In this guide we tell you EXACTLY what to bring to Islands of Adventure at Universal in Orlando. This covers things that should be on every Universal Studios Packing List for Florida as well as some park specific additions to ensure you have a fantastic day in this amazing park.
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What to Bring to Islands of Adventure
For me comfy shoes should be top of any theme park packing list. Any day at any theme park around the world will involve a LOT of walking. From walking between attractions, to just being on your feet in a long queue.
And Islands of Adventure is no exception to this. We walk thousands of steps at Islands of Adventure and queues for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Velocicoaster are famously long. Therefore you are going to want your comfiest shoes.
Personally I like to wear my comfiest pair of sneakers for a day at Islands of Adventure. For me this includes the sneaker brands:
- Sketchers Go Walks or
- All Birds.
However you should pick the brand that you feel most comfortable in. But if you do decide to buy new shoes for your trip to Islands of Adventures we recommend wearing them in before you travel as there is nothing worse than getting a blister at a theme park.
Note: if you want a packing list for Universal Studios check out this post.
Crocs or Flip Flops
Now although my go to shoes are sneakers for theme parks, my kids prefer wearing crocs.
You can read here about if you can wear Crocs to Universal in depth and about which rides you can wear them on. However even if you, like me, don’t like the look fo Crocs I would advise packing either a pair of Crocs or a pair of flip flops for Universal Studios.
The reason for this is that Islands of Adventure has some Water rides – the main ones being the Jurassic World River Adventure and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. The first of these being a traditional log flume style ride and the second being a traditional rapids.
Now we went on Juraissic World River Adventure and only got a little wet. However us and everyone else we saw getting off the Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges came off absolutely soaked to the skin.
I hate walking around a theme park with wet feet so for this reason I always carry an extra pair of easy to dry shoes with me and switch into them for water rides. In this case either a pair of crocs or flip flops.
And for the same reason, and many others, I also advise you to pack an extra set of clothes for everyone in your party and maybe even two sets of spare clothes if you are traveling to Islands of Adventure with toddlers.
Toddlers are renowned for getting dirty and there are many opportunities to get messy at Islands of Adventures for them I would pack 2 changes of clothes just in case.
But if you are worried about getting rained on, either because you are traveling to Universal in Hurricane season, on a rainy day or plan to hit the Popeye Bilge Rats ride but don’t want to get soaked we recommend packing a poncho.
These are available in the shops at Universal however you will pay a premium for them there. For this reason we recommend buying them in advance and bringing them with you.
The sun is fierce in Orlando and some of the ride queues have very little shade. To keep sun safe be sure to bring a sun hat with you.
For the same reason as above you will need sunglasses with you.
And be sure you bring plenty of sun screen with you into the park and reapply it regularly. We like to have waterproof sunscreen with us because of all the water rides but this is personal choice.
Water and Reusable Water Bottle
Water in the parks is very expensive. In the wizarding World of Harry Potter are you can pay over 4USD for a bottle of Gilly Water, basically Harry Potter branded water.
This can really eat into your Universal Studios budget. Therefore we recommend bringing water in a reusable water bottle into the parks with you.
And there are some great Harry Potter branded water bottles out there if you want a bottle themed for the park. I love the one above with the Aguamenti spell written on it as you can actually perform the Aguamenti spell in the park with your interactive wand.
Next Read: Want to know what movies to watch before going to Universal? Check out this post
And while water will eat into you budget, the other things that will cost you a lot in the parks is snacks. We recommend saving your money for one snack the you really want but packing snacks for the rest of the time will save you a lot of money.
For more information on the best snacks to take to Universal Studios check out this post.
Soft Sided insulated bags – check the size here
If you are bringing water and snacks into the park you will need to pack them correctly to prevent spoilage. The best way to do this is to bring your snacks into the parks in a soft sided insulated bag.
But if you are doing this then you need to make sure that your bag fits the Universal Studios requirements. This means that your soft sided insulated bag can not be larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep.
And we also recommend packing snacks, especially those that spoil, into ziplock bags. This way you can portion out everyone’s snacks before you go into the parks which can help prevent arguments over who gets what in the park.
A backpack for me is the perfect bag to take with you into the park because you can git everything that you need for a day in a theme park.
On some of the rides you will be asked to store your bag before riding however on these rides there will be lockers where you can store bags.
If you want to make a fashion choice for the parks you could consider buying a Universal Studios themed lounge fly backpack like the one picture above.
We aren’t usually fanny pack people when we travel but it can be really useful when you are in a theme park. That is because on some of the rides you will be asked to store larger bags.
Fanny packs allow you to store your most valuable and most needed items on you i.e. phones, batteries, cards and tickets without worrying about losing anything.
It will also hold your express pass if you opt to get one.
Card Holding Lanyard
But if you don’t like fanny packs then you definitely will need a card holding lanyard to store your ticket and your express pass if you have them (and we do recommend getting an express pass if you can – you can why we think a Universal Studios Express Pass is worth it here).
A battery pack is nowadays top of my theme park packing list. Your phone will be used constantly in the theme parks. Firstly to take all the photos but you will also need it to check the theme park map and most importantly check the waiting time of the rides.
Therefore you will find that your phone battery will be drained exceptionally quickly. These days it is almost impossible to survive a day at a theme park without having a battery pack with you.
Now if you are traveling with a toddler to Universal Studios we strongly advise you to bring a stroller with you. Even if your little one has given up the stroller at home you will want to have one with you at a theme park.
Theme parks, especially Universal can be an overwhelming place and requires a lot of walking. You will all be happier if you have a stroller with you.
And if you have a stroller with you, you absolutely have to have a rain cover with you. Orlando weather is warm and beautiful but can also get very very rainy.
We recommend that you put a rain cover on your stroller every time you leave it in Universal Stroller Parking if there is a chance of rain. That is because there is nothing worse that parking your stroller when you join a long queue and coming out to a rain soaked seat.
And while we are talking about the weather, it is impossible not to mention the heat and humidity. No matter who you are in, you will want a fan with you especially if you are traveling to Universal in the summer.
We recommend getting a fan with a mist spray for ultimate cooling and if you are traveling with a stroller also getting a stroller fan.
Wet wipes are handy to have at a theme park whether or not you are traveling with a baby, toddlers or kids. No matter what your group looks like we recommend packing some wet wipes with you.
These days I don’t think you need to extol the virtues of hand sanitzer so just pack a bottle with you.
Harry Potter Interactive Wand
If you have already spent a day at Universal Studios and visited Diagon Alley and got yourself an interactive wand don’t forget to pack it with you.
There are plenty of interactive wand spots in Hogsmeade Village in Islands of Adventure so you will definitely want to have it with you.
And while we recommend buying many things in advance of entering the parks, a Harry Potter wand is not on that list. The interactive wands are only available in the parks, not on Amazon or other online retailer and it is so worth having an interactive one as it will add to your experience in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
To find out more about the the best Harry Potter wands to buy at Universal Studios check out this post.
Dressing up is not as common at Universal Studios as say Disney World, especially at Magic Kingdom, you will find people wearing robes.
The nice thing about Universal is that even adults can dress up in their Hogwarts robes. These can be bought in Universal Studios, the quality of the robes in the parks is amazing but you will pay a premium for them.
Therefore if you want to wear robes but you are on budget at Universal then you should purchase them in advance.
Motion Sickness Medication
Now this isn’t something that I recommend for all theme parks but I do find that there are quite a lot of rides that can cause motion sickness at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in particular.
If you are prone to motion sickness then we recommend taking some motion sickness pills with you. This will help you enjoy the rides while keeping the motion sickness at bay.
Alternatively you could try using travel wrist bands or other methods of motion sickness remedies if you prefer these to motion sickness medication.
Travel First Aid Kit
No matter the destination, we always recommend having a travel first aid kit with you. No one wants to need this when traveling but it is always good to have a small one with you.
Have you been to Islands of Adventure? What would you add to this Islands of Adventure Packing List