No matter which park you're visiting, plan to arrive at the Universal parking garage between 45 and 60 minutes prior to official opening. If you need to purchase park admission, add another 15 minutes on to that. It takes approximately 15 minutes to walk from the parking garage to the parks' entrance turnstiles, so you should arrive at the turnstiles 30 to 45 minutes before the park opens.

There are fewer turnstiles at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure than at Disney's Magic Kingdom or Epcot, and the turnstiles are not spread out over as much ground. Consequently, lines will tend to be evenly distributed at each turnstile. If you see a shorter line, however, get in it.

Rope Drop at Universal Studios Florida

Most of the crowd will head for Transformers 3-D, Despicable Me, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and Shrek 4-D, which are all located a short distance past the entrance turnstiles. A smaller number of visitors will head for The Simpsons Ride or The Mummy, but these attractions usually don't get crowded until an hour or so after the park is open.

Rope Drop at Islands of Adventure

Most guests make a beeline for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as soon as the park is open. Locals who've already had their fill of Potter and coaster fans will head for The Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Our advice is to see Hulk and Spider-Man first and save The Wizarding World until late afternoon.