THE BIG 5: Top five Universal Orlando attraction queues for beating the heat

THE BIG 5: Top five Universal Orlando attraction queues for beating the heat

The weather in Orlando is a big reason why it’s such a popular destination for many — particularly sun starved Europeans like myself. But sometimes the days with 94 degree heat and 70% humidity can get a bit much, even for the most hardy of sun-seeker. Because of this, you might be thinking that standing in an attraction queue for any period of time will just leave you hot and bothered. If you think that, then I’m happy to inform you there are some queues at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure that are just waiting to provide you shade, an escape from the humidity, and a blast of cool air.

Here are my personal picks for the top five coolest and most refreshing attraction queues at Universal Orlando…

 

#5 – Terminator 2 3-D

This attraction at Universal Studios Florida gets my number 5 spot for two reasons: First, it’s completely housed indoors, in a well air conditioned facility. Second, between the pre-show and the main attraction, it’s a half hour experience that keeps you out of the sun and blazing heat.

Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida.

Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida.

The building is actually split into three separate areas, a waiting queue where you pick up your 3D glasses, the initial Cyberdyne presentation pre-show, and then the grand theatre finale — all indoors and in the glory of air conditioning.

Read guest reviews of this attraction or write your own

 

#4 – MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

Also at Universal Studios Florida and with a similar queue system to Terminator, this attraction gets my vote because of its (mostly) indoor queue. The MEN IN BLACK line starts indoors with the ‘Universe and You’ presentation, and then snakes though MIB headquarters before you embark on your MIB agent training.

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida.

MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida.

Although Terminator will have you out of the sun for longer, I give MIB a higher placement on this list because there’s more to see in the queue, keeping you entertained while waiting to become an MIB agent — from aliens in the coffee room, to an array of instantly recognizable props and scenes from the films. Also, I simply LOVE the ride!

Read guest reviews of this attraction or write your own

 

#3 – Ripsaw Falls / Bilge Rat Barges / River Adventure

Okay so this one is cheating I suppose, since I’m including all three of the water rides at Islands of Adventure in one slot — and two of the ride queues aren’t particularly cool either — but hear me out! The not-so-secret to these rides’ cooling potential is that you’re guaranteed to get absolutely soaked, and what is more cooling than getting drenched and then drying off in the sun as you continue around the park?

Sure, many guests already know these rides will leave you as wet as jumping in a pool with all your clothes on. But many first-timers don’t realize their fate as they get in line, so I had to include these on our list!

Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges at Islands of Adventure

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges at Islands of Adventure

Getting back to our discussion of attraction queues, the line for Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls is fully inside the depths of the mountain, so it is usually nice and cool. My advice is to do Ripsaw Falls first, then make your way to Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges and enjoy their outside queue in your new, refreshed (sodden, damp) state. And prepare to get even wetter! Finally, if you’re still up for more, Jurassic Park River Adventure is just around the bend.

Read guest reviews or write your own: Ripsaw Falls, Bilge Rat Barges and River Adventure.

 

#2 – Revenge of the Mummy

Located in the New York backlot of Universal Studios Florida, this attraction’s queue is possibly one of the best in all of Orlando. And for the purposes of this countdown it’s a bonus that the queue is one of the coolest too, as it makes its way inside and through The Mummy movie set to the ride’s loading bays.

Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida.

Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida.

Almost pitch black, the Revenge of the Mummy queue is one that will definitely lower your internal temperature. It will also keep your nerves up as ride staff can appear from the shadows at any time to give you a fright! This ride definitely has one of the spookiest queues I’ve ever experienced, and that coupled with the delightful air conditioning and shade gives it extra cool points in my book.

 

#1 – Dragon Challenge

Number 1 for the coolest queue that will get you out of the midday heat, sun, humidity — or even rain — has to be Dragon Challenge inside IOA’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The winding queue takes riders through the seemingly never-ending depths of a castle for what feels like hours, in darkness and with a temperature that can definitely be classified as chilly!

Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure.

Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure.

Although there isn’t as much to keep you occupied in the queue as we saw in MIB or Revenge of the Mummy — Dragon Challenge’s queue is largely in a cave system with nothing to see, assuming you can see anything! — the sheer temperature wins it the top spot today, particularly if you’ve just been soaked on one of IOA’s water rides. This is as close to cold as Orlando summer will ever get!

Read guest reviews of this attraction or write your own

 

Honorable mention – Poseidon’s Fury

Housed inside an enormous building located in Lost Continent at Islands of Adventure, Poseidon’s Fury offers shelter and air conditioning to weary travelers looking for a little respite and a little adventure.

Poseidon's Fury at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Poseidon’s Fury at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

While the attraction itself is not necessarily one of the fan-favorites at Universal, this fact usually works to our benefit, keeping the outdoor portion of the queue empty most of the time. This means newly arriving guests can head straight indoors. If you have a high desire to cool off and low expectations for the actual attraction, you won’t leave disappointed.

Read guest reviews of this attraction or write your own

 

I hope you enjoyed our list of the coolest queues at Universal Orlando. Keep it handy next time you’re at the parks and you need to find a spot out of the sun ASAP.

If you liked this article, see all of our BIG 5 blog posts.

 

Daniel May

About the author

Daniel is a UK based Orlando fanatic who lives and breathes for the City Beautiful, the theme parks, the restaurants, the shopping and the culture. A graphic designer and dreamer by day, Daniel's love of sports and saving for the next trip to Orlando usually occupy his nights.
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6 comments
cwest_99
cwest_99

Dr. Doom is a good escape from the heat! The line is cold, dark, and the perfect way to escape the heat. You get to finish the wait with a fun launch up and down, its great! But a tip: If the wait say 15 minutes, expect the wait to be 30.

TomDiNapoli
TomDiNapoli

What about FJ at WWOHP? One of, if not, the best queue ever. And don't forget Spider Man.

Rickster
Rickster

Don't forget ET!! ET is my favorite ride for an escape from the sun. Its very cold in there, queue is almost entirely AC, pre-show, etc. And then the forest just before the ride... FREEZING. Plus its dark and relaxing too, and overall a pleasant ride plus you don't have to wait very long to experience it. and that is also very appreciated during the summer. Love the site! cheers!


Mandy Pedrotti
Mandy Pedrotti

I Agree with Julie why get rid of E.T????? Perfect cool down ride as is twister! Please universal reconsider E.T !!!!!

Julie Lee
Julie Lee

They are doing away with one of our favorite rides to cool down on-- E.T.!!!

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