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    Toon Lagoon

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Whimsical and gaily colored, with rounded and exaggerated lines, Toon Lagoon translates cartoon art into real buildings and settings. King's Row and Comic Strip Lane, the main drags of Toon Lagoon, are the domains of such vintage Sunday-funnies favorites as Beetle Bailey, The Family Circus, and Blondie and Dagwood -- in other words, intellectual property that Universal could get for cheap. Across a bridge lies Sweethaven, home to Popeye and Olive Oil, and a mountain dedicated to Dudley Do-Right looms around the corner.

The island's King Features Syndicate and Jay Ward comic characters, though classic, are probably unrecognizable to anybody born after 1980, but that doesn't stop kids from enjoying the resort's two wettest water rides, both of which are found here. Entering Toon Lagoon from Marvel Super Hero Island, you'll have to pass a midway of unthemed carnival games and an enormous amphitheater that sits empty 99% of the time, making this transition the biggest eyesore in an otherwise exquisite park. Rumors have circulated that it might finally be demolished, with a dark ride based on Secret Life of Pets the leading contender to replace it.

There are some great photo ops here, especially the sideways sign where you can snap a gravity-defying shot with Marmaduke the Great Dane.

If your kids want to get wet but are too small for the water rides (or you don't want to wait in line) send them to the splash pads at either entrance to Toon Lagoon. A few minutes frolicking in fountains of sulfurous water should satisfy them.



Other Lands at Universal's Islands of Adventure