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.
Universal's Attractions Assistance Pass
Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) works very similarly to Disney's DAS Card, although AAP still uses a paper system, whereas DAS has gone digital. The AAP 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 person with disabilities 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 as you enter the park (Universal's Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida if you're in Florida, and Universal Studios Hollywood in California). If you are renting a wheelchair or electric convenience vehicle (ECV) they may assist you with your pass at the rental location. If not, hop over to Guest Relations. Give the Team Member as much detail as possible about your or your family member's disability or health problems. You're not legally required to give a doctor's note, but it can help if you're comfortable providing it! Give examples of what your or your family member's limitations are, such as sensitivity to loud noises or other stimulations, or health reasons why you may not be able to wait in a standard queue.
You'll be issued the AAP if you meet the requirements. The pass is a card with a barcode, the date it is valid, the guest’s name and the party size on it; it has lines on the back for return times to attractions.
How does the Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass work?
The AAP allows the party member with disabilities and their group of up to five other people 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 may 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 entrance 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. The pass is not valid for front-row seating on rides.
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! While you're waiting for your AAP return time for one attraction, you can use the Express 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 resort (Loews Portofino Bay, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific), then you'll receive Universal Express Unlimited passes for each registered guest 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 and Loews Sapphire Falls) receive one hour of Early Park Admission. Undercover Tourist now offers discounts on rooms at all Universal Orlando hotels!
Guests who purchase a Preferred Hotel Package for Universal Studios Hollywood can enter the park up to 30 minutes early.
You should still use Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass for those attractions that do not offer Universal Express, which is now only Pteranodon Flyers at Universal's Islands of Adventure.
How long is the AAP good for?
The AAP is issued for the length of your stay in Orlando and the date it is issued at Universal Studios Hollywood. 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 six guests per party (that’s the guest with the disability and five others).
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?
The AAP should cover most people’s special needs, but if it is not working for you, speak with a supervisor at Guest Relations and discuss your absolute need for the pass and why AAP isn't working for your family. 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 five 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!