Attractions

Worth the Wait: Best Queues at Universal Orlando Resort

November 29, 2023
Gringotts Queue

The attractions at Universal Orlando Resort are so immersive and beloved because they make YOU the main character of captivating stories you can only experience at our theme parks. But maybe you’re not a “ride person”, and that’s OK! You can still be a part of the adventure by … and stay with me here… waiting in line. The attraction queues are meticulously designed to submerge you into the story before the ride even begins. Here are just a few of the can’t-miss queues in Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Where:
 Universal Studios Florida

Ragtime Gals in queue line at Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
Photo Credit: @annemcdade

What if you didn’t have to wait in a line at all? What if you could walk freely, sit, play games, and even watch live entertainment while you wait? I’m not exaggerating when I tell you the queue for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is a total game-changer. You’ll enter through the halls of 30 Rock, with walls lined with memorabilia from every era of “The Tonight Show” and tributes to each charismatic host. You’ll then make your way to a swanky seating area, where you can do pretty much WHATEVER YOU WANT, including watching the Ragtime Gals perform some familiar modern tunes in their classic barbershop quartet style! You might even get a chance to hang with Hashtag the Panda.

Hogwarts Express — King’s Cross Station
Where:
 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida

Hogwarts Express at King's Cross Station

Full transparency — this is my favorite queue line. In the “Harry Potter” novels and films, the Hogwarts Express is what transports us, Hogwarts students, to the beloved school of witchcraft and wizardry. We get to experience this same magic at Universal Orlando Resort, and it all begins at King’s Cross Station. You’ll pass under beautiful brick arches and through actual turnstiles where you’ll scan your Park-to-Park ticket, allowing you to board the train from London to Hogsmeade Village. On your way to catch your train, there’s even a spot for you to grab a snack! If you want to access Platform 9 ¾, you’ll have to walk through a wall (yes, you read that correctly). At last, you’ll enter the breathtaking sunlit station where you’ll find porters, stacks of luggage, and even owls waiting to board. The true magic, though, is the moment you see the Hogwarts Express arrive, waiting to whisk passengers away on a wizarding adventure!

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Where:
 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida

Gringotts Wizarding Bank Lobby

The prospect of waiting in line at the bank may not sound intriguing to everyone,  but they’ve clearly never experienced the queue for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. If you’re not deterred by the fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon perched on top of the exterior, you are in for a treat. The lobby of Gringotts Bank is larger than life, complete with four massive crystal chandeliers which combined have a total of 62,000 crystals, and vividly realistic goblin bankers with tendencies to stare judgingly at you as you pass by. After stopping to chat with Bill Weasley and Blordak, you’ll arrive at an elevator that descends nine miles to the underground caverns where the vaults are housed. Hope you like stalactites!

E.T. Adventure
Where:
 Universal Studios Florida

ET Queue

Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but there’s something special about the queue for E.T. Adventure. Not only is “E.T.” an iconic piece of cinema, but also it unlocks a core childhood memory that ignites my sense of wonder and imagination. In this queue, you’ll stroll through a moonlit forest with frogs croaking in the background, cool soft air on your skin, and the scent of fresh pine trees. (You can even stop by the gift shop and pick up a special pine-scented candle to take a piece of the queue home with you.) If you see an alien appear from the flashing green lights between the trees, fear not — he’s on our side! 

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
Where:
 Universal Islands of Adventure

Spider-Man Daily Bugle

Before  you embark the web-slinging 3D adventure to save the Statue of Liberty from a nefarious gang of supervillains, the queue for The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man takes you on a tour of the bustling offices of The Daily Bugle. The retro, cartoon-like design of the space makes you feel like you’re walking through the pages of a comic book. You’ll pass through rows of office cubicles, with a symphony of ringing telephones and circulating news footage that warns of the villainous takeover. If you pay attention to the details along the way, you’ll notice office doors with nameplates of different journalists from the comics and clever puns and jokes on every wall poster. Whether or not you decide to join Spider-Man on his adventure to save New York City aboard the Scoop vehicle, you get to be part of the action!

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 
Where: 
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure

No trip to the wizarding world is complete without touring the infamous Hogwarts Castle, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. As a decades-long fan of the books and movies, there is something unexplainable about — not reading, not watching, but living — the experience of a student at the school of witchcraft and wizardry. 

Traversing the expansive grounds and passages of the medieval edifice, you’ll pass through some of the most iconic Hogwarts locations — the mandrake-filled greenhouses, Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and even the Gryffindor Common Room! Along the way you’ll encounter immediately recognizable artifacts from the series like the Mirror of Erised, the Sorting Hat, and the portrait of the Fat Lady to name a few. 

Speaking of portraits… don’t be surprised when these paintings talk to one another, and maybe with you! There is so much to explore and discover during your tour, so whether or not you decide to enjoy the ride, you need to tour the castle for a proper wizarding world experience.

Jurassic World Velocicoaster
Where:
 Universal Islands of Adventure

VelociCoasterQueue

Even if you’re not quite ready to conquer the apex predator of rollercoasters, you can still experience plenty of prehistoric thrills in the queue for Jurassic World Velocicoaster. You’ll enter a state-of-the art facility where instructional videos prepare you to meet real live Raptors and assure you of the extensive precautions designed to keep you safe (although you might catch a glimpse through the window of Raptors running loose on the Paddock, so take that safety guarantee with a grain of salt). As you move deeper into the facility, you will come face to face with two of the ferocious beauties – Delta and Echo. These insanely realistic Velociraptors are tightly confined in their stables, but their vengeful glares, ominous growls, and sudden jolts will have you questioning just how secure those restraints really are.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or not, don’t just stand outside the ride waiting for your party to finish. You deserve your main character moment too, so join the queue and experience the story yourself — it’s worth the wait!

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6 Comments

  • Reply Willette M. November 29, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Love this! I will pay attention to all these details next time I visit. Some of them I knew about. I love how they bring you into the whole experience and also help keep my kiddo engage in the queues!

  • Reply Willette M. November 29, 2023 at 10:45 am

    *engaged. LOL

  • Reply Darleen Colon November 30, 2023 at 6:05 am

    Great article Kyle! Universal has amazing Queues.

    • Reply Digital Guest Communications November 30, 2023 at 8:01 am

      We’re thrilled you enjoyed this read, Darleen! We hope to welcome you to our parks soon!

  • Reply Remy Andersen December 9, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    I will argue that the queue for Hagrids is also worth mentioning, the attention to detail in each of the rooms is immaculate and impressive!

    • Reply Digital Guest Communications December 9, 2023 at 10:31 pm

      That is one of our favorites as well, Remy! ✨

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