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  • Writer's pictureCollin Brazan

What to do first when you rope drop Universal Orlando Resort

Updated: May 16

Photo by Jack O'Rourke on Unsplash

With limited capacity on a first come, first serve basis, it is more important than ever to get to Universal Orlando Resort when the parks open. As simple as that decision is, what attractions to prioritize is less simple. With two parks neighboring each other and at least a dozen must-do attractions between them, there are a lot of decisions to make.

Which park?

If you have a two-park pass, you should base your starting decision on the ages of your party. If you have younger guests and want to get to attractions friendly to them, choose Universal Studios. Otherwise, start in Islands of Adventure and hop to Universal Studios later.

If you start in Universal Studios...

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem should be at the top of your to-do list. It is the premier attraction for families and younger guests, and being that it is in the front of the park, it has sky-high wait times from park open to close. Previously, waiting until later in the day would see crowds shift away from the front of the park and see lines lighten at the attraction, but in my experience recently wait times have not gone down much since climbing.

Then you should consider riding Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. While lines do climb for this as well, it is rare that they hit the same high times as Minion Mayhem does. TRANSFORMERS: The Ride—3D is great to follow, with Fast & Furious - Supercharged and Shrek 4D also seeing long lines.

While Revenge of the Mummy is a tempting option (and an excellent attraction), hold off until later in the day. Lines will either stabilize, or will get long enough for Universal to open the virtual queue via the smartphone app.

If you start in Islands of Adventure...

And speaking of virtual queues, when the line gets long for Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which it normally does, it also goes to virtual queue. As will be listed by the app, spots in the digital line are given out multiple times a day. This means your time is usually better served getting in line for an attraction that backs up and does not offer a virtual queue. Here are the suggestions, based on you and your party's personal preferences:

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

If you have early entry, as is granted by all Universal Orlando Resort hotels and by annual passes on select days, ride the superhero attractions first and Harry Potter afterwards. If rope dropping without early entry, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey's line grows just as the superhero attractions do, so you should prioritize based on your interests.

Need additional help planning? Contacting one of our travel agents at no additional charge can net you itineraries and advice from travel experts.

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