The Lost Continent section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure lost quite a bit of real estate to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opened in 2010.
Merlinwood is long gone with The Flying Unicorn now known as Flight of the Hippogriff and Dueling Dragons now known as Dragon Challenge. The rides are exactly the same, but the theming is slightly different.
With the Potter expansion at Universal Studios and the possibility that it could be connected to Islands of Adventure, more of The Lost Continent may be on the way out.
But it’s here for now. The Lost Continent is basically comprised of two theater shows, a shopping bazaar, a table service restaurant, and some quick service options. A magic shop and talking fountain round out the island.
Poseidon’s Fury: Escape From The Lost City is probably the biggest attraction here.
It had just reopened after a brief refurbishment when I walked through in the middle of December.
Officially, photography isn’t allowed inside. Being a vacationing American, I’ll ignore that request next time, but I don’t have any pictures of the show for you.
Surprisingly(?) at 5:10pm on the evening of December 17th, Poseidon’s Fury had the second longest posted wait time according to the board here. When I arrived at the attraction, the posted wait was 50 minutes.
The queue winds down through these “caverns.” The line was moving so slowly that cheers erupted every time it did move. For those suffering in the standby line, the wait looked to be pretty unbearable with little to see or do in the dark.
Here’s a decent looking video if you want to watch it. Poseidon’s Fury is basically a walkthrough show with a live narrator and three separate rooms each with its own set and stage. The walk into the final room is neat as is what transpires thereafter, but the first two parts were pretty lame (in my opinion). In addition, the viewing area makes it difficult for most people to see what’s going on. I’m 6’2″ and couldn’t see what was happening three quarters of the time. You really want to be among the first people to enter each room so you can find a spot up close. I waited about 20 minutes with Express Pass and didn’t think the show was worth the time. It really felt like they were herding cattle from one room to the next, which made it uncomfortable even for a single adult male of size.
“The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show” is Islands’ only amphitheater show. It’s somewhat similar to Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, only much, much, much worse.
The stage looks epic, but the story is lousy, the action is repetitive, and the dialogue is punchable. Whatever punchable dialogue means. Anyway, it’s worth seeing once if you have the time, but I doubt anyone will be saying, “Let’s see Sinbad again” on a return visit. Maybe if that return visit is in ten years and the group suffers from significant memory loss.
To add insult to injury, seating is on uncomfortable metal, backless bleachers.
Construction just outside makes you wonder how long Sinbad will be here.
It’s a shame because the show really does have potential with all the effects and the sheer size of the stage. Universal describes it as:
It’s a stunt show of heroic proportions! Cheer on the heroes and boo the villains in this spectacular live adventure. See death-defying stunts and breathtaking feats as the mighty Sindbad and his wisecracking sidekick Kabob attempt to rescue the beautiful Princess Amoura from the evil witch Miseria.
The action takes place in a spectacular setting – a mysterious grotto littered with the wrecks of ships lured to their misfortune by the evil sorceress. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you witness exciting battles between the heroes and Miseria’s ghoulish minions, explosive pyrotechnics, and eye-popping stunts including a fiery plunge into the water below.
This is more accurate:
It’s a stunt show
of heroic proportions! Cheer on the heroes and boo the villains in this spectacular live adventure. See death-defying stunts and breathtaking feats as the mighty Sindbad and his wisecracking sidekick Kabob attempt to rescue the beautiful Princess Amoura from the evil witch Miseria.
The action takes place in a
spectacular setting – a mysterious grotto littered with the wrecks of ships lured to their misfortune by the evil sorceress. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you witness exciting battles between the heroes and Miseria’s ghoulish minions, explosive pyrotechnics, and eye-popping stunts including a fiery plunge into the water below.
Here’s the end if you want to see the most exciting part and gauge interest. I’m being a little mean here. Sinbad isn’t a complete waste of time – it’s just surprising how terrible the dialogue and story are. There are usually three or four shows a day when crowds are light and up to six in the summer or around Christmas when crowds are much heavier. The earliest show is noon or later, so you have plenty of time to hit the major attractions before even considering heading over to Sinbad. When crowds are light, you can show up five or ten minutes ahead of time and find perfectly decent seats. The stage is so massive that wherever you sit should be fine. It’s about 25 minutes of your life that you will never get back. Consider bringing a book or refreshing my Twitter account excessively.
The talking fountain that sits outside the entrance is hilarious though. It’s like Turtle Talk without the screen. Walk up and the fountain will probably strike up a conversation.
While more of an infomercial than an attraction, you may be corralled into a “magic show” here at the Shop of Wonders or at Universal Studios near Terminator. At Islands, it’s located next to the talking fountain near the entrance to Sinbad. You can either walk in and ask when the next show begins or you’ll see staff outside announcing the start of “a magic show in two minutes.”
This 12-minute show features a salesman/magician that performs four tricks available for purchase next door.
It starts out weak (the guy has lights strapped to his fingers and pretends he’s throwing around light balls or something), but the levitation trick at the end is pretty cool. And then in the first picture, he has a wallet that lights on fire if you open it a certain way. The wallet is fireproof so you can actually keep stuff in it if you so desire. This is far from a “must do,” but it was a fun way to spend 15 minutes in the afternoon.
Mythos, located near Seuss Landing, is one of the best theme park restaurants in the United States. They have a sign stating as much outside.
And it’s cheap. I’ll discuss Universal theme park quick service in another post, but most of it is pretty bad. For only a dollar or two more, you can sit down in air-conditioning, be waited on, and have unlimited beverage refills. This and Confisco Grill near the front of the Park are no-brainers with their inexpensive prices. We’re talking a Filet for $16.99.
If you didn’t get your fill of carnival games at Chester & Hester’s DinoLand, you can play right outside the entrance to the Wizarding World.
Oasis Coolers is a place to grab a quick snack or fill up your Coke Freestyle Cup.
The unlimited refill freestyle souvenir cup is a new offering that was just released at the beginning of December. They’re $10.99 each and come with unlimited refills for the day at either theme park at any freestyle location. You are limited to one refill every five minutes though.
Bought a Universal Pretzel at the end of the day once – it was virtually inedible and had obviously been sitting in the heater for the entire day…or longer.
The $7.99 souvenir mug is another option. Refills are 99 cents each, but your mug is good “forever.” The freestyle cups have an RFID chip in them so they no longer work after 24 hours. If you’re only visiting one day and plan to drink a lot of Coca Cola concoctions not fit for retail, the freestyle mug may be a good choice. Otherwise, the regular souvenir mug is probably the better buy if you’re planning to use it over multiple days.
The Lost Continent is also fully stocked with weapons:
We’re not in Disney World anymore.
Feeling less violent? They have coffee mugs too.
Or for a few hundred dollars, a framed family crest.
For tamer souvies, head into Treasures of Poseidon.
Shirts and such.
They’d probably sell more if a drum was involved.
I don’t think the foot is for sale, but you never know, everyone has a price.
The Fire Eaters Grill is another dining opportunity:
The Gyro Platter sounds promising. Seven bucks with fries?
This fountain is less chatty.
Even the restrooms are nicely themed.
Some outdoor seating if you do decide to grab a bite to eat.
Or a place to rest.
But it felt crowded.
I think I’ll spend tomorrow updating some of the resort reviews. Next up at Universal is Seuss Landing. I have over 1,000 pictures of that other Universal theme park too.