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Islands of Adventure – The One-Day Stay With Kids

Many kids, especially those who are tall enough to avoid the height restrictions listed earlier, will be perfectly happy going on all the rides, in which case the strategy outlined above will work just fine. However, if you have children who are too short or too timid to tackle the thrill rides, you can adopt a much different strategy.

1. If your Potter-crazy child won’t pay attention to anything else in the park once they’ve spotted Hogwarts’ spires, bite the bullet and get there at the crack of dawn. Better yet, if you have park-to-park tickets see USF in the morning and save your first IOA visit for evening. Visit Ollivander’s and ride Flight of the Hippogriff (ask for a seat near the front). Then walk through the Forbidden Journey queue but use the “baby swap” to bypass the ride if your kid is under 48” or spooked by spiders and skeletons.

If you decide to pass on the early-morning Potter patrol, you should make Pteranodon Flyers your first priority — assuming, of course, you feel your child will enjoy it. This ride takes only two people at a time per vehicle and does not accept Universal Express Plus, so the line gets very long very quickly.

Otherwise (and if your child is over 40 inches tall), do Spider-Man first. Most kids will have no problem with this one, although some of their adult guardians may. After that, you can relax and take your time.

2. Take a trip to Seuss Landing for those who won’t find it too “babyish.” However, even kids who consider themselves too “sophisticated” for most of Seuss will get a kick out of The Cat in the Hat ride. Your first ride in Seuss Landing should be the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, because of its slow loading time.

3. You can pretty much pick and choose after that, using the height restrictions listed earlier and your child’s preferences to guide you. Despite the cartoon violence, Sindbad is a fun show for kids; and don’t miss the Mystic Fountain in front of the stadium entrance.

4. When you need a break, steer your kids to an age-appropriate play area: If I Ran the Zoo and Me Ship, The Olive for younger children, Camp Jurassic for older ones.

5. Save the Wizarding World for late in the day when the thickest crowds have dissipated. Visit Ollivander's and ride Flight of the Hippogriff (ask for a seat near the front). Then ask for a "castle tour" to walk through the Forbidden Journey queue, but bypass the ride if your kid is under 48 inches tall or spooked by spiders and skeletons. .

Note: Whichever plan you follow, be sure to pick up a copy of the 2-Park Map as you enter the park.

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Universal Orlando 2011


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