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Old 03-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
gorjus121
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Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure for young children?

I have two boys ages 3 & 6. Leaning towards Island of Adventure; this will be our first visit to Universal so we are not sure which park would work best for our family. We are planning on visiting the park for one day only. Any dining recommendations? Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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We too are planning our first trip to Universal and although we plan to go to both I think, from what I have seen, Island of Adventure looks more kid friendly. My brother is 7 and loves everything magic and Harry Potter so this would be the place for him. He also really likes Dinosaurs and it is the place of Jurassic Park so if your little ones like that as well.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
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check out the above site and see what is in each park.
read the descriptions of the rides for more needed info as height requirements.

pull up some youtube videos of the UO rides.


that might help you decide which park is geared to the interests of your children.


mine always enjoyed the studios side until they were older.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #4
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There used to be more rides without height requirements at the Studios than IoA, but that has changed a little over the years. Best to review each park and make a decision based on that, if you only have 1 day/park to choose.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #5
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I've taken kids 3-7 into both parks.

In IoA they loved Suess Landing, and thought that was the whole park. They didn't want to leave. My advice - don't. Let them enjoy themselves rather than force-march them to see more. That'll just overwhelm them, they'll get tired and cranky and enjoy what they do see less. Younger kids are easier to please. If they get their fill, head for toon lagoon and stop my marvel island for a pic with spider-man on the way. If they still have energy, head for Camp Jurasic and let them run, run, run.

In USF they have E.T., barney, woody woodpecker and curious george. My young kids loved curious george; to a young, small person it's like a whole waterpark to them - and it is, they couldn't go on giant slides anyway. Our kids loved the giant bucket that dumped every few minutes. We were prepared and kids had bathing suits and we just let 'em go. The place is small enough its easy to track them, with only 1 way in and out. Despicable Me will probably be a hoot, haven't seen it but or kids loved the jimmy neutron it replaced (same ride mechanism).

Either is good, just don't push the kids too hard, let them go at their own pace. Better to have them enjoy some than have a meltdown trying to see it all.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
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IoA. My kids loved it. They were 7 and 5. Lots to do. They keep asking when we are going back to see Harry Potter again.

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Old 03-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Both have great things for younger kids.

As for HP and JP areas, that really depends on your kids. When Wizarding World was being built my son was smaller, and I was really annoyed that everything was for bigger, older kids. Some people reminded me that the books aren't for little kids, but realistically little kids ARE involved in those stories. I know it's been very difficult for me to keep HP away from DS; even when he had still only seen up to #3 other kids were telling him about horcruxes, etc. So he knew about things and wanted to experience them. But the two big rides are for taller kids, and when we got there the first time DS (having grown a bunch) was still too nervous to ride Forbidden Journey.

And JP River Adventure scared him to pieces the first time we went on it! He loves dinosaurs in theory, but enter an area where their heads are poking through the trees and there are subtle dino noises coming from the bushes, and it's a whole different level of reality.

Now he'll do it all. And he still LOVES the kid play areas. The ball area back behind the Curious George water area is possibly his fave thing to do. If it didn't get so hot in there (or freezing if it's weather like in Dec 2010) he could spend hours playing back there. And that's at Studios.


For our first trip we spent 3 nights on property, so I"m not the best at this "we'll have one day" choice...I say do it up and go for 2!
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emteach View Post
We too are planning our first trip to Universal and although we plan to go to both I think, from what I have seen, Island of Adventure looks more kid friendly. My brother is 7 and loves everything magic and Harry Potter so this would be the place for him. He also really likes Dinosaurs and it is the place of Jurassic Park so if your little ones like that as well.
I walked through Camp Jurassic once and took lots of pictures. It looked like a lot of fun for youngsters. I wish I had something like that when I was a kid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
Both have great things for younger kids.
That always makes it hard to choose only one park.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the info. I think the kids will love either park, but we will definitely stick to just one. Even with our Disney tickets, I dont get the park hopper since they are so young. I'm going to check with the rest of the family and see what they prefer. Just walking around through Harry Potter or the Jurassic park area sounds awesome, and they would totally love it! We were initially considering Sea World, but I think a Universal park is it. Now all we have to figure out is a good place to eat
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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I recently did both parks with a 2 and 5 year old (both girls). I felt IoA was definitely more kid friendly. I figure your boys will be in awe of all the Marvel characters. Toon Town and Jurassic Park were great. We aren't Harry Potter fans, but if you are, it is awesome. And then Suess Landing was just amazing to me. At 30, I'm a huge Suess fan and my daughters loved it even more. My 5 year old was able to ride most of the rides and she loved them.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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The first time we went to IoA our son was 5. He did most everything except Hulk, Dueling Dragons and Fearfall. And he was pretty much a ride chicken. We did not do any Suess rides then, but did walk through it.

As for restaurants, I would recommend Three Broomsticks (for the ambiance and frozen Butterbeer, it is counter service), Thunder Falls Terrace (good food, counter service, not typical theme park fare) and for sure Mythos (great table service with unique decor inside and out, and I love the risotto of the day).

My son is now 16 and would pick IoA over any other theme park he has ever been to, although part of that has to do with the ep you get with staying onsite. He hates standing in lines .

Wish we were going~ have fun!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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We are planning on doing Disney and Universal this October. This will be my girls first trip to Universal. They will be 8 and 5. I really only wanted to spend 1 day there but I don't think I will be able to do both parks in one day. Am I crazy in trying to squeeze it all in?
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:40 AM   #13
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We are planning on doing Disney and Universal this October. This will be my girls first trip to Universal. They will be 8 and 5. I really only wanted to spend 1 day there but I don't think I will be able to do both parks in one day. Am I crazy in trying to squeeze it all in?
You won't be able to see everything at both parks and one day tickets are very expensive. You might want to rethink your plans and come back when you have two days to spend at Universal. Your first visit should be relaxing so you are able to see/do everything.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Goin2Disney2006 View Post
We are planning on doing Disney and Universal this October. This will be my girls first trip to Universal. They will be 8 and 5. I really only wanted to spend 1 day there but I don't think I will be able to do both parks in one day. Am I crazy in trying to squeeze it all in?
if you in october on a weekend, stay away from the studios on saturdays.
sundays in october would draw crowds in the afternoon.

a special hard ticket event of HHN will be in the park.

weekdays will be better crowd wise.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin2Disney2006 View Post
We are planning on doing Disney and Universal this October. This will be my girls first trip to Universal. They will be 8 and 5. I really only wanted to spend 1 day there but I don't think I will be able to do both parks in one day. Am I crazy in trying to squeeze it all in?
I think you are going to miss a ton if you try to squeeze both in in one day. We devoted one day to each park. we were there from gate opening until 7 each night. In IoA, the ONLY thing we did in WWoHP was get butter beer. In Lost Continent, we just checked on the wait for Mythos and headed on to Suess Landing.

And similar for UO. We were there all day and didn't see everything. Trying to split the parks would be tough, I think
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