Many theme parks offer early admission to guests. It’s a great way to extend a park visit and get on a popular ride before there’s a massive line.
Universal Orlando also offers Early Park Admission, allowing parkgoers to enter one hour before regular opening time – but only under certain circumstances.
Early Park Admission to Islands of Adventure is available to guests staying at a Universal Orlando Hotel or Resort and to Premier and Preferred Annual Passholders on selected dates. Other guests may be able to receive early admission to Islands of Adventure; however, this perk is only open to some ticket holders.
The following article will discuss who can get into Islands of Adventure early, the benefits of staying at a Universal Orlando hotel or resort, and offer some advice on making the most of a visit to the park.
How Do You Get Into Islands Of Adventure Early?
Early Park Admission is one of the biggest perks of staying at a Universal Orlando resort or hotel, allowing guests to enter Islands of Adventure up to one hour before the park officially opens.
One thing to keep in mind about early admission is that only some attractions will be available before the park is fully open for the day.
Which attractions are open varies, and the list changes without notice. Guests can confirm which rides are open by visiting the official Universal Orlando website.
Park visitors who aren’t staying at a Universal hotel or resort are not eligible for early admission as this perk isn’t offered as an add-on to regular park tickets.
However, Early Park Admission is offered to Premier and Preferred Annual Passholders as a benefit of membership.
2- and 3-Park Premier Passholders are permitted early admission at any time, and 2- and 3-Park Preferred Passholders can access the park early on selected dates.
Unfortunately, early park admission is often unavailable for 2- and 3-Park Power Passholders and 2- and 3-Park Seasonal Passholders.
Are There Other Benefits to Staying at a Resort Hotel?
Staying onsite at a Universal Orlando resort hotel comes with quite a few perks.
Guests staying at least four days at a Universal hotel or resort can save quite a bit of money staying onsite by bundling hotel and park tickets together – the overall discount averages around 30% on both nightly hotel rates and park tickets.
The cost savings also extend to transportation and parking.
There’s free transportation via shuttle buses or water taxis from all the resort hotels to the park entrances, and guests staying onsite don’t need to pay for parking (or gas) – they have easy access to the parks and won’t need their vehicles.
There are also walking paths for guests looking for a leisurely stroll to the parks, and none of the routes take over thirty minutes.
But saving money isn’t the only benefit of staying at a Universal hotel. Visitors also have access to other special perks.
An Express Pass allows guests at participating attractions to use an expedited line where wait times are significantly shorter.
Adding Express Passes to regular park tickets costs around $80 per pass to skip the line once at participating rides.
In contrast, Unlimited Express Passes permit guests unlimited line-jumping and cost around $110 each.
Another benefit of staying at an onsite hotel is guests don’t need their wallets while inside the parks.
They can use their room keys to charge any food, beverage, merchandise, or ticket purchases.
Finally, Universal offers free merchandise delivery to any resort hotel guest. Visitors who buy something in the park can have it delivered to their room free of charge.
How Do I Make the Most of My Time at Islands of Adventure?
Trying to make the most out of your time at Islands of Adventure is important, especially if you want to try to do everything in one go.
Generally, guests should plan for at least two full days to see and ride everything at Islands of Adventure, but with a little creativity, they can squeeze a lot into one day.
Before getting to Islands of Adventure (or any theme park), look through all the attractions online.
Visitors with a limited amount of time should prioritize the rides and shows they want to see most and skip anything they’re not 100% interested in.
Once you’ve checked off the attractions on your list, if time permits, you can double back and visit some you’ve missed.
(Guests that don’t want to skip anything should plan for more than one day – they can do everything and revisit their favorites if they have enough time.)
Try to make an itinerary and map out a route through the park. It’s not difficult as Islands of Adventure is designed in a big loop, meaning guests can basically start on one side and work their way around.
To add more time for more rides, consider buying an Express Pass. While they aren’t cheap, they’re very much worth it as most of the time in any theme park is spent waiting in line.
On busy days, parkgoers might have to wait two hours to get on a popular attraction. Express Passes cut that down significantly, meaning guests can do more with less time.
Any opportunity to shorten the time spent waiting in a line should be taken advantage of, including using the Universal app to order food online for pickup at the counter.
Getting into the park early is another great way to optimize time. Try to get onto the most popular rides available (like anything in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter).
Guests can knock those out without a wait time (in most cases), so they don’t have to schedule time for them later.
Finally, try to visit the park on days with lower expected attendance (i.e., mid-week or during the offseason). The less crowded the park is, the shorter the lines will be.
To maximize a visit to Islands of Adventure, come prepared for an intense but super fun day – plan ahead, bring snacks, and take advantage of Express Passes.
Get there early or right as the park opens to ensure you can experience everything you want.
Early admission to Islands of Adventure is available to guests staying at a Universal Orlando Hotel or Resort and to Premier and Preferred Annual Passholders on selected dates.
This perk allows these visitors to get into Islands of Adventure an hour before the park officially opens.
Early Park Admission is unavailable to regular ticketholders and is not offered as an add-on.
Before booking a trip to Islands of Adventure, check the Universal Orlando website to see which rides are available with early admission.