Trip Tip: How to Get to the Front of the Line


DIS Veteran
Aug 20, 1999
“I spent $48 to get in the park and I have to wait two hours in line for a ride?”

If you don’t like waiting in line, Universal Orlando has several options so that you can go to the front of the line.

1.) Be a Guest at an Onsite Resort

Guests at the Portifino Bay Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel (opening January 2001) receive front of the line benefits. If you show your room key to the ride attendant, you will be escorted to a special queue that takes you to the front of the line. Best of all, this feature is good all day, every day! Yes, you read that right. You can go to the front of the line during the entire day! Front of the line access is not good for One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Pterandon Flyers at Islands of Adventure, and on the slide in Fifel’s Playland at Universal Studios.

Onsite hotel guests can also enter the park one hour early at 8:00 am. On Sundays and Thursdays, you can enter Universal Studios early. On Mondays and Wednesdays, you can enter Islands of Adventure early.

2.) Use Universal Express

Universal Express is for multiday ticketholders, annual passholders, and Orlando Flexiticket holders. From 9:00 am to 11:00 am, you can bypass the main queue and enter the special Universal Express line. The wait time is no more than 15 minutes. You receive a special Universal Express access card for this.

At Universal Studios, you can use Universal Express on Back to the Future: The Ride, Twister: Ride It Out, The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, Men in Black: Alien Attack, E.T. Adventure, Kongfrontation, Earthquake: The Big One, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, and Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time. If you show your Universal Express card at the first showing of Animal Actors and the Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show, you get priority seating (arrive 15 minutes before showtime).

At Islands of Adventure, the following rides are available for Universal Express: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Storm Force Acceleratron, Caro-Seuss-sel, The Cat in the Hat, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dueling Dragons, Posideon’s Fury: Escape from the Lost City, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Arrive 15 minutes early and present your card at the first showing of The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad for priority seating.

Please note that Universal Express is not open to one-day ticketholders. One-day ticketholders use the regular queue. Also note that the Universal Express queue line may be closed if it reaches capacity. Technically, the Universal Express access card is good only once for each ride.

3.) Become a Single Rider

Depending on the queue times, certain rides will open up single rider lines. If you want to use this line, you have to break up your party into groups of one. The ride attendants will load you into the ride vehicle as single open seats become available. At Islands of Adventure, the Incredible Hulk Coaster, Dr. Doom’s Fearfall, and the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman have a single rider line. The E.T. Adventure and Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios are equipped with a single rider line. Single rider lines may be closed if they become too full or if the regular queue has a minimal wait. The exception is usually Men in Black. Generally, Men in Black always has a single riders line that opens at 11:00 am and closes when the park closes.

4.) Use Fast Track

Fast Track is similar to Disney’s Fast Pass system, but without the machines. Two Universal employees sit at a table and hand out Fast Track tickets. The tickets have a time window. If you return within this time window, you follow a special Fast Track line and go to the front of the line. The return window is 15 minutes long. Poseidon’s Fury and the Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure have Fast Track. Back to the Future: The Ride and Twister at Universal Studios use Fast Track.


Barry aka usagi

Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards
We're staying at Portofino next year, so I'm really thrilled about front-of-the-line access. This post should help a lot of people out who weren't clear on all of the different options out there. Thanks!

We were just at the Portofino two weeks ago, and at check-in were told we had front of the line access until noon (or something like that). It wasn't until we were using the Express pass on the very first ride (Spiderman) that a CM saw my resort card and told us it was all day, every day. It was wonderful! We felt like royalty, and did so much, so fast, that we comfortably took time to go back to the Portofino to swim for a while without worrying about commando touring.

The only "downfall" (if you want to call it that) is that you sometimes miss an interesting queue, such as the Spiderman queue, but I can live with that. We were asked at Terminator if we wanted to watch the pre-show and we said no (it was almost over, and we would have had to wait till the next one)


How about the VIP Tours? This is still an option those who want a guided, 5 hour tour with FOTLA. Granted, it's not so much of a big deal now with the onsite guests getting all day FOTL, but I truly enjoyed the one I took in September.


Mother of Michael

Proverbs 3:5-6
<font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Rejoice in the Joy of the Season!</font></marquee>
<font color=purple>Co-Moderator of the Community and Universal/IOA Boards</font color=purple>

Hmm...I did not think of that. I would put that into a special category.

Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards
This is a great post for everyone to see! :D


Am just signed in , but I have enjoyed the info shared here for a couple months now. I wanted to ask how the Universal Express tickets are doled out and who gets them? Thanks for being here!
h20jag: First of all, welcome to the boards. It's great you're here!

In relation to your question, Universal Express passes are only given to those guests that hold multi-day tickets (2-3 day tickets). The tickets are given out at the gate when you enter the park. Place your pass into the turnstile machine and the attendent will then hand you a small pass outlining the Express program. It will tell you what time the program runs from and what rides accept the Express pass.


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<font size=4 color=blue>Kevin</font>

<font size=2 color=navy>Mariah: The Collection - 69 CDs and Counting.</font>

<font size=2>"I Will Be Alright, If I Can Find That Rainbow's End." - Mariah Carey</font>
This is probably a stupid question, but here goes - we have one day left on our multi day ticket from Nov. 99 - can we do the Universal Express??
Is Universal Express allotted to Celebrity Pass holders? The first day we activated these cards , I asked at the gate and was denied ( the Express tickets that is ). It was 9 a.m. when we entered.
Just got your message! I had presumed all annual passes received that Express perk also. Learn sumthin' new everyday!

I had a day left on my May tickets that I used in September and got the Express vouchers. The only criteria is that they are multi-day tickets, not how many days are left on them. Since the tkts never expire your tickets should be fine....


Mother of Michael

Proverbs 3:5-6
<font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Rejoice in the Joy of the Season!</font></marquee>
<font color=purple>Co-Moderator of the Community and Universal/IOA Boards</font color=purple>

My thoughts on why you couldn't do Universal Express with the Celebrity Annual pass...

The Celebrity Annual Pass only allows you admission to USF. A one day ticket at USF only allows admission to USF. A one day ticket does not qualify for Universal Express. A multiday ticket allows for admission to both parks, USF and IOA. A 2-park annual or seasonal pass allows admission to both parks as well. A multiday ticket and 2-park annual and seasonal pass gets Universal Express. Since the Celebrity Annual Pass only allows for admission to one park, it is technically not a multiday pass. Thus, you cannot use Universal Express.


Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards
We went to USF in May with days left on our passes from the previous year and had no problem using the express. The only problem we had was getting me up early enough to use it! Obviously, I'm not a morning person, but it was worth the effort because we were able to walk right on to the rides.
Universal only advertise that you can use Universal Express if you have a 2 or 3 day Escape pass. That was the reason I bought one. I would have bought a Flexiticket had I known I could also use that for the Express line. :(

Disneyland Paris Halloween 1999 & Christmas 2000
Off site Easter 2000 & Easter 2001
you can get to the front by yelling mommy and walking forward. "ACT" like you own the place. :eek:


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