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Best Nine Rides at Islands of Adventure

3. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Now we're up to the big boys. This attraction and the next one are the two most decorated dark rides of the 21st century. AND THEY DON'T WIN!!!

Yes, Islands of Adventure's top three attractions are so good that the Best Dark Ride from 2000-2010 and its spiritual successor can't top the category. This overall list demonstrates the quantity of phenomenal attractions at Islands of Adventure. The top three emphasize the quality.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is theme park royalty. In an era before Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, much less the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel had just emerged from bankruptcy. They happily licensed the character to Universal, never expecting such greatness from the ride.

Somehow, lightning struck. For more than a decade, this attraction towered above everything else at either Universal Orlando Resort. But nothing stays on top forever…

2. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

And a change came to Islands of Adventure in 2010. The opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter reversed the fortunes of Universal theme parks. Even though the first iteration was a modest investment, everyone's love of the Potterverse led to an almost incomprehensible traffic increase.

Here's an amazing Potter fact. In 2009, Islands of Adventure claimed attendance of 4.627 million. For calendar 2011, the first full year of The Wizarding World, the total was 7.674 million, an increase of more than three million or 66 percent. And the anchor attraction for this section is unquestionably Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

This dark ride replaced Spider-Man as the Golden Ticket winner from 2011-2015. Even today, it's clearly one of the best rides at Universal. It's just not THE best ride. Or even the best Potterverse ride.

1. Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Yes, the newest Harry Potter attraction is the best that Islands of Adventure has to offer. Universal has somehow built a hybrid dark ride/roller coaster that provides two different ride experiences.

As the name implies, the coaster cart is a motorbike, and that's where the twin experiences come into play. One person becomes "the driver," sitting behind the handlebars. The other rides in the sidecar, which delivers an entirely different feel. One person sits more upright while the other has a bit of wiggle to his half of the ride cart.

The closest comparison to Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Magic Kingdom attraction that also marries dark ride and coaster concepts. The difference is that the Universal ride is more modern and has the glorious Harry Potter license. It's legitimately the best thing that Universal has ever done and easily rises above everything else at Islands of Adventure.

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