as part of Universal Studios when it first opened and was advertised. Nonetheless it has proved to be a world class theme park. It has a large lagoon in the center of the park with several “islands” surrounding it. Each island is themed very specifically. Every island had a lot of detail to it, and a great job theming to what it was after.
Port of Entry
Though looking like a very exotic locale, port of entry is supposed to be what you would find if you were stepping off a cruise ship on a foreign destination. It’s shops and restaurants are eclectic, but all with a united style. In windows above you can hear the locals talking. Music plays throughout as well to deliver a very mysterious feel to it.
Like Universal Studios, we’ll go counter-clockwise amidst the islands. Seuss Landing is built from the books of Dr. Seuss. Here you’ll find the Grinch or Cat in the Hat as residents. This is the most kid friendly area of the park, although the attractions were fun for all ages. Amidst the attractions are The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, Caro-Seuss-el, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The Cat in the Hat, and If I Ran the Zoo.
The two that I did not go on are Caro-Seuss-el and If I Ran the Zoo, although Zoo was more of a playground than a ride. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is a flying ride in the style of Dumbo. The twist is that there is potential to get wet. A song plays that instructs how not to, although I was confused and got a little wet until I figured out a height where no water could reach me. Beware, it’s not at the top! It was a fun attraction! I liked the water twist to a classic ride. It was fun to figure out how to avoid the water, or for some people, how to get soaked. The song was cute and catchy.
The Seuss Trolley was an overview attraction that toured the island and even gave some views of other islands. Narration both told the story of the Sneetches and what was going on in each part of the island. The ride was smooth and slow, a great family ride. A few animations gave the trolley character, but overall the real fun thing about it was being above the whole area looking at everything.
The Cat in the Hat was a great dark ride. Retelling the classic book, there were simple animated figures, but quite a bit going on. Very colorful and whimsical extended telling of the book. There were times that the car spun around, which made it not quite a traditional dark ride. My guess is the same vehicles for Men In Black were used for this.
Seuss Landing made use of the almost poetic rhyming of the Seuss books. Signs and even safety spiels from employees used the rhyming scheme. In all, the island was truly Seuss come to life. It had a colorful palette, great characters, and fun rides to enjoy.
The Lost Continent
Right outside of Seuss Landing is Lost Continent, which had been a bit bigger when the park first started. Wizarding World absorbed the Medieval area of the island. Still, it’s quite the area. Upon entering from Seuss Landing, guests are greeted by a huge carved out mountain with a waterfall. Inside is the highly praised restaurant, Mythos. Across from here is Poseidon’s Fury, a walk through show. After all these is the 8th Voyage of Sinbad show with the Mystical Fountain outside of it. I don’t know that I’d call the Mystical Fountain an attraction as much as an interaction. It had a way to talk to guests. Sinbad was the one thing I did not experience here.
Poseidon’s Fury was an interesting walking show. There are a few rooms that have some great special effects. Two of my favorite was the tunnel of water and a room transformation for the finale. The water tunnel was foreboding and exciting. It really was made of water, with the exception of the ground. The finale was a bit long for my taste, though there was a lot of fire and other blasts. Most of it was projection on mist screens. Still, the attraction was great to experience, especially to walk through water!
The whole island is divided between themes. The first is the mythical Greek style with huge stone statues and intimidating facades. It was breathtaking to look at. The other part was themed to a culture befitting Sinbad. Tents with shops and small food stands gave way to the theater with the show. I liked how well both blended together. And they felt very mysterious and exotic to venture through.
Next we’ll look at Jurassic Park among other islands, and still to come is Hogsmeade!
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