Water Rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

It’s practically a year round summer in Orlando which makes the heat during your theme park visits a little difficult to handle, especially those visiting from out of state.  However, a great way to cool off from the Florida sun is to jump on a water ride and get wet.  

Another great benefit of the water rides is that when it’s raining (as this happens frequently in Florida), you are already wet so you don’t mind going on the ride – of course as long as there no lightning and thunder in the area.

Luckily when you are visiting the Universal Orlando Resort there are a number of water themed rides that provide guests with some relief from the heat. As of the summer 2023, all three of these water attractions are located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Islands of Adventure is one of our favorite parks and it features a number of “thrill rides” like the Jurassic World VelociCoaster, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  Those attractions by themselves would be near the top of any best ride list at Universal Orlando.

Since we’re trying to beat the heat, let’s stay focused on the water rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and see how we rank each of them.

Water Rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Click here to learn more about on-site hotels at The Universal Orlando Resort

Jurassic Park River Adventure

The Jurassic Park River Adventure is our number 1 water ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and is an attraction that should not be missed during your next visit to Universal.

The ride starts out as a tranquil boat tour through Jurassic Park where guests travel along a slow moving river and see a number of different animatronic dinosaurs.  After a few minutes into the tour, the boat is pushed into the Jurassic Park Animal Control “Raptor Containment Area”.

After passing through the gates of the containment area the ride starts to get interesting.  Guests come across an abandoned boat and enter the Raptor containment building.  Once inside they come across a number of Velociraptors as well a huge Tyrannosaurs Rex.  Right before the T-Rex grabs the boat with his jaws, riders drop 85-feet to the river below.  Guests can count on getting wet during the drop.

Wait times this attraction vary but typically range from 30 to 60 minutes on any hot and sunny day.  A Universal Express line is available and the attraction is limited to riders 42 inches in height or taller.

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges

If you love white-water rafting then Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges is the attraction for you.  Of all the water rides, this attraction is the one where riders get wet the most and it is our number 2 water ride at at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Based on the comics of Popeye the Sailor Man, riders will go through several wild sets of rapids on their 12-person circular barge.  You will get wet not only from the rapids pouring in the boat but also from water is shooting at you from just about every angle including from other guests up above in the Me Ship, The Olive boat.

While the story is a little dated and does not appeal to younger riders, it’s quite a fun ride.  As we said earlier, you will get wet and if you are seating the a bad place, count on getting completely soaked.

Wait times this attraction vary but typically range from 40 to 60 minutes on any hot and sunny day.  A Universal Express line is available and the attraction is limited to riders 42 inches in height or taller.

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is a classic “log flume” type ride that is our number 3 water ride at at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. While it’s a bit dated in terms of theming, it has one of the most fun drops of any attraction (wet or dry) at Universal Orlando.

Riders board the four-person ride vehicle and go on an adventure with Dudley Do-Right to save Nell Fenwick from the evil Snidely Whiplash.  The ride peaks with an amazing 75 foot drop at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.  Not only will you get wet from the drop, but spectators along the shore can pay a fee to spray riders with a number of water cannons.

Due to limited capacity of the ride vehicles, wait times this attraction can get long on a hot and sunny day, exceeding 45 to 60 minuets.  A Universal Express line is available and the attraction is limited to riders 44 inches in height or taller.

Where should be stay when visiting Universal Orlando?

The Universal Orlando Resort has a number of great on site hotels. Each and every one of them have their own benefits, characteristics and price points so you can’t go wrong when choosing a hotel at Universal.

There are multiple “categories” of hotels which are as follows:

  • Premier Hotels & Resorts
  • Preferred & Value Hotels and Resorts
  • Prime Value Hotels and Resorts

Premier category hotels include the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort.  Although higher in price, the added benefit of the free Universal Express Unlimited (TM) is well worth the expense.  Once you experience unlimited front of the line access, it is VERY difficult to go back to a theme park without it.

Check out all the Universal on-site hotels and resorts as well as our recommended off site local area hotels by CLICKING HERE.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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