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Photo Gallery: 2015 Universal Orlando Spring Break Crowds

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The Easter eggs have all been hunted, and the Passover seder plates are put away, but the 2015 spring break crowds have not yet departed from Orlando’s attractions. While wait times over the weekend weren’t quite as bad as initially predicted, it’s still been a very busy holiday week at Universal Orlando, as Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure both experienced their heaviest attendance since New Year’s Day. In case you weren’t brave or foolish enough to experience Easter Week in person, here is a photo gallery of Universal Orlando spring break crowds to give you a virtual taste of last week’s madness.

Universal Studios Florida Spring Break Crowds

You know its going to be a busy day at USF when the temporary turnstiles in between the entry gates are in use.

Universal Orlando spring break crowds 2015
Spring break crowds descended on Universal Orlando last week. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)


Here’s something you only see at peak times: the Street Breaks dance crew was entertaining guests outside the Animal Actors stadium.


Another rare sight: E.T.‘s seldom used single rider line was open. This is a fantastic option, because you get to skip most of the preshow video and breeze straight through the interior queue to the boarding station. I was off on my flying bicycle in under five minutes, even though the posted wait time was an hour.

The only drawback is that you skip the passport station, so E.T. won’t say your name at the end. I’ll happily settle for just being his “friend” if it saves me an hour in line.

Who wants a taco? You’ll be really hungry for that carne asada by the time you make it to the front of the line for Bumblebee Man’s truck in Springfield.
On most days, Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl is a walk-on. This is not most days.
Likewise, you can usually breeze through MEN IN BLACK‘s single rider queue in a matter of seconds. No so much during spring break.
While this line may look daunting, I got through it in about 15 minutes, which was a quarter of the posted standby wait.
So if this is what the park’s second tier attractions look like, how were the crowds in Diagon Alley? Surprisingly sane! Standby queues were set up to control entry to the popular Potter area, but they weren’t needed by early afternoon.
Once through the magical brick wall, the streets were mugged with Muggles, but still manageable.
Even the wait for Escape from Gringotts wasn’t unreasonable, although the single rider line was frequently shut off, as it’s wait became as long as the standby line.
There was even a line to see the Ollivanders wand ceremony, which is usually open-access at USF.
Waits to ride the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station to Hogsmeade hovered around an hour in the afternoon. If the posted wait time is over 20 minutes, it is usually quicker to walk the mile between Wizarding Worlds.
Back outside the Wizarding World, Transformers continued to pull in crowds, with the single rider and Express lines stuffed to the gills.
Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: after a brief appearance earlier in March, the metal detectors returned to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.
Team members seemed to be doing an efficient job screening guests for loose objects, as the security check didn’t appear to impact the coaster’s overall throughput.
Using the free lockers is undoubtedly a mild inconvenience for those of us used to putting our wallets and keys in a zippered pocket, but it’s better than braining a bystander with an iPhone.
Last but not least, Despicable Me offered a shortcut to their stationary seating section.
If you have small kid or health issues, or simply don’t mind skipping the simulator’s shaking, this is a great way to experience all the attraction’s humor and visual effects without the epic wait.
On days like this, even Universal Express passes aren’t a cure-all, as Despicable Me’s extended express queue demonstrates.

Islands of Adventure Spring Break Crowds

Over at the other park, IOA subjectively felt a bit less occupied, with the important exception of the Wizarding World.

Like its USF sibling, Hogsmeade had standby queues set up in Jurassic Park to control crowds in case the area reached capacity. As you can see, they were unnecessary by the afternoon.

Finally, if the crowds are driving you bananas, here’s a quick Kongstruction update, featuring these recently installed themed construction walls that practically scream “Skull Island.”

The good news is that the new walls are more attractive than the previous unthemed ones. The bad news is that they make it more difficult to take close up shots of the “Project 340” construction site.

As always, all photos are taken from legal guest-accessible areas.


Universal Orlando Spring Break Crowds Conclusion

Spring break attendance may have peaked for 2015, but according to our crowd calendar Universal’s parks should remain busy through at least April 11 before dipping into a pleasant pre-summer lull. If you are visiting UOR over the next week, be sure to follow a touring plan and take full advantage of early park admission, if you are eligible. Barring that, several of Universal’s bars offer happy hour specials to help ease the pain…

Did you visit Universal Orlando over spring break? Share your experience in the comments below!


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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

3 thoughts on “Photo Gallery: 2015 Universal Orlando Spring Break Crowds

  • Are these the same crowd levels we should be expecting in June? The Crowd levels for June 11-15 are listed at 8/10. If so…yikes!

    • Agreed. We’ll be visiting Universal for the first time June 12-14. We’re staying on property so hopefully if things are this bad the Express Pass will help.

  • It’s worth noting that the stationary-seating access to Despicable Me seems to be normally available by request during slower periods. You’ll be directed to the Express Pass line.
    I’ve never been denied access this way, though admittedly I have never been during a busy time of year.


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