RIDE STRATEGY: Beat The Queues at Islands of Adventure 2024 Summer Crowds


Summer is here and the lines are long at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure! This guide will take you quickly through Islands of Adventure so you can be sure to ride everything on the day you are here! If you have a park-to-park ticket, you can also use this guide as to what to do at the start of the day, before hopping on over to Universal Studios.

Important Tips:

  1. If you’re not first in line for Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure, then avoid it at all costs. If you do not have early entry or arrive late to early entry, do not ride Hagrid at this time.
  2. Arrive EARLY! It’s the most important tip, be at the parking garage an hour before you plan to be inside the park.
  3. Use the app. Before walking somewhere, check to make sure the ride is open and doesn’t have an extremely long queue.

It’s 2024 and here’s my favorite ride strategy and order to ride the rides at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure to beat the long lines.

1. At opening head to VelociCoaster, if you have early entry be in line before 9:00am, otherwise, be in line right at 9:00am, the gates open early! Arrive at the parking lot an hour early during the busy season.

2-4. Next: Forbidden Journey, then head back into Jurassic Park for Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Skip Kong if it’s longer than 35, this ride will drop for the last couple hours of the day, and is not high priority.

5-6. Next up is Dudley Do Right Ripsaw Falls, and then Popeye & Bluto’s Barges

7. All lines are quite long now in the park, the most important thing is to be at Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure around noon. Ride whatever you would like at Seuss Landing, and possibly a bite to eat if time allows, Circus Mcgurkus has recently been refreshed, The Kebab Stand in Lost Continent is a good choice. and Mythos is always recommended if you’re able to get in right at 11:00am, I recommend making a reservation for this time a few days before your arrival. 

8. It’s time to queue up for Hagrid now as it’s hopefully just after 11:45, if you were able to ride it early on then you can wait it out for VelociCoaster instead at this moment. The Hagrid’s queue seems to move quickest at this time; people are starting to grab food and the ride is mechanically usually running pretty well now. Plus, you’ll avoid the possible Florida-afternoon rain. (On a busy day, you can still expect a two hour wait, but you will be waiting less than if you got in the queue after 9:00am.)

9+. You can check out the other Potter attractions, shows, and shops, and then continue your way around the park, riding or viewing anything you may have missed, such as Raptor Encounter, checking out the activities in Camp Jurassic. and finally Marvel Superhero Island for Spider Man, Dr. Doom, and Hulk.  This is also a time where you could head over to the other park, and then return to Islands of Adventure later.

That’s it! Use the map on the app to check out any showtimes and all the rides I did not mention, such as the Seuss attractions, shows, shopping, and other rides!

Austin is the owner of "AmusementInsider" and joined the Behind The Thrills team in 2020. The Social Media & YouTube-based outlet is one of the most recognizable names in the industry for all-things roller coasters, with unique videos & peeks into future attractions. Follow him on: Instagram and YouTube