What Are Express Passes? Are They Worth Purchasing?

Purchasing an Express Pass is one of my top tips to anyone visiting the parks at Universal Orlando. Just what is an Express Pass and how does it work? Let me explain.

Express Passes allow you to experience more, while waiting in line less! With rides, you will enter a special queue, different from the standby line. While it is important to note that this is not “front-of-the-line” access, most waits are only a maximum of 5-10 minutes. Some of the popular attractions can have a longer wait than that, but it will almost always be considerably less than the standby line. When using an Express Pass to see a show, it’s important to arrive prior to the standby line being let into the theater (which is usually about 15 minutes prior to showtime). Those with Express Passes are able to enter prior to the standby line, ensuring that you’ll get the best seating available. Be sure to keep your Express Pass handy while in the parks, as a team member will scan it upon arriving at each attraction’s entrance.

Express Passes are convenient for every type of traveler. If you only have one day to hit the parks and want to get the most out of your visit, Express Passes are a must! These passes will ensure that you are able to ride the attractions that are high on your priority list without wasting such a large chunk of the day waiting in long lines. They are also perfect for families with young children who don’t have the patience to wait very long in lines. Having young children myself, I know that we are certainly going to be utilizing these on our upcoming vacation. Are you just someone who is planning on spending several days in the parks, wanting to experience as much as possible during your time? The Express Pass is worth every penny, especially during busier times of year that have extended wait times.

Express Passes are a separate cost from your park admission ticket, and are priced per day. Universal Express gives you access to skip the standby line one time per participating ride. Universal Express Unlimited gives you access to skip the standby lines an unlimited number of times per participating ride. The Express and Express Unlimited are able to be purchased as 1-park or 2-park passes, and can be used at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Volcano Bay has a separate pass available for purchase that allows you to bypass the virtual lines there.  Attractions that do not have Express Pass access are Pteranodon Flyers at Islands of Adventure, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Fievel’s Playland at Universal Studios, and Ko’okiri Body Plunge and Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides at Volcano Bay. I highly recommend purchasing Express Passes ahead of time, as these do have limited inventory and can sell out.

A HUGE perk of staying onsite at a Universal Orlando premier hotel is that you get Express Unlimited Passes complimentary for every day of your stay! Not only do you get the benefit of staying at world class hotels and being close to the parks, but you don’t have to purchase these passes on your own. Premier hotels include Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and Hard Rock Hotel. If you stay at an onsite hotel that is not in the premier category, you can choose to add Express Passes to your vacation package to have your vacation components bundled together. 

As you can see, there are multiple options for Express Passes and you may be debating which is right for you. We can help with that! Feel free to fill out a quote request form and we can assist with booking any components of your Universal Orlando vacation.

Interested in a FREE quote? Contact me today!



Published by Lauren Gigliello

Hello! My name is Lauren Gigliello and I am an agent with Marvelous Mouse Travels.

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