Universal Express Pass Discount + Is it Worth It?

Universal Express Pass Discount is available starting at $194.99 versus $399 gate price which includes an admission ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood while you can get a FREE Universal Express Pass for Universal Orlando when booking one of the 3 hotels at Universal Orlando Resort.

Check out if the Universal Express Pass is worth it during your visit and the different kinds and how to use it.

Universal Express Pass

WHAT IS UNIVERSAL EXPRESS

Universal Express is a pass that allows you to skip the regular lines at a participating ride, show, or attraction at Universal Studios theme parks. Universal Studios Hollywood offers 2 kinds of Universal Express Passes and Univeral Orlando offers 3 types of Universal Express Passes:

A. Universal Express Pass – available in Hollywood & Orlando

The basic Universal Express Pass allows you to skip the regular lines “one-time” per participating ride, seated show, and attraction.

Universal Studios Hollywood sells the Universal Express Pass with 1-Day General Admission as a combo ticket but you can also upgrade at the theme park if you already have a general admission ticket and only need the Universal Express Pass add-on. Buy the discount Universal Express Pass with 1-day General Admission ticket starting at $194.99.

Universal Orlando sells the Universal Express Pass as an add-on and as ticket + express pass combo for 2, 3, 4, and 5-day visits. There are 3 theme parks at Universal Orlando – Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay Water Park.

You can buy an Express Pass at one theme park only or for both Universal Studios Florida and Islands Adventure. The Universal Express Pass at Volcano Bay allows you to skip Virtual Lines at select participating rides and attractions.

B. Universal Express Unlimited Pass – available in Hollywood & Orlando

The second type of Universal Express Pass is the Universal Express Unlimited Pass. Compared to the Universal Express Pass which only allows you to skip the regular lines one time per attraction, the Universal Express Unlimited Pass allows guests to skip the regular lines at participating rides, seated shows, and attractions for an “unlimited time” in a day.

C. Universal Express Plus Pass – available at Volcano Bay

The third type of pass is the Universal Express Plus Pass which allows guests to skip the Virtual Iines at ALL participating rides and attractions at Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park.


HOW TO USE THE UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS

To use your Universal Express Pass and skip the regular lines at Universal Studios theme park, simply line up at the Universal Express Pass line at the particular ride and present your Express Pass ticket so it can be scanned by a Universal staff.

Universal Express Pass Queue to Scan Ticket

Our admission ticket was also our Express Pass ticket during our visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. I recommend buying a lanyard with a cardholder so you don’t need to keep pulling out your ticket and also to make sure you are in the right line. During our visit, some people with Express Pass are lining up at the regular line and vice versa.


UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS VS UNLIMITED – THE DIFFERENCE

The difference between Universal Express Pass VS Unlimited is the number of times you can skip the regular lines per attraction at Universal Studios. With the Universal Express Pass, you can only skip the regular lines “One-Time” per participating attraction versus the Universal Express Unlimited Pass which allows you to skip the regular lines “Unlimited Times” per participating attraction.

So which should I get, the Universal Express Pass versus the Universal Express Unlimited Pass? I think if it’s your 1st time going to Universal Studios theme park, the basic Universal Express Pass will do as you simply want to ride every ride within your visit. If it’s already your 2nd visit and you already have your favorite rides, then get the Unlimited Pass so you can skip the regular lines multiple times at your favorite ride or shows. If budget is not an issue then go ahead and get the unlimited pass.


IS UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS WORTH IT?

The Universal Express Pass is totally worth it as you get to skip the regular lines which are about 1 to 2 hours long during some weekends, holidays, or during Spring Break and Summer Break when the crowd at Universal Studios is at its peak.

We visited Universal Studios Hollywood on a Saturday during the start of Spring Break season (March) and lines to the rides were at least an hour long and even 2 hours long by noon. Because we had a Universal Express Pass, we skip all the regular lines and were able to go on the best rides at Universal Studios Hollywood almost instantly.

Universal Front of the Line Pass
The 2-hour Regular Line at Universal Studios Studios Tour

Our longest wait on the Universal Express Pass Line was about 5 to 10 minutes long compared to the regular line which was 1 to 2 hours long so the Universal Express Pass was totally worth it. The only reason there is a wait on the Universal Express Pass line was there are also other Express Pass holders like us or sometimes the path you have to walk from the ride entrance to the actual ride is a little long but there are movie props along the way usually.

During our visit, we were able to finish going on all the rides and shows at Universal Studios Hollywood between 9 AM to 6 PM which included a lunch break at Minions Cafe, shopping for souvenirs at Universal Studio Store, tons of picture taking, ice cream break at Studio Scoop, trying out Butterbeer, and picking a wand at Ollivanders Wand plus plenty of time in between to try the interactive wand at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We were even the 1st to ride the famous Studio Tour since we had a Universal Express Pass while those without an Express Pass had to wait for 2 hours long so the Universal Express Pass was totally worth it.

You can download the Universal Studios App to check for real-time wait times.

Universal Express Pass Worth It
Wait Times on 4/12/22, Tuesday at 1 PM

IS UNIVERSAL EXPRESS UNLIMITED WORTH IT?

The Universal Express Unlimited is worth it if you think you will ride some rides again and if the operating hours during your visit are longer like during the weekends which will give you ample time to ride all the rides once plus re-ride some rides again.

When we visited, we rode all the rides “one-time” using a Universal Express Pass (not Unlimited) plus had breaks in between and finished everything from 9 AM to 6 PM and I think that was already enough as I was already tired and didn’t need the Universal Express Unlimited especially since we live close by and could go back again.

Just note that the Universal Express is not valid on the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride but it does include a one-time (per day) reservation-free entry into Super Nintendo World when reservations are required to enter the land.


HOTELS WITH UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS

Universal Studios Hollywood

FREE Universal Express Pass is not available when booking a hotel near Universal Studios Hollywood but you can save up to 20% off when you bundle your choice of hotel with Universal Express including 1-Day General Admission ticket.

Universal Orlando

Hotels with Universal Express Pass is available in Universal Orlando where you can get a FREE Universal Express Unlimited Pass & early park admission when you stay at any of the 3 participating hotels (theme park admission required). The 3 Universal Express Pass hotels are Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. Book a Universal Orlando Express Unlimited Package to Save!


UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS PRICE

The Universal Express Pass price varies by day and if you get it online or at the gate. You can buy the Universal Express Pass at the park but it usually costs more to buy tickets and passes at attractions versus online. You can also upgrade to Universal Express Pass inside the theme park if you only have an admission ticket (subject to availability).

Universal Express Pass Prices
Universal Express Ticket Prices at the Gate

Universal Orlando

The cost of the Universal Orlando Express Pass starts at $79 while the Universal Express Unlimited starts at $109.

Universal Hollywood

The cost of the Universal Hollywood Express Pass range from $199 to $319, depending on when you are visiting. To save, check out the Universal Express Pass discount below.


UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS DISCOUNT

Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Discount is available starting at $194.99 versus the $399 gate price which already includes your admission ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood. For other Universal Studios Discount like 1-Day Admission Ticket Discount or Universal + Disneyland Discounts, check our post – Universal Studios Hollywood Discount Tickets for 10 available ticket deals including Costco Universal California tickets.

Universal Orlando Express Pass Discount is not available at this time but you can get a FREE Universal Orlando Express Pass if you book with the 3 participating hotels. Another Universal Orlando deal to take advantage of is the Buy 3 Days, Get 2 Days Free promotion available right now for up to $218 savings on select dates, it doesn’t include a Universal Express Pass but the 2 free days will make up for it.

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. You don’t need a promo code for Universal Express Pass to avail of the ticket deal.


UNIVERSAL EXPRESS PASS RIDES

Universal Hollywood

You can use your Universal Express Pass at all the rides and shows at Universal Studios Hollywood except for the Ollivanders Wand experience. Check out the Universal Express Pass Rides below.

Universal Studios Hollywood Express Pass Ride List:

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • DreamWorks Theatre featuring Kung Fu Panda
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Jurassic World – The Ride
  • Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride
  • Silly Swirly Fun Ride
  • The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • The World-Famous Studio Tour
  • Transformers: The Ride-3D
Universal Express Pass Line
The path inside The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash ride when you have a Universal Express Pass

Universal Orlando

Not all the rides at Universal Orlando are available with an Express Pass. Check out the Universal Orlando Express Pass Ride List below.

Universal Studios Florida Express Pass Ride List:

  • The Bourne Stuntacular
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • E.T. Adventure
  • Fast & Furious – Supercharged
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™
  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
  • Hogwarts™ Express (Park-to-Park admission ticket required)
  • Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
  • MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • The Simpsons Ride™
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D
  • Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster

Universal’s Islands Of Adventure Express Pass Ride List:

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®
  • Caro-Seuss-el™
  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall®
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®
  • Flight of the Hippogriff™
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™
  • Hogwarts™ Express (Park-to-Park admission ticket required)
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster®
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure
  • Poseidon’s Fury
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • Storm Force Accelatron®

Universal’s Volcano Bay Express Pass Ride List:

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

Additional Rides Available with Express PLUS:

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

Universal Express Pass Exclusions:

The only rides that do not have Express access at Universal Orlando in either park are Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and Pteranodon Flyers at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.


Buy a Universal Hollywood Express Pass Discount Tickets – $194.99 to $286.99 versus $399 gate price or Book a Universal Orlando Express Unlimited Package to Save!


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