When visiting Universal Orlando theme parks you want to see and do everything possible during your trip. Waiting in long lines is certainly not part of anyone’s dream vacation. Universal Orlando Express Pass is one way you can avoid waiting in long lines on your next vacation.
What Is Universal Orlando Express Pass?
Universal Orlando Express Pass is a special ticket add-on that allows you to skip traditional standby queues. Many attractions, but not all, at Universal Orlando have an Express Pass line that lets you wait for a shorter time than the regular line.
There are several different Express Pass options you can purchase as a ticket add-on. Universal Express Unlimited allows you to use the shorter queue multiple times per attraction. However, with Universal Express Pass you can only skip the regular standby line once. Volcano Bay water park has its own version, Universal Express PLUS.
Universal Orlando Express Pass Hotels
Another way you can add Express Pass to your park visit is by staying at certain premier hotels. Three Universal Orlando Resorts have Universal Express Unlimited included as part of your hotel stay: Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Resort.
Your Express Pass is valid for the entirety of your resort stay. This includes the day you check out of the hotel, too.
What Attractions Have Express Pass?
There are several Express Pass attractions at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Many popular attractions that normally have long wait times at Universal Orlando have a time saving Express Pass line.
Please note that Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure does not currently have an Express Pass line. The only way you can ride this popular and fun attraction is by waiting in the traditional standby line or virtual queue.
Islands of Adventure Express Pass Rides
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®
- The Cat in the Hat
- Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
- Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
- Flight of the Hippogriff
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
- Hogwarts Express (guests must have a park-to-park ticket to ride)
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Jurassic Park River Adventure (temporarily closed)
- Jurassic World VelociCoaster
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
- Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
- Poseidon’s Fury
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- Storm Force Accelatron
Universal Studios Florida Express Pass Rides
- The Bourne Stuntacular
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- E.T. Adventure
- Fast & Furious – Supercharged
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Hogwarts Express (guests must have a park-to-park ticket to ride)
- Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
- Men in Black Alien Attack
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Revenge of the Mummy
- The Simpsons Ride
- Transformers: The Ride-3D
Volcano Bay Express Pass Rides
- Honu of Honu ika Moana
- ika Moana of Honu ika Moana
- Krakatau Aqua Coaster
- Maku of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides
- Puihi of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides
- Punga Racers
- Taniwha Tubes
These Rides Require Express PLUS
- Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides
- Ko’okiri Body Plunge
- Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
- Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
How Does Universal Express Pass Work?
Show your Universal Orlando Express Pass to an employee in the Express Pass line. They scan your Express Pass barcode and check your profile picture to make sure the right person is using the pass. After scanning is complete, enter the shorter Express Pass line instead of the traditional standby queue.
At Volcano Bay, Express Pass is added onto your Tapu Tapu wristband. Use Express Pass to enter the queue instead of coming back at a designated return time.
Universal Orlando Express Pass Waits
Express Pass lets you skip the main standby line, but you still wait to ride attractions. The time you wait depends on the specific attraction and can increase when overall crowds are high. Don’t expect to walk through the line and immediately board the ride.
How Much Does Express Pass Cost?
Registered guests of Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Resort get Universal Express Pass as part of their hotel stay. Only guests registered to the room receive the Express Pass benefit. However, these premier hotels come with a larger price tag than the other Universal Orlando Resorts.
The cost to add Universal Orlando Express Pass to your Universal Park ticket varies dramatically based on how many parks you include, the date you visit, and your choice of the unlimited or one time Express Pass option.
Express Pass fees are in addition to the price of your park tickets. The base price for Universal Express one park per day ranges from $89.99 to $349.99 per day based on date and expected crowd levels.
Universal Express Unlimited ranges from $99.99 to $379.99 per day depending on your dates while Volcano Bay Express can cost anywhere from $19.99 to $149.99 a day.
An Express Pass that works at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure on the same day is, not surprisingly, even more expensive.
Choose your exact trip dates here to get the most accurate Universal Express Pass pricing information.
Is Universal Orlando Express Pass Worth It?
There are certainly times where Universal Orlando Express Pass is worth the expense. During high crowd seasons like Christmas, New Year, and spring break having an Express Pass lets you do more on your vacation. However, when crowds are low, buying the Universal Orlando Express Pass isn’t worth it. Instead save that money and use it for something like your interactive wand at Ollivanders.
If you are considering Universal Orlando premier resorts anyway, Express Pass certainly enhances your overall vacation experience at no additional cost. Our favorite Universal Orlando resort with built in Express Pass is Portofino Bay Resort. Royal Pacific is a less expensive resort with the same pass benefit that is worth considering, too.
Final Thoughts On Universal Orlando Express Pass
Universal Orlando tickets can be costly, and adding on Express Pass can be a considerable expense. If you have limited time to visit Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure or are visiting at high crowd times of year, Universal Express Pass can make your experience more enjoyable. However, if you have multiple days, are staying at an on-site Universal Orlando resort with access to Early Park Admission, or visiting during off-season then you can skip Express Pass.
Staying at Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay Resort is also a great way to stay in a nice hotel plus get access to the Universal Orlando Express Pass. We’ve found this is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of Express Pass without incurring additional fees.
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