The Universal Express Pass is a popular add-on to the standard Universal Orlando Resort theme park tickets.
Even though it is expensive, the Universal Express Pass and the Universal Express Unlimited Pass are worth the cost because they allow you to skip the lines and spend more time on the rides.
Let’s take a closer look at the Universal Express and the Universal Express Unlimited passes to see if they are worth the money.
What is the Universal Express Pass?
Express Pass is Universal’s paid offering for shows and attractions. A valid Universal theme park ticket is required before you can get the Universal Express Pass upgrade.
With the standard Universal Express Pass, guests are permitted to bypass the regular lines only one time per participating attraction.
What is the Universal Express Unlimited Pass?
With the Universal Express Unlimited Pass, guests are permitted to bypass the regular lines as many times per participating attraction as they wish.
Additionally, there’s also an option to upgrade types of passes so they will work at both Universal Orlando theme parks – Universal Studios and Universal’s Island of Adventure theme parks.
How much does the Universal Express Pass Cost?
This perk allows you to skip the regular lines at Universal’s most popular rides and attractions, but it is an extra charge. Please note that theme park admission is required and sold separately. Here’s how much the Universal Express Pass will cost you:
1-Park Universal Express Pass – Starting at $79.99
Valid once per attraction at either Universal Studios or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park.
1-Park Universal Express Unlimited – Starting at $109.99
Valid at unlimited rides and attractions at either Universal Studios or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park.
2-Park Universal Express Pass – Starting at $89.99
Valid once per attraction at both Universal Studios or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks.
2-Park Universal Express Unlimited – Starting at $119.99
Valid at unlimited rides and attractions at both Universal Studios or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks.
These starting prices increase during holidays and weekends. Be aware that prices can soar over $200 during Christmas week!
The Universal Express Pass and Universal Express PLUS Pass are also available for Volcano Bay, Universal’s water park. They cost $19.99 and $39.99, respectively.
How Do the Express Passes Work?
The Universal Express Pass is valid per day, per person. In other words, each member of your party must have a Universal Express pass AND a valid park ticket. Once you have the pass, no reservations are required to skip the lines (unlike the Disney Genie+ pass). You just walk through the Express queue and get on the ride.
Disney Genie+ vs. Universal Express Pass
Both the Universal Express Pass and the Disney Genie+ allow you to skip the normal lines at participating rides and attractions. However, there are some major differences between the programs.
Disney Genie+ gives you the ability to book times to use the Lightning Lane entrance at Walt Disney World theme parks. The cost ranges from about $15-$30 per day, per person. Reservations can be made starting at 7 AM on the day of your visit. Guests may only book one ride at a time throughout the day (after your first ride, you can immediately book your next, and so on).
Disney World also offers up to 2 individual Lightning Lane passes per day. These passes allow you to use the Lightning Lane entrance at a few of Disney’s highest-demand attractions. The cost varies based on ride, availability, and time of the year.
Universal Express Pass
As stated before, the Universal Express Pass gives you the ability to skip the standby line at participating rides (one time at each ride), with an additional charge for a 2-park pass.
Universal Express Unlimited
The Universal Express Unlimited gives you the ability to skip the standby line at an unlimited number of rides (not just one time), with an additional charge for a 2-park pass. Once you have the pass, no reservations are required to use it on the rides.
Which is Better – Disney Genie+ or Universal Express Pass?
The Disney Genie+ is much cheap and, overall, a better value. That said, Universal’s 2 types of passes are still worth it. If you hate waiting in lines and want to maximize your limited time at Universal (on the rides instead of lines), then these passes can really make the difference. The Universal passes are great because you don’t have to make reservations on an app like the Disney Genie+. It’s so convenient!
Read our next blog post for a valuable Universal vacation hack. In it, we show you how staying at one of Universal’s Premier Hotels can get you FREE Express Unlimited Pass. Wow!
Read: How to Stay at a Universal Premier Hotel For Free
Do you really need the Universal Express Pass to have fun?
Absolutely not! The Universal Express Pass and Universal Express Unlimited Pass are nice luxury add-ons. They will probably give you rest and relaxation overall because you won’t be on your feet as long and you’ll be enjoying more time on the rides. But if you have good touring plans and a little patience, you’ll have an amazing time at Universal Orlando Resort, no matter what!
Ready to Book your Trip to Universal Orlando?
Need some help planning your trip? Speak with the Universal and Disney travel agents at The Vacationeer! They know Universal like they know Disney so you know you’ll be in good hands.
If it’s time to start thinking of your next Universal or Disney World vacation, then it’s time to contact The Vacationeer for your free quote.
These Universal Travel Agents (who know Disney, too!) can set you up with a payment plan and make sure you get the best deals. Their planning services are 100% free of charge and their advice, expertise, and dedication will prove invaluable!
Thanks for reading our “Is the Universal Express Pass Worth it” article.
See our Best Universal Studios Rides, Universal Studios Map, Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tips, Universal Studios vs Disney World, How to Get from Disney World to Universal, How Much Do Wands Cost at Universal, and Universal Studios Orlando Transportation for more on Universal!
Enjoy your trip!