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The Ultimate Guide on When to Use Universal Express

by Leap on January 13, 2020 906 Orlando

Guide to Universal Express Pass - PinterestThrills! Action! Transformers! Butterbeer! We always look forward to hopping down to 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. This post explains 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 - Hogwarts

Universal Express allows you to skip the lines at most Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure attractions. (It is a separate purchase to include Universal's Volcano Bay.)

In a change from the past, Universal now offers Universal Express passes for most of the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The only rides that do not have Express access in either park are Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

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

How Universal Express Pass Works

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

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 five 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. If you're staying at a Universal hotel that offers the free Express Pass benefit, your hotel room key will act as the pass. Each person will have a personalized hotel key.

Universal Orlando Single Rider Lines

Universal Express - Rip Ride Rockit

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 go straight to the loading area. You and your party will be together in the queue, but you will split up on the ride as you fill an empty seat.

Single Rider Lines at Universal Studios Florida:

Single Rider Lines at Universal's Islands of Adventure:

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 storyline. For example, if it's your first time on any of the Harry Potter rides, 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 - Hulk

There are two types of Universal Express passes:

  • Universal Express Unlimited
  • Universal Express Pass

You can use the 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!

Universal offers separate passes for Universal's Volcano Bay. These are per day, and you have the option of skipping the virtual lines at select rides and attractions, or you can pay more to skip the virtual lines at all rides and attractions inside the water park.

How Much Is Universal Express?

Universal Express - Cabana Bay

Ultimately, it depends. If you are staying on-site at one of Universal's premier 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 staying off-site and purchasing 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, too.

Universal Orlando Hotels That Offer Universal Express Unlimited:

Universal Premier Hotels

Universal's Cabana Bay Beach ResortLoews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal's Aventura Resort and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites & Dockside Inn and Suites (opening March 2020) do not offer Universal Express Unlimited, but they do offer Early Park Admission to select rides inside Universal's Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Volcano Bay water park. Keep in mind that you do still need regular admission to enter the park.

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 Universal Express passes 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 Universal 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. You can then book directly with Universal or wait until you are in the parks.

When to Use Universal Express Passes

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. And there is nothing better than skipping the regular line! If you're a regular, the Premier Passholder level grants you unlimited Universal Express access after 4 p.m.

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

When our Crowd Calendar predicts crowds of 8, 9 or 10, these are prime times to consider Express passes. You might even consider it on 7 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.

Do you have a short trip (or only 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?

Universal Express - Kong

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!

Are There Other Ways to Save Time in the Parks?

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.

Universal Express Pass - Doctor Doom's Fear Fall

1. Buy your tickets in advance.

You do not want to waste any of your precious time standing in line to buy tickets at the gate to start off your day. 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 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, especially Universal's Volcano Bay.

3. Follow a park plan.

We have several park plans 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 Riders line is often even faster than Universal Express. As long as you're fine with splitting up the group, Single Rider lines can be major time-savers.

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! 

Related: How to Navigate Single Rider Lines at Universal Orlando to Save Time

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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1–50 of 418 comments
Jan 16, 2020 at 1:59 p.m. Samantha Says...

I am looking to go to universal on the 26th of February, I am hesitant to buy the express passes because crowds look so low. Is it possible to upgrade in park? Is it possible that the passes will sell out? Also, are you missing a big portion of the attraction like, Hogwarts castle if we use the express passes?

Reply
Jan 16, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Samantha!

Yes, it's possible to upgrade in the park, though as you noted, these can sell out. When you use Express, you won't miss any of the attraction, but you will miss some queue elements, especially in the castle. Depending on how long the standby line is, it can be worth it to wait to experience the full queue :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 14, 2020 at 4:35 p.m. Melissa Says...

Hi! I'm planning on taking my daughter to Universal/Orlando, and we want to see all things HP including Hogwarts Express, so I know we need a park hopper. I'm planning on a 2 day pass, and definitely want the express pass. Since there are only 2 of us, does it make more sense to stay on-site in a lower tier hotel and pay for the express passes separately (I'd need 4, right? One for each of us for 2 days?), or will we save money by staying at a premier hotel with the express passes built in? Looking at the last week of Feb or first week of March, which is lower crowds but I still definitely want the express pass. Thoughts?

Reply
Jan 14, 2020 at 1:43 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa!

This is a great question! We highly recommend checking out one of the premier hotels, as it's often more cost effective to stay at a premier hotel (with access to Unlimited Express each day of your stay) than it is to add it on. When it comes to purchasing Express, you can either bundle with your tickets (in which case, your Express is good for the amount of days you select). Or, as you mentioned, if you purchase Express separately, you'd need to add it on for each day that you'd want to use it. Let us know what you decide!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 13, 2020 at 9:56 p.m. Jill Says...

Hi! Great info - but need a bit more detail for the planner in me. What form do tickets and/or express pass take? Is it like the gift card size scannable you get in the mail for Disney? Magic bands are a great convenience especially for littles to scan in the parks. Trying to figure out how the best way to equip the kids - or if I should just keep them all? If we are staying onsite at a premier hotel would it be 1 pass to scan for the room (for all ticketholders)?

Reply
Jan 14, 2020 at 4:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jill!

Express Passes are the same as the paper park tickets (not plastic like a gift card). Each person has their own hotel key that serves as the Express Pass if you stay on-site.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 9, 2020 at 5:35 p.m. Ashley Says...

Hi! I have a quick question. Orlando has done a great job confusing people when trying to buy tickets. Disney has made their online experience WAAAAY easier to understand. I get confused when i see 2 day 3 park, 5 day 3 park to park ect. My question, is the universal express unlimited pass only good for 1 day you plan to visit whichever park you choose or is it good for every day you choose to visit? For example, My family will be in Orlando for 7 days. We are staying at a universal resort the whole time but only plan to visit each of the parks for 3 days. So will an express unlimited pass grant me unlimited access for the whole 3 days or just 1 day that we choose? THANK YOU!

Reply
Jan 13, 2020 at 9:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ashley!

This will depend on a couple of things. If you’re staying at one of the Universal hotels that offers the free Unlimited Express benefit, the pass will covers all 3 days. If you aren't staying at one of the Universal hotels that offers that benefit, if you purchase a park ticket + Express combo package through Universal, Express covers the dates you select. If, however, you purchase Express separately, the pass will only cover the separate day that you choose. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 8, 2020 at 10:05 p.m. Euge Says...

Hi I'm going to Universal with My hudband and one year old on 26 and 27 of febraury. Is necesary to Buy the Express pass. We would be going to the single riders queqe. We can use the child swap? Also do You know the cost of renting a stroller? Thank You!

Reply
Jan 10, 2020 at 9:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Euge!

Both of those dates look to be very low in terms of crowds, according to our Crowd Calendar - so we think you can skip the Express Pass! A single stroller is $15/day, a double is $25/day and either requires a $50 deposit to be refunded upon returning the stroller. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 8, 2020 at 7:16 p.m. Mike Says...

Love your blog! If you get the regular express pass, can you use the Hogwarts express both ways (once to islands of adventure, and once to return back) ?

Reply
Jan 10, 2020 at 9:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike!

Thanks so much! We are so hoppy that you stopped by. You can use Express both ways if you just have the regular (one use per ride, not unlimited) Express pass, as long as you have the park-to-park ticket.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 10, 2020 at 6:52 p.m. MIKE Says...

Surprisingly the express regular pass is $120 when we are going on Saturday February 8th which should be low season. We are also going on the 4th but we were going to purchase for the 8th because its a saturday, but we figured it would be $75 in off season. Do you reccomend just buying it at the park in this scenario if the lineups are bad?

Reply
Jan 10, 2020 at 12:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike!

You got it - the 4th looks to be a 4/10 in terms of crowds, while Saturday is a 6/10. Scope out the crowds on Saturday and see what wait times are like to see if you want to upgrade in-park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 6, 2020 at 1:21 a.m. Timo Says...

Hello

We are going to visit the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (one day - 2 parks ticket) on the 25th February 2020. Do you recommend to buy the Express Pass now or should we wait and see how full the park will be on that day? How likely is it that the Express Pass unlimited will be sold out on that day when trying to buy it in the parks? Is there also a limited quantity for the regular express pass (once per ride)?

Thank you for your help! :)

Reply
Jan 7, 2020 at 9:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Timo!

Since that's a low crowd day, you can hold off until you get to the park to upgrade to Express. Since crowds are lower, we don't think the passes are likely to sell out on that day, but like you noted, there are limited quantities available. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 4, 2020 at 8:03 p.m. Linda Says...

My husband and I are going to Orlando over Presidents’ Day weekend. Never been to Universal and want to see as much Harry Potter stuff as possible in just 6 hours. So, how to save money? I park w express passes or both parks without? Thanks!

Reply
Jan 7, 2020 at 11:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda!

If you are wanting to see all of the Harry Potter fun, you'll need a park-to-park ticket since there are two lands, one in each park. If Harry Potter is your priority, we'd suggest the park-to-park. It will be a busy weekend, though, so if you can spring for it, we do recommend adding Express to make the most of your time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 1, 2020 at 9:10 p.m. Ava Says...

Hi,

My husband and I are traveling to Universal Hollywood soon. We are planning on buying express passes for ourselves, however we were not planning on buying a ticket for our son as he is under 3 years old (which is free entry into the park). However, he is tall and will be able to ride a handful of the smaller rides. Since he gets into the park for free, will he need an express pass to get on rides or will my and my husband's passes suffice?

Reply
Jan 3, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ava!

He can ride with you! Children under 3 do not need to purchase admission or express! You can also take advantage of Child Switch for rides for which he is not tall enough.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 5, 2019 at 9:22 p.m. Jenna Says...

Hi,

Wondering if you have any information on when Express Passes typically go on sale? I am purchasing tickets and express passes (Florida) as a Christmas gift for a trip in April 2020 and it says they are sold out online. When I called Universal, the lady said she thought they hadn't gone on sale yet but didn't know when they would be released.

Reply
Dec 10, 2019 at 4:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenna,

We checked it out for you, and it seems like there are passes available for April 2020 now! We could view them here. Or if you wanted to buy the ticket + Express Pass bundle, check the dates here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 5, 2019 at 7:23 p.m. Courtney Taylor Says...

Hey! My husband and 2 sons ( age 4 and 7) are going to be at Universal and Island of Adventure on Dec 28. I know it says it is super crowded that day. I think 10 out of 10. I am on the fence about the express passes. I know its worth it with those crowds, but is it worth it with a 4 and 7 year old, like can they really ride that many rides? I have been on the fence a week now and can't make up my mind. They have never rode a roller coaster. They love superheros, transformers, all the boy stuff. Just wonder how much they will actually ride. My husband will want to ride it all but hes not going to leave us. If the kids can't ride, then he won't either.

Reply
Dec 5, 2019 at 1:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Courtney!

The only rides that don't have Express available are Fievel's Playland, Pteranodon Flyers and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Your tadpoles should be able to ride a good amount of rides, but you can find the full list of rides (and their height requirements) here to give you a better idea of what to expect. We'd assess how many we think our kiddos would ride and go from there. For our Frog Fam, we'd spring for Express :) Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 5, 2019 at 6:37 a.m. Carolina Says...

Hello, my family and myself will be visiting universal studios on the 2nd of January (two parks one day). Considering it will be a very crowded day, will you recommend express passes ( we’ll have to buy them cause not staying onsite) or are single rider lines still shorter or comparable than express pass line on these crowded days?? Thank you

Reply
Dec 5, 2019 at 11:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carolina!

We'd definitely spring for Express! Not only is it a time-saver, but also, sometimes Single Rider lines are subject to availability and can sometimes be just as long as the standby queue.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 4, 2019 at 7:09 p.m. Monica Says...

Hello, my family and I will be visiting universal December 9-12 and we’re staying at the hard rock hotel. My daughter is really wanting to ride the new Hagrid ride. What would be the best way to do this? We do have a VIP non-private tour scheduled but not sure if that will help us. Thank you

Reply
Nov 5, 2019 at 3:31 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Monica!

That VIP tour is your ticket to ride, so to speak - that will be a huge help in getting to Hagrid's! Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 14, 2019 at 6:13 p.m. June Says...

Hi! Your website has helped me plan our last few trips to orlando so well, thank you! Keep it up!

Planning another trip to Universal on Jan 5th 2020. Any idea how much the express passes costs during that time usually?

Reply
Oct 15, 2019 at 4:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi June!

You are so welcome - thank you for taking the time to hop by! The cost of Express Passes can vary greatly depending on whether you'd like to visit one park or two, whether or not you're opting for Unlimited, and, as you noted, the time of year you'll be visiting. That said, these generally range from $70 for a one-park pass with 1x Express privileges per attraction to $189 for an Unlimited Pass valid at both parks. These dates aren't live just yet on Universal's site to know exactly, but keep an eye out, because they should be released shortly :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 23, 2019 at 2:45 a.m. Anrhiny Says...

Hello! I purchased my park ticket AND the express pass within the Universal app. In the app I have a QR code to scan at the gate but nothing for the express pass. How do I activate my pass so that the ride attendant can scan it?

Reply
Sep 23, 2019 at 3:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

We'd suggest hopping by Universal Guest Services to make sure it's available as it should be. It's possible that it's linked directly to your park ticket, but we'd suggest speaking with someone just to be certain so you can get to skipping those lines!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 9, 2019 at 10:56 p.m. Chloe Smith Says...

Hi there! First timer for universal and so excited! I was just wondering when purchasing the express pass on the universal website it says its 124.99 but only lets me pick one day. is that 124.99 for one day so I would have to purchase two express passes? or does buying one cover me for the 2 days i am there? :)

Reply
Sep 10, 2019 at 9:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chloe!

This is a tricky answer! If, when you began the process under Park Tickets, you clicked "Park Tickets Only," the Express Pass dates will only cover one day; if you instead clicked "Park Tickets Plus Express Combo," the Express Pass will be valid for the number of days selected. If you run into questions as you book, we recommend calling the Ticketing office directly to get it sorted! They can be reached at: (877) 801-9720. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 4, 2019 at 4:10 p.m. Darion Smith Says...

How does the unlimited pass work for multiple people staying in one room at the universal premier hotels.. for example a family of four, mom, dad, and two children.. can they all use the same unlimited express pass? .. given that everyone has their own separate park ticket.

Reply
Sep 4, 2019 at 11:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Darion!

Upon checking in, everyone will receive their own Unlimited access - you'll all be good to go!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 27, 2019 at 3:41 p.m. Michelle Says...

Hi, I have 2 Express Passes that I didn't get to use. How long are they valid for, and is there anyway to get a return on them, or sell them on?

Thanks for any help

Reply
Aug 27, 2019 at 12:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle!

Express Passes are only valid on your ticketed day(s). They are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 23, 2019 at 5:49 a.m. Becky Says...

Hi I am going with my family on 18th October to universal staying in resort hotel with express passes. Can we book the actual rides in advance at all? Thank you.

Reply
Aug 23, 2019 at 8:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Becky!

Unfortunately, with Express Pass, the rides cannot be reserved in advance like they can be at Disney.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 22, 2019 at 9 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Family of 4 going to Universal October 6-11, 2019. I'm just wondering if Express Passes are worth it? We have two teenagers. They will most likely stay in Diagon Alley & Hogsmeade! Crowds for that time period look low! What's your take?

Reply
Aug 23, 2019 at 1:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca!

If their primary focus is going to be Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, and the crowds are projected to be low, we'd skip the Express Passes. You can always upgrade same-day if lines are longer than you anticipated :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 17, 2019 at 4:58 p.m. jordy Says...

me and my girlfriend are going to visit universal studios Orlando for 16 and 17 may but do we need an express pass then?( fastpass) we are planning to go to volcano bay first day and second day the rest of the park

Reply
Aug 20, 2019 at 7:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jordy!

According to our Crowd Calendar, those dates look to be pretty busy (8/10), so we'd recommend springing for the Express Pass if you can.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 11:53 a.m. Elyse Says...

Hi, love your blog. The information provided is great. I have a girls trip coming up from october 9th to 13th 2019. We are staying on site at a non express pass resort. Are express pass needed for this entire time period? Or could we just save money by just buying them for just for the weekend? Thanks ☺

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 10:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elyse,

Thanks for hopping by! According to our Crowd Calendar, October 9-11 will see Level 6 crowds, which is about average and Express Passes aren't absolutely needed. We anticipate the weekend will be a bit more crowded at a Level 8, so Express Passes may be useful then. Alternatively, you could wait until you're at the parks so you can gauge the crowds and determine whether it's worth purchasing that day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 8:08 a.m. Richard Says...

Hi,

Does anyone know if/when Universal will introduce the 'virtual queue' for the new Hagrid ride? Or if/when you will be able to use Express passes on this ride?

Thanks,

Rich

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 10:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Richard,

Since the ride is still new, it may be a while before guests can use an Express Pass for it. We're unsure about when that may be. As for the virtual queue, Universal has not tested that out yet, so it's unknown if or when it will be available in the future.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 14, 2019 at 6:35 p.m. Jon Says...

I understand that the room key your Express Pass. So if I want to use my Express pass on checkout day, can I checkout first (early in the morning)? If so, then I keep the room keys and they continue to be usable all day at Universal? I want to make sure the Express Pass doesn't "expire" or get cleared off the room key at the moment I checkout.

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 11:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jon,

Your Express pass will be valid until park close on the day of check-out.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 5:28 p.m. Jon Says...

In deciding when to plan my trip, I picked Dec 5th-12th partly because that was the sweet spot between Thanksgiving and Christmas which isn't too busy. Now the crowd calendar is showing an 8 for most of those days, even weekdays. Any idea what changed? I'm considering changing my hotel for 1 night to Royal Pacific to get the Express Pass Unlimited if it really is going to be that busy.

Reply
Aug 20, 2019 at 2:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jon,

With the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on Dec. 5, we adjusted crowd levels up. Universal should not be as busy as Disney, but it will likely be a little more crowded than typically this time of year. With the number of days you have, I think you will be ok without it, but we always recommend staying on-site, especially with Universal Express, if you can afford it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 14, 2019 at 6:10 p.m. Yonatan Says...

Hello, we will be visiting Universal Orlando resort for two days on December 22 & 23, and I believe having the Express Unlimited Passes would be perfect during that time.

I'm interested buying the tickets directly through Universal web for the bundle tickets of "2-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park + Universal Express Unlimited".

My question is, can we use the Express Unlimited in that bundle for two consecutive days at 2 parks on each day just as we use the park admission? Thank you.

Reply
Aug 15, 2019 at 11:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Yonatan,

When you buy the park ticket & Express Pass bundle through Universal's website, the Universal Express portion must be used on the dates that you select when purchasing. So yes, the Express Pass can be used for those two consecutive days.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 9, 2019 at 7:16 p.m. OMAR Says...

Can someone explain what it means?

3-Park, 2-Day + 3 Days Free One Park Per Day Promotional Ticket.

Adults ($279.99 per ticket)

Thank you

Reply
Aug 12, 2019 at 12:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Omar!

From what it sounds like, you'd be able to park hop for two days and then would also have three "base" days where you'd need to stick to one park per day. Be sure to read the fine print!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 29, 2019 at 12:17 p.m. Laura Says...

Hi there,

Thanks so much for the top tips, they are so useful. ???? I'm sorry if this question has already been answered, I couldn't find it in the comments.

We are going to visit Universal Studios for two days (one day I'm each park) and can buy a slightly cheaper ticket through our travel agent. We'd like to add unlimited express passes for both days as we bought them last time we stayed and loved the freedom it gave us.

My question is, can we have unlimited express passes for one park at a time? Also, is it significantly cheaper to buy express passes from Universal studios website in advance or are we ok to wait until we get there and add them at the gate? And if we were to buy our admission through Virgin Holidays, could we still buy our express passes through the universal studios website?

Thanks again for your help

Laura

Reply
Aug 10, 2019 at 1:29 p.m. Ioana Says...

Hi! Me, my cousin and my parents will be visiting Harry Potter World and I was wondering: if we will have a guided tour do we still need to have a Universal Express Pass?

Reply
Aug 12, 2019 at 2:35 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ioana!

If they are doing the VIP Experience, there's no need for Express Passes in addition to the tour. Enjoy!

Keep hopping!

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Jul 29, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laura!

Depending on when you’re planning to go, it may be best to hold off on buying Express Passes until you're there to gauge how long the lines actually are. Express Passes have the option to include one or both parks. The prices for the passes fluctuate by season (generally depending on how busy it's predicted to be). You should be able to purchase your Express Pass separately directly through Universal.

Keep hopping!

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Keep hopping!

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Jul 22, 2019 at 1:14 a.m. ivan Says...

Hey! I want to visit Universal Studios and Island of Adventures one park each different times (on november 06 and 07), but I want to ride Harry Potter's Express Train (I don't remember the right name, but it is the train that brings you from one park to another)... could I visit one park one day and at next day visit the other park riding the train? What tickets do I have to buy?

Thank you (greetings from Chile)

Reply
Jul 22, 2019 at 9:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ivan,

In order to ride the Hogwarts Express, you will need a Park-to-Park ticket, as they scan your ticket before entering the queue.

Keep hopping!

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Jul 2, 2019 at 12:25 p.m. Amy Says...

Hello,

Thanks for all the helpful info. We are planning a trip to Disneyland & Harry Potter world on July 31-Aug.4 (2 days for each theme park). Should we stay on-site at both these attractions? Also, how important would be Harry Potter express pass for Aug.2-4? Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions you could provide us.

Reply
Jul 9, 2019 at 8:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy!

We are hoppy to help! You can save a lot of time by staying close by each of these areas. LA traffic is no joke. We recently stayed at the Hilton near Universal and loved being able to hop over without parking or driving! Same with Disneyland. If you stay within walking distance it makes your day much easier — especially if you want to go swim or nap in the heat of the day. We love Universal Express pass for skipping lines and MaxPass at Disneyland. If you opt to skip the Express Pass at Universal, be sure to arrive early before park opening each day to get a jump on the crowds. The Wizarding World opens before park opening.

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Jul 2, 2019 at 4:16 a.m. Marcelo Says...

Can you please tell me how much is the express pass??

No I am not staying at any of the hotels that offer it as part of their package

Reply
Jul 2, 2019 at 12:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marcelo!

This varies by day (starting at $69.99 for Express and $89.99 for Express Unlimited), but you can find the list of pricing on Universal's website here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 25, 2019 at 5:41 p.m. Sam Says...

Hi, I'm looking at coming with my family early to mid November - would it be possible to see both parks in a day (with an express pass) or would we be better doing both parks in two days with no express pass?

Reply
Jun 24, 2019 at 2:56 p.m. Heather Novotney Says...

If I order my hotel stay through you guys and tickets through you guys and stay at portofino could I still get the Unlimited Express Pass for free??? Or do I need to buy direct from Universal?

Reply
Jun 24, 2019 at 2:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather,

Yes, you will get Universal Express if you purchase your hotel room through us!

Keep hopping!

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Jun 19, 2019 at 1:15 p.m. Trace Nyhagen Says...

More of a question: We are staying at the Royal Pacific for one night. if we arrive at, say, 7am to check in, could we still do the early admission thing that check-in day and not just the day after spending the night?

Reply
Jun 19, 2019 at 1:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trace,

A few things to keep in mind: You would need to check in first because your hotel key serves as proof for Early Park Admission. Your room may not be ready, but you could leave any bags at Luggage Services to hold for you. Give yourself plenty of time to check in and arrive at the parks, but otherwise, we suspect you should be able to enter that morning of!

Keep hopping!

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Reply
Sep 5, 2019 at 3:59 p.m. Erica Says...

If your room is not ready, will they allow you to check-in early and get a room key for express pass purposes? We'd like to enjoy the parks for the entire day on the day we're checking into the hotel, but realize we would be getting there quite early (well before regular check-in at park opening time). Do we need to plan to stay the night before? We're looking to stay as few nights as possible while maximizing our access to the parks w/express passes.

Also, do you know if these hotels offer a military discount?

Thanks so much!

Reply
Sep 6, 2019 at 3:02 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Erica!

Yes, you are still able to check-in early and access your Express Unlimited Passes even if your room isn't ready - they have staff available and ready to get you all squared away so you can hop to the parks and leave your luggage with the bell desk! No need to hop in the night before unless you'd like to. Universal offers military discounts when purchasing a package! You can find more information on their site.

Keep hopping!

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Jun 17, 2019 at 2:09 a.m. Jonathan Says...

Looking to go on Dec 16th of this year to 1 day - park to park. It is rated 6/10. Am I able to buy both discount tickets and fast passes through undercover tourist?

Reply
Jun 18, 2019 at 1:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jonathan,

You can purchase discount tickets from us, but we don't offer Express Pass at this time!

Keep hopping!

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Jun 14, 2019 at 3:11 p.m. Mary Avin Says...

HI,

We are looking to go the week of August 17th for 5 days do we need an express pass. Is the crowd calendar still accurate with the new Harry Potter ride? Will the new ride use express pass?

Thank you

Reply
Jun 18, 2019 at 12:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mary,

It won't be absolutely necessary at this time, but they are always great if you do :). The new ride is using a virtual queue system separate from Universal Express (as of now).

Keep hopping!

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Jun 14, 2019 at 4:10 a.m. Amber Says...

My husband and 3 teenage kiddos will be there July 2-4 do you recommend the universal pass?

Reply
Jun 18, 2019 at 12:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amber,

Yes, those would be great days to get it!

Keep hopping!

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Jun 13, 2019 at 4:28 p.m. Cosmo Says...

Hello, How busy will it be from july 5-8

Reply
Jun 18, 2019 at 12:50 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cosmo,

It will be busy! Check out our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 9, 2019 at 2:51 p.m. Robin R Stull Says...

I will be there with my two teenage Sons, one day universal, one day Islands of Adventure. We will be at the parks July 16th and 17th. Should we get the express pass?

Reply
Jun 10, 2019 at 8:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robin!

Both of those days look to be an 8/10 in terms of crowds according to the Crowd Calendar, so we'd recommend spraining for the Express Pass if you're able.

Keep hopping!

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Reply
May 31, 2019 at 5:50 p.m. JENIFER Says...

Hello we are looking at going the last week of Janaury 2020, getting in Monday checking out Saturday. Do you think we would need the express pass, I like the idea of a family suite at the cheaper hotel but if the express pass is a must I could do one of the top tier hotels as the pass cost per day makes up for the cost of the room difference. Thank you

Reply
May 31, 2019 at 2:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

Those days are only slated to be a 5/10 in terms of crowds, so you shouldn't need an Express Pass :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 31, 2019 at 3:57 a.m. Dana Bonham Says...

We are planning to go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure 11/11/19 and 11/12/19 (11/11 being Veterans Day). Do you think we’ll need Express Pass for 11/11? And if so, we are considering staying in one of the premier Universal hotels on 11/11...if we show up, say, around 6 or 7am to check in, can we get the express pass benefit and early morning benefit for 11/11 AND 11/12? There will be two adults and three children.

Reply
May 31, 2019 at 9:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dana!

We'd recommend getting Express Pass on 11/11, so staying at a premier hotel would be perfect. You'll have access to Express Pass on both check-in and check out days, and they're ready to get things rolling for you early! Your room may not be ready just yet, but they can hold your bags and get you your Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 30, 2019 at 10:09 p.m. Eme Says...

We are going 12/13/14/11 of April . Should we consider a fast pass?

Reply
May 31, 2019 at 9:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Eme!

Since it's the week of Easter, crowds may be increased, so we'd recommend springing for Express Pass if you're able. Have a frogtastic trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 24, 2019 at 8:32 p.m. doug Says...

We are going to Universal for the first time October 21-25 and staying on property at the Cabana, for that time of year do we need the express pass?

Reply
May 28, 2019 at 1:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Doug!

Those dates look to be about 5-6/10, according to our Crowd Calendar, so you shouldn't need it (though it's always a nice perk!)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 20, 2019 at 4:26 p.m. SJ2020Vacation Says...

So what does avg crowd mean? 5/10. How long should we expect the lines to be? Trying to determine if the extra $130 a night for a hotel with the express pass is worth the expense. We are planning a Feb trip.

Thank you!

Reply
May 24, 2019 at 8:51 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

Wait times can vary per ride and park hours can be shorter in February, meaning you may have less time to do it all in. Expect a line for each ride. Even if lines were on average 25 to 45 minutes, an Express Pass makes it easy to do each ride by eliminating the wait time. Keep in mind that some of the ride experiences are quite long (like the 1-hour Studio Tour or the lengthy process of going on The Simpsons) even with the Express Pass, so being able to shave off time where you can will come in handy, especially if you want to see some shows.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 19, 2019 at 3:26 p.m. Bernadette Says...

So we are planning on a 3 day pass, 3 park to park. We want to go one day on a Thursday than explore Florida on Friday and go back to Universal on Saturday and Sunday to complete our 3 day pass. Would that be ok to do? Or do we have to use the 3 days in a row like Friday to Sunday?

Reply
May 20, 2019 at 2:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bernadette!

Generally speaking, the tickets tend to be valid for 3 days within any 7 calendar days, so they do not need to be used consecutively. However, be sure to check out the fine print on your ticket to be certain (you can also find this information on your e-ticket).

Keep hopping!

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May 15, 2019 at 12:21 p.m. denise McGinlay Says...

We want to stay on the lowes hotel and benefit from the unlimitted pass. Can they be shared? my husband wont go on any of the rides but we will be meeting up with my son who would do the rides. Does the pass have your picture on it?

Reply
May 15, 2019 at 10:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Denise!

If you're staying at a premium Universal hotel (Portofino, Hard Rock or Royal Pacific), each guest in the room is eligible for the Unlimited Express pass, so you'd be all set! If you are not staying at a premium Universal hotel that offers this included benefit, the passes are non-transferrable and do have your photo on them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 7, 2019 at 4:04 p.m. Sarah Says...

Hi, we are a family of four going to WDW next year on spring break (high crowds). We are going to USF & IOA for one day and would like the Unlimited Express Pass. Would it be cheaper to get a one night hotel reservation (at one of the three participating) than buying four separate passes? We will be staying on property at Disney. Thank you

Reply
Apr 16, 2019 at 8:08 p.m. Wendy Dimelow Says...

Hi,

I am considering booking a night at one of the Universal Hotels that includes universal fast passes. What time, on the first check- in day are the fast passes ready to use? It’s not at late as the 4pm check-in is it? Also how long on the second day/ day of departure do the fast passes last for?

Many thanks

Reply
Apr 8, 2019 at 11:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah!

That may certainly be worth looking into! The most affordable of the Universal Resorts offering that benefit is Loews Royal Pacific Resort, as low as $359/night through Undercover Tourist. Right now, it looks like Unlimited passes are about $129, making the hotel potentially the cheaper option depending on the rate for the day you're looking to stay.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 7, 2019 at 10:20 a.m. Hans Says...

I don’t fully understand how the Universal Express works. If I buy it for 2 days the price in $149 and it says “One Park per Day” does that mean that it is valid for two days but just one park per day?

Reply
Apr 8, 2019 at 11:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Hans,

That's correct! If it says One Park Per Day, that means you're limited to one park each day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 3, 2019 at 3:27 p.m. Nicole Hallway Says...

I thought there was one hotel that offered fast passes that was not one of the 3 on site hotels. Maybe a Hilton or Embassy Suites??? Anyone know?

Reply
Apr 3, 2019 at 4:16 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nicole!

To our knowledge, it's only select Universal hotels that offer this benefit - but others in the Frog Pond may have some insight!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 31, 2019 at 11:41 p.m. Sam Says...

Hi there, I have a question about the Universal (Cal) express pass purchased through this site.

As you don't specify the exact date for the express pass when you purchse it, is there a chnace that I could turn up on the day and find out the park has run out of express passes for that particular day? Or does purchasing the express pass on this site guarantee you can get expres on any day (within the valid ticket dates ie non-peak during April).

Thanks!

Reply
Apr 9, 2019 at 9:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sam,

Purchasing through us guarantees that you will get Express Pass!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 31, 2019 at 11:11 a.m. Steve Says...

Good morning ! I purchased the universal express pass through the universal website but didn’t buy the actual park tickets through them. Would I be able to buy the park tickets through undercover tourist and still work with the express passes?

Reply
Apr 1, 2019 at 9:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steve,

Yes, you can!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
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