Florida: Universal Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure was the park I was most looking forward to, as this is the one that contains the Harry Potter area, so after donning my comic book dress, off we went…

As we were staying at the Hard Rock Hotel which is onsite, we were able to get into the Universal parks an hour before everybody else, and also had express passes, which was awesome! The whole park is really nicely presented and a breath of fresh air from the unbearable crowdedness of Disney.

Islands of Adventure entrance sign Walking into the Islands of Adventure park

Dr. Seuss area

We just walked through this area but it looked excellent, and had all the mad Dr. Seuss flourishes you would imagine.

Entrance to the Dr. Seuss area Cats, Hats and Things shop One fish two fish red fish blue fish

Super Hero Island

Super Hero island contains Marvel super hero themed rides including The Hulk rollercoaster which I wasn’t going to be getting on! Looking at it was enough!

'The Hulk' rollercoaster 'Marvel Super Hero Island' floor sign

The Spider Man ride was fun – like a lot of the rides in the Universal parks, it is simulated and requires you to wear 3D glasses.

Super Hero Island Spider Man ride

Jurassic Park area

Dinosaurs. Yep. I’m obviously extremely terrified in the last photo here.

There was a ride which involved getting very wet, and it was quite chilly and cloudy on the day we went, so passed on that (and I was being a girl and didn’t want my makeup to get wrecked)… nothing was stopping us watching others and laughing though 😉

Entrance to Jurassic Park area Jurassic Park car and dinosaur Me being scared of a dinosaur

Harry Potter area

The highlight for me – the Hogsmeade and Hogwarts areas! This area got very busy, so we had to hot-foot it here first thing.

Entrance to Hogsmeade Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade shops

Honeydukes was delightful, with chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans displays in the windows.

Window of Honeydukes Bertie Botts beans in the window of Honeydukes Chocolate frogs in the window of Honeydukes

Dogweed and Deathcap and Zonko’s joke shop.

Borgin and Burkes shop window Zonko's joke shop

The main Harry Potter ride – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – was located within a replica of Hogwarts castle, and the queue formed quickly so I had to march through the park the minute it opened and get in the queue (no express line for this one). I went on it twice, it was fun!

Sign pointing to Hogwarts Entrance to Hogwarts ride

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