Shows : Universal Studios Florida: Islands of Adventure (Introduction)
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure is a theme park in Florida. It is an expansion added in 1999 to the original Universal Studios Florida. As at the time of writing (in 2012), the Islands of Adventure is approximately the same size as the original park, but actually contains many more rides than the original.
The "Islands of Adventure" actually consists of six separate areas: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Seuss Landing, and the most recent edition... The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. All of the areas have their own particular appeal, with the new Harry Potter area being absolutely superb.
In April 2012 we headed to Orlando for a family holiday, and I sampled nearly every ride across four Disney Parks, both Universal Studios parks, and Wet and Wild. By my count, that was well over a hundred different rides across seven different theme parks. With luck, that should be enough context to be able to review the Marvel Super Hero Island rides for you in some kind of context.
The four rides are: The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Storm Force Accelatron, Doctor Doom's Fearfall, and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. But before we examine the rides in detail, let's have a look at the other features of the "Marvel Super Hero Island".
The following three images are firstly, a map of the entire "Islands of Adventure" as at April 2012, also showing the information for the four rides. The tower in the second photo is actually next to the entrance and ticket stalls, outside the park proper. The third photo is the signpost at the start of the "Marvel" area, giving directions to all the rides, and also to the major services.
In the next five images, the first photo is a long view of the islands, taken from "Jurassic Park" on the opposite side of the lake. The second shot is the super-sized manhole cover that marks the beginning of the "Marvel" area. The next three are all of the main street in the Marvel area.
Now we proceed to the shops and general service buildings along the main street. Storm and Magneto struggle in perpetual combat over a genuine comic store which sells the more popular of the latest Marvel titles by the bucket load, as well as TPBs and a few books. Wolverine is the star on the general souvenir store.
There are two sit-down eating places in "Marvel Super Hero Island". The "Cafe 4" naturally features the Fantastic Four (specifically the Human Torch, and outside a giant Fantasticar where you can have your photo taken). The "Captain America Diner" at the other end of the main street features the Star-Spangled Avenger, along with Iron Man and Thor.
Similarly, the smaller facilities are identified by classic characters. Doctor Octopus is making a raid on the bank (which is to say, the ATM). Electro has the snack shop under control, and indeed the prices are truly shocking. Iceman is naturally to be found by the ice cream store, while the mental powers of M.O.D.O.K. can be subjugated to your will at the information booth. Finally, the Sub-Mariner is Prince of Atlantis, and also guardian of the sacred restrooms.
The remainder of the giant characters are purely cosmetic. The Hobgoblin can be found on the side of Oscorp Tower, adjacent to the Daily Bugle building which houses the Spider-Man ride. Across the street are the giant yellow crystals (note Rogue on the wall behind). In the building to the left of Rogue is the photography studio where you can have your picture taken with Spider-Man. The images of Professor X, Silver Surfer and Kingpin are all purely cosmetic.