Current Strategy for riding Hagrid (Christmas 2020 trip)

We will be at Universal December 25-30th. Staying at the Hard Rock so we will have express passes.

What is the current strategy for riding the Hagrid coaster?

Is it still using the virtual queue? Or should we just hit it first thing at early park admission since we are hotel guests. I thought I read that it is included in the early entry attractions.


Hi @rizzog100

For that week Islands of Adventure, and Hagrid, will be part of the Early Park Admission program.

I suggest arriving 45 minutes to an hour prior to EPA start then immediately head to Hagrid to ride. At this point of the day they will be filling the queue with people and not doing Virtual Line. Once they fill the line the TMs will turn on Virtual Queue.

Unlike boarding groups, Virtual Queue times drop throughout the day based on capacity so keep checking for more passes.

Hope that helps!


Perfect. Thanks!

I believe they don’t start the VIrtual Queue until the regular park hours open. Also, we went two back to back Saturdays and rode Hagrid first. The first we got there 35 min early and we spent the entire early entry period in line for Hagrids getting off of the ride after the early entry hour had passed. The 2nd time we got there 55 min early and we were off the ride 12 or 13 min into early entry and we only had the last couple of rooms of line which took about 10 min. So…that 15-20 min makes a big difference!


If you want to do it again or miss early entry, keep trying for virtual passes on everyone’s phone even not during the official drop times. We had a lot of trouble getting them the first saturday but were able to grab them the 2nd saturday. Do it earlier in the day at the first drop and always start before the official drop. So if the drop is at 9am try at 8:45-8:50am and keep trying. Have some people on wifi and some on data in case one or the other has a stronger signal. The more people are trying to get on the network they use didn’t seem to be able to handle the load so earlier in the day it’s easier before the crowds pick up.


I recommend trying to ride Hagrids at least once at night. It is so cool at night, especially on the motorcycle! Get in the line 30-60 min before park close. You’ll get to ride after dark, and you’ll get to walk out through an empty park after you’re done.


Good information.

What time was the early entry period when you went? For us it will be 7am at both parks. Are you recommending we be at the entrance to IOA at 6:10am? That may lead my wife to a divorce me :grin:

ha ha ha 10 min wait for Hagrids and divorced vs an hour wait and married. You’ll have to decide where your values lie? Good luck! :wink: I will say the first Saturday I went and we were around 1/2 hour early I had my whole family and my boys were the cause of our lateness. The second weekend just DD13 and I were able to get there earlier so I understand sacrificing time in line for family happiness. If you get there at 7am there will be a decent sized line to get into the park. By the time you get to Hagrid’s the line might be close to Seuss Landing (and it wraps through the old Sinbad theater). If it goes to the end of The Lost Continent it will be over an hour wait. But even with virtual pass it’ll be an hour. So if you cannot get there before early entry begins then you’re going to spend an hour in line regardless so you might as well get in line and not have to worry about whether or not you’ll be successful at getting a Virtual Line pass. Then if you get Virtual line later it’s just frosting on the cake! :slight_smile:


When we were there a couple weeks ago, they virtual queue opened about 15 minutes before regular park opening and we were able to get passes at that time (from Portofino Bay). Since you have several days, you could try that way (and checking throughout the day for additional drops) at least once before risking the marriage trying to beat the crowd during EPA. It is also nice to be able to use the EPA for several other rides (that will be much busier later in the day) rather than spending it all in line for Hagrid.

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We just left universal yesterday and if you are set on doing Hagrid’s, I really think the best strategy is getting there early- but the earliest we got there for 7am early entry was 6:40ish and we essentially walked into the park and all the way into the ride queue without stopping until maybe 5-10 minutes before boarding the ride. I only had success getting in the virtual queue once- I saw a few times appear when I checked other times, but was unable to secure for our family of 5- maybe it’s easier for less people? Also, the parks in general were more pleasant until around 10:30-11am when they became extremely crowded and we then left each day for lunch and pool time. When we returned at 5-6pm the crowds were much more manageable. It seems like Hagrid’s had a virtual queue for the rest of the day after 8am, though we never stayed until close to see if it opened up for standby then. If you are late night people, that time of day seemed very nice in the parks, but our kids couldn’t handle late nights AND early mornings! I hope you have a great time :blush:


This…was exactly our experience. When I was able to secure Virtual there was just two of us. The first weekend four of us so this very well could be the diff. I kept getting kicked out of the app, it’d freeze. It’d say something was available, I’d click it and nope it’s gone over and over until they were all gone. And this is why yes, there was no line for Hulk during early entry but if you want to be sure of riding Hagrids I think you have to make the early morning sacrifice one morning to be sure if you’re going on a crowded day like we did.

My teenagers are onboard for the early entry. Goal is to be at the park gate at 6:40am. Wife told me she will meet us later :grin:. Our first park day is 12/26. The morning temperature is supposed to be in the 30s!


Nice! We were at Hollywood Studios last Jan when it was super cold at 5am for 7am Rise of the Resistance so we’ve been there. Bring a blankie! and a backpack to throw all the hats & mittens & sweaters in.

But I wouldn’t recommend that night be your first ride ever. I missed lots of stuff and DD was scared. She said she’d never ride it again. But, we made her wait in line with us a couple of days later because we wanted to ride it again and we aren’t locals. She decided she’d rather ride than wait for us and loved the second ride during the day. This was pre-virtual line.

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Quick update if how the first day went -

Good news - we did secure a virtual pass for Hagrids. Great ride!

Bad news - we got to IOA early at 6:40am as planned and recommended by the forum and would have been able to walk on Hagrids BUT if the temperature is below 48 degrees none of the big coasters will open. Sharing this info for the forum. Hagrids, Hulk, Rip Rockit all were closed and didn’t open until the temperatures warmed up. It was in the 30s in the morning and only made it to 53 today.

We still had a wonderful day.


Sorry for the change of plans! Hopefully that morning time was still worthwhile given the holiday crowds?

Wow that’s good to know and interesting. Is that a fact for all roller coasters? Do amusements parks in the north close for whole seasons?

A lot of parks have temperature minimums for rides, just not something you usually expect in Orlando!


I’m also a southerner so I have no clue. We get freezes and the very next day it’s 85 in Austin

Yes, many amusement parks in temperate parts of the country are only open seasonally (from ~April/May to ~Sep/Oct).