Posted by: Sophie M. | 04/12/2011

Fear and…even more fear in Orlando: My diary – Day 3 (Part 1)

Day 3 of my Orlando holiday diary – today we meet Harry Potter, face the Incredible Hulk and take a river tour through Jurassic Park.

Port of Entry @ Islands of Adventure

We awoke to another gloriously sunny Orlando day the morning we were heading to Islands of Adventure. I’d ‘recovered’ from my experiences in Disney’s Hollywood Studios the previous day, the only souvenirs being my on-ride photo and a sore throat from my excessive screaming.

We were all looking forward to visiting our second theme park, Islands of Adventure, but my friend Lorraine and I were most excited to visit the recently opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Having read the books and watched the films we were looking forward to stepping into a world we felt we had known for many years; there was a little bit of Hermione in both of us!

While researching our trip to Orlando, I had only heard of Islands of Adventure in relation to Harry Potter – we called the park ‘Harry Potter Land’. The parks that make up Walt Disney World and the Universal Studios park are well-known, but it seems that in the UK, Islands of Adventure has only grown in presence as a result of the opening of the new ‘island’ – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Reading guide books and looking on the Universal Orlando Resort website my excitement grew about our day there, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to become my favourite park.

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

We arrived early and headed straight to Marvel Super Hero Island, turning left at the end of the Port of Entry. The skyline here was dominated by the Incredible Hulk Coaster, a name that perfectly summed up not only the rides theme but the appearance of the ride; it was an incredible hulk of a coaster! I watched in horror as the roaring green beast launched out of the Gamma Tube into a zero-g roll, plunged down a 105 ft drop straight up into one of the worlds highest cobra rolls before diving underneath the bridge that leads into Marvel Super Hero Island.

Manhole in Marvel Super Hero Island

I knew there and then that I would never go on the coaster and I was horrified by the prospect of my friends trying to get me to ride it. The Incredible Hulk coaster is an extremely intimidating looking ride, and the roar that is created as the train travels over the box-shaped track tubes only adds to it. My friends were all extremely eager to try out the coaster but to try to delay the inevitable pressure (albeit gentle) that they would put me under I said that I needed time to work myself up into going on it, to which they agreed. I knew that time would only make my anxieties worse and hoped that I could come up with an excuse to get out of it, but for now I was safe. Or so I thought.

Doctor Doom's Fearfall

The two towers that make up Doctor Doom’s Fearfall loomed ahead and before I knew it we were in the queue – I had no time to protest! It did not look like a ride that I would enjoy and I instantly felt my fear levels skyrocket, but I’d got through the Tower of Terror the previous day and the basics of this ride were similar, just in reverse. That was the reasoning I used to try and calm myself down but I was still trembling like a leaf!

The queue was non-existent and I soon found myself strapped into a seat next to my boyfriend John and my friend Dwayne. We sat there for what felt like an eternity, the delay only serving to heighten my fear and anxiety – I thought the ride would never start (well I was certainly hoping it wouldn’t start!) When the doors in front of us finally closed and the vehicle rose a few feet off the ground I could hear my racing heartbeat above the noise of the ride. The time had come and I would have to go along for the ride!

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Although I knew what was coming I was caught off guard by the speed of the launch. With my eyes clenched shut and my screams echoing throughout the park we were launched 199 feet up the tower at 40 mph. ‘Sophie, open your eyes!’ John said to me over the din of my screams, and for a millisecond I did open them, catching a very brief glimpse of the rest of the park before shutting them again as we dropped back down towards the ground. After another rise and fall I was relieved when we eventually returned back to ground level. After my previous experiences in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this ride was the final straw for my voice – my screaming had left me with a sore throat and a hushed, husky voice that would remain for the next couple of days.

Feeling shaken (and even a little stirred) we then made our way over to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Unsure over what to expect I felt a pang of anxiety in the pit of my stomach (as I do about anything unknown – I think I’m a particularly nervous person) but that quickly passed when the ride started – it was breathtaking! For a ride that opened in 1999 it didn’t feel old. The special effects were amazing and the simulated fall from the top of a New York skyscraper provided a spectacular climax. Now this was my sort of ride! We all came out into the Orlando sunshine bouncing with excitement, raving about how much we had enjoyed it. While still a wild, thrilling ride it didn’t have the ‘fear factor’ that I hated so much and we were all keen to re-live our adventure with Spider-Man later in the day.

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls

We then made our way into Toon Lagoon and rode Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. Watching the boats splash down the final drop of Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls once again caused a pang of anxiety, but it was only brief because I LOVE water rides. They are the one ride that I particularly look forward to going on, although I can’t explain why these do not cause me the same level of fear as other rides. I enjoyed both of them immensely, particularly the barge ride although I seemed to be the one who would end up getting drenched with other riders stayed relatively dry. I could have ridden these two rides all day, but after one ride on each I was completely drenched!

After a morning of fun we decided it was time to chill out and grab some lunch in Thunder Falls Terrace where we could watch the final drop of Jurassic Park River Adventure while eating. That would be our next destination.

**NEXT – Part 2. It’s time for Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and…..The Hulk!

Can you say 'soaked'?!



  1. The hulk coaster looks AWESOME!!

  2. Thanks for your nice experience to share with us. Really awesome article with plenty of informative things to be known for us.

  3. Just wish to say your article is as amazing! The clarity on your put up is simply excellent and i can think you’re knowledgeable on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to grasp your feed to stay up to date with drawing close post on web. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  4. I wish that you safe journey and a amazing continue to be when next you head out on holiday abroad.

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