Universal's Islands of Adventure®
The city’s most thrill-filled coaster-and-flume park is also one of the most spectacularly designed; rides are all located in lavish, themed “islands,” most based on movies or TV shows. The Jurassic Park River Adventure, for example—a hairy river-raft ride that includes, among other scares, a terrifying T. rex attack—is set in Jurassic Park, a habitat for enormous, animatronic dinosaurs. Marvel Superhero Island is where visitors can experience the Amazing Adventures of Spider Man, a dizzying 3-D-glasses-enhanced ride that simulates swinging among high city towers. All of this may be overshadowed, though, by the 2010 opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a 20-acre(ish) “land” complete with Hogwarts castle and Forbidden Forest.
Tip: Avoid carrying bags if you can; they’re not allowed on the coasters (you’ll need to rent a locker), and on the flumes they’ll only get soaked.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.