Winter Wonderland Sweepstakes
Enter for a chance to win a 3-night hotel stay and theme park tickets to Universal Orlando Resort!

Prize must be redeemed by December 31, 2021.

The Ultimate Guide on When to Use Universal Express

by Leap on August 20, 2020 1764 Orlando

Universal Express Pass - PinterestHoppy day! We frogs are finally selling discount Universal Express Passes along with discount tickets and hotel rooms. So now you can book your entire Universal Orlando vacation with your favorite frogs and save some green. 

Thrills! 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 Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Currently, in Universal's initial reopening phases post COVID-19, some rides have been using a Virtual Line. If you have a Universal Express Pass, you do not have to get a Virtual Line pass (the only exception is Hagrid's).

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 Storm Force Acceleration or 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 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 Pass - Men In Black Alien Attack Queues

Note: Currently, Single Rider Lines are closed, as parties are being kept together on rides and remain separated from other parties by empty seats, rows or ride vehicles. 

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. The Single Rider lines go straight to the loading area, though the exact speediness 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 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 miss out, however.

Universal Express Pass Options

Universal Express Pass - Back of the Pass

There are two types of Universal Express passes:

  • Universal Express Unlimited
  • Universal Express Standard

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

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?

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. 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. (Currently, Single Rider lines are closed.)

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!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
1201–1246 of 1246 comments
Jan 15, 2016 at 7:39 p.m. LaToya Says...

Hi,

I just love your site its very informational! My question is, we are traveling 3/21-3/31 and will have the unlimited passes for US & IOA. Do you think we should include the express passes as we really just plan on going in the evenings?

Thanks for your help

Reply
Jan 19, 2016 at 10:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi LaToya,

I would consider Express Passes for some of those days or even look at the cost of staying on site at the deluxes to get the Universal Express benefit. Going in the evenings isn't going to help considerably and you would miss much of your park time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2016 at 6:20 p.m. Tom Says...

Dear Leap,

I'd like to visit both parks on the 18th/19th of march, would you recommend to buy a express pass?

I really appreciate that you take your time and answer every comment so patiently :)

Sincerely,

Tom

Reply
Jan 19, 2016 at 10:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi tom,

I would consider purchasing Express Passes for these dates or stay on site at one of the deluxes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2016 at 3:42 p.m. Jack Says...

Hi, such a great site! Well done. We are travelling to Orlando with our 7 year old Harry Potter fanatic during Easter-Spring break so peak times, and debating between staying Cabana Bay and Portofino hotels. However we are not very adventurous and really will probably just ride the Hogwarts Express and go to shows and some 3D or simulator rides so is an Express pass beneficial for us?

Thanks so much.

Reply
Jan 13, 2016 at 10:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jack,

You will still benefit from Express Passes as the shows and simulator rides also accept them. If you have the option, I would stay at Portofino for the extra benefit.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 12, 2016 at 1 a.m. Tom Says...

Dear Leap,

I'd like to visit both parks on the 18th/19th of march, would you recommend to buy a express pass?

I really appreciate that you take your time and answer every comment so patiently :)

Sincerely,

Tom

Reply
Jan 13, 2016 at 10:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tom,

Thank you for the praise. I would recommend Express Passes at this time if they are within budget.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 5:15 p.m. Bill Says...

Hello! We will be staying in one of the courtyard family suites at Cabana Bay from 1/31 through 2/6 and I was wondering if an express pass would be worth it? Thanks!

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 1:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bill,

I don't think you'll need it during these dates.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 4:53 p.m. melissa adams Says...

Hi!

We plan on visiting Universal for 3 days in March (20-23). We plan to get the Express Pass for 2 of the days, as your calendar suggests big crowds! Can we purchase the express pass online separate from the tickets?

Do you recommend staying at Cabana Bay or Royal Pacific? We will be staying in a suite (2 adults, 1 child)

Reply
Jan 13, 2016 at 10:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa,

Yes, you can purchase your passes separately from the tickets. If you stay at Royal Pacific, though, you won't need to purchase Express Pass. This is often the most economical choice. You will get Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World at both hotels, but Universal Express only at the deluxes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 6:15 a.m. Jenn Says...

We are doing either a two day pass for January 16 and 17, or a three day pass that will include January 22. Would you recommend express passes for any of those days?

Thank you so much!

Jenn

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:10 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenn,

You might consider them for the 16th and 17th.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 10, 2016 at 5:12 p.m. Casey Says...

Hello! We are visiting on 1/15/2016 with a group of 8, all riding adult rides only. We are purchasing a one day park to park ticket and our goal is to hit all the big rides. My questions are, would you recommend buying an express unlimited pass and if so should we do so in advance (in case of sell out) or should we be fine just going and deciding as the day progresses and than purchase (we plan on hitting the park before it opens, being there all day and starting at Islands of Adventure and ending the day in Diagon Alley) Thanks for you help on this!

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Casey,

For one day, and considering you're heading into a holiday weekend and wanting to ride all the big rides, I would definitely consider Express Passes. We have a 1 Day Park-to-Park touring plan that includes all of the major rides.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 10, 2016 at 1:56 p.m. Veronica Says...

Hi there

Great site! We are going to Universal for the first time during March Break (week of March 14th). Going to Universal for 2 days (our son is a big Harry Potter fan!). Do you suggest getting the express for 1 day or 2?

Thanks!

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Veronica,

Yes, I would for at least one day and maybe two. Have you considered staying on-site? You may find that it is more economical than Express Passes for your entire party.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 1:58 a.m. Megan Says...

We are staying at Cabana Bay March 5-8. Is it possible to purchase an express pass for just one of those days?

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 10:51 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

Yes, that is possible.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 9, 2016 at 7:54 p.m. Megan Says...

Would you recommend getting express passes for those days? And is it better to buy in advance or wait until we get to the parks?

Reply
Jan 11, 2016 at 7:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

I don't think you have to purchase Express Passes for those dates in advance. Since you would still have one hour early access to the Wizarding World, I would wait to see if you think you need it when you arrive.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 7, 2016 at 10:57 a.m. Michelle Says...

We are visiting Orlando, staying at Hard Rock from 1/28 through 2/6. We will be visiting one day Hollywood studios (Star Wars fans) and spend the rest of the days at Universal (4 days at least and then see).

I am a bit worried about the Harry Potter celebration. Are the crowds at USF and IOA worse on those days or the people going to the celebration are participating at special events so it's basically the same? Thanks !

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michelle,

You will see elevated crowds on these days of the Celebration, but more merriment in the parks too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 6, 2016 at 2:25 a.m. Jasmine Says...

Hi There,

Love the blog! It helps a lot on first timers like our family. We're going on July 26 & 27 2016. Do we need express passes on this days?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Reply
Jan 6, 2016 at 9:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jasmine,

If you can afford it, yes, we'd recommend them on these dates. Definitely do the math, because staying on site is likely more affordable.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2016 at 7:31 p.m. Rob Says...

Hi, we are going to Florida on the 29th of August and looking at going to universal in the week commencing the 5th of September, do you think we will need fast passes during this time?

Many thanks

And great site

Reply
Jan 4, 2016 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rob,

You should be fine without Universal Express at this time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2016 at 3:53 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Can the Express Passes for the Universal parks be purchased through undercover tourist? I may have missed it, but I have not seen anything about it in your ticket prices, which are amazing by the way!!

Reply
Jan 4, 2016 at 8:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you! We don't currently offer Express Passes, but hope to in the future.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 1, 2016 at 8:25 p.m. Jen Says...

Hey,

Just wondering which would be a better day. Jan 5th or Jan 6th?

Reply
Jan 4, 2016 at 8:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

Both days are good. Pick the one that works best for you!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 29, 2015 at 4:27 p.m. Amy Says...

We are planning a trip for April 3-7, staying onsite at Loew's Royal Pacific. I understand that express passes are included with our stay, does this mean that we have to purchase our park tickets from the Universal website or can I purchase them from your website and still be eligible to redeem our express passes? TIA!

Reply
Dec 31, 2015 at 8:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

You can still purchase your discount tickets through us and use Universal Express. Here are all of our Universal ticket options:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/universal-orlando-resort/

Enjoy!

Leap

Reply
Dec 24, 2015 at 11:59 a.m. Marie & Mart Says...

Hi, we will be on our honeymoon & plant to visit both universal parks April 13th & 14th 2016, do you suggest we buy express tickets? I've been before but my other half hasn't so we obviously want to do all the rides.

Thanks M & M

Reply
Dec 28, 2015 at 1:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

While it's nice to have, I don't think you'll need it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 24, 2015 at 1:46 a.m. Bernardo Says...

Hi, I'm going on Dec 31st with a party of 5.

I went 3 years ago and Studios was almost empty. No more than 10-20 min wait on busiest attractions.

Do you anticipate this year to be different?

Thanks,

Bernardo

Reply
Dec 25, 2015 at 8:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

We would expect the parks to be very crowded. Let us know how it goes!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 23, 2015 at 7:19 p.m. Laurel Says...

I am visiting Universal 2/28-3/2. I have a 4 day park to park pass with the dining plan. I am most interested in the Harry Potter attractions. How should I plan my dinner full service meal? Should I spend the morning in one and take Hogwarts express to the other for dinner, or plan dinner in the same place? I will be making reservations which is why I am asking.

Reply
Jan 8, 2016 at 10:43 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laurel,

With the Park-to-Park ticket you have the option to hop to any restaurant you would like. Most likely with that ticket you would be taking the Hogwarts Express to the other park, so yes, it probably makes sense to book the restaurant in the one you plan to end up in.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 22, 2015 at 4:32 p.m. Steff Says...

Hi!

First of all, this blog is a life saver. THANK YOU for sharing all your knowledge!!

It has been a great source of information ????.

We (my husband, my 8 year old son and myself) are planning our first trip to universal for March 16-17 2016.

We are planning to stay on Royal Pacific just to get accesses to early admission and express passes.

Do you think is worth it for this time of the year? Is it gonna be really crowd? My son gets really impatient in lines hahaha

Also, we want to take the two day park to park tickets so we can get into the Hogwards Express.

My question is, when should we get the Hogwards express ?? I don't know how to do the 2 parks in the same day especially if we have 2 days tickets.

I get really confuse, this trip requires a lot of planning to do.

Thank you so much for your great information.

Reply
Dec 23, 2015 at 7:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steff,

You are making a good decision to stay on-site at this time, because the parks will be very crowded. Definitely experience the Wizarding World during Early Park Admission (either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley), toward the end of your hour, climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and ride to the other park. Then you can experience the other popular rides in that park using your Universal Express passes. The next day, head to the Wizarding World you did not visit the day before, and repeat the same process, riding the Hogwarts Express the other way (it's a different experience both ways), and then exploring that park's rides.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 9:21 p.m. Richard Says...

Hi, im going to both park on saturday 19/dic with my girlfriend, do i need to buy the express ticket for that day?

Reply
Dec 21, 2015 at 7:47 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Richard,

I would consider it, but you can always purchase when you get there.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 16, 2015 at 5:21 a.m. Chris Says...

Hey,

Me and my Girlfriend had won some free park to park passes through a contest and are looking to go sometime between 12/22 and 1/4. The price of the express passes are a little out of our budget for a couple college students. According to the Crowd-Calendar Sunday 12/27 is green for both parks but the overall is 10/10. Is it correct that it is expected that we won't need them this day?

Thanks,

Chris

Reply
Dec 16, 2015 at 7:13 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris,

It is a recommended park that day out of all the parks, but with the crowd level a 10, we would still recommend Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 15, 2015 at 6:55 p.m. Sarah Says...

Hello,

My husband and I will be in Orlando April 6, 2016- April 12. The first and last days being travel days. We want to go to both Disney World and Universal Studios and go to the beach. We have not selected a specific day for any of those so my question is, is there a better day to go to one than the other? We will have 5 full days. We are planning to do one day at Universal and only do one of the parks. We are mainly going for Harry Potter but want to ride some other rides too. We hope not to have to spend more on Express passes, or at least wait until we get there to decide if we need them.

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 21, 2015 at 12:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

We are predicting the 6th to be the best day as far as crowds go. You shouldn't need Express Pass for any of the days, minus perhaps Saturday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 13, 2015 at 8:48 p.m. Shah Says...

Hi,

Visiting Universal Studio on 21st Dec. and planning for both the parks. Visiting with 2+2 (kids). Express pass for both the parks are $109 and was wondering if express pass is MUST for the date selected? Do I have option of going for express pass for one of the parks instead of both? if that's recommended which park would that be?

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 10:57 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

You could select Express Pass for just one park. It will be crowded, but not as crowded as it will be later in the week. Which park is really a personal preference. With the Incredible Hulk Coaster closed, I think Universal Studios Florida is probably a slightly better choice.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 12, 2015 at 6:17 p.m. Lo Says...

Hi there,

Planning to be in Universal & IoA sometime between Feb 16-18th. We are wondering, is there a price difference between purchasing Express Passes ahead of time online versus buying at the gate the day of? I've read somewhere that there's a chance Express passes can sell out... how likely would that be and should we buy ahead of time?

Thanks for your time!

Reply
Dec 17, 2015 at 11:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lo,

I don't think Express Passes sell out that often, but there is always a chance. Prices are dynamic, but Universal has a pretty good idea already of how busy the parks will be on those days and has priced accordingly.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 7, 2015 at 2:46 a.m. Jessica Says...

Hello, we plan on visiting the parks on Dec 21 and Dec 22. Do you expect the parks to be super crowded and would we benefit from express pass? Thank you

Reply
Dec 7, 2015 at 7:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica,

Yes, we expect big crowds on these days, although it will be even busier later in the week. I would consider Express Passes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 9:58 p.m. Jan Says...

Hi,

Me and 6 other people will be visiting on Jan 8th and 9th and we are planning on buying the 2-day base tickets. Do you recommend us buying the fast passes? Would it still be crowded around that time?

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 4, 2015 at 12:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jan,

I don't think it's absolutely necessary at this time, but if you can afford it, it's always a treat. Crowds are expected to be medium.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 9:20 p.m. jason Says...

not sure if you can help, but we plan on taking our 3 daughters on jan 31st. we are going to universal for ONLY 1 day and specifically to see harry potter and ride train. if I read your comments correctly there is really no point in express pass as its not valid for these rides/venues anyway. just arrive early and pray? thank you

Reply
Dec 4, 2015 at 12:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jason,

During this time, it shouldn't be a problem to experience these rides with low waits. If only one park is hosting Early Park Admission, head to the Wizarding World in the other park first thing. Some of the Wizarding World rides offer Express Pass, but not the headliners.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 2:20 a.m. mahesh Says...

Hi there!

We (myself and mywife) will be visiting Universal 10th and 11th of December and would like to cover both the parks. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes?

Thanks!

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 7:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

I don't think you will need it on these days as crowds are expected to be low.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 29, 2015 at 6:09 p.m. IAMom Says...

I would like to get an idea how much time one can expect to save with an express pass on a few of the popular rides when visiting on green days on your calendar. I know I can purchase after I arrive but I'd stay at a hotel with express passes included for best price.

Reply
Nov 30, 2015 at 6:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

You would still save time, but on a green day (not green park recommendation) you would really probably only save a lot of time on major headliners. For the others, it would be probably be a few minutes. It's always nice to stay on-site, though, for the convenience and the fantastic hotels.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 26, 2015 at 4:32 a.m. Deb Says...

Hi... 2 questions

Can the Universal Express and Express Unlimited pass be used at all the same rides or are there more on the Unlimited? Is the only difference that the unlimited gets you on the rides as many times as you'd like?

#2 We are really just going for Harry Potter... is an express pass worth it ... are enough rides in that area included?

Reply
Nov 30, 2015 at 7:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Deb,

The unlimited means you can ride the same attractions unlimited times. If you really only care about Harry Potter, then the Express Pass isn't worth it since it does not include Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 18, 2015 at 7:49 p.m. Maria Says...

Hello We will be there Dec 24 and 25 so we will buy the express pass. Is it worthy to buy the unlimited one? thx

Reply
Nov 20, 2015 at 10:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Maria,

If you want to do repeat rides, then yes. Otherwise, then I would not.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 18, 2015 at 6:33 p.m. Britney Says...

We'll be doing a 1 day park-to-park on Sunday, 11/22. The overall crowd level is 8, but both Universal parks are green. Trying to decide if we need the express passes. How often do they sell out in advance? Would prefer to wait until we get there to decide, but is that a big risk? Thanks!

Reply
Nov 20, 2015 at 10:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Britney,

I think you would be safe to wait until you arrive. It will be crowded but not as crowded as later in the week.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 12, 2015 at 11:38 p.m. Norma Says...

Hi there!

We (myself, husband and a 6 years old boy) will be visiting Universal on 19th, 20th January, 2016. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes? but since we only have two days I'm worried about time. This will be our first visit to Universal. As well we are trying to decide between the Cabana Bay and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. considering fast passes. What would you recommend? Thanks!

Thanks!

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 4:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Norma,

If you are staying at Royal Pacific, you don't need to purchase Express Passes as they will be included with your hotel. It's not critical to have them during your dates, but they are always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 7, 2015 at 2:38 p.m. Katie Says...

We are going to be staying at Cabana Bay for 2 nights. Definitely going to take advantage of early entry! We'll be at the parks Saturday February 27th and Sunday February 28th. Wondering if we should buy the express passes in advance? We have 4 adults and 2 children ages 4 and 7. Thanks!!!!

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 1:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie,

I don't think you need to.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 6, 2015 at 7:04 a.m. Lisa Says...

Hi,

We will be traveling to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on February 19th and 20th. Can you tell me if we should pay the extra for express pass? What would you recommend? Thanks!

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 12:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa,

I would recommend it for the 20th. You might want it for the 19th too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 4, 2015 at 7:52 p.m. Jillian Says...

We are going the week of April 11-18th and wondered if you recommend an Express Pass? We are thinking of a 2-day park-to-park or possibly a 3-day park-to-park. We have never been and want to see it all! We are staying at Cabana Bay.

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 12:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jillian,

I don't think you will need Express Passes at this time, but you could always add them on in the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 29, 2015 at 3:01 p.m. Jennifer Says...

We are visiting Universal first week of March 2016 2 days park to park should we buy express passes before or could we wait til in the park.. Would we need them? I have used your crowd calendar every year and its always accurate

Reply
Nov 2, 2015 at 8:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer,

I don't think you really need them at this time, but you can always buy when you get there. Thanks for your praise about the Crowd Calendar! Please tell your friends about it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 5, 2015 at 11:24 p.m. Denise Says...

Hi

I will be traveling to Universal Studios January 25th and 26th with my husband and two children (10 & 11). Crowd calendar says low crowds - but since we only have two days I'm worried about lines anyway. This will be our first visit to Universal. We plan to stay onsite and are trying to decide between the less expensive Cabana Bay and Hard Rock which would provide us the express passes. What would you recommend? Thanks!

Reply
Oct 14, 2015 at 9:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Denise,

The crowds are expected to be low during this time, so I think you will have a great time even with Cabana Bay. Definitely take advantage of the Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both resorts are fab!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 3, 2015 at 1:50 p.m. Travis Says...

Hello, my wife and I will be going to Universal on 11/30/15 for one day and are debating on getting the 1 day 2 park ticket option, however, a friend of hers told her it is not possible to do both parks in 1 day. This is our first time going and we are more interested in the rides, not the shows. Do you think we could manage most of the rides in both parks in one day? I'd hate to spend on the 2 park pass and not be able to utilize it, but I also see many rides at both parks that I'd love to experience. Thanks for your advice!

Reply
Oct 5, 2015 at 6:40 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Travis,

You cannot do all of the rides in both parks in one day, but you could hit many of them. If you pick and choose and plan carefully, you should be fine! Check out our brand-new 1 Day Park-to-Park touring plan.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 2, 2015 at 7:55 a.m. Stefania Says...

Hello, nice your website ! thanks ;-)

I will come to Orlando on the 6th of Jan 2016, I checked your crowd calendar and I dont think I need the express pass, however it is very tempting the Orlando Hard Rock Hotel which offers it. Could you please confirm me that the express pass they offer it will be both for Universal Studios and for Island of Adventure?

Thanks a lot

Reply
Feb 22, 2016 at 2:14 a.m. Sylvia Says...

I am visiting with a party of 10 from 18th August to 1st September and like your opinion on whether we will need Express Passes for visiting the Universal parks on these dates as during our 2015 visit the queues in July/ August were massive. Can you also advise us if we decided to stay at an onsite hotel whether we can obtain our complimentary Express Passes before the 4pm check in time.

Advise would be appreciated, thanks

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 6:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sylvia,

You can definitely get the Unlimited Express passes before 4 p.m., but you would need to check in first (the hotel can store your bags). As far as Express Passes go, you should not have to purchase them for these dates, although they are always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 2, 2015 at 2:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stefania,

We love the Hard Rock Hotel. It's the perfect location and includes Unlimited Express in both parks — a real treat!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 5, 2015 at 2:35 p.m. Charlotte Says...

We are visiting Orlando may 2-13 2016. I haven't been at this time of year before, have always gone during Easter. Will be find the parks much quieter? Thanks

Reply
Sep 8, 2015 at 8:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Charlotte,

You can check out predicted crowd levels on our Crowd Calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 21, 2015 at 12:47 a.m. CC Says...

Hi, can you tell me if buying the express pass for Universal parks is worth it for the second week in November going on a Wednesday, Thanks

Reply
Aug 26, 2015 at 8:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi CC,

I don't think it is worth it during this time, but you ultimately have to decide what is right for you.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 20, 2015 at 6:32 p.m. Jon Says...

Hi- I love your site! Doing a 1-day 2-park visit to Universal on 11/13. IOA is green and US is yellow on that day. We are return visitors, and no little ones, so we don't need to see everything, we just want to hit the new stuff (Potter, Simpsons) first, then whatever we can fit in. What's your opinion on express-pass for that day?

Reply
Aug 25, 2015 at 2:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jon,

I don't think you need Express Passes since the overall crowd level is neutral, but that is ultimately you're call ;)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 12, 2015 at 3:26 p.m. Sarah Says...

Hi there!

We (myself and boyfriend) will be visiting Universal next month, the 11th and 12th of September. For this time, would it be recommended to buy fast passes?

Thanks!

Reply
Aug 18, 2015 at 2:35 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sarah,

No, with lower crowds, I don't think you will need them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 25, 2015 at 4:56 p.m. Laureen Says...

Does anyone know what room location would be the best in the Cabana Bay. I have the family suite in the tower but there are 2 towers. Would like to have quick access to pool and don't like waiting for elevators. Any suggestions?

Reply
Leave a comment
Name is required. Email is required. Please input a comment.
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!
Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address
footer grass

Contact:  1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)  |  1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)

Sign up for Our Newsletter Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation

monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

Contact Us

Send Feedback

Or call 1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)

1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)


©2000–2020 Undercover Tourist. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions
As to Disney photos, logos, properties: ©Disney
lilypad
Newsletter logo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

monthly news, planning tips and special deals from the Frog Family

Please enter your Name Please enter your Email address
×

Thank you for joining our email list!

Joined email list logo

You should be receiving your first email soon!
Thanks for being a part of the family.

×
Create an account

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account. Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No, thanks. ×