Plus if the older one is into coasters Studios does have the Mummy and Rockit, which is only one coaster less than Islands anyway. Another plus for Studios is that it is often less crowded than Islands because everyone wants to see Wizarding World.
**If you go on a mardi gras or summer concert night (not sure when you plan to go) then it will be crowded later on during the day. The mardi gras parade is family friendly and depending on who the concert is you may just want to leave immediately after the parade - the artists keep it pg13 but not all guests do as far the concert crowd goes. Again, the parade is well regulated and great for families.**
Honestly, with your group, I'd probably head to the Magic Kingdom or Disney's Hollywood Studios instead.
Just make sure to check on the rider swap procedures for the two parks, as that 14 year old is going to have a lot more ride access than the rest of the kids. Also, try to get the younger kids to be at least 40" by the time you travel (platform shoes, better posture, big hair, whatever it takes!) because that Spider-Man ride (if you go to IOA) is worth the price of admission.
I agree with James that Harry Potter is amazingly themed no matter whether you like the books and movies or not, but I was saying avoid because the height requirement for the castle ride is 48 inches and dragons coaster is higher. I think hippogriff is like 38-42 somewhere around there (universal's website will say exactly).
And now I have to disagree in the extreme with something else that was said: do NOT try to make your child look or measure taller with hair, hats, or shoes. First of all, the employees will force you to remove the hat and flatten the hair if they have to. They are even allowed to make kids take off their shoes if they've got on platforms or heels if they feel the need, although I've never seen it happen. Secondly, the height requirement exists for a reason - it is a safety issue to allow a child (or anyone) who is too short to ride onto the ride. If the ride were to stop they may not be tall enough to safely exit or be suddenly stopped during an evacuation. They could also (depending on how much height you try to add) oh I don't know...fall out of the ride restraints?
(Yes, I have had this happen to a family member. My brother came out of his seat and ended up on the floor on a Disney attraction in the early 90s after sneaking him in with a tennis ball under his hat and stuffing his shoes. Said attraction now has a different restraint system and cast members are way better about checking heights making it near impossible to happen again which is why I'm not naming it - and it's not splash)
Universal IOA Touring Plan – 2011
1. Arrive 45 - 60 minutes prior to opening
2. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Take the route through Seuss Landing (unless directed otherwise), it should be faster
- Visit Ollivander’s Wand Shop
- Experience the Forbidden Journey – 48”
- Ride Dragon’s Challenge (Red & Blue) – 54”
- Ride Flight of the Hippogriff – 36
- Visit Other shops (and have a Butterbeer)
3. Visit Jurassic Park Discovery Center (Interactive play area)
4. Ride Jurassic Park River Adventure – 42”
5. Ride Pteranodon Flyers – 36”
6. Visit Camp Jurassic (Playground)
7. Ride Ripsaw Falls – 44”
8. Ride Bilge-Rat Barges (You will get soaked) – 42”
9. Visit Me Ship, The Olive (Playground)
10. Ride Spider-Man – 40”
11. Ride Hulk – 54”
12. Ride Cat In The Hat
13. Visit If I Ran The Zoo (Interactive play area)
14. Ride Caro-Seuss-El
15. Ride One Fish Two Fish
16. Ride High In The Sky Seuss Trolley Train – 34”
17. See Poseidon’s Fury!
18. See The Eighth Voyage Of Sinbad
Dr. Doom’s Fearfall (common, slow loading, space shot ride)
Storm Force Accelatron (common, slow loading, spinning tea cup ride)
Universal Studios Touring Plan – 2011
1. Arrive 30 – 45 minutes prior to opening
2. Ride Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (Use single rider line) – 51”
3. Ride The Simpsons Ride – 40”
4. Ride Men In Black – 42’
5. Ride Jaws (PG-13)
6. Experience Disaster!
7. See Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue (PG-13)
8. Ride Revenge of the Mummy (Use single rider line) – 48”
9. See Shrek 4D
10. Ride Jimmy Neutron – 40”
11. Experience Twister (PG-13)
12. See Terminator 2:3D (PG-13)
13. See Universal Horror Makeup Show (PG-13)
14. Ride ET
15. Ride Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster – 36”
16. Visit Fievel’s Playground
17. Visit Curious George Goes To Town (Playground)
18. See A Day In The Park With Barney
19. See Animal Actors On Location
20. See Cinescape 360 – Seasonal Nighttime Spectacular
The Blues Brothers Show (Fun, but there are bigger fish to fry)
Fear Factor Live (Is it even still open?)
Lucy - A Tribute (Unless you are a big fan of the world’s favorite redhead)
Have a great time!
As for Silver Dollar City, it is still the best park west of Orlando and east of California! Visited about a dozen times last year, but we may be taking a year off while we wait for them to build the oft rumored "Mystery Mine"-type coaster in 2012. We'll see.
I used to be a Cast Member at Splash Mountain (MK) and we had very strict orders NOT to tell young kids to take off their shoes, even if they had heels or something like that. Not sure if it's different over at Universal, but my niece is 1 inch smaller than the allowed at Forbidden Journey, she wore a heeled shoe and got in.
Just wanted to correct that...
A friend at Sea World had a parent switch shoes with a child so the kid would be tall enough for Manta...directly in front of him as he was asking to check height. Some people...
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