Islands of Adventure
NBC Universal / Comcast
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(10/2/22) Post Hurricane Attraction Status Update (MORE...)
(9/16/22) Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle Show Returning (MORE...)
(8/3/22) Guest Claiming They Severed Part Of A Finger On Skull Island Attraction
(5/6/22) Universal Orlando Guest Surveys Evaluating Wizarding World Wand Features (MORE...)
(5/2/22) Hogwarts Express Refurbishment Planned For June (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Jurassic Park River Adventure - NOW CLOSED due to Hurricane Damage
One Fish, Two Fish - Oct. 24 through Oct. 26
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)
General Park News - (10/2/22) I’ve got a quick attraction status update for Islands of Adventure. As of Sunday afternoon Incredible Hulk is now running once again and in an unexpected development the Universal app also lists Jurassic Park River Adventure as having reopened as well, despite there being a huge hole in the side of the building. Wow! In the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm… “Life Finds A Way!”
(9/16/22) Good news for Wizarding World fans, it seems that the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle projection show will soon return to Islands of Adventure. According to the official park website the popular projection show will return on select nights between Sept. 16 and Oct. 31st, 2022.
(8/3/22) Several news agencies are now reporting about an accident reported to have taken place last year that has gone public, claiming that a woman who rode Skull Island: Reign of Kong on May 16, 2021 somehow severed part of a finger in mid-ride. According to the story, during one of the attractions many 3D scenes that shake the rider vehicle, she placed her hand against the “metal bracing”. Somehow two pieces of metal separated and then “came together” causing a partial amputation of her finger.
While Universal hasn't’ commented on this story yet, it was also pointed out that were was no mention of this accident in the quarterly theme park injuy reports that are publicly posted by the state. All theme parks in Florida must self-report all incidents involving injuries to guests who are taken in for hospital care for at least 24 hours. Surely a partially severed finger would have been included in these reports.
(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.
(5/2/22) Universal Orlando has confirmed on their website that the Hogwarts Express attraction that links the Wizarding World areas of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventures will be closed for refurbishment from June 9 through June 18, 2022.
(3/17/22) Guests visiting Islands of Adventure this week on Monday were the first to venture back inside the Temple of Poseidon since 2020. Yes, after a long refurbishment the long-closed Poseidon’s Fury attraction has reopened at last. The good news is that the attraction has benefited from repainting and some touching-up and fixing of many of the special effects. If you were expecting some bigger changes to the overall experience, or a new storyline or something, that did not happen, but nor was it expected. Like it or Skip It, after a long slumber, it is good to know that Poseidon’s Fury is finally back.
(12/30/21) Is Universal getting ready to re-open Poseidon’s Fury? We’ve reported before about this attraction and how crews have been refurbishing the outside of the attraction building for weeks now, as the park was rumored to be preparing to reopen it. The rise of new COVID safety restrictions may have placed a speed-bump in the road towards that goal, but out of no-where Universal tweeted that guests could now finally meet the “Professor Baxter” character from the attraction in front of the attraction entrance. If you have experienced Posiedon’s Fury you know that Professor Baxter has always been heard but never seen, as his assistant Taylor was always the one to lead you on your journey deeper into the temple.
With the sudden arrival of Professor Baxter in the flesh, it does make me wonder if there may be any other interesting changes in store for guests inside Poseidon’s Fury, once they do reopen it.
Or at least until they turn it into a Legend of Zelda attraction.
Naaaaww… that will never happen. I think… or will it? Let’s get a Super Nintendo World open in Orlando first and then we can talk.
(12/4/21) We don’t see too many “making of” ride specials based around Universal attractions, but if you check out the Peacock streaming service, there is noa 21 minute long special on the service called “The Making of Jurassic World VelociCoaster” that is worth checking out. Even better, this appears to be free programming on Peacock that does not require a subscription to one of the paid tiers of service.
If you’ve ridden the VelociCoaster, you’ll know just how epic this coaster is, not only from a purely thrill ride point of view, but from an overall themed experience as well. If you haven’t had the chance to ride the VelociCoaster yet, then this is your chance to take a deep dive into the creation of what may be the world’s most epic coaster right now, so check it out!
(12/1/21) VelociCoaster fans, take note! Universal is selling an interesting new item that is sure to appear to all your coaster fans out there. Universal Parks News Today has a great set of photos showing off the new product which is a wooden snap-together model of the lead roller coaster car of the VelociCoaster. Based on the photos, this is a very detailed wooden model, complete with ride restraints and all the fun details from the actual coaster car, and is assembled to sit on a stand with the VelociCoaster logo below. According to the post, the model kit is going for $40 right now, and would make an awesome gift for the coaster lover in your life.
The only problem is, it looks like this is only for sale inside Islands of Adventure right now, and not available on the Universal Orlando’s resort online store.
(11/15/21) Islands of Adventure has now added the dates for the annual winter rehabs of the park’s three major water rides that will take place between January and March, 2022.
Jurassic Park River Adventure - Jan. 10, 2022 through Jan. 28, 2022
Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls - Jan. 31, 2022 through Feb. 25, 2022
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges - Feb. 25, 2022 through Mar. 18, 2022
(11/11/21) According to various reports, instead of this year’s Grinchmas show playing in one of the Soundstages hidden in the backstage area between the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida theme parks, I’m told that this year’s show will instead be performed inside the former Blue Man Group theater building. As I recall, this building was originally built to serve as the Nickelodeon Studios production building way back when everything first opened in 1990. Later on the former Soundstage 18 building would be transformed into a permanent 1,000 seat theater venue for the BMG.
(10/10/21) Christmas is returning to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. Soon themed winter holiday decor will appear throughout the streets Hogsmeade Village, and guests will sip on hot butterbeer while listening to Christmas Carols performed by the Frog Choir. This also means the return of the “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” projection show.
Elsewhere in the park, a certain mean-green-one is also planning his return for the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular show in Seuss Landing. Yes, the Grinch is returning once again and take in the magic of the Christmas holiday season.
Look for all the holiday season fun to take place from Nov. 13 through to Jan. 2, 2022.
(10/9/21) For those who haven’t got to experience it, Universal Orlando has released a new POV of VelociCoaster, showing off the ride’s Night Mode. It’s an impressive combination of high tech lighting, furious action, lightning speed... and Raptors. Don’t forget the Raptors!
(9/25/21) For several weeks now construction walls have been up around the entrance to Poseidon’s Fury at Islands of Adventure. Combine this with the fact that the walk-through attraction has not reopened (to my knowledge) since it was shut down with the rest of the park in March 2020 due to COVID, which has led to speculation that the end may have finally come for Posiedon’s Fury.
NOT SO FAST…
According to Screamscape sources, not only is Poseidon’s Fury not going anywhere, but the attraction is apparently in the process of undergoing refurbishment along with some upgrades that will enhance the quality of the attraction for the future. We don’t know the timeline on when Poseidon’s Fury may reopen, but keep your eyes on it. If I had to guess, we may not see it reopen until 2022 after vaccination rates have increased and COVID infection rates are in decline once again.
???? - Tolkien Middle-Earth / Lord of the Rings Land - Rumor - (1/5/20) Theme Park University is back with an interesting update, claiming that Universal Orlando may be quietly working on a Lord of the Rings themed land one again. Screamscape readers will remember that we talked about such an idea a couple of years ago as a possible replacement for Toon Lagoon at Islands of Adventure. At this time the Nintendo project was also announced as being in development, and it was also rumored that Toon Lagoon was also being eyeballed as a possible location of a separate “Zelda” themed land, as a sort of follow-up to come after Super Nintendo World would have opened in Universal Studios Florida as a replacement for the kiddie area.
We know all these plans changed, and Super Nintendo World is now destined to go into Universal’s new Epic Universe theme park instead. This changed a lot of things, as there was a bit of a scramble between many other project ideas in the works, which also included an idea to turn the kids land at the Studios into a Pokemon attraction area instead, before the Zelda and Pokemon concepts were apparently shelved.
At the time, the idea to make a Hobbit or Lord of the Rings attraction area faced some difficulties, as the rights to the IP was involved in a bit of an ongoing legal struggle with the Tolkien family estate. Things have apparently calmed down a bit since then, especially in light of the fact that Amazon was able to buy the rights in 2017 to create an all new Middle-Earth themed prequel series for Amazon Prime. This is just a thought, but given the timelines involved, it may actually benefit Universal more to invest in attractions themed to this new Amazon created Middle-Earth series than to get behind the two previous series that have been over and done with for years now.
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!