After the positive response from my last Easter Eggs story all about Universal Studios Florida, as promised, here’s one dedicated to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
This theme park is located right next door to Universal Studios Florida, and is jam-packed with its own unique brand of hidden details and fun stuff to look out for. Here are ten fun Easter eggs at Islands of Adventure. Be sure to check out the video version of this article for additional visuals!
1. Marvel’s Hidden Signatures
Marvel Super Hero Island is filled with all sorts of fun details for comic book fans, but one detail has become somewhat of a scavenger hunt itself. Comic book illustrator Adam Kubert was tasked with creating the larger-than-life murals and character portraits you see around the land, but legend has it he was asked NOT to sign his work. Despite this, the artist hid his signature in nearly every character piece you can find.
Spotting the hidden “ADAM” signatures around the land can be easy, once you know what you’re looking for, but sometimes locating these camouflaged autographs can be a bit tricky.
There are reportedly at least 22 signatures to spot, and if you find yourself with some free time while here, it makes for a fun challenge to try and spot them all!
2. Popeye’s Punny Pathway
Islands of Adventure features spaces worth exploring along each of the land’s waterfronts, which were originally intended for nighttime shows. The walking path behind Toon Lagoon is one of the most interesting of these areas, not only because it’s fun to watch poor riders get soaked on the Popeye ride, but because the path is filled with silly visual gags along the water.
One with a sign that says “Plymouth Rock” always gets a giggle out of me. There’s a big rock, and it’s shaped like a car, get it? “PLYMOUTH Rock.” There’s a little “School of Fish” school house over the water, which is just classic, and a few more that are worth a few chuckles.
3. Hagrid’s Dueling Tributes
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade may be one of the resort’s newest attractions, but it has quickly become one of its most beloved. This well-themed story coaster did replace another beloved attraction, Dragon Challenge, or Dueling Dragons, as it was originally known when it first opened.
To pay tribute to the site’s former occupant, you can find a mural right as you enter the interior portion of the queue. It says “Dueling Club,” and features the red Fire and blue Ice dragons, posed in their never-ending battle, just like they were at the original attraction’s entrance.
Later in the queue, in the egg room, you can spot one of the golden eggs from the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This golden egg was originally on display in the former Dragon Challenge queue, meaning you can find tributes to both of the former coaster’s iterations here.
4. Sounds of Port of Entry
The first area that everyone passes through when entering the park is also one of the most well-themed, with a timeless adventurer feel and interesting things to spot as you start your day. While you may not notice it, (namely because the background music here is some of the best at any theme park, ever,) there are sound effects playing in multiple spots to help flesh out the area.
You can hear what sounds like monks singing from the temple windows on the left after passing under the arch at the entrance to the park. There are a bunch of cats meowing and birds chirping on a balcony on the right. And the Lucky Monkey casino is where you’ll randomly hear folks testing their luck.
Near the end of the street is a dance studio playing music and advertising dances that are related to the lands of the park—including one referencing Merlin from The Lost Continent, who’s area was removed to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And right before you leave the area, you can hear the creaking of the bridge overhead.
5. Lost Continent’s Troll
After entering Lost Continent from Seuss Landing, turn left at the never-ending puking water statue face guy and head towards the park’s lagoon. Here you’ll find a bridge leading to a seating area behind the Mythos restaurant.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the echoing screams of a troll that lives in this area… Why a troll? Because trolls live under bridges, of course. This area is also great for getting away from the crowds, or enjoying views of the roller coasters across the water.
6. Cannonball’s Away
When in line for Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges in Toon Lagoon, keep an eye out for a little office that looks like it belongs to Bluto. Seems like his canon has blasted a hole right through the wall of the queue. And it busted through the next wall, and then the next one too!
By the time you’re outside, you’ll be able to spot the cannonball itself, resting in this pole. It’s pretty neat as you can look straight on through several walls at once as you pass by!
Once you’re actually on the ride, look for this fast food “drive-through” window on your left. It’s made to look like it’s for the nearby Wimpy’s Burgers restaurant, and you pass by it shortly after the ride starts.
7. Books of Jurassic Park
Fans of Jurassic Park may recognize this one. Located in the DinoStore, attached to the Discovery Center, you can find a copy of Alan Grant’s fictional book, “Dinosaur Detectives.” It’s a hardcover version of the book Tim is carrying around in the original film.
In the same store you can also spot a copy of the real John R. “Jack” Horner’s “Digging Dinosaurs.” You may recognize similarities between the two books’ designs. That’s probably because the character of Alan Grant was loosely based on Horner, who has spent his career also trying to change the way we look at dinosaurs.
The new Jurassic World VelociCoaster attraction has another copy of Alan’s book in its queue as well. Plus, you can spot a book on paleobotany from Ellie Sattler, and one of Ian Malcolm’s newest books called “How the World Will End.”
8. Jurassic’s Model of Lost Rides
While in the Jurassic Park area, check out the often overlooked model at the entrance to the River Adventure ride. Not only does it feature some of the locations we have at Islands of Adventure, like Camp Jurassic and the River Adventure itself, but it also features attractions that were designed for future expansions, but never built.
Jeep Safari was a ride concept that would’ve gone where Skull Island: Reign of Kong is now. Helicoptours would’ve been a Soarin’-type simulator located where Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is.
Even an attraction that we used to have, Triceratops Encounter, is represented in this model, complete with its three barns. For now anyway, this model represents the past, present, and a future that never was for the Jurassic Park land.
9. Marvel’s Interactive Phones
Getting back to Marvel Super Hero Island and its loads of interesting things to spot, like the street sign honoring Stan Lee and Daily Bugle newspaper boxes with stories about the “”self-appointed vigilante”” Spider-Man, you might also notice some phones around the land.
Pick up the receiver on the phone in front of the Spider-Man ride for all the details from S.H.I.E.L.D. on the current crime-fighting situation in the area, or, check out the Ultranet speakers across the street to find out what the bad guys are planning themselves.
There’s a Doomnet box near Dr. Doom’s Fearfall too, which allows you to listen in on some ongoing battles in real time.
10. Hogsmeade’s Hidden Hallway
Although it has been getting a little more popular as a spot for Instagram wall photos, most guests aren’t aware of this little alley in Hogsmeade, tucked away between Honeydukes and the Three Broomsticks.
In addition to the cute candy window displays, you’ll also be able to see the dishes magically washing themselves through a window at the Three Broomsticks here. This path is normally just used by Team Members who are heading to and from a nearby backstage gate, but it’s also a nice quiet escape from the park.
If you’re a fan of Wizarding World and Butterbeer, (or Frozen Butterbeer like me,) you should check out this new candle from Souvenir Scents. Not only is it the most pleasant smelling Butterbeer candle I’ve tried, it actually looks like it too. They have a few deliciously scented candles, like Pandora’s Night Blossom, with more to come. Use promo code PARKSTOP10 to save 10% at souvenirscents.com.
That’s all for now, but let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more Easter Eggs at the parks, and check out the previous article about hidden things around Universal Studios Florida if you haven’t already.
Click here to see more hidden things around the parks. And don’t miss the video version of this article for additional visuals. Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Photos by Alicia Stella