I got my tickets for Islands of Adventure from Working Advantage, an employee discount website. Just about every job I have ever worked at has offered employee discounts via Working Advantage. The package I chose was the 2 day basic value package for an adult and child under the FL resident deals they offered. In total I paid $310 for my son and I to go to Islands of Adventure one day and Universal Studios the next. That is about
I also used my job's Abenity rewards program to book our overnight stay at the DoubleTree Hilton at the gates of Universal Studios. The cost was $93.82 in addition to a $20 overnight parking fee. They gave us warm cookies when we arrived and the rooms were nice. I also had to pay upfront. Another alternative to find good hotel rates is Hotels.com, some of the hotels also offer a book now and pay later option.
So.... the trip was a part of my son's birthday celebration. I used Orlando Informer's trip calendar to determine which dates would be less populated around his birthday. You want to check which season your going because some of the Toon Lagoon rides were closed. The one's that weren't we didn't go on because it was too cold to get wet. (One of the downfalls of having a winter birthday). In addition to walking through all of the islands we went on some rides. The average time I waited for a ride was 10 - 20 mins. I've been to Islands of Adventure during the kid in the summer and the wait times were 45+ minutes. My son is now 8 yrs. old and was moderately afraid of rides. As such, we didn't get on all the rides.... here's a quick review of the one's we did get on:
The Amazing Spiderman: 3D ride where you are on a moving car that fly's in and out of a fight Spiderman is having with his nemeses. The ride is basically a simulator that takes you through different parts of New York.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: also a 3D ride that takes you through the sky's of Hogwarts as Harry and his friends fight to get you safely through the school. You travel through the castle prior to getting on the ride.
Triceratops Discovery Trail: you go through a trail and take an up close picture with a dinosaur.
Pteranodon Flyers: this ride is only for kids a certain age and is in the Jurassic park island. Since I'm a mom I got to get on the ride, it takes you through the park in a suspended track.
Flight of the Hippogriff: junior roller coaster to the left as soon as you get out of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It wasn't scary at all but my son loved it.