2020 & 2021 Walt Disney World Tickets & Hotels Now Available!

2020 & 2021 Walt Disney World Tickets & Hotels Now Available! 2020 & 2021 Walt Disney World® Tickets & Hotels Now Available! 2020 & 2021 Walt Disney World Tickets & Hotels Now Available!

ORDER NOW to secure your ticket reservation in the parks!
1–7 Day Theme Park Base Tickets only for 2020 arrivals.

SAVE UP TO $70
Book My Hotel >

The Very Best Queues at Universal Orlando

by Tad on September 26, 2019 2125 Orlando

The Best Queues at Universal Orlando‘Sup! Tad here. As the Frog Family’s thrill seeker, I’ve hopped in line for so many rides, shows and attractions at Universal Orlando Resort that I’m THE self-proclaimed ride expert there. As much as I love the actual rides, waiting in line is an entire experience of its own. With every new attraction, queue designs have gotten more immersive and epic over the years! They deserve their own appreciation post, so I’ve put together my definitive ranking of the very best queues at Universal Orlando. (These picks are solely based on the queue, not the ride itself!)

Lines are no fun, and it seems like the ride designers know it, too. Boring switchbacks and safety instructions playing on repeat just don’t cut it anymore. Nowadays, the queues use modern technology to include backstories, audio-animatronics, virtual waiting rooms or even live actors to keep park guests entertained. Sure, you can skip to the front of the line with an Express Pass or get in the shorter Single Riders line … by doing so, you might skip over major parts of the queue. But for these rides, I highly recommend going through the regular line if it’s your first time. Without further ado, cue the best queues at Universal Orlando!

The Best Queues at Universal Orlando

10. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

This amazing adventure begins inside The Daily Bugle newsroom. You snake through the cubicles where you see empty desks and abandoned sandwiches. While inside the newsroom, you hear and see live coverage that all of the villains — Hobgoblin, Hydro-Man, Doctor Octopus, Electro and Scream — have joined together to steal the Statue of Liberty. The Daily Bugle's editor, J. Jonah Jameson, wants to send you out to cover this breaking news, thus setting up the ride's storyline.

What I love about the queue is that it keeps the cartoonish theme not only with the videos playing, but everywhere you look. As somewhat of a video journalist myself, I find the various signs hanging on the walls quite amusing.

9. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

In the newest of the best queues at Universal Orlando, venture deep into the Forbidden Forest. The queue gives you the first look at the brand-new roller coaster’s track, which stays mostly out of view from the entrance. You’ll stroll by Hagrid’s hut and pumpkin patch before reaching and entering the abandoned, ivy-covered ruins in the Forbidden Forest — a new setting that was created exclusively for the ride. Inside the ruins, Hagrid has set up a terrarium where he kept his Blast-Ended Skrewts before they outgrew it and a nursery for his hatching dragon eggs. In the pre-show, Hagrid and his dog, Fang, join Arthur Weasley, who is helping Hagrid duplicate the motorbike and its sidecar. See if you can spot the tribute to the former Dueling Dragons ride!

8. Revenge of the Mummy

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Revenge of the Mummy

The queue starts out as if you’re getting a behind-the-scenes movie set tour of the fictional sequel to "The Mummy," "Revenge of the Mummy." You initially see displays with various props and costumes while a mockumentary video plays, explaining how the mummy’s curse was proven to be real while filming the original movie, and a crew member has now mysteriously disappeared. Then, you enter a dimly lit room that looks like an archeological dig inside an Egyptian tomb. You can interact with elements that add to the creepiness factor. For instance, reach into a hole in the wall to try to grab a ruby, if you dare.

7. MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Men In Black

While you’re outside of the building that resembles the 1964 New York World’s Fair, it looks like you’re waiting to experience an exhibit called “The Universe and You!” After stepping inside, a retro video for the exhibit starts, only to be interrupted by a MIB agent who explains you’re being recruited and need to undergo training. After a ride in an elevator, the queue then snakes down the hallways of the MIB headquarters. You pass by the break room where the “worm guys” are drinking coffee.

But my favorite part comes next … the Immigration Room! While walking on the upper level, look down at the computers and control center with alien twins, Bob and Bhnxaxx, helming operations. If you want a closer look, ask the team members at the ride entrance if the “secret” immigration tour is available (which is usually in the afternoon when they have more team members working, but not on a super busy day). I love combing through the intake forms and Weekly World News tabloid clippings on the desks. Just keep in mind it’s not always available, but if it’s a particularly slow day at the park, it doesn’t hurt to ask!

6. Hogwarts Express — King’s Cross Station

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Hogwarts Express: King's Cross

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for … you get to hop aboard the Hogwarts Express for a one-way trip to Hogwarts! You'll feel like you’re actually in London as you walk into King’s Cross Station. By the way, if you ask a King’s Cross employee how to find Platform 9 ¾, they will look at you in confusion or remark how crazy you sound. You pass by the Divine Magic perfume ad that Harry and Dumbledore see in the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" movie. Don’t worry about getting hungry in line because you can buy chips (or as the Brits across the pond say, crisps) at a mini market in the middle of the queue.

Once you walk up a flight of stairs, you’re close to Platform 9 ¾. From a distance — thanks to some magical special effects — you’re able to see the people in front of you walk straight through the brick wall. After turning the corner, the Hogwarts Express and an animatronic Hedwig greet you on the platform!

5. Fast and Furious — Supercharged

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Fast and Furious

The building’s exterior looks like an abandoned warehouse surrounded by a chain-link fence and no trespassing signs. But once inside, it’s clear that the Fast and Furious crew has set up their headquarters here. The queue winds through the car garage, which features the original models and replicas from the films. Keep an eye out for Easter eggs that pay tribute to former attractions, such as Disaster! and Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue. Before you get to the loading area, you stop for two pre-shows in the family break room and Tej’s war room, where live actors interact with Mia and Tej via video calls. These short chats set up the ride’s main storyline.

You have the option to use this ride's virtual queue by setting up a return time at a kiosk outside the attraction. There is also a standard line, a Single Riders line and an Express Pass line (which is shared with the virtual queue). When waiting in line, you’re able to access Fast & Furious trivia games through the Universal Orlando app.

4. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Out of the best queues at Universal Orlando, this one is the most unique. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon changed the waiting game by implementing Universal’s first virtual queue when it opened in 2017. When you’re at the park, you can reserve a time slot at a kiosk outside the attraction or through the Universal Orlando app. You can roam around the park until it’s your return time.

As soon as you’re inside, you’re given a color-coded card on the first-floor lobby. While you're here, you can take a look at the history of "The Tonight Show" and its hosts throughout the years. When the color of your ticket is illuminated in the lobby, you can go upstairs to a second waiting area known as the Studio 6B Club. You can relax on comfy couches, watch clips from "The Tonight Show" or play a racing-style video game called “Jimmy Drive.” They’re not always there, but you might also catch a live performance from The Ragtime Gals or a meet-and-greet with Hashtag the Panda. Once the lights turn the same color as your ticket again, there's a short line before entering the ride’s flying theater.

3. Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Skull Island

If you thought the Revenge of the Mummy queue sounded creepy, Skull Island: Reign of Kong takes it to a whole new level. As you might expect, the queue is lined with hundreds of skulls, as well as spooky skeletons. One particular room features an animatronic shaman who’s eerily chanting in the middle of a giant skull illuminated by fiery effects. Before you hop on the ride, you face another terrifying animatronic — an enormous slug-like parasite with rows of teeth.

But that’s not all! The best (or maybe, worst for some) part of the queue happens to be the hidden scare actor. Yes, you read that right. You never know if a native of Skull Island will pop out to scare unsuspecting riders. Sometimes the native will scare the daylights out of my dad. But other times, there are no jump scares at all. For this reason, Lily and Mommy Frog usually sit this ride out.

2. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

In the Harry Potter series, Gringotts is the Wizarding World goblin-run bank located at Diagon Alley. The ride’s queue recreates the grand marble lobby, as seen in the films. Once you enter the queue, you see massive chandeliers and extremely detailed animatronic goblins working behind long counters. As you move past the lobby, you’ll walk by vaults, offices, newspaper clippings — and even the shadows of Harry, Ron and Hermione.

There’s a short pre-show that sets up the ride’s story in Bill Weasley’s office with the eldest Weasley sibling himself and Blordak, a goblin employee. (The ride's storyline ties in with Harry, Ron and Hermione's break-in attempt in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"). Fellow Potterheads, see if you can spot the moving Weasley family portrait near the bottom left of the scene! After you pass a guard who appears to be under a sleeping spell, you step inside an elevator simulation that truly makes you feel like you’re plunging miles underground. Finally, you’ll ascend a spiral staircase that leads you to your magical cart with hanging stalactites above.

1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Best Queues at Universal Orlando - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

I don’t think there’s anything more magical than stepping inside the Hogwarts castle for the first time. Universal Orlando knocked it out of the Quidditch pitch! With a little help from the film series’ art design team, Hogwarts is fully brought to life. The journey through the castle starts outside at the school’s greenhouse where Herbology lessons take place (don’t worry, there aren’t any mandrake screams that will kill you). Once you enter the castle, you’ll pass by the giant hourglasses that keep track of House points and the griffin statue that guards Dumbledore’s office.

The Portrait Gallery features moving portraits of the Hogwarts founders and dozens more. Listen closely to their conversations about Hagrid losing a dragon and how Hogwarts has opened its doors to muggles for the first time. Next, you’ll pass through Dumbledore’s office and his lifelike projection will talk to you. Similarly, Harry, Ron and Hermione greet you in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Be on the lookout for props used in the films in these incredibly detailed rooms! You’ll also encounter the Fat Lady portrait and the Sorting Hat at the end of the captivating queue.

Do you agree with my ranking of the best queues at Universal Orlando? If you'd switch or replace one, share it in the comments below!

Related: Ultimate Guide on When to Use Universal Express Pass

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
801–850 of 2116 comments
Oct 16, 2019 at 1:28 a.m. Vee Lamoreux Says...

Forbidden Journey is definitely the best!

Reply
Oct 16, 2019 at 1:18 a.m. naveJ Says...

We love Harry Potter!

Reply
Oct 16, 2019 at 1:14 a.m. Joann Higbie Says...

Can't wait to visit Universal! Thanks for the information.

Reply
Oct 16, 2019 at 12:46 a.m. Gina Says...

Last visited Dec 2016. Our favorite was Gringott’s at that time. Look forward to returning and experiencing the newer rides.

Reply
Oct 16, 2019 at 12:33 a.m. Almaleen Castillo Says...

Our family is a fan of Harry Potter. We would love to go to Universal Orlando .

Reply
Oct 16, 2019 at 12:32 a.m. Joan Breazeale Says...

We would love to win this trip and take my son's best friend. He has never been to Universal. We have only been once and we loved everything about it!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. AJS Says...

This new Intel is making it more challenging to decide between front of line passes or not. Hmmmm....

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 11:57 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Sadly, I've not been on many of these rides. It has been 11 years since I've been to Orlando. I look forward to seeing these queues and rides in person someday!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 11:44 p.m. Melissa Pulido Says...

Need to plan a trip to Universal next time. Just got back from a trip this week and was really happy with my savings and tips from Undercover Tourist

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 11:14 p.m. SALINA LENZ Says...

I'm excited to ride the Jimmy Fallon ride! Last time we were there it wasn't quite opened!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 10:40 p.m. Alyn Says...

Kings Cross station should be ranked higher. It's an incredible thing for a Harry Potter fan to walk through the wall and see that scarlet steam engine. I suspect Jimmy Fallon and fast and furious are not as sentimental.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 10:22 p.m. Sarah Says...

I agree that Harry Potter would be number 1. I haven't been there in 17 years.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 9:33 p.m. Brittany Gilley Says...

I can't wait to go to Universal!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 9:26 p.m. Dave Wilhelm Says...

Great information. Thank you for sharing.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 8:51 p.m. Sabrina Gonzalez Says...

Excited to visit

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 8:26 p.m. Terry Says...

Worth reading! Thanks for the info froggies!!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 8:22 p.m. kayla sanderson Says...

the harry potter themed area seems so cool

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 8:13 p.m. Mary L. Says...

I love the universal parks! Thanks for the wonderful break downs and information on the rides!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 8:05 p.m. Brian Hancock Says...

We love and appreciate Undercover tourist. Thanks for the great deals you have given us over the years.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 8 p.m. Moriah Hancock Says...

Love undercover tourist!!!!! Moriah

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 7:51 p.m. Sarah Carlson Says...

Thanks! We are waiting for our youngest to get a little bigger before we hit Universal. The big kids are dying to do the Harry Potter stuff!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 7:08 p.m. george ashmore Says...

Beware of the Harry Potter ride. Exciting but do not sit next to a woman who had a big breakfast.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:57 p.m. Ashley Peters Says...

My favorite ride is Revenge of the Mummy! I went when I was in high school and haven't gotten the chance to go back since. I would love to have that opportunity!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:57 p.m. Angie curran Says...

Thanks for sharing. The themed queues add to the overall attraction enjoyment.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:56 p.m. Kelley Stone Says...

I LOVE Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure!!!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:51 p.m. Krissy Z Says...

My family would love to win this trip and I love your website and all the helpful information.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:38 p.m. Britney Serrano Says...

I've been looking and asking friends for a company that helps you with scheduling a vacation and saving money tips and packages! Thanks so much for the awesome chance!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:36 p.m. Beth Mceachern Young Says...

Love that they sell beverages on some of the lines!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:19 p.m. Kelley B. Says...

We would love to win this trip

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:02 p.m. Angela Says...

We can’t wait to visit universal and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 6:01 p.m. Kristen Kuefler Says...

I cant wait for our trip. Thank you for being a valuable resource.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:54 p.m. Jasmine Seivright Says...

Would love to go back and see all the new HP themes and rides! We haven't been back since 2012!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:53 p.m. Jason Says...

We LOVE Universal!!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:53 p.m. Denise W Says...

Love the tips

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:39 p.m. Fernando Martinez Says...

Entriiieesssd

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:27 p.m. Shauna Gomes Says...

My kids would LOVE a trip to universal!! We are a huge HP family!!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:13 p.m. Sue Says...

The Hogwarts Express queue is the best! You can really enter platform 9 3/4!!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 5:12 p.m. Michelle Mattice Says...

Thank you for all the tips - can't wait to go!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:53 p.m. Ashley Says...

I've never been to Universal (yet), so I'm happy to have these tips for when we do *finally* go!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:51 p.m. Fatima Says...

I agree, the Forbidden Journey queue is probaby the best at Universal. Although I am very partial to Spider-Man and the Mummy as well.

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:47 p.m. Kira Lanier Says...

So excited to go! I love this page for all the planning insites!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:44 p.m. Heather Says...

Haven't had a chance to visit yet but planning to go next summer. Can't wait!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. charlotte Says...

Thank you so much for hosting this exciting giveaway. My family went to Universal in Florida and it was amazing!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:03 p.m. Melissa Says...

Love all the tips and tricks

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 3:53 p.m. Lumos Says...

A great time for everyone!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 3:53 p.m. Judd Adams Says...

Can't wait to go!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 3:36 p.m. Susan Igel Says...

Top 3 queues for me are: Men In Black, Forbidden Journey, and Escape From Gringotts. Spiderman is a very close 4th. Can't wait to go back!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 3:34 p.m. Beatriz Gonzalez Says...

Even though I've never been to Universal Orlando, I agree on the selection and placement of the attractions, specially the Harry Potter attractions as is my son's favorite!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 3:02 p.m. Brian Says...

Thanks for all the information!

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. Sally Molter Says...

Love your tx. prices

Reply
Leave a comment
Name is required. Email is required. Please input a comment.
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!
Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address
footer grass

Contact:  1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)  |  1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)

Sign up for Our Newsletter Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation

monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

Contact Us

Send Feedback

Or call 1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)

1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)


©2000–2020 Undercover Tourist. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions
As to Disney photos, logos, properties: ©Disney
lilypad
Newsletter logo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

monthly news, planning tips and special deals from the Frog Family

Please enter your Name Please enter your Email address
×

Thank you for joining our email list!

Joined email list logo

You should be receiving your first email soon!
Thanks for being a part of the family.

×
Create an account

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account. Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No, thanks. ×