Hidden gems of Islands of Adventure?

Thursday, February 16, 2006 11:30 PM
I may make my way down to Florida for spring break this year, and Islands of Adventure would be an obvious place I would like to spend much of my time.

I've looked around a bit using Cbuzz's search function, but couldn't find what I was looking for. If I have overlooked a thread with the information I am looking for, please post a link.


I ask this of the regular park goers or fans of Islands of Adventure:

Are there any hidden gems located within the park (or the surrounding area) that a first time visitor might overlook? In general, could you offer any kinds of tips about the park such as traffic flows, eateries, etc.?

Thanks for any info you can offer.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:11 AM
Don't miss the talking fountain; definitely ride 1-Fish 2-Fish Red-Fish Blue-Fish; eat at the Greek restaurant.
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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:17 AM
Yeah, everything 'Moosh said. I could watch that stupid fountain for an hour. Brilliant.
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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:27 AM
There is a lot of interesting trivia about this park that I learned when I worked there 2000-2001, but I can't recall details. I wish that there was an IOA trivia website of something. This is probably not what you are asking, but here it goes anyways...

The extremely large tree at the beginning of Jurassic Park River Adventure is real, and cost the park a lot of money (Tens of Millions? One Hundred Million?) to buy it and then transport it by helicopter to the site. It's a very old tree, and it is still alive.

The dinosaur that "knocks the boat off course" is a totally made up breed that never existed, as opposed to all of the other animatronics on the ride that were based on dinosaurs that have been proven to exist.

The music of IOA blends (volume wise) perfectly from one island to the next. You will never hear Superhero music when you are standing in Port of Entery. A Chiming sound effect is used on the bridge between JP and LC to cover up or distract ones ear from hearing both islands sountracks at the same time.

Sometimes you will notice the instruments change from one section to another, but they are playing the same song at the same time...another words, the music is being remixed by were you are standing or walking. (I don't think that this is from island to island, just from place to place within each island.)

Suess Landing's music was created by recreating instruments that were found in the artwork of the Dr. Suess books.

I've been told by Maintenance workers that the water splash at the bottom of the drop on JPRA is not from the boat itself, but from water jets under the water. I have a hard time believing that one though.

The trees in SL were all bent from hurricane winds in their previous location before being transplanted to the park. SL is supposed to have no straight lines anywhere in sight, although I have found a few.

Most of every facade you see in the park is made of a strong styrofoam, which was carved into the desired shape and then painted over. a lot of the sidewalks are styrofoam also, thus heavy work vehicles are not allowed to drive on top of them.

Marvel Super Hero Island has some very interesting and expensive automobile paint on some of the buildings that change colors depending on where the sun is shining on them.

The lake under Dueling Dragons is shaped like a dragon, or was this lake drained lately?

There is a lot more that I can't seem to remember. I think knowing little things like this helps one to appreciate the park just a little more.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 3:14 AM
Hopefully I won't get in trouble for posting a link, but check this out:

http://www.universal-excitement.com/IOASECRETS.htm

I especially like the hidden phone number in the Spiderman ride!

This site has a ton of other cool stuff on it as well.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 3:35 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Friday, February 17, 2006 6:58 AM
I'll just say...voicing that talking fountain must be one of the best gigs you could have at an amusement park. I mean...it probably wouldn't be so fantastic doing it 40 hours a week but compared to what you could be doing, it seems like it would be a total blast.
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Friday, February 17, 2006 8:45 AM
The chocolate chip cookies are great from the bakery on the right of Port of Entry!

The Confisco Grill in Port of Entry is very good restaurant for an amusement park (this is the sports bar of the park)!

The Enchanted Oak Tavern in The Lost Continent serves the absolute toughest and crappiest ribs I have ever had!

Also in Lost Continent is Mythos Restaurant…I’ve not tried it personally, but my mother-in-law swears by it! Seemed a little too fancy for me in an amusement park setting!

The spray guns over the bridge for Dudley Do Right are among the greatest soaking guns ever created.

DO NOT wait for the Pteranodon Flyers no matter what kind of coaster-whore you may be….

P.S. That fountain is amazing…I’m not sure if this is still the case…but for the longest time the online map for Universal has the Fountain highlighted as a major attraction along with Hulk et al… I used to laugh at this! No I find myself enjoying that little addictive fountain more than anything in the park!

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Friday, February 17, 2006 9:14 AM
About trees... this is something they've clearly spent major money on all over and outside of the parks. I stayed at Royal Pacific I think in its second or third year, and I was amazed that all of the trees are absolutely huge. I can't even imagine what they cost.
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Friday, February 17, 2006 9:31 AM
Mythos is absolutely fabulous. When you can request a gluten-free menu at a theme park, you know you're dealing with people who've thought things through.
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Friday, February 17, 2006 10:11 AM
The bathrooms near the lockers and stroler rental in Port of Entry don't have music. Instead, the sound system loops a vaudville-style comic routine based on their packing checklist (and plays on the word "check").

And if you love fine dining, go for a 90 minute lunch in Mythos. The quality, creativity and presentation of the food is top-notch. The executive chef will walk the restaurant if the kitchen is not too busy. The desserts are beautiful (yes, I took pictures) as well as delicious. However, if fancy food isn't your thing, skip it. I heard first-hand from a family that hated it -- "Junior ordered a hamburger and it came with weird stuff on it. He wouldn't eat it." But if I were to judge by appearances alone, this family would probably take their pickup truck off the cinder blocks once per month so that they could treat themselves to culinary wonders like Roy Rogers, Big Boy, or IHOP. *** Edited 2/17/2006 3:12:54 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***

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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:09 PM
Just need to throw this out there....behind Caro-Seuss-El is "If I ran the Zoo"....clearly hidden, clearly a gem.

...and yes, I have gotten SOAKED by the fountain....intentionally *taunting* the fountain will do that for you...good times! :)

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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:32 PM
Yeah....depending on the fountain's mood it can be pretty fiesty. I didn't bother soaking me because I was already drenched to the bone from first the rain and then second Bluto. But I think the comment I garnered involved a drowned cat...or looking like what the cat had dragged in...and then drowned. Something along those lines.

Oh! That's another not-so-secret of IOA! Go ahead and resign yourself to getting wet, I never feel like I've had a full day at Islands unless my feet are fully squishy afterwards.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:42 PM
What kind of cuisine is served at Mythos?
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Friday, February 17, 2006 12:46 PM
^Or buy youself a good pair of sandels (not flip flops, your standing most of the day remember) that can get wet, my Tivas have seen many a day at amusment parks with good water rides.
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Friday, February 17, 2006 1:00 PM

CPgenius said:
What kind of cuisine is served at Mythos?

According to the IOA web site:
Mythos Restaurant®
Food: Overlooking the inland sea, Mythos features fresh, contemporary cuisine, a full bar including wine selection, as well as family favorites like fresh salads, pizzas, and burgers.
Type: Casual, Full Service
Reservations: Accepted. Call Islands of Adventure Reservations at (407)224-4012
Serving: Lunch and Dinner daily

IMO: I would describe some of their dishes as Asian-fusion rather than contemporary. The whole dining experience is comparable to lunch at a Wolfgang Puck or Emeril's, except with patrons dressed for a theme park.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 1:39 PM
There is that little submarine right a the front of the park on the bank of the lake that has a little routine it goes through.

There are little dinosaur heads on the beer taps at the little jurrasic park shanty bar.

My tip is to really take your time, its taken us quite a few days there to see everything and really take it all in. Just walk through it, enjoy it. Don't rush.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 1:52 PM
Where is the talking fountain located?
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Friday, February 17, 2006 2:32 PM
^ Just beyond the entrance to Poseidon's Fury, on the right-hand side of the midway as you head into Lost Continent from Seuss Landing. Across from Mythos.

I *still* have a hard time believing they built this park for ME, LOL... :)

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Friday, February 17, 2006 3:36 PM
I've been to IOA twice, and there's still so much I haven't done. I haven't even set foot in Seussland, let alone eat at Mythos, ride the Popeye raft ride, or see Poseidon.

I never really understood how people seem to finish the park so quick, unless the place is completely empty!

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