Islands of Adventure

There is a lot of info we could throw at you at once, but that wouldn’t be very helpful. Rather than giving you an overwhelming list of info you might forget, here are the top things you need to know before you go to Islands of Adventure.  Be sure to check this page often for new updates!

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GuruTips      Attractions     Bathrooms     Eateries     Shopping


  • Start at the Back:  If you arrive to the park at opening, head to the back of the park first.  Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will have much shorter lines right at park opening.  Guests tend to head straight to the Hulk roller coaster which then creates a crowd backup at the front of the park. 
  • Super Soakers:  When walking over the bridge from Toon Lagoon towards Jurassic Park, on the right side of the bridge are control pods that allow you to shoot water at the guests who just splashed down from Dudley Do-Right.  It’s $0.25 for each squirt but it’s so worth it to catch the unsuspecting guests off guard.  We always bring a few dollars to take a break and shoot some water!
  • Save Your Time:  Unless you have extra time in the park and have already been on everything you planned, skip Poseidon’s Fury.  The building will pique your interest but this attraction will not be worth missing out on the other offerings in the park.  It’s a 15 minute attraction with pretty poor technology.  The only thing worth seeing in this attraction was a huge swirling water tunnel that you walk through – but this feature has now been removed.
  • One Fish, Two Fish:  When riding One Fish, Two Fish be sure to listen to the song playing during the ride.  The song gives you instructions on how to stay dry based on the fish you are flying in.  It’s still uncertain if following the song will actually keep you dry, but it’s fun to try!


    • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall:  We love this ride for two reasons:  the line is usually under 20 minutes and when you get to the top, the view is incredible.  We suggest doing this one during the day and at night.
    • Water Rides:  IOA has some of the best water rides and on a hot day, they are crucial.  We suggest if you’ll be riding these rides (with the exception of One Fish, Two Fish) you will need a change of clothes.  If you’re staying at one of the Universal hotels, we recommend hitting all of the water rides you want and then head back to the room for dry clothes and a breather before heading back to hit the other rides.
        • Jurassic Park – moderate to wet soak factor
        • One Fish, Two Fish – light to moderate soak factor
        • Dudley Do-Right – wet soak factor
        • Bluto’s Barges – drrrrrenched soak factor

    • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey:  This attraction is popular and for good reason.  The technology of the ride is awesome and the Harry Potter story is portrayed perfectly through the ride.  Two warnings:  the line gets long for this one, so head there first thing in the morning and if you get motion sickness you may want to consider skipping this ride.
    • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man:  We love this ride because of how incredible the ride technology was when this ride first opened.  Overall it’s a fun ride following Spider-Man through the city as he tries to take down the plot of his enemies.  This one is a great ride for the whole family.


  • Backwater Bar at Port of Entry:  This bathroom is a great somewhat hidden gem because it’s tucked away from the main walkway but easily accessible.  There is never a line and it’s a great spot to hit as a last bathroom break before heading out of the park.
  • Seuss Landing near Lost Continent:        


  • Near entry to Marvel Super Hero Island from Toon Lagoon:  This bathroom is definitely a hidden gem.  If you are heading into Marvel Island from Toon Lagoon, it will be on your right in the first building that is part of Marvel Island.  This is one of our favorite spots because it’s pretty well-hidden which means less traffic.

    Wizarding World of Harry Potter Bathrooms
    Wizarding World of Harry Potter Bathrooms
  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter:  While this bathroom is usually busy, if you’re a Harry Potter fan you should check it out.  The bathroom is pretty large, so it can handle the crowds pretty well, except for those really busy days.




Burger Digs Bathrooms
Burger Digs Bathrooms
  • The Burger Digs:  We like this bathroom because it is easy to navigate to from the front of the restaurant and the restaurant isn’t typically very busy, so the bathroom feels semi-private.  You can also take in a beautiful view of the lagoon on your way out.



  • Captain America Diner:  All American Diner offering burgers and fries, chicken tenders, and milkshakes.
    Captain America Diner Ordering Station

    The restaurant is decorated with Marvel Super Heroes and if you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear a loop of songs all related to heroes.  There is also outside balcony seating which offers an awesome view across the water at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Lost Continent – we recommend outside eating in the cooler months

  • Snookers & Snookers Sweet Candy Cookers:  If you are looking for a sweet snack, check this candy shop out.  They have a large selection of candy, fudge, and caramel apples!
  • The Burger Digs:  Want to feel like you’re having lunch with a dino?  Head for this restaurant.  They offer burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, and milkshakes.  There is plenty of seating inside and outside.  Outside on the balcony gives a beautiful view of Marvel Super Hero Island – we recommend outside eating in the cooler months.

    Sweet Butter!
    Sweet Butter!
  • Mythos Restaurant:  A hidden gem!! There is a reason this restaurant has been voted the #1 theme park restaurant for countless consecutive years.  The food is phenomenal and the restaurant decor/atmosphere is incredible.  The view looks out across the lagoon towards the Hulk roller coaster and gives you a feeling of peace as you shovel in bread topped with Universal Studios embossed butter.



  • Jurassic Park Outfitters:  We have discussed our love of dinosaurs on other pages of this site, but we will say it again:  we love dinos.  Especially Jurassic Park dinos.  So it makes sense that this shop is on the top of our list.  Go there and buy a classic Jurassic Park shirt.  You know you wanna!
  • Ollivanders:  Are you a Harry Potter fan?  Of course you are!  Head to this small shop to pick out your wand – oh we mean, have your wand pick you!

    Marvel Alterniverse Store
  • Marvel Super Hero Island:  There are a few great Marvel shops located in the Marvel island to check out.  They all offer merch with some of our favorite Marvel heroes.  Definitely go check out the Marvel Alterniverse Store and while you’re there, get your picture with Spidey!
  • Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe:  Christmas shopping all year-round! Inside you’ll find Universal-themed Christmas decorations, ornaments, and gifts.  Just walking by this shop makes us feel like a kid on Christmas Eve!