Islands of Adventure opened on May 28, 1999 along with Universal CityWalk. The addition of the two locations fully transformed Universal Studios into the huge Universal Orlando Resort. The park is now home to some of the most iconic elements of Universal Orlando. From the Wizarding World to Seuss Landing, here are some interesting tidbits about Islands of Adventure you might not know…
Port of Entry
- The icon of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Pharos Lighthouse, is a working lighthouse. It was modeled after the lighthouse of Alexandria, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- The crooked palm trees in Seuss Landing are actually survivors from Hurricane Andrew. Universal included them in the design of Seuss landing because of their bent and curved shape, matching the whimsical theme of the land
- Dr. Seuss actually makes a cameo in Seuss Landing. Hidden amongst his crazy characters and ideas come to life, you’ll find him by the police officer’s bicycle photo spot.
- Several special bonus elements are hidden around Seuss Landing. One hidden gem is a pair of Zax in a standoff behind the entrance to the whimsical land. Neither of the stubborn creatures was willing to let the other pass by first, so the land was built around them. If you follow their footsteps through the Landing, you’ll uncover other silly secrets about Dr. Seuss’s zany world.
- At Snookers & Snookers Sweet Candy Cookers, stand on the footprints outside of the shop. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a message from the Sneetch!
Marvel Super Hero Island
- If you’re going through the express line at Spiderman, you’ll see a series of filing cabinets. Although they look like typical decorations, they are actually filled with information on the characters and locations of Marvel Universe.
- Curious about what goes on in an average day at the Daily Bugle? Check the loading dock schedule to see how many breaks the employees take daily.
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster is now one of the most popular attractions in Marvel Super Hero Island. However, the original concept was actually a Silver Surfer-themed thrill ride. Eventually, Universal creators realized that a giant chrome roller coaster that close to I-4 was probably not the best idea.
The Lost Continent
- Behind Mythos Restaurant, there is a bridge with a mythical creature living under it. If you cross the bridge while the troll is home, you may hear it grumbling beneath you.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- At Hog’s Head Pub, you’ll find the shrunken heads from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The unique props are hanging on the bar, located right near the Three Broomsticks.
- While waiting in line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you’ll see moving portraits of the founders of Hogwarts. Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Helga Hufflepuff are all present on the walls. Take a closer look at the portraits, you’ll see each one holding the object that Voldemort stole for his Horcruxes.
For more history, check out these little known Universal Orlando facts. Be on the look out for these park tips and secrets the next time you visit!