IOA’s 101 acres are laid out in a loop around a lagoon. Individually themed areas (here called “islands,” although they’re not) arranged around a pond (obscurely called the Great Inland Sea). To see everything, you simply follow a great circle.
The only corridor into the park, Port of Entry, borrows from the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A., in that it’s a narrow introductory area where guests are submerged into a theme. In this case, you’re gathering munitions for a “great odyssey,” so, in theme park logic, it’s where you do things like rent strollers and lockers and grab free maps. Most guests beeline through Port of Entry. Because attraction lines are shortest after opening, explore this area later.
Lines peak in late morning, and the Wizarding World and Jurassic Park areas are usually busiest during the lunch hours.
If the typical Florida forecast calls for afternoon storms (in summer, 2pm seems to be a usual time) and you have a two-park pass, do IOA in the morning because so many of its rides close when lightning is detected. Or wait until rides close to eat lunch.
At Islands of Adventure, you can have your souvenirs sent to Port Provisions, at the Port of Entry, for collection as you leave the park at the end of the day. The deadline for purchases changes, but it’s usually about 2 hours before closing. To the right as you exit the park, there’s a small stand selling marked-down items (the inventory changes, but I’ve seen $8 Marvel action figures, two-for-ones on plush Curious George dolls, and $40 sweatshirts for $22). It opens later in the day
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.