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You guys know I love Florida and Orlando is no exception. There’s just something about Universal Studios Orlando, from the humidity in the air to the roar of excited riders flying past – there’s nowhere like it!

However, the one thing that can suck the enjoyment out of any theme park visit is queues (AKA lines if you’re North American). Fortunately, I have some tips to help you make the most of your time in Universal and dodge those queues as much as humanly possible. You’ll be on the Velocicoaster in no time!

Tips for Dodging Queues at Universal Studios Orlando

1) Stay in a Universal Hotel

Staying in an official in-resort Universal Hotel comes with many advantages. Depending on which hotel you choose you can avail of free shuttles to and from the park, early entry to the parks and even complimentary Express passes.

Early access applies to a certain park only. During my visit in June it was Islands of Adventure because the majority of new rides are there. The one hour early park admission can make a huge difference to lines. My advice is to head straight for the big ticket rides like Hagrid’s Motorbike or Velocicoaster. I only waited 5-10mins to get on Velocicoaster when I took advantage of early park access.

2) Prioritise by Popularity

Even if you don’t have early park admission, the key to dodging lines is to prioritise the most popular rides. Right now Hagrid’s Motorbike is by far the most popular – with wait times reaching three hours and more.

avoid queues at Universal Studios orlando
Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure first person view of the track.

Heading straight for the most popular rides on first admission should shave some precious time off your wait. Or, if you’re not a morning person then head to the popular rides in the hour before closing. Usually families with children will have left the park by then and the queues are often shorter.


3) Express Yourself

If your budget allows, spring for the Express Pass. Express Pass allows you to skip the queues on the majority of rides across the parks. As I mentioned before, Express Pass is included in your stay if you’re staying in a Universal Premier category hotel.

Nearly all of the rides have an Express Lane apart from a few exceptions like Velocicoaster and Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. I used mine on E.T Adventure, The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man and The Incredible Hulk Coaster. It truly is one of the best ways to make the most of your time in the park.

Want to learn more about the Express Pass? You’ll find all the information you need here.


4) Go VIP

If it’s a big occasion and you have a bit of extra budget to blow, book the VIP tour experience. For me, if I had the budget, this is how I would visit Universal EVERY TIME. You get a dedicated VIP guide who will escort you around the park, take you through short-cuts between parks and will ensure that you skip all the lines/queues.

avoid queues at Universal Studios orlando
A VIP tour guarantees that you avoid queues at Universal Studios.

Not only do you get to skip the queues but you also get all the behind the scenes info about the rides, plus a delicious breakfast and lunch included in the tour. For me it’s one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had at Universal.

You can read more about the Universal VIP tour experience, including prices, on the official website.

P.S. I’ve also tried the Disney VIP tour in Orlando which you can read more about in my blog post – Behind the Scenes of a VIP Disney Tour – if you’re interested.


5) Use The App

Another handy tool for dodging those queues is the Official Universal Orlando Resort App. Just download it to your phone and then a map of the park will show you the live wait times at each ride. That way, you can decide which rides to visit and which to leave until later.

You can even set up notifications for when wait times drop below a certain level. It’s much easier than having to run around the park and check the wait times. The app is a great tool for planning your visit as efficiently as possible.


6) Avoid Peak Times

This probably seems pretty obvious, but peak times will always increase ride wait times. If possible, avoid visiting during peak times like school holidays, weekends or seasonal events (Halloween/Christmas/Thanksgiving etc).

avoid queues at Universal Studios orlando
Avoid peak times and seasons so that you can dodge the crowds and queues.

Make sure to take American holidays into account, you don’t want to accidentally end up wading through a sea of people on the 4th of July weekend. Autumn/Winter months are usually the quietest times (excluding the big seasonal holidays) which means queues are likely to be shorter then as well as more bearable in the lower temperatures. If I was planning a return trip to Universal it would definitely be during the colder months.


7) Stay Single

Sometimes being single is a major advantage. The single rider lane is one of the BEST ways to skip queues/lines as long as you don’t mind separating from your party. My sister and I used this line all the time when we were kids. If being separated doesn’t matter to you then this will definitely get you on the ride faster.

avoid queues at Universal Studios orlando
The single rider lane at Velocicoaster will save you a huge amount of time!

Not all rides have a single rider line. However, significantly, Velocicoaster does, which could shave a huge amount of minutes off your wait time. Other rides with a single rider line include Hulk, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Hollywood Rip-Ride Rocket etc. If you would like more info about the single rider line check out this article.

Go Forth and Dodge Those Lines

Hopefully some of these tips will help make your next trip to Universal Studios Orlando smoother than ever before. One thing’s for sure any visit to Universal will be full of fun, excitement and adventure no matter how long the lines are. If you have any other tips for dodging those queues feel free to DM me on Instagram to let me know.



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