A big thank you to Krysti at Orlando Decoded for sharing her virtual line tips and experience for this guest blog.
In order to maximize social distancing, most theme parks have announced “virtual queue lines” to decrease the amount of people in a single location. While Disney’s FastPass+ and Volcano Bay’s Tapu-Tapu have utilized digital techniques in the past, it’s been difficult to imagine what a post-COVID system would really look like. We had the opportunity to try-out Universal Orlando’s Virtual Line Experience, and it’s not as intuitive as you might think.
Here’s everything you need to know for riding success (with an important strategy tip)!
How to Use Universal Orlando’s Virtual Line Experience:
1.) Find the virtual queue in the main menu on the Universal app.
Click on the three lines at the top-left of your screen and find the menu option for “Virtual Line Experience.”
2.) To make a reservation, select “Virtual Line Venues”
3.) Find your chosen attraction, and click the picture to see more information.
Note: not all attractions offer a virtual queue. This particular list of rides will only show those with a virtual line option. If you don’t see a ride listed here, it doesn’t mean that it’s closed. It may be open with a standby line only.
**Virtual line selections may change based on availability or safety concerns.**
4.) On the ride information screen, click “Virtual Line Pass”
5.) Select your party size and choose a time window to ride.
On this screen, you can select how many people will be riding and choose a time window to visit the attraction. Only one individual per party needs to make the reservation.
6.) Visit the attraction during the specified time window.
Once you’ve selected a time and reserved your pass, your ticket will be viewable in the app. You’ll need to physically visit the attraction during your time window in order to redeem it. The attendant will scan your pass and direct you to stand in the ride’s queue. You may incur an additional wait at the attraction, but you will be socially distanced appropriately.
Other things you need to know about Universal’s Virtual Queue:
- You may still incur a wait when you arrive at your chosen attraction. After reserving a virtual queue position (the same one you see above), I still waited 40 minutes to ride Escape from Gringott’s.
- Officially, you can hold up to two virtual line reservations at a time. However, they can’t be for the same time window.
Unofficially, the Virtual Line is still experiencing a fair number of glitches. While the great folks at allears.netreceived the above error message and were ultimately able to book two reservations, I was not. When trying to book a second reservation, I repeatedly received the below message:
- Not all attractions utilize the Virtual Line Experience system. You can enjoy these “non-virtually queued” attractions while you are waiting for your reservation by waiting in the stand-by line.
- Virtual Line Experience offerings will change based on availability, park capacity, safety concerns, and other factors.
- For now, single rider lines remain closed.
- Express lines are open for select guests – including those staying at onsite Loews hotels.
- Strategy Tip: Each individual can make two virtual line reservations for the entire party – without linking this reservation to a name, ticket or pass. Meaning that if Johnny reserves a 9:30am-10am window for he and his girlfriend to ride Revenge of the Mummy, Sally can, in theory, simultaneously make a reservation for them to ride Race Through New York for the same time window or directly after.
Please remember that Universal’s queue system is constantly adapting and changing to this unprecedented world event. Procedures may change, and your experience may vary.
A travel professional and theme park enthusiast, Krysti Reif has lived in Orlando for most of her adult life. With a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and her years of exploring the city, you can be sure that Krysti will help you get the most of Orlando’s attractions, culture, and foodie scene. Her Orlando travel blog can be found http://orlandodecoded.com
When she’s not enjoying a roller coaster or haunted house, you can usually find Krysti planning her next vacation. You can read about her other travels at http://worlddecoded.com