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Islands of Adventure
Orlando, FL
NBC Universal / Comcast

 

----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (6/3/2024) Universal's Islands of Adventure Is Now 25 Years Old
    (5/7/2024) Brand New Hogwarts Projection Show Coming This Summer
    (/5/1/2024) Universal Orlando Offers Up Surprising New Butterbeer Treat
    (4/24/2024) Ripsaw Falls Scheduled For Lengthy Downtime Later This Year
    (3/31/2024) Islands of Adventure Now Selling New Dueling Dragons Merchandise

Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
Peterandon Flyers - NOW CLOSED through TBD
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish - NOW CLOSED through May 24
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls - Oct. 1 through Jan. 2, 2025

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - DIAGON ALLEY Review!
Screamscape Previews Diagon Alley!! We’ve Got All The Details!
Screamscape Review Part II: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Screamscape Review Part III: The Hogwarts Express!
Other Features & Reviews
Skull Island: Reign of Kong (2016)
Volcano Bay (2017)
Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (2017)
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (2019)
Jurassic World VELOCICOASTER (2021)

 

icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (6/3/2024) I missed this post from Universal Orlando last week, but in celebration of the 25th Birthday of the awesome Islands of Adventure theme park, they silently posted an image of the park’s iconic lighthouse, turned into a Birthday Cake, complete with the top of the lighthouse serving as a candle with a flame on top.
    This made me laugh as it served as the image also served as an inside joke about how Disney quite literally turned their castle at the Magic Kingdom into a giant Pepto Bismol Pink birthday cake for that park’s 25th Birthday.
    Well played once again Universal… well played! And Happy Birthday to Islands of Adventure, which happens to be my favorite theme park on the planet.

 
    (5/7/2024) If you’re visiting Islands of Adventure after dark this summer, keep  your eyes on Hogwarts Castle for the new “Hogwarts Always” projection mapping show. The show is said to feature scenes that will take you through the iconic moments  the students experience during each year at the Wizarding World school. You may also have to watch the show more than once, as apparently it features four entirely different endings, each one themed to one of the four different ‘houses’ within the Hogwarts school.
 
    (5/1/2024) Universal Orlando has extended the Butterbeer Season event until June 2 and introduced a brand new treat… the Buttlebeer Ice Lolly!
Post by @universalorlando
View on Threads

 
    (4/24/2024) An interesting new refurbishment update has been posted by Universal Orlando this week. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls will close for refurbishment on October 1st, 2024 and remain closed through to January 2, 2025. The length of this refurbishment is what really stands out, as typically Islands of Adventure will close each of their three main water rides (Ripsaw Falls, Jurassic Park: River Adventure and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges) over the colder months (Nov through Feb) one at a time, from anywhere from 4-8 weeks for whatever kind of work is needed. So in this case, Ripsaw Falls alone is shutting down for 3 months straight, which would seem to indicate that this is a bigger refurbishment that what would normally take place.
    It is worth remembering that Ripsaw Falls was forced to close unexpectedly for an extended period of time in 2022 after Hurricane Ian passed through Florida in late September 2022 and caused some severe damage to the attraction. At that time, Ripsaw Falls was closed for almost 3 months as well, reopening to guests in late December 2022.
 
    (3/31/2024) A little fun nostalgia news for Islands of Adventure fans. A reader tell us that some new “Dueling Dragons” merchandise is now for sale in the park at the Heraldry store in the Lost Continent area of the park. There is a shirt, hootie and a poster for sale now, based on the Dueling Dragons designs they sold in limited numbers for Halloween Horror Nights last year, but minus any mention of HHN.
 
    (2/26/2024) Theme Park Insider reports that Islands of Adventure has been testing a 2D version of Skull Island: Reign of Kong this week. In other words… 3D glasses are currently not being used for the attraction, which is now only projecting a 2D version of the media onto the screen scenes.
    Universal has made some interesting changes over the years to their use of 3D media on select attractions. While the original Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Islands of Adventure opened only with 2D screens, a 3D version of the media was used for a time at Universal Studios Japan and Hollywood before they switched those to use the 2D media instead after numerous guest complaints about motion sickness. Universal Studios Florida also switched Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem over from 3D to 2D a few years back, as well as opting to only use 2D media on Fast & Furious Supercharged at the Orlando park as well.
    Don’t think that Universal is abandoning their use of 3D screens however, I think they are simply refining it down to only be used on attractions where the enhancement is necessary such as on Spider-Man, Transformers or Gringotts, and abandoning it on attractions where it does little to enhance the experience.
    As for Kong… I’m sure it will switch back to 3D before too long, giving them time to make a proper evaluation as to how best to display Skull Island: Reign of Kong for the future.
 
    (1/29/2024) For those who follow all the building permit news in the Orlando area, know that a number of permits have been filed by Universal to renovate and upgrade the various wand-interactive experiences within the Wizarding World lands at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.
    For avid readers of Screamscape, this is news that I’ve already told you to expect. Going back to our update on the Epic Universe park from October 8, 2022 I described what we could expect from that park’s new French themed Wizarding World land, and that they had developed all new interactive wands with more abilities that would not only be introduced within Epic Universe, but that all the existing interactive wand stations in the existing parks would also be upgraded.
    With Epic Universe on track to open in the Summer of 2025, it only makes sense that we will see the new renovations begin in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley this year as well. While I wouldn’t expect to see the  new wands launched until Epic Universe is ready to open, the various interactive stations will be updated so that they will be ready for the new wands when they do launch, while still being backwards compatible with the old wands. But trust me, Universal is said to have developed enough new features that will only work with the new wands, that most Potter fans will be ready to upgrade.
 
    (12/10/2023) Frivolous lawsuits against theme parks… the mainstream media just loves to report on them. For theme parks they can be a nightmare to deal with as they frequently involve former guests trying to blame the attractions for their own careless actions, or even worse, their own clumsiness after they take a fall for not watching where they are going. The latest one to hit the headlines comes from a Brazilian family of three who has filed a lawsuit against Universal Orlando after the mother claims she fell while attempting to dismount a “beast” on the park’s Carro-Seuss-El (a themed carousel) attraction back on June 14, 2022. According to the $50,000 lawsuit, the family is claiming she has suffered permanent “sever personal injuries”, and her husband and daughter also claim to have suffered “deprivation of consortium and services”.
    Now I’m not disputing that she fell, I’m sure that is entirely possible, as this is a carousel attraction after all. Not that they are inherently dangerous, but climbing on and off the various animals on any carousel can be an awkward experience for most adults. Again, keep in minjd that she did not fall while the ride was in motion, but at the end of the ride, after climbing up successfully and riding, she fell while trying to get off the “beast”. Like I said, I believe it probably happened, but to me, not being careful when climbing down from a carousel ride should be the responsibility of the rider and not the park, as the attraction was operating as designed, as it has since the park opened in 1999.
 
Azkaban_black    (4/22/2023) Listen up…
THIS IS NOT A RUMOR!
THIS IS NOT EVEN SPECULATION!

    This isn’t anything that will likely ever happen… it’s just a fun idea I had on my own. Consider this a little example of Armchair-Imagineering if you will indulge me. Ok? Ready?
    I just had a crazy idea of my own about a fun idea Universal could do with the former Poseidon’s Fury attraction space. What if it were possible to transform the existing attraction into the Wizarding World’s Azkaban prison? Looking at the Wizarding World lore about the creation of the infamous prison, it was said to have been created as a lair and trap of sorts by the mad wizard Ekrizdis who practiced dark magic and would lure unsuspecting Muggle sailors to it in order to trap and torture them.
    Right there alone, this sounds like a fitting concept fit for transporting and trapping Muggle theme park guests into the heart of Azkaban prison, tucked away on the outskirts of the Wizarding World at Islands of Adventure. Taking some inspiration from the concepts of the old Poseidon’s Fury attraction and then mix in some modern cuttiing-edge Escape Room style interactivity, and perhaps borrowing a bit from Galaxy’s Edge our hapless Muggles would be brought into Azkaban, trapped in prison cells and tasked with escaping the dark nightmare of a prison before someone attempts to finish whatever dark works were once started by Ekrizdis.
    Ok, I now return you to the real world… and while this will never happen, it does give us a fun little idea to think about what kind of attraction this really could be. Of course the Azkaban concept could also work as a Galactic Starcruiser ultra-themed resort experience, where your price of admission is an overnight adventure trying to escape from the prison through a series of trials and experiences, allowing guests to escape into the theme park at dawn’s light lest they be trapped forever in the bowels of Azkaban.
    Either way… just imagine the fun kinds of merchandise Universal could create and sell with an experience like this, especially when ever prisoner goes through an admission’s experience where they take your Wizarding World “mug shot’ with you in chains holding the Azkaban Prison sign.
 
    (5/6/22) According to various reports sent in, Universal Orlando is sending out surveys asking some pretty nifty questions about guest’s current experience with the interactive wands used in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In addition to just gathering data about their guests current experience with the interactive wand product, they clearly are looking into the possible future of the product.
    While the survey does try to gain an opinion on the concept of just selling non-interactive replica wands, it also asks for opinions on a number of possible upgrades to the program. This includes revising the current wand stations, adding more station, adding a possible light option to the wand, or adding haptic feedback (vibration) to the wand. What really seemed cool was the idea of adding the ability for the whole system to recognize either the wand or the wizard, track your progress, and even increase the ‘power’ or the spells you can cast based on your level of mastery. Other ideas are also briefly floated about, including a wand dueling area, final battles or quests being added to the system, or custom spellcasting ability or effects based on the wizard’s Hogwards “house”.
    Keep in mind this is just a survey, but enough options and neat sounding ideas are being included in the various surveys going out that it does seem to show that Universal Creative is taking a seriously long and hard look at this popular interactive guest activity.

 

2024 - New Nighttime Hogwarts Castle Show - Rumor - (7/2/2023) A few readers have asked me if I knew why the popular “Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” projection show in Islands of Adventure had been closed this summer. After all, the same show has been currently running at Universal Studios Hollywood, so why not in Orlando?
    There is a good reason for this, as the Orlando site is being used to create an all new Wizarding World themed projection show experience. Currently Universal has three different projection shows in their vault that they can show, the original Nighttime Lights show, the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show which is reserved for the holiday season, and the latest was the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle show which originally may have been meant more for a Fall or Halloween season, but has since been shown throughout the year (other than at Christmas) at the various parks.
    I don’t have a timeline as to when this new show might be ready, but the early rumors suggest it might not be ready until early 2024. As such, I suspect Islands of Adventure will likely see the return of the Christmas show before we see the premier of the new show. The rumored theme of the new show is thought to involve the Ministry of Magic, and perhaps serve as a sort of thematic preview for the upcoming Wizarding World attraction opening at the Epic Universe theme park in 2025 which is expected to revolve around a battle with Dolores Umbridge.

 

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icon_STOP2026/2027 - The Legend of Zelda - Rumor - (11/11/2023) Screamscape sources tell us that Universal Creative is indeed working on concepts to bring an attraction themed to The Legend of Zelda to Islands of Adventure. Nothing has been locked down yet apparently, not the attraction style, size, or scope of the location, but we’ve got some ideas. With the Poseidon’s Fury just sitting there closed and theater for the former Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show also sitting closed right next door for the past few years, what is left of the original “Lost Continent” section of the park would allow for an entire “Zelda” themed land. Just don’t look for anything to happen until they finish with Epic Universe in 2025.
 
    (4/12/2023) After being closed for a long period of time during COVID, only to reopen after a lengthy rehab as well… Universal Orlando shocked many today when they announced via an internal employee email that the Poseidon’s Fury attraction would be closing for good at the end of May 9th, 2023 to make room for something new at Islands of Adventure.
    So what is on the horizon? No one knows for sure, but when The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad stunt show closed in 2018, I figured that Poseidon’s Fury was likely to be living on borrowed time. It’s also fair to assume that The Lost Contient island in general will also be lost to the sands of time, as after May 10th, both of the remaining attractions that made up the themed zone will be no more, leaving just a random assortment of gift shops, food stands and a foul tempered fountain.  Oh, and Mythos… the park’s premier dining restaurant.
    It would be interesting if Mythos was also shut down, but so far nothing has been said about that. Even if Mythos stays, the combined land used by the closed Sindbad and Poseideon attractions, along with the connecting shops is almost comparable in size to the land used for the Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure attraction. I’m not saying this will happen yet, but if Universal was willing to do so, they could level this entire space to the ground and be able to repurpose it for just about anything… a new major attraction to a whole land with several smaller attractions.
    Universal seems to have something in mind however, as the email mentioned sharing more details about what might replace Poseidon’s Fury in the future. So it is also entirely possible that they could just reskin the existing Poseidon’s Fury attraction to create another similar walk-through adventure. I know at one point, many years ago, a concept was pitched to turn Posideon into a Legend of Zelda attraction, but those plans were never approved. Plus, from what I understand, the basic layout and effects gags from Poseidon would have remained intact, including the water vortex, the only change would be the story and theme of everything, so it makes sense why Universal never went through with it.

 

Screamscape Reviews the VELOCICOASTER!
    (6/14/21) I’ve just posted the official Screamscape review of the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, which just may be one of the best coasters on the planet, and most certainly to be considered the best in all North America. A few days ahead of the grand opening, I journeyed down to Orlando on my own with the family and took on this insane beast of a ride. But I’m not just going to tell you about it, I’m going to show it to you as well in an all new Screamscape video all about the VelociCoaster and and one other epic new attraction at Universal Orlando.

 
    (5/28/21) Universal has released the official POV video for the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster. While watching all the insanity take place, keep in mind that the entire runtime of the video is just 90 seconds, with the first launch kicking off around the 7 second mark and the train doesn’t stop until it hits the second set of brakes around 80 seconds later. I’ll say that again… 80 seconds!
   80 seconds of non-stop, pedal to the metal, high speed, velociraptor screaching in your face utter chaos! It’s a beautiful thing! Check it out!

 

 

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Track Record

Universal Orlando
Islands of Adventure

Orlando, Florida

Abbreviation: IOA
Opened: 1999
www.universalorlando.com

Tickets: Prices range depending on if you visit in Value season, Regular or a Peak Day
Discounts available for Multi-Day and Online Advanced Purchases.


Open: Year Round

Notes: The Universal Orlando Resort consists of two theme parks, one waterpark, four hotels and the Citywalk retail and entertainment zone.

Fun Fact: Poseidon was actually the bad guy in the first version of Poseidon’s Fury who fights against Zeus at the end who had been disguised as your guide.

Islands of Adventure
Abbreviation: IOA
Opened: 1999

Newest Attractions:
2021 - VelociCoaster

2019 - Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

2016 - Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Incredible Hulk (v2)

2012 - Spiderman Upgrade

2010 - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

2006 - High In The Sky Seuss Sky Trolley

2001 - Poseidon's Fury (new storyline and effects added)

2000 - Flying Unicorn, Storm Force

 

 

Don’t miss Screamscape’s review and photos from the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the FEATURES section.

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Read our in depth reviews of Halloween Horror Nights 15 through 23 in the Features section. It includes reviews of all Scare Zones, Haunted Houses, Bill & Ted and hundreds of photos.

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