Universal Express Pass, is it worth it?

20190729_191756

There is an ongoing debate if the express pass at Universal Studios Orlando is worth the money you’ll need to shell out for it.

My answer is yes, but not by itself.

If you’re traveling from far away and needing to stay at a hotel, you’re better off staying at one of the on-site resorts that include the Unlimited Express pass with your stay.

I had booked the Aventura hotel almost a year in advance of our trip and was happy with my choice.  I had paid it off in 2 payments and was all set including the park tickets for us all.

About a month and a half before our trip, my husband mentioned to me that we should probably look into the express passes since we were going late July which is a busy time (I mean, is there any time that isn’t busy there?). I checked them out and noticed the site says $69.99 for the regular Express pass.

That is until I chose my specific dates. The prices jumped to $189 each for the unlimited Express passes! I couldn’t believe my eyes… I decided to wait and look around. I noticed that the top tier hotels on site, the Hard Rock Orlando and Lowes Pacifica both included free unlimited Express passes for all guests during your stay.

If I purchased the Express passes separately, it would’ve costed my just under $800.

I called to inquire about upgrading my hotel to the Hard Rock and to my surprise it was just $600 more than what I had already paid OR for an additional $800 we would get Rock Royalty Club level at the hotel.

I chose the latter and man am I happy I did.  We had an AMAZING time, and the Hard Rock Club Level is definitely worth the extra money.

We took the path right from the hotel which is a 7 minute walk to City Walk and the entrance to both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We were able to take our time getting to the parks in the morning, and then leave around 12 to go back to the hotel, take a dip in the amazing pool and hot tub, eat, and head back to the parks.

20190730_083106.jpg

It was so care free and leisurely.  Getting to go in the Express lane, even during the peak July month, meant 5-10 minute waits MAX even on the newest rides (make sure the rides you want accept express passes).

Take note of the Express pass which allows one express ride per ride vs. The Express unlimited pass which allows you on the rides as many times as you’d like over and over if you chose.

Overall, YES it is so worth it, especially during the busiest Summer months.  But I suggest you check the on site hotel rates that include them before shelling out the money for the passes themselves.

Did you already book a hotel or driving from local? No worries, you can always decide once you get to the parks If you want to add an Express pass. They’re the same price at the park and Express passes are sold all over in all 3 universal parks.

The following are the rides that accept express passes as of August 2019:

Participating rides and attractions subject to change without notice.

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’ Hurlv
  • 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™

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Universal Express Pass, is it worth it?

  1. If there’s anything I can’t stand it’s waiting…anywhere…in line at the amusement park, at the doctor’s, in the grocery store checkout line. My middle name is “Impatience”

  2. This is something I have really wanted to do. Universal is one of the few parks on the west coast we have not visited. Thanks for the tips to make this a bit easier on the wallet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.