Many theme parks offer a fast track ticket that allows guests to skip the regular lines at rides and attractions and thus save a tremendous amount of time. At Universal Orlando Resort, it's called the Universal Express Pass.
Disney World's FastPass+ vs. Universal Express Pass
Not all fast track passes are created equally. There are key differences between Disney World's FastPass+ and the Universal Express Pass.
- At both Disney World and Universal Orlando, the fast pass ticket can be used for a selection of the most popular rides and attractions. Note that the list of participating attractions at Universal Orlando does not include some of the parks' most popular attractions.
- At Disney World, each guest automatically gets three FastPass+ tickets per day and can get three more after those are used. Each FastPass+ can be used on one ride or attraction. At Universal Orlando, the Universal Express Pass is an all-day pass. (Note, however, that there are two tiers of Universal Express Passes).
- A Disney FastPass+ must be scheduled in advance, while the Universal Express Pass does not.
- There is no way to buy additional FastPass+ tickets at Disney World, and every guest gets the same number. At Universal Orlando, the only way to get a Universal Express Pass is to purchase it separately or to acquire it as a perk of being a guest at the on-site resort.
- Because so many guests have Universal Express Passes compared to the crowd-controlled Disney World FastPass+, the fast track lines at Universal Orlando tend to be noticeably longer than those at Disney World.
3 Ways to Get a Universal Express Pass
Universal Express Passes are individual, add-on tickets that you purchase to save time and frustration waiting in long lines. You will, however, be waiting a short while in an express pass queue.
It is important to read the pass information carefully. Passes cover most, but all rides at the theme parks and these may change each year. Prices fluctuate according to the time of year and expected crowds. You can also purchase bundled Universal Express Passes with park tickets.
Stay at a Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort has six beautiful resorts on the property. All of them offer fabulous pools, tons of family and kids' activities, and free shuttles to the theme parks. Three of them also offer free Universal Express Unlimited Passes.
Staying at a Universal Orlando Resort is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get the Universal Express Pass. Many guests at Universal Orlando Resorts think that the access privileges are the best reason to stay at an on-site hotel because they add such tremendous value.
On-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort that offer Universal Express Passes include:
Buy Universal Express Passes
Visitors can purchase several types of Universal Express Passes. The cost of these passes is in addition to the regular theme park admission. It's easiest to buy your passes online, though you can also buy these passes at the entrance gate.
The Universal Express Unlimited Pass allows unlimited access, meaning you can use the pass multiple times on the same attraction. You can purchase a one-day 2-Park Universal Express Unlimited Pass, a Universal Express Unlimited Pass for Islands of Adventure only, or for Universal Studios only.
The next level down is the Universal Express Pass, which you can use only one time on each ride. You can purchase a one-day two-park Universal Express Pass or a one-park Universal Express Pass.
Splurge on a VIP Experience
For a premium price, guests can opt for a VIP experience that may include a behind-the-scenes tour and a meal or other activities, in addition to a Universal Express Pass with access to participating rides.