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Maximize Your Theme Park Visit with the Universal Express Pass

Joey Hill

Wishdrawals Travel



Universal Orlando Resort is a world-renowned destination with resorts and theme parks with unforgettable adventure filled with thrills, entertainment, and magic. One of the best ways to enhance your visit and make the most of your time is taking advantage of the Universal Express Pass. In this post, I'll delve into the ins and outs of this valuable tool and provide you with tips on how to make the most of it during your visit.


What is Universal Express Pass?

The Universal Express Pass is a premium add-on that grants you priority access to some of the most popular rides, attractions, and shows at Universal Orlando. It's like having a golden ticket to skip regular lines, giving you more time to explore the parks.


There are two types of Universal Express Pass:

  • Universal Express Pass: This pass allows you to bypass regular lines once per participating attraction.

  • Universal Express Unlimited Pass: With this pass, you can enjoy unlimited express access to participating attractions as many times as you like throughout the day.


Benefits of Using Universal Express Pass:

  • Time-Saving: By skipping regular lines, you'll have more time to experience additional attractions, shows, and dining options.

  • Stress Reduction: Long lines can be stressful, especially during peak times. With Express Pass, you can enjoy a more relaxed and leisurely visit.

  • Flexible Planning: You can use your Express Pass at your own pace, allowing you to tailor your day to suit your preferences.

  • Enhanced Experience: Enjoy popular attractions without the hassle of waiting, ensuring you get the most out of your visit.


How to Use Universal Express Pass Effectively:

  • Plan Your Day in Advance: Familiarize yourself with the attractions covered by the Express Pass and create a rough itinerary.

  • Arrive Early: Arriving at the parks early can help you make the most of the Express Pass, especially if you're planning to experience the most sought-after rides.

  • Prioritize Popular Attractions: Use your Express Pass on high-demand rides and attractions first to maximize its benefits.

  • Take Advantage of Non-Peak Times: During off-peak hours, lines tend to be shorter. If you can arrive before or at park opening, you will have the best chance of having little to no lines. In the evening, about 3 to 4 hours prior to closing, seems to be a good time to visit the parks, as well. Use these opportunities to explore attractions without needing to use your Express Pass.

  • Stay On-Site: If you're staying at one of Universal's on-site hotels, you can enjoy early park access at Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios, giving you a head start on the most popular attractions and then use your Express Pass once the park opens officially.


Ways to Obtain Universal's Express Pass

  • Pre-Purchase: Before your visit, you have the option to add the Universal Express Pass to your tickets or package online. Your travel planner can assist with getting this added to your package. 

  • Included with Select Hotel Stays: Guests staying at one of the Premiere Universal Orlando Resort hotels may receive complimentary Universal Express Passes as part of their stay. These include Loews Portofino Bay, an Italian-themed resort, Loews Royal Pacific, a South Seas resort and the Hard Rock Hotel. This is a significant perk that offers even more value to your hotel experience and in some cases can be less than paying for the Express Pass on your own depending on the size of your party. 

  • VIP Tours: Opting for a VIP tour at Universal Orlando Resort grants you access to an expert guide who will take you on a personalized tour of the parks. As part of this premium service, you'll receive a Universal Express Unlimited Pass, ensuring you can enjoy priority access for the rest of your day in the parks. 

  • On-Site Purchase: Last and definitely least! Upon arrival at Universal Orlando Resort, you can purchase the Universal Express Pass at the entrance of the parks or at designated kiosks inside the park. This option is available for day visitors and can be added to your park admission.  Express availability is limited and price increases as availability decreases so we recommend planning in advance and only using this option as a last resort. 


The Express Pass is a great way to be able to see both parks if you only have a one day park-to-park ticket which is a nice addition for those visiting Disney who want to experience Universal Studios or for a pre or post cruise treat if you’re sailing out of Port Canaveral but flying in or out of Orlando International Airport.  


The Universal Express Pass is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to make the most of their Universal Orlando experience. By understanding how to use it effectively, you can streamline your visit, reduce stress, and enjoy more attractions during your stay. Remember to plan ahead, arrive early, and prioritize popular rides for the best results. With the Universal Express Pass, you're sure to create lasting memories of an incredible adventure at Universal Orlando Resort.


Joey has been a travel planner for over 10 years.  He and his family call East Tennessee their home, although you may hear him claim Walt Disney World as his home.  He loves planning Disney and Universal trips but is happy to help you plan travel anywhere around the world!



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