The incredible rides of Universal Orlando transport visitors to magical lands and fantastic places. But before you can get on the ride, you have to get through the queue. Luckily, Universal has spent a lot of effort making their queues so fun they're like attractions themselves. Here's our list of the top 5 queues at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
This blockbuster attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure has changed our expectations for what a queue can be. Being able walk through the various rooms of Hogwarts Castle has been the dream of Harry Potter fans for years. Now you can see the moving portraits, visit perfect recreations of the sets from the films including Dumbledore's office, the Gryffindor common room and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Using a hologram-like technology called "musion" we get to see Harry, Ron and Hermione in person. If you're lucky, they might cast a spell that makes it snow in the classroom while you're there! Before you get to the ride you'll encounter The Sorting Hat. This queue is so good it actually is its own attraction. Guests who aren't even riding Forbidden Journey will often ask for a "Castle Tour," where you can walk all of the rooms of the queue without going on the ride. It's that good.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
The fire-breathing dragon perched atop the building in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida beckons you to enter. The first time you see the Great Hall of Gringotts Bank you will be blown away. This huge lobby features giant sparkling chandeliers hanging above, large marble pillars and many (animatronic) goblin bank tellers. They sit at their desks, filling out paperwork and counting money, but every once in awhile they look up to make eye contact with you as you pass. On your way through various hallways you'll encounter animated Wizarding newspapers and many different doors. You may spot the silhouettes of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they hatch a plan behind one of the office doors. A pre-show with Bill Weasley and your goblin guide explains more about the Wizard bank and what you can expect on your upcoming tour. Before your ride to the vaults can begin, you have to take a crazy elevator ride down to the lower level caverns, which is like a ride itself.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong
The queue for this attraction at Islands of Adventure can be a bit creepy. Okay, maybe a lot creepy. Transport back in time to before the events of the original King Kong film. A group of explorers known as the Eighth Wonder Expedition Co. have set up a tour service, and we enter their base camp before embarking on our journey. The sound of an old radio plays as we wind around the camp, overlooking the massive temple gates. Soon we leave the safety of base camp and enter an extremely dark cave. The cave is filled with scary carvings and skulls. Lots of skulls. In fact, there are over 800 skulls in the queue alone! There's a room filled with fire effects and an eerie witch. It sounds like she might be conjuring the mighty Kong! Be careful turning around the next bend because one of the natives might jump out to try to scare you. That's right, there are "scareactors" in this queue! Lastly, don't miss the giant animatronic slug creature before you get on the ride.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
This new attraction at Universal Studios Florida is the first to feature a "Virtual Queue." Instead of standing in line you're free to move about and enjoy all the awesome offerings while you wait. Explore the history of The Tonight Show in the museum downstairs featuring props from all of the show's hosts through the years. Send a "Thank You Note" or play video games at interactive desks upstairs. See the lovable Hashtag the Panda. And be sure not to miss a live performance of The Ragtime Gals, a real barbershop quartet singing popular hip-hop songs. It's a great show and one of the best parts of the attraction. And all that's before you even get to the ride. If it's been a long day at the park, you can grab a seat on one of the comfy couches while you wait. There's even phone charging ports built into the chairs. They thought of everything!
Men in Black: Alien Attack
An interactive shooter ride at Universal Studios Florida, Men in Black: Alien Attack features one of the most fun queues at the park. See the worm guys from the film series hanging out in the break room enjoying their coffee. If you stick by you can hear them complain about their co-workers as well as the new recruits (that's you!) Seeing the MiB Immigration Floor is pretty incredible. That's the big room with the giant monitor and the two aliens at the controls. Their names are Idikiukup and Bob, but most people just call them the twins. Finally, you get to walk through the weapons armory filled with all kinds of alien blasters, noisy crickets and of course, neuralizers. Try turning some of the door handles throughout the queue for unique surprises as well, if you dare.
(Photos: Universal Orlando)
Orlando, FL – 9/29/17
By: Alicia Stella