Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure might not be as classic a dilemma as ‘to be or not to be, that is the question.’ Still, it sure storms up fans’ brains. Let’s assume you are someone who’s been to Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida. But you cannot seem to make up your mind as to which one to give better grades or priority—Universal Studios Orlando Resort or Islands of Adventures. Do you resonate with this double-mindedness? If yes, this article will show you the way out of this labyrinth in fiction or in reality.
If you have not yet been to Orlando but plan on visiting sometime in the future, this beginning introduction is for you. Universal Orlando Resort boasts of being one of the most famous, awe-inspiring, and biggest resorts in Florida. The resort claims a huge area covering up to 735 acres in its North Campus alone. The south district claims another 750 acres.
However, it’s not only the resort that makes it great. The resort area consists of several busy theme parks and hotels. Out of these theme parks are the two jewels (that we opened our article with), so the battle is ripe regarding Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure. This article will help you understand which of the two theme parks is the best and their pros and cons. Thus, before you plan your trip to Orlando, you will have a ready reckoner in hand, allowing you to stray away from Hamlet’s dilemma.
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Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure
No doubt, Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure is a tough debate to crack. But choosing becomes easier if someone clearly lays out the difference between two contesting categories. Here we are kicking off by speaking out about the difference between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
If you are an adrenaline-rush freak, there’s no better place on this earth for you than Islands of Adventures. This is a place that is filled with thrill and adventure rides. Universal Studios, as the name suggests, is a place that mostly revolves around entertainment and shows.
However, despite differences, both places have one thing in common. Both places have an area dedicated to Harry Potter and offer Early Park Admission, though separately, throughout the entire year.
Apart from that, there are some trivial differences, mostly relating to the size of the parks. Remember, both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure are nestled inside the compounds of Universal Orlando Resort which claims a huge boundary area.
This becomes evident when Islands of Adventures, a park inside the resort, claims a cover area of 110 acres. Compared to Islands of Adventures, Universal Studios covers an insignificantly smaller area, 108 acres.
So, if someone is concerned regarding the size factor in the Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure debate, they can quench their thirst from here. But, if you listen to me, things of far greater consequence and importance lie ahead. So brace yourself for this bumpy ride!
The premises of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are also different and consist of different zones. While the lands inside Islands of Adventure are more imaginative and speak to many mythic themes, the same is not true for Universal Studios.
Inside Universal Studios, you will find different areas denoting different cities or localities. So, if you reign in the domains of imagination, Islands of Adventure will bring more joy and color to your palette. However, if you are a city worm, Universal Studios will definitely speak a lot to you.
So, let’s look at the different lands in the Islands of Adventure vs Universal Studios zones.
Let’s first begin with Islands of Adventure.
It has seven different areas where you can enter and get different vibes. Those are:
- Seuss Landing
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade,
- The Lost Continent
- Jurassic Park
- Marvel Super Hero Island
- Toon Lagoon
On the contrary, Universal Studios Florida has six different zones. Those are:
- Springfield, USA
- San Francisco
- Production Central
- World Expo
- New York
Which park to choose for the Harry Potter experience?
Speaking of different zones and lands inside each park, one is bound to ask which Universal Park is better for Harry Potter fans. As you all know, Harry Potter doesn’t leave your trail once you enter the Universal Studios Orlando resort. The resort’s two parks – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have areas designated specifically for Harry Potter.
The two parks dedicated to the Harry Potter theme are Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Park and Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventures. While both give each of them fair competition, it’s difficult to choose between them. Both of them have interesting shopping and eating joints. The themes are also brilliant for each of the two parks.
The Hogwarts Castle is the main highlight of Hogsmeade. The soaring skyline of the castle will not allow a second thought for a second. It will feel like you have entered the Hogwarts you read in the novel or witnessed in the movies.
All the hidden chambers lay bare for your exploration. The Defence Against Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor Common room, Dumbledore’s office, and other exquisite spots from Harry Potter are reimagined. So, you can tour the Harry Potter World and feel it viscerally.
If you have always wondered how the magic spells occur in the Harry Potter show, here is your chance to experiment with them. In Ollivanders, an interesting and interactive show, you get to play with a variety of walls and cast spells.
Now, if we choose to talk about Universal Studios, Diagon Alley comes up. Knockturn Alley is one of the best areas to hang out in Diagon Alley. If you like cold and spooky places, drop in at Knockturn Alley, you will not be disappointed.
However, rides are lesser in number at Diagon Alley than at Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade boasts four rides, namely-
- Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade Station
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventures
Diagon Alley has two rides which are-
- Hogwarts Express Kings Cross Station
- Harry Potter and the Escape from the Gringotts
Thus, both places are connected to the Hogwarts Express.
So, if you like to experience Hogwarts Castle, go for the Islands of Adventure. But Universal Studios is your best hideout if you want to explore spooky places.
Let’s leave Harry Potter alone and explore other nuances of the Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure dilemma.
So, before heading to any of the two parks, one must also have a clear idea regarding which park costs what in terms of tickets. However, the dilemma takes a calming phase when it comes to tickets. Universal Studios Tickets and Islands of Adventure tickets are dissimilar. Both ticket prices start at $109.00 for a one-day base ticket. They also have two-day passes, which give you access to both theme parks.
Say, for instance, you only want to go to Islands of Adventure, but you want to go there for two consecutive days. In that case, you can buy a Universal two-day pass at $106 per day per head, and you will gain entry at your desired park.
Thus, price is not a deciding factor when choosing a side in the Islands of Adventure vs Universal Studios debate.
So, if pocket or price isn’t the most important factor in choosing any one side in the Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure dilemma, then what is the main deciding factor? Presenting to you the plethora of rides and how they might factor in, in your decision-making process.
Islands of Adventure has more rides than Universal Studios. While the first has 19 rides, the latter has 13 sides. However, quantity doesn’t always matter. In some cases, quality overrides quantity. While Islands of Adventure has more rides, Universal Studios might be a more sound option if you want to enjoy it with your family. As the name suggests, Islands of Adventures is best for an adrenaline rush, not for a family gala time.
Here is a list of rides that you might consider hopping in at Islands of Adventures-
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
- The Cat in the Hat
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
- Storm Force Accelatron
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- Pteranodon Flyers
- Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
- Jurassic Park Ride Adventure
- Jurassic World Velocicoaster
- Hogwarts Express
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Dudley Do_right’s Ripsaw Falls
- Doctor Doom’s Fearful
Now that you have a list of rides available at Islands of Adventure, it will become easier for you to select if you get a list of Universal Studios rides. So, here is the list of rides in Universal Studios-
- Villain-Con Minion Blast
- TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D
- The Simpsons Ride
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
- Kang & Kudos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Fast & Furious- Supercharged
- T. Adventure Ride
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
However, if you are genuinely looking for thrill rides, then Islands of Adventure tops the list, and there is no doubt about that. It has the highest number of roller coasters in Universal Studios Orlando resort. This includes Hagrid’s Magical Creatures, Motorbike Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, and Jurassic World Velocicoaster. So, these roller coasters are not good for those with bumpy heart conditions. Thus, if you have come with your family, not this word of caution, Islands of Adventure is not the place.
It might seem like Universal Studios is lagging in the Universal Studios Florida vs Islands of Adventure debate. But, time is up for all the grace being attributed to Islands of Adventure.
Now we turn our attention to Universal Studios. Universal Studios will always top the list if you are looking for classic rides. Mummy is a very popular ride so is Men in Black. Even though the Simpsons is the newest addition, other rides are classic and famous. So, Universal Studios definitely wins the race when it comes to classic rides and not thrill rides.
Early Park Admissions
So, most of the areas of differences have now been covered. Let’s talk about the Early Park Admission offered in both parks.
It’s like resolving two friends quarreling for a long time. So, this factor provides equal points to both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios—both Parks have provisions for Early park Admissions. So, you can enter either of the two parks one hour before regular guest entry. However, you need to prioritize any of the two parks to make the best use of Early Park Admissions.
Opting for Islands of Adventure using the Early Parks Admission is best. This is primarily because Islands of Adventure is the home to some of the most popular rides, which usually have longer wait times than those in Universal Studios.
So, you can arrive early and avail some of the best rides in this park. Moreover, having a priority list of rides will be best. This will help you choose between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
After exploring all these dimensions, it’s safe to call it a wrap for the Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventures debate. Both parks are rewarding. You will just have to prioritize which one fulfills you the most. Depending on that and keeping all these extensive discussions in mind, we hope you will make the right choice!