Today we set off pretty early in the day to Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure. We successfully avoided the toll roads on the way and got to the park during the first hour of it being open. The crowds were already pretty intense and we waded through people just to get to Islands of Adventure, which is a 1/2-mile from the parking ramp. Here is a link to the map of the area:
Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure and surrounding area
Of course everyone's first destination was the Harry Potter area...but as we passed Poseidon's Fury and rounded into the Jurassic Park area...we could see the line just to get into the Hogsmeade's area...which was roughly 1/4-mile in length. We overheard one gentleman say that they were 7-hours from getting in!!! That was a bit discouraging at the time, though we couldn't have known his estimate was not at all accurate. There was a long line nonetheless, so we didn't get in it then, but moved on to enjoy the rest of the park.
My favorite areas were the Marvel Superheros area and Hogsmeade, which we did easily get into later in the day. The Marvel area had a great ride called The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man. It was 1/2 a ride, 1/2 a 3-D multimedia presentation...but excellent. In Hogsmeade we did the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride (also 1/2 ride, 1/2 multimedia) and the Dueling Dragons rollercoaster. Both of these were also excellent.
While in Hogsmeade we had to try the butterbeer and the pumpkin-juice. :-) It was pretty expensive, but was a nice part of the whole experience. And it made for a nice break to sit down and just rest. The whole Islands of Adventure park is a 1-mile loop, which was circled at least 5 times during the whole day. My feet hurt, needless to say. It was a fun day, but tiring...so I was glad to get back to the condo to shower and rest!
Link to all the pictures in today's photo album: