The Beauty and Beast of Single Rider Lines

When you go to an amusement park, your goal is rides.  Not standing in line.  When you go to amusement parks often enough, you no longer want to walk through the lines and see all of the pre-story while you wait.  You know the pre-story.  How many times can you see Aerosmith’s memorabilia, walk through the halls of Men in Black Headquarters, watch Dumbledoor and the kids of Hogwarts magically prepare you for your journey?  So in an effort to speed things along and make sure all ride cars go out full, amusement park have started implementing “single rider” lines.  You can walk with your friends and family, but when you get to the front of you are placed in cars that are one man short.  The single rider option is only offered in a couple of places at the Disney parks, but was prevalent at Universal Studios.

Personally I love single rider lines!  This weekend we went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures.  I usually go on the really off-season times and so seeing the lines was a little daunting.  We decided that since you can’t talk during a ride and since we don’t buy the pictures at the end anymore, we would do single rider lines.  So here is the good and the bad as we figured it out.


  • Go to the head of the class.  We walked in to Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey when there was a 60 minute wait and were through the single rider line and off the ride in 10 minutes.  So we did it again!
  • Sit with different people.  Sometimes it’s fun to chat up the people around you and see the park from their perspective.
  • It keeps the lines moving for everyone.

Not so good:

  • You don’t know who you are going to sit with.  My brother got stuck in a car on Spiderman with 8 screaming teenagers (ouch).
  • If there are no uneven cars, your line’s not going anywhere.
  • If you are a front row or back row person, you won’t have a choice if you are in a single rider line.  You get placed where they need you.  (Yeah some people didn’t think that one through, they got upset when they couldn’t have the front row.)

Would I choose the single rider line again?  Of course.  For me and my family, it’s a no brainer, we are there for the rides!

Do you use the single rider lines when you go to theme parks?

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