The results are in and the people have spoken. The question was simple: What is your favorite attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?
KUKA arm technology mixed with huge scenic sets and interspersed media make Forbidden Journey a truly amazing dark ride. This result should not surprise me at all, but I did not expect it to be a commanding victory. I think one could argue that this attraction also has one of the best, if not the best, queues in the industry. Everything about this attraction is well done, from it’s re-rideability to capacity to the iconic Hogwarts Castle it lives in. Is it my favorite attraction at IOA? No, but it is definitely a close second.
The Incredible Hulk Coaster – 61 votes
People like coasters, it’s a well-known trend in this industry. Being said, I am a bit surprised that Hulk beat out it’s fellow inverted friend in the back of the park. Hulk is iconic, the cobra roll over the water is an image I always used to associate with Orlando, but I just do not think it rides that well. I know that sentiment will cause people to give me sass, but it just is not nearly as smooth as I would like it to be, especially after it was retracked. It’s an intense, thrilling ride, but it just does not deliver in the smoothness department that we are used to with most B&M coasters. I would much prefer a back row ride on Dragon Challenge (red) to a ride on Hulk.
The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman – 38 votes
Out of all the outstanding attractions at Islands of Adventure, Spiderman gets my vote. Excellent media, excellent storyline, excellent effects, it really just has everything I could want in a media-based dark ride. I love the characters involved in the attraction and scaling the building never gets old. If you really let yourself be immersed in the attraction, being flung around in all directions in the final building scene is truly disorienting. I definitely give it the edge over Transformers and it seems like most of the readers agree, too, since Transformers only had 6 votes in our last poll.
Dragon Challenge – 33 votes
I considered splitting Dragon Challenge up into two entities, but decided everyone knows that the red side is better anyway, right? It is saddening to think this attraction may be on its way out the door, but that is just purely hearsay at this point. Dragon Challenge is a beastly B&M Invert that features plenty of intense inversions and near-miss instances. I wish this ride was still dueling, but people ruin everything and now it doesn’t. In fact, one of the main reasons I sometimes skip this ride is because of the ridiculous locker policy. This attraction has yet another impressive queue, but I rarely ever get to stop and look at it because the lines never really get too long for Dragon Challenge. This is definitely my favorite coaster at IOA and I’m glad it held its own in this poll.
Jurassic Park River Adventure – 25 votes
This was a surprising competitor to me. I enjoy this ride whenever I am in the mood to get soaked, but I didn’t think it would be in the running for a favorite attraction at IOA. I suppose it is a classic attraction at the park and Jurassic Park is a popular franchise. Regardless, this boat ride meanders through Jurassic Park before plunging riders 84 feet after a near miss interaction with a T-Rex. The 6.5-minute journey is a great way to cool off in the brutal summers here in Orlando.
I don’t think any of the results are incredibly surprising. I know Hulk is a fan-favorite among park-goers, but I am more of a Dragon Challenge guy, but to each their own. Honorable mention goes one of the best river raft rides out there in Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. It is extremely comical, yet totally expected, that Kong only had 4 votes. Take it from me, who tracked the construction of this ride for months, this ride was a big disappointment. Does anyone else have any thoughts or surprises in regards to the poll results? Thanks to everyone who voted! Stay tuned for another poll.