One of the questions we get here the most about Universal studios is about Universal Studios Orlando Express Passes. Most people want to know exactly what they are, how to get them, and where they can use them.
Universal studios Orlando has a bunch of different ticket options and add ons. The most popular of these add on are the Express Passes that they offer. These Universal Studios express passes are the equivalent to a fastpass at Disney World.
These express passes let you essentially skip the line by entering the attractions via a shorter quicker moving line. This is an add on which means that you pay for it separately and on top of your regular Universal Orlando tickets. You also cannot share a Universal Express pass with anyone else so everyone in your party that you plan on having go through the express lines needs there own express pass.
How to Get Universal Studios Express Passes
There are a few different ways in which you can get Universal Express passes.
- purchase them online before your visit
There is a significant advantage and significant disadvantage to purchasing your Universal express passes in this way, and it depends upon what time of year you are going. While it is rare there are days that Universal express passes can sell out which means unless you purchase them before hand you will not get to take advantage of this perk. The best days to make sure you purchase your express passes before hand are Christmas, Easter, and 4th of July as these tend to be the busiest in the parks.
The other downside of purchasing your express pass online is that it must be used for the date that you selected online which means that if you decide to use your express pass on a different day because of the park not being as busy as you thought you cannot change the date of them.
- purchase them in the park
My suggested way of purchasing an express pass is at the parks. The reason why I suggest you do this is that you can evaluate how busy the park is and see the wait times before deciding if an express pass is worth it or not. Since express passes are not cheap and need to be purchased on top of your regular Universal Florida tickets this can save you a bunch of money on days that are not crowded and wait times are low.
- buy a Premier annual pass and get express included after 4pm
This is a great option if you know you are going to be visiting the parks more then 1 time throughout the year. The premier annual pass also gives you other perks that make this annual pass worth the price such as free prime parking, a Halloween Horror Nights Ticket, and merchandise and food discounts.
- stay at a premier category Universal hotel
The premier category hotels on Universal Studios Florida property come with the Express unlimited pass for free.
The premier hotels which include this perk are
Lowes Royal Pacific Resort
Hard Rock Hotel
Lowes Portofino Bay hotel
This is an awesome perk that may help you with the decision to upgrade not only your park experience, but also you hotel stay since the price of these passes will be built into your hotel room.
- do a Universal VIP experience
A V.I.P experience at Universal is the ultimate luxury. You will be led throughout the parks by a experienced tour guide through the most popular attractions. These tours come with a plethora of benefits beyond just the guided tour to use throughout your day, and one of these is the unlimited express pass.
These express passes are to be used for the remainder of your day after your tour ends since during the tour you will get to skip lines completely… which is like the coolest thing ever. Trust me if you can afford to do a V.I.P tour for a day do it, it is an experience your family will never forget.
How Do Universal Express Passes Work
Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure
These passes are easy to use as all you have to do is present your express pass at the express line access at the attraction you are looking at using it on. These lines are always clearly marked and will have a team member stationed at them in order to scan your express pass.
Types of Universal Orlando Express Passes Available
There are two types of Universal fast passes available the
- Universal Express Pass
- Universal Express Unlimited Pass
The difference in these passes are how many times you can use them on a particular attraction in a day.
The regular Universal Express pass:
entitles you to bypass the regular line one time per day per participating attractions.
The Universal Express unlimited pass:
lets you bypass the regular line as many times as you want at any participating attraction. That means that if your child wants to ride Flight of the Hippogriff 10x’s in a row you can use the express pass 10x’s on that attractions and then as much as want on the other attractions as well.
Express Pass for Halloween Horror Nights
There are also express passes available during Halloween Horror Nights. These express tickets are the same as the regular day express passes in that they are an extra add on and you need a regular Halloween horror nights ticket to use them.
The Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass lets you skip the regular line one time at all haunted houses, plus at the rides and attractions open during the special ticketed event. A Halloween Horror Night express pass is well worth it if you are only going to go to one night of the season as there are a lot of houses to get through, and you do not want to feel like you missed one because of waiting in lines.
There is also a Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P Tour that you can purchase. This is essentially an amped up express pass for the event. With this you get a guided V.I.P. Walking tour of the event with front-of-the-line entry to the haunted houses. This is a more expensive option that starts at 199.99 a person on top of your admission ticket but is worth it if you want the best Horror Nights experience.
Universal Express Pass Rides List
Universal Express passes are available for all three parks which includes the water park Volcano Bay. Now not all attractions at these parks are universal Express pass eligible, but most are. The following is a list of Universal Studios fast pass attractions that express pass is eligible for in the parks.
Universal Studios Florida express pass rides available:
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hogwartz Express
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- Transformers the ride 3D
- Fast & Furious- Supercharged
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- The Simpsons Ride
- Kang and Kodos Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
- Revenge of the Mummy
- E.T. Adventure
- Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster
Islands of Adventure express pass rides available:
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Hogwartz Express
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Storm force Accelatron
- Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
- Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
- Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
- Poseidon’s Fury
Volcano Bay express pass rides available:
- Krakatau Aqua Coaster
- Punga Racers
- Maku of Maku Puihi Rouch Rafts Rides
- Puihi of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides
- Honu of Hong Kia Moana
- Ika Moana of Hong Kia Moana
Volcano Bay express rides with Express Plus:
- Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides
- Ko’okiri Body Plunge
- Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohio Drop Slides
- Ohno of Ohyah & Ohio Drop Slides
A Universal Express Pass is basically a FASTPASS for Universal Studios. There are some advantages and disadvantages to the system, and they are not right for every family and every trip. Hopefully now though you know more about what they are and how they work. This will enable you to figure out if they are right for your trip.