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Is Universal Studios Express Pass Worth It? (Updated 2023)

A visit to Universal Studios can be exciting and fun. 

The only downside is that the lines for attractions can be long, making it hard to get through the park in a reasonable amount of time. 

Luckily, there’s a way to skip the queue with a Universal Studios Express Pass.

A Universal Studios Express Pass is worth it if you want to bypass the lines and get to the rides faster. There is an additional fee for this pass, but it can save you a lot of time and allows you to enjoy more of the park. 

With the Express Pass, you wait in a shorter line, ensuring you get to the rides and attractions you want without missing any of the fun. 

What Is The Universal Studios Express Pass?

Screenshot of universalorlando.com annual pass purchase page

The Universal Studios Express Pass is an add-on to a regular park ticket that allows guests priority boarding on rides and attractions.

There is an extra fee for the Express Pass, and it allows pass holders access to the Express lane – a separate waiting area often much shorter and faster than the general line. 

How Does The Universal Express Pass Work?

The Express Pass does not come with regular park admission and must be purchased separately.

To keep the Express lines short, only a limited number of Express Passes are available each day. 

These passes can be purchased in advance and usually sell out very quickly. 

The price can vary, and the passes can be more expensive during peak days, holidays, or special events. 

Each park offers different pricing for its passes, and the price can change each day.

Which Parks Offer The Express Pass?

Every Universal Studios location offers an Express Pass, but the number of available passes and the price of the passes can vary depending on the park. 

Universal Studios Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Singapore all offer Express Passes for their guests. 

What Are The Benefits Of The Express Pass?

The Express Pass is very advantageous for park guests – especially if they’re only visiting for one day – and it can make the experience at the park more fun and easier to manage. 

Here are some of the benefits of a Universal Express Pass:

Skipping Lines

People in line to get tickets at Universal Studios Orlando Florida

The biggest (and most obvious) advantage of the Universal Express Pass is that it allows guests to skip the standard line at rides, attractions, and shows. 

People in the Express line move through the queue faster, and because there is a limited number of Express Passes sold each day, the lines don’t become overcrowded. 

If you plan to ride a popular attraction, see a popular show, or are just crunched for time, this pass allows you to experience more of the park.

Enjoying More Of The Park

Universal Studios Parks are very big and very busy, and if you are limited on time but want to partake as much as possible, you may not be able to get through a park in just one (or even two) days. 

People who have tested the Express Pass system found that it saves guests anywhere from two to four hours and adds four to six more rides in a single day.

Getting through the lines faster ultimately means you can enjoy more rides and cram more activities into your visit. 

More Time For Breaks

If you’re attending the park with children, have limited time, or simply can’t run from one ride to the next, the Express Pass gives you more time for breaks.

There is no need to hurry to the next ride to beat the crowd and stand in line for hours.

Instead, you can take a break and then walk right into the Express lane and bypass the long wait.

Are Passes Included With Resort Stays?

Palm trees surrounding a pool with a huge hotel building in the background

Some park guests get complimentary Express Passes with their tickets if they are staying at specific resorts. 

Guests who stay at the Hard Rock Hotel, the Royal Pacific Resort, and the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios Orlando are given Unlimited Express Passes for each day of their stay. 

Guests who have purchased the Universal Orlando Premier Annual Pass are also provided with one complimentary, limited Express Pass that can be used on one ride, one time, after 4 pm.

Are There Other Ways To Skip The Long Lines At Universal Studios?

While you can pretty much count on lines at Universal Studios being long, there are certain things you can do to avoid extremely long lines aside from buying the Express Pass. 

Choose Your Date Wisely

Universal Studios is usually the busiest during the summer months, holidays, and other times of the year when children are on break and can attend the park. 

By planning your trip around these timeframes, you can visit the parks when they are less crowded. 

October before Halloween and January and February are some of the slowest times of year for the parks, so you are less likely to encounter super long lines.

Ride Order

Most people ride the rides as they come to them, so when the park opens, you can expect the rides in the front of the park to be the most packed. 

As the day goes on and people make their way to the back of the park, these rides become more crowded. 

By reversing the ride order, you save time.

Make your way to the back of the park as soon as the gates open, and you’ll likely get on those rides with a much shorter wait. 

By the time you return to the front of the park, the lines at those rides will be faster, too.

Use Express Passes Wisely

Stationary VelociCoaster ride at Universal Studios without any passengers

If you don’t have an Unlimited Express Pass, you may be restricted to a certain number of rides or a limited number of times you can use your pass.

Don’t waste your pass on rides that don’t have long lines. 

Save your pass for the most popular rides with the longest lines. 

Even if your pass is limited to a certain time, you can get in the Express line a little early, and by the time you make your way to the front, it may be the set time for you to use it.


Universal Studios Parks offers guests an Express Pass system that lets them bypass the longer traditional lines to get on rides faster and get through the park in less time. 

There is an extra charge for the Express Pass, and it varies by park, date, and time. 

Most people who have used the Express Pass find that it saves them several hours throughout the course of the day, allowing them to see and experience more of the parks.

If you do purchase an Express Pass, use it wisely on rides that have the longest lines or are the most popular.