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One Day Trip: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

Adventuring to Florida for your next Holiday? While Disney is a must, set aside a day or two to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! Great parks in the heart of Orlando, you'll really love this amazing park and attraction. And having somewhere to stay is only a short drive away. Florida Homeowners Direct has great Kissimmee Area vacation rentals in the community of Indian Point! These great 4 bedroom private rentals with pools are only about a 16 mile drive to Universal Studios!  So let us at Florida Homeowners Direct help you with your vacation rental needs and help you plan your One Day Trip: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure . 
 
The following plan is written by Orlando Informer, a helpful website with insights and tips about local area fun! The plan is to help guests experience everything on this list during the busy season and recommending Express Passes for the guests!  Its quiet impossible to experience every single ride on your One Day Trip: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure but the list below gives fan favorites like Diagon Alley/ Harry Potter!  And make sure you purchase the Park to Park admission to visit both parks! And start off with Islands of Adventure....

Islands of Adventure

1. Entrance to Islands of Adventure - We recommend that you get to the parks 45 minutes before it opens for the best chance to jump start your touring day. Once you get through the gates, make sure you pick up a park guide map to help navigate through your day. You want to start at Islands of Adventure because guests are going to be drawn to Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida, so your going to skip this until the evening as the crowds will overpower this park during the day. 

2. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - Hogsmeade -Restrictions and access: Ride: 48 inches; loose articles must be stowed in the free lockers inside Hogwarts Castle; no Express Pass access, but there is a single-rider line. Tour-only: no restrictions – loose articles and cameras can be carried on the tour; may be closed when the park is busy. Summary: the first part is a tour of Hogwarts Castle’s most iconic rooms. The second part is a revolutionary flight simulator.

Exit from Hogwarts Castle, head back into Hogsmeade Village and on to…

3. Dragon Challenge – Ep (Express Pass) - Hogsmeade - Restrictions and access: 54 inches; loose articles must be stowed in lockers adjacent to the attraction’s entrance; has Express Pass access; also has a front-row line for each coaster. Summary: high-speed, outdoor roller coaster that is an absolute must for thrill-seekers. Remember, Dragon Challenge has two separate coasters. If you enjoy your first ride, use the staircase midway down the exit path to cut back up to the entrance path and ride again! We’ve now experienced the big attractions inside Hogsmeade. Note that we’ll be skipping Ollivander’s Wand Shop at this time because we’ll visit the location in Diagon Alley later. 

Now for Super Hero Island! 

4. The Incredible Hulk Coaster – Express Pass - under renovations until Summer 2016 - Restrictions and access: 54 inches; loose articles must be stowed in free lockers; has Express Pass access; also has a front-row line. Summary: possibly the best high-speed, outdoor roller coaster in Orlando.

Alternative 4. Doctor Doom’s Fearfall – Express Pass - Restrictions and access: 52 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: Dr. Doom needs fear, and you have agreed to provide him with an unlimited supply by going on this launch tower attraction.

5. Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – Express pass - Restrictions and access: 40 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: combining 3D film, ride movement, and special effects for a completely convincing simulator ride experience.

After Super Hero Island visit Toon Lagoon and its water rides! You will go on the next three rides in a row because you will get soaked for sure on the first two and most likely on the third. Warning: especially warm weather may drive up the wait times at the water rides. If you encounter this and are concerned about time, skip Ripsaw Falls.

6. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – Express Pass - Restrictions and access: 44 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line; there are lockers nearby for convenience. Summary: flume ride on steroids – YOU WILL GET SOAKED.

7. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – Express Pass - Restrictions and access: 42 inches. Summary: traditional raft ride – YOU WILL GET SOAKED.
8. Jurassic Park River Adventure –Express Pass - Restrictions and access: 42 inches; has Express Pass access. Summary: boat ride that ends with a plunge – will get you wet depending on where you are sitting.

Now we have some choices. You’re likely to be getting hungry by this point. If you can fend off hunger for a while longer and it’s before noon, you can enjoy a little more of Islands of Adventure.

9. Camp Jurassic - Jurassic Park- a truly gigantic play area with everything from slides and climbing nets to caves and water cannons.

10. Cat in the Hat – Suess Landing - Restrictions and access: 36 inches; has Express pass access. Summary: dark ride that takes you into the Cat in the Hat story. Entertaining enough for everyone in the family.

Around 12 pm Noon, it is recommending to leave Islands of Adventure and head to Universal Studios Florida! 

Because you have purchased the park-to-park admission, you have the opportunity to ride the Hogwarts Express. Assuming it has a wait time of 30 minutes or less, which it almost certainly will in the first half of the day!  Alternatively, you can walk to Universal Studios Florida if you please. Note: there are no restrictions to ride the Hogwarts Express; strollers and ECVs are welcomed.

Either way you arrive at Universal Studios, head to Springfield USA (the Simpsons)

Universal Studios Florida

11. Lunch time – The Simpsons Fast Food Blvd - This quick-service dining venue offers the widest variety of food in a single restaurant, not to mention some pretty wacky theming (huge hit for Simpsons fans!). If you’re not quite up for fried food, Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck right down the way is just as good. Not interested in eating? Then go for drinks at Moe’s Tavern or Duff Brewery.


A word of caution regarding the Simpsons Fast Food Blvd: it’s a very popular destination for lunch at USF. If you’re visiting when it’s really busy, it may be in your best interest to stop at Mel’s Drive-In in Hollywood instead. While Mel’s doesn’t offer the variety or novelty of Fast Food Blvd, it’s classic USF and still one of our favorites.

12. The Simpsons Ride – Express Pass: World Expo / Springfield USA - Restrictions and access: 40 inches; has Express Pass access. Summary: motion simulator ride chalked full of characters straight from the show and generous portions of Simpsons humor.

13. MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack – Express Pass - World Expo / Springfield USA - Restrictions and access: 42 inches; must stow loose articles in the free lockers adjacent to the attraction’s entrance; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: MEN IN BLACK is a shooter ride where you are the newest MIBrecruit.

We’re going to walk by the London waterfront of Diagon Alley now. We know it looks amazing – trust us, we’ll be getting back here soon!

14. Transformers: The Ride – Express Pass- Production Center - Restrictions and access: 40 inches; has Express Pass access and a single-rider line. Summary: as a N.E.S.T. recruit, jump into this intense 3D simulator experience and prepare for battle alongside Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

15. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem – Express Pass- Production Center -  Restrictions and access: 40 inches to ride the motion simulator – otherwise, there are stationary platforms available; must be 48 inches to ride alone; has Express Pass access. Summary: join Gru and the girls in this family-friendly 3D simulator ride featuring an all-new storyline, new animation, and plenty of Minion shenanigans.

The time has finally arrived: prepare to enter Diagon Alley. Remember, depending on your family’s interest in Harry Potter, you should be arriving at this point in the touring plan with two or three hours left before park closing.

Before we enter Diagon Alley, we need to explain our mini-plan for this area. Essentially the only attraction inside Diagon Alley with a significant wait time is Escape from Gringotts. But its wait time can be as high as an hour or two.

So when you head into this area, you need to look up the Escape from Gringotts wait time and decide exactly how you want to spend your evening. It’s worth noting that Escape from Gringotts does have a single-rider line, but the single-rider line skips the entire bank tour and pre-show, which are just as impressive as the ride! 

Given the explanation we just offered, we’re going to list Escape from Gringotts next. Keep in mind, the later you can get in line, the shorter the line will be… but, you will be missing out on Diagon Alley at night. The other stops in Diagon Alley may be done in any sequence.

16. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts - Diagon Alley - Restrictions and access: 42 inches; must stow loose articles in free lockers before the attraction’s entrance; usually has a single-rider line. Summary: impressive tour through Gringotts Bank followed by a multi-dimensional, multi-sensory 3D track-based motion ride (remember, single-rider line skips the bank tour and entire pre-show).

17. Ollivander’s Wand Shop - Diagon Alley - Restrictions and access: none; does not have Express Pass access. Summary: meticulously themed boutique where the wand chooses the wizard.

18. Interactive wands & spell-casting -Diagon Alley - Display your wizarding talents with your new interactive wand as you magically affect the displays in various storefronts and, possibly, other secret areas. Note: you’ll need to purchase an interactive wand at Ollivander’s or Wands by Gregorovitch to participate.

19. Dinner time – Leaky Cauldron - Taking quick-service theme park dining to its pinnacle, the Leaky Cauldron offers a variety of British fare set in a beautiful dining hall full of whimsical, wizarding decor.

You can catch the live entertainment in Carkitt Markett – Tales of Beedle the Bard & Celestina Warbeck – taste the treats of Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlor, and slink your way through the creepy corners of Knockturn Alley. And before you leave, make sure you’ve seen the sights of the London waterfront, including the Knight Bus with its conductor and interactive shrunken head, and 12 Grimmauld Place (keep an eye out for Kreacher!)
No matter how the final hour of your night unravels, this is how we want to end the day:

20.  Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular - *Although this end-of-the-night show is usually scheduled once per day after park closing, please verify the schedule in your park map.

 
We at Florida Homeowners Direct hope you will enjoy your One Day Trip: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.And hopefully these helpful tips and plan will steer your family and friends in the right direction for your Orlando Vacation. And not only will you have the amazing time at the parks, you will also have a blast in our vacation rentals. Earlier we told you about our awesome  Kissimmee vacation pool homes in Indian Point Community, but we also have some great 3 bedroom town homes in the resort community of Terre Verde! These are amazing as there is a private spa in the back patio area, and you have all the amenities of a resort in walking distance. Amenities include a private pool, spa, tiki bar, play area for kids and so much more! The advantage of having a private home without any upkeep from you the guest!  Click here to find out more about these Kissimmee Vacation rentals and more from Florida Homeowners Direct!