Universal Orlando – All About Express Pass

As you know, your ticket/hotel package includes Express Pass, but what exactly is that?  This article will cover some of the more commonly asked questions regarding Express Pass.

What is Express Pass?

Express Pass allows you to skip the regular standby line, going through an expedited queue, that will have a much shorter wait!  Most rides at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have an Express Pass queue.

Express is not a front-of-the-line pass, but it will greatly reduce your wait and allow you to cover more rides and attractions at a relaxed pace during your vacation!  Typically the wait is less than 15 minutes.

How does it work?

Staying onsite at Universal at Portofino Bay, Royal Pacific or Hard Rock Hotel: Your Express Pass will be on your room key.  Be sure everyone in your party gets a room key – even the children!  You can only use your Express Pass, they cannot be shared.

If you are staying onsite at Cabana Bay or Sapphire Falls: if you have purchased the SuperStar Shuttle transfers it will be in your Travel Wallet.  If you did not purchase transfers, there are self-service kiosks in the lobby to print your tickets and Express Pass.

Staying Offsite (including day guests from Walt Disney World):  You will print your tickets at the park gates, click here for more information.  When they print, it will include your Express Pass…and any vouchers for the Dining Plan, which then can be exchanged for Dining Cards at your resort’s Ticket Desk or the Dining Carts just inside the park gates.

You will may have three, or more, cards to hold onto: your Express Pass, your park ticket, and your room key….plus any Dining Plan cards you may have.  If you have booked your full vacation with me, I will include a lanyard for you in your vacation packet to keep track of these easily!

Express Pass, park ticket, and room key

Express Pass (no longer takes your picture), park ticket, and room key


When you approach most any ride or show entrance, you will see a sign with the wait time, and signs designating the two different queues “Attraction Entrance” and “Universal Express”.  Enter the Express lane, allow the Team Member to scan your hotel room key / Express Pass, and you will be admitted to the ride! (tip: place the barcode the Team Member scans facing out in your lanyard pocket and they can scan it through the clear plastic)

UNI - Express Pass Entrance


There are a couple different kinds of Express Passes. If you are at one of the Deluxe Resorts, you will have the UNLIMITED Express Pass, meaning you can do the same rides over and over again, if you so choose to!

Good to know:

  • Even though check-in at your Universal Resort is technically at 4 PM, you can use your park tickets and Express Pass directly after printing / arriving at your resort.  Your hotel room may not be ready until 4 PM, but you can start having run right away!
  • If you are staying offsite, or at Cabana Bay, you may have the limited Express Pass, which only allows each ride ONE-time.  During the quote process I explained which you have, and in your confirmation paperwork, it will clearly list which Express Pass you have.  If you aren’t sure – just shoot me an email!
  • The Express Pass does not include separate ticketed events, like Halloween Horror Nights.  There is a separate Express Pass for purchase for events.

Written by Brook

We are Team Pixie Dust! We are travel agents that specialize in Disney vacations. Our personalized vacation planning is NO cost to you, and we will search out the best value for your vacation dollar. Contact us today for more information or a no-obligation quote! brook@brookwoz.com