Day 8 – Tuesday: Islands of Adventure

Today we went to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. The park is set out into five themed areas (the islands) which are based on myths, legends, comic book characters and super heroes.
The Hulk Coaster
By far the best of the islands was the Marvel Super Hero Island. First up we headed to the Incredible Hulk Coaster which is a giant green rollercoaster which launches you from 0 – 40mph in two seconds and then proceeds to throw you around 7 inversions reaching speeds of 67mph! It was one of the best rollercoasters I’ve been on and I persuaded Stef to ride it three times with me…much to his delight.

Just as our feet touched ground again we then headed over to Dr Doom’s Fearfall which is basically a few chairs attached around a pole that zooms you 150 feet into the air and back down again. It certainly takes your breath away and there is quite a view from the top…not that you have more than a second or so to admire it!

The final good ride in the Marvel Super Hero area is the The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride. It’s a 3D show but with a difference – you’re riding a moving simulator at the same time. It was very cleverly done.

The next area you get to is Toon Lagoon where you can quite wet on the Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and then absolutely drenched on the Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. The Barges don’t leave anything to chance and unlike similar rapid rides at other parks, this one even takes your barge through a ‘barge wash’ shower to ensure you couldn’t possibly have an inch left dry.

The third island, Jurassic Park, contains the third water ride – Jurassic Park River Adventure. What starts as a pleasant boat ride through leafy dinosaur parks ends in an 85 foot plunge in darkness. The other ride in this area is the Pteranodon Flyers which is a hanging coaster which gently glides you over the island giving you some time to dry off!

The Lost Continent contains another big rollercoaster, this time a dual coaster with two slightly different rollercoasters. The Dueling Dragons are the world’s first inverted duelling rollercoasters that pass close to each other on a number of different loops and turns. You get to choose between the Fire Dragon or the Ice Dragon – we went on both and found the back of the Ice one seemed faster and more thrilling.

The final area in the park Suess Landing has a lot of children’s rides and so we didn’t go on those – instead favouring another trip to the Marvel super Hero area. Islands of Adventure was packed full of excellent rides, but even later in the day the queues hadn’t built up more than about 15 minutes so we had a fanastic day. Of all the parks in the Orlando area this is the best for thrills.

More of my photographs from Islands of Adventure can be found on my Florida Flickr set.

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