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The Ultimate Guide on When to Use Universal Express

by Leap on July 6, 2017 540 Orlando

Univesal Express Pass - Pinterest Header

Thrills! Action! Transformers! Butterbeer! We always look forward to hopping down to the Universal Orlando Resort. Between Universal Studios Florida , Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal's Volcano Bay, we have plenty of places to play. One of the ways we experience more and wait in line less is with the Universal Express Pass. Universal's skip-the-lines access is a big help in the parks, especially on crowded days. But it isn't free—unless you stay on-site at select Universal hotels. (And by the way, we offer discounts on rooms at all Universal hotels.) Understanding how and when to use the Universal Express pass is your key to a great visit. We're going to explain everything you need to know!

Universal Express Overview | How It Works | Pass Options | Cost | When to Use Express Passes | Other Ways to Save Time

What Is Universal Express Pass?

Universal Express Pass Queue - The Amazing Adventures of Spider ManUniversal Express allows you to skip the lines at most Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure attractions. (It is not currently available for Universal's Volcano Bay.)

Universal made a recent change and now offers Universal Express passes for all Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The only ride that does not have it is Pteranodon Flyers at Islands of Adventure.

You can see the Universal Express rides along with wait times and park plans on our handy dandy FREE Orlando Planning App for iPhone.

How Universal Express Pass Works

When you approach a ride with Universal Express, show your pass to the attendant, who will scan it and let you enter the Express Pass queue. Closer to the ride loading area (this distance varies by ride), the Universal Express Pass queue will merge with the regular line. At this point, your pass will be scanned again. You will still likely wait at this point, but it is usually 5 to 10 minutes long.

Know that Universal Express Pass is not a group pass. Everyone in your party will need his or her own Universal Express Pass. Also, the passes are non-transferrable.

Universal Orlando Single Rider Lines

Universal Express Pass - Transformers Queue

Single Rider Lines are often even faster than Universal Express pass lines. If you don't mind splitting up your party on the ride, you can experience the most popular rides much quicker. The Single Rider Lines actually goes straight to the loading area. You will fill an empty seat.

Single Rider Lines at Universal Studios Florida:

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D

Single Rider Lines at Universal's Islands of Adventure:

  • The Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man
  • Dr. Doom's Fearfall
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Keep in mind that both Universal Express and Single Rider Lines skip major portions of the queue. We get that the point of this whole thing is to spend less time waiting. However, some of the queues are spectacular and help set up the ride story line. If it's your first time on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, we recommend experiencing the regular queue. If you've been there, done that, take the route that's best for you.

Universal Express Pass Options

Universal Express Pass - Reign of Kong Sign

There are two types of Universal Express passes:

  • Universal Express Unlimited
  • Universal Express Pass

You can use Universal Express Unlimited Pass an unlimited number of times at participating rides and attractions each day that your pass is valid. You can use the Universal Express Pass one time per ride each day that your pass is valid.

Universal Express is available for one park per day or both parks per day. It can be purchased online ahead of time through Universal or at the parks themselves. We like this flexibility. Sometimes you don't know you want Express Pass until you're already in the parks!

How Much Is Universal Express?

Universal Express Pass - Hard Rock Hotel

It depends. If you are staying on-site at one of Universal's premier and preferred resort hotels, Universal Express Unlimited is free for every day of your visit. That includes your date of check-in and departure. The value of this cannot be underestimated, especially during busier times. Yes, hotels are priced based on expected crowds. If you are considering purchasing Express Pass, you should do the math and see if it makes sense to stay on-site. It is often still cheaper to stay on-site with Unlimited Express versus stay off-site and purchase Unlimited Express separately. You get the added benefit of being so close to the parks when you stay on-site, access to all of the fabulous pools, plush rooms and other on-site amenities.

Universal Orlando Hotels That Offer Universal Express Unlimited:

Universal Premier Hotels

Universal Preferred Hotels

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort do not offer Universal Express Unlimited, but they does offer Early Park Admission to select rides inside Universal's Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida and Volcano Bay along with the other three.

Universal Express Unlimited Passes - Hotel Key

If you are staying on-site, you'll visit one of the kiosks in the lobby to get your Universal Express passes. Put in your room key (every person over the age of 3 in your party should have one), and the kiosk takes your picture and spits out a pass. Ta-dah! You're good to go! Keep in mind that you do still need regular admission to enter the park. If by some chance you lose your on-site hotel Universal Express Unlimited pass (or you forget to do it!), don't fret. You can do it in the parks at guest relations.

If you are not staying on-site and wish to purchase Universal Express passes, the cost varies by day and expected crowds. So during peak times, prices will be higher. You can purchase these online in advance or while you are in the parks. Keep in mind that Express Pass could sell out, but this is likely only during the very busiest times. Universal Express is separate from regular admission. It doesn't matter which tickets you have purchased. You can add on Universal Express as needed. (While we sell authentic, discount Universal tickets, we do not currently offer Express Pass.) If you aren't sure you will need or want the passes, we recommend you hold off purchasing until you arrive.

Unlike most tickets, Universal Express is date specific so you will need to know what days you plan to be in the parks to purchase. There is an additional Universal Express Limited bundle available with the Park-to-Park ticket. Again, you will need to know your exact dates for this and book this option directly with Universal. Or wait until you are in the parks.

When to Use Universal Express Passes

Universal Express Pass - Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls

Finally, we get to the most important part of the post: When to use Universal Express. Our recommendations are fairly simple.

1. Anytime it's free.

OK, it's never really free, free, but if you are staying on-site, you aren't paying for it directly. Even if the parks aren't super crowded, you will still save time by using Universal Express passes.

2. When the parks are expected to be super busy. 

When our Crowd Calendar predicts crowds of 8, 9 and 10s, these are prime times to consider Express Passes. You might even consider it on 7s if you are particularly crowd averse. If you're visiting during the peak of summer or around the major holidays (especially the week between Christmas and New Year), you should give this serious consideration.

3. If you only have a day and want to see as much as possible.

If you have a short trip and only have a day for Universal, and want to experience one or especially both parks, then Universal Express passes are a good idea. If you are going during one of those super busy days, they are a must.

Is Universal Express Worth It?

I can't answer this for you. No matter when you visit, having Universal Express will be a time saver. The question is really how much you value the time you save. During less busy times, we think it's nice to have but not a must-have. You may feel differently. It's all about what you value.

Is There Any Other Way to Save Time in the Parks?

Universal Express Pass - Knight Bus

If you don't want to spring for Express Passes or they are just out of the budget, do not fret! There are still great ways to save time in the parks. If you follow us frogs often, you probably know these by heart.

1. Buy your tickets in advance.

You do not want to waste any of your precious touring time standing in line to buy tickets. Plus, you will save more money if you buy in advance.

2. Arrive at the parks ahead of official opening.

The gates often open even before their official opening time, so you can get a hop on your day. This is the least busy time the parks will be all day, so it is the best time to visit the most popular rides. If you are staying on-site at one of Universal's hotels, take advantage of Early Park Admission to the parks and especially Volcano Bay.

3. Follow a park plan.

We have several for Universal that were created with families in mind. You can see them here or via our app (you can also tailor one of our preset plans to your own needs using the app).

4. Use the single rider lines. 

As mentioned above, the single rider line is often even faster than Universal Express.

Whew! We've covered a lot of ground here. Have questions about Universal Express pass that we haven't answered? Share them in comments below! 

Keep Hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
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Dec 6, 2017 at 8:20 p.m. Bailey Says...

If visiting for 1 day with park to park passes with a crowd level of 9/10 and unlimited express pass (Jan 2, 2018), approximately how long will waits be at the more popular rides (HP, Hulk, RRR, etc...) still 10-15min or should we expect longer waits than that? Debating and trying to decide on either unlimited express pass or VIP. Thanks in advance!

Reply
Nov 13, 2017 at 8:04 p.m. cathy Says...

We are going to universal and have purchased the two day with two days free one park only tickets. We are considering getting Express passes for one of the parks, which one do you suggest,? IOA or US?

Reply
Nov 15, 2017 at 11:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cathy,

It depends on your priorities and what you're most looking forward to. If you're more excited for the rides and attractions inside IOA, you might consider purchasing it for that park and vice versa for USF.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 10, 2017 at 12:23 p.m. Michael Says...

Hi. Great work with all your invaluable information. We (2 adults, 2 kids) are having our first, and probably only, visit to Disneyworld where we are staying for 14 days. We would like to do Universal for 2 days - I just want to confirm if we booked one of the hotels you list above (for just 1 night) it includes fast track unlimited for all 4 of us on both check-in and check-out days.

Reply
Nov 14, 2017 at 1:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michael,

Yes, that is correct. If you stay in one of the Universal Orlando Resorts that offer the pass, everyone on your booking will receive the Universal Express Unlimited pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 8, 2017 at 2:46 p.m. Jessica Says...

Hi, I am planning a family vacation including a child to Universal the week of January 22. We are planning to visit the park on January 24, 25, and 26. Do you think it is worth getting the express pass? This is my son's first time going and my husband and my self haven't been in 17 years. Thank you

Reply
Nov 14, 2017 at 1:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica,

According to our crowd calendar, those dates are low crowd days. It's completely up to you. You should be able to experience everything easily without the pass, but of course, the pass does make things easier.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 7, 2017 at 6:51 p.m. Reagan Smith Says...

Purchasing annual passes for Christmas but wanted to stay 12/25 @ Hard Rock to utilized the unlimited express pass for two days. Are we absolutely crazy for attempting the parks Christmas Day?

Reply
Nov 14, 2017 at 1:29 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Reagan,

You're not absolutely crazy! Just be prepared for huge crowds. Prioritize attractions and everything you want to see, have a plan and definitely utilize the Unlimited Express Pass. Most of all, have fun.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 4, 2017 at 7:24 p.m. tbowen Says...

Hi! Thanks for all your great info! I am planning for 2 days in Universal and currently weighing the option of staying at Hard Rock (and getting express for free) or staying off-site and purchasing express unlimited passes separately. The Hard Rock website indicates in the restrictions section that the Express Unlimited access included with the stay does not include Harry Potter Escape from Gringotts; Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, or the Hogwarts Express. Based on your post it seems maybe this was a recent change to the entire Express Unlimited Pass program, so I'm wondering if Hard Rock just hasn't updated their website for this change, or if the pass is truly different for the on-site stay vs the separate purchase. Any insight is appreciated! Thanks!!

Reply
Nov 5, 2017 at 3:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

Express Pass is now valid for all Harry Potter attractions. We guess the website is dated.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 1, 2017 at 7:16 p.m. Shruti Gupta Says...

We are visiting universal parks Dec 7 and 8 with crowds of 4/10 predicted on the calender. If we choose to not buy express pass in advance can we upgrade in the park and if so what is the procedure for that. We are first timers so want to see the whole attraction but kids are still young so hard to make them stay in the line.

Reply
Nov 1, 2017 at 3:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shruti,

Yes, you may upgrade to Universal Express during your visit. See any ticket book or Guest Services to add Universal Express to your tickets.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 2, 2017 at 12:21 p.m. Shruti Gupta Says...

Thank you for your reply. I know the price for express passes keeps changing. Do you know if its lower or higher when you buy right in the park especially if it is not a very busy day. We are going on Dec 7 and 8 which seem like low crowd days.

Reply
Nov 2, 2017 at 8:42 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shruti,

Generally, the Express Pass price is lower on days when the park is not crowded. We don't have insight into when they change the price during the day, as that varies as well. We recommend purchasing in advance to avoid this worry.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 10, 2017 at 2:37 p.m. Laura Says...

Thanks for all the great info! I love your calendar, and on our dates 10/25 and 10/27 it looks like an average crowd. We are only interested in Harry Potter, and have park-park tickets. Is the Express pass worth it? We will want to see some of the cool features in the queues, but I also want to make sure we have time for all the shops/snacks!

Reply
Oct 10, 2017 at 3:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laura,

You should be fine without Express passes. The two big Harry Potter attractions have a Single Rider option, so that can help trim your wait times.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 23, 2017 at 4:02 a.m. Stephanie Says...

Hi there, if the calendar says 6 what does that mean in regards of time. Like 20 min on average or more ?

Reply
Oct 23, 2017 at 11:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephanie,

There are many factors that go into wait times. Crowds, weather and if certain attractions are temporarily closed will determine wait times. Go in expecting 30 to 45 minutes in the early morning and late in the evening.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 19, 2017 at 2:30 a.m. Sara Says...

Sorry to comment here but I can figure out how to make my own post.

Going to universal orlando EITHER 10/26 or 10/27

Looking at the crowd calendar average crowds are expected 10/26 and 10/27 but there's an ! Next to 10/26 so does this suggest 10/27 is the better day? I also read in your material Fridays with horror nights are busy so I'm confused on which is the more suggested day between the two?

We are also considering either getting a fast pass or skipping the fast pass for horror nights tickets. We are driving up from Tampa on our already short trip to FL and I'm just worried I'll get to tired to stay all day and night. We love halloween, but hate crazy crowds. We're in our 30s and going without kids! Any advice appreciated.

Reply
Oct 19, 2017 at 10:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sara,

The "!" means that we're expecting the park will be very busy. While the "!" doesn't apply to HHN crowds, attendance at the event picks up on the days right before Halloween. It's really a wash. Do you want fewer people in the park or during HHN? If you're concerned you'll be tired, skip HHN and use the money for Universal Express. We do have discount Orlando hotel rooms available if you want to make it an overnight :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 9, 2017 at 4:54 p.m. Dave Says...

Hi,

We will be staying in Disney during the last of June. We would like to visit Universal. We are considering 2 options - 1) 2 days at Universal, 1 day at US and 1 day at IOA both days without express tickets or 2) 1 day to do both parks, but with express tickets. Which option do you think will allow us to do more attractions? Which option do you recommend for a family that is willing to spend the full day, open to close at the parks? Thank you.

Reply
Oct 9, 2017 at 8:46 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dave,

If the majority of people in your group are Harry Potter fans, we recommend 2 Day Park-to-Park tickets so you can experience the Hogwarts Express. If you're there open to close, then you can plan your day and use Single Rider on select attractions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 9, 2017 at 8:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dave,

If the majority of people in your group are Harry Potter fans, we recommend 2 Day Park-to-Park tickets so you can experience the Hogwarts Express. If you're there open to close, then you can plan your day and use Single Rider on select attractions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 23, 2017 at 6:48 p.m. Swati Says...

Hello!

I'm planning to visit Universal on 19th & 20th November. I'm travelling alone so will be using the single rider lines. Would you still recommend buying an Express Pass?

Thanks!

Reply
Nov 12, 2017 at 3:23 a.m. Joy Says...

Will you share your touring plan for one day park-to/park with express?

Reply
Sep 25, 2017 at 6:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Swati,

You should be fine without it, but if you afford that added expense, we toadallyrecommend it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 19, 2017 at 1:38 a.m. Michelle Says...

Hello! I am planning on going to Universal on Monday, October 23rd. Your crowd calendar says 6/10, do you think I could forego the express pass? Planning on doing both parks in 1 day. Thanks

Reply
Sep 19, 2017 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

You should be fine without Express Pass on that day. Be sure to use Single Rider as often as possible!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 18, 2017 at 5:27 p.m. Shanna Says...

Hey! I am trying to plan a weekend at Universal for my husband and I, February 9-11, 2018. We live an hour away, and haven't been to Universal since 2011. Would having an Express Pass be worth getting? We don't have a problem with Single Rider Lines (always have taken advantage of those). I'd only get a 1-Day Park-to-Park tickets to use Saturday, 2/10/2018. Also, what park would you say we start with (we tend to like Universal Studios more than Islands of Adventure...so we'd want to stay most of the day at Universal)?

Reply
Sep 19, 2017 at 1:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shanna,

Looking at our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting average crowds during your visit. You should be fine without FOL. Our one-day park-to-park plan is a great way to see everything.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 14, 2017 at 3:07 a.m. Amie Brauer Says...

My husband and I will be going to Universal Orlando for 3 days in October. We have park to park passes and will have express passes due to staying at an onsite hotel. We were wondering if we should go to the early open hour at Universal Studios (7am!) or will we be able to ride all the great rides anyway due to the express pass (even the Harry Potter rides)?

Reply
Sep 14, 2017 at 8:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amie,

You should be fine to skip the early hour and use the Express Pass. Check out your days on our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 7, 2017 at 3:45 p.m. Joris Br Says...

I am visiting both parks on November 1. We only have one day to do the parks and have never been there. Do you think we should add the Express Pass or not to see and experience it all ?

Reply
Sep 7, 2017 at 3 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Joris,

Looking at our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting average crowds on November 1. You should be fine without Express Pass, however, if you can afford the added expense then it can help you go through the lines quicker!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 6, 2017 at 6:08 p.m. Sara Says...

My family, including 2 kids ages 4 and 8 will be spending one day (Oct 13, 2017) at Universal. We will be going to both parks. Would you recommend getting the express passes? My husband and I will be able to do the single rider lines for the rides my kids won't be big enough to ride. Thanks!

Reply
Sep 6, 2017 at 5:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sara,

Peeking at our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting average crowds that day. While should be fine just using single rider, note that this is a Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios. The park will close at 5 p.m. with IOA closing at 8 p.m. Keep that in mind as you plan.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 18, 2017 at 7:58 p.m. Anne Says...

Visiting in January. Two adults. If we have both the express pass and take advantage of single rider lines can we get through both parks in one day? We've been to both parks before. We are mostly interested in our favorites.

Reply
Aug 20, 2017 at 3:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anne,

Looking at our Crowd Calendar, there are many days in January where we're forecasting low crowds. You may be able to see everything just with Single Rider, depending on the day and how much you want to see. Note that the parks are not open as long as they are during busy times, so you may have less time to do more. If it's an average day, then Universal Express will definitely help.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 17, 2017 at 3:45 p.m. Devin Says...

Hi there! My fiance and I will be visiting Universal on October 16 & 17 (Monday/Tuesday) of this year. Would it seem okay to forgo the Express Pass at that time?

Reply
Aug 17, 2017 at 3:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Devin,

Looking at our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting average crowds on both those days. You should be fine without Express Pass.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 10, 2017 at 5:18 a.m. KJ Says...

Thank you for all the great info. I'm in the process of panning a one day trip to Islands of Adventures for the upcoming Labor Day Weekend, 9/1-9/4. I'm on the fence about getting the express pass. How about Labor Day weekend, will the parks be extremely packed?

Reply
Aug 10, 2017 at 7:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi KJ,

Looking at our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting average to heavy crowds Labor Day weekend. Your best day without an Express Pass would be Friday the 1st.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 9, 2017 at 6:24 p.m. Stacia Says...

We were thinking about taking our 3 kids Nov. 22-26 over thanksgiving. We are doing 1 park 1 day & probably staying offsite. We have never been before. Do you think we need the express unlimited, regular express, or can we get to every attraction at least once at only 1 park per day? We will probably hit Disney 1-2 days so trying to be cost conscious. Thanks in advance

Reply
Aug 9, 2017 at 2:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stacia,

Thanksgiving week is VERY busy. During that week last year, we visited Universal Orlando with 3-Day Park-To-Park passes and no Express passes. We were able to experience our favorites but didn't get to do some things more than once. If you arrive before the gates open, stay through closing, use Single Rider and follow one of our Park Plan, it *should* make things less hectic. If you can afford it, Universal Express will help.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 31, 2017 at 1:03 a.m. Shannon Says...

Hi,

We are planning to visit Jan. 20-24th. I'm debating if we should get fast passes or not. I've read that it isn't that busy, so save the money, but I'm still a little skeptical. What do you think?

Reply
Aug 1, 2017 at 3:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon,

That typically is a light week at the parks. You can check out our Orlando Crowd Calendar to see our predictions. An Express Pass probably isn't necessary, but you could always scope it out the first day, and then purchase an Express Pass if you feel necessary.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 23, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. Karen Says...

I'm visiting in September and it'll be my first time visiting Florida's Universal Studios Park. As a huge Harry Potter fan I am, of course, most excited about the Forbidden Journey and Gringotts Rides. That said, if I do purchase and utilize the Unlimited Express Pass, will I miss the entire queue that walks me through the castle, etc? Or will I still get to see it, just being rushed through it because of a shorter line?

Reply
Jul 25, 2017 at 11:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karen,

We definitely recommend waiting in the regular queue at least once to get the full effect of the castle! You will miss some pretty spectacular parts when using the Express Pass, especially if you're a huge Harry Potter fan.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 27, 2017 at 5:51 a.m. Karen Says...

What about Gringotts? Lots to see there too in the queue or just Forbidden Journey?

Reply
Jul 27, 2017 at 4:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karen,

Yes, you'll walk through the elaborate Gringotts Bank, see goblins and more. You won't want to miss it, at least for the first time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 22, 2017 at 1:46 p.m. Tiffany Says...

Now that Harry Potter rides are included in Express Pass is it necessary to go for Early Admission. Staying at Hard Rock last week of August. TIA

Reply
Jul 25, 2017 at 11:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tiffany,

If you're wanting to relax and arrive at the park at your leisure, it's probably not so much of a priority, especially since you'll have the Express Pass. The parks start to unwind during the end of August, so crowds usually start to lessen since kids are going back to school and summer vacation is ending.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 19, 2017 at 11:44 p.m. mike Says...

we bought our tickets online. We choose the unlimited express for both parks and the One day park to park. My question is can we go to the ticket window the night before to get our tickets for the following day to save time in the morning when we arrive

Reply
Jul 17, 2017 at 3:26 a.m. Brent Says...

I'm visiting from August 8 to 10. I am wondering if I should buy the combo offered from the official website including the tickets and express unlimited. The concern that I have is I don't know if the express unlimited would cover the whole three days or just one day in the park?

Reply
Jul 12, 2017 at 9:41 p.m. Tom Says...

The Universal Orlando resort website does not state that the Harry Potter rides you mention are included in the Express Pass. Is there any way of confirming this is correct please?

Reply
Jul 13, 2017 at 2:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tom,

We have confirmed with Universal Orlando that the Harry Potter rides are now included in the Express Pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 1, 2017 at 4:08 p.m. Leah Says...

Hi there! We already purchased Universal Express Passes for a trip in October. It says right on the Express Passes that the Harry Potter rides are excluded. Do you think that will be a problem since we bought the tickets before they were included, or will we still be able to use the Express Pass line? Thanks!

Reply
Aug 4, 2017 at 5:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Leah,

You should be fine to use them. Check with Guest Services before you head in to make sure.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 25, 2017 at 3:27 p.m. Brittany Says...

I am doing research on this as well, but the Universal websites notes HP rides as included in the Express Pass

https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/express-passes/index.html?__source=ps.google.FLpremiumproductsbrand&s_kwcid=AL!4228!3!189679940359!e!!g!!universal%20studio%20orlando%20express%20pass&ef_id=WEcu4QAAO0G0twI0:20170825152544:s#participating-rides-attractions

Reply
Aug 25, 2017 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brittany,

Yes! The post includes this recent change.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 11, 2017 at 8:57 p.m. Lynn Says...

I purchased the express passes and selected will call kiosk for pick up. Are they paper tickets? Can they be converted to something durable?

Reply
Jul 9, 2017 at 2:58 p.m. Jennifer Says...

We already have our park to park tickets for Universal. Is it possible to decide after we are at the park for awhile (and see how busy it is) whether we want to purchase an Express pass for that day or must we purchase it right when we enter the park?

Reply
Jul 9, 2017 at 7:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

Yes, you can choose to upgrade to the Express Pass during your visit. Know that they can sell out, so if you wait a while they may be gone.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 23, 2017 at 3:37 a.m. AZ Says...

Hi, we plan on spending 2 days at Universal but doing one park a day. we plan on getting unlimited express passes. What is the best package/option we should get?

Reply
Jun 23, 2017 at 6:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi AZ,

While we do not sell Express Passes, you can save on admission with our Universal Orlando 2-Park 2-Day Base Ticket.

Keep hopping,

Leap

Reply
Jun 19, 2017 at 7:52 p.m. jaroell Says...

Would the Universal Unlimited Express Pass be worth the money on Sunday, July 2nd if we are planning to visit both parks that day?

Reply
Jun 20, 2017 at 8:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jaroell,

Looking at our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting Heavy Crowds that day. If you can afford the added expense, we recommend Univeral Express that day.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 19, 2017 at 1:36 p.m. Dave Says...

Anyone know how much the express passes are In November time? Thinking of staying at one of the hotels that includes the passes but it's an extra £500 so wondering if the passes are cheaper as it should be quieter in November

Reply
Jun 19, 2017 at 8:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dave,

Universal Express pass prices are based on date. Prices for Universal Express during Thanksgiving Week Break Nov 19-25 will generally be more expensive than other days in November.

Keep Hopping!

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Jun 25, 2017 at 9:22 p.m. Dave Says...

Thanks

Ended up booking the Royal so it comes with the passes.

Looking forward to going back!!

Reply
Jun 26, 2017 at 7:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dave,

Have a great time!

Keep Hopping,

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Jun 17, 2017 at 7:48 a.m. tony Says...

Having twins would be a nice way to purchase just one express pass.. :)

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May 22, 2017 at 6:51 p.m. Beth Says...

Can the express passes be shared? We have a 12 year old and 1 year old so obviously, all of us riding together isn't going to happen much. Could I swap with my husband so we can both ride with the older child?

Reply
May 22, 2017 at 2 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Beth,

Express Passes are non-transferrable. Everyone receives a pass with their photo attached to it.

Keep hopping,

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May 17, 2017 at 6:53 p.m. Kevin Payne Says...

What is the best way to fit the Hogwarts Express into our trip? We have 2 park tickets for 2 days with Express Unlimited passes added.

Reply
May 17, 2017 at 6:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kevin,

Follow our Universal 2-Day Park to Park Plan and take Hogwarts Express after experiencing Diagon Alley.

Keep Hopping!

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May 17, 2017 at 6:04 p.m. Karen H Says...

Thanks for your site and your blog! I am learning so much and will buy our tickets from you as soon as we decide how many days etc. We have flights and hotel all arranged for a trip to Orlando in October.

We are only at Universal one day and are considering Universal Express. In looking at your crowd calendar you show Sunday 10/8 as 'avoid' (it is a 6 day overall). When I go on Universal's site they show cheaper Universal Express tickets on Sunday than the rest of the week ($64.99 each vs $84.99 the other days of the week). Does the cheaper add on amount indicate anything about their expected attendance or the number of Express tickets that might make going Sunday better than MO where you indicate it is a great/choice day? Thanks!

Reply
May 17, 2017 at 1:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karen,

The Express Pass price fluctuates due to expected demand. Lower price - lower crowds. Higher price - higher crowds. With Halloween Horror Nights that night happening, you have less regular park hours to experience Universal Studios before it closes. Monday would be better since the park is open later.

Hoppy Planning!

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May 18, 2017 at 5:51 a.m. Karen H Says...

That makes so much sense, I hadn't thought of the hours- thank you!

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May 13, 2017 at 1:30 a.m. Kim Says...

On a busy summer day, if you know you want to ride almost everything, will you have time to ride some things twice to justify the price of the unlimited express? Or would it be wiser to just get the one time express pass?

Reply
May 13, 2017 at 7:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim,

It's possible you could purchase the one-time express pass, ride your favorites, then pick 2-3 want to do again. Use the savings for dinner or souvenirs.

Keep Hopping!

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May 11, 2017 at 9:41 p.m. Bill Says...

Hi, We're going to be staying at the Royal Pacific in late June. Are the express Passes good at the new Volcano Bay water-park too?

Reply
May 11, 2017 at 5 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bill,

As of now, the Express Passes are only valid at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You will receive one-hour early admission, which should help with the big slides.

Keep Hopping,

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May 14, 2017 at 8:25 a.m. Gavin Says...

I have booked Hard Rock for the 28th June, what time can we start to use the express pass on the day we check in? Do we have to wait till 4pm check in time?

Reply
May 14, 2017 at 5:31 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gavin,

You may pick up your Universal Express Pass on your check-in day... before you check in!

Keep Hopping!

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Jun 20, 2017 at 10:09 p.m. Debbie Says...

Hi, we are travelling to Orlando in August staying on I Drive. We are planning on staying one night at Universal's Royal Pacific hotel for a night to take advantage of the express passes and early park entry. As check in is not until 4.00pm could we arrive super early i.e. 7.00 am to get our passes to head over for early entry then come back later when our room would be ready?

Thanks

Reply
Jun 21, 2017 at 7:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Debbie,

Yes. You may pick up your Express Passes on the day of check in. Have fun.

Keep hopping,

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May 11, 2017 at 3:03 p.m. Ruth Says...

I am going to Universal Oct 5-9. Do you think I will need the express passes. Those dates are Horror night dates and universal studios closes early because of that. It is cheaper to bundle the express passes and the park tickets, so I am wondering if I should buy the bundle before I go or risk having to pa more for express every day?

Reply
May 11, 2017 at 10:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ruth,

We are forecasting average crowds during your visit, with a few busy days at each Universal Park. If you're visiting both parks with limited time due to Horror Nights, we recommend Univeral Express.

Keep Hopping,

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May 9, 2017 at 4:17 p.m. Sharon Says...

Hi there,

My daughter and her friends are going to Universal / Islands of Adventure for 1 day. Can I buy discounted tickets on your site, then buy the Express Pass from the official website since it's not an option on here?

Reply
May 9, 2017 at 2:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon,

Yes, you would be able to purchase the ticket through us, and then purchase the Universal Express pass from the Universal Orlando web site.

Keep Hopping!

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May 10, 2017 at 12:55 a.m. Jay Says...

I am going this weekend (May 13- 14) to Universal and I am planning on buying a fast pass. Will the pass work for both days I am going, or will I have to repurchase it again the second day?

Reply
May 9, 2017 at 8:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jay,

Will you need to purchase Universal Express separately for each day.

Keep Hopping,

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May 7, 2017 at 10:14 p.m. Nick Andrew Says...

Hi. My family and I are heading to Orlando from UK in early July. Do you recommend express passes for that time of year?

Reply
May 8, 2017 at 7:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nick,

July is very busy at Universal Orlando. We definitely recommend Univeral Express during the busy summer months.

Keep Hopping,

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May 3, 2017 at 5:24 p.m. Jen Says...

Do we grab a pass for each person in the party or would one be enough for all of us? Party of 4 parents and two kiddos.

Reply
May 3, 2017 at 12:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

Everyone in your party that purchases admission needs their own Universal Express pass.

Hoppy Planning!

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Apr 27, 2017 at 5:59 p.m. Don Says...

What information shows up when the express pass I get from the kiosk at Loews Royal Pacific Resort is swiped at a park ride? I was thinking about letting on one of the kids on our trip (not staying at Loews) use my express pass. If I have them there for the picture at the kiosk, will that work?

Reply
Apr 27, 2017 at 1:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Don,

Universal Express Passes are not transferable between individuals.

Hoppy Planning!

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May 22, 2017 at 12:31 p.m. Paul Says...

Hey guys

Thanks for the advice

Just wondering if it matters how the accomodation is booked?

If I book the hard rock hotel through hotels.com etc do I still get the free express pass or do I have to book through the universal site to et the free pass?

Reply
May 22, 2017 at 8:23 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Paul,

You do not need to book directly with Universal to get the Express Passes. We hope you'll consider booking the Hard Rock Hotel through us!

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 27, 2017 at 3:34 p.m. Lauren Says...

Hello, we are staying at universal Orlando May22-30th. Right now we have Cabana Bay reserved with park to park no express passes. Was wondering if its a good Idea to book one of the hotels that offer the express pass for free? They are more expensive per night, but wondering since its Memorial Day weekend what we should do? Thanks any input helps..

Reply
Apr 27, 2017 at 10:56 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lauren,

We are forecasting high crowds at all Orlando parks from May 25-30th. We recommend Universal Express during high crowd days. Look at the cost difference between adding on Universal Express while staying at Cabana Bay vs. a stay at another Universal hotel. See which option works for your budget and family plans.

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 28, 2017 at 12:24 a.m. Lauren King Says...

Thank you! We decided on staying at the Hard Rock where the express passes are included. We are so excited!!!:)

Reply
Apr 28, 2017 at 7:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Lauren,

Great choice! Have fun.

Hoppy Planning!

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Apr 20, 2017 at 3:16 a.m. Reza Zandi Says...

Hmmm, I'm going with my gf for her b-day on June 11th, a sunday. We are staying around orlando for a number of nights. Is a express pass really needed? I'm worried about that sunday in particular. We do have the option go to animal kingdom that day, as we are planning to do that. I know they have 'fast passes' over there included with the ticket. Also, I'm pretty sure we are both getting season passes, so at the very least, we should both get in early to harry potter world. Do you think we will be fine without an express pass?

Reply
Apr 20, 2017 at 8:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Reza,

If you plan your day, prioritize what you want to see and get there as early as possible, you should be fine without Express Passes.

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 23, 2017 at 3:49 p.m. Reza Zandi Says...

Also, I am thinking given the new opening of volcano bay, perhaps people will be spread out better causing less lines at IOA and US

Reply
Apr 23, 2017 at 3:47 p.m. Reza Zandi Says...

What will the average waits be with smart planning?

Reply
Apr 25, 2017 at 9:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Reza,

That's hard to say, as there are many factors that determine wait times. Time of year, crowd level, closed or broken attractions will affect wait time for everyone. Know that you'll be waiting less with the Universal Express pass!

Reply
Apr 19, 2017 at 4:18 p.m. Kristi Says...

Hi. This is some great information! Thank You. We are planning to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific so we can make use of the express pass benefit. Do you know what time the express passes are ready? We arrive early in the morning. I'm sure our room won't be ready if we check in, but do know if we would be able to get our express passes?

Reply
Apr 20, 2017 at 8:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristi,

You will receive your Express Passes when you arrive, even if your room isn't ready!

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 13, 2017 at 5:30 a.m. Rick Says...

We will be going to Universal , before we head to Disney on July 17th. We would get to Universal on the 16th sometime and are debating what we should do.

Option one is Cabana Bay and get a 2 day 2Park to Park.

Option two is a 1 Day 2Park to Park and staying at Royal Pacific and using the Express Unlimited we would get staying there.

I'm not real sure when we would get there on the 16th and not sure when we "should" leave on the 17th to check into our Disney Hotel (not planning on using THOSE tickets til the 18th).

Any help/suggestions would be great-if I haven't confused you that is :-)

ps...by the way it would be 2 adults and 3 kids (10,13,17)

Reply
Apr 13, 2017 at 8:23 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rick,

The best advice is to examine everything at Universal Orlando Resort with your family and see if you need one or two days. You may find that you can't fit everything you want to see in one day... and you may want to experience things like Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts more than once. You may find that some of the things you want to ride do not accept Universal Express... so is that really worth it? Seeing your family's priorities will make things clearer.

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 13, 2017 at 11:07 p.m. Rick Says...

Thanks for the suggestions????

We went to Universal in 2011 so sort of thought we would see Diagon Alley, Skull Island, etc ("new" stuff-to us) and then just walk around and maybe hit stuff we liked from before and that kind of thing.

I guess I'm wondering now if most of a day WITH Express roughly equals most of a day plus another half to a third of a dat WITHOUT Express? Like does the Express pass save that much time that we could get just as much in? I know we would have to use standard line for Harry Potter attractions and I would probably want to see the queue for the other "new" stuff.

My family would fit better in the cabana bay room but the royal pacific with the Express would be nice too. They wind up being only like $10 different so that is why it is coming down to Express v NO Express.

Wish I remembered more about how much we got done, per day, the couple (?) days we were there in '11.

Thanks again for you help with this,

Rick

Reply
Apr 13, 2017 at 6:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Rick,

Express Pass will save you time over waiting in the regular line for rides. Non-Express lines depend on crowds. If you're cool with the budget difference, then hop over to Royal Pacific and enjoy those Express passes!

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 14, 2017 at 1:48 a.m. Rick Says...

Thanks so much for the quick replies and the helpful suggestions.

ps Those question marks on the last post weren't there when I typed it :-( it was a smiley face.

Hope that didn't come across a "bad" as it looks :-(

Rick

Reply
Apr 13, 2017 at 9:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

It's all good Rick!

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 5, 2017 at 5:06 p.m. Daniel Says...

Hi there. Thanks a lot for sharing so much useful info. I want to ask one thing: I'll be doing both parks on one day (got park-to-park tickets), and was really thinking of buying the one time express pass. We're going on the 26 or 27 of May, less than two months from now. What would you recommend me to do? Thanks in advance!

Reply
Apr 8, 2017 at 2:44 p.m. Sobhan Says...

We are visiting both the Universal parks on 22nd April. The crowd meter shows that it will be medium crowded. Should I purchase the Express Pass?

Cheers.

Reply
Apr 9, 2017 at 7:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sobhan,

We normally don't recommend Express Pass on medium crowded days. If you get there and it's busier than you prefer, you can always purchase it at the park that day.

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 5, 2017 at 1:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daniel,

On our Crowd Calendar, we're forecasting high crowds on both of those days. Memorial Day Weekend sees high crowds at all Orlando theme parks.

If you can afford the extra expense, we recommend Universal Express. Note that UE is not valid for every ride, so think about what you want to experience and consider using Single Rider on select attractions to speed up your waits in case you choose to not go with UE.

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 7, 2017 at 1:01 p.m. Daniel Says...

Wow! I didn't realise it was Memorial Day (I'm from abroad). Would it be better then to go on Friday (26) instead of Saturday (27)?

Reply
Apr 7, 2017 at 8:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

Both days will be busy. Go with the day that fits your schedule!

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 10, 2017 at 12:25 p.m. Daniel Says...

Thanks a lot for your recommendations!

Reply
Apr 10, 2017 at 8:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daniel,

We're so hoppy that you like our blog!

Kepp Hopping!

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Apr 5, 2017 at 5 p.m. Mary Says...

We are a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 children. I'm thinking of buying the express pass, but not sure if to buy for all of us or just one adult and three children. We will getting a child switch pass for some of the attractions, does the adult waiting with the child in the holding area needs to have an express pass?

Reply
Apr 5, 2017 at 2:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mary,

A Univeral Express Pass is assigned to each person and each adult using the Universal Express line needs a pass.

Keep Hopping!

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Apr 4, 2017 at 8:41 p.m. Yvette Says...

Hi,

I will be taking my two daughters (8 and 11) to Disney for 4 days, then going to Universal for only 1 day on April 14th. I will be getting a one day park to park pass but was wondering if you thought the Express Pass was necessary. My daughters love Harry Potter and don't like the scary or twist/turn rides and as some don't allow EP I don't know if its worth the extra $300. Can you provide your advice? thank you

Reply
Apr 5, 2017 at 9:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Yvette,

Both of the big Harry Potter attractions offer a Single Rider option. If you're okay with not experiencing the attraction with them, using Single Rider at the selected attractions that offer it is a time and money saving option.

We're forecasting High Crowds for April 14, so keep that in mind.

Keep Hopping!

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Mar 27, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. Danielle Harry Says...

I heard a while ago that you can buy a special Express Pass for Universal that only works after 4pm and is sold at a discount price inside the park. Is that still a thing? I heard this from a friend that visited a while ago.

Reply
Apr 4, 2017 at 2:25 a.m. Char B Says...

I visited in November 2016. At the ticket booth, I was in shock at the price of the Express option and decided to wait in line. First ride, i waited 2 hours, second ride almost 2 hours. After lunch, I decided to give in or we probably wouldn't get on everything. I went to a booth at about 3:30 expecting to pay $89. The attendant said if I waited 30 minutes, the price goes down to $40. I waited and felt a lot better about the savings. It was so much nicer with the express option though. I will probably get it first thing next time and spend the extra $ as we wasted almost 4 hours on 2 rides!!!

Reply
Mar 28, 2017 at 8:22 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Danielle,

Individuals that have the Universal Premiere Pass (an annual pass) get free Universal Express access every day from 4 p.m. until park closing.

Keep Hopping!

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Mar 15, 2017 at 8:44 p.m. Linda Says...

I understand that Hogwarts Express is not included in the base tickets but if I purchase the two day -two park (base tickets) will I be able to ride the Harry Potter attraction? And also, what is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and is this included in this ticket?

Reply
Mar 20, 2017 at 12:29 a.m. Julie Coolidge Says...

I actually called Universal to ask this question last week and they said you need a Park to Park ticket to ride the train. :-(

Reply
Mar 15, 2017 at 6:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda,

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split between the two Universal Orlando parks. Diagon Alley, which has Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is in Universal Studios Florida. Universal's Islands of Adventure has Hogsmeade, which features Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. You could see both of these, and ride Hogwarts Express, with any two-park ticket.

Keep Hopping!

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Mar 13, 2017 at 2:57 a.m. Laura Says...

Hi, is the express pass linked to a certain person/ticket? We are a family of 4 and we were thinking of just getting 2 express passes ... one pass for my older son and one pass for my husband and I to take turns with (are we allowed to do that?). I don't think my youngest son would go on enough rides to justify getting it for him.

Reply
Mar 13, 2017 at 7:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laura,

Express Passes are tied to one person.

Keep Hopping!

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Mar 8, 2017 at 2:22 p.m. Mia Says...

If I purchase park to park tickets from you, will I also be able to purchase the express passes if I choose to or do express passes have to purchased directly from Universal?

Reply
Mar 8, 2017 at 8:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mia,

Universal Express passes may be purchased through Universal. We do not sell them.

Keep Hopping!

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Feb 19, 2017 at 3:32 a.m. KrisP Says...

Party of 4 adults. We are spending 1 day at universal during our Disney trip on April 21st. We bought the Unlimited Express Park-to-park pass. We plan to be there at rope drop (8am) and stay until it closes (6pm). I have 2 questions if you don't mind helping:

1. We are staying at Disney so not at universal. When it says it opens at 8am... is that just for on-site guests? Can we enter but not ride rides?

Since both headlining Harry Potter rides do not allows Express Pass... would it be a good idea to rush back to Harry Potter at IOA, ride that ride, take the train to US and ride that Harry Potter ride. Take the train back to IOA and start touring there with our Express Pass and then move back to US for the 2nd part of the day?

I really appreciate your touring plans for the 1 day but I wasn't sure it fit us since we have unlimited Express passes and we'd like to ride the train both ways and avoid waiting in a long line for either Harry Potter ride.

Thoughts? Thank you :)

Reply
Feb 19, 2017 at 8:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi KrisP,

Universal will normally allow all guests into the park 30 min to an hour before posted opening time. Only guests staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel will be allowed past the holding area.

Since you only have one day, and it seems like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is your priority, visit those attractions then pick up with our Park Plans.

Keep Hopping!

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Feb 2, 2017 at 5:31 p.m. Tim Says...

We have always purchased the photo pass for our trips at Universal. However, we find it very inconvenient to have to pick up the photo pass after going through the gate at park opening (even though we have prepaid for it online). Hundreds of people get ahead of us on their way to Harry Potter while we stand in line to pick up the pass. Is there no other way to get the pass earlier?

Reply
Feb 3, 2017 at 8:56 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tim,

You may pick up your My Universal Photos Package by bringing your confirmation email to a will-call window at the front gate before you enter the park.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 25, 2017 at 3:01 a.m. Jen Says...

We will only be at Universal for one day. We fly in on a Thursday night and doing the park on the Friday. If we stay at The Royal Pacific on Thursday night and check out Friday morning, can we still utilize the free unlimited universal Express Pass on that Friday even if we have already checked out of the hotel?

Thanks!

Reply
Mar 1, 2017 at 12:39 p.m. William Says...

In case you never got your answer or for anyone else who is wondering. When you check into Royal Pacific, Hard Rock or Portofino on-site hotels at Universal Orlando, your Universal Express Unlimited is valid the day of check in until the end of day that you check out. If you were to check in on a Thursday, your UEU pass would be valid all day Thursday and all day Friday.

Reply
Jan 26, 2017 at 8:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

Our experience has been that if you're checking out that day and you have Universal Ticket for that day, then you'll have use of the Unlimited Universal Express Pass. You may want to call the Royal Pacific to be sure.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 22, 2017 at 2:32 a.m. Rachel Says...

Hi,

We are planning to visit Universal on Thursday, Feb 16th and debating on staying in Cabana Bay or Loews Royal Pacific for the Express Passes. I checked your awesome crowd calendar and it says 5/10 for crowds - BUT it has the "Not Recommended" symbol on this day and I can't tell why...Is that because of crowd expectations or something else?

Thanks!

Rachel

Reply
Feb 8, 2017 at 5:38 p.m. Mandy Says...

Both of those hotel options you mentioned do not include the express passes. They only include one hour early admission to the parks.

Reply
Mar 21, 2017 at 12:03 p.m. Jacqui Says...

Hi

Universal's hotels website says they offer Unlimited Express Passes to guests staying at Loews Royal Pacific resort. Is there a clause or something that states otherwise? I just want to make sure before booking. Thank you

https://www.universalorlando.co.uk/Hotels/On-site-Hotel-Benefits-And-Accommodations.aspx#RPR

Reply
Mar 21, 2017 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jacqui,

You'll receive Universal Express Unlimited Passes when you stay at Lowes Royal Pacific.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 23, 2017 at 8:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rachel,

We use data and projections to determine crowds and forecast days that would be better than others. Mardi Gras is happening during that week as well. You may still visit Universal that day, just know that the lines may be longer than those over at Islands of Adventure.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 21, 2017 at 7:28 p.m. Lisa Says...

Can you tell me if US and IOA do rider swap like Disney does? We will be traveling with a small child and an older one that can ride all the rides so that would be helpful to us. TIA!

Reply
Jan 23, 2017 at 8:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa,

Yes, Universal and IOA have child switch for attractions with height requirements.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 21, 2017 at 5:52 a.m. Billy Says...

Hi,

I will be visiting IoA and Universal Studios on 8 and 9 March 2017. 1 park per day. Is it possible to visit all the attractions without the express pass? We do not plan to see each show/ride more than once and don't mind queuing up.

Thanks!

Reply
Jan 23, 2017 at 8:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Billy,

Using our park planner for Universal and Islands of Adventure will give you the best chance to see everything without using the Express Pass.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 18, 2017 at 9:48 p.m. Robyn Says...

Hi! We're planning a trip in April. We're doing two days at Loews Portofino but I wanted to book through Hotels.com. Will I still get the express passes if you book through a third party website or do you have to book through the actual hotel website.

Thanks in advance!

Reply
Jan 18, 2017 at 3:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robyn,

Nope. You can get your tickets through us and you'll still get the Express Passes from the hotel.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 11, 2017 at 3:20 p.m. Sterling Severns Says...

We are traveling to Universal Orlando April 8-12. We will definitely stay at the Royal Pacific as we want Express Unlimited. I'm wondering if it is possible to purchase our park tickets separately from our hotel reservation? I would hate to screw up the Express Unlimited option because we didn't book an official package.

Reply
Jan 13, 2017 at 2:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sterling,

You can purchase discount tickets from fantastic frogs, like us, and it won't interfere with the Express Passes you get from the hotel.

Keep hopping!

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Jan 15, 2017 at 11:16 p.m. Adam Corley Says...

Hello,

My wife and I are planning on going to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on Saturday February 4th 2017.

We have been to Universal many times but it's usually been on a mid-week day.

Based off your crowd calendar I am hesitant on getting Express passes, but with it being a Saturday, what would you suggest?

Thanks in advance

Adam

Reply
Jan 16, 2017 at 6:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Adam,

If you can afford the extra charge, we always recommend getting the Express pass. It will help you with wait times, no matter if the parks are busy or slow. We're not recommending Islands of Adventure on the Feb 4th. Consider planning what your "must-dos" are and see if they accept Univeral Express. You can also purchase it inside the park if you get there and find long lines.

Keep Hopping!

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Jan 4, 2017 at 9:13 p.m. Siri Says...

Hi,

We are planning on visiting Orlando - Both parks in Universal Studio Jan 6th - Jan9th . The plan is to spend 3 days visting the parks . We have 2 boys ( ages 10 and 6 ) and a senior citizen ( wheel chair access ) in our group.

My questions are

1. Is this a peak period?

2.Do we need to buy the express pass for this weekend?

3.Will there be another line for people in wheel chairs?

We still havent decided whether we want to stay onsite or outside .

Thanks a lot for your advice !!

Reply
Jan 5, 2017 at 3:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Siri,

It's going to be busy at Universal during your stay. Check out the Crowd Calendar to see what days we don't recommend visiting the individual parks. Universal Express Pass could come in handy that weekend. They're a good option if you can get them. As for wheelchair lines, some of the attractions are fully wheelchair accessible, while others have an alternate entrance. Just check with the Universal Team Member at each attraction for more info.

Keep hopping!

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Dec 29, 2016 at 5:58 a.m. wayne Says...

I am wondering the specific criteria used when your crowd calendar recommends not to visit some parks on some days.

for eg i am doing universal 15-19th AUG 2017, park hopper unlimited express pass. Crowd levels are 6/10 each day. but one or the other of the two parks is not recommended on a couple of the days. So just wondering if there is some rule of thumb about which days to use the Hogwarts express etc and to do some time in both parks.

Reply
Jan 5, 2017 at 3:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Wayne,

A good rule of thumb would be to start your day in the recommended park, then take the Hogwarts Express in the late afternoon over to the non-recommended park.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 27, 2016 at 3:12 p.m. Christina Says...

Hello, my two daughters and I will be visiting both parks on March 6 & 7. Should we dedicate one park per day (we're mostly interested in Harry Potter)? Should we get the Express pass? Thanks so much!

Reply
Dec 27, 2016 at 11:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cristina,

If you're most interested in Harry Potter, then you definitely need a hopper pass. That's the only way you can experience Hogwarts Express.

As for the Express pass, it's always a good thing to get if you can afford it. Know that you can't use it on the majority of attractions at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 16, 2016 at 9:26 p.m. Jodi Says...

We are considering a very last minute trip to Universal the last week of December, but we don't like crowds. I know, wrong week to pick! The Express Passes are obviously a must. But how long would you estimate wait times for the Express Lines to be during peak 9/10 crowd periods. I assume even the express lines can become very long during peak periods.

Reply
Dec 21, 2016 at 11:42 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jodi,

You're right. The Express Lines can be long during peak times. Wait times depend on how many people are using the Express Passes. Know that they will save you time over the regular lines.

Keep Hopping,

Leap

Reply
Dec 6, 2016 at 4:18 p.m. Rae Says...

We will be at Universal Studios, just the one park, on the Wed. after President's Day. Do you think we'll need Express Pass to see everything in one day? (We will not be going on any of the Harry Potter rides.) If we do need them, where is the most convenient place to purchase them that day?

Reply
Dec 8, 2016 at 3:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rae,

I think you would definitely benefit from having it on that day, although you may want to play it by ear when you get there. You'll find the option to upgrade in different places around the park, and you can always ask a team member for the nearest location.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 2, 2016 at 1:08 p.m. Sekhar Says...

1. What is the difference between express pass that resort/hotel provide vs unlimited express pass?

2. Is there a way to purchase early opening pass separately without staying inthe park resort/hotel?

Reply
Dec 20, 2016 at 10:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sekhar,

The hotel provides Universal Express Unlimited, and you can also purchase this separately if you are not staying on site. The only way to get Early Park Admission is by staying at an official hotel.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 10, 2016 at 12:35 a.m. Carol Vogler Says...

If we buy express pass one ride each and there is a ride that my husband I don't want to ride, can we allow the kids to use our express pass for that ride?

Reply
Nov 7, 2016 at 11:47 p.m. Rebecca Says...

We are planning a trip with 1 1/2 days at Universal, January 15 & 16; we plan to stay onsite, but are debating between Cabana Bay and Lowes Royal Pacific (for the Express Pass). There will be 6 of us and I'm not sure we can justify that extra expense. How big of a difference does the early entrance make for popular attractions? Thanks in advance.

Reply
Nov 10, 2016 at 2:22 p.m. Matt Says...

We are a family of 4 with the kids ages of 5 and 10.We have been 5 times and we love the cabana bay,we stayed and the royal pacific once and just didn't like the atmosphere and the price was overkill

Reply
Nov 8, 2016 at 12:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca,

Early admission is for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which can include both Wizarding Worlds or just one, depending on the time of year and how busy the parks are expected to be. This weekend will be very, very busy. If you can afford to stay at Royal Pacific, we would highly recommend it. Early entry will help you enjoy Harry Potter and then you save a little bit of time and perhaps can ride a few more rides with lower waits since you'll be in the park right when it opens.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 26, 2016 at 3:28 a.m. Sarah Says...

Hi- My family of 5 (kids ages 6, 8, and 11) is staying at Disney from 12/15-12/21 and planning to visit Universal on 12/20 only. We were going to get the ticket that allows us to go to both Universal parks so we can do all the Harry Potter stuff. Would you recommend the express pass for us? Also, what is the best way for us to get to US from our Disney resort? Our Disney-employed planning agent mentioned tickets that cover the transfer, but she said they don't provide any sort of booster seat in their 10-passenger vans, and I'm not comfortable with my smaller 6 and 8 year-olds only riding with a seat-belt. Is it worth it to rent a car for just the one day? Or taxi/uber? Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 12:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

If you want to experience most of both parks, I would go for the Express Passes. It may be cheaper to rent a car (we always recommend you do the math), but you can definitely do taxi/uber. You would still need the car seats, but I think some ride shares do offer them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 11, 2016 at 6:18 p.m. Chris Jackson Says...

Uber Family does work around the Orlando parks (I know at Disney, haven't tried at Universal) Uber family is what you would select for the car seats (they were around a 7-10 minute wait during illuminations at epcot)

Reply
Oct 23, 2016 at 4:57 a.m. Cindy Says...

Hi!

My Husband and I will be at US & IOA(park hopper ticket) on Sunday November 13 2016. Is it possible to do both parks in 1 day or do you recommend the Express Pass to be able to see both parks in 1 day? We have about 10-15 rides between both parks that we want to go on forsure.

Reply
Oct 25, 2016 at 12:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cindy,

I would recommend the Express Pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 18, 2016 at 2:58 p.m. Srini Says...

I am planning for Florida trip between 2-Nov and 7-Nov. And i am thinking to have 3 day one park ticket for Disney and 1 day 1 park ticket for Universal. I have other plans for other days. I will be travelling with my wife and 8 year old kid. I have some other thoughts running in my mind. Should i get park to park tickets? Should i need to get Universal Express ticket? I also don't want to make this trip too tired. Can you suggest which one will be good?

Reply
Oct 21, 2016 at 10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

If you can afford Express Pass, it will definitely allow you to do more in the parks, but it's not absolutely necessary this time of year. Keep in mind that you won't be able to do everything in one day, especially if you get the Park-to-Park ticket, but you can do a lot if you get to the parks early.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 21, 2016 at 5:17 p.m. Srini Says...

Thanks for your reply. Yes. I decided to go with one day one park ticket. Express pass in Universal, may be based on the crowd on that day. Hope i can take that over the park. Thanks

Reply
Oct 16, 2016 at 7:37 p.m. Elena Says...

Hello! My family will be going to Universal for four nights (Feb 8-12, 2017), and I'm considering the 4 day park-to-park pass that is currently selling for the cost of 2 days. Our primary focus is Harry Potter, but I'm sure we'll enjoy other parts of the park as well (although my kids do not like big roller coasters). I am trying to decide between Loew's Sapphire Hotel or one of the three hotels with the Express Pass. I cannot decide if the approximately extra $400-$500 would be better spent on a hotel with Express Passes or having that money on souvenirs and eating out.

Also - My husband is active duty military, so perhaps there is a package or specials that might help us?

Reply
Oct 21, 2016 at 10:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elena,

This is a great time to visit, and I don't think you will need Express Passes, but it is always great to have them. You ultimately have to make the call on whether to spend the extra money, but if you can, I still think you will be glad you did. There are typically discounts for military, but you would need to check with the base on that.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 4, 2016 at 12:33 p.m. Judy Says...

We are sending our 4 kids ages 12 - 24 to Universal for Christmas Dec 24 -31. Harry Potter World the main attraction to them. We are not staying on sit. Can you suggest the best ticket to buy? (I assume the Park to Park and the Universal Express Unlimited) Any suggestions would be appreciated. THANK YOU!

Reply
Oct 11, 2016 at 1:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Judy,

Depending on the number of days you want to be in the parks and which parks, you may consider the Flex Ticket to be the best value. Both it and the Park-to-Park tickets would allow you to ride the Hogwarts Express. We would definitely recommend the Express Passes if you can afford them during this time. Here are all of our Universal discount ticket options.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 29, 2016 at 12:35 p.m. Jay Says...

Hi. We are a family of 2 adults and 4 children who will be visiting over Easter 2017. We have got a villa booked and would like express passes for both parks. Would you recommend booking one night's stay in a hotel for 5 people, just to get the free passes, then buying one extra for the 6th person. Is it possible to check in, get the passes, then not actually stay in the hotel? Would this work out cheaper than buying the passes for all 6 of us?

Thanks x

Reply
Oct 20, 2016 at 3:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jay,

This is an option, although we like the proximity to the parks. Keep in mind that with this plan, you would get the Express benefit for the days of check-in and check-out, and all of your party would need to be present at the hotel to get the passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 25, 2016 at 12:19 p.m. Carrieq Says...

I am interested in purchasing 2-day Base Tickets through your website but I don't see the option to buy the Express Passes. Is this only sold through Univsersal? Thanks!

Reply
Oct 3, 2016 at 11:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carrie,

We currently do not offer Express Passes, but you can purchase your discount tickets through us and then add on Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 22, 2016 at 7:14 p.m. Pete Says...

Hi

We will be going to Universal Studio Orlando on Jan 1. Will there be less crowd since most people will be too tired from New Year's Eve?

We will also go to Universal between Jan 4 to Jan 6. Do you expect high level of crowd since kids are already back to school?

Thank you.

Reply
Oct 3, 2016 at 12:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pete,

The parks will be very crowded at this time. You can see them on our Crowd Calendar:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 20, 2016 at 8 a.m. Sarah young Says...

Hi there! My friend and I just purchased a 3 day park hopper pass for Disney world from you and we are both very excited!! We are also doing the 1 day park-to-park universal Orlando. We are going on Tuesday October 11. Do you recommend the universal express pass?? We can't decide if its worth it and are having the hardest time deciding. Or do you think we should do the mickeys not so scary Halloween party? There are both about $100 and can't decide which one to choose!! I

Reply
Sep 22, 2016 at 8:20 p.m. Avinash Says...

Visiting in December for Christmas. Do I need separate tickets for both parks and if you have any packages

Reply
Sep 21, 2016 at 10:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

Medium crowds are expected that day, so you don't absolutely need Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 2, 2016 at 9:07 p.m. Dawn Says...

Once you have purchased Universal Express tickets - - do you have to carry around the actual PAPER ticket and present at EVERY RiDE you want to use it at - our will you get some sort of credit card/lanyard?

Reply
Oct 3, 2016 at 10:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dawn,

You get a physical ticket that will need be carried around, but you could purchase or bring your own lanyard (many people do).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 19, 2016 at 3:23 p.m. Sarah Says...

I am purchasing a 3-day park hopper for Disneyworld and a 1-day universal park-to-park hopper In Orlando it's Oct 10-Oct 13. Would it be better to have the tickets mailed to me or do the e-tickets? Also my friend and I want to do one extra thing. Do you recommend going to mickeys not so scary Halloween party at Disney world? Or buying the express pass at universal Orlando so you get on the rides with like no wait time? They are both about $100 more. Have you done either of these? Which would you recommend? Thanks!

Reply
Sep 21, 2016 at 11:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

You don't really need Express Passes at this time. As far as the E-Tickets decision, it is really up to you. You are already within your 30-day window for making FastPass+ reservations at Disney World, so the E-Tickets would be faster delivery. If you are not staying at Disney World (and therefore getting free MagicBands) or purchasing MagicBands in advance, you would need to exchange the E-Tickets outside the gate for physical tickets.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 19, 2016 at 12:40 a.m. Leah Says...

I'm being told that if I only pay admission to Universal Studios and do not purchase admission for Universal Island of Adventures, the Universal "Unlimited" Express pass will only act as a regular Express Pass (One time) use per ride. Is this correct?

Reply
Oct 11, 2016 at 12:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Leah,

This is not correct. You have the option of purchasing unlimited for one park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 11, 2016 at 12:38 p.m. Adam Says...

We are driving from Miami to Orlando on 7 April 2017 and go straight to Universal. We are not fans of HP but wish to visit US and IOA in 2 days, which includes the day we arrive. Does on-site make sense and which tickets should we get?

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Adam,

We recommend staying on-site if you can afford it. Since you don't care that much about Harry Potter, I would go for the hotels that offer the Unlimited Express. The 2-Day Park-to-Park tickets will offer you the most flexibility, but if you don't care about riding the Hogwarts Express, you could also opt for the 2-Day Base Tickets.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 6, 2016 at 11:48 p.m. David Says...

On the unlimited express passes, since you can use them multiple times on the same ride, are you able to share the pass with your entire party or does each person have to have their own pass?

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi David,

Each person needs his or her own pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 5, 2016 at 11:17 p.m. Dawn Says...

Hi, I want to see if you sell Universal park-park express pass, I can't seem to find it on your website. :( My daughter and I will be visiting both parks on Sept. 26 and curious if we should get it or not. We have ONE day only to see both parks. We have been before but just want to see if we should go ahead and buy?

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dawn,

We do not currently offer Express Pass, but you can purchase discount tickets through us and add them when you get there.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 28, 2016 at 5:59 p.m. Dror Says...

Hi thanks for such a great site!

We are 2 adults and 3 children (9 - 13) have bought 2 day passes to universal (14th of October) and IOA (17th of October) but not sure how to go about buying express passes or even if we need to?

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 3:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Thank you for the compliment! You likely don't need the passes for your dates, but you could always add them in the park if you wanted to.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 26, 2016 at 9:34 p.m. Shailendra Mishra Says...

Hi there, I am planning to visit Universal Orlando on 17th September for a day which is yellow crowd and also having a kid of less than 3 year. Do you think we should buy fast pass or baby swap will be suffice for us?

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 2:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shailendra,

It's always nice if you have the Express Passes, but with your little one, you will be OK with using baby swap and single rider line, especially since that day is expected to see medium crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 14, 2016 at 2:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shailendra,

It's always nice if you have the Express Passes, but with your little one, you will be OK with using baby swap and single rider line, especially since that day is expected to see medium crowds.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 25, 2016 at 2:40 a.m. Kevin Says...

Hi!!! Thanks for the article. Was a great read.

Me and my gf will be at US for one day. Sept 4th. We are mainly going for the HP attractions. But we will have tickets to both parks. I got us a room at the Avanti and it included access to the park 1 hour before opening. Were thinking of waiting till we get to the park to decide on the Express passes. According to your calendar Sept 4th is usually a 6/10 as far as the crowd. What is your suggestion on the express passes?

Reply
Aug 25, 2016 at 11:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kevin,

I don't think you absolutely need them, but you can add them while you are there.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 22, 2016 at 3 a.m. V Says...

Can I buy a discount park ticket from a trusted vendor and then an express pass later on directly?

Reply
Aug 22, 2016 at 8:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi V,

Yes! We hope you will purchase from us. We offer discount tickets for Universal all the time, but we currently have a couple of promotional tickets that offer even greater savings: https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/universal-orlando-resort/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 19, 2016 at 1:36 a.m. scott Says...

I will be going to Island of adventures with my family (5 people), do you think we will need express passes?

Reply
Aug 22, 2016 at 9:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Scott,

It depends on when you are going, for how long etc. Check out our crowd calendar:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 17, 2016 at 5:19 p.m. Peter Says...

Hello I will be using my 1-day park-to-park admission for this Friday, August 19th. Do you recommend getting express passes? First time going and probably only time for a while.

Reply
Aug 17, 2016 at 12:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Peter,

Since you've got one day and two parks, you might consider it, but I would not purchase until you arrive and see that you need it. Crowds shouldn't be too bad.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 10, 2016 at 5:16 p.m. Julie Says...

We are planning a trip to Universal Jan 19-23, 2017... Would you recommend the universal express? Thanks! Love your information and website!

Reply
Aug 16, 2016 at 12:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Julie,

Thank you!! You should not need Express Pass for those dates.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 6:38 p.m. Karin from New York Says...

I plan to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for 2 days with my Son (26yrs) and his GF(24yr). Our dates 9/12-13,2016. What Universal hotel would you recommend we stay at and would your recommend a two park pass and also the Express Unlimited pass for the two day park visit? Would the hotel permit us to leave our car parked at their hotel on the check out day so we can still visit the parks on 2nd day? Appreciate your advice! :)

Reply
Aug 16, 2016 at 12:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karin,

You do not need Express Passes for these dates, but they are always nice to have. I would check out the prices of Cabana Bay or Sapphire Falls vs. the other Universal hotels that offer the Unlimited Express benefit. Hard Rock is one of our favorites and likely would be popular with your son and his girlfriend, but all of the hotels are terrific. Yes, you could leave your car parked on the day of checkout.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 5:14 p.m. Jay Says...

I have a family of 5 and we are looking into doing a Universal vacation at the end of June 2017. We are debating whether to stay at the Cabana Bay or Loews Royal Pacific. We would do a 3 day park to park ticket. Do you recommend the unlimited express pass during this time frame? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 12:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jay,

I would stay at Royal Pacific, so you can get the Universal Express benefit during that very busy time of year. You can also do the math and compare against purchasing Express Passes out of pocked using today's prices so you feel good about it—it's a big savings vs. individually adding on Universal Express Unlimited for three days and three people.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 6:08 p.m. Jay Says...

What are your thoughts on any of the dining plans and if it would be worth it for me?

Reply
Aug 16, 2016 at 12:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jay,

The dining plans generally are good for people who want to budget in advance for meals and don't mind staying within the parameters of a plan. We generally like more flexibility in the parks, but we understand that it isn't a priority for everyone.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 8, 2016 at 4:54 a.m. Tracy Says...

Great website...thank you for all of the info! We are planning a combined Universal and WDW trip in November and could use some advice. Tentative travel dates are 11/11-11/19. I am wiling to change hotels once and spend 2-3 at Universal and the rest at WDW. If we start or end our trip at Universal, we are there over weekend days with higher crowds (5-7), but we get the express pass and early admission. If we stay at WDW the whole time, we can uber over to Universal on lower crowd (3-4) days mid-week, but give up the extra hour and express passes. Overall, it's not a crazy busy time of year, but I'm wondering what the best strategy is for maximizing HP time and minimizing waits. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

Reply
Aug 8, 2016 at 1:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tracy,

It's great that you have this flexibility! If you don't mind it, I highly recommend the split stay. What you gain at Universal (especially if you stay at a hotel offering Unlimited Express) will be worth it, and the hotels and proximity to the parks are terrific. If you take advantage of Early Park Admission, you will see lower waits at the Wizarding World. You may want to start at Disney, since the Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be wrapping up after those first few days. Here are some things to consider if you end up splitting your days: https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/split-stay-orlando/

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Aug 2, 2016 at 11:26 a.m. Carla Says...

oops, I mean check in on 29th of Sept and out on the 30th - one-night accommodation.

Reply
Aug 2, 2016 at 11:25 a.m. Carla Says...

Hi, thank you for your amazing advice...

Is it possible to have a 2 day park to park ticket and book into Royal Pacific for one night (in on 28th of Sept '16 and out on 30th of Sept) but still get to use the advantage of early park entry and express passes for both days? Seeing as though check in isn't until later in the day on the 28/9 I am wondering if I could leave bags with the hotel and still get early entry that day. With thanks

Reply
Aug 8, 2016 at 1:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carla,

Yes, you can do this, and it's a great benefit!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 1, 2016 at 2:41 p.m. Jenn Says...

We are visiting from 8/26 to 8/30 staying at Cabana Bay with a 4 day Park to Park pass. Should we wait to see if we fit everything in before getting an express pass or purchase one ahead of time? I noticed the Hard Rock is sold out and worried the crowds will be heavier than expected. Any advise?

Reply
Aug 3, 2016 at 1:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenn,

I would wait it out, especially with a four day ticket! Enjoy Cabana Bay!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 31, 2016 at 9:38 a.m. Tracey Says...

Hi there, a great site thank you. We are visiting both Universal parks for just one day, either the 4th, 5th or 6th of October. Would you recommend an express pass or we should be ok?

Cheers

Tracey

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 11:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tracey,

They are nice to have, but you should not need them at this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 30, 2016 at 8:06 p.m. Nicole Says...

Hi

My fiancé and I will be staying at Sapphire Falls at Universal August 21-25 and are planning to do a 3 or 4-day park-to-park for Universal and Islands of Adventure. Right now, we're debating whether we should get the express pass for the parks. What is your opinion? Will it be worth it for the time we're going? We've never had many issues with wait times every time we've gone before, but we don't know what it'll be like for this trip. Thanks for the help!

Reply
Aug 3, 2016 at 1:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nicole,

I would not purchase them with a 4-day ticket. Wait it out and see how crowds are, but I think you will be fine.

Congrats on your engagement!

Leap

Reply
Jul 30, 2016 at 7:23 p.m. Scott Says...

We are heading to the park in early December 2016 and would like to potentially buy these passes. Is this something I can do through you, or should I purchase the regular tickets from you and get the Express Passes from the Universal website? Thank you!

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 11:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Scott,

You can purchase discount tickets through us, but we currently do not offer the Express Passes. For those, you can purchase when you arrive or online through Universal.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 29, 2016 at 2:48 p.m. Liana Says...

Hello, We are traveling to Universal Orlando next week. We chose to go Sunday Aug 7th, but could also change it to Friday the 5th. Which day would you recommend? Also, we plan on getting the express pass for our one day park to park adventure. Do you recommend the regular express pass or the unlimited? thank you!

Reply
Aug 9, 2016 at 11:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Liana,

So sorry for the delay, but your comment ended up in our spam filter. What day did you end up deciding on and which pass?

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 27, 2016 at 10:12 p.m. Nicole Says...

Hi,

I will be staying at Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal with my fiancé from August 21-25. We're planning on doing either 3 or 4-day park-to-park tickets from the 22nd-24/25th. We've been debating getting express passes because they cost a lot and every time we've gone before we haven't had major issues with wait times. Do you think the express passes would be worth it for the time we're going? Thanks for the help!

Reply
Aug 8, 2016 at 11:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nicole,

They are always nice to have, but I don't think they will be necessary at this time. Don't forget you have the Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 26, 2016 at 7:23 p.m. Carl Franklin Says...

Hello

We are going to Orlando as a family on 13th December for 14 days and have already purchased all our park tickets. I have just noticed the "2-Park Universal Express Ulimited Pass" we are planning on going to universal at least 2 times but probably more as the teenage age kids love all the rides there. Will this pass allow this if we were wanting to go on different days during our holiday?

Reply
Aug 8, 2016 at 11:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carl,

You would select the number of days that you want the unlimited benefit. You mentioned being there for 14 days. If you are visiting for multiple days, even with crowds being higher toward the end of your visit, you probably have enough time that you don't need them. That is totally up to you, of course.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 26, 2016 at 5:28 p.m. Ann Says...

If we get the 1-ride-only express passes for our familiy of 5, can they be used by any member of the group. Thinking a kid may want to ride a ride again and a parent may not want to ride it at all.

Reply
Jul 26, 2016 at 3:24 a.m. Sally Says...

Hi! Planning to stay at the Portofino for 3 nights in Sept. Can I buy universal tickets from UT and use them along with the express passes I get from the hotel? Is the 2 day + one day free really what it says it is? As in we really get 3 days in the parks with it?

Reply
Aug 2, 2016 at 2:07 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sally,

Yes, you can use our tickets with Universal Express! And yes, that is the ticket!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 23, 2016 at 7:03 a.m. Kaleigh Says...

Hello!

My sister and I are going to Florida for the first time next month, and I was wondering about the fast passes. If I purchase one, does it work for the both of us? Or do they need to be purchased separately?

Reply
Jul 25, 2016 at 8:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kaleigh,

I believe you mean Express Passes not Fastpasses. These would need to be purchased for the two of you if you both want to skip the lines. They can be purchased online or when you get to the parks.

Keep hopping!

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Jul 21, 2016 at 1:48 p.m. Christina Says...

We have a group of 5 adults and 2 children (ages 3 and 5) heading to both Universal parks in a few weeks. We haven't been able to find information on how many Express passes we need to buy for a group that size ... does each person need an Express pass? Or does one pass cover a group?

Reply
Aug 2, 2016 at 1:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Christina,

Yes, all of the adults would need the Express Passes. Your 3-year-old would not need the pass since he or she will be too young to ride on many of the rides, but you would want to consider it for your 5-year-old if he or she is going to ride the majority of the rides with you. Depending on when you visit, you may want to wait to purchase when you arrive to see if you really need it.

Keep hopping!

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Jul 17, 2016 at 11:26 p.m. Deanne Chapman Says...

Hi, We will be in Orlando July 21 to July 31. What would be the best days to go to Universal and Islands of Adventure? Do we need Express passes? If so, where is the cheapest place to purchase them?

Thanks!

Reply
Jul 18, 2016 at 12:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deanne,

Check out our Crowd Calendar. All of these dates are expected to be busy. If you can afford the Express Passes, we do recommended them. They can be purchased through Universal directly, but you can wait to decide until you get there.

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Jul 17, 2016 at 5:21 p.m. Steve Says...

We are traveling to Universal and IOA on Nov 6th and 7th, will we need the fast pass? The 6th is red on your chart. Any suggestion?

Reply
Jul 18, 2016 at 12:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steve,

There will be more crowds in town because of the Disney Wine & Dine Half-Marathon Weekend, but I don't think you absolutely will need them and could hold off to decide until you arrive.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 15, 2016 at 3:25 p.m. Kristin Says...

Hi! Great site!!! We are planning a visit from 8/2 - 8/6 but torn on staying at Hard Rock for express pass or Sapphire Falls OR splitting the stay between the two (a big hassle) or just buying the express pass for a day or day (4). What do you think?

Reply
Jul 18, 2016 at 12:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristin,

If you can afford it, I would stay at the Hard Rock, but you have to weigh the cost differential. The split stay isn't a bad idea. You could take advantage of the early entry to the Wizarding World on your Days at Sapphire Falls, and focus on the other rides for your days at Hard Rock. You may also want to check out our post on the pros and cons of a split stay: https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/split-stay-orlando/

Keep hopping!

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Jul 14, 2016 at 9:51 a.m. Tine Says...

Hello,

We are visiting Orlando and planning to spend 1 or 2 days at Universal.

First option: Tuesday 27th September and Friday 30th September, we would buy tickets to visit just one park a day to cut costs.

Second option: Tuesday 27th September, park to park tickets so we could spend the 30th in Miami (it's the last day before our flight back to Europe).

How would you advise? If we do plan 2 days at Universal, we figure we don't really need the express pass, but we might benefit from it if we only plan 1 day?

We have visited last year and don't travel with kids so we don't necessarily have to see or do everything.

What would you advice?

Reply
Jul 19, 2016 at 11:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tine,

This is a great time to visit as far as crowds go. If you want to ride the Hogwarts Express, you'll need a Park-to-Park ticket, so that might be a deciding factor. If you do one day, having Express Passes would ensure you get to do more of the rides, but you can do a lot at this time even without the passes.

Keep hopping!

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Jul 11, 2016 at 9:14 p.m. Elly Says...

Hi

We have a week at Disney 22nd August and want to spend 2 days at Universal... Which days would be best?

Will we need express passes do you think?

Thanks what a FAB site you have!

Reply
Jul 12, 2016 at 1:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elly,

The 24th and 26th are the best days for Universal, and no, you will not need Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

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Jul 6, 2016 at 10:24 p.m. Paola Says...

I would be going to Orlando on July 19th to July 22 2 adults and 2 kids, if I can afford do you recommend buying express passes. Today I just added all the wait times with your plan touring and gives a total of 6.5 hours in lines!!!!! it is crazy, considering that I have two small children.

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 2:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Paola,

If you can afford it, we do recommend adding Express Passes, but you can always wait and add it in the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 7:32 p.m. Casey Portman Says...

Hi there - your site is amazing! Thank you for collecting all of this info and putting it into one place. We live in Va and are considering a 3 day trip next May (2017). Since it's so far away, when would you recommend actually booking the room and tickets? Also, would you recommend the Express Pass for the first week in May? The crowds look "ok" for Tuesday - Thursday, which is when we would go. But we will have a 3 year old with us with a short attention span. We'll be staying at the "value" hotel, so we would need Express passes separately. Worth it??

Reply
Jul 12, 2016 at 2:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Casey,

You should not need Express Passes during this time as neutral crowds are expected. The sooner you book your room, generally the better. It's always better to buy your tickets as early as possible once you know what you want, because most of the parks do annual price increases.

Here are all of our discount options:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/

Keep hopping!

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Jul 3, 2016 at 1:14 p.m. Yogesh Says...

We are visiting both the universal between 19 to 21 July . Which would be the best days to visit ? Express pass required ?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We are showing July 19 as the best date, and yes, we'd recommend Express Pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:42 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We are showing July 19 as the best date, and yes, we'd recommend Express Pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 23, 2016 at 9:40 a.m. Kram Says...

Hi, we are a family of three and plan to visit Universal for 2 days - 6/7 July. We have reservations in a resort that offers the Express passes from 5th to 7th. Will Universal allow checking in early on 5th, leaving our luggage and heading to the park with the express pass?

Or is the pass only given at the time of check-in - and the check-in time stated is 4pm?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:16 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

So sorry for the delay, but your comment ended up in our spam filter. Hope you had a great trip!

Keep hopping!

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Jun 23, 2016 at 2:29 a.m. Jason Silverman Says...

Hello! I'm planning on visiting both parks for 1 day for my honeymoon on 09/01. On your calendar, one of the parks is red and the other is yellow. Do you think we'll be ok on a Thursday before Labor Day without Express passes?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 1:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason,

The overall crowd level is very low, so no, you don't need Express Pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 21, 2016 at 6:22 p.m. TCG Says...

Hi, we will be in Florida June 28-July 4, staying off site. Planning to spend 2 days at the Universal Resorts, 1 park/day. Looking at the express passes on the Universal website, I noticed they are cheaper in the weekends? For example, the Islands of Adventure express pass costs $59.99 on July 2 and 3 (Sat & Sun) and $84.99 weekdays. Initially, we were planning to go to the Universal parks during on weekdays hoping to stay away from the weekend's larger crowd. But with the price difference, is it a better idea to go on that weekend?

Is it highly recommended to get the express passes on these dates? Thanks so much

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

So sorry for the delay, but your comment ended up in our spam filter. What did you decide and how did it work out?

Keep hopping!

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Jun 20, 2016 at 3:26 p.m. Carrie Says...

Hi!

We're planning a possible drive down to Universal July 5-9, with the 6-8th being our park days. We're debating staying on or off site. While staying off site would be a lot cheaper, we wouldn't get the Express Unlimited. Is it absolutely necessary for that week with crowds being so heavy, or would we be ok sticking to a touring plan and getting to the parks extra early?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carrie,

So sorry for the delay, but your comment ended up in our spam filter. What did you decide?

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jun 20, 2016 at 2:30 a.m. Dawn Says...

We are thinking about staying from Aug 15th to the 19. Would you recommend getting the fast pass?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 7:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dawn,

I don't think you will need Express Pass at this time, although it's always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 16, 2016 at 6:13 a.m. Trina Says...

Love your blog!

We are traveling June 26-July 3rd staying at a time share.

We will be visiting Disney and Universal/Island of Adventure. We have a group of 7 ranging from 3-87 :) only 2 risers ages 11 & 16

My question is should we consider express passes?

And if so, can one pass be used by different both kids at different times?

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trina,

So sorry for the delay, but your comment ended up in our spam filter. What did you decide?

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Jun 10, 2016 at 4:36 a.m. Telicia Scott Says...

Hi, we will be visiting Universal June 14th and June 15th It's 4 of us. We want to do both parks. Would you recommend 1 or 2 day passes. Also, would you recommend express pass for both days if we do the 2-day, as it can be costly. Thanks

Reply
Jul 11, 2016 at 8:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Telicia,

So sorry for the delay, but your comment ended up in our spam filter. What did you decide?

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 9, 2016 at 4:59 p.m. Kat Says...

Hello, we are planning a universal trip August 9-10, 2016. 3 adults and 2 kids. Do you recommend express passes during this time?

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kat,

I would wait and see what you think of the crowds when you get there. You may not need them. By the way, have you seen our new Quick Start Guide for Universal Orlando? You will find some additional tips for skipping the lines there.

Keep hopping!

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Jun 9, 2016 at 5:41 a.m. Sherry Says...

Hello,

Do you think I should purchase an express pass for July 23rd and/or July 24th? Planning a trip to Orlando during this time with my son.

Thanks!

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 11:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sherry,

I would consider it if you can afford it.

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Jun 6, 2016 at 2:21 p.m. Rose Says...

We are going around October 22-29. We wanted to do a two day park hopper but are unsure about getting a fast pass. We definitely wanna do the Halloween Horror nights and I am unsure if an express pass that night would be absolutely neccesary. Any thoughts to make this cost effective and if fast passes are neccesary?

Reply
Jul 5, 2016 at 10:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rose,

To clarify, the Express Passes are separate for regular park admission and Halloween Horror Nights. I don't think they are absolutely necessary for the regular day visits, but you might want to consider them for Halloween Horror Nights, especially if you attend on the night of Oct. 22.

Keep hopping!

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Jun 3, 2016 at 11:49 a.m. Jenny Says...

We are considering staying at Royal Pacifica 7/7-7/9. If we arrive the morning of 7/7, will we be able to check in, store our bags, and get our express passes so we can enjoy the parks the day of our arrival? We would still have the 8th and 9th to take advantage of the early entry and continue using our express passes but this allows us to only stay two nights since the hotel is fairly expensive. We also considered staying elsewhere but it looks like the parks will be quite busy those days so I'm assuming you would recommend using the express passes to shorten wait times? Thanks!

Reply
Jun 17, 2016 at 10:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenny,

Yes, we recommend you staying there, and you can store bags that first day and use Unlimited Express. You just need to check in at the hotel first.

Keep hopping!

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Jun 1, 2016 at 1:15 a.m. Sarah Says...

We have been to Disney many times - but never to universal. Have the opportunity to go this August after a cruise. Based on flights and cost we can either stay the 19th to the 22nd or the 19th to the 26th. From what I can figure - we could do three nights at Portofino or Royal Pacific and have the express passes, or seven night at the new Sapphire (grand opening deal) with no express passes for roughly the same price. Is there enough for first timers (parents and 10 year old girl) to do for a week at universal? (Other than side trips with more costs - we would do the 3 park 14 day ticket - basically same price as four day ticket!) How much scarier are the roller coasters? (She can easily ride space mountain, rockin roller coaster, Everest and tower of terror - so she is not a chicken - but not used to real "thrill ride" coasters.) Any advice?

Reply
Jun 2, 2016 at 3:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

It's always nice to stay on site at Portofino or Royal Pacific, so you get the Unlimited Express benefit, even though it won't be completely necessary. If you do decide to stay seven days, you might also consider the FlexTicket, and then you could visit SeaWorld, Aquatica and Wet 'n' Wild. The coasters are a fairly big step up from Disney, so it just depends on how adventurous she is.

Keep hopping!

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May 30, 2016 at 10:12 p.m. JAMIE Says...

Hi, we are a family of 4. We are planning on visiting Universal studios and islands of adventure. We are going Oct 8th, 9th and possibly half day or so on the 10th. Do you think we will need express passes? Thank you in advance :-)

Reply
May 31, 2016 at 6:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jamie,

We don't think you will need them at this time, but you could always purchase them in the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 26, 2016 at 3:34 p.m. Tram Says...

Hi,

Our family of 5 (kids ages 2, 5, and 9) are visiting universal Orlando for 2 days (7/27-7/28). Do you suggest we get an express pass for these days? I am trying to decide if we should stay at 1 of their premier hotels (which offer free express passes) or a value hotel. Thank you so much for your help!

Reply
Jun 2, 2016 at 1:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tram,

If you can, I would stay on-site.

Keep hopping!

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May 24, 2016 at 8:27 a.m. Gina Says...

Hi, we've got the 1 day-2park ticket for July, we are assuming this would be busy so we are going to get the express tickets as well, our main reason for going is the Harry Potter World parts, do you think these are doable in the one day? Also is there a list of things the express pass includes? And is early opening only for people who are staying in the resorts linked to the park?

Thanks in advance :)

Reply
May 31, 2016 at 3:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gina,

I think getting the Express Passes makes a lot of sense since you are trying to cover so much ground in one day, but the main Harry Potter headliners will not be included. For those, I recommend single rider line. The only drawback is that you will miss the major queue experience, so it's a tough decision! Early entry is for those staying on-site. You can see the list of Express Pass attractions here and here.

Keep hopping!

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May 22, 2016 at 4:03 p.m. Meredith Says...

I will be headed to Universal on June 1st or 2nd or maybe even both days. Plans aren't final yet. I want to spend most of my time exploring the Harry Potter parks, but would like to see some of the rest of the park as well. Would you recommend one day or two to take everything in? And do you think fast passes are a must?

Reply
May 31, 2016 at 2:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Meredith,

I don't think Universal Express Passes are absolutely necessary at this time, but they are always nice to have and you can add them if you feel you need them. I would definitely try for two days and suggest checking out our Universal touring plans.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 18, 2016 at 11:40 a.m. Angel King Says...

Good day I am going on a field trip to only Islands of adventure May 24, from 7 a.m to 7.pm and I want to know if a fast pass would be worth it, its a bit expensive that day 50$ basic 70$ unlimited. I feel since I am going to be there the whole day I should get an unlimited but idk please help.

Reply
May 18, 2016 at 9:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Angel,

I don't think you will need it for this day. If you did decide to do it, you might not need Unlimited Express.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 14, 2016 at 9:08 a.m. Dan Says...

Hi we are planning on doing both parks in 1 day on the 19th of June, would you recommend express passes? The crowd calendar is green but wonder if we would be able to fit enough into one day without them?

Thanks

Dan

Reply
May 16, 2016 at 11:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dan,

The overall crowd level is 8 out of 10, so we would recommend Express Passes. Out of all the parks, Universal's are recommended (green), but that is just in comparison against the other parks for that day—it will still be busy!

Keep hopping!

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May 12, 2016 at 1:26 p.m. Sharon Says...

We are traveling 8/4 & 8/5 and with a 14 and 10 year old. We want to get as much done as possible at US and IOA. Should we do the Unlimited express? Also, what is the benefit of the VIP vs. Unlimited express? Is it worth the difference?

Reply
May 17, 2016 at 3:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon,

If you can afford it and want a more personalized experience, VIP is the way to go. You'll be guaranteed a number of rides for the day, and will just walk up and wait minimally. With Unlimited Express, you'll still have to wait in the Express Pass queue, and on super busy days, you could still see a wait of up to 15 minutes.

Keep hopping!

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May 10, 2016 at 6:31 p.m. Rick Says...

Going with a group of 7 friends on the 13th of june. What do you recommend? Buy online the Universal Express or wait till we get there at the park?

Reply
May 17, 2016 at 3:25 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rick,

It's going to be busy, it's just a question of whether everyone wants to pony up for the extra cost.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 9, 2016 at 3:47 a.m. Tripidee Says...

Thank you! This was really helpful.

Reply
May 5, 2016 at 6:21 p.m. k Says...

we are thinking about going the first week of sept 3 to 6 probably. either staying onsite for the express pass or staying at Disney with a rental car (much cheaper) do you think we need the express pass? kids will be almost 9 and almost 6. can they ride all the rides on the express pass? one is 50 inches and the other is 46 inches.

Reply
May 8, 2016 at 8:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi K,

You probably do not need the Express Pass, but we always recommend staying on site if you can afford it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 4, 2016 at 3:47 p.m. Megan Says...

I am planning to stay at a Universal Resort but I'm debating to stay at the Cabana Bay or one of the resorts with the Express Pass included. If it's worth booking the more expensive resort with the Express pass I will do that.

The days we plan to be in the park are September 11-13. 2016 based on your crowd calendar two of the days one park is red the other is green, and on the other day both parks are yellow!

Thank you!

Reply
May 8, 2016 at 8:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

The overall crowd levels a neutral, so you shouldn't need Express Passes.

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/september-2016/#calendar

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 4, 2016 at 1:54 p.m. Sandra Says...

Hi

We are going to universal march 26 to april 1st next year and wondered if u think we would need express passes at this time?

Thanks

Reply
May 12, 2016 at 4:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sandra,

Yes. We'd highly recommend it at this time.

Keep hopping!

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May 1, 2016 at 3:19 p.m. Shelly Says...

My husband is a Florida resident and I will be soon after a job move. Our children and grandchildren will be coming for a week.. We plan on staying one night a the Portofino and one night at the Royal Pacific in Club rooms, the grandkids are 2, 9 and 15. The 9 year old will turn 10 on our 2nd hotel stay (the day after check in) will a child ticket be ok or will we have to get him an adult ticket? Does the 2 year old need an unlimited express pass and are the child junior and adult passes different even though the same price if purchased? We should receive 4 passes for the 2 nights, What happens if I get a Florida discount ticket but don't get time to have my ID changed will I have to buy a new ticket or just pay the difference between resident and nonresident? Thanks

Reply
May 12, 2016 at 2:31 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shelly,

You child turning 10 should be fine, and the 2-year-old does not need a pass. On the changeover to a Florida resident, do you have any documentation you might be able to provide if asked? It may not be an issue, but think it could help if there is a problem.

Keep hopping!

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Apr 30, 2016 at 11:17 p.m. Herbert Says...

Will be in Orlando with Family in tow during the second week of May. Staying on property at Disney for the duration. Looking to squeeze in Universal and IoA, primarily for the Harry Potter Experience. We're planning on doing both parks in one day on Fri 5/13. Looking at your calendar IoA is green and UO is yellow. Knowing that most of the Express Pass benefits aren't applicable to HP rides, is it even worth it to purchase? And do you have any tips on how we should approach our visit to maximize our HP experience? Thanks!

Reply
May 2, 2016 at 11:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Herbert,

The overall crowd level for that day is expected to be a 6, so it's not absolutely necessary to have Express Passes, and since your focus is really the Wizarding Worlds, you are right that you might not need it.

I would suggest you take a look at our touring plans and customize it to fit your needs. You can create your own or modify these using our Orlando planning app for iphone.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 3, 2016 at 3:19 a.m. Herbert Says...

Thanks!

Reply
Apr 30, 2016 at 3:31 p.m. Jo Says...

Hi there

We will be visiting universal studios on Wed 1st June and universal islands of adventure on Friday 10th June. Would you recommend getting the express passes for these 2 days. We are not staying at an on site hotel.

Many thanks

Reply
May 2, 2016 at 11:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jo,

It's expected to be crowded but not yet peak summer crowds at this time. While it's ultimately up to you, I might hold off purchasing until you get there and see what you think. If you arrive at the parks early (before they officially open) and tour smartly (use one of our touring plans or customize your own with our app), you will find you can still experience quite a bit without having to purchase ...

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 28, 2016 at 3:09 a.m. Jeff Says...

If I arrive in the morning of a certain day and cannot check in until 3 pm, can I get the express pass that morning to use in the park?

Reply
May 2, 2016 at 12:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jeff,

You still get the Universal Express benefit on days you check-in and check-out of Universal's deluxe hotels. Even if you don't go to your room, you would need to check-in at the hotel to get the pass printed (you do it at the hotel).

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 3:26 a.m. Amit Goswami Says...

i have 7 days - 2 days - universal - 4 days in disney and 1 day in sea world

During 2 days at universal May 11 and May 12 do i need to buy express pass

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 1 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amit,

You shouldn't need it at this time, but you can always purchase it in the parks if you decide you do.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 1:17 a.m. Kathy Says...

Hi, love your site and all the valuable information you provide!

We are a group of four adults and one 8 year old heading to Orlando May 14-20th. We are considering one day hopper unlimited express pass. Thoughts please? Also planning to visit Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios so thinking the express pass will be a needed relief of lines. But certainly open to suggestions. Much appreciated:-)

Reply
May 3, 2016 at 11:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kathy,

Just want to be clear that you are asking about the Express Pass at Universal vs. Disney World. If you are planning to visit both Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida in one day, then I think the Express Passes make sense just so you can experience most everything even if it's not a super busy time (minus that Saturday). For the Disney parks, you have access to FastPass+. It's free, so we think you should definitely use it. You can read more about it here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 1:22 p.m. Deepa Says...

Hi - We are going to be at Universal for 2 days - on Sunday and Monday/Tuesday of Memorial Day weekend. We are not going to be doing any of the big rides, just want to experience the Harry Potter world, and do smaller rides (kids are 5 and 9). Do you think we still need Express passes? The difference in pricing for on-site hotels that include express passes vs. those that don't is pretty significant too. TIA!

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 1:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deepa,

Given what you want to see and do, I would not purchase Express Passes. But I would make sure to arrive at the parks ahead of their opening and do any priority rides that are popular such as Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Transformers, etc. first thing. Even the non-thrill rides will be busy.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 5:02 a.m. MIT Says...

do i need to buy express pass for universal May 11 -May 12 , i am planning 7 days - 4 disney 2 universal 1 sea world

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 1:44 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

I don't think you need it for these dates. You can always purchase in the park if you decide you want it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 24, 2016 at 2:41 p.m. Lio Says...

Hi,

Can we buy Express Passes through this site together with park to park tickets?

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 2:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lio,

We don't currently offer Express Passes, but you can purchase discount Park-to-Park tickets through us and then purchase Express Passes if you decide you want them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 23, 2016 at 3:10 p.m. Jeremy Says...

We have a family of 4. We will be at Islands of Adventure for one day mid June. Our kids are ages 8 & 5. Is the ultimate express pass a good idea? Compared to Disney's fast passes how long do you typically wait with the ultimate express pass per ride on average?

Reply
Apr 26, 2016 at 2:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jeremy,

Your time in line will be significantly less, probably in the 5-15 minute range. Express Passes are terrific if you can afford them. We prefer to stay on-site so that they are included with our visit.

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Apr 20, 2016 at 10:56 p.m. michelle Says...

If I purchase 1 day park to park ticket here on your site, can I then add the express pass later, when I get to the park since I cant get it here?

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 2:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

Yes, you can :)

Keep hopping!

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Apr 20, 2016 at 3:53 a.m. Angela Says...

Hello,

My husband and I (with 2 kids) will be visiting Universal next month, the 18th and 19th or 21st and 22nd of May. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes?

Thanks!

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 2:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Angela,

It shouldn't be absolutely necessary. We'd suggest going and then adding them when you get there if you feel you need them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 18, 2016 at 9:43 a.m. felix shin Says...

Hi great site and really like the calender me and my gf are visiting on may may 7-8. We are not staying at a hotel that offers earlier admission I notice is mother's day on the 8 would you recommend buying the express pass due to this? Thank you in advance

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 1:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Felix,

I think this is up to you. Mother's Day in and of itself doesn't bring more crowds to the parks, but the weekends in May tend to be more crowded than weekdays.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 13, 2016 at 10:18 p.m. Gena Says...

I am visiting the park June 10-12th. Should I purchase an Extreme pass? Usually which day is more crowded, Friday or Saturday? Thanks!

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 1:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gena,

I would consider it for both of those days:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/june-2016/#calendar

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 11, 2016 at 7:25 p.m. Arlene Says...

Hi, 4 adults are going to Universal IOA October 1st 2016, do we need the Express Pass and or should we wait to get them that day. If we purchase our tickets off line before then, can we still purchase pass that day there at gates if you think we need them? Thanks Arlene

Reply
Apr 25, 2016 at 12:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Arlene,

You may not need them. For this date, I would recommend waiting to purchase until you get to the park and see that you want them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 6, 2016 at 8:31 p.m. Sara Says...

We are flying to Universal on May 22nd for 5 nights, 4 days, because we leave at 6 am on the last day. I originally booked Royal Pacific but just figured out that for about $400 less I could have stayed at Cabanna for 7 nights and 8 days. Is it worth giving up the express passes to save money and spend 3 extra days?

Reply
Apr 7, 2016 at 1:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sara,

You shouldn't need, need Express Passes, but you ultimately have to make the decision.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 6, 2016 at 12:50 p.m. Evan Says...

I'll be visiting Universal for 2 or 3 days between April 22-27 (we haven't decided whether we want to do WDW or Universal first). Since I'm not sure of the actual days we're going, can I buy the admission tickets online, then get the Express Pass at the gate?

Reply
Apr 7, 2016 at 1:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Evan,

Yes, you can! Have fun!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 4, 2016 at 10 p.m. Shane Says...

Hey, first off I want to say your blog is awesome! It's honestly helped so much with planning.

I have a questions though, do you think it's a good idea to get the express pass / ticket combo for 6/25, 6/28, 7/2, or 7/5?

We definitely want to do AT LEAST two days, but are open for more if we need it.

We'll be staying at Disney, and using Uber to get to Universal.

Thanks :)

Reply
Apr 14, 2016 at 2:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shane,

So glad we could help! I would recommend Express Passes if you can afford them during this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 30, 2016 at 1:24 a.m. Marcelo Says...

Hi Friends,

I'm planning to stay with my family at the hard rock hotel for 2 or 3 nights and then go to a Disney hotel. How does the free universal express pass work on check in date and on check out day? If I book a 2 night stay can I get the pass for 2 or 3 days? Thank you!!!

Reply
Apr 4, 2016 at 2:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marcelo,

We love the Hard Rock! It's such a fun hotel. You get the Universal Express benefit for the days of your stay, including on check-in and check-out. Once you check in (and you can do this early), you will use the room key at the Universal Express kiosk there in the hotel to print out your pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 29, 2016 at 7:57 p.m. Leanne Says...

I have been looking at booking a night at a universal hotel to take advantage of express passes would we need them were are there 3rd to 19th of june ?

And then is 2 days at universal and ioa enough to cover most of the rides there will be 2 adults and 2kids 1 toddler (age 2 6 8) we wont be going on the bigger rides as the kids wont be tall enough ??

Thanks

1st timer any advice is greatly appreciated

Reply
Apr 7, 2016 at 1:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Leanne,

I would definitely try to book one of the hotels that offer Universal Express if it's available. With the passes and you not going on all of the rides, two days should be enough (or very close to it).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 27, 2016 at 6:35 p.m. jacqui Says...

Hi We are going June 15-29th would you recommend the fast passes?

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 9:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jacqui,

Do you mean Express Passes? Depends on how many days you will be at Universal. If it's three days or longer, you might not need them. Just get to the parks early, use our app and follow a touring plan.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 25, 2016 at 12:22 a.m. Ashley Says...

Looking at doing both parks oct 5. Is fast pass express recommended?

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 9:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ashley,

Nope, you won't need them!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 22, 2016 at 3:24 a.m. Linda Says...

Our family of 4 adults, 1 child are planning to visit both Universal parks on July 3rd. Since we have only the 1 day, we are going to try and fit in as many rides as possible. We plan on being there ahead of opening, and useing the 1 day park touring plan. Do you think the express pass is something we would need that day? We appreciate your help!

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 9:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda,

Yes, I would highly recommend them!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 21, 2016 at 3:11 a.m. Krista Says...

We are visiting May 2nd and want to hit both parks in one day. Not staying on site. Would you recommend unlimited passes? Family of 4, kids ages 7 and 9. Thanks!

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 10:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Krista,

No, you don't need them at this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 20, 2016 at 8:46 p.m. Kristin Says...

Hi! We are staying at the Cabana Bay April 15-20 and plan to visit the parks for three days while we are there. I looked at your crowd calendar and it doesn't look like it is too crowded that week; do you think we will need the Express Passes??

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 10:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristin,

No, I don't think you need Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Lea[

Reply
Mar 20, 2016 at 1:09 a.m. Sarah Says...

Hello,

I am traveling 1st time to Universal with my 15 yr old March 28-31 staying at Hard Rock. We will spend 3 days in the parks 3/29-31 focusing mainly on Harry Potter and taking time in the afternoons at the pool. If I buy a 2 day (plus 1 day free) thru your site, how do I get the early entry and express unlimited from the resort added to those tickets? Thanks for all our great information!

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 8:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

When you check in to the hotel, you will use your room key to obtain the Unlimited Express pass. You will use the room key for early entry.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 18, 2016 at 5:28 p.m. Jlynn Says...

Hi, and what a great site. Happy to have found it today! We are hoping for a visit to FL (Universal portion Aug 18 - 21. Family of 4; kids 12 & 9. Would you suggest that the express pass be purchased for all 3 days, or would it be better to get the express pass for only 1 day (maybe day 1) - buzz through all those rides and then spend the other two days enjoying the parks more leisurely? thank you!

Reply
Mar 28, 2016 at 8:24 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jlynn,

I don't think you need, need the Express Passes for these dates, but you could certainly get them as you suggested.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 18, 2016 at 3:32 a.m. Stan Says...

We are going to Universal April 4-8. I noticed that ALL of the onsite hotels have been sold out for a while now. (Luckily we booked early this year and are set to go!) Is this normal? Your crowd calendar has those days as 4 or 5 moderate crowd days. Will the whole resort being sold out affect those numbers at all?

Reply
Mar 22, 2016 at 1:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stan,

With just the four hotels (soon to be five), they do fill up quite quickly.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 17, 2016 at 4:25 a.m. Halee Burg Says...

Hi Leap,

I am heading to Orlando with my adult daughter May 5 - 8, and was hoping to do 3 days at Disney and one at Universal. I was thinking of doing Island of Adventure and Universal on Friday, May 6. Do you think we can do both parks in one day, and do you think we will need the express pass to do so? Thanks so much.

Halee

Reply
Mar 17, 2016 at 8:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Halee,

I think you can hit the highlights in one day without the Express Pass. Make sure to arrive ahead of park opening, and download our app for wait times and touring plans.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 15, 2016 at 4:35 p.m. Kathleen Says...

Good afternoon!

We are planning a trip to Universal during the middle of August. We will be going to Islands of Adventure for 2 days and Universal for two days (4 single day tickets). We are booked at Cabana Bay and are very excited about it. Our boys are ages 12, 9 and 6. Do you feel that 2 full days in each park will be sufficient? I want to do the Express pass, but understand it's not available at Cabana Bay. I've priced out the next resort up and it would be worth it, but we really want to stay at Cabana. Our dates show two days of heavy (red) crowds and two days of moderate crowds (all Universal in the yellow or green). Any suggestions for Express pass?

Reply
Mar 16, 2016 at 2:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kathleen,

I think four days gives you enough time to experience most everything, especially if you take advantage of your Early Park Admission. Cabana Bay is a terrific resort, and I think you and the boys will enjoy it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 10, 2016 at 6:47 p.m. Frankie Says...

Hey, I'm going on April 10th to make a park-to-park visit with two friends. I've been to Universal a couple of times, so I know my way around, but my friends will be going for the first time, so I plan to show them as much as possible. Do you think it would be necessary? Considering we aren't likely to use single rider lines?

Reply
Mar 11, 2016 at 9:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Frankie,

I think you'll be OK. You could always add them in the park if you want to.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 9, 2016 at 5:38 a.m. Riccardo Says...

Hi! I'm planning on visiting both parks on a single day on Sunday April 10th. I am going by myself so I am wondering whether I should buy express pass or just rely on the single rider lines.

I appreciate any advice! Thanks!

Reply
Mar 9, 2016 at 9:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Riccardo,

Check our Crowd Calendar. I think you will be fine.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 9, 2016 at 8:36 p.m. Riccardo Says...

Thanks Leap! So you are saying I shouldn't get the Express pass and just rely on single rider lines? Thanks!

Reply
Mar 10, 2016 at 9:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Riccardo,

I don't think you need Express Passes, and using single rider lines is always a good idea.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 9, 2016 at 12:59 a.m. April Says...

First timer here

We have 4 adults going on 5/28/16 & 5/29/16

Holiday weekend

Should we stay onsite and get complementary unlimited express passes? It seems it will be very busy.

Thanks for answering

Reply
Mar 9, 2016 at 10:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi April,

If you can, I would definitely consider staying on-site.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 8, 2016 at 10:15 p.m. Shane Brown Says...

A group of 3 will be at universal March 17,18 and 19. Do you think that express passes are needed for us since we will be there for multiple days? It's over $500 just for two days and not the unlimited pass!! Hopefully you can help me before I make that decision and spend that money. Is it possible to get through everything spending a whole day at each park and then a third day between the two without one? Thanks for any help!

Reply
Mar 11, 2016 at 9:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shane,

You can do a lot if you arrive ahead of park opening and tour smartly. We offer pre-set plans you can customize and get wait times with our free planning app for iphone.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 2, 2016 at 10:51 a.m. Pierre Says...

We plan to go to both universal parks in one day on May 25th 2016 : do you think it is necessary the express pass ?

We plan to stay onsite the day before to get in the park one hour early.

Reply
Mar 8, 2016 at 2:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Pierre,

No, I don't think you'll need them. Enjoy your visit!

Leap

Reply
Mar 1, 2016 at 6:01 a.m. Wendy Says...

Have a 5 and 7 yr old and planning first trip to Orlando. Planning on doing MK, Epcott, and Hollywood Mon, Tues, Wed Aug 1,2,3. Then doing single day at Universal Aug 4 for Harry Potter mainly with 2 park pass. Should we get express passes for Universal?

Reply
Mar 8, 2016 at 2:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Wendy,

You may wish to consider it as it will be a busy time. That said, you can do a lot if you arrive at the parks before they open, and make sure to download our app and follow our touring plans.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 29, 2016 at 1:13 p.m. Jasmin Says...

Hi

You responded to someone in an earlier post saying she wouldn't need express passes for 4th and 5th April

I was considering an on-site hotel for the 3rd until 4th April as I thought this would be a really busy time! Is it not likely and why?

Kind regards

Jasmin

Reply
Feb 29, 2016 at 1:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jasmin,

That Sunday would be busier than Monday. We are expecting heavy crowds on Sunday (7 out of 10), so if you were considering Express Passes, that would be the day. The week prior to your arrival is expected to be very busy as many schools have the week off for Easter, but many people will have left by Sunday. If you can afford it, we always prefer to stay on site. Even when it's not peak time as far as crowds, it's always nice to have the Universal Express benefit that is included at Universal's deluxe hotels.

Keep hopping!

Reply
Feb 27, 2016 at 1:43 a.m. Jamie Casabona Says...

Hey Guys!

Me and my husband are going to universal and IOA nov.16-18, would the universal express pass be needed? Thanks a bunch!! xoxo

Reply
Mar 4, 2016 at 8:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jamie,

Check out the Crowd Calendar: https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/november-2016/#calendar

I don't think you will need Express Passes at this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 4, 2016 at 8:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jamie,

Check out the Crowd Calendar: https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/crowd-calendar/november-2016/#calendar

I don't think you will need Express Passes at this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 3:51 a.m. Vanessa Moorman Says...

I have a family of 5 coming to Orlando April 9-16. We are doing 3 days disney and 3 days universa. We have multiple reservations and are weighing options of which to keep. We have a 7 day stay at hard rock which will give us ecpress pass and early entrance. We are debating staying at disney half week April 9-12 and switching over to cabana bay April 12-16. We would not get express pass this way. Should we worry about that at this time?

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 1:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Vanessa,

I would keep your Hard Rock reservation, or at least part of it. It's an amazing hotel right near the park and will give you the Universal Express benefit, which is not absolutely necessary during this time but still nice to have. If you want to add a Disney hotel for those days you will be in those parks, I think that makes a lot of sense.

We have outlined the pros and cons of the split stay in this post, but it's something we have done multiple times and enjoy (not for everyone, though).

If you do stay at Disney, we hope you'll consider booking through us because we are now offering Disney World hotel rooms.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 2:40 p.m. Sam Says...

Hi,

Me and my 15 yr old sister have a 10-ish day trip to Orlando booked for March 27 - April 8th. we haven't been for ~ 13 years so i'm guessing a lot has changed!

We were thinking of visiting universal studios for 2 days, with maybe a third if we want to revisit. Probably going on 4&5th April. Do you recommend getting an express pass? We love big rides so will definitely want to go on all of them. Plus my sister is obsessed with Harry Potter so we will probably spend a lot of time at those areas (i am aware that you can't use express pass much there).

Advice would be much appreciated as it is expensive but i am prepared to pay if it makes the time spent at the parks doing more stuff and less queuing!! Thanks!

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sam,

No, I don't think you will need them at this time, although it's always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 22, 2016 at 4:21 a.m. Barrett Says...

HI,

Would you recommend the Express Pass for Feb 27th?

Thanks!

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 6:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Barrett,

No, you should not need it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 22, 2016 at 3:59 a.m. Lee Says...

Hi! We are headed to universal for the first time, with the daughter being super excited about harry potter. We are going march 10-12. We were thinking of the express pass for just saturday, March 12. Should we buy it ahead of time? Does the price go up as it gets closer? At that time, is it worth the eXtra $250 or so? Thank you so much!!

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 6:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

HI Lee,

It will be busy, but perhaps not as much as you would think. I would definitely recommend getting to the parks at openings, and using our touring plan and mobile app. If you need it, you can add it while you're in the park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 18, 2016 at 4:34 a.m. Katherine Says...

Hi, love this site! We are a group of 8, 4 adults and 3 kids ages 9, 8 and turning 7 during our stay. First time visiting Universal and were planning on Tues June 14, 15 & 16 2016. We were debating between 2 or 3 days, what do you think? Also, neither are staying at the Universal hotels, do you think it is worth the money to buy Unlimited Express Pass for all 3 days? Also, if we buy our Park to Park passes and later choose to add the Unlimited Express Pass (but also in advance) where do we buy just the Unlimited Express pass? How do we tie those together? Do we each then have 2 passes per day? Thank you & sorry for all the questions. Thanks.

Reply
Mar 4, 2016 at 8:45 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katharine,

I think you'll be happy with three days and would be able to experience more with this option. You could purchase from us and then add Express Passes in the park for one or more days. You don't need to tie them together. They would simply be an add-on. It will be busy, and it's always nice to have the Express Pass benefit, but it's simply a matter of how much it is worth it vs. how much it will cost. You may find that by arriving at the parks ahead of opening, and using our touring plans and app, you may not need them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 17, 2016 at 6:04 p.m. Michelle Says...

We are looking to go to Universal for 3 days on March 28th, 2016 We are looking to stay at the Cabana. Should we consider adding the express passes?

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 6:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

Yes, I would definitely consider Express Passes as this is one of the busiest times of the whole year.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 15, 2016 at 8:24 a.m. G.G. Bickers Says...

I am planning a trip to Universal Orlando in June. I switched my time share from vegas to Orlando for a week. I saved a lot of money doing this, but I was wondering if I buy my tickets (buy 2 park to park, get one day free) ahead of time, can I still purchase the unlimited express pass at a later date. I am planning on taking advantage or your website to purchase my tickets at a discounted rate, but I wanted to add the unlimited express pass for two of my 3 days. I figure Jun 6, 7, 8 would be crowded.

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 11:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

Yes! You can add unlimited express passes later.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 11:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

Yes! You can add unlimited express passes later.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 12, 2016 at 4:49 p.m. Shawn Says...

We will be at WDW 11/26-11/29, and are planning on then spending 2 days at Universal 11/30 - 12/1. Originally we had planned on just one day at Universal and figured we'd continue to stay at our WDW resort and just uber to Universal for the day. However, the more I've researched Universal, the more I think we need 2 days! We are debating the logistics of switching from a Disney resort to a Universal resort mid-trip (we had not originally planned on renting a car - something we are now wondering if we need to re-consider) . It doesn't appear that the Universal parks will be crowded those days...would you recommend switching to a Universal hotel to take advantage of the early park admission? Or if that isn't needed, would we need to consider the Fast Passes? Looking for any advice/recommendations on how to best handle the logistics of combining a WDW / Universal vacation. Thanks much!!!

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shawn,

If you can make it work, two days at Universal is a solid idea. Sounds like it's going to be a great trip! Crowds are expected to be neutral, so Express Passes aren't absolutely necessary, but it's always nice to have and to stay on site if you can swing it.

We have a post here that outlines the pros and cons of a split stay:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/split-stay-orlando/

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to rent:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/rent-or-ride-car-rental-considerations-for-your-orlando-vacation/

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 10, 2016 at 8:33 p.m. PAUL R Says...

Hi Amy,

Going to universal March 8 and 9.Me and My wife and 16 yr old daughter. Do we need express passes? Thinking of staying at Cabana Bay with adding express passes, or do we stay at Hard Rock Hotel.

Thanks for your help

Reply
Feb 11, 2016 at 9:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Paul,

If you can swing it, we recommend Hard Rock Hotel over Cabana Bay because of the Express Pass benefit. That said, it is not absolutely critical to have Express Passes for these dates.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 8, 2016 at 9:19 p.m. Susan Says...

Thank you for all the great info! We are planning a trip for either the first or second week in June. Do you recommend express passes? Any events going on those times?

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 3:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Susan,

It would be nice to have, but I don't think you would need them the first week. The second week will likely be busier, but if you get to the parks early, and use our touring plans and mobile app, you'll be surprised at how much you can do!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 3, 2016 at 2:09 p.m. Amy K Says...

Staying onsite at Cabana Bay 2/12-2/16. Looks like Universal Hotels are sold out (we were trying to switch to a Family Suite) so expecting heavy crowds. Should we buy Universal Express for our 3 day passes?

Reply
Feb 10, 2016 at 12:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

I don't think you'll need it, but you can always purchase in the parks when you get there. Try to take advantage of the Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World for at least two of your days.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 1, 2016 at 12:12 a.m. Laura Says...

Hi thanks for such a great site! Ok,our first time in Florida. We have bought the 14 day passes to universal and iOa but not sure how to go about buying express passes or even if we need to? We are staying at animal kingdom 15 October for 2 weeks. Can you advise please? Thanks a lot.

Reply
Feb 10, 2016 at 11:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laura,

I don't think you would need Express Passes during this time, but if you decide you do, you can purchase them inside the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 31, 2016 at 10:24 p.m. Amber Says...

Love your site! Very informative! Tried to read through all your comments before asking this question. Purchasing Express tickets does not allow early entrance? Only staying on site at Universal Hotels allows that privilege, correct?

Reply
Feb 2, 2016 at 9:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amber,

Yes, this is correct.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 31, 2016 at 2:20 p.m. Kristina Says...

Hi There!

We are camping at Disney's Fort Wilderness from 6/25-7/3/16 in order to enjoy an Universal / Disney vacation. We are planning to spend 2 days at Universal and want express passes as this is peak season. It appears to be far cheaper to book a room at the Royal Pacific Resort in order to secure the passes than to buy them outright; however we are traveling with pets making actually staying at the resort not possible without boarding the dogs while we are at the parks. Is there any reason why we can't book the room and not actually sleep there?

Thanks!

Reply
Feb 2, 2016 at 9:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristina,

You could do that, but you would need to still check-in and visit the hotel to print your Universal Express passes. Royal Pacific is pet-friendly, and you would be able to get a pet sitter/pet walking.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 24, 2016 at 3:35 p.m. Todd Says...

Hi,

I am planning on going to Universal (both parks)for 1 day(either Wednesday Jan 27th or Thursday Jan 28th) The weather is looking a little sketchy both days. I am going solo as my wife is at conference and we left the kids in the northeast.(yeah). I will be high speed, low drag and utilizing single rider lines. We are staying off site. Couple questions ......do they shut down any of the rides due to rain? I looked at your single day touring schedule and plan on using that as a guide. I am thinking of not using the express pass. thoughts? Realistic that I will be able to get to most/all on the list?

Thanks

Todd

Reply
Jan 26, 2016 at 1:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Todd,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! You can get a lot accomplished without the tadpoles and using single rider lines. I don't think you will need the Express Pass and should be able to get a lot done. If there is lightning or other dangerous weather, the outdoor rides will close, but usually only temporarily.

Please let us know how it goes!

Leap

Reply
Jan 23, 2016 at 3:29 a.m. TC Says...

We will be at Universal the week of Memorial Day. Do you think we will need express passes on the Sunday before Memorial Day, on Memorial Day, or the day after?

Reply
Jan 26, 2016 at 1:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi TC,

Yes, I would consider them for these days.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 22, 2016 at 1:38 p.m. Jessica Says...

Hello, my family is going to IOA Feb.14-16 I wanted to stay at Pacific but it was sold other and they only have Cabana available so that's where we are staying. I was wondering should we get the Express passes? Thank you!

Reply
Jan 26, 2016 at 2:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica,

You might consider it. These will be busier days with the holiday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 26, 2016 at 2:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica,

You might consider it. These will be busier days with the holiday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 21, 2016 at 2:14 p.m. Mimma Says...

Hi, we have a big family (6 of us) looking at spending 1 day in each of the Universal parks. My husband and the two older children are into all the big rides and I could see the benefit of the express passes for them. Myself and the two little ones (2 years, 5 years) would probably not benefit. My question is though are the unlimited express passes transferrable so that when the others are not using them can the little kids and I use them or are they assigned to each individual? Thank you!

Reply
Jan 21, 2016 at 4:40 a.m. Amy Says...

Hi. My husband and I will be visiting universal studios with our 2 children 15 and 10 on January 21st and 22nd of 2017. We are planning on visiting both parks with the 2 day base tickets. Will we need the universal express pass during the two days being on the weekend.

Reply
Jan 26, 2016 at 2:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

It's not likely for these dates.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 26, 2016 at 1:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

You should not need it for these dates.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 18, 2016 at 12:49 a.m. Julie Says...

Hi! My family and I are only looking to do the 2 Harry Potter worlds. Are there enough attractions to make the express pass worth it? It is going to be on a busy day (8/10) but my understanding is that there aren't a ton of rides for the Harry Potter worlds. Thoughts?

Reply
Jan 19, 2016 at 11:15 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Julie,

Overall, most of the rides include Express Pass. The big exceptions are the two headlining Harry Potter rides.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 15, 2016 at 7:39 p.m. LaToya Says...

Hi,

I just love your site its very informational! My question is, we are traveling 3/21-3/31 and will have the unlimited passes for US & IOA. Do you think we should include the express passes as we really just plan on going in the evenings?

Thanks for your help

Reply
Jan 19, 2016 at 10:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi LaToya,

I would consider Express Passes for some of those days or even look at the cost of staying on site at the deluxes to get the Universal Express benefit. Going in the evenings isn't going to help considerably and you would miss much of your park time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2016 at 6:20 p.m. Tom Says...

Dear Leap,

I'd like to visit both parks on the 18th/19th of march, would you recommend to buy a express pass?

I really appreciate that you take your time and answer every comment so patiently :)

Sincerely,

Tom

Reply
Jan 19, 2016 at 10:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi tom,

I would consider purchasing Express Passes for these dates or stay on site at one of the deluxes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2016 at 3:42 p.m. Jack Says...

Hi, such a great site! Well done. We are travelling to Orlando with our 7 year old Harry Potter fanatic during Easter-Spring break so peak times, and debating between staying Cabana Bay and Portofino hotels. However we are not very adventurous and really will probably just ride the Hogwarts Express and go to shows and some 3D or simulator rides so is an Express pass beneficial for us?

Thanks so much.

Reply
Jan 13, 2016 at 10:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jack,

You will still benefit from Express Passes as the shows and simulator rides also accept them. If you have the option, I would stay at Portofino for the extra benefit.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2016 at 1 a.m. Tom Says...

Dear Leap,

I'd like to visit both parks on the 18th/19th of march, would you recommend to buy a express pass?

I really appreciate that you take your time and answer every comment so patiently :)

Sincerely,

Tom

Reply
Jan 13, 2016 at 10:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tom,

Thank you for the praise. I would recommend Express Passes at this time if they are within budget.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 5:15 p.m. Bill Says...

Hello! We will be staying in one of the courtyard family suites at Cabana Bay from 1/31 through 2/6 and I was wondering if an express pass would be worth it? Thanks!

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 1:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bill,

I don't think you'll need it during these dates.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 4:53 p.m. melissa adams Says...

Hi!

We plan on visiting Universal for 3 days in March (20-23). We plan to get the Express Pass for 2 of the days, as your calendar suggests big crowds! Can we purchase the express pass online separate from the tickets?

Do you recommend staying at Cabana Bay or Royal Pacific? We will be staying in a suite (2 adults, 1 child)

Reply
Jan 13, 2016 at 10:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa,

Yes, you can purchase your passes separately from the tickets. If you stay at Royal Pacific, though, you won't need to purchase Express Pass. This is often the most economical choice. You will get Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World at both hotels, but Universal Express only at the deluxes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 6:15 a.m. Jenn Says...

We are doing either a two day pass for January 16 and 17, or a three day pass that will include January 22. Would you recommend express passes for any of those days?

Thank you so much!

Jenn

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenn,

You might consider them for the 16th and 17th.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 10, 2016 at 5:12 p.m. Casey Says...

Hello! We are visiting on 1/15/2016 with a group of 8, all riding adult rides only. We are purchasing a one day park to park ticket and our goal is to hit all the big rides. My questions are, would you recommend buying an express unlimited pass and if so should we do so in advance (in case of sell out) or should we be fine just going and deciding as the day progresses and than purchase (we plan on hitting the park before it opens, being there all day and starting at Islands of Adventure and ending the day in Diagon Alley) Thanks for you help on this!

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Casey,

For one day, and considering you're heading into a holiday weekend and wanting to ride all the big rides, I would definitely consider Express Passes. We have a 1 Day Park-to-Park touring plan that includes all of the major rides.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 10, 2016 at 1:56 p.m. Veronica Says...

Hi there

Great site! We are going to Universal for the first time during March Break (week of March 14th). Going to Universal for 2 days (our son is a big Harry Potter fan!). Do you suggest getting the express for 1 day or 2?

Thanks!

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Veronica,

Yes, I would for at least one day and maybe two. Have you considered staying on-site? You may find that it is more economical than Express Passes for your entire party.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 1:58 a.m. Megan Says...

We are staying at Cabana Bay March 5-8. Is it possible to purchase an express pass for just one of those days?

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 10:51 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

Yes, that is possible.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 9, 2016 at 7:54 p.m. Megan Says...

Would you recommend getting express passes for those days? And is it better to buy in advance or wait until we get to the parks?

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

I don't think you have to purchase Express Passes for those dates in advance. Since you would still have one hour early access to the Wizarding World, I would wait to see if you think you need it when you arrive.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 7, 2016 at 10:57 a.m. Michelle Says...

We are visiting Orlando, staying at Hard Rock from 1/28 through 2/6. We will be visiting one day Hollywood studios (Star Wars fans) and spend the rest of the days at Universal (4 days at least and then see).

I am a bit worried about the Harry Potter celebration. Are the crowds at USF and IOA worse on those days or the people going to the celebration are participating at special events so it's basically the same? Thanks !

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

You will see elevated crowds on these days of the Celebration, but more merriment in the parks too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 6, 2016 at 2:25 a.m. Jasmine Says...

Hi There,

Love the blog! It helps a lot on first timers like our family. We're going on July 26 & 27 2016. Do we need express passes on this days?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Reply
Jan 6, 2016 at 9:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jasmine,

If you can afford it, yes, we'd recommend them on these dates. Definitely do the math, because staying on site is likely more affordable.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2016 at 7:31 p.m. Rob Says...

Hi, we are going to Florida on the 29th of August and looking at going to universal in the week commencing the 5th of September, do you think we will need fast passes during this time?

Many thanks

And great site

Reply
Jan 4, 2016 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rob,

You should be fine without Universal Express at this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2016 at 3:53 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Can the Express Passes for the Universal parks be purchased through undercover tourist? I may have missed it, but I have not seen anything about it in your ticket prices, which are amazing by the way!!

Reply
Jan 4, 2016 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you! We don't currently offer Express Passes, but hope to in the future.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 1, 2016 at 8:25 p.m. Jen Says...

Hey,

Just wondering which would be a better day. Jan 5th or Jan 6th?

Reply
Jan 4, 2016 at 8:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

Both days are good. Pick the one that works best for you!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 29, 2015 at 4:27 p.m. Amy Says...

We are planning a trip for April 3-7, staying onsite at Loew's Royal Pacific. I understand that express passes are included with our stay, does this mean that we have to purchase our park tickets from the Universal website or can I purchase them from your website and still be eligible to redeem our express passes? TIA!

Reply
Dec 31, 2015 at 8:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

You can still purchase your discount tickets through us and use Universal Express. Here are all of our Universal ticket options:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/universal-orlando-resort/

Enjoy!

Leap

Reply
Dec 24, 2015 at 11:59 a.m. Marie & Mart Says...

Hi, we will be on our honeymoon & plant to visit both universal parks April 13th & 14th 2016, do you suggest we buy express tickets? I've been before but my other half hasn't so we obviously want to do all the rides.

Thanks M & M

Reply
Dec 28, 2015 at 1:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

While it's nice to have, I don't think you'll need it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 24, 2015 at 1:46 a.m. Bernardo Says...

Hi, I'm going on Dec 31st with a party of 5.

I went 3 years ago and Studios was almost empty. No more than 10-20 min wait on busiest attractions.

Do you anticipate this year to be different?

Thanks,

Bernardo

Reply
Dec 25, 2015 at 8:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We would expect the parks to be very crowded. Let us know how it goes!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 23, 2015 at 7:19 p.m. Laurel Says...

I am visiting Universal 2/28-3/2. I have a 4 day park to park pass with the dining plan. I am most interested in the Harry Potter attractions. How should I plan my dinner full service meal? Should I spend the morning in one and take Hogwarts express to the other for dinner, or plan dinner in the same place? I will be making reservations which is why I am asking.

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 10:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laurel,

With the Park-to-Park ticket you have the option to hop to any restaurant you would like. Most likely with that ticket you would be taking the Hogwarts Express to the other park, so yes, it probably makes sense to book the restaurant in the one you plan to end up in.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 22, 2015 at 4:32 p.m. Steff Says...

Hi!

First of all, this blog is a life saver. THANK YOU for sharing all your knowledge!!

It has been a great source of information ????.

We (my husband, my 8 year old son and myself) are planning our first trip to universal for March 16-17 2016.

We are planning to stay on Royal Pacific just to get accesses to early admission and express passes.

Do you think is worth it for this time of the year? Is it gonna be really crowd? My son gets really impatient in lines hahaha

Also, we want to take the two day park to park tickets so we can get into the Hogwards Express.

My question is, when should we get the Hogwards express ?? I don't know how to do the 2 parks in the same day especially if we have 2 days tickets.

I get really confuse, this trip requires a lot of planning to do.

Thank you so much for your great information.

Reply
Dec 23, 2015 at 7:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steff,

You are making a good decision to stay on-site at this time, because the parks will be very crowded. Definitely experience the Wizarding World during Early Park Admission (either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley), toward the end of your hour, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and ride to the other park. Then you can experience the other popular rides in that park using your Universal Express passes. The next day, head to the Wizarding World you did not visit the day before, and repeat the same process, riding the Hogwarts Express the other way (it's a different experience both ways), and then exploring that park's rides.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 9:21 p.m. Richard Says...

Hi, im going to both park on saturday 19/dic with my girlfriend, do i need to buy the express ticket for that day?

Reply
Dec 21, 2015 at 7:47 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Richard,

I would consider it, but you can always purchase when you get there.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 16, 2015 at 5:21 a.m. Chris Says...

Hey,

Me and my Girlfriend had won some free park to park passes through a contest and are looking to go sometime between 12/22 and 1/4. The price of the express passes are a little out of our budget for a couple college students. According to the Crowd-Calendar Sunday 12/27 is green for both parks but the overall is 10/10. Is it correct that it is expected that we won't need them this day?

Thanks,

Chris

Reply
Dec 16, 2015 at 7:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris,

It is a recommended park that day out of all the parks, but with the crowd level a 10, we would still recommend Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 15, 2015 at 6:55 p.m. Sarah Says...

Hello,

My husband and I will be in Orlando April 6, 2016- April 12. The first and last days being travel days. We want to go to both Disney World and Universal Studios and go to the beach. We have not selected a specific day for any of those so my question is, is there a better day to go to one than the other? We will have 5 full days. We are planning to do one day at Universal and only do one of the parks. We are mainly going for Harry Potter but want to ride some other rides too. We hope not to have to spend more on Express passes, or at least wait until we get there to decide if we need them.

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 21, 2015 at 12:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

We are predicting the 6th to be the best day as far as crowds go. You shouldn't need Express Pass for any of the days, minus perhaps Saturday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 13, 2015 at 8:48 p.m. Shah Says...

Hi,

Visiting Universal Studio on 21st Dec. and planning for both the parks. Visiting with 2+2 (kids). Express pass for both the parks are $109 and was wondering if express pass is MUST for the date selected? Do I have option of going for express pass for one of the parks instead of both? if that's recommended which park would that be?

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 10:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

You could select Express Pass for just one park. It will be crowded, but not as crowded as it will be later in the week. Which park is really a personal preference. With the Incredible Hulk Coaster closed, I think Universal Studios Florida is probably a slightly better choice.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 12, 2015 at 6:17 p.m. Lo Says...

Hi there,

Planning to be in Universal & IoA sometime between Feb 16-18th. We are wondering, is there a price difference between purchasing Express Passes ahead of time online versus buying at the gate the day of? I've read somewhere that there's a chance Express passes can sell out... how likely would that be and should we buy ahead of time?

Thanks for your time!

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 11:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lo,

I don't think Express Passes sell out that often, but there is always a chance. Prices are dynamic, but Universal has a pretty good idea already of how busy the parks will be on those days and has priced accordingly.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 7, 2015 at 2:46 a.m. Jessica Says...

Hello, we plan on visiting the parks on Dec 21 and Dec 22. Do you expect the parks to be super crowded and would we benefit from express pass? Thank you

Reply
Dec 7, 2015 at 7:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica,

Yes, we expect big crowds on these days, although it will be even busier later in the week. I would consider Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 9:58 p.m. Jan Says...

Hi,

Me and 6 other people will be visiting on Jan 8th and 9th and we are planning on buying the 2-day base tickets. Do you recommend us buying the fast passes? Would it still be crowded around that time?

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 4, 2015 at 12:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jan,

I don't think it's absolutely necessary at this time, but if you can afford it, it's always a treat. Crowds are expected to be medium.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 9:20 p.m. jason Says...

not sure if you can help, but we plan on taking our 3 daughters on jan 31st. we are going to universal for ONLY 1 day and specifically to see harry potter and ride train. if I read your comments correctly there is really no point in express pass as its not valid for these rides/venues anyway. just arrive early and pray? thank you

Reply
Dec 4, 2015 at 12:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason,

During this time, it shouldn't be a problem to experience these rides with low waits. If only one park is hosting Early Park Admission, head to the Wizarding World in the other park first thing. Some of the Wizarding World rides offer Express Pass, but not the headliners.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 2:20 a.m. mahesh Says...

Hi there!

We (myself and mywife) will be visiting Universal 10th and 11th of December and would like to cover both the parks. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes?

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 7:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

I don't think you will need it on these days as crowds are expected to be low.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 29, 2015 at 6:09 p.m. IAMom Says...

I would like to get an idea how much time one can expect to save with an express pass on a few of the popular rides when visiting on green days on your calendar. I know I can purchase after I arrive but I'd stay at a hotel with express passes included for best price.

Reply
Nov 30, 2015 at 6:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

You would still save time, but on a green day (not green park recommendation) you would really probably only save a lot of time on major headliners. For the others, it would be probably be a few minutes. It's always nice to stay on-site, though, for the convenience and the fantastic hotels.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 26, 2015 at 4:32 a.m. Deb Says...

Hi... 2 questions

Can the Universal Express and Express Unlimited pass be used at all the same rides or are there more on the Unlimited? Is the only difference that the unlimited gets you on the rides as many times as you'd like?

#2 We are really just going for Harry Potter... is an express pass worth it ... are enough rides in that area included?

Reply
Nov 30, 2015 at 7:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deb,

The unlimited means you can ride the same attractions unlimited times. If you really only care about Harry Potter, then the Express Pass isn't worth it since it does not include Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 18, 2015 at 7:49 p.m. Maria Says...

Hello We will be there Dec 24 and 25 so we will buy the express pass. Is it worthy to buy the unlimited one? thx

Reply
Nov 20, 2015 at 10:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Maria,

If you want to do repeat rides, then yes. Otherwise, then I would not.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 18, 2015 at 6:33 p.m. Britney Says...

We'll be doing a 1 day park-to-park on Sunday, 11/22. The overall crowd level is 8, but both Universal parks are green. Trying to decide if we need the express passes. How often do they sell out in advance? Would prefer to wait until we get there to decide, but is that a big risk? Thanks!

Reply
Nov 20, 2015 at 10:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Britney,

I think you would be safe to wait until you arrive. It will be crowded but not as crowded as later in the week.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 12, 2015 at 11:38 p.m. Norma Says...

Hi there!

We (myself, husband and a 6 years old boy) will be visiting Universal on 19th, 20th January, 2016. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes? but since we only have two days I'm worried about time. This will be our first visit to Universal. As well we are trying to decide between the Cabana Bay and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. considering fast passes. What would you recommend? Thanks!

Thanks!

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 4:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Norma,

If you are staying at Royal Pacific, you don't need to purchase Express Passes as they will be included with your hotel. It's not critical to have them during your dates, but they are always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 7, 2015 at 2:38 p.m. Katie Says...

We are going to be staying at Cabana Bay for 2 nights. Definitely going to take advantage of early entry! We'll be at the parks Saturday February 27th and Sunday February 28th. Wondering if we should buy the express passes in advance? We have 4 adults and 2 children ages 4 and 7. Thanks!!!!

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 1:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie,

I don't think you need to.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 6, 2015 at 7:04 a.m. Lisa Says...

Hi,

We will be traveling to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on February 19th and 20th. Can you tell me if we should pay the extra for express pass? What would you recommend? Thanks!

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 12:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa,

I would recommend it for the 20th. You might want it for the 19th too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 4, 2015 at 7:52 p.m. Jillian Says...

We are going the week of April 11-18th and wondered if you recommend an Express Pass? We are thinking of a 2-day park-to-park or possibly a 3-day park-to-park. We have never been and want to see it all! We are staying at Cabana Bay.

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 12:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jillian,

I don't think you will need Express Passes at this time, but you could always add them on in the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 29, 2015 at 3:01 p.m. Jennifer Says...

We are visiting Universal first week of March 2016 2 days park to park should we buy express passes before or could we wait til in the park.. Would we need them? I have used your crowd calendar every year and its always accurate

Reply
Nov 2, 2015 at 8:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

I don't think you really need them at this time, but you can always buy when you get there. Thanks for your praise about the Crowd Calendar! Please tell your friends about it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 5, 2015 at 11:24 p.m. Denise Says...

Hi

I will be traveling to Universal Studios January 25th and 26th with my husband and two children (10 & 11). Crowd calendar says low crowds - but since we only have two days I'm worried about lines anyway. This will be our first visit to Universal. We plan to stay onsite and are trying to decide between the less expensive Cabana Bay and Hard Rock which would provide us the express passes. What would you recommend? Thanks!

Reply
Oct 14, 2015 at 9:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Denise,

The crowds are expected to be low during this time, so I think you will have a great time even with Cabana Bay. Definitely take advantage of the Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both resorts are fab!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 3, 2015 at 1:50 p.m. Travis Says...

Hello, my wife and I will be going to Universal on 11/30/15 for one day and are debating on getting the 1 day 2 park ticket option, however, a friend of hers told her it is not possible to do both parks in 1 day. This is our first time going and we are more interested in the rides, not the shows. Do you think we could manage most of the rides in both parks in one day? I'd hate to spend on the 2 park pass and not be able to utilize it, but I also see many rides at both parks that I'd love to experience. Thanks for your advice!

Reply
Oct 5, 2015 at 6:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Travis,

You cannot do all of the rides in both parks in one day, but you could hit many of them. If you pick and choose and plan carefully, you should be fine! Check out our brand-new 1 Day Park-to-Park touring plan.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 2, 2015 at 7:55 a.m. Stefania Says...

Hello, nice your website ! thanks ;-)

I will come to Orlando on the 6th of Jan 2016, I checked your crowd calendar and I dont think I need the express pass, however it is very tempting the Orlando Hard Rock Hotel which offers it. Could you please confirm me that the express pass they offer it will be both for Universal Studios and for Island of Adventure?

Thanks a lot

Reply
Feb 22, 2016 at 2:14 a.m. Sylvia Says...

I am visiting with a party of 10 from 18th August to 1st September and like your opinion on whether we will need Express Passes for visiting the Universal parks on these dates as during our 2015 visit the queues in July/ August were massive. Can you also advise us if we decided to stay at an onsite hotel whether we can obtain our complimentary Express Passes before the 4pm check in time.

Advise would be appreciated, thanks

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 6:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sylvia,

You can definitely get the Unlimited Express passes before 4 p.m., but you would need to check in first (the hotel can store your bags). As far as Express Passes go, you should not have to purchase them for these dates, although they are always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 2, 2015 at 2:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stefania,

We love the Hard Rock Hotel. It's the perfect location and includes Unlimited Express in both parks — a real treat!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 5, 2015 at 2:35 p.m. Charlotte Says...

We are visiting Orlando may 2-13 2016. I haven't been at this time of year before, have always gone during Easter. Will be find the parks much quieter? Thanks

Reply
Sep 8, 2015 at 8:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Charlotte,

You can check out predicted crowd levels on our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 21, 2015 at 12:47 a.m. CC Says...

Hi, can you tell me if buying the express pass for Universal parks is worth it for the second week in November going on a Wednesday, Thanks

Reply
Aug 26, 2015 at 8:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi CC,

I don't think it is worth it during this time, but you ultimately have to decide what is right for you.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 20, 2015 at 6:32 p.m. Jon Says...

Hi- I love your site! Doing a 1-day 2-park visit to Universal on 11/13. IOA is green and US is yellow on that day. We are return visitors, and no little ones, so we don't need to see everything, we just want to hit the new stuff (Potter, Simpsons) first, then whatever we can fit in. What's your opinion on express-pass for that day?

Reply
Aug 25, 2015 at 2:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jon,

I don't think you need Express Passes since the overall crowd level is neutral, but that is ultimately you're call ;)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 12, 2015 at 3:26 p.m. Sarah Says...

Hi there!

We (myself and boyfriend) will be visiting Universal next month, the 11th and 12th of September. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes?

Thanks!

Reply
Aug 18, 2015 at 2:35 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

No, with lower crowds, I don't think you will need them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 25, 2015 at 4:56 p.m. Laureen Says...

Does anyone know what room location would be the best in the Cabana Bay. I have the family suite in the tower but there are 2 towers. Would like to have quick access to pool and don't like waiting for elevators. Any suggestions?

Reply
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