I had the pleasure of escorting an old friend from California through the Universal parks this weekend, and I must say, that it was a neat experience over going to the park with "seasoned" theme park visitors, as it made me see the parks with new eyes, and made me realize that every guide book to Islands of Adventure written pre Wizarding World of Harry Potter should be immediately discarded.
Before I get to the photos, a brief history:
I first visited Islands of Adventure in 2004, it was late January shortly after I had begun my College Program at WDW. It was the beginning of a love affair with that park. Since the Park opened in 1999 there had only been 3 attractions open, Flying Unicorn, Storm Force Acceleration, High in the Sky Seuss Trolly Train Ride, all of which should have opened when the park opened, but didn't for various reason.
So the guide to Islands of Adventure was "get to the park, and go counter clockwise, because most people go straight to the Hulk..."
The this past Holiday season, with the constant closing of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Islands of Adventure hitting capacity for the first time since the park opened in 1999, I began to think that the way people "plan" their trips really needs to be rethought. (please read my guide here http://micechat.com/forums/universal...ry-potter.html )
So knowing my friends main priority was to experience the WWoHP I decided to follow my own grrreat advice lol
So we got to Islands of Adventure at 8:30 am, ready for a 9:00 am opening.
I have only seen crowds like this at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland before park opening! I have been at IOA park opening numerous times in years past, and there were only probably 20, 30 people in the past, now days, the ticket lines were full, the lines to get in went past the ticket area.
We then head straight back to the WWoHP with the rest of the crowds. So first thing we did, was get Butter Beer... Pure Harry Potter Magic.
The line for Olivandra's was already an hour long by the time we got back there.
Continuous entertainment at WWoHP
I have to share this pic, Mr. Awesome (KingEric's wink, wink) looks like he is trying to escape Jurassic Park by climbing out of the raft... I almos died laughing. I am in the red.
So after being in the parks from open to close, I think I am going to write a new guide in the future on how to navigate Islands of Adventure.
My two friends who I brought at the end of the day only had glowing things to say about Islands of Adventure, but had some not so glowing things to say about Universal Studios.
Anyways I hope you enjoy my ranting lol