This article is your complete guide to Universal Studios vs Islands of adventure! Universal Orlando Resort is one of the biggest resorts in Florida, and one of the most popular. Its north campus is roughly 735 acres while the south district is around 750 acres. The Resort is made up of the theme parks and surrounding hotels. However, there are 2 parks at Universal Studios Resort that attract the biggest amount of crowds. These different parks in the Universal Studios Orlando Resort are Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. If you only have a limited time to visit the parks, it may seem difficult to choose Universal Studios Florida vs Universal’s Islands of Adventure 2023.
We hope you find this post helpful. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time and money on your next Universal Orlando vacation. This includes access to the cheapest Universal Orlando tickets, as well as FREE park plans to save up to three hours in the parks!
So if you’re ready to read about the benefits of Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure read on!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you need help picking the best time to visit Universal Orlando for your next vacation be sure to check out our Universal crowd calendar!
Let’s start with the most common question we receive on this topic and that is, is Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure better? As a general rule of thumb, we would say that Islands of Adventure is better for thrill rides and Universal Studios Florida is better for shows and entertainment. With that said both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have one of the lands which make up The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and do both offer Early Park Admission separately through out the year. So in this article we will help you come up with a game plan when deciding if Universal Studios Vs Islands of Adventure is better and also which park should you try to visit with our early park admission!
Islands of Adventure is the bigger park with it covering 110 acres compared to Universal Studios Florida which covers 108 acres. We would say it’s more important to focus on the amount of rides, shows, and entertainment offerings in each park as they are almost identical in size.
Related Page: Harry Potter Early Park Admission
The main difference between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure 2023 is the different concepts. Universal Studios is based on TV shows and movies, and is known as the theme parks where guests “ride the movies.” Islands of Adventure, on the other hand, is where the fantasy and thrill rides mainly are. So when debating on Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure, you may want to think about the difference between universal parks and which theme sparks a bigger interest to you and the group.
Related Page: How the Universal Express Pass Works
Let’s take a look at another important question which is, does Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios have more rides 2023? And, Islands of Adventure does have more rides than Universal Studios. Islands of Adventure has 19 rides vs Universal Studios 13 rides. It is important to know that although Islands of Adventure has slightly more rides than shows, Universal Studios Florida does have more shows than rides. If you are contemplating Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios for adults, then you would consider Islands of Adventure more. However, if you want fun for the whole family, Universal Studios is perfect for slightly more shows and kid-friendly attractions (especially for those under 5 years-old).
When breaking down Universal vs Islands of Adventure rides 2023, here are some of their most popular ones to give you a feel of what to expect when visiting:
We believe the real cut winner when considering if Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Orlando is better for thrill rides is Islands of Adventure. It has the most Universal Orlando roller coasters between the two parks with some of the most popular attractions in all of Orlando including the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Islands of Adventure is also home to the very popular Marvel ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
This is another one of the most popular questions we receive, and as a general rule of thumb, we always pick Islands of Adventure when trying to figure out if you should visit Hogsmeade vs Diagon Alley. One of the main reasons is that Islands of Adventure has more Harry Potter rides than Universal Studios Florida. So for this reason alone we simply feel like it is the better park if you are choosing between the two. You must also take into consideration that Islands of Adventure has the most popular Harry Potter ride as well which is Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
We finally start to lean towards Universal Studios over Islands of Adventure when it comes to classic Universal rides. The main reason here is that Universal Studios Florida is home to the only remaining original Universal Studios ride within E.T., as well as many classics such as Men in Black and the very popular Mummy. We would also say that even though the Simpsons is one of the newer rides at Universal Studios Florida the brand has been around for a very long time and guests can still enjoy that nostalgic feeling when walking through the theme park.
Are you looking at the ride list above and having a hard time deciding between the two parks? Well, luckily it is totally possible to visit Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios and get a ton done. We find that one of the easiest ways to pick the best time to visit Universal is to compare the cheapest Universal Orlando ticket prices. The cheaper the tickets the more likely it is that the parks won’t be as crowded during that time of year.
Related Page: Universal Early Park Admission
Did you know that Universal offers EARLY PARK ADMISSION to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure? Yep, that’s right you will get into either Universal or Islands of Adventure one hour before regular park guests. But which one is better to use for Early Park Admission? When trying to decide between Islands of Adventure Vs Universal Studios 2023 for early park admission we are going to look at which park will help you save the most time later on in the day. Because that’s the whole point of using the Universal Early Park Admission anyway!
Overall we would always lean towards Islands of Adventure for early park admission. The main reason is this park is home to the newest Universal ride the VelociCoaster. As you can imagine this ride can have one of the longest wait times in the parks throughout the day. So we just find it to be such a time saver when trying to get on all of the rides at Universal or Islands of Adventure.
As a general rule of thumb, we would always lean towards Islands of Adventure in the morning especially if you are taking advantage of early park admission. The main reason being that Islands of Adventure has some of the most popular rides which tend to have higher wait times later in the day. By arriving early and going to Islands of Adventure first you can get some of those rides out of the way early. We also always suggest coming up with a ride priority list as that will really help you pick which Universal Orlando theme park you should visit first based on your goals.
Special Note: Be sure to check out our Universal Orlando ticket page for all of the latest deals and promotions!
Are you trying to decide if you should visit Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida based on price? Luckily for you, this should be an easy one as ticket prices are identical between the two parks. Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios ticket prices both start right around $109.00 for a one day base ticket. Their two day passes are also sold to really give you access to both Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. So if you’re looking to visit Islands of Adventure two days in a row you can still simply shop for a Universal two day pass which starts at $106 per day, per person.
As you can see the pricing shouldn’t really make a difference when deciding between Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. We will however say you might want to consider the difference between the base tickets and the park-to-park tickets if you do decide that you simply need to visit both parks. This ticket can be extremely helpful especially when trying to visit Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure Orlando in one day.
Overall we do feel that the real winner is and will always be Universal Citywalk when trying to decide on the best places to eat. Although both parks do have some new and creative takes on theme park foods, we typically don’t make our decision solely based on the park restaurants like we might do at Disney. If we did have to pick a winner between who has the best food Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios 2023 we would go with Islands of Adventure. Mythos Restaurant has long been voted and is considered the best theme park restaurant in the world. While this theme park is also home to another sit-down restaurant the Confisco Grille.
We do want to give a shout-out to the food in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as we do believe the theming is cool and they have a great theme park take on classic British meals. Overall though they are both very similar and we wouldn’t make a decision to pick one specific park over the other.
This is another great question and we actually have an entire article dedicated to visiting Universal Orlando with kids. But which park is better for kids, Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure? Very simply, we do find Universal Studios Florida to be the better park to visit with young children. Although we know that Islands of Adventure has Seuss Landing, and some of the marvel character interactions. We feel that Universal Studios has more rides, shows, character interactions and special parades/events for kids throughout the year.
Universal Orlando is an amazing place for adults to enjoy some of Orlando’s most popular attractions. With the newest Universal Orlando ride the VelociCoaster there is so much to see and do between the both Universal Studios Vs Islands of Adventure. But which one is the best for your Universal Orlando adults trip? And we do find Islands of Adventure to be the best park for adults when deciding between the two. The main reason is Islands of Adventure has three of the best rides in all of Universal Orlando with the Incredible Hulk coaster, the VelociCoaster, and of course Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
If you are debating on Universal Studios vs Islands of Adventure for Harry Potter, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is actually located in both theme parks. This unique aspect has muggles and wizards traveling through both theme parks. Diagon Alley is located in Universal Studios Florida, and Hogsmeade is in Islands of Adventure. You can take the Hogwarts Express to get to each park (but yes, you need a ticket for both parks).
Both parks have such a wonderful quality to them, so when deciding on Universal vs. Islands of Adventure, it almost seems unfair to pick a favorite. If you have the time and affordability, we say go to one per day, this way you don’t have to choose between Universal or Islands of Adventure. However, if you only have a day, we recommend purchasing a park-to-park pass, allowing you to access both parks in a day, which is another great day to help ease the decision of Universal Orlando vs Islands of Adventure.
Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.
If you’re ready to plan your trip to Universal Studios, be sure to check out Universal Orlando Tickets! Not only will you save money vs buying direct, but all of our Universal Orlando tickets come with some amazing benefits which can help save you up to three hours in the parks!
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