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  >>
1801–1850 of 2116 comments
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:59 p.m. Dawn D Says...

I went to Universal for the 1st time 2 years ago and had a blast. Would love to go back!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:59 p.m. Kristina Hoggard Says...

wonderful article

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:58 p.m. Cristina Jones Says...

Kids have never been!!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:58 p.m. Kara Says...

I wanna go so bad

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:58 p.m. Jamie Says...

Looking forward to our trip!! We love Universal!! It's home away from home!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:58 p.m. Laura Says...

Would love to visit Universal for Christmas

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:58 p.m. Marrissa Miller Says...

I've never been to a big park like this so I had no idea that the queues themselves were so interactive. This is super awesome. :) Thank you for sharing!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. Liz Says...

Who knew waiting in line could be so much fun!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. den Says...

great prices for tickets

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. William Says...

Undercover tourist saved me a bunch on my trip

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:57 p.m. Angel Bermudez Says...

Agree with the first three!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:56 p.m. Alexis Says...

Anything Harry Potter is the best!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:56 p.m. Jen Says...

We haven't made it to Universal yet. My girls love Harry Party though and have finally entered the Marvel Universe. Someday....

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:56 p.m. Cori Says...

I don't know, cause I've never been!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. Elliot Says...

My favorite queue is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. So much detail!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. Amanda Says...

Dying to visit Universal and check out all things Harry Potter!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. jau Says...

Can’t wait to visit!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:55 p.m. MJKrock Says...

My hubby and I are visiting FL in February in 2020 and this will be our 3rd trip to WDW with a couple days at US for the first time! This was a helpful article!!!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Rachel Albert Says...

Some of the Harry Porter queues could move even slower, and I’d be happy! Especially the King’s across Station.

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Jennifer Stump Says...

Universal is so fun!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Jennifer Stump Says...

Universal is so fun!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Nicole B Says...

Thoroughly enjoyed Hogwarts castle years ago- would have actually liked the line to be slower to take in all the detail!! Looking forward to a return trip hopefully sometime soon to see all the new Harry Potter areas!!!!!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Tiffany Ludwig Says...

My family has always done WDW, but Universal is our list - we are really looking to make it there sooner than later! Thanks for keeping us informed on this great park!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Anthony Says...

Going to Disney for honeymoon. I hope we can tack on a few days at Universal!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:54 p.m. Katie H. Says...

Definitely agree with this finely assembled list! I really enjoyed the queue for King Kong too. Dark and spooky!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Carolhellin Says...

Fingers crossed!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Emily Posey Says...

Would love to visit universal one day!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Snej Ostrovsky Says...

Dying to visit Harry Potter World!!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Deborah Cochran Says...

We will be visiting Universal Studios Orlando for the first time in April and are so super excited! The pics of the queue lines are amazing!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Sarah Thomas Says...

This is such a great website to get great deals.

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Emily Long Says...

I have always loved the que for Men in Black! It feels that they put aspects from the movie into the que.

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Jennifer Terry Says...

I actually love the Harry Potter que!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. melissa Says...

I can't wait to visit and see the queues!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Heather Clay Says...

Looking forward to all the queues on our next visit!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Janet Says...

Looking forward to the next visit!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Michelle Wallace Says...

The Harry Potter ques are amazing!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Cay Says...

The Spiderman ride is a classic, definitely one of my family's favorite queues

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Adam Belben Says...

I love the Marvel rides. Hoping to see more here or @ Disney World!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:52 p.m. Ken Cosco Says...

Universal has the best rides

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:51 p.m. Kathryn Says...

My family loves the Jimmy Fallon ride!!!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:51 p.m. sue Says...

Have not been to universal in over 10 years...hope to get there again soon!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:51 p.m. Darlene Teeuwsen Says...

We had an amazing family holiday here 10 years ago! It would be great to go back. So much new stuff!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. Melissa B Says...

Still a few rides we haven't tried, but looking forward to getting to them next time!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. Stephanie Says...

Looks so fun! I wish I could go to Universal Orlando

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. Nicole Redmond Says...

Never been but will be planning a trip soon.

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. Bailey Says...

Disney is amazing

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. Nancy Ellis Says...

Jimmy Fallon’s ride has the best queue by far! Great entertainment

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. D Brewer Says...

Maybe one of these days...

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:50 p.m. Dee Says...

Thanks for the tips and deals!

Reply
Oct 11, 2019 at 2:49 p.m. Megan Baker Says...

We went to Universal a few years ago and found the best tickets on this site! I'm dying to go back! After going to Disney, Universal is our absolute favorite!

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. ×