Trip Tip: How to get to the front of the line

WebmasterBarry

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 1999
Are you scared off by 60- to 90-minute waits for the rides at Universal Orlando? You can bypass these long waits by using various techniques that the parks offer.


USE UNIVERSAL EXPRESS

Universal Express was first introduced in April 2000 and has gone through many changes since then. Currently, you can obtain a Universal Express pass with a return time on it. If you return to the attraction within that return time, you are directed to the special Universal Express queue.

Universal Express works like this. You go to the Universal Express distrubtion area. You scan your ticket in a booth and give you an option of two, one-hour return windows will appear on the screen. You choose one window. You return within that window to enter the Universal Express queue. You need to show your Universal Express pass to gain entry.

All ticket holders are allowed one Universal Express ticket at a time. You can obtain another Universal Express ticket when you have used your first pass, your return window has expired, or two hours have passed since you used your first pass.

Universal predicts an anticipated wait time of no more than 15 minutes in the Universal Express queue. You can also obtain a Universal Express pass for the shows, such as the Wild Wild West Stunt show at Universal Studios and The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad at Islands of Adventure. These tickets give you priority seating at the shows.

Universal Express is not available on Pteranodon Flyers, Mt. Crumpit’s slide (during Grinchmas), and the front rows of Dueling Dragons and the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios does not have Universal Express on Fivel’s Playland slide and Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster. Universal Express passes may run out before the park close if all the windows have been distributed.


BE AN ONSITE RESORT GUEST

Universal’s onsite hotels, Portifino Bay and Hard Rock Hotel, are great places to stay in their own right. However, being an onsite guest gives you special perks.

If you stay onsite, you get front of the line access all day, every day. Yes, you read that right! You just show your room key to the ride attendant and you can go through the special Universal Express queue. You can use this feature as many times as you want during the day.

Front of the line access is not available on Pteranodon Flyers, Mt. Crumpit’s slide (during Grinchmas), and the front rows of Dueling Dragons and the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios does not have front of the line access on Fivel’s Playland slide and Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster.

You are also eligible for early entry into the parks. The park opens at 8:00 am on select days for onsite guests. Early entry occurs on Sunday and Thursday for Universal Studios. Islands of Adventure’s early entry days are Monday and Wednesday. Universal employees do check your room keys, so remember to have them handy when you are entering the park. Unlike Disney World, early entry usually does not affect crowd size.

*** UPDATE 11/1/01: Early Entry is suspended until further notice. **

You are eligible for onsite guest perks during the length of your stay. You can even use them on the day of your checkout.


BECOME A SINGLE OR DOUBLE RIDER

If you don’t mind splitting your party into groups of one, you can get on the ride much quicker through the single or double rider line. You follow the signs to the special single or double rider queue. You will fill single or double seats as they come up.

Men in Black: Alien Attack and the E.T. Adventure at Universal Studios have single rider lines. At Islands of Adventure, you can find single rider lines at the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk Coaster, Dr. Doom’s Fearfall, and the Jurassic Park River Adventure. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Islands of Adventure has the only double rider lines. You fill the ride logs as double seats come up.

Please note that single or double rider lines open and close depending on the queue time. Generally, they will not open until the queue is 30 minutes or greater. However, Men in Black: Alien Attack’s single rider line stays open until the ride is nearly a walk-on.


TAKE THE VIP TOUR

You can be escorted around the park by a VIP tour guide. You can get a VIP tour of Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, or both parks. The VIP tour guide will escort you to the front of the line of attractions and give you special seating during the shows. You can go behind-the-scenes and see things other guests do not and you can hear interesting stories from your VIP tour guide.

The one-park VIP tour allows you to join a group of 14 other VIPs. The tour runs five hours. It gives you priority entrance and preferred seating at approximately eight attractions. The tour departs at 10:00 am and 12:00 pm daily. The cost is about $120 per person.

Universal also has exclusive VIP tours. This tour gives a pre-formed group of up to 15 a private tour that can last up to eight hours. The tour is customized and scheduled at your convenience. The exclusive VIP tour gives priority entrance and preferred seating at attractions of your choice. You can choose the following types of tours: one-day, one-park; one-day, two-parks; or two-day, two-parks. The tours do not need to last eight hours, nor do you have to have exactly 15 people in the group. The one-day exclusive VIP tour costs approximately $2,000. The two-day VIP tour costs around $3,000.

You can make reservations or find prices by calling (407) 363-8295.
 
I received this e-mail about early entry from Universal guest services:

In order to qualify for early entry you must have purchased your tickets
through AAA, ACS, CAA, Universal Studios Vacations, or have a
Star/Adventurer, SilverStar, Flex, annual, seasonal, or Celebrity pass. If
you are staying at the Hard Rock or Portofino Bay hotel you also qualify for
early entry.

Early entry days are as follows:

Universal Studios Sundays and Thursdays
Islands of Adventure Mondays and Wednesdays

Early admission time is 8:00am.
 
WE got our Silver Star passes by attending the Vistana Vacation Condo's.

WE got 3 day,2 park,Early Entry Silver Star Passes. DH and mine were,$70.00 and DD was $90.00[adult ticket]

It was worth the 90 min. sales presention to save all that money on tickets,so we could spend more on suvies and Sit down Dinners!!!
 
if FOTL will continue being an all day thing? I am making plans for later in the year, but wonder if the program is stable or will be changing to certain hours vs all day. Thanks for all the information.:D
 


Barry, thanks for the info. so the AAA tickets say AA on it?

I'm assuming that is the case. We are going late August, so any possibilites that these "policies" are firm then ?

Your information is very helpful.
 
FOTL is still all day.

The back of tickets bought from AAA usually say "AAA" on the back. I don't think Alcoholics Anonoymous sells discounted tickets. :)
 
HEHE! Barry, sometimes I type faster than what is in my head!

That was just a funny visual, sorry!
 


Just wondering. I had heard that staying on the lot gives you early access but does your annual pass also give this??? I hadn't heard anything on it but am now wodering after reading this area. Can someone let me know. Thanks.


~universalmaniac
 
Barry,

So according to the email you received, Flex ticket holders can get Early Entry? Is that the same as the Orlando Flex tickets that allow entrance to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Sea World of Florida, Busch Gardens and Wet n Wild?
 
Originally posted by vjeri
Barry,

So according to the email you received, Flex ticket holders can get Early Entry? Is that the same as the Orlando Flex tickets that allow entrance to Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Sea World of Florida, Busch Gardens and Wet n Wild?

What you describe is the Flex ticket.
 
Hey barry,
How does fotl work for these rides and shows:
Sinbad, T2, Monster Make up show, Beetle Juice, and other shows.
Also, on Earthquake, does fotl allow you to skip the preshow and get to the actual ride. Don't get me wrong people, I like the pre-show, but I love the ride. Which means I have to sit thru the pre-show. Many times. Get's very annoying.
Thanks Barry.
 
Sorry, the express and FOTL access get you to earthquake which is a show and a ride. Therefore, no, you can't go just to the ride.
 
For shows, FOTL and Universal Express give you priority seating, which means you get to go in first and get the better seats.
 
I just purchased 3 day escape passes to US. The website said escape passes have early entry privileges.Does anyone know anything about escape passes.
 
I have a question for FOTL access we have reservations at the HRH how many people can use the room key to get on the ride? we have a large family what if we want to split up? how many keys do you get when you check in?
 
Originally posted by Zeke Draven
Hey barry,
How does fotl work for these rides and shows:
Sinbad, T2, Monster Make up show, Beetle Juice, and other shows.
Also, on Earthquake, does fotl allow you to skip the preshow and get to the actual ride. Don't get me wrong people, I like the pre-show, but I love the ride. Which means I have to sit thru the pre-show. Many times. Get's very annoying.
Thanks Barry.

One time we went to Earthquake really early and they weren't doing the preshow yet, you just went straight on the ride ... don't know if there's any hard and fast rule as to if and when this is in effect though ...

T2 you get Express access to the next show (you should get in to whatever the next show is, unless you cut it way too close and it's busy).

The other shows you get Priority Seating.
 
At WDW you slide your ticket through a machine right at the entrance to the ride. Is it the same at IOA and US?
 
I went to Universal in april thinking of going back again in September but only if FOTL is still in place . will it still be in place?
 

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