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Universal Studios Orlando: What is Express Pass and How Do I Get It?

Have you heard about the Express Pass at Universal Studios Orlando? It allows you to skip the line on almost every ride in the parks. Is it worth it? In a word…ABSOLUTELY! There are three different ways to obtain the Express Pass, and we will get to that further down but imagine how much time you would save in your day not waiting in lines. The last time my family was at Universal with the Express Pass, we had one day that we were able to ride 25 rides in about 8 hours! 25!!!!!! We just hopped from ride to ride all day without waiting.

So, how does it work? Once you have the Express Pass, it allows you to enter a different line

queue from the stand-by and single-rider line. When you see the stand-by line being maybe 45 min, 60 min, 120 min or even longer, you will bypass that line with the Express Pass. In most cases, it is also a shorter walk from the entrance to board the ride.

How can you get the Express Pass? There are three ways.

The first is the basic Express Pass. This one allows you to use the Express Pass line at each ride one time for the day. You can purchase this pass for one day or every day of your trip. The price varies based on if you are visiting only one park versus park-to-park and even which park(s) you are visiting and how many days you want it. These prices have been seen ranging from $69-289 per person (this price does not include your park ticket) per day.

The second way is the Unlimited Express Pass. This allows you to use the Express Pass line as many times as you like for each ride. This option is perfect if you like to ride rides over and over again. We may or may not be the family that gets off Hulk and circles around to get right back in line again! Ha ha! This pass is also purchased for a single day or each day of your trip. The price also varies just like the standard Express Pass.

The final, and perhaps best, way to get the Unlimited Express is for free. FREE!!! How can you do that? Easy, by staying at one of Universal’s Premier Hotels. Seriously, that is all. By booking one of the three premier hotels at Universal, you get the Unlimited Express Pass for each day you are there visiting the parks. The three options include Loews Royal Pacific which is themed for the South Seas, the Hard Rock Hotel, every rocker’s dream, and Loews Portofino Bay that gives you an escape to Italy. I’ve had the opportunity to stay at all three of these hotels, and they are all beautiful. They all stay true to their theme and even offer additional activities onsite that follow that theme. My favorite is the Hard Rock Hotel because I am a huge music lover, and who doesn’t love a drum stick art wall? Even more of a bonus: these three hotels are super close to entrance to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You can make it a quick walk or boat ride over. You can also grab a quick bus over to Volcano Bay.

The Express Pass hands down is worth it. Being able to bypass the long lines and enjoy more of the parks can make an amazing vacation even better. Let your travel planner know you want the Express Pass next time you visit Universal Orlando.


Special thanks to guest blogger Kiersten with Wishdrawals Travel. Kiersten is a travel planner who loves vacationing at Disney World and Universal Studios and is ready to help you plan your next Disney or Universal Studios vacation! Contact Kiersten and request a quote!

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