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The Ultimate Guide on When to Use Universal Express

by Leap on September 23, 2021 1823 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-line 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 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 Express Pass - Front of the Pass

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.

When Universal reopened in June 2020 after its temporary closure due to COVID-19, some rides used a Virtual Line and may continue to do so during busy periods (the Virtual Line is used on an as-needed basis). 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 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 the 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 such as 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 more quickly. 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 an 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 included with your stay 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. If you are staying at a premier resort hotel and are planning on hitting the parks on your arrival day, no worries! The front desk can help you get your Express pass so you're ready to roll, while the Bell Desk safely stores your luggage.

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 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. Note that 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, the pass is 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 the official opening time.

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 such as the 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 the comments below! 

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

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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1151–1200 of 1272 comments
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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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!

Leap

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!

Leap

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!

Leap

Reply
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
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