Day 26: Waking The Dragon / WDW-40, 2016

Day 26 of WDW-40, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here! Today we went to Islands of Adventure specifically so we could ride the Hogwarts Express between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley! We also had a huge milkshake from Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, saw the Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and finished the day with take-out from Bahama Breeze.

If you haven’t read my pre-trip planning report yet, why not have a quick read now to bring you up to speed about who we are, and why this trip report is called WDW-40! You might also want to start reading from the beginning of the report!

Islands of Adventure

Day 26: Islands of Adventure

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium / Dinner (Take-Out) from Bahama Breeze / Animal Kingdom / Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings
September 29th, 2016
My trip reports are generally photo heavy, images in tiled galleries can be clicked on to enlarge. All the photos from this day can be found here | Florida 2016 photo collection on Flickr here.
WDW-40, 2016: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Planning Report | About Us
Some days are split into several parts; please use the page numbers at the bottom of the post to continue reading.


Today was a busy one! We drove over to Universal Orlando Resort, passing the under construction [but now built] volcano of Universal’s Volcano Bay. The photo below is actually on the drive back but it’s a better view from this side! Hopefully will get a chance to go this new waterpark in the future – I have heard it is awesome!

Once parked up and through security we hit CityWalk and bared left to go into Islands of Adventure…

Volcano Bay - Under Construction

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk - Bubba Gump Shrimp

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk

Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure

Our main aim today was to head over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and catch the Hogwarts Express over to Diagon Alley. The fact that they’ve combined the two theme parks in this way is very clever! If you are a Harry Potter fan you can’t miss these areas of the parks!

But before we got to Hogsmeade we walked past The Incredible Hulk Coaster, which neither of us have been on, but I’m always in awe at! I think my love for theme parks, rides, and themeing comes from me playing hours and hours and hours of Roller Coaster Tycoon when I was younger!

The Incredible Hulk Coaster - Islands of Adventure

The Incredible Hulk Coaster - Islands of Adventure

The Incredible Hulk Coaster - Islands of Adventure

The Incredible Hulk Coaster - Islands of Adventure

We then passed through Marvel Super Hero Island. The line was too long for us to bother with Spiderman which was a shame – we love that right, but we had other stuff to do! Then through Toon Lagoon, giving no more than a cursory glance!

Islands of Adventure - Marvel Super Hero Island

Islands of Adventure - Marvel Super Hero Island

Islands of Adventure - Toon Lagoon

Islands of Adventure - Toon Lagoon

Islands of Adventure - Toon Lagoon

Islands of Adventure - Toon Lagoon

Islands of Adventure - Skull Island Reign of Kong

We then came upon Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which had about a 40 minute wait, but since this was brand new and it was a ride I was able to do we totally waited in line for this! The line area is dark, mysterious and spooky, and well themed. We didn’t know what to expect from this ride at all as I hadn’t read anything about it.

Eventually we boarded an expedition truck, with bench seats, facing forward and no restraints at all. The truck then took a tour outside in the open before we enter a cave and see giant bones, and some creepy looking bat type creatures.

(I’m sure you are told not to put on your 3D glasses until you go inside, but I honestly can’t remember!)

Then comes what Universal (I think) do very well – huge screens with all the action going on, while you are thrown about in the vehicle! Stuff coming out at you, water and other air being blown at you – all adds to the 4D nature of this ride.

There is a story being told as you go around, but I struggled to hear it, but it’s easy enough to follow along with what is happening. At one point there are dinosaurs, big carnivorous ones with sharp teeth – much like T-Rex, but are actually called Vastatosaurus Rex. Cue Kong making an appearance to take on these lizard kings – leaping over your truck, and you swaying as it does so. The weight of these huge creatures is just too much, and eventually the truck starts to fall, but is caught by vines, and saved by Kong. It’s all very exciting!

Once safe, you drive past an animatronic Kong and make your way back to safety.

We both thought the ride was awesome! I’ve read some reviews of people saying it’s rubbish, and the original Kong ride was better… but I have nothing to go on but my own experience, and from my point of view, I loved it and would do it again on our next visit.

Near the entrance/exit to the ride is a merch stand, so naturally went and had a look a bought a skull to bring back home for my son.

Islands of Adventure - Skull Island Reign of Kong

Islands of Adventure - Skull Island Reign of Kong

Islands of Adventure - Skull Island Reign of Kong

Islands of Adventure - Skull Island Reign of Kong

Islands of Adventure - Skull Island Reign of Kong

A walk through Jurassic Park and onto Hogsmeade we go!

Islands of Adventure - Jurassic Park

Islands of Adventure - Jurassic Park

Islands of Adventure - Jurassic Park

Islands of Adventure - Jurassic Park

Islands of Adventure - Jurassic Park

Islands of Adventure - Jurassic Park