Top Secrets at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We poked our noses in at Universal Studios yesterday so now it’s time to pop next door and nose a little bit more.

We’ll start off in Marvel Super Hero Island where there are red phones dotted around that you can pick up and listen to various options on how to report different crimes.

All the buildings have been designed with all of the Marvel characters. The artist Adam Kubert has secretly signed his first name into each painting with the exception of Storm from X-Men.


Some of the Marvel characters ride into the park on quad bikes at the top of the hour but quickly disperse to get ready for their character meet and greets.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster has lots of games to keep you entertained throughout the queue on a busy day but don’t forget to listen out for the roar as you shoot out of the slingshot launch tunnel!

Doctor Dooms Fearfall has prints of his victims, the Fantastic Four, on the floor! There’s also a little cubby hole underneath the Osborn Industries sign. If you stand there and listen carefully, you will hear two thugs planning their next stunt!


Just across the road at Captain America’s Diner, you will see Thor’s hammer stuck in the glass and if you head inside, Thor will be over the other side, mid-throw.

Time for some Jurassic Park now and if you look carefully just outside the exit of Jurassic Park River Adventure, on the shelf there is a Barbosol shaving cream tin which represents the tin that contains the dino embryos in the film.

We’re gonna jump across back to by the entrance now into Seuss Landing where it all looks a bit different and crazier than the rest of the park! There are no straight lines and all of the buildings are unorthodox.

As you enter into the area, you will see McElligot’s Pool on the right hand side. One of the fish in the pool is special and if you toss a coin into it’s mouth, you’ll see what happens next..

“Young man, young man, you’re sort of a fool. You’ll never catch fish in McElligot’s pool”


Moving swiftly over the The Lost Continent, you will find a mystic fountain which you can talk to. He will tell you jokes and riddles, but you won’t want to get the riddles wrong…!

Let’s go over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter now but this time we’re in Hogsmeade! Ladies, if you’re wanting a toilet break, now is the time to go. If you listen carefully you will be able to hear Moaning Myrtle!

Olivander’s is the place to be if you want to become a wizard with your very own wand and if you’re lucky, the wand may even choose you! You can then head off to some of the spell locations dotted around the area and cast some of your own spells!


Just outside of Olivander’s is the Owl Post station where you can post a letter of your own to anywhere in the world with the official Hogsmeade stamp before heading back to Diagon Alley on the Hogwart’s Express. Don’t forget, the journey is a completely different experience this way!

So there we have it, some of Universal Islands of Adventure’s secrets. What else have you found on your travels?

Smiles Included…


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What Could Universal Add From Jurassic World?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Like any good boy I did my homework this weekend… Nerd you’re all thinking… and you’re probably right however my homework this weekend was to go and watch Universal Pictures massive blockbuster, Jurassic World! I know right, hard life…

Anyway, this post isn’t a critique of the film which is awesome by the way, but more about what Universal Islands of Adventure can take from the movie and incorporate into their own Jurassic Park.

jurassic park 4

To be fair its based on a theme park so some of the ideas can be lifted directly from the film itself but lets run through a few of them anyway… oh and as a side note, there may well be SPOILERS…

Thrill Ride

Yep I’m starting big. One of the more exhilarating chase scenes in the film sees our heroes trying to out run a Dinosaur while inside a 2 seater giro ball… Sounds mental but it could easily be incorporated into a roller coaster with a large drop at the end.


Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens is extremely popular, imagine how popular  a Jurassic World safari could be. Riding around in a large open jeep, animatronic or even 4D imagery used to make the Dinosaurs interactive! Perhaps even add an exciting twist?

You wouldn’t even have to use a ton of real space if you based it on the same system as Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts…



Yep holograms, in Jurassic World they use Dinosaur holograms as part of a discovery centre. I think this would be a great way to learn about Dinosaurs while at the same time having fun.


The stars of the show really and they have been for quite a while. No idea how you’d crowbar them in but you’ve got to. They are easily the most interesting thing in the movie. For me I’d want a Velociraptor ride, something fast, actually something similar to Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens. Something low down on the ground to start but with plenty of launches to give you that feeling of speed…

I’m sure I’ve missed out some obvious ones, but those are the 4 that sprang to mind. This weekend I’m off to see the new Minions movie perhaps I’ll think of some more ways to add Minions into Universal theme parks?

Smiles included…




Is The Future Of Universal Jurassic!?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

If Universal bosses were sat around a massive table twiddling their thumbs and trying to think up what to invest in next than perhaps this weekends box office takings might well be a major clue.


Jurassic World, the fourth film in the franchise took a breathtaking $511 million Worldwide at the weekend making it the largest grossing opening ever. The film was considered a sure fire hit even before the figures emerged mainly due to its trusted formula of Dinosaurs and a popular leading man (Chris Pratt) however I’m sure even Universal were amazed at the level of business Jurassic World has current done.

In my mind I see those same thumb twiddling exec’s reading the turnout and revenue figures and shouting something similar too;

Forget Harry Potter!!! Forget Volcano Bay…!!! Build me more dinosaurs stuff

Even before the new movie hit screens rumours were circulating that perhaps Universal were considering updating their Jurassic Park Land found at Islands of Adventure. I would think its now highly likely that this will happen.


The main attraction at the Jurassic Park section is the River Adventure which is still a great ride but I don’t think there’s any argument that it could do with being refreshed. When it initially opened it was the height of technology but obviously things have moved on.

Perhaps Universal weren’t sure if Jurassic Park had run its course and therefore had placed it lower down in importance but with the weekend results I’d imagine it’s very much in the forefront of their minds.

Superheros are very much in vogue at the moment but even though Islands of Adventure has its own Marvel Land they’re pretty limited to what they can actually do especially considering their major competitor owns the IP. Harry Potter is part of this generation’s childhood but again Universal don’t own the IP and the amount of hoops they have to jump through to make sure the vision of the Wizarding World stays true is unbelievable. So  investing in Jurassic Park where Universal own the rights seems like a no brainer…

It’s a pretty safe bet to say we’ll see at least 1 additional Jurassic World movie… lets see if Universal announce some Jurassic park news in the near future.

Smiles included…



Islands Of Adventure Add’s Raptor Encounter To Jurassic Land

Hey Thrill Seekers,

You’d be forgiven for missing this one, what with the announcement of the imminent arrival of King Kong and Universal’s new deal with Nintendo but over the weekend something new has inhabited Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Velociraptors have arrived, you’ll get the chance to take the ultimate selfie and see these magnificent creatures face to face in an all-new experience Universal are calling; Raptor Encounter.

raptor encounter

The encounter is located between Camp Jurassic and the Jurassic Park Discovery Center.

Your experience begins when you approach a paddock where the raptor will be contained. You’ll learn some cool facts about the dino that you may not have known…

Did you know? that an adult Velociraptor can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour in the open!

Then, if you’re brave enough, you can approach the nearly 9- foot- tall wild raptor for a photo.  But be sure to keep your hands and feet away… you wouldn’t want to end up being its dinner!

From jsut this weekends visit we have already seen how popular Raptor Encounter is especially with the brave children, take a look at this video, I’m pretty sure you see more adults jumping than under 12’s! 🙂

Smiles included…



Could Universal Orlando Be Set To Re-Energise Jurassic Park

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Universal Studio’s are on a bit of a roll at the moment, the Wizardingjurassic park 4 World of Harry Potter has been a huge success and rumours about its expansion have Muggles everywhere scouring the internet for information, (we get our info from here – wizarding) they have already announced that their popular Transformers 3D ride will be opening in Orlando this year and speculation has them in talks to purchase the rights for a Middle Earth Land but could an existing section of Islands of Adventure be their secret jewel.

On my last visit to the Islands of Adventure I commented to a colleague that I thought Jurassic Park was on its last legs and would inevitably be replaced with an extension to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, in my opinion the Land had begun to look a little old when compared to its neighbour (WWHOP) and with the movie franchise all but a distant memory perhaps time had caught up on it…

However…. I came across a BBC article confirming that Jurassic Park 4 was in the works and is set to be released on the 13th June 2014! I remember watching the original and being amazed at the effects and that was over 10 years ago, imagine what they could do now! Obviously it will be in 3D.

As Universal own the rights to Jurassic Park (unlike Marvel and Harry Potter) it would make sense to relaunch this part of the park with new rides and new technology; remember the 3 Jurassic Park films grossed well over a Billion Dollars Worldwide making it one of the most successful trilogy’s of all time… there is definitely money to be made…

What do you think?



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