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…


banner-oat-new (00000002)




5 Marvel Characters I’d Like To See Feature At Theme Parks

Morning Thrill Seekers,

Ever since Disney got its huge wallet out and purchased Marvel, the1972359_10153924287435643_1118761610_n internet has been awash with thoughts on how Disney will use Marvels almost endless list of popular IP’s.

The major stumbling block of course is that Universal have the rights to quite a few of the major IP’s for use in Florida including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and Storm. Not surprisingly Disney would love these rights back… again not surprisingly Universal aren’t really keen to give them back. So what we’re left with is a bit of a Mexican standoff. Universal are unable to add or make any changes to their Marvel Super Hero Land at Islands of Adventure without permission from Marvel, who of course owned by Disney are really going to oblige and Disney can’t take full advantage of a niche area that, at the moment, is very popular.

However that doesn’t stop me from think about a few characters from Marvel’s library that I’d love to see brought to life and featured at an Orlando Theme Park.


Forget that terrible Daredevil film, this character is one of Marvels gems. Matt Murdock was Marvel’s very first blind superhero, using his heightened other senses, he looks after New Yorks, Hell’s Kitchen area.

As an attraction I’m thinking an indoor dark roller coaster would be best suited for the Man without Fear.


Again, forget the films… Ghost Rider when done properly is one of Marvel’s coolest anti-heros. A real Jekyll and Hyde character, the first Ghost Rider is a demon that inhabits Johnny Blaze (a stunt motorbike rider) and appears as a hell’s angel type biker but with a flaming skull for a head.

I’m imagining a ride similar to Stealth at Thorpe Park in the UK, a very fast 0-60 mph take off (like the Hulk) then a sharp rise simulating the a motorbike jumping over some cars. A fast, intense ride for the Demon Motorcyclist.

Ant Man

This character is not the best known in the Marvel Universe but he soon will be, as Marvel are planning to release a stand alone film telling his origins.

Ant Man is the story of brilliant Scientist Henry Pym, who finds a way to alter his size after discovering “Pym Particles”, he also has a helmet that lets him talk to ants (as you do). In the comic’s he is one of the founding members of the Avengers.

For me an Ant Man attraction is perfect for the wave of 3d rides we’ve been seeing. Telling the story of one of Pym’s adventures you could easily imagine the attraction giving you the sense of shrinking and growing…. plus riding on a flying ant.

Captain America

I’m surprised there isn’t a Captain America ride in Florida already. The most patriotic of all the Marvel Super Heroes, Captain America is hugely popular and recognisable not only that but he’s in films that actually don’t suck, which is a massive advantage he has over Daredevil and Ghost Rider.

I see the Captain America ride as something for the kids, perhaps just a very simply waltzer style ride where riders sit in or on a larger version of Captain America’s shield.


A massive part of the Avengers film and two of his own, Thor is very popular, based on the Norse God of Thunder he lends himself perfectly to a high speed coaster.

There we have it, 5  Marvel Characters I’d like to see given attractions and amazingly I didn’t even include Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, I can see Rocket Racoon selling merchandise by the millions!

Are there any Marvel Characters I’ve missed off that you’d like to see given the Disney theme park treatment?

Smiles included…



7th February – Last chance to catch ‘old’ Spider-Man ride

For all you old school’ers out there that still get dizzy on the nostalgia when you think about that awesome time when you rode The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universals Island’s of Adventure, I have some sad news…it’s closing! But dont panic, no need to do anything silly…relax…it will be opening up again in March! and the good news is it will be even more awesome – Hurrah!

According to Universal, Tuesday the 7th of February will be the last day of the current edition of the ride which has been thrilling visitors to Marvels Super Hero Island since 1999.

The new version of the ride will of course maintain its original story line where Spidey battles with a variety of super-villains, however its the technology that is getting a re-boot. The new version will add fresh details right down to the threads of Spidey’s costume to greatly enhance the visual experience. Plus the new version will also feature a cameo from Marvel comics legend and Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.

Among the incoming additions are a new projection system, 4K digital high-def animated picture, new optical glass 3-D glasses and improved lighting.

Some work to the real-life sets that the ride travels through and the queue also will be updated or enhanced, Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, said last week.

“Because it’s a very seamless experience between the film and the surrounding sets, a lot of the surrounding sets had to be redone in order to match the new light qualities of the picture,” he said.

So, Spider-Man fans there is no need to freak out…its all going to be OK! in fact its going to be more than OK, its going to be better with even more Spideyness! Oh and before you say anything…I know,  ‘Spideyness’ isn’t really a word 🙂

For more details of other updates at Universal see our recent post: Universal Updates for 2012

For those of you lucky enough to be travelling when the upgrade has been opened please get in touch and let us know what you thought!