7. Marvel in Orlando
Marvel Comics has become one of the biggest properties out there for movies, books, and yes, theme park rides! And while Disneyland recently opened its first Marvel-themed ride (Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT), it’ll likely be several years before you see any Marvel rides in Walt Disney World. This is due to a court settlement that was agreed to by Universal and Disney years ago that basically gives Universal exclusive rights to use Marvel characters for rides in parks east of the Mississippi. So, if you or your little ones are big fans of Wolverine, Hulk and the other Marvel heroes, UOR is the place to find them! Islands of Adventure is home to Marvel Island, a land where the Marvel comic book characters comes to life through attractions and even spontaneous street-side meet and greets! We’re partial to three big attractions in Marvel Island – The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and Doctor Doom’s Fearfall!
UOP features five fantastic on-site hotels with a sixth one coming in 2018. Each hotel has a unique theme and all of them offer complimentary transportation to the parks and, and this one is important, early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park. This early admission gets you into both Harry Potter worlds – Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley – and Volcano Bay an hour before regular guest. That might not seem like much, but trust us, that extra hour could be the difference between waiting 5 minutes or 5 hours to ride the newest water coaster at Volcano Bay or one of the world-class attractions in the Wizarding World! More information about the Universal Orlando Resorts can be found here and of course, if you have any questions, hit us up via the Contact Form at the bottom of the page!
5. Skull Island: Reign of Kong
The newest attraction at UOR is a hat-tip to one of the resort’s most popular attractions of all time. Skull Island: Reign of Kong sits snugly in the back corner of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, but make sure you don’t miss it on your trip. A combination of gigantic 3D screens and a Kong animatronic that will make your jaw drop, Skull Island is a world-class attraction that features a trackless ride vehicle and some great special effects to make you feel like you’re in the middle of a battle between Kong and many beasts of the jungle. And while we’d normally recommend you use Universal’s Express Pass whenever possible to keep your wait short, Skull Island has one of the best queues on property – a winding maze through the caves of Skull Island where you not only encounter witches and creatures, but also some real life natives who will scare the heck out of you while you wait! We love to new Skull Island ride almost as much as we loved Kongfrontation, an opening-day attraction that was operational at Universal Studios until its untimely closing in 2002 (It was replaced by Revenge of the Mummy rollercoaster). While Skull Island probably won’t ever reach the same place in the hearts of Universal enthusiasts as Kongfrontation has, it is definitely a worthy successor.
One of our favorite spots at UOR is CityWalk, the center of the dining, drinking, and shopping universe at UOR. CityWalk also serves as the entry way/connector between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios which means that after a long day at the park, it’s so convenient to find a great dinner or souvenir shop at CityWalk! We love to have dinner at Antojito’s Authentic Mexican Food and then cap the night off with a Hurricane at Pat O’Brien’s! And for dessert, be sure to check out on of CityWalk’s newest restaurants, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen!