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Old 03-12-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
smoothb
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universal islands of adventure trip report

I did the park with my wife and 2 kids on a Wednesday march 6. My kids are 10 & 12 years old. Me and my wife are 41 & 39. We do all the rides. I use this forum to help me with my vacation so i am going to the same for whoever reads this.
Tips--- definitely get to the park when it opens.
100% buy and print your tickets online at home. This will save you a lot of time. The ticket booths always has long lines.
If you are doing one day buy the free refills cup but if you are doing 2 days you buy the 99cent refill cup. The free refill cup will ONLY work for the day you bought it! It has some kind of code that the soda machine reads and knows when you bought it. Trust me I tried to use it the 2nd day and no go!
Do not go to Harry potter 1st. Go there later in the day. Everyone goes right there and the lines and section are very crowded. Do all the other rides 1st as there were no lines or 15 minute at most. We rode the hulk coaster with no wait 3 times in a row.. The walk back on to the ride took longer than the wait.
If you hustle off the ride and down to the where the pictures of you on the ride are displayed you can snap a picture of the screen for free before they put words across the picture.do not use a flash or it will put a glare on the screen and your picture will not turn out.. They display them on 6 screens and the 1st one is the front row the last one is the last car. So know where you sat. You only have about 5 seconds once the put them up.. The cheapest picture if buying is $16.

Use a triple A card for anything you buy in the park. I saved over $50 in 2 days on everything I bought. Always say I have a triple a card .some outside vendors take it some don't but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you don't have a triple a card Borrow someone's before your trip as the don't ask for id. I used my moms. Never had a problem.
We love thrill rides so I will rate them accordingly
Hulk - awesome( rode it 7 times-ride the front at least once!)if the front line is too long just ask for back row.
Spider-Man-4d high def ride awesome. I think as good if not better than Harry potter ride.
Storm force- like tea cups. Do not wait more than 5 minutes.
Dr dooms free fall is like Hollywood studios tower of terror. Do not wait more than 15 minutes they take a long time to load you. Que said 10 min took 25
If u like pteranodon flyers or want to ride it BE AWARE of the height requirements. It has to be an adult and a child under 36 inches tall. Children 36 to 56 inches can rides by themselves. Adults cannot ride wih a kid over 36 no exceptions. We were unable to ride this time but last time we were here we did.. Cool ride but do not wait more than 30 min. Line moves very slow and the ride is only 1 minute long.
Sin bad stunt show is soooo corny. Kids under 7 will like it. We lasted 3 minutes and walked out.

If you like the marvel super hero's Spider-Man,wolverine,captain America etc check the the map for times the will be out and be there a couple minutes early. Get a spot on sidewalk near ropes they set up they will ride into roped section on 3 wheelers then take pictures with you. Follow them right away when they get off bikes to photo area to beat the line. Do them all the lines go fast.

It was to cold to do the water rides this time but we did them last time and they were fun. You will get wet on all the rides especially rip saw falls ( best water ride) If you know you are gona ride them and don't want to get wet buy a rain poncho before you come ( they sell them but the cost is way more at park than at home) you could use a trash bag with the head cut out and that will work fine.
Harry potter-- it does get very crowded in this section. We were there on a moderate crowd day and it was still cramped. Like I said earlier in review do this section as late in the day as possiable you will thank me. Remember the rides aren't going anywhere they will be there!
Butter beer- get the slushy one. It is good and different( tastes a little like cream soda. I think it was like $4.50.
Forbidden journey- do not bring anything you are carrying(backpack camera bag etc you have to put it in a locker which takes forever. If you are not using a locker stay all the way to left of the line and keep moving. The long line is usaully people using lockers.
definetly use the single rider line. The wait was 45 minutes and we used single rider and were on in 2 minutes. You can barely see the person next to you and you are focused on the screen in front of you anyway so who cares who's next to you. If your kids are thrill ride kids they can do it without you being next to you. If they are not then wait to ride together as there are some parts that might get them a little. My kids aren't scared of anything so time was more important to us. I hate lines! We rode 3 times in row single rider in less than 30 minutes. Sometimes u get lucky and get to ride together anyway in single rider lane.
Dueling dragons-- awesome ride. They are different so ride them both. Blue is defiantly better than red. It is a loooong path to get to the ride.you pick which coaster you want at the very end of the line right before you go on. We went at about 5pm and there was 5 minute wait. It took longer to walk to front than the wait time. We rode 4 times in less than 30 minutes.
Didn't really do anything in dr Seuss section this time as the kids are to old for it.. Lots of picture ops there. Rides are for 7 and younger mostly. If your kids are into spend a lot of time here as it is well done and they will love it. Check times for characters to get pictures with them all. They will love it.
If you have kids who love basketball nba city is a must stop. Some cool stuff to see and do in there. We did it on the way out and had everything to our selves.
You will need a whole day in this park so plan on it.
I hope this helps you get through day with ease Enjoy
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
Metro West
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Thanks for sharing.

I disagree with your assessment of the old Dueling Dragons though. In the old days, I used to like Fire better than Ice although climbing the wall was fun. I liked Fire's fly-over of Ice and the additional loop just before the ending of the track. I won't ride it any longer since the trains no longer duel...that killed it for me. Plus the queue was the most amazing queue for any coaster I'd ever been on.

Glad you had a great time!
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
Nancy for Disney
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Thanks for sharing the tips!
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
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you sound like a pro now!


great you posted all the tips.

when a newbie posts on the darkside asking what to expect, i always mention to read the trip reports.

threads like yours are very helpful!
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