Islands of Adventure has some great water-themed rides. They offer plenty of thrills but they pose some problems for the unprepared. Kids probably won’t care, but adults can get positively cranky when wandering around sopping wet.
The three water rides, in increasing order of wetness, are Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, and the absolutely soaking Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. Fortunately, these three wonderful rides are within a short distance of each other, allowing you to implement the following strategy:
First, dress appropriately. Wear a bathing suit and t-shirt under a dressier outer layer. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet; sports sandals are ideal. Bring a tote bag in which you can put things, like cameras, that shouldn’t get wet. You can also pack a towel, and it might be a good idea to bring the plastic laundry bag from your hotel room.
Plan to do the rides in sequence. When you’re ready to start, peel off the outer layer, put it in the tote bag along with your other belongings, and stash everything in a convenient locker. You can use the all-day lockers in Port of Entry, but a more convenient choice is the bank of small lockers at the entrance to the Jurassic Park River Adventure. These lockers cost $2 an hour. The all-day lockers are more spacious but will cost you $8. You decide.
Once you’ve completed the circuit of rides, you will be very, very wet, especially if you have gone on some of the rides more than once. You now have a choice: If it’s a hot summer day, you may want to let your clothes dry as you see the rest of the park. Don’t worry about feeling foolish; you’ll see plenty of other folks in the same boat, and your damp clothes will feel just great in the Florida heat. In cooler weather, it’s a good idea to return to the locker, grab your stuff, head to a nearby restroom, and change into dry clothes. Use the plastic laundry bag for the wet stuff.
Another option is the "Haystack" full-body dryers outside Bilge-Rat Barges and Ripsaw Falls. A family of four can fit inside the big outhouse-like closets and be blasted with hot air for $5. Expect to get warm, not dry.
The alternative is to buy an Islands of Adventure rain poncho (they make nice souvenirs and are usually available at most shops) and hope for the best. This is far less fun and you’ll probably get pretty wet anyway.
Height Restrictions and Other Warnings
Due to a variety of considerations, usually revolving around sudden movements and the configuration of lap restraints, a few rides will be off-limits to shorter (typically younger) guests. Here is a list of rides that have minimum height requirements:
- High in Sky Seuss Ride 34 in. (86.4 cm.)
Flight of the Hippogriff 36 in. (91.4 cm.)
Pteranodon Flyers 36 in. (91.4 cm.)
Spider-Man 40 in. (101.6 cm.)
Jurassic Park River Adventure 42 in. (106.7 cm.)
Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges 42 in. (106.7 cm.)
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls 44 in. (111.8 cm.)
Forbidden Journey 48 in. (121.9 cm)
Doctor Doom’s Fearfall 52 in. (131.1 cm.)
Incredible Hulk & Dragon Challenge 54 in. (137.2 cm.)
The rides in Seuss Landing require that children under 48 inches tall be accompanied by an adult.
Another problem may be encountered by taller and heavier guests. Forbidden Journey, the roller coasters, and Doctor Doom's Fearfall employ state-of-the-art harness-like contraptions to make sure that you don’t go flying off into space. Unfortunately, not everyone fits into them. Anyone with a chest measurement over 50 inches may have difficulty fitting into the harness and at 54 inches (137.2 cm.) you can pretty much forget about it. Height is less of a problem (they say basketball players have ridden) but some extremely tall individuals may also be out of luck. The rides in question provide a sample seat outside so you can check to see if you’ll fit. These, by the way, also offer great photo ops.
Mythos and Confisco Grille both accept priority seating reservations. During busier periods you may spot a small kiosk in Port of Entry where you can make reservations. If you’re really planning ahead, the central reservations number is (407) 224-9255. They will take reservations up to 30 days in advance.
To help shrink long lines, some rides open single rider lines when things get busy. You will find single rider lines at Incredible Hulk, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Spider-Man, Ripsaw Falls, Bilge Rat Barges, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Forbidden Journey. Operation of single rider lines is solely at the discretion of the lead ride attendant, so don’t count on this time-saving ploy.
The map in the 2-Park Map has a special symbol for restaurants serving vegetarian meals. Confisco’s and Mythos can provide kosher meals with 48 hours advance notice. Call Food Services at (407) 363-8340 to make arrangements. These restaurants may also be able to accommodate other special dietary needs, such as low-carb regimens. Call the reservations number above a few days ahead to discuss your needs.
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