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The Ultimate Guide on When to Use Universal Express

by Leap on May 25, 2021 1810 Orlando

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. 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! And in some hopping good news ... we frogs are selling Universal Express passes at a discount!

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 - Front of the Pass

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

Universal 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 Jurassic World VelociCoasterHagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Currently, in Universal's initial reopening phases after its temporary closure due to COVID-19, some rides have been using a Virtual Line. If you have a Universal Express Pass, you generally do not have to get a Virtual Line pass for any ride but Hagrid's. (However, during the busiest of times, an Express queue may reach capacity and a Virtual Line pass would be the only way to access a ride.)

How Universal Express Pass Works

Universal Express Pass - Scanning Express Pass at Ride Entrance

When you approach a ride with Universal Express, show your pass to the attendant. Some rides (mainly those with short, outdoor queues), such as Flight of the Hippogriff, will scan the pass right then and there as you arrive at the ride entrance.

For popular rides with more elaborate and longer queues, a team member will check the pass and let you enter the Express queue. Then, closer to the ride loading area (this distance varies by ride), a second team member will scan your pass, so hold on to your pass and be sure to keep it ready. Some Universal Express queues will eventually merge with a ride's standby queue, such as Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. On the flip side, other Express pass queues are entirely separated from a ride's standby queue, such as Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

One exception is Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which uses a virtual queue. You can pick up a return time or use the Express pass to enter the building immediately. The difference between the standby queue is that there is an outdoor portion of the queue before you enter the building. However, unless it's a busy park day, most standby guests will enter the building rather quickly, not giving much of a time-saving advantage. Once inside the building, both Express and standby guests will receive a color-coded card on the first floor before heading upstairs to another waiting area. Once the lights turn the same color as the card, you get in a short queue before entering the flying theater.

Know that Universal Express pass is not a group pass. Everyone in your party will need their 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.

It's also important to note that for rides with metal detectors like The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, all of your belongings must be stowed away in a locker except for your Express Pass (which you'll need to get into the corresponding line). Make sure at least one frog in your party has pockets or a place on their clothing to store your passes.

Universal Orlando Single Rider Lines

Universal Express Pass - VelociCoaster

Single Rider lines can be even faster than Universal Express pass lines. If you don't mind splitting up your party on the ride, you can experience some of the most popular rides much quicker. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey's Single Rider line, in particular, is the best for saving time, and is often faster than the Express queue. (It's also easy to miss. Keep your eyes up as soon as you enter the castle to spot the Single Rider sign. It's going to direct you to a staircase on your left.) The Single Rider lines go straight to the loading area, though the exact speed can depend on the flow of odd-numbered groups. 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 some Universal Express and most 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's storyline. For example, if it's your first time on Skull Island: Reign of Kong or Revenge of the Mummy, we recommend experiencing the regular queue (the Express lines skip major parts). If you've been there, done that, take the route that's best for you.

If you're a Harry Potter fan, good news. The Express queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey misses the outdoor greenhouse and smaller details inside. But the major parts of the castle, such as Dumbledore's Office and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, are not toadally out of view. For Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the Express queue is essentially the same as the standby line, only moving faster. Both Single Rider lines still don't get the full experience as standby, however.

Universal Express Pass Options

Universal Express Pass - Back of the Pass

There are two types of Universal Express passes:

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 Standard Pass one time per ride each day that your pass is valid.

Both types of Universal Express passes are available for one park per day or both parks per day. It can be purchased online ahead of time through us or Universal directly, or while you're at the parks. 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 with an Express Plus pass to skip the virtual lines at all rides and attractions inside the water park.

How Much Is Universal Express?

Universal Express Pass - In-Park Kiosk

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, but if you are already considering purchasing Express Pass, you should do the math and see if it makes sense to stay on-site. For larger groups of three or more, 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, plus access to all of the fabulous pools, plush rooms and other on-site amenities.

Universal Express Pass Hotels:

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 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 at a discount from us or Universal directly 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. 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 if you plan to buy the passes ahead of your visit.

When to Use Universal Express Passes

Universal Express Pass - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Express Queue

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

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.

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.

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 to get the most done during your time.

Is the Universal Express Pass Worth It?

Universal Express Pass - Hulk

No matter when you visit, having Universal Express will be a time-saver. How much time can depend on the ride and certain situations. If you do purchase an Express pass, avoid using it (especially if you have the standard, one-time use pass) immediately after a ride reopens if it's been down. Many people will then get in line and inflate the wait time for both standby and Express queues. Just come back to the ride later in the day.

One time, we entered the Express line for The Incredible Hulk when standby said it was a 60-minute wait. We waited, rode the coaster and were back at our locker within 15 minutes! The same hoppened at Flight of the Hippogriff — it was a 45-minute standby wait, and we hopped on and off within 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for Skull Island: Reign of Kong, we waited about 35 minutes in Express, when standby said 55 minutes by the time we got off the ride. With Express, we waited 30 minutes for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts when standby said 50 minutes. Even though these ones moved a bit slower, it's still time saved!

The big 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?

Universal Express Pass - Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Sunset

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.

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.

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 like the brand new Jurassic World VelociCoaster. 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.

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).

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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801–850 of 1266 comments
Aug 24, 2020 at 5 p.m. Melissa Lloyd Says...

So very helpful!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:57 p.m. Jaybean3 Says...

Super helpful! Can't wait!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:56 p.m. Lorena Evans Says...

Can't wait to get back!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. Sheryl Sands Says...

Universal is the perfect place to forget 2020 and the stress of the corona virus pandemic!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:55 p.m. Jan Myers Says...

We can’t wait to get back to the parks!!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:54 p.m. COLE Says...

WOOOOOOO

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:54 p.m. Holly Leaders Says...

I would never do the park without the unlimited express pass, walking by the same standard line people 8 times to ride the hulk over and over from the express line... priceless!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:53 p.m. Will Buck Says...

Thanks for the info! I agree with this guide generally; sucks Universal charges extra for this but I get it too

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:51 p.m. Nancy S Says...

I have purchased your Universal Studios park passes for my family in the past! Super convenient to have them mailed to your home in advance, and no waiting in lines to buy tickets!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Amanda Kerznar Says...

Can't wait to get back to Orlando!!!!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. Karl Saunders Says...

Hope things will be back to normal for our next Orlando trip in 2024

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 4:49 p.m. RL Says...

Good info, thanks!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. Taryn M Lau Says...

We love Express Pass and are spoiled by it! My husband refuses to go without it!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:42 p.m. Neenie Says...

Thanks for this article-very helpful info to know for future planning!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:24 p.m. Alan Moffet Says...

Had a great time at Universal last year. Undercover Tourist is our go to for all of our trips to Florida.

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Aug 24, 2020 at 4:11 p.m. Aubry Says...

Can’t wait until the world is back to normal and I can travel again!! Universal Studios Orlando looks like so much fun!!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 3:38 p.m. Chris_B_B Says...

Universal Express pass is definitely a time saver on crowded days. I’ve done it a few times at Universal Studios Hollywood. :)

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Aug 24, 2020 at 3:32 p.m. Terron Mills Says...

I absolutely love this place! Can’t wait to visit again!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 3:29 p.m. Kimberly Anderson Says...

Great article Thank you

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Aug 24, 2020 at 3:24 p.m. Cecilia Says...

This blog is the best!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 3:21 p.m. Steven Martinez Says...

I've used a Universal Express Pass once before & unfortunately didn't have the greatest experience. I'm so hopeful that now that I have this guide, my next visit will be 110% more promising and I'll have a blast in a glass!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 3:10 p.m. Victoria! Says...

OMG love this!!!! I love how you break it down on how to use the pass and what its good for!!!! Incredibly useful!!!!

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 2:57 p.m. Michael DeFren Says...

wow thanks for the chance i always wanted to vist

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Aug 24, 2020 at 2:57 p.m. Amy Nesbit Says...

This was so helpful! Tysm!!

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Aug 24, 2020 at 2:51 p.m. Loc V. Says...

I would definitely purchase the Unlimited Express pass. It's a time saver. My kid is 9 and absolutely loves Universal Orlando Resorts.

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Aug 24, 2020 at 2:37 p.m. Lauren Says...

I can never get enough of Harry Potter world! I could spend hours just exploring Hogwarts.

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 2:35 p.m. Debbie Says...

I don’t know if I would pay for an express pass. I don’t understand why Universal doesn’t just do what Disney does with their fast pass.

Reply
Aug 24, 2020 at 2:31 p.m. Britt Woodie Says...

Awesome, informative! Thank you!!

Reply
Jun 22, 2020 at 11:31 p.m. M Allgire Says...

Hi! What a great site - thank you! I am trying to purchase 2 park, 2 day tickets with express passes for each day. For some reason, the Universal ticket site is only allowing me to purchase express passes for one day. I can't seem to add a 2nd day. Any tips? Thanks so much!

Reply
Jun 24, 2020 at 8:21 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

We haven't encountered this issue, but we'd suggest reaching out to Universal directly.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 20, 2020 at 5:27 p.m. Kate Says...

Have you ever used one of the Dining Plans? Is it worth it?

Reply
Jun 23, 2020 at 8:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kate!

We haven't personally, but we'd say it’s worth it if you choose the more expensive entrees/snacks/drinks (prime example: Butterbeer which costs $8) etc. You’d have to choose at least a $12 entrée + $4 non-alcoholic drink (quick-service meal), $5 snack and $4 non-alcoholic drink to break-even. If that seems like an easy task, then we say go for it! :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 7, 2020 at 1:56 p.m. Marie Says...

Hi! If I buy a 2 day park-to-park ticket to Universal, do I have to buy one expresspass for each day? Or do I buy one and can use it both days?

Reply
Mar 11, 2020 at 9:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Marie,

Universal Express tickets purchased separately are only valid for one day. If staying at one of the Universal Premier hotels, the free Express Unlimited Pass benefit covers the length of the your stay.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Mar 5, 2020 at 5:58 a.m. kimberly bimm Says...

Hi there. I purchased 2 park to Park, 2 day tickets from Undercover Tourist with an extra 2 days given as bonus, thank you! I am interested in Express pass. We are planning on our first day at Universal being April 6th.

How long do I get to go to both universal and Islands of Adventure while I am in Orlando.

Also if I purchase express tickets, do I need Express passes for each park and for each day I visit the parks?

That would end up costing an astronomical amount for a family of 6. What other choice do I have?

Reply
Mar 11, 2020 at 8:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kimberly,

Thanks for hopping by, and we hope you have a great trip! You can buy either a 1-Park or a 2-Park Express Pass, and it only covers one day if you purchase it by itself. If you haven't booked a hotel room yet, we'd recommend looking into staying on-site at one of Universal's Premier hotels (Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel or Loews Royal Pacific Resort), which offers the free Universal Express Unlimited benefit for the length of your stay.

If the Express passes don't fit in the budget, don't worry! We suggest you arrive early ahead of the park's opening to maximize your time in the parks and get a jump on the crowds. This is when the most popular rides will be the least busy. To save time, you can also utilize the Single Rider lines (just expect your group to be split up at the ride's loading station).

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 31, 2020 at 2:40 p.m. Timwest Says...

Yes

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Feb 24, 2020 at 2:39 a.m. james lee Says...

I purchased a 2 park 2 day park to park ticket for march 6&7. How much would it cost to add an express pass for both days? I would like prices on both types of express passes.

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Feb 24, 2020 at 9:23 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi James Lee!

Universal's pricing for Express Passes can be found here. Universal Express (which enables you to skip the line at each ride one time) starts at $69.99 and the Express Unlimited starts at $89.99. Have a great trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 23, 2020 at 4:50 a.m. Brianna Says...

If we stay at a Loews resort and are only able to do a one day, park to park ticket, can the express pass unlimited (that comes with the stay) be used in both parks in that one day?

Reply
Feb 26, 2020 at 10:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Brianna!

Yes, with a park-to-park ticket, the Unlimited Express can be used in both parks :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 14, 2020 at 3:47 p.m. Lori Conte Says...

Hi - great site I just stumbled upon, thank you! Quick question, Universal was my 30 year old daughters request this year for our mother daughter trip. I am a very mobile disabled 59 year old and my biggest concern are the lines and wait times. We will arrive at our time share February 20-27 and have gotten the 3 day 2 park hopper pass. This is already tight on my budget and was wondering how the parks should be during those dates and if I should get the extra tickets for skipping the lines? Thank you!

Reply
Feb 14, 2020 at 1:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lori!

Have you considered Attraction Assistance Pass? If you stop by Guest Relations when you enter the park, you may be able to get some help with the physical standing portion of the wait (the system is more of a virtual queue for these who aren't able to physically wait in the queue due to cognitive or physical disabilities). Projected crowd levels look pretty manageable, with weekends as the exception - you can see a day-by-day breakdown here. With lower crowd levels, we wouldn't spring for Express - if you visit and find that the lines are too much for you, you can upgrade to Express in the park. Have a wonderful mother daughter trip - let us know if we can help with any additional questions!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 13, 2020 at 2:26 p.m. Sherri Says...

I'm taking my 16-old son to Universal during Spring Break and this is our 1st visit to Universal. Since there are only 2 of us, it was too expensive to chose an onsite hotel - I crunched the numbers. I've purchased our 2-day 2 parks tickets (April 10-11) from Undercovertourist - thank you for discount. I've also purchased my express passes - I chose one time use only vs unlimited but just purchase for both days. I plan on using one of your touring plans to get the most from our 2 days. I have all of these loaded all of my tickets into the Universal App so I know we can get into the park and can use my phone for the express pass line. I purchased waterproof Lanyards that I thought would ease the movement through the park and express lanes. I want a paper copy as a backup in case my battery dies from all of the pictures I'm sure we will take. I have 2 questions - 1) the printout of both the tickets and express passes are full pages. Can I cut them down to fit into the lanyard? There are some rides that I have to lock up my phone so how do we show express passes on those rides if I don't have then in the lanyard. My 2nd question is the single use express pass. Since we plan to arrive early, we plan on going through the regular queues when we can so we can experience the queues and save the express pass for the times that we want a 2nd ride or when the regular queue is just too long. How do they track which rides we've already used and am I able to see that as well? I only see comments on the unlimited express passes and would love to hear about the onetime uses - which were quite expensive for those two days. (more than the actual tickets to get into the park). I thank you for the wonderful blog and any information you can share.

Reply
Feb 18, 2020 at 7:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sherri!

You can either print out the ticket yourself, or hop to Guest Services so they can print out a regular Express Pass ticket that would fit into a lanyard for you. If you print it yourself, you just need to make sure that the Express Pass QR code is intact - otherwise, it'd be fine to fold or cut around it to make it fit into the lanyard. The QR code tracks the ride usage once it’s been scanned, but you will have to make note of which rides you’ve already been on to keep track yourself. Our best advice would be to start a note/checklist in your phone, but we know you mention being concerned about phone battery usage - a must-have on our packing list is a portable charger and battery pack! Have a great trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 12, 2020 at 6:33 p.m. Cassandra Says...

Can I purchase Universal Express Passes through Undercover Tourist? I plan on using it for some other ticket purchasing so wanted to buy all my universal items in the same place if possible!

Reply
Mar 9, 2020 at 10:58 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cassandra,

Thank you for considering purchasing from us! Unfortunately, we do not currently offer Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 12, 2020 at 6:23 p.m. Scott Kow Says...

We will be going to Orlando June 2nd-8th and wondering what's the difference between the 3 types of Universal park-park 1 day tickets. Seems clear that anytime means anytime, but what about regular vs value? We would like to visit Universal on Sunday the 7th, but unclear which option is the cheapest for that day. Also am definitely getting express passes for 4 adults, but don't seem to see them available for purchase. Thank you for your help and guidance. Scott

Reply
Mar 9, 2020 at 10:56 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Scott,

For this date, you could choose the regular ticket or the anytime ticket. The value ticket is not valid for this date. Unfortunately, we do not currently sell Express Passes, but you could purchase these direct or when you arrive.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 11, 2020 at 9:27 p.m. Ken kieff Says...

We are planning on being there may 2nd through may 9th. Do you think that will be very busy. Thanks in advance !!

Reply
Feb 11, 2020 at 4:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ken!

Things look to be very manageable at that time (4s, 5s, and 6s), with a slight spike on the weekends (7), according to our Crowd Calendar. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 10, 2020 at 3:42 a.m. Edwin Walker Says...

Hello,

Do we get an express pass for the day of check-in and for the day of check out?

Reply
Feb 10, 2020 at 10:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Edwin!

That's correct! If you're staying at an eligible Universal hotel, you'll receive Unlimited Express for the day of check-in and check-out (every day of your stay). Have fun!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 5, 2020 at 9:54 p.m. Heather Says...

We have a free place to stay in Orlando but If we opt to book a night at a premier hotel just for the early in hour and free express pass, is there a limit to how many tickets they'll give per room? We're a family of 5 that will sleep in a room with 2 double beds so will we only get 4 tickets since it only sleep 4?

Reply
Feb 10, 2020 at 10:47 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather!

As long as all of the names are provided at check in, you’re not limited to four Express Passes if a room sleeps four people (most rooms have a maximum occupancy of five people, so you should be set there!). Keep in mind, though, that additional fees may apply (such as a $25 rollaway bed fee if the room is at maximum occupancy, or if more than 2 adults guests will be in one room). Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 5, 2020 at 10:15 a.m. Majbritt Says...

Hi,

I am planning 2 visit both parks either the 19th, 20th or 21st May. I will be going alone and have been considering to buy the express pass, but will this be a waste of money when I can just use the single line? Also, is the VIP experience worth the extrsa money?

Thank you

Reply
Feb 5, 2020 at 4:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Majbritt!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that those dates will see levels 5 and 6 in terms of crowds. Last year, a few popular rides had up to 60-75 minute waits at peak times of the day, but most were around 30 min. If not opting for Express, we'd recommend arriving super early and get the popular rides done first, and then move on to Single Rider lines. Single Rider can be toadally helpful because it can cut the wait time in about half compared to standby, but while most rides have Express, not all have Single Rider lines. That said, if going on all of the rides is your main priority (versus taking your time in the Wizarding World or meeting characters, for example), then Express may be worth it (especially if you are aiming to do both parks in one day). A VIP tour for both parks on those days would be $279 on top of price of your regular admission. While a little pricey, we have heard great things about it. You'd go directly to the front of the line and it includes breakfast and lunch. (Comparatively, a 2-Park Express Unlimited right now costs $129.99-$134.99 & 2-Park Express Regular currently costs $99.99-$109.99 during that timeframe.) Whew! That was a lot of info, but we hope it helps! Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 2, 2020 at 3:03 p.m. Kelli Brenner Says...

Another great benefit of the premier hotels is the boat and walking path. We went to universal after a stay at a Disney Moderate and it was SO great not having to take buses. Debating on whether to book Hard Rock for a first week in November trio for the transportation and express passes or save a ton and stay off-site. Do Universal crowds spike that week like Disney crowds due to the NEA convention in NJ?

Reply
Feb 4, 2020 at 1:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kelli!

You are toadally right - those walking paths are so convenient! This past year, crowds were pretty average throughout the week at Universal, with Islands of Adventure busier than Universal Studios Florida. However, both saw a spike on Friday and stayed pretty busy through the holiday weekend. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 26, 2020 at 5:37 p.m. Lee Says...

I’m staying at one of the hotels that offers the express pass. Check in is at 4pm. Can I pick up my key card early morning to use it at the park that morning when it opens?

Reply
Jan 27, 2020 at 8:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lee!

You sure can! Just head to the reception desk early and they'll get you your room key, which will serve as your Unlimited Express pass; they'll also be able to hold your luggage for you if your room isn't ready.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 25, 2020 at 2:44 p.m. thomas Says...

Hi, just need one question answered , how much for a 1 day 2 park express ticket total price including regular admission ticket. Thanks

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Jan 27, 2020 at 9:08 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Thomas!

This will vary depending on when you'll be visiting the parks, but you can see a full list of our tickets (and the dates they're valid) here to give you a better idea of pricing.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 22, 2020 at 4:02 p.m. Michelle Says...

Hi, I have park to park and universal express pass (not unlimited). Can I use the express pass to ‘hop’ on Hogwarts express from Islands of Adv to Universal Studios, and then again for the return hop back to Islands? That is, Are they considered two different rides, or can I only use the express pass for one of those legs? Thanks!!

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Jan 23, 2020 at 4:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle!

Yes, you can take the Hogwarts Express both ways if you have Express (even if it's not Unlimited). You will need to hop off, and each way counts as a different ride. (Hogwarts Express – Kings Cross is separate from Hogwarts Express – Hogsmeade, but you don’t have to choose one or the other if you have regular Express.) Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 21, 2020 at 4:50 a.m. Ernie Says...

Hi - great site ????????

Quick question, but maybe more nuanced than I think.. Is there a price difference when buying the Express

Pass day of v. Pre pay? If so, is there an average difference between the two (pre-paid v. day of)? Thanks!

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Jan 23, 2020 at 4:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ernie!

There is not a price difference between buying an Express Pass in person or online on the day of (as in, the same day of your visit). However, prices can increase as you get closer to the date. So we still recommend buying Express in advance: The earlier, the better! As an example, we compared pricing on Jan. 6 for Feb. 2 (2-Park Express Unlimited) and it was $109.99; it's now up to $119.99 for the same date.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 20, 2020 at 2:35 p.m. LEISA Says...

Hi, We were recently in line for 3hrs at the Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventures and saw people join the line almost to the 30 min wait time using express passes....how does that work?

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Jan 21, 2020 at 4:35 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Leisa!

Hagrid's doesn't offer Express at this time, so it could have been a couple of things. The guests may have had an Attraction Assistance Pass, a return pass due to the ride breaking down or even the Single Riders line. Hope this helps!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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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?

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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

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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

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