Nine times out of ten, we visit the parks during the afternoon, since during the morning we are very busy doing other important things, but every once in a while we get the opportunity of visiting some parks during the early morning, just after the parks open to the public. Needless to say, it is really beautiful to see the parks under a different light (literally... the sun is in a different position during the morning), and it is always much quieter, as the crowds begin to build up after 11 a.m.

Today, we are going to check out Islands of Adventure, to take a general tour of the park, and see if we can also find something new to talk about:



A refurbished "Islands of Adventure" banner has been installed on the "height totem":


You can really tell that it is new:


The Express Plus cart is out only during the morning:


...and, also the main gate is open during the early morning hours:


"Let the Memori... ehm, the Adventure Begin!":


A look around the beautiful Port of Entry:




"The Last Chance Fruit Stand":


Some walk-around characters:



The wait times:




It's great to see that they didn't get rid of the Modern Mystics (see a video HERE):


The lagoon:


A look at an empty Seuss Landing:




There's nobody here:






Never noticed this:




Now, let's go to the Lost Continent:


Mythos:


It's moldy, but it still works:


Poseidon's Fury, on the other hand, had many special effects turned off, including the great water vortex effect. Very disappointing





The huge scale is gone from the Lost Continent:


In front of the entrance to the new area, they've installed some new umbrellas:



Some road expansion work is being done near the entrance to Jurassic Park:







A look at the Watering Hole:





Nice, little details like this sometimes go unnoticed:





Triceratops Discovery Trail... closed:











Pizza Predattoria was open:



Nobody...





An empty Jurassic Park:




Dudley Do-Right:





Popeye's Village:







...And, we conclude with a view of the Hulk:







Thank you very much for viewing, and have a great day!

31 Comment(s):

Robin said...

As much as I love your updates on the Universal parks I find it as much ridiculous that you avoid the Wizarding World. Would you have done the same if the new area was devoted to a complete different franchise? I'm not asking to include it in every IOA-update but one time would be nice. Come on?

Anonymous said...

Considering that the park barely had any people, did you guys have a chance to visit some of the attractions?

Anonymous said...

It's so very strange not to even mention the name of the " New area". Your omission brings attention to it anyway. If the issue is magic/creatures etc it makes no sense. Lost Continent has wizards, bio-engineering at JP, magical mystical creatures & themes & villains in Disney and Universal. Villains that do dark magic too. You really drag your service down a notch.

Anonymous said...

I think, considering the topics quite happily covered within this update, that we can safely assume that it is not an issue with mythical creatures...

Thanks for the great update! I love the WWoHP, but to be honest, there's only so many pictures of an absolutely packed out Hogsmeade that I can stomach anyway! Keep doing what you're doing :)

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that your excuse for never showing any pics of the WWOHP is because there just isn't anything new there, yet we get tons of pictures of the rest of the park which is the same as it's been since it opened in 1999. Just admit that you don't like Harry Potter for whatever odd reason you have...

Ky said...

Great Update! It seems nice to see the park without people in it sometimes. I'm guessing you had time to ride some rides while you were there!
I have a question, What kind of camera do you use to take your photos? They seem to always be crystal clear!

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me you're one of those fundamentalist nutjobs that burns Harry Potter books...

Anonymous said...

I think that if some of you aren't fans of the content of these updates, then you may need to reconsider whether or not to view them at all. The owner of this site does a good job of giving us updates from the various Orlando parks. If you want to see WWoHP photos, there are literally thousands all over the internet that are easy to find.

That being said, I did have a question. Though you didn't actually enter the HP area, did it appear to be extremely crowded? The last few times I was there you could barely walk through the island at all...

First of all, we want to thank everyone that enjoys our updates. We put a lot of effort when putting them together, so it is nice to know that there are people who enjoy them.

To all those who are talking about the "Wizarding World," I just want to add that me and the rest of the staff don't think that it is necessary to cover it. It is getting already too much attention from many other sites, so there's no need for us to cover it.

Most importantly, it's a personal thing. That area represents magic, monsters, and many other "dark" creatures that in our opinion are NOT positive. It would be like advertising the bad, in our opinion. That's also why you will also never see a picture of the Haunted Mansion or Halloween events.

As we said before, though, we do cover the 99% of the new additions of ALL the Orlando theme parks, and we spend hours and hours EACH AND EVERY DAY. And we are not payed to do so.
We just do it to let people see what's happening in the parks and be prepared on what to expect on their next visit, and we also do this because we enjoy it and we love the parks, so we want to share everything we see with other fans.
I hope that you will understand that.

Anyway, thanks to all our loyal readers!!

Anonymous said...

We understand that and thank you for these great updates--which are great, by the by--but regardless of whatever personal allegations you may have against the section, you still should cover it. It's an unprofessional move if you don't.

Those areas you mentioned are not "dark". They are made for all ages and they, contrary to your opinion, ARE positive.

I will continue to view your updates frequently because, like I said, they are great, but you should most definitely get over any personal reasons for not covering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Please know that this isn't at all against you or your beliefs, but you should get over them during your updates for the sake of equality.

Andre D. said...

I would like to add my two cents.

1) I greatly appreciate the updates. I live in Texas and obviously do get to visit IOA and USF as much as you guys do. However i do visit every year. And these updates help keep me posted.

2) As i do love Harry Potter, I support you decision to not post the new area. After visiting the area for the first time this year, i found it rather boring and overrated very quickly.

3) TO THE READERS: It's time you guys you have more tolerance and respect for people's beliefs and disbelief's. The creators of this site do great coverage of what's going on at the parks. And they do it for FREE. As much as you guys give them grief about not posted updates about the "New Area", they ignore it and still provide updates. Please be proud that a group of people are providing near-to-live updates about things we look forward to are concerned about around the Orlando parks, during their free time and free of charge. After all they could shut the site and go on with their lives leaving us all update-less and out of the loop.

4) It's not unprofessional for someone to stick to their beliefs and not follow through with something. If that were the case, Chik-fil-a would be open on sundays.

5)It's also disrespectful for someone to tell another group or individual to bypass or get over their beliefs for their self gain or entertainment. Come On guys were is the tolerance, the respect, and boundries.

Just saying. Keep the great updates coming! :)

Andre D. said...

Oh and sorry for the typos. Typing on the phone and phone has been acting up. :)

Grant said...

I agree with the anonymous above.

Like others, I appreciate all your hard work and love the updates but I do disagree with your opinion on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I don't think the area represents "dark" creatures. While the series includes "dark" creatures, it in no way focuses on them.

Most of all its a shame that we can't view your top-notch, extremely detailed reports on that area. You say that other sites are already reporting on it, so therefore there is no need for you to cover it, but all of your readers want YOU to cover because of how much better your reports are than others. I hope you can get over whatever you have against the area.

Not to mention, by covering a popular area like the WWOHP you would gain a lot more readers.

Jordan said...

Another great update as always.
I see this one in particular has gathered many more comments than usual due to it's blatant lack of WWoHP, especially during such a quiet period.

It is nice to finally have a reason for this, and if that is your belief then that is fine by me, although it is such as shame to not have updates on that area (which does contain my favourite attraction).


Regardless, thank you once again for your hard work.

Bigfoots said...

Ehm... talking about "Some road expansion work is being done near the entrance to Jurassic Park"... do you know if it's connected to a new attraction or do you know why they building this road????

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to be offensive, but I do find it interesting that you covered WWoHP during its construction to completion, however will not showcase it now that it is open. I also find it disappointing that you don't showcase one of the greatest theme park attractions of all time(The Haunted Mansion). As for you reason behind not wanting to give an update on WWoHP, I'm assuming then that you'd have to cancel basically all of your Disney updates as well because Disney is all about "Magic"(they're even so bold as to have a park named "Magic" Kingdom).

Anonymous said...

This really makes no sense. So bad guy in Posiedon isn't dark? Spidey villains? The Mummy? Men in Black? Disney villains? Twilight zone? There is an equity of dark things across the themes & parks, with emphasis on magic defeating & vanquishing it (Mickey?). Pirates has animated dead skeletons & abusive pirates! I'm all for beliefs and advocating this, but when it makes no sense due to inconsistency in your message...?! There would be no good or magic without the dark in these themes.

I will still read the updates daily, but think the omission of even the name of the area to be laughable. I think it would enrich your site. If the beliefs were consistent then we would have no updates of most of the areas.

I'm sorry to hear all this disappointment. I thought we were doing a good job trying to cover all the parks in Orlando, but all these comments are making me seriously doubt so...

Some of you said that all the parks contain somewhat similar "magic" themes. Unfortunately, for us it's not the same. There's a difference between Mickey Mouse trying to defeat Captain Hook or other Disney Villains and the extremely vicious enemies of HP. All the other areas inside IOA are all very different.
It is just a question of conscience. We see Harry Potter's theme as too impregnated with magic (and I'm sure you will agree that magic is THE CENTRAL FOCUS of the series).

Like Grant said, I'm sure that "by covering a popular area like the WWOHP [we] would gain a lot more readers," so why would we avoid taking pictures of it, if we didn't have strong beliefs about it?

Anyway, this made us think a bit. Most updates have just a few people commenting about the positive aspects of them. When it comes about saying negative things, we're flooded with comments. It would be nice to have an equilibrium. We hope you all will continue enjoy our updates. We'll continue to post them daily, as we've done in the past year and a half, unless we will be forced to close the site altogether.

Anonymous said...

I think people are just trying to understand your thoughts to be honest. I wouldn't be too disappointed. I'd rather you had HP updates but I won't stop coming to the site if not. I just think with enemies like Jafar & Ursula, and Hades and Snow White queen; they are all trying to kill for power and all use magic to do so. Although HP appears to have magic as the theme, the story is essentially about love & friendship and how these are the things that defeat bad guys. I'm sure you have your reasons but the reason for these comments is their inconsistency across themes.

Having said that, I do love your updates. It's a shame you don't cover HP (for me) and would wish a site with Orlando updates would be objective rather than subjective. Keep up the good work :o)

Anonymous said...

Even though I do not agree with your views, I respect them. See, it's not so much what you don't cover as what you DO cover. If some people don't like all the updates about small changes happening around the park, why even visit this website? I think you're doing a fantastic job doing what you're doing and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. True, the Haunted Mansion is my favourite ride ever. But you know what? Ce la vie. If you don't do updates on it or Harry Potter, it's a-ok. I just hope you keep on putting out the awesome work you do! And to all the nay-sayers: what's up with you now? You didn't have a problem with it before, why now? Seriously, you need to cool it. It's a theme parks blog, not a philosophical forum.

Julian said...

I have been visiting this site for over a year, and every update keeps me going until we can go back to the States next summer (I live in England).

For those of you that want HP updates, then as mentioned there are literally loads of updates across the web. Google it - it takes seconds! Just because the owners of this site choose not to cover it is not a reason to suggest the rest of the site is lacking.

Guys - keep it up! Your work is really appreciated!

Thank you very much for the support, Julian, Anonymous, and all our readers! We really appreciate that!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could apparate to Islands of Adventure and grab myself a Butterbeer right now...

Anonymous said...

Are they sure they want to do road expansion near the Forbidden Forest? There's bount to be acromantula in there!

Anonymous said...

"dark" creatures . . . You're kidding right? Anyone up for throwing rocks at the moon tonight?

ercfrechel said...

Ok, aside from all the negativity and all the stupidity of everyone arguing about whether or not it's ridiculous for them not to post about HP (even though it's their personal belief), how do you (the admin) get to the park and it be empty like that? Do you arrive as soon as it opens or was it like this the entire day?

Thanks!

This blog is great. I don't care that Harry Potter is not covered. It is your choice and I respect it.

I learn so much visiting the site everyday and I am a little jealous that you get to visits the parks so often.

Jonathan
Royal Sun Villa

Well, the positive way to look at all the negative comments is that your blog readership is growing fast!

You now have trolls on your blog arguing over random details!

Congrats :-)
Jonathan
Royal Sun Villa

@ercfrechel: Thanks for the question. It was very nice to be strolling around the park with very few people. We actually got there at about 9:30 a.m., and the park had been open since 8:00 a.m. Of course, after a few hours, the park got much more crowded. if you want to experience it with less crowds, early mornings are always the best!

@John: Thank you very much for your support! I too believe that it is exaggerated to get mad on such a thing. It's a personal choice, as I said many times. Anyway, we hope our readers will continue to enjoy our updates.

Dawn said...

I love your photo updates. It's a little mini vacation for me. The format is great and I appreciate each and every update. Please keep up the good work.

Savo said...

I do like the way you do all the Orlando parks but you also do the other attractions round the Orlando area. I be there myself in 3 weeks time for 2 weeks. I agree with the site owners with WWoHP. The area still new and there be nothing new to report about the area but the rest of the park is getting updated and painted.

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