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How to Navigate Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood

by Tad on February 17, 2023 Los Angeles

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'Sup! It's Tad here, the tech guru of the Frog Family. If you are planning a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, you’re going to want to be on top of how to join its virtual lines. Don't worry — you do not need to be super techie like me to join a virtual queue. Even my parents can do it without my tech support! The crowd levels and demand will dictate whether virtual queues are in place for select attractions, mainly the newest attractions. That includes the newest land, Super Nintendo World. You don't want to miss out! Let’s hop to it and go over the attractions and lands that may utilize virtual lines at Universal Studios Hollywood and how to join them. I also have a few tips on how to skip some virtual lines along the way!

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood

Overview of Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood

You may need to join a virtual line for entry to select rides, shows and certain lands, such as Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, WaterWorld and Super Nintendo World, depending on demand. Virtual queues can be joined via the Universal Studios Hollywood app (or through kiosks in the park at times).

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Entrance to Super Nintendo World

That means you are going to want to download the Universal Studios Hollywood app before your visit. It's also super hopful in accessing restaurant menus, wait times and the park map. Don't froget — you'll need the app to link your Power-Up Band and keep track of the points you earn for participating in games and challenges inside Super Nintendo World. You can also use the app to set Wait Time Alerts for rides without a virtual line. We'll get into that below!

Rides with Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Virtual Line machines at Secret Life of Pets

The newest ride in the Upper Lot is Secret Life of Pets. It sometimes implements a virtual queue if the standby line gets too long. The hoppy news is that you can join the virtual line through the app or in person. The kiosks look like subway ticket machines and are located to the left of the ride entrance. We love how they're themed according to the ride!

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - App screenshot of Virtual Line boxTo join the virtual queue in the app, you'll need to be inside the park. You can check if the virtual line is open by tapping the Virtual Lines box on the home page of the app and then tapping Virtual Line Venues. Many days, you don't need to use the virtual line for this ride. If the ride has a wait time showing, you can head straight there without a spot in the virtual queue. However, if the line gets too long, you might see the virtual line become a requirement later in the day. People who have a Universal Express ticket, or are on a VIP Experience tour, do not need to join the virtual line.

Lands with Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood

Super Nintendo World in the Lower Lot is the newest land at Universal. Since the land is a new addition to the park and can become crowded, entry to the land is sometimes determined by the virtual line. The ride located inside the park, Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, does not offer a virtual line or Express access. Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge only has a standby line and a Single Riders line. Note that you must first get into the land to have access to the ride or the Toadstool Cafe. Once the line gets too long for the Toadstool Cafe, you'll be issued a reservation to return and join the standby line to order.

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Sign to kiosks in Lower Lot

The virtual line to enter Super Nintendo World can be joined via the Universal Studios Hollywood app as soon as one enters the park. If you do not have a smartphone, there are Area Timed Entry Kiosks to the right of Transformers: The Ride-3D, but that means you need to go down the Starway escalators to join the virtual line. We recommend using the app, which will allow you easier and quicker access to the virtual queue.

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Screenshot of app

To do this, locate the home screen of the app and scroll to the bottom. There, you will find a Super Nintendo World Virtual Line Reservation box. Tap it and join the virtual line. Another method you can use is going to the Virtual Lines box first, then tapping Virtual Line Venues and selecting Super Nintendo World. Reservations may not be required at certain times. If the land does not appear as an option for Virtual Line reservations, joining a virtual line is not required to enter the land. With that being said, go have fun and smash some question blocks!

How to Get Around the Virtual Line

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Race start

If you have a Universal Express ticket, you can access the land once per day without joining a virtual line (platinum passholders with Express benefits can access the land once per day after 3 p.m.). If you're an early bird, you can also access Super Nintendo World one hour before the park opens with an early access ticket add-on, which is only sold on the Universal Studios Hollywood website. The early access ticket costs about $20-25 per person, per day. Another way to gain one-time access to Super Nintendo World and skip the line for Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge is to book a VIP Experience. VIP Experience lanyards provide guests with access to the land and the ride, even if a virtual line is in place. While Express passes and VIP Experiences are on the pricier side, you can save a lot of money (up to $140 dollars per ticket on VIP and up to $130 on Express) when you book them through Undercover Tourist.

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - One possible ending for the ride

The VIP Experience allows you to ride Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge an unlimited amount of times. It provides different outcomes with each ride, so you'll toadally want to experience it again and again! If visiting Super Nintendo World is your main reason to visit Universal Studios Hollywood, then this experience might be worth your while.

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Set reminder in app

Shows with Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood

In the past, the WaterWorld show has offered a virtual queue for audience seating. It may not be in play much lately, but it could come back, especially during peak seasons. If the show does not have a virtual line during the time of your visit, you can set reminders before the show starts so you don't miss it.

Tap your desired time to set the reminder and choose how far in advance you'd like to be reminded. We recommend setting a reminder in the app to alert you 60 minutes, or an hour, before the WaterWorld showtime you want to see. That will give you enough time to walk there, get a drink or take a bathroom break and get seated before the show.

Set Wait Time Alerts

How to Use Virtual Lines at Universal Studios Hollywood - Wait time alert in app

For other rides and attractions without a virtual line, you can set wait time alerts. This way, if the line for a certain attraction reaches a wait time that you consider manageable or doable, the app will alert you. When the wait time dips to your desired wait time, you’ll receive a notification and can go hop in line. To do this, go to the Wait Times section of the app. Tap the current wait time for a ride, then tap Wait Time Alert. Select a wait time that appeals to you — if and when the wait time drops, you'll get a notification. You can test out this feature at home before you visit (we'd recommend it!).

You never know if you will need to join virtual lines at Universal Studios Hollywood. That's why it's best to be prepared just in case. Two ways to bypass the virtual line are with discounted Universal Express tickets (after 3 p.m.) or VIP Tours for unlimited access. We also sell general admission tickets at a discount. 

Related: How to Maximize Your Time at Universal Studios Hollywood

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
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