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Universal's latest paid FASTPASS-like system for reducing your wait in line has multiple components that can help you get the most from your day. We'll show you how making the right choices (with the use of a touring plan) can make it even better.
Last updated: August 14, 2023
Universal Express is a “skip-the-regular-line” service offered at many rides and shows in Universal's parks. If you’ve been to another theme park or amusement park, you’re probably familiar with how lines work: you see a ride you want to experience, like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and you get in the line to ride it. These regular lines are usually called the “standby” lines. And there’s usually a sign out in front that says, “The wait is 60 minutes” or similar.
Those with Universal Express Pass use a separate line for the same ride, and this queue is set up for faster access. That 60-minute standby wait for Forbidden Journey might be under 10 minutes via the Universal Express queue. As you might expect, faster access costs extra money.
For many groups the most cost-effective way to get Universal Express access is to stay at one of the three "Premier" Universal Orlando hotels. That’s because Universal Express Unlimited for both theme parks is included with those stays – in fact, you get it at no extra charge for your entire stay, including the the days that you check-in and check-out. If you’re visiting Universal Orlando for two or more days, this is one of the top recommendations we can make to you.
There are three different kinds of Universal Express:
Each Universal Express pass includes ride access for one person for a specific date.
The 1-park version of Universal Express and Universal Express Unlimited includes Universal Express access to either USF's or IOA's attractions. A 2-park version is available if you plan to visit two parks in a single day and want to use the Universal Express lines at both parks. Any Universal Express pass can be purchased in-person, online, or in Universal Orlando's official app. Purchasing in advance normally saves you money, so we recommend you buy in advance if you know you want it. Also, if you're unsure how many parks you'll visit, you can upgrade a 1-park Express pass to a 2-park version while in the parks.
Universal Express is easier to use than Disney’s Lightning Lane services.
When you want to use Universal Express, just head for the attraction you want to experience. When you get there, go to the Universal Express queue entrance and show or scan your Universal Express pass at the entrance to gain access. That’s it!
Universal Express is offered at almost all of Universal Orlando's rides and shows – that's 30+ attractions in just the two theme parks!
Select a park to see its Universal Express attractions:
Like with airline tickets and hotel rooms, pricing for Universal Express passes is dynamic: the price depends the day for which the pass is valid, and the price may vary depending when you purchase it. Cost ranges (including tax) for Universal Express are listed below:
Note that park admission is not included in the price of Universal Expess. Also, all Express passes are the same price for children and adults; there’s no discount for kids or seniors.
Express pass purchases are not refundable. This is another reason why getting Express pass by staying at a Universal hotel is a good idea: you can cancel your hotel reservation – which includes Universal Express for free at the Universal's Premier hotels – and get a full refund for your room.
Yes. And we recommend buying Universal Express in advance, especially if you’re visiting during a busy time like Spring Break or Christmas. That’s because Universal Express prices often increase as more of them are sold, plus they can also sell out.
Waits in the Universal Express lines range from zero – just walk directly on the ride – to more than 20 minutes on very busy days.
To put that in perspective, standby waits at popular attractions can average 180 minutes on very busy days.
Yes. All of our Universal Orlando touring plans work with both Universal Express and Universal Express Unlimited. When you create a touring plan, we’ll ask if you’re using one of these services.
If you’re using Express, the touring plans will automatically know what to do. Your plan will tell you which attractions offer Express and when to use it. It’s really simple.
Universal’s Premier hotels (Loews Portofino Bay, Loews Royal Pacific, and Hard Rock Hotel) include complimentary Universal Express Unlimited in the price of the room. That’s the 2-Park version of Universal Express Unlimited – access that costs over $400 per person on busy days. The "free" Express passes are valid for every person in the room for every day of the stay, including check-in and check-out days.
This is why we tell everyone who’s thinking about buying Universal Express to just stay at a qualifying Universal hotel. You need a place to stay anyway, and it’s often much cheaper to stay at one of these hotels and get Universal Express than to stay somewhere else and pay for Universal Express separately.
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