Four Hour Tour Plan: Universal's Islands of Adventure

April 22, 2008, 5:33 PM · Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida [Map]

Theme Park Insider's "Four-Hour Tours" are designed to get you and your family to the very best attractions in the world's top theme parks... before anyone can get tired and cranky. That leaves you free to enjoy the rest of your day... with a swim, a nap, or with pressure-free time to wander the park.

Please visit our Four-Hour Tours page for an explanation of the concept, as well as links to additional Four-Hour Tours. The attractions and restaurants selected for this tour are those at Universal's Islands of Adventure most highly rated by Theme Park Insider readers. You may click on the attraction links below to see complete attraction descriptions and reviews.

Universal's Islands of Adventure

Before you go: Avoid the wait at the park's ticket booths by buying your tickets online at Universal Orlando's website. If you will be visiting both Islands of Adventure and its sister park, Universal Studios Florida, in the same week, your best value would be with the two-park unlimited ticket. If not, choose the one-park, one-day ticket. Choose the print-at-home option, no matter which ticket you select.

You'll also want to make your lunch reservation before you go. On this tour, we highly recommend lunch at Mythos Restaurant, a five-time winner of the Theme Park Insider Award for world's best theme park restaurant. Call 1-407-224-4012 a week or two in advance for 1pm reservations on the day of your visit.

When you get there: Visitors to both Universal Orlando theme parks park in the same parking garage, then walk through CityWalk on their way into the parks. Give yourself at least half an hour (an hour in the summer) to park and make the walk. Bear left toward Islands of Adventure front gate.

1. When the park opens, turn left at the lagoon and into the queue for the Incredible Hulk Coaster, your first stop of the day.

2. After Hulk, continue into Marvel Super Hero Island to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, a revolutionary 3-D dark ride that won the "Best Attraction" honors in the Theme Park Insider Awards for several years, and was the runner-up in TPI's initial 'Best Ride in America' tournament.

3. You are making your way clockwise around the park's lagoon, walking next to Toon Lagoon and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.

4. After Popeye, it's back across the street for a ride on Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls.

5. If you'd like to continue with the "let's get wet" theme, you can choose next to ride Jurassic Park River Adventure. If you are more a roller coaster fan, or just tired of the water rides, skip through the Jurassic Park section and past the construction site for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Dueling Dragons - Fire.

6. If you have time before your lunch reservation and want one more ride on a top roller coaster, queue up for Dueling Dragons - Ice.

7. Now it's time to relax at Mythos Restaurant, located across the path from Dueling Dragons.

After lunch, the rest of the day is yours. Enjoy it by either returning back to your hotel for a swim or a nap, or by remaining the park and wandering around, discovering the rest that Islands of Adventure has to offer. At the very least, linger a bit on your way out in Seuss Landing, counting to see how many Dr. Seuss characters you can find.

[Tomorrow - Universal Studios Hollywood]

Replies (5)

April 22, 2008 at 6:15 PM · Excellent plan...however people should be warned they will be soaked to the core by the time they finish the Barges, Ripsaw Falls, and Jurassic Park. However, those attractions are not to be people just need to bring their raincoats!

If folks do have time to tour Seuss land, they should go ahead and hit the Cat in the Hat dark ride. It is a well themed attraction and a great people mover.

And a stop at Mythos for lunch is mandatory!!!!

April 22, 2008 at 7:08 PM · On a light crowd day, you really can do a good portion of what the park has to offer. My tendency when visiting this park is to turn right out of the gate instead of left...starting me at Seuss Land. My reasoning is that most people probably head left toward Hulk. There isn't a whole lot for me until you get closer to Dueling Dragons. My last trip went like this. I made a right and my order was

Cat in The Hat
Eighth Voyage of Sinbad
Dueling Dragons
Enchanted Oak Tavern pick over Mythos
Jurassic River Adventure
Dudley Do Right Ripsaw Falls
Popeye and Bluto
Dr Dooms Fearfall

Had it not been for the hour long downpour (again), and some ride delays, we probably would have been done in around 4 a fairly leisurely pace.

April 22, 2008 at 8:39 PM · Personally I would choose Ice over Fire. The near misses are better and it's a smoother ride. I would also recommend doing Popeye and Dudley on the way back to the hotel. You will get soaked on both, and going to lunch in a cold restaurant isn't pleasant.
April 22, 2008 at 9:16 PM · Just a "save two minutes" thing. After Hulk, cut across through Cafe 4 and the Kingpin's Arcade. It's pretty much a straight shot straight to the alleyway where Doom is (and if it's first thing in the morning, it'll probably be your one and only chance to hit Doom with no wait)
April 23, 2008 at 3:37 AM · If you are one of those people that do go to IOA on a busier day and only have 4 hours to get things done, save yourself even more time by skipping Dr. Doom altogether. It is pretty much the same space shot elevator ride as the one you have at your local amusment park.

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