Receiving help for a disabled party member at a theme park can be stressful and frustrating. Luckily, most theme parks are making accommodations so that everyone in the family can still enjoy the fun on vacation! Since we've touched up on Disney's Disability Access Services Card, we wanted to provide information on Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass. Whether you're heading to Universal Studios Hollywood or the Universal Orlando Resort, this post has answers to some of the questions you might have.
How Does Universal's Attractions Assistance Pass Work
Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) works very similarly to Disney's DAS Card. It is intended for guests with a cognitive or physical disability that prevents them from being able to wait in a conventional queue. Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass allows the disabled person and their party to wait in an alternate queue (such as the Universal Express queue) when times allow it.
Alternatively, you should also be aware of the Guest Assistance Pass. This pass is only given out on a very strict basis and to a very limited amount of disabled guests. The GAP requires these guests (or their guardian) to meet with Guest Relations' supervisors and discuss the extreme difficulty that has occurred with trying to use the AAP on busy days.
Overview of Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass
How and where do I get the AAP?
Go to Guest Relations at the park you enter first (Islands of Adventure of Universal Studios) if you're in Orlando and same if at Universal Studios Hollywood. Give the Team Member as much detail as possible about your or your family member's disability. You're not legally required to give a doctor's note, but it can help if you're comfortable with it! Give examples of what your or your family member's limitations are.
You'll be issued the AAP if you meet the requirements. The pass is a small card with a barcode at the bottom; it has 25 lines for return times to attractions.
How does the AAP work?
The AAP allows the disabled party member and their group to wait in an alternative queue that is much shorter than the regular queue if the posted wait time for the attraction is less than 30 minutes. You usually wait in the Universal Express queue if the attraction has one.
After I've received the AAP, what's next?
Head to your first attraction and hand the pass over to the attendant. Depending on whether the wait time is less or more than 30 minutes, you'll either be directed to the alternate queue or receive a return time.
If the posted wait time is 30 minutes or more, then the attendant will write you a return time on the pass. Once that time comes, you'll return to the attraction to ride and be directed through the alternate queue by a Team Member.
Can I have more than one attraction return time listed on my AAP?
No, you are only allowed one attraction return time on the pass. You have to use or forfeit your current reservation if you decide to get another one. However, if you don't need a return time because the posted wait time at an attraction is less than 30 minutes, then you can still experience that attraction without losing your return time for a different attraction.
What if the park is extremely busy and crowded and I'm always waiting for return times?
Unfortunately, this will most likely happen if you go during peak times. We recommend also purchasing an Universal Express pass if you're at Universal Orlando. While you're waiting for your AAP return time for one attraction, you can use the Express Plus pass (at those attractions that offer it). This minimizes your time waiting in line!
Keep in mind if you're staying on-site at a Universal Orlando deluxe resort (Loews Portofino, Orlando Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific), then you'll receive the Universal Express Unlimited as part of your hotel package. Guests who stay on-site at any of the Universal Orlando resorts (all of the above, including Cabana Bay Beach Resort) receive one hour of Early Park Admission.
You should still use the AAP for those attractions that do not offer Universal Express. Those attractions include:
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (Universal Studios)
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (Universal Studios)
- Ollivander's Wand Shop Experience (Universal Studios)
- Hogwarts Express - King's Cross Station (Universal Studios)
- Pteranodon Flyers (Islands of Adventure)
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure)
- Ollivander's Wand Shop Experience (Islands of Adventure)
- Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure)
How long is the AAP good for?
The AAP is issued for the length of your stay. However, if you're an Annual Passholder at Universal, then the Attraction Assistance Pass can be issued for up to 14 consecutive days.
How many guests in one party can be covered under the AAP?
The pass covers up to 6 guests per party.
The GAP looks like a regular admissions ticket and is given to each member of your party. Keep in mind, GAP is only issued on a daily basis. The pass works similarly to the Universal Express pass; you'll be directed immediately to an alternate queue (most likely the Universal Express queue) at an attraction once the pass is presented to the Team Member.
How do I receive the GAP?
You have to speak with a supervisor at Guest Relations and discuss your absolute need for the pass and why AAP isn't working for your family. Like we mentioned before, this pass is much more difficult to receive than the AAP and takes some time. However, if it is clear the AAP is not accommodating your needs, then it might be the worth the time and effort to receive the GAP. It takes quite a bit of discussion!
How many guests in one party can be covered under the GAP?
Like Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass, the GAP covers the disabled guest and up to 5 members of their party.
Whew - we covered a lot of information in this post! If you have any questions or experiences with Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass, we'd love to hear 'em. Let us know in the comments below!