Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is the centerpiece of the Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Studios Florida. It’s impossible to miss this attraction when you cross through the magical barrier into the Wizarding World, but there are some things you might miss along the way.
Check out these great details and make sure you don't miss a single highlight of the experience.
Note: there are some minor spoilers in this article (which are necessary to provide hints and tips on what to look out for), but nothing that gives away major plot elements.
1. The single rider line can save hours, but at a price
When Diagon Alley first opened, the queue for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts exceeded seven hours, making this single attraction an all-day investment. Though the lines have since shortened significantly, the wait still lingers at around two hours even on slow days. This is further complicated by the fact that the brand new ride system is still dealing with some kinks.
Gringotts reportedly has an 18-minute safety reboot which can significantly lengthen your wait time if the attraction experiences technical difficulties while you’re in line. If you don’t have all day to invest in the attraction, the single rider line is a much shorter option. With a posted wait time of about 90 minutes, Team Members quoted the single rider line as just 20 to 25 minutes. Guests can generally expect the line to cut their wait time to about 25% of the standard line. As a single rider, you can stand with your party in the line and pass the time together, but you won’t get to sit side-by-side on the attraction.
The biggest drawback to the single rider line, however, is that you’ll miss a significant portion of the pre-show. Single riders pass by a small opening that looks into the bank lobby, but without actually entering the massive space, some of the details are lost. Single riders also miss the preshow featuring Bill Weasley, skip the photo identification process, and bypass the elevator. In fact, the only thing you do see in the single rider line is a talking portrait of a goblin offering a brief safety spiel and a short video featuring a simulation of the ride’s movement.
2. The roller coaster is only one part of the ride
If you don’t opt for the single rider line, you’ll experience more than just the Gringotts roller coaster. The attraction also features a simulated elevator ride that adds a great deal of depth to the story line. The elevator vibrates and features immersive sound and video effects as it plunges you deep into the earth. Just as the Haunted Mansion would seem incomplete without the stretch room, so too can the Gringotts experience feel distinctly lacking without the elevator trip.
3. The regular queue features a photo op
While most attractions take your photo on the ride, Gringotts offers a creative alternative. After passing through the Gringotts bank lobby, you’re directed to a room where you have your photo taken for a security ID. This identification purportedly grants you access to the vaults. You can check out your photo and purchase a copy of the ID after you exit the ride. Keep in mind that this, too, is only available in the standard queue.