Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Express tickets, good value or not?

Universal Orlando: How long a wait without one?

From John McLaughlan
Posted May 27, 2013 at 7:14 PM
Planning to visit Universal Studios the last week in June, does anyone recommend the express ticket. How long can I expect to wait with or without an express pass.
Thank you..


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Rob Pastor
Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM
Lines will be long. Summer crowds plus Transformers & Springfield opens on the 20th. If you don't have express, you'll have some long waits. Stay at a Universal on site hotel if there are two or more in your party. That will nearly cover the cost of express passes in the summer. Their price goes way up as the crowds increase. Orlando Informer just upgraded their crowd calendar for June 20th to June 30th to VERY BUSY, which is their highest crowd rating, that's usually only used for Christmas & Easter holiday periods.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM
I would actually say no.

I was thinking of using the express pass, but it does not include Harry Potter or Rockit Roller Coaster.

From Rob Pastor
Posted May 27, 2013 at 8:38 PM
Rockit coaster has been express for the past two months. Transformers will have an express line. FJ and Ptyreydon Flyers are the only rides that aren't express. Check Orlando Informer for ride times when the park is rated Very Busy. They are long. ....Anthony: There's a big difference between summer ride lines and May ride lines. I've been there in May often. The parks are much slower in May...... There's a lot of buzz about Transformers & Springfield. The crowds will probably be crazy at the end of June during their opening weeks. OI originally had Busy ratings and upgraded to Very Busy recently. May crowds are usually rated slow to a few moderates.

From Kelly Muggleton
Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:16 AM
Universal also post the cost of the Express Passes online - this is a good indicator of the expected level of crowd & may help with your judgement. (More expensive = higher crowd level)

If you don't want the added expense, take advantage of the single rider lines. Although be prepared your party may be split.

From Dominick D
Posted May 28, 2013 at 6:45 AM
Yes. Transformers is opening and it will be packed. Springfield should open in July or August.

From John McLaughlan
Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Thanks for replying folks, I think I will buy the express passes..

From Tyler Harris
Posted May 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM
If you're willing to drop a.bundle on hotels, stay at one of 3 universal hotels.

From John McLaughlan
Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Thanks Tyler thats another option, however I have read mixed reviews about the on site hotels.

From John McLaughlan
Posted May 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM
Can anyone tell me how much an express pass costs if buying on the day at the park?

From Rob Pastor
Posted May 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Portofino is excellent. Plus, they remodeled all the rooms in the past year. As I said previously, if you have two or more in your party, it nearly pays for the express, which is very expensive on crowded days. And the hotel express has unlimited rides on the attractions, as opposed to the purchased express which limits you to one ride per attraction. Not counting the ease of travel by being right on site. ....(Universal has a click on their internet site that will give you an express price for the day. Wouldn't buy ahead of time due to weather conditions which may affect the crowd size)

From John McLaughlan
Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM
Thanks Rob that is good advice, you have certainly gave me plenty to think about.
Thanks again. ?

From N B
Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:50 PM
On-site stay is the best value for Express since it is "free", but the extra time you have every day from not having to wait in lines is priceless.

You will find yourself walking around at a much slower pace than everyone else because you don't have to rush from one ride to the next.

We purchased the Express Pass once... only one ride per attraction and it would have been cheaper to stay on-site that saving a few bucks on a room at the Holiday Inn across the street and buying the express pass even for one day.

We have stayed at one of the three hotels for 7 years running. The Hard rock is centrally located and the most fun for kids.

From Rob Pastor
Posted May 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM
NB's points are well taken. If you have teenagers they will probably prefer Hard Rock or Royal Pacific. The rooms are a bit smaller but the restaurants and pools are very good. Echoing NB's points, the onsite hotels give your vacation experience a level of relaxation & tranquility that greatly enhances your vacation. And the hotel express allows you to slow things down and enjoy everything without racing around the parks & Citi Walk. And its all so very beautiful and close.

From John McLaughlan
Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM
N B, Rob thanks for the advice..

From Rob Pastor
Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM
You're very welcome. Have a great vacation.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

Planning a trip to Orlando?

Walt Disney World

Insider's Pick: Get all the best advice from ThemeParkInsider.com in one convenient book! Theme Park Insider Orlando 2014 offers you the insight, background, and how-to skills that will help you enjoy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando like, well, a theme park insider. Save yourself time and money by learning how to visit the Orlando-area theme parks the insiders' way.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks