Universal Park Might Be Planning to Ditch Virtual Queues

in Universal Orlando

Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal Studios Florida icons and entrances together

Credit: Universal

For six years, Universal’s Volcano Bay has prided itself on operating a virtual queue system to save its Guests the hassle of waiting in line for its most popular rides. But that may be about to change.

Opening in 2017, Volcano Bay replaced Wet ‘n Wild as Universal Orlando Resort’s resident water park and became the first water park to be built entirely by Universal itself. Its 13 slides, two rivers, three lagoon pools, and two splash pads are centered around the Park’s main attraction: a 200 feet tall artificial volcano.

All of Volcano Bay
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

To set itself apart from its rival water parks down the street at Walt Disney World, Volcano Bay opened with an innovative new system to access its busiest attractions. Upon entry, Guests receive a wearable band known as a TapuTapu. This is used to reserve a spot in line for the likes of Krakatau Aqua Coaster and Maku, leaving you free to enjoy the Park until it’s your time to ride.

At least, in theory. The reality is that some Guests have complained about lengthy waits even once they’re called back to an attraction. Now, it seems like Universal is listening to feedback by testing an alternative to its Virtual Line: a good old-fashioned standby queue.

Guests sit in a raft on Honu of the Honu ika Moana at Volcano Bay
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

According to a sign placed outside Krakatau, the attraction is “currently operating with a standby line.” Twitter user @ZooderLoopers shared a picture of the current wait time on a visit on Sunday, where the ride had hit a 95-minute wait time.


Another Twitter user suggested that this test is expected to last for a week. For now, there’s no confirmation as to whether it’s limited to just Krakatau or whether other attractions will also be impacted by the test.

Done right, a virtual queue system is a theme park savior. However, with Disney’s recent attempts receiving backlash from Guests, it’s clear that there are some serious downsides to the concept of “skipping the queue.” Fingers crossed that Volcano Bay can find a solution that isn’t just accepting defeat and reverting back to hour-long lines.

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