Universal Express Pass

Universal Express Pass

Universal Express Pass is an added option to a ticket to provide faster access to the attractions at Universal Orlando resort provided at some basic cost. These passes give you priority over all other guests who do not have the pass making front of the line access almost a real possibility. Today’s goal is to provide you with everything you could possibly need to know in order to make a decision of whether or not the Universal Express option is one that is going to fit your vacation needs.

Express is accepted in both Universal Studios and Islands of adventure in most attractions. The exceptions are the Hogwarts Express at both parks, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Pterandon Flyers at IOA, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Kang and Kodos Twirl and Hurl at the Studios park.

You can get the Universal Express Pass in two basic ways. You can either purchase it onilne or in park, or you can get it with your stay at one of the onsite deluxe hotels. Cabana Bay Beach resort is excluded from the program but the Royal Pacific, the Hard Rock Hotel, and Portofino Bay all have the option included with your stay.

The hotel inclusion is good right through the day of your checkout, giving you an extra days pass. Even if you stay only one night at a deluxe resort, your express pass is valid for both your check in day as well as your check out day. The hotel also provides multi use Express Pass option in that you can use it unlimited times for the same attraction. This is an important factor to realize when doing your budgeting.

Purchasing the Universal Express Pass is also available. The price and options vary with season and park options being the factors in determining the cost. A single park pass in value season starts at $34.99 and at peak can run as much as $109.99. A two park pass is available and costs as low as $39.99 and at peak as high as $119.99. These tickets are good for all participating attractions one time each per day.

Let’s put those prices into perspective because it is such an extreme difference.



 1 park Express Pass  2 park Express Pass
 slow – $34.99  slow – $39.99
 medium – $59.99  medium – $69.99
 busy – $89.99  busy – $99.99
 max – $109.99  max – $119.99


If you are planning ahead and need to see if this will break your budget, you can find out exactly what they cost each day by visiting the Universal Orlando website add on options page . Of course your budgeting wouldn’t be complete without knowing the costs of the Deluxe hotels on propery as well. You can find that on the Lowes Universal Orlando availability page.

In order to take advantage of your Universal Express Pass you simply approach the queue of any participating attraction and look for the Express Pass Queue, often next to the stand by line.  A team member will validate your pass and let you in where you will not only skip past all of the non express pass guests but typically it is a much shorter walk as well.

In addition to the park usage of the Universal Express Pass program there is also a separate option for the Universal Orlando hard ticketed event Halloween Horror Nights. This option is good for only the event and your day option Express Pass is not valid here. These options start at $49.99 for the least popular nights of Halloween Horror Nights to as much as $109.99 for the busiest evenings of the event.

Choosing if you will be wanting to use this option and what is the most practical way is going to inevitably come down to doing some math. If you are spending two days in the parks with a group of four almost certainly the higher price of staying one night at a deluxe resort is going to give you a savings and being able to visit attractions repeatedly is going to make for one happy family.

If you are not staying on site or are staying at Cabana Bay Beach resort you can also purchase the option in the park if you suddenly feel overwhelmed or the lines are much bigger than you expected.

One last mention if you are with or are an Annual Passholder. The Power Pass option will get you a %10 discount on your theme park tickets and express pass options at the gate, while a Preferred Pass or Premium Pass will get you %15 off. One passholder can apply this discount to your entire group.

Now you are armed with the facts, get out that spreadsheet and start calculating what the cost to benefit ration will be and determine if the Universal Express Pass program is going to be right for you and your family.