Disney is not the only park with hidden secrets! Universal Orlando also has two parks filled with hidden secrets and easter eggs. There are so many hidden secrets, in fact, that we had to break the article into two parts: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Here are the hidden secrets of Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
1. Hidden Marvel Signatures
When you enter Marvel Land, its hard not to notice the larger-than-life drawings of all your favorite superheroes. Comic book illustrator Adam Kulbert was the artist behind the murals and character’s pictures. It is rumored that Universal asked the artist not to sign his work. Kulbert ended up signing everything that he created…but the signatures are hidden within the pictures! Just look for the word “ADAM” in any of the superhero murals the next time you’re in Marvel Land. There are at least 22 hidden signatures!
2. Popeye Puns
The walking path behind Toon Lagoon is a great place to have a great view of guests get soaked on Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. Did you know the walkway is also filled with puns? One funny thing you may notice is a little schoolhouse over the water that has a sign that says, “School of Fish”. There’s also a huge car-shaped rock that says, “Plymouth Rock”. (Plymouth was a brand of car that ceased production around 2001). There are a lot of funny puns all around Toon Lagoon but those two are my favorite!
3. Dueling Dragons
Before there was Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, there was Dueling Dragons. Dueling Dragons was an opening day attraction at Islands of Adventure where there were two roller coasters, one red for fire and one blue for ice, and they would race each other and intertwine. The ride was demolished to make way for the mega-popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010. Ultimately, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure was built where Dueling Dragons once stood. In the queue for the ultra-popular new coaster, there’s a hidden easter egg that serves as a nod for the ride’s predecessor. As soon as you enter the queue, there is a mural that says, “Dueling Club” and it features the fire and ice dragons in the same stance as they were at the ride’s original entrance.
4. Port of Entry Sounds
In order to enter the park, you have to walk through the Port of Entry. The Port of Entry makes sure you start off your day in a fun way. As you walk under the sign that says, “The Adventure Begins”, you will start to hear many different sounds. If you listen closely, you will hear monks singing coming from the temple windows, you’ll hear cats meowing and birds chirping coming from the windows on the right side, and you’ll even hear people gambling at the Lucky Monkey Casino. Towards the end of the street, you’ll see a dance studio and hear music and they even advertise dances that coincide to lands of each of the “islands of adventure”. It’s a subtle but very cool little easter egg.
5. Islands of Adventure Lighthouse
Did you know that the gigantic lighthouse that you see when you’re walking into Islands of Adventure is more than just the park’s icon? The Pharos lighthouse, which is located in the Port of Entry, stands tall and plays the park’s iconic theme song “Call to Adventure”, which invites adventurers from all over to come explore! What guests may not know is that Pharos Lighthouse is based on the Lighthouse of Alexandria- which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
6. Jurassic Park Books
If you go into the DinoStore in Jurassic World, you can find a copy of Alan Grant’s fictional book, “Dinosaur Detectives”. This is a hardcover version of the book that Tim carries around in the first Jurassic Park movie. Also, in the DinoStore, you can find John R. Horner’s book “Digging Dinosaurs”. The character of Alan Grant was loosely based on the real author John R. Horner, who changed the way we looked at dinosaurs. If you walk through the queue for VelociCoaster, you will see a book on paleobotany from Ellie Sattler (a character from the movie) and a book by Dr. Ian Malcom (another character from the movies).
7. Model of Lost Rides in Jurassic Park
Another hidden secret that a lot of people overlook is located at the entrance to the River Adventure ride in Jurassic World. It is a model of Jurassic World that features all of its attractions plus attractions that were planned but never built! If you look at the model, you’ll see a sign for Jeep Safari, which was supposed to be where Skull Island: Reign of Kong is now. You’ll also see a sign for Helicoptours, a ride that would have been like Disney’s Soarin’ ride. There is even a sign for an attraction that used to exist, Triceratops Encounter.
8. Interactive Phones in Marvel Land
When in Marvel Land, you can pick up phones from around the land and listen to top secret information! There is a phone in front of the Spiderman attraction and if you pick it up and listen to it, you’ll hear agents of S.H.I.E.L.D talk about the crime fighting situation in that area. You can even walk over to the Ultranet speakers across the way to listen to what the bad guys are planning! There is also a Doomnet box around Dr. Doom’s Fearfall that allows you to listen to the battles going on at that time.
9. Hidden Alley in Hogsmeade
There is an alleyway in Hogsmeade that is tucked away and hidden from the rest of the land. It is a nice escape from the large crowds that are in and out of Hogsmeade all day. If you go between Honeydukes and the Three Broomsticks, you will find it. Some guests use this spot for Instagram pictures and some people use it as a nice, quiet escape from the busy land. What people may not notice, is that there’s a little magic going on back here! If you look at the windows of The Three Broomsticks dining location, you will witness some magic as the dishes wash themselves!
10. Squiggly Seuss Land
One of the coolest details in all of Islands of Adventure is one of the details that almost no one notices unless they know about it! If you are a fan of Dr. Seuss and his books, you may notice that all of his illustrations were always curvy and there were no straight lines. In fact, Dr. Seuss’s drawings were actually known for their curved and slanted lines. The designers at Universal wanted to implement that while creating Seuss Landing so there is not one single straight line in the entire land! There are even curved palm trees!
There are a lot of fun hidden secrets and easter eggs in Islands of Adventure. It is really fun to walk around the parks and look for these. The thought and detail that has gone into some of these makes it that much more special to find. If you want to impress your friends on your next visit to Islands of Adventure, just mention what you learned here today! Did you know about these hidden secrets? Which one is your favorite?The Orlando Real on