Universal Orlando has officially reopened to the general public. Eager Annual Passholders flocked to the preview, as Universal was the first flagship theme park to reopen in Central Florida. Both theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and their water park, Volcano Bay have reopened their doors.
The experience was met with mixed reviews, but for the most part, visitors were excited to be able to get back to the fun that central Florida is most known for, its theme parks!
With the current pandemic still looming, Universal, like all other businesses in Central Florida, had to make significant adjustments to their operations to keep their team members and guests safe as they opened back their doors.
Health and safety measures like social distancing efforts, health screenings, and enhanced sanitation protocols have all been implemented. However, one thing theme parks are doing that is creating many questions for visitors is the addition of virtual lines for select attractions or rides.
Universal has added this new feature to their mobile app for select rides and it’s been an interesting addition to the theme park experience.
Upon reopening, both the resort’s mobile app and park WiFi were having extensive technical issues. However, it seems Universal has been steadily making improvements to the digital experience.
To help in your planning, we visited the parks and took some solid notes. Here are some things you need to know before you go!
Universal Orlando Virtual Line Rides
Universal is offering these virtual line reservations complimentary during your visit. Unlike Universal’s Express Pass, these reservations are simply a way to control guest capacity inside ride queues. Be aware you will still have to wait in line. But the lines do move faster since guests are more spread out and there is far fewer people waiting in line than under normal guest capacity.
Currently, there are 6 rides that have the Virtual Line option. These are:
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – Virtual Line ONLY
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Fast & Furious Supercharged
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
It’s important to know that stand by option is not offered for all these attractions in addition to the virtual line. However, check with a team member to confirm upon arrival since they were allowing some standby if the waits were short.
In addition, things at Universal seem to be changing frequently as they adjust to this new normal. Be sure to check their official site for the most up-to-date information before you visit!
Virtual Line reservations
Guests need to have a mobile device with the Universal Orlando mobile app downloaded in order to make Virtual Line reservations.
Each guest can reserve 2-rides at a time. Modifications are also available from the Universal app. Each reservation can hold a place for up to 8-guests.
We heard reports from guests staying at Universal Orlando’s resort hotels, including the ones that are slightly off property distance-wise, like Endless Summer, that they were able to make reservations for Virtual Line rides prior to entering the park; as long as they were at the hotel.
The app uses geotagging. Therefore, guests must be either at a resort hotel or at least in CityWalk to make Virtual Line reservations. At this time, guests do not need to be inside the park to make Virtual Line reservations.
Pro-tip: Lock in a Virtual Line reservation for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure located inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as early and as soon as possible! Reservation spots are limited and in our experience at the theme parks, they were gone by the time the theme parks opened
We hope this information helps you as you plan a visit to Universal!
Do you have a visit to Universal booked? Let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to the most!