Universal Studios Florida and its sister theme park, Islands of Adventure, are wildly popular destinations in Orlando. Islands of Adventure is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, while the new Transformers 3-D ride and a Simpsons-themed area with rides, games, Moe’s Tavern, and eateries like Krusty Burger and the Frying Dutchman, is next door at Universal.
All these exciting attractions do have a downside: they draw more crowds to the park. You can buy an Express Pass (or get one free if you stay at an on-site hotel) to minimize your wait time, but there’s another, lesser known option: the single rider line.
Where to Find Single Rider Lines
Not all rides at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure have single rider lines, but you’ll find them on some of the most popular attractions. For example, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the headliner ride at Islands, has one, as does Transformers at Universal. Other rides with single rider lines include the Hulk roller coaster, Dr. Doom’s Fearfall, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, and Men in Black.
How Single Rider Lines Work
In order to use a single rider line, you must be willing to be split up from your party. Team members use this line to fill empty seats on the ride vehicles. You and your companions might be several vehicles apart, depending on the make-up of parties in the regular line. When there’s an available spot, a team member will direct you to the appropriate seat, and off you go! You can wait for the rest of your party near the exit.
Single Rider Advantage
As a local with an annual pass, I use the single rider lines frequently in the summer and around the holidays. The big advantage is that these lines are usually much shorter than the standby wait. Many people don’t want to be split from their parties, so they wait an hour, 90 minutes, or more while I hop on the ride two or three times within that very same time span. It’s worth the huge overall time savings to be separated from the rest of my party for a few minutes of ride time.
Sometimes the single rider lines get backed up. When that happens, they’ll close temporarily, so stop back later and you’ll likely find the line has reopened.
Long waits are normal during peak seasons at the Orlando theme parks. You can’t avoid them completely, but if you know the single rider line secret, you’ll shave a significant amount of time off your waits.