Pros and Cons of Single Rider Queue at Universal Orlando

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Over and over, we get accounts that guest satisfaction at Orlando area theme parks is based on number of attractions done. Now understandably, it is not that simple. Yet, when people explain their experience at an Orlando area theme park, it is the attractions they mention. If they planned poorly and experienced fewer attractions than anticipated, then dissatisfaction is enunciated.

One of the tools that can be used at Universal Orlando to help experience more attractions is the single rider queue. This is a queue designed for solo travelers to fill empty seats to increase number of people able to ride an attraction. If groups enter the single rider queue, they will be split up so prepare for that. Universal Orlando has a single rider queue for most of their ride style attractions. The process for each single rider queue varies between attractions. During my most recent trips to Universal Orlando, this was very evident.

I did a mostly solo trip in September 2021 and a solo trip in October 2021. The use of single rider queue was helpful. I also had Express Pass for most of these days in some capacity. Hopefully, in upcoming weeks, I will be writing about comparing single rider queues, Express Pass, and standby queues.

A few basic principles about single rider queue:

  1. Do not try to go through this queue as a group so you can ride together.
  2. Single rider queues are not always open.
  3. Single rider queues are far more effective on attractions with more seats in a row.
  4. Single rider queues can be confusing to enter for some attractions.

For our purposes, I will compare procedure at Incredible Hulk Coaster and Revenge of Mummy to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Hulk and Mummy seat four in a row whereas Hagrid’s and Velocicoaster only seat two in a row.

Of these four attractions, Mummy (which will be down for rehab for about six months starting in early January 2022) is the most efficient single rider queue. You simply enter standard/standby queue.

Once you reach the part of queue where single rider splits off, make sure to follow single rider queue sign. I saw many people during last trip miss the turn for single rider queue.

Since Mummy was also not using single rider on some days, this may have added to the confusion. The sign to stay in single rider queue is easy to miss. During my recent trips, when the single rider queue was open, the queue had a relatively short wait.

As mentioned, attractions with four seats per row, like Mummy, are far more efficient single rider queues. The Incredible Hulk Coaster also has four seats per row. The single rider queue is a bit more complicated than the Mummy attraction.

In the current configuration, you must enter the outdoor portion of standard/standby queue. The issue is both standard and single rider queue must go through same metal detector before the two queues split apart.

If you see a large queue outdoors before the metal detector, you will be waiting with everyone. This could cause your wait even using single rider queue to be longer than expected.

If you are going during a slower time of year, like I did recently, you will have a short wait to pass the metal detector. Once you pass the metal detector, quickly turn left to take queue up some stairs to utilize the single rider queue. If utilizing single rider queue for Hulk, be prepared for inconsistent wait times. Once you pass the metal detector, your wait will most likely be brief.

Most of the time the single rider queues work efficiently. The exceptions are the ride attractions with two people per row. Those are Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and Jurassic World VelociCoaster. As of time of writing, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has not been using the single rider queue adding to the overall wait times. Hagrid’s and VelociCoaster single rider queue can be very slow moving. Based on math of using a single rider for an attraction with only two to a row, the single rider line will move slowly. To surprise of some, the single rider queue can sometimes have a longer wait than standard/standby queue on these attractions.

Based on my most recent trips during slow to moderate crowd level season, single rider can be very effective in mornings. The single rider queues for Hagrid’s and VelociCoaster does not open at park opening. They averaged opening about 15-20 minutes after park opening. When I tested this out during weekdays in September and October 2021, the single rider queue was basically walk-on for both. The Hagrid single rider queue will back up quickly. By about 11:00am, the single rider wait may be like the standard/standby queue wait. This takes a bit longer with VelociCoaster but by noon you should expect a sizable wait in single rider line. The longer single rider queue wait times tend to last for rest of day based on testing over last month or so.

To summarize, many ride style attraction have single rider queues. If you are only one in your group wanting to ride a certain attraction, then single rider can work for you. Do be careful to follow signs for single rider queue. The team members may not be as helpful as desired in this regard. Do not expect single rider lines to always be a shorter wait. Single rider queues are not miracle cures but for certain times and circumstances can enable a guest to ride the busiest attractions with a short wait.

Do you have any questions about single rider at Universal Orlando? Let us know in the comments.

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9 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Single Rider Queue at Universal Orlando

  • October 20, 2021 at 2:27 pm
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    I have always considered single-rider lines to be the best secret in any park. At the Orlando parks, we have used single rider to reride Mummy, Forbidden Journey, Test Track, Expedition Everest, etc., numerous times in an hour while the standby queue is 60 minutes or more. It can be an even more dramatic difference in regional parks where people are not as savvy about touring as Liners are.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2021 at 2:33 pm
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      yes, single rider can be great. Of course, as you well know, they are not perfect solution. I have another “Research project” about comparing single rider to express during slow to moderate times at UOR in the publishing queue.

      Reply
  • October 20, 2021 at 4:15 pm
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    I am glad there are options for people to fill up vacant spaces, increasing the number of riders per hour. And I know this is not the point of the article, but one of the reasons we go is to spend time together, so a single rider line is not for us, a group that wants to experience together.

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  • October 20, 2021 at 4:20 pm
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    right, single rider queues are designed to get solo rider out of main queue to make that go faster.

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  • October 21, 2021 at 9:32 am
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    I’ve always found Universal’s single-rider lines to be inefficient. I once waited longer in the single-rider line for Skull Island than the standby line. And the team members at Escape from Gringotts seem to avoid adding single riders at all costs. I saw them send cars away empty even though there were plenty of people in the single-rider line. At , they just pull pull people from single-rider constantly to fill spaces, but Universal will go to the back of the standby line before they let a single rider on. At least when comparing Test Track to Gringotts.

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    • October 21, 2021 at 9:50 am
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      Link,
      sorry you have experienced that. Based on tests, the singe rider queue works well for Gringotts. The Kong one is inconsistent simply based on if it is being used.

      Reply
      • October 21, 2021 at 10:01 am
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        The way Kong is set up with the large ride vehicles, it is easier to sit an odd group number in front or behind the other two in the party and still be considered “Together”, so Imexpect that is why the single rider seems to move slow.

        We have had great success with single rider on Gringott’s, Forbidden Journey, and Test Track. On Forbidden Journey and Test Track, if two of us are using single rider, we are often placed on the same ride vehicle anyway, and on Gringott’s, on the same train.

  • October 21, 2021 at 1:03 pm
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    We love single rider! We have even used it with my 10 yr old. We all wait together. First one parent rides, while the 2nd parent is still in line with him. Then after he rides, the other parent is already waiting for him. A win for all!

    Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 1:24 pm
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      I’ve even done that with just one parent. I (the parent) would go first and see if either of my kids (10 and 9 at the time) got on the same time. Regardless, I know they are in the queue behind me and I wait at the exit for them.

      Reply

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