universal orlando, express pass

How To Save Money on The Express Pass at Universal Orlando Resort [2024]

By / March 4, 2024

How To Save Money on The Express Pass at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort has two theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. The Universal Express Pass offers priority access to select rides and attractions, but it can be expensive. As a theme park employee, I understand that prices can be frustrating, but I’m here to help you have a great time at the parks! To save money and find cheap tickets and prices for the Universal Express Pass, I recommend purchasing tickets in advance online, visiting during off-peak times, and looking for bundle packages that include hotel stays. Additionally, check out Tiquets for promotions and deals. These tips can help you enjoy your visit without breaking the bank.

What is The Universal Express Pass

Right off the bat, I will say that Hagrids Motorbike Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers do not accept ANY Express Pass, and the only way to skip the line at these attractions is to go on a VIP tour with Universal.

The Universal Express Pass is a powerful tool designed to transform the typical park experience into something far more enjoyable. The Express Pass offers an “Express” path to fun by allowing guests to bypass the standard queues at most attractions across Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

When presented at participating rides, this pass grants access to a particular lane, where wait times are dramatically reduced compared to the stand-by lines (regular line). This efficiency is not just about saving time; it’s about enriching your park visit, enabling more rides and attractions in less time.

The Express Pass’s effectiveness is evident in the smiles of those who pass the stand-by people in line. And the frowns in the regular stand-by line. I am not even joking. lol

Although the Express Pass is a great way to enhance your park experience, it is expensive. With the cost of everything rising and theme park entrance tickets at an all-time high, adding the Express Pass may seem unaffordable.

I 100% understand how you feel. As someone who works at theme parks, I’ve encountered many guests who become belligerent with me about the prices, even though I’m not in charge of them. I sometimes joke with them, saying, “I promise this money doesn’t go into my bank account.”!

Don’t worry, Tiquets ⬆️ ONLY sells the standard express, but you can upgrade to Unlimited at the park, the benefit of that is if that day standard or unlimited is sold out you have the advantage to upgrade because you purchased a ticket already even if it’s from a third party.

How can I Save Money on The Express Pass?

Check out these two platforms for cheaper prices than the park.

Priceline.com and Tiqets.com.

These are reliable websites that many of our guests use to save money versus purchasing it through Universal.

These companies and websites offer various options for purchasing Universal Express Passes, allowing visitors to tailor their theme park journey according to their preferences and budget.

Priceline.com, a trusted name in online travel, provides users with convenient packages and exclusive deals, including express passes, accommodation, and transportation.

Meanwhile, GetYourGuide.com and Tiqets.com offer a hassle-free booking process, making it easy to snag your express pass and dive headfirst into Universal Studios’ excitement.

I have found that these platforms sell them at a more economical price, especially if this is a family trip.


As of right now Trip.com and Expedia.com are charging you double on the Express Pass so avoid them.

As of right now Trip.com and Expedia.com are charging you double on the Express Pass so avoid them.

As of right now Trip.com and Expedia.com are charging you double on the Express Pass so avoid them.

On-Property Luxury Hotels That Include The Unlimited Express Pass

Guests love the convenience of staying on the property, but not all resorts include an express with their stay.

The luxury resorts on the property truly elevate your Universal experience; consider staying at one of the three luxurious on-site resorts: Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, or Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

These three luxury resorts offer complimentary Unlimited Universal Express Passes for each guest. During your stay, the room key doubles as your Express Pass, granting you early park admission.

This grants you Early Park Admission. Early Park Admission is access to the park an hour before the park opens (EPA varies daily always double check the universal website)

EPA is for resort guests, Annual Pass holders (the types and dates of Annual Passes vary), and partnered hotels.

Quick Tip: If you plan on going to the parks before you check in to your hotel,

(Hotel that includes the Express Pass), head over to Guest Services.

They will be able to assist you with your Express Pass so you don’t miss it that day.

Make sure to mobile or physical documents to prove that you are staying at one of these resorts.

Your room key is still valid the day you check out and use the benefits until the end of park hours.

Understanding Your Express Pass Options

When planning your visit to Universal Orlando, it’s essential to understand the different Universal Express Pass options that are available.

Four main types of Express Passes cater to different visitor needs.

These options are divided into one-park and two-park passes, each available in Standard or Unlimited formats.

If you plan to explore Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you should consider purchasing the two-park pass.

However, a one-park pass would be ideal if you’re only interested in visiting one park.

Both Standard and Unlimited options significantly reduce wait times, allowing you to make the most of your day at Universal Orlando.

The Standard Express Pass

The Standard Pass allows for a one-time bypass of the regular queues at each participating attraction, ideal for guests with a clear list of must-do rides.

In other words, one skip at participating rides

The Unlimited Express Pass

On the other hand, the Unlimited Pass offers endless opportunities to skip the lines at your favorite rides, perfect for those who never tire of the thrill and wish to repeat their favorite experiences without long waits.

Those aiming to cover as much ground as possible in a single day might find the two-park pass a literal must, while guests focusing on a more in-depth exploration of a single park might opt for the one-park variant.

The prices go up on the Express pass so often. But the Express Pass price difference from the one-park to the two-park is cheap.


The After 4PM Express Pass

The After 4 PM Express Pass is an ideal option for those who want to experience Universal Orlando’s thrills without spending an entire day or wanting to maximize their budget.

This pass is exclusively available on-site at the resorts, City Walk, and even inside the park; you can purchase one anywhere on Universal Property.

On days the park operates until 8 PM or later (excluding days with early closures for private events).

The After 4PM Express pass is essentially the “One-Park Standard,” but after 4PM, guests can skip one time at each participating attraction in their ONE chosen park.

Now, it doesn’t mean wait until 4PM to buy it. You can buy it any time on the day you plan to use it.

This offering is perfect for those who prefer the cooler, less crowded evening hours to explore the parks.

It’s great for people who spend the morning at other attractions or leisurely exploring Orlando, as it opens the door to an efficient yet exciting evening filled with adventure and excitement.

With this pass, guests can enjoy the action of their favorite rides at a later start to the day or savor the nighttime ambiance.

It’s an intelligent strategy for making unforgettable memories at Universal Orlando.

Volcano Bay Express Pass

Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s vibrant water theme park, presents a unique twist on the traditional Express Pass system.

Unlike the passes used for Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay’s Express Passes are tailored to cater to this aquatic paradise’s distinct atmosphere and attractions. Guests can choose between two distinct options:

The Express PLUS Pass includes all the attractions at one time. It’s perfect for those who wish to use the drop slides, body slides, and body plunges.

The other option is the regular Volcano Bay Express Pass, which doesn’t include the body plunge/slides or drop slides.

This specialized approach ensures that water park enthusiasts maximize their enjoyment and efficiently navigate Volcano Bay’s thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools.

The convenience of these passes transforms the experience, allowing guests to indulge in more of Volcano Bay’s offerings, from the adrenaline-pumping Krakatau Aqua Coaster to the serene relaxation of Waturi Beach, with a fraction of the wait time.

By choosing the appropriate Express Pass for your adventure, guests can seamlessly blend relaxation with excitement for a truly unforgettable, gorgeous day at Volcano Bay.

1-Park Universal Express PLUS Pass: Universal 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

  • Tonga of Taniwha Tubes

  • Raki of Taniwha Tubes

  • Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge

  • Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides

  • Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides

1-Park Universal Express Pass: Universal 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

  • Tonga of Taniwha Tubes

  • Raki of Taniwha Tubes


  • Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides

  • Ko’okiri Body Plunge

  • Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides

  • Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides

Frequently Asked Questions

es! You can use your room key for the time of your stay to hop to for parking and pool use and bar hop across all Universal resorts.

No. The ticket is a separate physical or digital product.

All of the Express Passes are only valid at participating rides and shows

Absolutely! Just keep in mind that during busy seasons or holidays, they usually sell out before 12 pm

Of course! The benefits of having an express pass come any time of the year!

No, you can use the pass at your leisure throughout its validity.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Express Pass

1. Can Express Passes be used at every

2. Is it possible to buy an Express Pass on the same day as my park visit?

“You can buy Express Passes on the day of your visit, but availability is not guaranteed. I highly recommend purchasing your pass in advance, especially during busy periods and peak seasons, to maximize your time during your visit. It’s important to note that going to guest services on a day when Express Passes are sold out will not guarantee you one.

3. Does investing in an Express Pass genuinely enhance the park experience?

Investing in an Express Pass can greatly enhance your experience no matter what time of year. With reduced waiting times, you can enjoy your visit to the park in a more relaxed and enjoyable manner. You can see and do more during your visit if you purchase the park-to-park ticket with the Express Pass. Typically, the difference between a one-park Express Pass and a park-to-park Express Pass is only $10 to $20. In my opinion, based on my previous experience, I would recommend getting the unlimited pass. This is because many people finish all the rides early in the day and decide to ride them again, only to find themselves waiting in the regular stand-by line.

4. If I’ve already bought my park ticket, can I add an Express Pass later?

Yes, you have the option of buying an Express Pass separately, it is not an upgrade to your entrance ticket. However, please note that the cost of an Express Pass is typically twice as much as the entrance ticket. You can purchase it on the property upon arrival, but be aware that it may sell out quickly.

5. Do I have to make ride reservations with Universal Express?

No – Universal Orlando Resort doesn’t use ride reservations. You do not need to book a return time, reservation or use an app.

Similar Posts