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7 ways to Beat the Queues at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Wait times

Universal Orlando Resort is one of Florida’s most popular attractions with millions of visitors every year – but lots of visitors inevitably means big queues for the rides, which can be frustrating when there are so many fun things to do and so little time!

But don’t despair – it may be easier than you think to cut down your Universal Orlando wait times – especially when you’ve got the FloridaTix experts on-side!…

1. Plan your day using the Universal App

The Universal app is great for getting an insight into how popular each of the rides are. Download it a few days before you visit the park and keep an eye on wait times throughout the day (I recommend checking them at around 9am, 12pm and 5pm). By doing this you’ll get a good idea of what rides people head to first, what rides calm down (or get busier) by lunchtime and how early evening affects queue times.

Universal App
The Universal App

Tip: You’ll probably find that the Harry Potter and Despicable Me rides are the most popular, so plan this into your day and work out your route around the parks – lunch spots included!

2. Invest in an Express Pass

The Universal Express Pass lets you bypass the queues and get onto all your favourite rides much faster. You’ll have a 15-minute wait, at most, for the busiest rides, so if you’re short on time and only have one day to spend here it will certainly make your time at Universal more enjoyable!

Tip: There are two Express Pass options; the basic pass can be used once on each ride, while the unlimited pass can be used multiple times on the same ride.

Queue for Hogwarts
Queues for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

3. Pre-book your tickets – and get there early!

Getting in line 15 minutes or so before the park opens will give you that extra special window to get to your favourite rides first! This means arriving at the car park at least 30 minutes before opening time to allow for a bag search and the walk to the park.

You can also save a lot of time if you book your Universal tickets in advance, as you’ll avoid the ticket queues and walk straight in.

4. Go it alone in the Single Riders line

If you’re happy to experience the thrill factor on your own, join the single riders’ line. You may not be able to ride sitting next to your loved one, but you will be able to experience a lot more rides in a much shorter period of time.

5. Think tactically about lunch

The best time to take lunch is when everyone else isn’t taking lunch – it’s that easy.

Avoid peak times and opt for an early or late lunch at one of the quick-serve restaurants, or just snack on turkey legs and ice cream throughout the day!

6. Stay at an on-site hotel

Staying on-site brings a whole host of benefits. You don’t just get early admission to the park – before anyone else – you also get a Universal Express Unlimited Card absolutely free!

The Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
Universal’s awesome Hard Rock Hotel!

Tip: Some people book to stay on-site just for one night during their visit, so they can still enjoy all the added benefits.

7. Don’t let bad weather put you off

Overcast or rainy days put a lot of people off visiting the parks, meaning wait times for rides are often much shorter. Throw in a storm and you’ll have a huge majority of riders hovering in the outlets and shops, leaving the rides empty for you!

Plus, as the majority of rides are indoors, the rain won’t affect your experience at all.

Universal Orlando in the rain
A rainy day at Universal! Image:

Can’t wait to put these tips to the test? Check out the Universal Orlando ticket options to find the right one for your trip!

About the author:

Sophie Smith is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in the beautiful Cotswolds. You can find Sophie on Twitter @sophielouwrites and see more of her work at When she's not writing, she loves to travel; just a few of her favourite hot spots are Florida, New York, Rome and Florence.

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