Universal Express Pass 101

No one likes to wait in lines. Unfortunately, a theme park vacation usually means you’ll have to spend some of your trip waiting for an attraction. While modern theme park attractions are designed to quickly process as many guests as possible, it’s impossible to simply walk on every ride. Luckily Universal Orlando Resort has its Express Pass system in place for most of its popular rides. With a little planning, this perk can significantly cut down on your time in line and keep you moving to enjoy all the resort has to offer.

Universal’s Express Pass is a system that allows guests to bypass the normal standby line at many attractions for shorter wait times. Unlike Walt Disney World’s FastPass system, there are no set return times, which allows guests to use their passes when and where they choose. The pass is eligible for use at Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. While it should be noted that an Express Pass won’t let you skip the entire line, it can significantly cut the time you would have spent standing around without it.

To use Express Pass, simply look for the designated line-entry marked by a sign on each attraction. You will then scan either your park ticket or hotel room key (if staying at a Premier hotel) with a Universal Team Member, and be directed where to go from there. At attractions that utilize a virtual queue like Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and the slides at Volcano Bay, your pass will allow you to bypass the virtual line or preshow, and go straight to the ride.

Express Pass Types

  • Basic Express Pass: This option can be purchased separately and allows guests to utilize the Express Pass entrance on eligible attractions, only once in a day. This means that after you’ve used your pass for a specific attraction, you will only be able to ride it again by using the standby queue.
  • Universal Express Unlimited: This option is also available for separate purchase or as an addition to ticket and package purchases, and gives guests the ability to use the Express Pass line an unlimited number of times at eligible attractions for the day.
  • Universal Express Unlimited (Premier Resort Perk): Guests staying at one of Universal Orlando’s Premier Resorts (Loews Royal Pacific, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay) enjoy complimentary Universal Express Unlimited passes for the length of their stay (including check-in and out dates).
  • Express PLUS: This option is only available for Volcano Bay and provides access to a selection of rides not available for standard Express Pass, at an upcharge.
Men in Black Universal Studios Florida

Express Pass Attractions

Universal Studios Florida

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
  • Hogwarts Express (Park-to-Park admission ticket required)
  • 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 & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • E.T. Adventure
  • Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Hogwarts Express (Park-to-Park admission ticket required)
  • 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
  • Caro-Seuss-el
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls
  • Poseidon’s Fury

Universal’s Volcano Bay

  • Krakatau Aqua Coaster
  • Punga Racers
  • Maku of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides
  • Puihi of Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides
  • Honu of Honu ika Moana
  • ika Moana of Honu ika Moana
  • Taniwha Tubes

Additional Rides Available with Express PLUS:

  • Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides
  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge
  • Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
  • Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides

If you need help planning your perfect vacation, contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.

Some Photos Courtesy Universal