Is Universal over-selling?

I’ve been paying attention to the wait times at Universal last week and this week. Now, I know crowds are larger than normal right now due to spring breaks and such…but the wait times are absolutely INSANE right now. Like, just now, 140 minute wait for Shrek 4D. (It isn’t even worth a 20 minute wait!) Virtual queues for several rides are completely full for rest of the day. The shortest waits are for MIB (45 minutes) and then FatF (60 minutes).

This makes me think that Universal is over-selling. They shouldn’t even allow that many people into the parks since clearly they can’t handle the capacity.

Now, I’m expecting when we go in May, lines will be back to more normal waits (but definitely longer than what we experienced in August). Still, it doesn’t seem right that a park would charge the prices they are charging, and yet have capacities that lead to waiting 1-2(+) hour waits for just about everything!


That 140 min wait was what Shrek was the day I tried to buy an Express pass (And I swear they jack up the price in the parks compared to a couple of months ahead online to about double day of and in the park) for my kiddos so hubby and I could have an anniversary of our first date dinner while they rode some rides. The only thing without a long wait for them was Woody Woodpecker so I was able to get them an after 4pm Express pass for just Universal Studios for like $170 each! or something insane like that because everything and I mean literally everything was a 2hour wait. This was Columbus Day weekend crowds for us.

I haven’t been into Universal yet, waiting to activate APs, but I want to follow this and hear what others that have been there are thinking. I shared in another thread that some local news anchors had an unscripted discussion questioning ‘stated’ capacity limits for Disney, they “weren’t buying it”

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Out of boredom I bought a Universal TP plan last night - just to make “fake” TPs and follow along.

My plan, at this moment, is about 35 minutes behind and had to skip a big attraction. Rides with predicted 6 min & 8 min waits are hitting actual times of 15 & 35 minutes.

It’s definitely “spring break” busy, but not insane - IMHO

Having a plan is helpful…


Yes. Universal does on-demand pricing for the Express Pass, basically.

Part of it is because they can make money, but part of it is because once the crowds are so large, they kind of want to discourage people from buying Express Pass. If prices are $170 per person for an after 4 pm Express Pass, they know no one in their right mind would pay it! :wink: If someone is still willing, Universal still can make some money from it.


Trouble is, TP’s wait times for UOR are WAY WAY off actuals. When I tried to use TP in the past for Unversal, the wait times it was giving were almost useless, whereas the Universal wait times were quite accurate, relatively speaking.

Right now, for example, The Mummy is listed in the TP app with a 35 minute wait, posted 40 minutes. In the Universal App, it says it is full…no more times available for the day.


I am only “doing 6 attractions” at IOA this morning and am worried about the afternoon now that I’m seeing what you’re pointing out. The CLs are listed as a 9 though

I’ve got 2 Mummy rides “scheduled” and it showing as full is worrisome. Is it that Universal is full, are they are low on staff or is this an issue with TP not being more accurate??

As much I love TP they, IMHO, treat Universal as an afterthought - just sayin’

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I’ve been wondering how bad it’s going to be the week after Easter. The two lower tiers of AP’s will be blocked out that week. Do you think it will mean less crowds than we’re seeing now?

Still keeping an eye on things… The parks are at capacity, but more Virtual Queue passes have been issued for Mummy. Most attractions are operating at an hour plus queues - double the TP predicted waits.

(I will add that I’m also running a fake TP for DHS today. That plan is running on time with no skipped attractions - I’m probably ahead about 10 minutes.)


That’s cool that you are running a mock TP. How do you do it exactly? Who do you trust for the wait times on the day of? UOR app or TP app?

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I use a combo of my prepared TP / Lines App / Theme Park App.

I use a -20% off posted queue waits on the Park’s Official App to figure out what the approximate actual wait should be. (Plus, you can often see the actual timed waits from people in the park on the Lines App)

For example - My TP may say Spider-man is a 37 minute predicted wait and the UOR App says 50 minutes. To me, that means the probable actual wait is about 40 minutes. That’s close enough to my TP that I go with it.

When things don’t go to plan - My TP says Kong is 8 minutes, but the posted wait on the Universal AP is 45 minutes. I double check Lines to see what others are currently reporting. The new time appears to be more accurate. So, I adjust the actual wait prediction to be about 35 minutes. (In this case I would have to decide if I can “fit it in” or drop something else later in the day)

I hope that’s clear… If not let me know & I’ll try to explain further



Wow. I might have to try this! #goals


IMHO - It’s made me sooooo good at making better TPs. I know some of the “kinks / glitches” of the TP system and how to work around them. Plus, doing this is what really helped me decide to put in 20 minute “breaks” about every 90 minutes. This gives me a buffer in case an attraction has a longer wait and/or allows time for pee / drink breaks. (You can see my first one in this picture happens at 9am at Thunder Falls)

As I preach, in many posts, there are too many “perfect” plans that go from ride-to-ride-to-ride with no thoughts to “real life” getting in the way!


This is really cool! I should try it sometime but I probably wouldn’t be able to get any work done. :joy:


VL options will drop in the morning at open, 11am, 2pm, and 4pm.


Just curious - I have watched the app all day as we’re going in two weeks. At 7:55 am this morning Hagrid’s said the VL was full. Is that accurate?

I haven’t seen Hagrid’s operating at all today. It’s only listed as “delayed”.

I did notice that later this afternoon.

I bought Express passed for 6/4/21 on March 8th for one ride for the USF for $89.99 a person. I went to add two more today and they are now selling for $159.99pp. It really makes a difference prebuying.


They’ll release VL before park opening then at those set times, usually just enough for those few hours.