Published: June 12, 2013 at 4:40 PMGreat guide! I would make it a point to visit Camp Jurassic, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dragon Challenge and possibly Poseidon's Fury. The first three don't have waits or rarely attract them, so it wouldn't be dire to have to build your schedule around them.
Doctor Doom's Fear Fall is another attraction that I would try to put on my agenda, but it wouldn't be too much of a loss if you couldn't ride it. The theming and queue are great, and so is the first launch. But after that, it feels like a bit of a let down.
Published: June 12, 2013 at 6:26 PMCamp Jurassic is one of the best secrets in IOA. CJ is an excellent entertaining attraction. A nice hideaway when the park is crowded.
Published: June 12, 2013 at 8:36 PMMy plan for this park has always been simple:
Get there at least 30 minutes prior to gates open for public, and normally about 15 minutes prior they will start letting people in early and make sure you wear sandals
Head straight to Marvel get Hulk, then Spiderman if possible Dr. Doom out of the way...even in the summer can be done before 10 (if not earlier)
Head to Toon Lagoon...Dudley first then back track for Popeye and then to Jurassic Park River Adventure after River Adventure...change clothes (by the way bring a change of clothes
If you have kids let them run around Camp Jurassic for 30 minutes...if no kids make sure and check it out for 10 minutes (best theme park playground out there)
now head to check the wait for forbidden journey and debate lunch at three broomsticks but make sure to do both and all the shops and even the restrooms are worth a pop in for a second
make sure and do dragon challenge and even hippogriff (really good kiddie coaster)
Sinbad and Poseidon can be skipped and even without kids try One Fish Two Fish, walk thru the Lorax and do Cat and the Hat
Then revisit the rides as a single rider you liked
Published: June 12, 2013 at 11:54 PMI LOVE Islands of Adventure - so excited to be visiting again in November - interesting point about the unlimited express option when staying on property - I also hate to wait in lines but am not usually up for spending $250 - $300 a night for a room (approx base prices of Universal hotels in Nov) so I bought the VIP ticket option. Yes, the VIP 3 day park to park ticket is $120 more per person over 3 days, expensive at $279.99 as opposed to the $159.99 for a normal 3 day park to park ticket however, if you stay off property you can save a lot, depending on how many are in your party, it can work out cheaper anyway (especially if there are only two of you)! The VIP tickets (as they used to be called - I think they now just call in a park to park access with Unlimited Express) is a little hard to find on the website but in my opinion a much better option for obtaining unlimited express then staying on sight if your on a budget...just my thoughts :) :)
Published: June 13, 2013 at 9:57 AMAs always, excellent vacation tips, Robert! Based upon my experiences, I would recommend doing whatever it takes to save your pennies for a stay on Universal property. Nothing beats that hour-early entrance into the WWoHP as well as the unlimited Express Pass access to most of the rides/attractions.
Published: June 13, 2013 at 4:41 PMI always skip Incredible Hulk in the morning and wait until the afternoon to ride. Mornings typically are when this roller coaster has the longest line and by afternoon the wait disappears to become 5 minutes or less.
Poseidon's Fury is highly recommended. And if you have accompanying little ones and want to ride Peterandon Flyers then do it first before anything else.
I would also advise all to skip the fish and chips at Three Broomsticks. In fact, burn that photo. The portion size and quality of this entree equate to a total rip off and disappointment. The park offers much better choices for food elsewhere.
Published: June 14, 2013 at 1:31 PMI was there in Novemember 2012 and my dad and I must have picked the right weekdays because the park was almost dead when we were there. At 12:30, we WALKED ON Harry Potter, almost no lines for other stuff including Spider-Man and Jurassic Park. Amazing and felt bad for the people who paid extra for that special "Line booster" charge when it wasn't needed. So hit it at the right time and you can get so much more done than you think.