Disney Parks was the go-to destination in North America for many years, but when Universal came along, people had something else to consider when they wanted to go somewhere for fun rides with the family. With all its animated characters, wonderful set design, and beautiful soundtracks, the innovations of Universal Parks came to life and have made them a worthy attraction to theme park lovers out there. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
Best Rides at Universal Orlando
- Overview, Photo: ingusk/stock.adobe.com
- Rides, Photo: steuccio79/stock.adobe.com
- More Rides, Photo: surpasspro/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of davideb89 - Fotolia.com
Universal Fast Pass - a Quick Guide
Universal Pictures is one of the biggest film companies in the world. The studio has been around for a long time, during which it’s created a very impressive library of movies. The company has earned millions of dollars from making such blockbusters as Pacific Rim, Jurassic Park, Insidious, Fifty Shades of Grey, and many more others.
With so many amazing achievements under the belt, Universal has something to offer for everybody. In addition to making loads of movies every year, Universal Studios also likes to keep busy by running several theme parks. Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay are theme parks that attract a plethora of tourists excited to step into their favorite fictional worlds.
Access to the rides is free only for those who stay on-site at certain Universal hotels. Everyone else must pay an admission fee in order to get to enjoy the theme park experience. What that means is that those people usually end up spending a lot of time in the line to get the tickets.
Fortunately, there’s a way of avoiding all that hassle. We’re talking about Universal fast passes, which are available for anyone who wants to avoid standing in line. With a Universal fast pass in your pocket, you will be able to skip ahead to the fun part. The bad news is that tickets for these theme parks aren’t cheap. Still, considering how awesome they are, it’s definitely worth paying for access.
What exactly is Universal Express Pass?
This pass can be used to skip lines at most of the attractions found at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. A fast pass for Volcano Bay is also available but must be purchased separately. Fast passes can be purchased online ahead of time but are also available on site at eligible theme parks.
How Does the Fast Pass Work?
Universal theme parks have separate queues just for Express Pass holders. Anyone who owns such a pass just needs to show it to the ride attendant who will then scan the card and let them through. There is still a bit of waiting involved but express queues tend to move much faster than regular lines. On average, the waiting time is limited to about 5 to 10 minutes at the most.
It’s also worth mentioning that all members of a party need to have their own Universal Express Pass as these are not group passes! Instead, they are linked to a specific individual, which means that it’s not possible to transfer a fast pass to another person. What this means is that if you decide not to go to a theme park, you won’t be able to resell it or give it to someone else as a gift.
Universal Orlando Single Rider Lines
Although express queues are much faster than regular lines, there is a way of speeding up the process even more. The single rider lines are the fastest queues available at theme parks but come with a tiny caveat.
Just as their name indicates, they require the party to split up once the ride starts. Groups can try to remain together during queues but will often have to separate as each person is assigned the next empty seat available.
Single rider lines drastically reduce waiting times, which is obviously great for those who have been on the ride before. But it might not be ideal for newcomers who would like to get properly introduced to the theme of the ride.
However, those who have already gone through the introductory part will probably want to skip it. Instead, their choice would be the queue that can get them on the ride as fast as possible. Whether that’s the express pass line or the single rider line, it’s up to each visitor.
How Much Does Universal Express Cost?
Universal Express Pass and Universal Express Unlimited are the two types of fast passes available. The primary difference between them is that the express pass can only be used once per day for each available ride. Meanwhile, there is no limit to how many times Express Unlimited can be used.
Fast pass prices can vary depending on a number of factors. As mentioned earlier, there is actually a way to get a fast pass for free. Well, sort of. Visitors who are staying at certain Universal hotels will gain free access to Universal Express. However, you should be aware that booking one of these hotels is definitely not cheap.
Universal Express Unlimited is being offered by the following hotels:
· Universal’s Hard Rock Hotel
· Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
· Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Hotel prices are calculated based on expected crowds. This means that the rates are not the same throughout the year. Sometimes it seems quite afforable to book a room in one of the hotels in the park. But, in most cases, a much cheaper alternative is to stay someplace else. If the latter is your choice, you will have to buy a fast pass separately.
Anyone not planning to stay at one of the Universal hotels will need to purchase a fast pass in order to reap the benefits. In the same manner the hotel rates change, the cost of an express pass can vary from one day to the another. Again, it all depends on how many people want to get in.
Because of all this, it’s worth doing a bit of research ahead of time in order to figure out which option would be the most cost-effective. For example, if you would like to save some money, you should probably stay away from Universal theme parks on weekends. This is because that’s when most people decide to have some fun.
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